WARREN, Pa. – The Blue Star Mothers of Kinzua’s goal of filling Warren with Hometown Hero banners has come to life.
With an assist from the City of Warren, the first 13 banners were introduced last summer on Liberty St., and on Saturday at Art Kelsey Park, a ceremony was held to announce the addition of more.
“With the help of Mike Holtz (Warren City Manager), the city council and the Blue Star Mother’s Hometown Hero committee we are seeing our vision come to life,” said Blue Star Mother’s President Skyla Govier. “Our veterans are the backbone of our country and community. They all deserve everything we can do to tell their stories.”
A number of veterans, both living and deceased, were honored during the ceremony. Those still serving, as well as family members of veterans spoke of their service and the sacrifices they have made.
“It has been an honor working with all of you as you honor your loved ones with these beautiful banners,” Govier said. “We need to remember their sacrifices so we can honor them each day, not only by these banners, but our actions. There are many people that don’t understand the weight when a young woman or man raises their right hand to swear an oath to their country. They give up their free will to fight for our rights.”
Those honored on Saturday included John Nordin (Pharmacist Mate Second Class, Navy, World War II), Leland Stillson (Master Sergeant, Air Force, Vietnam Conflict, Cold War), Wilber Nordin (Staff Sergeant, Air ForceKorean War), Austin Nordin (Corporal, US Marines, Global War on Terror), Josh Nordin (Captain, US Army Reserves, Global War on Terror), John Hellman (PFC, Army, WWII), Dennis Brown (Sergeant, Army, Vietnam Conflict), Leroy (Jim) Chapel (Sergeant, Army 10th Mountain Division, WWII), Justin See (SRA, Air Force, Global War on Terror), MaKenna Moore (A1C, Air Force, Global War on Terror), Aaron Trawick (Sergeant First Class, Army, Global War on Terror), Paul Steinkamp (Stewart Mate 2/C, US Merchant Marines, WWII), Tony Bonavita (Seaman First Class, Navy, WWII), Amy Scarcella Bennett (Lieutenant Colonel, Army, Global War on Terror), Andrew Scarcella (Brigadier General, Army, Global War on Terror), James L. Kitelinger (Equipment Operator 2nd Class, U.S Navy Seabees, Vietnam Conflict), Harold (Bill) McElhatten (Staff Sergeant E6, Army, Vietnam Conflict), Robert E. Engle (Mechanical Engineer, U.S. Coast Guard, WWII), Charles Feaster (Corporal, United States Marine Corps, Global War on Terror), , Chase Cumberland (Petty Officer, Navy, Global War on Terror), Joe Colosimio (Third Class Radioman, Navy, Korean War), Frank Reiff (Corporal, Army 82nd Airborne, Korean War), Bradley Hert (Petty Officer Second Class, United States Navy, Global War on Terror), Brody Porter (Airman First Class, Air Force, Global War on Terror), Randall Swanson (Sergeant, Air Force, Vietnam Conflict), David Maze (Sergeant E-5, Army, Korean War), David Zaffino (Sergeant E-5, Army, Cold War/Persian Gulf War), Carl Baker (Private, Army, WWII), Joseph Frontera (First Class Electrician LSM 168, U.S Navy, WWII), Cara Anderson (Boatswain Mate 3rd Class, U.S. Navy, Global War on Terror), Riccardo Cardone (SP4, Army, Korean War), Riley Zaffino (Specialist, Army Reserves, Global War on Terror), Bucky Knapp (Specialist 4th Class, U.S. Army 643rd Engineer Pipeline Co., Vietnam Conflict), Paul Yeagle (Sergeant E-5, Army, Cold War), Edward Yeagle (Staff Sergeant E-6, U.S. Army, Korean War), Marion Grubbs (Airman First Class, Air Force, Korean War).
“I encourage everyone to please continue to honor our military past and present by thanking them and educating those who may not understand what it means to be a United States veteran or service member.”