HARKER HEIGHTS — The city showed appreciation for its military neighbors in a special yellow ribbon ceremony Thursday.
Citing “deep roots” with the military, Harker Heights Mayor Pro Tem Rob Robinson said the closeness between the city and Fort Hood stems from many Heights residents being military veterans.
“We are a Purple Heart City,” he said.
The ribbon ceremony harkened back to the 1991 Gulf War when yellow ribbons often adorned front doors of businesses and residences.
“Yellow ribbons represent separation and reunification,” Robinson said.
Originally planned to take place outside City Hall, chilly temperatures moved the ceremony indoors.
Jeanne Isdale, military affairs committee co-chairwoman, said the ceremony’s timing has to do with the impending return of about 300 deployed III Corps soldiers in February. The ceremony also was intended as a show of overall support.
About 600 III Corps soldiers left for Afghanistan last April and half already redeployed.
“I was concerned our military might think we’d forgotten them,” Isdale said.
The last ribbon ceremony was held more than 10 years ago.
Isdale emphasized the special relationship between Harker Heights and Fort Hood. “Harker Heights is fully behind them, loves them, appreciates them … we have their backs,” she said, of the returning soldiers and their families.
At the ceremony were some prominent Fort Hood family members including Hollyanne Milley, wife of III Corps commander, Lt. Gen. Mark Milley; Marla Schroeder, wife of Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Schroeder; and Samara Elledge, wife of Col. Matt Elledge, Fort Hood’s garrison commander.
Hollyanne Milley said she appreciates the way soldiers and families have been treated during the deployment.
“All of the communities that surround Fort Hood have been extremely supportive of our soldiers,” she said.
Larry Linder, chairman of the board of the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce, encouraged local businesses and residents to show their support by displaying the ribbons.
“It’s been a while since we’ve had yellow ribbons out for our warriors,” he said.
Yellow ribbons are available at area stores.