Sidney prepares to salute ‘Hometown Heroes’

By Melanie Speicher - [email protected]

This is an example of what the veterans banners will look like.

This is an example of what the veterans banners will look like.

Courtesy photo

SIDNEY — They served their country in times of war and times of peace. And now it’s time for the residents of Sidney to honor their “Hometown Heroes” through a new banner program.

“I’ve been working on the Hometown Hero Banner Program for three or four years,” said Chris North, Shelby County Veterans Service Commission director. “This is a good way of honoring and giving recognition to the Shelby County men and women who have served their country and given their life for their country.”

The veterans banners will be placed in the nine block downtown area along with state Route 47 over the bridge toward Custenborder Park and the city limits.

“We have around 70 poles available to put the banners on,” said North. “Each banner will have two veterans on it — one on the front and one on the back.”

Banners will be hung from Memorial Day through Veterans Day, he said. The city of Sidney will be putting the banners up in May and taking them down in November.

“We’re going to run the program each year,” said North. “It will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. When the poles are all full, we won’t take any more veterans for that year.

“Then for the next year, we’ll start all over taking veterans’ information for a new set of banners,” said North. “If we don’t get enough, then we’ll use some from 2022 so all the poles are full.”

All banners will be the property of the Veterans Service Commission. Donations will be accepted for the banners, but it’s not required, said North.

North said there’s an application process for the banner program and applications are available at the Veterans Service Office.

Items needed for the application include:

• A photograph of the veteran

• The branch of service he/she served in

• If the person is deceased, killed in action or a POW/MIA. If the veteran is alive, they must grant permission for their information to be on a banner.

• Era of service

• Years of service

• Signed photo release

• Military verification

“The person must be honorably discharged,” said North. “We will not put up a banner for a dishonorably discharged veteran.”

The branches of military which will be included on the banners is the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and National Guard.

North said he has been working with Jon Crusey and Brian Green, both city of Sidney employees, and Amy Breinich, Sidney Alive executive director, on the project. He’s also worked with Miami Valley Lighting on a contract to use their poles for six months each year to hang the banners on. PSG in Sidney is designing the banners.

“There’s a limited number of locations where we can put the banners up,” said North. “We got as many poles as we could. I think we’ll do a good job recognizing our veterans who served this country.”

The deadline to submit an application for this year’s program is March 25.

“We’ll cut off the applications once we’ve filled the number of poles available,” said North. “A person cannot request the pole where the banner is placed. However, if they have two people who served in the military, they can request both of them be placed on the same banner.”

Both applications have to come in at the same time, said North, with a note stating they should be on the same banner.

“I hope the community will have patience with us as we’re facing new challenges with the program,” said North. “Hopefully the community will be happy and supportive of the program.” This community is known for taking care of its veterans. Now we want the recognize those veterans throughout downtown Sidney.”

For more information or to get an application, contact North at 937-498-7284.

This is an example of what the veterans banners will look like. is an example of what the veterans banners will look like. Courtesy photo

By Melanie Speicher

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.