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Neighborhood welcomes soldier home

By Staff
HER LOVE Monika Smith welcomed her husband, Charles, home on Wednesday. He had been serving with Operation Freedom for three months. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Dec. 13, 2001
Monika Smith's heart sank when she learned she couldn't welcome her military husband home with a yellow ribbon in her yard.
Smith's husband, Charles, returned home Wednesday after serving three months on overseas duty with the 186th Air Refueling Wing of the Mississippi Air National Guard.
Smith, who works as an Oakland Heights Elementary School teacher, got a better idea; if she couldn't have a yellow ribbon to herself, maybe the whole neighborhood could. That's when she wrote a note and began sending it out to neighbors, even ones she didn't know.
When Frances and Paul Glosson read their note, they couldn't refuse.
The Glossons joined their North Hills Street neighbors, Peggy and Glenwood Martin, at Foodmax to have yellow ribbons specially made for their mailboxes. Apparently, other neighbors followed suit.
And since Smith couldn't have a yellow ribbon exclusively to herself, her third grade students at Oakland Heights chipped in by stringing yellow ribbons together, one for each day Charles was away.
One student, Corey Robinette, welcomed Charles home with a homemade chocolate-covered apple. Attached to the apple was a note reading, "Welcome Mr. Smith. I miss you. I hope we won."
Robinette then signed his name in code for security reasons, and thanked Charles for his hard work."
Smith said she planned to spend a quiet evening at home Wednesday night. She said her husband plans to visit her third-grade children Friday to thank them personally for all their support.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3236, or e-mail her at