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    Hero banners foster community appreciation for military, National Guard



    Story by Sgt. Carl A Johnson 

    129th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    Hero banners foster community appreciation for military, National Guard

    By Sgt. Carl Johnson - 129th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    PIERRE, S.D. - The image of multiple military service members are displayed on banners that hang from the lampposts along Main Street in Pierre. These banners are known as Hometown Hero Banners.

    The banners are designed to honor the service member depicted, as well as show support to their family.

    Several South Dakota Guard members are currently depicted as a Hometown Heroes, including three brothers from the Bramblee family: Sgt. 1st Class Kit Bramblee of the 200th Engineer Company, Detachment 1 in Chamberlain, Staff Sgt. Tyson Bramblee of the 200th Engineer Company in Pierre, and Staff Sgt. Tane Bramblee of the 842nd Engineer Company, 2nd Detachment in Sturgis.

    "It's important to honor our military for their service. The active duty military banners are doing just that. The citizens are made aware of the "heroes" in their hometown," said Monica Bramblee, mother of the Bramblee brothers, "I'm proud to be a mother of three of those heroes."

    Kim Hallock, the American Legion Post 20 Commander, and Vickie Samuelson, mother of Marine Sgt. Brett Samuelson, are in charge of the program for the Pierre and Fort Pierre area.

    "We want to show that our community supports the military," said Hallock. "I think it helps to remind people that somebody is sacrificing for them, especially if it is someone close to home."

    It has taken a lot of coordination with the city to make sure that the banners are displayed just right. The Historic Pierre Street banners displayed alongside the Hometown Hero banners provides a good example of how integrated the community and the South Dakota National Guard, as well as other branches of service, are.

    The banners play another vital role, inspiring youth in the community to consider serving their country as a member of the military. No military organization is closer to home than the South Dakota Army and Air National Guard.

    "I see a lot of families stopping to take pictures of the banners," said Samuelson. "I think it has a positive impact on the kids to see that serving their country is a good thing and that people appreciate it."

    The banners have a photo of the service member in uniform, their name and branch of service along with the banner's sponsor name, if available.

    When a banner is initially hung, a color guard is provided by the American Legion Post 20 in honor of the service member and their family.

    "When you love someone in the one percent, its very special to be a part of a ceremony like that" said Michele Strand, mother of Marine Lance Cpl. Zachary Strand. "It makes me proud every time I see his banner."

    The banners are displayed for one year and then presented to the individual or family when removed. If the service member is still on active duty after the year, a new banner may be requested. If there is no available opening, requests are added to a waiting list.

    Hallock and Samuelson hope to put more banners up around the Pierre and Fort Pierre areas.

    "We hope to continue working with the city and finding places that will work for the banners," said Hallock. "We have a lot of great sponsors and a lot of great families waiting to see their hero displayed."

    The Hometown Hero banner program is supported by donations from the service members' family or from local sponsors.


    South Dakota National Guard
    Public Affairs Office
    pho: 605.737.6721
    fax: 605.737.6290



    Date Taken: 06.05.2019
    Date Posted: 06.05.2019 12:46
    Story ID: 325454
    Location: PIERRE, SD, US 

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