Turlock’s patriotism is growing, as evidenced by the expansion of the Military Banner Program approved by the City Council at its Tuesday meeting.
It’s no secret that the residents of Turlock are proud of the many men and women from the community who are serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. This pride can be seen by everyone who traverses Countryside Drive, where 25 banners display the names and photos of service members.
Turlock’s Military Banner Program has become so popular that City staff requested an expansion of the program to include 10 more banners.
According to Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities assistant Amber Traini, each year the City receives more applications than banner poles that are available.
The Active Military Banner Program was launched in November 2017. The program currently includes 25, 8-foot tall banners installed on light poles along Countryside Drive between Fulkerth Road and Monte Vista Avenue. Each banner features the service member’s name, photo and branch of service and is displayed for a one-year term.
The approved expansion will see new banners placed on light poles along Countryside Drive between West Monte Vista Avenue and Sun Valley Court (towards Ten Pin Fun Center and Hobby Lobby).
In August 2018, the Council voted to make two changes to the program.
Eligibility guidelines were expanded to include not only Turlock residents but also those who live or have immediate family members who live in unincorporated towns bordering Turlock, which are Crows Landing, Hilmar, Keyes, Delhi, Ballico and Denair.
Starting last year, there was also a Fallen Active Military banner option. Upon approval of the service member’s family, a Fallen soldier banner is hung with the name, picture, military branch symbol along with a black ribbon. The Fallen soldier banner is on display indefinitely or until the family requests it be retired.
Golden State Farmers Market Association, through the Downtown Central Park Evening Market, donated $5,000 to help launch the banner program in 2017, and once again donated $5,000 for the banner program for the 2018-19 term. City staff is currently seeking another sponsor for the upcoming year at $7,000, with the increase including the expanded number of banners.
More information on the Military Banner Program can be found at: https://cityofturlock.org/activemilitarybanner/