Hometown heroes dedicated with military banners
MUNCY – Those waving hometown hero banners that can be seen passing through downtown Williamsport and Montgomery are given special attention and care through the organizational efforts of the Muncy American Legion Post 268.
Under the direction of the Lycoming County Hometown Heroes, Inc. 102 banners of veterans were placed this year in Williamsport. Most of them were hung along Basin, Maynard and Hepburn Streets according to Commander Kenneth G. Lowe. Montgomery has their own and so does Jersey Shore, he said. Montgomery started with 8 and now they have 21.
The banners were removed from their locations on October 16, 2015 and returned to Muncy’s Roland Ritter PA Post 268, 515 Legion Road, Muncy, where they were thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed in order to be ready for a special ceremony on October 30th at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Williamsport. The banners were also carried in the Veterans parade on Saturday by the committee members.
Sue Lowe who spent most of the morning on October 22 cleaning them, said that after a year, they are returned to the families who paid to have their loved one memorialized for that time period. This has been a worthwhile program picked up from a committee who formed the Lycoming County Hometown Heroes, Inc. which became a non-profit status two years ago. “Last year was our first,” Lowe said.
The proceeds raised go back to veterans in need. Many need help to pay their medical bills, fuel bills, electricity, and rent according to the Lowes. Not much is subsidized. They can receive help through the Veterans Affairs Office, an agency that assists to verify those in need. “There is a process to go through,” said the Commander.
Each committee person from Lycoming County Hometown Heroes, Inc. is a representative from 13 different veteran organizations in the area such as the VFW, 40/8, PA 51 and Vietnam veterans, as well as other local American Legions. Sue Lowe said she represents all of them.
Each year the organization hopes to sell more of the banners. Those who are interested in honoring a veteran can contact the Roland Ritter Post 268 American Legion in Muncy to place and order for 2016, or call 570-546-5210.