January 30, 2024

Veterans Banner Program Expands to More Oneida County Communities

News Photo

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 and will begin taking submissions Feb. 1.

Veterans banners will soon be hung in the towns of Whitestown, Paris and Bridgewater, the Village of Waterville and the Hamlet of Sauquoit in Oneida County and the Village of West Winfield in Herkimer County.

“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 Whitestown, Paris, Waterville, West Winfield, Bridgewater and Sauquoit for joining the places that are already flying these inspiring banners and I hope more 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. Last year, the program expanded into the City of Rome, the Town and Village of New Hartford and the villages of Whitesboro and Yorkville, with a total of 750 banners hanging across all locations.

“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 from February 1 to March 31, 2024.

“The Town of Whitestown is excited to participate in the Hometown Heroes program,” said Whitestown Supervisor Shaun Kaleta. “Serving in the military isn’t a temporary commitment, it’s a sacrifice that defines, shapes and spans a lifetime. Whitestown is home to many veterans, and we look forward to honoring them in this very special and much deserved way.”

“The Town of Paris is looking forward to be part of this amazing program to help honor our beloved soldiers,” said Paris Supervisor James Christian Jr.

“The Town of Bridgewater is looking forward to honoring our community military,” said Bridgewater Supervisor Dale DeKing.

Mohawk Valley Hometown Heroes is sponsored by the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association and Harley Davidson of Utica.


Oneida County Partners