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TIPTON, Iowa – The mission: honor veterans who lived in or have a connection to our community. This Cedar County community has rallied support for its veterans and veterans’ families through a new Tipton Veteran Banner Project. A total of 62 banners with names, photos and tributes to veterans will adorn high-traffic roads throughout the city between Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. “There’s been overwhelming support by the community,” said Linda Beck, the City of Tipton’s development director. “This has been the most heart-warming project I’ve ever done.” Ms. Beck told the QCBJ that the project has been a real team effort. Tipton city employees mapped out routes and hung banners. The Lion’s Club, Chamber of Commerce and individual businesses helped fund the project. Veterans’ family members brought the veterans’ names forward and donated to the cause. And, as community supporters drive by, they slow down to take pictures, honk, and offer thumbs-up cheers. “We don’t have to look far for our heroes … they’re right here in our own backyard,” Ms. Beck added. The effort is not raising funds for anything, it is merely intended to offer a “thank you” and show support to veterans and active service members from around the community. The banner program is quite simple: Families, friends, a business, an employer, or a veteran themself may apply. The application asks for the veteran’s name, years and branch of service, rank, photo, and a short tribute to the veteran or current service member. The banners will be displayed for two years from May through November, and then given to the veteran’s family when the program is complete. Each banner costs $150. Ms. Beck says no veteran will be turned away for lack of ability to pay. Some banners in this first round have been paid for by local businesses. Initially, the plan was to hang 45 banners around the community, but because of the excitement created, Ms. Beck said they expanded the scope to include downtown. Veterans’ banners can be seen along Seventh Street (Highway 130), West Ninth Street, Tenth Street between Plum and Cedar streets, West South Street, and in the City Park and downtown. “It’s all about how we can pay tribute to those who have served,” said Ms. Beck, who lost an uncle serving in Vietnam when he was only 18. She would like to see other communities in Cedar County and around Eastern Iowa do something similar. She says it brings people to town, who may have lunch and do a little shopping, but most importantly, it shows veterans the town cares enough to say thank you. In fact, there is already a waiting list of veterans’ families wanting to participate in the second round of the Tipton Veterans Banner Project, set to begin in 2024. For more information on the program, contact Linda Beck, Tipton development director, at (563) 886-6187 or firstname.lastname@example.org.