By Rabia NombambaMay 16, 2008
ANSBACH, Germany (Army News Service, May 16, 2008) - On the evening of May 14, 1,358 Soldiers, Family members, Civilians and local nationals of the Ansbach community came together at Storck barracks to set the unofficial armed-forces record for the largest yellow-ribbon formation.
"Everybody comes together as one team. This is amazing - about 1,400 people came out from one community. This is the biggest thing in our life...people are here about the troops who are down range right now. We support them one-hundred percent in any way we can," said Cpl. Ryan Cimbaljevich, of D Company, 412th Aviation Support Battalion.
The previous record of approximately 800 people was set by the Marines at Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, Calif., in October 2005. The unofficial record is not registered with Guinness World Record.
Ansbach's yellow-ribbon event featured a concert by country-western performer Granger Smith, prize drawings, children's activities and food sales.
Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) staff handed out free yellow T-shirts as participants lined up to form the record breaking yellow ribbon.
According to Dan Riley, Ansbach's FMWR director, the event is a way to thank the military Families for their commitment and increasing sacrifices as their Soldiers support of the war on terrorism.
"It's about the community, getting the community together and of course about the Soldiers who are deployed and are getting deployed," added Case Malloy, FMWR recreation-division chief.
The opportunity to come together and show unified support to their Soldiers deployed in harm's way was enthusiastically embraced by the community.
"The Yellow Ribbon event sort of gives us an opportunity to get together and show our support, not only of our spouses down range, but also of each other. That we're here for each other, we come together when we need to, and we help take care of each other. This is one of the big events that brings us together. It's like one more milestone towards getting through the end of deployment. It was great, I loved it! I think it's fantastic," said Leeann Swartz, whose husband is currently deployed with 5th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment.
(Rabia Nombamba works for U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach.)