RANDLEMAN, N.C. (WGHP) — People living in one Randleman neighborhood hope drivers take just a moment to think about the men and women serving the country when they pass by.
They’re reminding them of the sacrifices that come with deployment with bright yellow ribbons on every mailbox in Cedar Run.
“I came in the other da, and the wind was blowing perfectly, and I was at the top of the hill, and every single one of the flags were blowing the same way,” Francis Atkins said. “It just takes your breath away because you want him to come home.”
Atkins is talking about her 27-year-old son Trey. He’s a sailor with a calling to serve his country just like his grandfather and father who served before him.
Atkins thought because of the route Trey took in the Navy, his job might keep him off the front lines and out of harm’s way.
“I got very nervous when I found out he was going to be deployed,” Atkins said.
It’s a six-month deployment. Atkins is thankful the country isn’t at war but knows how quickly things can change and how deployment times can extend.
It’s a feeling her neighbor Jodie Abruzzese shared when her son deployed.
“It would be days of crying…probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Abruzzese said.
Atkins wanted a way to bring more support to not just her son and her family but to all the families with loved ones overseas.
“I was talking to my neighbor about it, and I said, ‘well I would like to maybe start putting a yellow ribbon on mine,’ and she goes, ‘well I want one on mine too,'” Atkins said.
That was in March.
Slowly, more and more people started asking Atkins for yellow ribbons and flags until she finally put a note on the neighborhood Facebook page asking if she could include everyone.
“I’m hoping as the flags get tattered and the ribbons, that we’ll do something else because it is a way to bring us all together,” said Anne Kennedy, a neighbor in Cedar Run.
Neighbors tell FOX8 the ribbons have everyone talking and connecting after two years of staying apart, finding out so many people have a connection to the military.
“When she first came to me and asked me if I would help, she came by my house. That’s when she found out my son was in the military,” Abruzzese said. “I started crying when she started talking about her son, and we hugged, and she said ‘thank you for letting me cry.'”
Abruzzese said when she saw the flags and ribbons for the first time, she got chills.
“They keep the conflict away from us, so I hope they remember that,” Abruzzese said.
Since March, every home in the neighborhood has a ribbon and flag.
Nearby businesses also reached out to Atkins asking if they could have ribbons to share their support.
“I want it to be a reminder to everyone when they drive by the neighborhood they go we need to say a prayer. Say it right there with your eyes open as you’re driving down the road. A good thought,” Atkins said.