Blue Star banners honor local soldiers
The Blue Star Banners honoring locals currently in the military have gone up along Highway 34 in Yuma.
Banners honoring Diego Veliz, U.S. Air Force; Monty Veliz, U.S. Marines; Allie Lovell, U.S. Air Force; Luke Brown, U.S. Navy, and; Austen Roth, U.S. Marines, adorn light poles on the north side of Highway 34, starting at the S. Main intersection and going five blocks east.
The first banners were done by Country Stitches, and the City of Yuma put them up on the light poles. The first five were installed a couple of weeks ago before 5:10 to Yuma race was held on June 15.
Yuma native and retired military veteran Travis Rogers, who moved back to Yuma in the past year, has spearheaded the project, Blue Star Banner NECO. There was a woman in Washington State doing the same thing, so Rogers looked into doing it here when he moved back.
The program is being done through the Yuma VFW, which already has non-profit status.
Rogers created a Blue Star Banner NECO Facebook page, and started gathering names through that. He said he also wanted to get permission of each of the service members before putting their names on a banner.
The banners and bracket cost $300, covered the sponsor. Family members, businesses and churches have sponsored the first banners. Two show Blue Star Banner NECO as the sponsor, because the actual sponsors wanted to remain anonymous.
Rogers said the focus right now is just on military members who call Yuma their hometown. He said a gentleman from Wray has contacted him about it, and it is likely it will spread to other area towns through their VFW offices.
There is at least one more going up soon in Yuma, and two more are in the works after the recent high school graduates graduate from boot camp.
There has been challenges, such as Roth’s first name being misspelled. However, Rogers said he is getting a new one made with the correct spelling.
Anyone interested in getting their loved one on a Blue Star Banner can contact Blue Star Banner NECO through its Facebook page to get the process going.