MELBOURNE — The city of Melbourne recognizes the value of our military and would like to honor members by initiating a “Melbourne Salutes Hometown Heroes” program this year.

The city will display street pole banners featuring active military members, veterans and those killed in the line of duty along New Haven Avenue in Downtown Melbourne from May 1 to July 4.

Applications will be accepted through Jan. 25 and can be found on the city’s website or by visiting the City Hall lobby.

To be eligible, residents who served or their immediate family members must provide proof of service in the United States Armed Forces and must be a Melbourne resident.

Each banner will include a different veteran’s name, photo, branch of service and years served.

“The idea came from our former mayor, Mayor Meehan. She had heard about a similar program in Ormond Beach that was modeled after a program in Deland,” said Cheryl Mall, public information officer for the city of Melbourne.

The original program was slated to run the course of May but the Melbourne City Council voted for an extended period of display.

The city brought these ideas to the Veterans Working Group, which discussed how the program could be tailored to Melbourne, according to Ms. Mall.

The Veterans Working Group would like to evaluate additional locations in future years.

Applicants will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The program is being offered free of charge thanks to sponsors such as The Geiger Team at GT Realty, Diversified Services of Florida, Collins Aerospace and Taylor Made Therapies.

Sponsorships are still available. For those interested, call Gina Liberto at (321) 417-1342.

To apply online, visit www.melbourneflorida.org.

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