A Middletown woman, who is closely connected to local veterans organizations, has dreamed for years about the city hanging banners to recognize military veterans.
That dream is about to become a reality.
Deb Morrison, an advocate for veterans, said for years she wanted the city to hang banners along Central Avenue. She is working with Jeri Lewis, the city’s community projects coordinator, and several veterans organizations on the banner program.
So far, 24 banners have been sold and will be placed on light poles on Central Avenue between University Boulevard and Verity Parkway. There are 39 light poles and each can hold two banners, Lewis said.
The goal is to have the banners hung before Memorial Day (May 29) and leave them up though Veterans Day (Nov. 11).
Morrison was asked how she will feel when she sees the banners.
“It will touch my heart,” she said. “It’s important to recognize all veterans, those living and those deceased.”
She purchased two banners, one for her father, Kenneth Young, a Korean War veteran who died in 2006, the other for her husband, Joe Snider, a Vietnam veteran who died in 2020.
The banners, which will be printed at Digital Visuals in Middletown, cost $115 and no one is profiting off the program, Lewis said. Deadline to order is April 1.
When the city hired Lewis earlier this year, she said the banner program was “the first thing on my mind to accomplish.” She had seen a similar banner program in Virginia.
Lewis said her father, Ronald Bowers Jr. retired from the U.S. Army as a captain, and her grandfathers served in the U.S. Navy.
“It’s a sense of honor to work on this project,” she said. “It’s about time and this is the very, very least we can do.”
Todd Tadych, a retired Army veteran, has pitched the banner program to members at the VFW Post 3809 and the American Legion Post 218. He and his wife, LuAnn, occasionally take drives through the country and they have seen similar banners in other small communities.
“We think it’s cool,” he said.
HOW TO ORDER
WHAT: Hometown Heroes banner program
HOW MUCH: $115
WHAT’S NEEDED: A profile of the veteran, with name, rank, era of service, medals, if any, and a photo.
DEADLINE: April 1
SEND INFORMATION, PAYMENT: Deb Morrison, email: Da120757@yahoo.com
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