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Volunteers spend hours creating more than 2,500 bows for Field of Honor

By JR Ortega
April 26, 2012 at 7:04 p.m.
Updated April 25, 2012 at 11:26 p.m.

Kathy Walleck cuts purple ribbons to be tied into  bows to be placed on flags at the Field of Honor near Faith Family Church for Warrior's Weekend. The bow-tying party was at Trinity Lutheran Church on Thursday afternoon.

If the shimmering purple, gold and black ribbons give off the impression of being royal, it's because they are - especially in the eyes of these women.

Their hands shifted effortlessly as they cut, flattened and crimped ribbons on Thursday that will soon be placed on at least 2,500 flags honoring military veterans at the Field of Honor, which will be unveiled May 12.

"It was a different time," recalled Donna Schultheiss, attaching a twist-tie to finalize one of the bows.

The time Schultheiss refers to is Vietnam, 1970.

She and seven other women in her nursing school decided they were going to enlist and help support their country.

Coming home, there were no parades, celebrations or even words of thanks; instead they were shunned.

But Thursday, Schultheiss was proud to give these veterans what many didn't give the veterans of her time.

"It feels wonderful," she said, tears welling in her eyes. "Someone has to be there to remember them."

Schultheiss was one of at least 30 volunteers at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Schultheiss is a member of the Guadalupe Victoria Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the group sponsoring the bow-making event.

Volunteers weren't only from the Daughters of the American Revolution, but also from church groups and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Bettye Pribyl helped coordinate the event this year as well as last year.

"We just keep going," Pribyl said, cracking a smile.

The first bow-making party was at Pribyl's home in 2010.

She, along with only a few others, spent what felt like endless hours creating the bows.

To give some context to just how much ribbon it takes to make at least 2,500 bows, Pribyl looked to one of the boxes.

This box had 21 spools, 100 yards each spool. Of course, Pribyl may have missed some spools, but 2,100 yards of ribbon is already daunting, she said.

The volunteers picked whichever color ribbon they wanted to work with.

The gold will be placed on the flags purchased for veterans being honored, the black will be placed on the flags of those veterans who have died and the purple will be for those who received purple hearts or were killed in action.

Those who are missing in action and have not been declared dead fall under the gold ribbon.

The flags will wave in the wind at the corner of Mockingbird Lane and Sam Houston Drive in preparation for Warrior's Weekend, a fishing trip for physically and mentally wounded soldiers.

Being part of the effort is a feeling like no other, Pribyl said.

"It's so little what we're doing for these men and women who put their lives on the line for us every day," she said.



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