Turlock has always been proud of its military service members, and soon that community support will be highly visible through a new banner program.
The Turlock City Council adopted the Active Military Banner Program on Sept. 12, which will see 8-foot tall banners with the names and photos of local service members adorn light poles along Countryside Drive.
The idea for the program was brought to the City by Turlock by military mom, Trish Panos, whose son will mark his 20th year of service in the U.S. Navy this month.
“The Active Banner Program is a reminder to those families of active military members that Turlock, our community, is proud; not only with the community support of them, but it will support their families here at home. With the 1,000 Flags Initiate and now the Active Banner Program, all who visit our community will see how proud we are of those who have chosen to serve, before, now and in the future,” said Panos.
Turlock residents who have an immediate family member currently serving in the military can apply to have their loved one recognized through the banner program. Each banner will be displayed along Countryside Drive for one year, then retired through a ceremony, said Turlock Parks, Recreation and Facilities Director Allison Van Guilder. Every year a new group of service members will be honored through the banner program. City staff hope to have at least 13 banners for the inaugural display, set to be installed on Nov. 10.
Golden State Farmers Market Association through the Downtown Central Park Evening Market donated $5,000 to help launch the banner program.
“It’s amazing when partnerships come together,” Van Guilder.
The City is hoping that local service clubs, businesses and organizations will follow the market’s lead in the future so that military families won’t have to pay the $225 cost of each banner.
At the Council meeting, a model of the banner was unveiled honoring Kari Larson, a Turlock resident currently serving in the U.S. Air Force.
“We are incredibly proud of our daughter, of her service and all who her serve alongside her. And to know that our City stands with us and supports our military and those who serve to protect, it just means the world to us,” said Kari’s father, Dave Larson.
For more information about the Active Military Banner Program, call the City of Turlock at 668-5594.