January 31, 2023
Banners for Veterans Program Expands to More Oneida County Communities
County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. announced today that the Mohawk Valley Hometown Heroes banners for veterans program is expanding to more Oneida County communities including Rome, New Hartford and Whitesboro.
“The Hometown Heroes program is a great way for families and friends to honor loved ones who have courageously served this country and for the communities of Oneida County to show their appreciation for the veterans who have resided there,” Picente said. “I applaud Rome, New Hartford and Whitesboro for joining Utica in flying these inspiring banners and hope more places will do the same.”
The Mohawk Valley Hometown Heroes banner program began in January 2022, when Mischael McKenna, a member of the Oneida Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, formed a committee with Trena DeFranco, Regent of the Oneida Chapter NSDAR; Tom Buono, of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 944 and Joe Fraccola of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 490.
In its inaugural year, approximately 200 banners were hung along the Memorial Parkway in Utica. In addition to expanding to the City of Rome, the Town and Village of New Hartford and the Village of Whitesboro this year, the committee expects the number of banners in Utica to double.
“The impact these banners have is immeasurable,” McKenna said. “They are something that families, communities and the veterans themselves can be proud of. Community involvement is the key to the success of this initiative and we are so happy to see more areas participate.”
Each banner features the name, military branch, rank and years of service/war served, along with a photo of the veteran. The veteran honored can be living or deceased. The cost to purchase a 30-inch X 60-inch banner is $150. Banners will be displayed from Memorial Day to Veterans Day for three years. The banners are only available in the participating areas.
Submissions will be taken at the program’s website: www.mohawkvalleyhometownheroes.com from February 1 to March 31, 2023.
“The City of Rome is very pleased to participate in the Hometown Heroes program,” said Rome Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo. “There is no better venue to honor these heroes than the main highway which winds its way through the Griffiss Business and Technology Park. This former Air Force Base is the home of three active duty military facilities, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Defense Finance and Accounting Center (DFAS), Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS) and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It takes great personal sacrifice to defend our nation and its flag around the world, and it is our honor to display the Hometown Heroes banners so those who served may be remembered by their family, friends and community.”
“Hometown Heroes is a great program,” said New Hartford Town Supervisor Paul Miscione. “We appreciate the opportunity to have the program expanded to the Town of New Hartford and to recognize our veterans’ dedication to our country.”
"This is a great opportunity to bring attention to our residents who have honorably served and protected our country,” said New Hartford Mayor Donald Ryan.
"Whitesboro is honored to recognize the men and women off our armed forces with a banner to share with our community,” said Whitesboro Mayor Glenn Hopsicker. “We were very excited about the Mohawk Valley Hometown Heroes program.”
Mohawk Valley Hometown Heroes is sponsored by the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association and Harley Davidson of Utica.