Putnam Valley resident Sheryl Luongo is spearheading a mission to recognize the town’s veterans and service members through the Military Tribute Banner program.
“I have seen it displayed in other towns for a couple of years and love how it looks and thought, what a great way to honor veterans,” said Luongo. “Then I thought: What’s stopping us from doing it?”
The initiative involves displaying 24-inch-by-48-inch patriotic banners throughout town, featuring the photo and name of a Putnam Valley native, or relative, who is either an active service member or veteran. The banners will be left up from Memorial Day through Veterans’ Day 2020.
Banner sponsorship costs $140, and after Veterans’ Day, the purchaser may take the banner home.
Typically a family sponsors a banner, but anyone can go online, upload a photo of a veteran or service member, and purchase a banner. “It’s a pretty easy process,” said Luongo.
In order to get the project up and running, a minimum number of banners needs to be ordered. “I’m close,” said Luongo.
One of the biggest hurdles for Luongo was identifying which telephone poles would house the banners. With some poles in a bad location and others with cracks, Luongo explained, “That took a long time.”
Finally, she identified 76 poles that would work for the initiative. “I was happy to get at least that many,” she said.
Next she had to get permission from New York State Electric and Gas, who own the poles, to attach the banners to them.
According to Luongo, the town highway superintendent has agreed to offer the manpower and resources to place the banners, which involves installing brackets on the poles and putting the banners in them.
For more information about the Military Tribute Banner program, visit www.militarytriubtebanners.org and click on “current programs” and find Putnam Valley, or contact Luongo at 845-661-2082 or firstname.lastname@example.org.