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Florida woman uses macramé to support local veterans

Concept is to make veterans feel welcomed and part of community

ORLANDO, Fla. – A local woman and former member of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps of the University of Central Florida is using her love of macramé to support local veterans.

"We're acknowledging their sacrifices and everything that they have gone through to support us and to help us grow into this country that we are," Victoria Walsh said.

She created the Yellow Ribbon Project to salute veterans and cadets at the UCF ROTC program.

One knot at a time, she spread her mission around 30 trees located at UCF's Memorial Mall area. With help from students, staff and ROTC members, they came together to create macramé designs with yellow ribbons.

"She comes here with a concept, and we know that the people passing by will be touched by it," Barbara Gannon, an associate history professor, said.

For Walsh, the concept is to make the veterans feel welcomed and show them they are part of the community.

"I think it's beautiful. Honestly, I think it's nice to see, not just UCF but the community come and gather around veterans and to be able to, in a visual way that everybody can see as they're walking by, show that we remember," Daniela Aguirre, the lead oral historian for UCF's Veterans History Project said.

The project for which Aguirre works, collects, preserves and gives the public access to veterans' stories.

"You get to hear about what real soldiers, what real Navy and what real Air Force are actually going through in day-to-day," she said.

The Yellow Ribbon Project will also help UCF veterans through a supply closet.

"They need assistance from the point of view of getting back into the academic environment. For example, one thing they have asked for, and we think would be helpful, would be pens that you take notes, and they record what you've written," Gannon said.

Each tree can be sponsored by a UCF department for $125.

“We wanted to go from words by people to deeds and action, and also to leave a reminder throughout the entire month,” Gannon said.


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