Bob Kellar: Supporting hometown heroes in the SCV

Santa Clarita City Councilman Bob Kellar, left, discusses the Hometown Heroes Military Banner program with U.S. Marine Sergeant David Gonzalez after the press conference held at at City hall to officially kick off the the program in March. A sample of the banner hangs behind Gonzalez. Dan Watson/Signal
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The city of Santa Clarita has long been known as a community that puts its full support behind the men and women of the armed forces, who serve our country at home and abroad. With popular and well-attended events for Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Veterans Day, neighbors come together to honor, remember and thank active-duty military members, veterans and their families for the unimaginable sacrifices they make to protect our freedoms on a daily basis.

These heroic men and women deserve recognition and support more than just three days per year. This is one reason the city established the Hometown Heroes Military Banner Program. No matter where our Santa Clarita loved ones are serving, or if they have given the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country, families and residents can pay tribute to those serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.

Hometown Hero banners are hung throughout the city of Santa Clarita along major thoroughfares in Canyon Country, Newhall, Valencia and Saugus. Banners are installed for Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Veterans Day, but you are able to place an order for a banner at any time to be installed for the following cycle. Banners can be ordered by Santa Clarita residents and by those living throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.

While active-duty banners are spread across the city, those honoring our Gold Star Fallen Warriors are placed exclusively near the Fallen Warrior Memorial Bridge on Golden Valley Road near Newhall Ranch Road. All those who have perished in war on behalf of the United States, both known and unknown, since World War I are also immortalized by the Fallen Warriors Monument in Veterans Historical Plaza in Newhall (24275 Walnut St.).

While there is a cost associated with the printing of a banner, those purchased through the Hometown Heroes program are displayed three times. In addition, families of our local military members can submit a photo and information for their loved one to be proudly featured on the Hometown Heroes website (santa-clarita.com/Heroes) at absolutely no charge.

The city’s communications division is also creating scaled-down versions of banners to be framed and put on display year-round in the City Council chambers at City Hall. These frames will also be brought to events in Santa Clarita, including those for Memorial Day and Veterans Day, so they may be included and available for the public to view.

The city of Santa Clarita is committed to showing its support of active-duty personnel and their families, which is why the city recently earmarked funds to help offset some Hometown Hero banner costs for those in need. These banners mean so much to family members who do not get to see their loved ones often, and no person should be denied an opportunity to honor their hometown hero.

If you know of a military family in Santa Clarita, encourage them to learn more about the Hometown Heroes program. You can also sponsor a banner to help cover the costs for a family, whether you are the best of friends or complete strangers. Please email me directly if you are interested in providing such a sponsorship.

The first installation of Hometown Heroes banners in 2019 will take place on May 6 and last through June 10 in honor of Memorial Day. The deadline to order a printed banner for this window is April 22.

To learn more about the Hometown Heroes Military Banner Program and to place an order, please visit santa-clarita.com/Heroes.

Councilman Bob Kellar is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected]

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