A special ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at the home of Lorraine and Mike Hurley, on South Main Street, on Father’s Day Sunday, June 16. For the fourth — and hopefully final — time, family members gathered around the American flag in the front yard to cut a yellow ribbon; this one had been wrapped around the flag pole since the Hurleys’ son-in-law Lieutenant Colonel Ben Wallen was deployed to Iraq, one year ago. This was Lt Col Wallen’s third deployment to Iraq, and each time, the Hurley family has tied a yellow ribbon about the flagpole until his safe return.
Another yellow ribbon wrapped the pole when the Hurleys’ daughter, Micaela, served in Afghanistan.
“Ben left Iraq, landed in Atlanta, Ga., reported to Fort Benning, Ga., then left and flew to Fort Carson, Colo.,” said Mrs Hurley. Lt Col Wallen arriving home late on Father’s Day, and in time to celebrate his 14th anniversary with wife, Cara.
“We cut the yellow ribbon as soon as we learned Ben had landed safely in the United States,” Mrs Hurley said.
Celebrating Lt Col Wallen’s return with the Hurleys on Sunday were sisters-in-law Micaela McMurrough and Maura Kuehling, and her husband Rusty, as well as the Kuehlings’ children Grace, Shawn, and Maggie.
“We pray that we will not put another yellow ribbon on our flagpole,” said Mrs Hurley. “Four is enough.”