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Break out the yellow ribbons

Krista Wisner ties a yellow ribbons on her vehicle’s radio antenna, which she will leave there until our men and women in the military return home. - Jim Larsen
Krista Wisner ties a yellow ribbons on her vehicle’s radio antenna, which she will leave there until our men and women in the military return home.
— image credit: Jim Larsen

The yellow ribbon is back in Oak Harbor thanks to Krista Wisner, who is something of a trendsetter in bringing back this tradition.

Wisner tied a yellow ribbon to her vehicle’s antenna Monday and will leave it there until troops come home from the Persian Gulf area.

“Let’s show the world that we are all united in supporting our military and pray that each and every one of our sailors, soldiers and airmen comes home quickly and safely to their loved ones,” she said.

The last yellow ribbon campaign in Oak Harbor was prompted by the “Whidbey 24,” the air crew that landed in China in 2001 after colliding with a Chinese fighter jet. They were held for 11 days, and came home in April to a town festooned with yellow ribbons.

Prior to that event, yellow ribbons were a common sight in Oak Harbor during the 1991 Gulf War.

Wiley’s husband Dan is in the Navy, but she can’t reveal where. “I’d rather not say. We’re not supposed to talk about troop movements,” she said. But at present there are many squadrons from Whidbey Island Naval Air Station either deployed in the Middle East or on their way there.

The couple have a 11-year-old son who was born after the Gulf War, in which Dan Wiley participated. Now he’s probably among the troops who are going back.

Krista Wisner is ombudsman for CBU-417, so she knows plenty of Navy spouses who are home while their loved ones are away. She describes herself as “a proud American and Navy wife.”

“I challenge each and every one of our Whidbey Island residents to show your support for all of our military members by proudly displaying yellow ribbons,” she said, adding, “We’re scared and concerned but we’re all proud.”

Wistner said she has friends around the country who are also getting yellow ribbons to display in their yards and on their cars.

“We’ll leave them there until our troops are home safe and sound,” she said. “I’d like to see them all over the island.”

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