Young soldiers honored on banners across Chatham

Young soldiers honored on banners across Chatham

It's Memorial Day weekend, but while many are having fun at home, our soldiers are sacrificing a lot to keep families safe. Now some Chatham parents are getting together to make sure the community can recognize and honor their young soldiers.

The project is to post some banners across town, but this simple act can mean so much more.

"It means everything to me,” Organizer and mother of a marine, Wendi Allner, said. “My father is a marine, Vietnam veteran, and my son is a marine."

Wallner initiated new posters around Chatham of local soldiers last year.

"They give their lives,” Allner said. “They give that they give up being with her family. They give up memorial day picnics. They give up a lot but I think they also gain more than any of us will ever know."

She partnered with the school board, American legion, and VFW, with a village trustee, Nina Lindhorst, by her side.

“The passion and love that I’ve seen through this program,” Lindhorst said. “And the tears and the heart that [Wallner] put into it, was very rewarding."

Lindhorst found businesses to sponsor the banners. The first banners went up last year and were recently taken down due to wear and tear, and given to the soldiers' families.

“How much it meant to her,” Lindhorst said. “I see her look up the first time and tears just going down her eyes and I’ll never forget that moment."

Now they're gathering more sponsors for the next graduating class of local soldiers.

"We are a small community” Lindhorst said. “That cares deeply about the people that go fight for freedom."

Allner’s son is at the base waiting on deployment.

"I am proud of him for being selfless,” Allner said. “And wanting to serve our country and fight for our freedoms."

She said with Memorial Day around the corner, she hopes everyone will appreciate all the past and present military brothers and sisters.

“It will keep it in everybody’s mind as they drive-by and see them and remember those that have given the ultimate sacrifice,” Allner said.

The new banners will go up at a July 4th ceremony in Chatham. If you want to help or be a sponsor, you can reach out the Chatham American Legion at their website or Facebook.

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