Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Military Banners to Honor "Hometown Heroes"

Perris Mayor Pro-Tem makes a presentation at a City Council meeting urging representatives to support renovations to the Lake Perris State Recreation Area. Yarbrough traveled more than 1,000 miles and addressed dozens of elected officials seeking their support
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch, City Councilwoman Rita Rogers, City Councilman Al Landers and Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Yarbrough stand in front of a banner similar to the ones that will fly over D Street as part of a salute to Perris active-duty military personnel.

Portraits of Perris residents on active military duty will soon be flying over D Street, thanks to a City Council decision June 25 to create a program to honor those men and women considered “hometown heroes.”

City officials gave their enthusiastic support to providing free 2.5-foot by 6-foot banners to families with loved ones serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines Corps, Coast Guard or National Guard. To be eligible, the service member must live in Perris, have immediate family living in the City of or graduated from one of its high schools.

The City will soon begin accepting applications for the Active Military Banner Program.

Perris City Council members noted that the community’s ties to the military date back to the Civil War. Several soldiers from that war are interred at the Perris Valley Cemetery. Perris already was an incorporated City with men serving in World War I when March Air Force Base began training aviators in 1918. City residents have served in every conflict since then and today are on active-duty service in far-flung corners of the world.

Michael McDermott, the City’s Economic and Redevelopment Manager, said 46 banners could be attached to light poles along D Street, the City’s historical corridor. If more applications come in, additional banners would be placed along Perris Boulevard. McDermott brought a mock-up of a banner to the City Council meeting.

“We think it will look good on the street,” he said.

Elected officials agreed.

“A great program, a wonderful program,” Perris Mayor Daryl Busch said. “We need to honor our people who have served this country and community. It’s extremely important. I know the family members also appreciate the honor as well.”

Busch said it is only appropriate to make the banners free to families, adding “it’s the least we can do for those who give us so much.” The mayor is a Navy veteran, having served as a radar operator.

Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Yarbrough said he will arrange for two banners—one for his daughter, Andrea, who is serving with the Army in Germany and another for his son, Schuyler, a Marine tanker recently back from duty on the North-South Korea border.

“This is long, long overdue,” Yarbrough said. “We need to be able to honor all of our service people. I don’t believe we can ever do enough for our veterans.”

Perris City Councilman Al Landers recalled the time in 1965 when he accompanied the remains of his brother, Richard Landers, who was killed while serving with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam. It’s been nearly 50 years since his brother was killed but Landers said he still feels the loss. The military banner program, will provide inspiration to families whose loved ones are serving while providing some solace should the unthinkable happen, Landers said.

“Families go through a lot,” he said. “This will give them a little peace.”

Perris City Councilman Julio Rodriguez said he was “very happy and glad” to support the banner initiative.

“This is another nice thing we can do for our City,” he said. “It shows how much we admire and respect our military.”

Perris City Councilwoman Rita Rogers called the banner program one of the best things the City has done in her 14 years as an elected representative.

“Hats off to our military,” Rogers said. “They sacrifice a great deal for our freedom.”

City officials have been working with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, local high schools and other service organization to get the word out to families with military members.

Applications for the City’s Active Military Banner Program must include a 5-inch by 7-inch portrait of the honoree or a digital copy no less than 300 dpi, verification of military status and proof of residency or copy of a diploma or GED from a Perris high school. To verify active military status, visit the Department of Defense website at https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/scra/welcome.xhtml.

Applications may be emailed to varana@cityofperris.org or mailed to the following address:
Active Military Banner Program
135 North D Street
Perris, CA., 92570.