Air Force Staff Sergeant Creating Wreaths From Old Uniforms

Air Force Staff Sergeant Creating Wreaths From Old Uniforms vintage marine uniform (Dreamstime)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Friday, 25 December 2020 02:34 PM

An Air Force staff sergeant is repurposing old military uniforms into patriotic wreaths to allow owners to both remember family members' service while celebrating the holidays.

''I started the business because the Air Force was switching over to new uniforms, and I wanted to find a cool way to memorialize my old ones,'' Staff Sgt. Nicole Pompei, 29, of Texas, told People magazine. ''Thanks to some help from my crafty mother, we came up with this design.''

Pompei sells the uniforms through her company, Wreaths by Nicole, which was launched in July. She is on active duty with the Air Force, and also served with the Marine Corps.

Some of the wreaths, which come in various sizes and designs, reflect patriotic themes while others have a holiday theme. Pompei said it takes around four hours to make a wreath.

One of her more interesting wreaths was made for a customer who had sent her three uniforms from 1946.

"This was the second time I’ve received uniforms that were almost 80 years old,'' she said on her Facebook page. ''I almost didn’t have the heart to cut them. I’m happy I did. Now they have a blended memento that they can hold with them for a lifetime.''

Pompei said she never expected to make a business out of her hobby, but her Facebook inbox soon became full of requests.

''The most rewarding part is hearing all of the stories of my customers and their family members,'' she said. ''I feel so honored that I can memorialize and honor their service. I have such respect for anybody who has served in the military.''