Isanti woman sells T-shirts to show support for local troops

Kerri Knack’s children model the red T-shirts available for purchase to show community support for local troops. Pictured are Spc. James Roberts, Kaitlind, Charlie and Emma. Photo by Rachel Kytonen

Kerri Knack’s children model the red T-shirts available for purchase to show community support for local troops. Pictured are Spc. James Roberts, Kaitlind, Charlie and Emma. Photos by Rachel Kytonen

An Isanti woman wants to paint the town red on Fridays.

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The front of the shirt features the Isanti County logo and a yellow ribbon in support of Isanti County Beyond the Yellow Ribbon.

Kerri Knack, a volunteer with the Isanti County Beyond the Yellow Ribbon and the Family Readiness Group for the 850th HEC Renegades unit based in Cambridge, is selling T-shirts to show continued support for the Renegades unit, which was deployed in March to Afghanistan.

Knack first designed a red T-shirt for her and her staff to wear on Fridays while she was a manager at the restaurant Ravens to show support for the local troops. She said she received positive feedback and community members showed interested in purchasing the T-shirts.

Knack has since left Ravens, and designed a new T-shirt that she is selling to the community. The T-shirts are red and feature a Yellow Ribbon on the front with the Isanti County logo. The right sleeve features an American Flag with the words “850th HEC Renegades.” The back reads, “We Support Our Troops.”

Knack will take T-shirt orders through June 15. Youth shirts are $14 and available in XS-XL. Adult sizes S-XL are $15; 2X, $17; and 3X, $18. Orders can be emailed to kerriknack@gmail.com. Checks, payable to Kerri Knack, can also be mailed to P.O. Box 5, Isanti, MN 55040. Make sure to indicate your order with your check. The shirts will be available for pick-up around the Cambridge-Isanti area.

The back of the shirt reads, “We Support Our Troops.”

The back of the shirt reads, “We Support Our Troops.”

“I think the red T-shirts will serve as a reminder that we have local men and women who are deployed,” Knack said. “I think it will help show support for our local troops until they come home.”

Knack, whose son SPC James Roberts is in the Minnesota National Guard, saw the red T-shirts in other communities.

“I would love to go around the community on Fridays and see everyone wearing these red T-shirts,” Knack said. “It’s good for our local soldiers overseas to know the people back home are supporting them. These shirts aren’t necessarily saying we support the war, but to show our support for those who are fighting for our freedom.”

The right sleeve features an American Flag and the words “850th HEC Renegades,” in honor of the Cambridge-based unit currently deployed in Afghanistan.

The right sleeve features an American Flag and the words “850th HEC Renegades,” in honor of the Cambridge-based unit currently deployed in Afghanistan.

The 850th HEC of the Minnesota National Guard is a horizontal construction company in the U.S. Army and headquartered in Cambridge, with the 682nd Engineer Battalion as their higher headquarters based in Willmar. The Minnesota soldiers deployed from the 850th HEC will conduct missions such as repair, maintenance and road construction, emplacing culverts, hauling, force protection and limited clearing operations. Additionally, the company will provide construction training to the Afghan National Army.

Soldiers from the 850th HEC represent 100 communities throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin, with one soldier living as far away as Texas.

Knack mentioned any proceeds from the sale of the T-shirts will go to support the efforts of Isanti County Beyond the Yellow Ribbon. For more information on Isanti County Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, visit http://beyondtheyellowribbonisanti.org.

For more information on Red Shirt Fridays, visit redshirtfridays.org.

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