By Ashley Graves
The Cullman Times
Depending on who you are, the color yellow can conjure one of a variety of meanings.
But for the wives and children of the Cullman-based Charlie Company of the Alabama Army National Guard's 167th, yellow means a lot.
Two weeks ago, approximately 140 Cullman-area soldiers departed for a mobilization site in Mississippi before deploying to Afghanistan for the next year. And now, those left behind are asking local residents to show their support by displaying yellow ribbons at their homes and on vehicles as a reminder of those who serve our country overseas.
"The worst part of deployment is when you feel you're alone and no one cares, even though all of us know that's not the case," Kristy Grund, the wife of Staff Sgt. Paul Grund said. "We know people are thinking about the families, and we know they're praying for us, but just put a ribbon out and let us see it. It means more to us than anything to see them."
The yellow ribbon has long been a symbol for those waiting for the return of a loved one. While it helps those like Grund and other wives of soldiers to see them, it also helps the children cope as well. Like Grund’s children, Olivia and Tristan, many are toddlers and are too young to grasp what's going on. But they know the yellow ribbon symbolizes their dad’s safe return.
"It's hard on the kids too," Grund said. "Mine will say all the time, 'I miss daddy,' and if we're driving down the road we'll play a game of count the yellow ribbons. When they look and see them, they've learned that someone is thinking of daddy. So, not only does it help the children, but it helps the moms too, because we know someone cared enough to put them up.'"
Many businesses and homes around the community have already shown support by adding a touch of yellow to their buildings or yards, but there can never be too many. Grund encourages anyone who is interested in helping make ribbons to display to contact her at 256- 636-5062.
* Ashley Graves can be reached by phone at 734-2131, ext. 225, or by email at email@example.com