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Hometown heroes honored

Beginning this week if you are traveling through Downtown Farmville you will notice red, white and blue banners honoring the area’s hometown heroes.

The Piedmont Area Veterans Council, (PAVC) which has been instrumental in bringing the program to Farmville, held a preview party Tuesday evening unveiling the 56 banners.

Early this year, PAVC began the hometown heroes program, which allows families of military personnel to purchase a banner that will be displayed along light poles throughout town. These banners will be on display each year from Memorial Day through Veterans Day.

“It is gratifying to see so many veterans and families, friends of veterans come together to honor our Hometown Heroes,” said PAVC Co-Founder Sarah Dunn following the preview party. “The Piedmont Area Veterans Council is very fortunate to have this opportunity to honor these amazing men and women who have served or are still serving, and we are very excited to see these banners placed downtown.”

During the preview event Rucker Snead, Lt. Col., U.S. Army Ret with the Wilson Center for Leadership at Hampden-Sydney College, read the list of names of those who have been honored with a banner. In doing such, Snead said, “As we come together to remember and honor those men and women who answered a call to duty, we must never forget that debt that we owe to each of them.”

Farmville Mayor David Whitus addressed the crowd, telling them that the military runs deep in his family and that his dad, Harvie Whitus, who served in the U.S. Navy, was his hero. “The heroes are the people on these walls and whose names are on the walls in D.C.,” said Whitus. “Freedom is not free … There is a story behind each of the banners on display here tonight, and we much remember the sacrifices that they made.”

PAVC serves veterans in seven counties, Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway and Prince Edward, and Dunn is hoping that the other counties will consider bringing the hometown heroes program to their community. “Our veterans are special people as are their families,” Dunn said.