Community bands together to make Honor ribbons (w/video)
April 10, 2014 at 7:05 p.m.
Updated April 10, 2014 at 11:11 p.m.
Like flies scattering, they left her behind.
By today's standards, a woman dressed in Army Nurse Corps attire would receive a handshake and a thank you.
But that was not the custom 40 years ago during the Vietnam War era. As Donna Schultheiss took her seat on a bench at the San Antonio International Airport one afternoon back then, everyone sitting next to her got up and left - not supporting the war and her choice to serve. That was the last time she wore her uniform in public.
"I never quite forgot that," Schultheiss said Thursday, her eyes reddened. "It took me many years to forgive them for that, too."
But Thursday, the experience was different from that afternoon decades ago.
Sitting down on the workbench, she was surrounded by friends who had a common mission. As her hands carefully smoothed-out royal purple ribbons and cut them into 36-inch strips, others folded the ribbon into bows.
Schultheiss, of Victoria, and more than 30 others cut, crimped and created 2,700 ribbons from brilliant purple, yellow and black ribbon for the Warrior's Weekend Field of Honor. The bow-making event was put on by the Guadalupe Victoria Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution at Trinity Lutheran Church.
Each vibrant bow identifies the military man or woman whose name is on a flag in the field.
Purple is for those wounded or killed in action; yellow is for those alive or missing in action, and black is for veterans who have since died, like Schultheiss' husband, John.
Schultheiss' husband died five years ago and never witnessed the greatness of something like the Field of Honor.
As a physician, he saw just what the men and women had to lose.
"When there is loss, there is always sadness," she said. "He would have loved it."