As Northwest side residents David and Theresa McLellan observe Veterans Day at home, their 24-year-old son is joining the fight for freedom.
Andrew McLellan left home Monday morning to begin preparations for his deployment to Afghanistan next month.
“He has his a mission to do and he's ready for it,” said Theresa McLellan. “He’s been preparing for six and a half years.”
The 2010 West Point graduate who once shook hands with President Obama is set to put his hands to use on the front lines.
As part of their preparation, his parents, Theresa and her husband, David, came up with an idea for a creative sendoff for their son. They planned to decorate their street, tying yellow ribbons around their trees.
"When we originally started, we were just thinking about just our stretch of neighborhood over here,” said David McLellan. “But then all the other neighbors started saying, 'Oh that's beautiful. Hey, can we get into this as well too?'"
Just like the trees, their idea took root among the neighbors, and instead of there being just 25 ribbons on their block, their entire Orsinger Lane subdivision is dressed up in yellow.
"Just driving by and seeing the yellow ribbons, it kind of hits you right here," said Olga Hinderliter, president of the neighborhood association and one of the neighbors who took part in the honor.
"(Theresa McLellan) explained that it was her son that was being deployed to Afghanistan and then after that it just kind of went from there," Hinderliter said.
The McLellans said they are overwhelmed by the gesture of support.
Their son, meanwhile, is humbled, although his parents said he was a bit confused at first.
“He saw all the ribbons and he thought it was just a decoration for Veterans Day,” said Theresa McLellan. “Then he looked and saw his name.”
Thanks to the effort, the couple said they now know the names of all their neighbors and realize what good friends they are.