BARSTOW, Calif. - On Nov. 4, the city of Barstow kicked-off its 2013 Military Banner Program as more than 180 banners were unveiled.
The Military Banner Program is a city-wide attempt to recognize active duty service members from Barstow, said Anthony Riley, Barstow’s public information officer. Upon request, active duty Barstow residents now have their names and their respected branch of service posted on banners throughout the community.
Riley further explained the banners are free and are going to stay posted year-round, until that Barstow resident is no longer on active duty.
“We are a military city and we have a strong military presence here,” he said. “The city wanted to thank and honor those who serve and dedicate their lives to protect this country and their fellow man.”
The mayor of Barstow, Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre, further explained that with the Marine Corps Logistics Base in town and National Training Center Fort Irwin close by, Barstow truly is a military town.
“We think very highly of our service members and wanted to honor our Barstow residents on active duty,” Hackbarth-McIntyre said.
Numerous families of the service members have said how much they appreciate the banners. It means a lot for them to see their loved ones names while they are away on duty, added Hackbarth-McIntyre.
Although not a Barstow native, Lance Cpl. Adrian Velasco, administrative clerk on MCLB Barstow, is honored in a similar way in his hometown, Monrovia, Calif.
“My city put up a banner with my name and branch of service after I checked into MCLB (Barstow),” Velasco said. “It makes me proud to know I’m one of the few people from my city to enlist in the military.”
The Monrovia native further explained he is the youngest in his family and the first to leave home. His mother, Alicia Velasco, has told him numerous times how proud it makes her to see her son’s name up in their town while he is away.
“It’s (the Military Banner Program) a great way for communities to show their appreciation to local service members and their families,” Velasco added.
Barstow is honored by the commitment and dedication of the men and women who have chosen this honorable profession, Hackbarth-McIntyre said. Through this program, the town extends its appreciation for the sacrifices made in protecting this great nation.
The city of Barstow recently finished posting the more than 180 banners across the town; they can be found on local streets to include Main Street, Barstow Road, and Mountain View Road, concluded Riley.