In Sullivan Illinois, the residents have found a great way to honor their military residents serving in the US Armed Forces. When many were deployed to Afghanistan in 2004, the soldier’s names were nailed to lampposts. As more and more young people volunteered in Sullivan, population 4,400, the parents decided to keep up the tradition.
More than a hundred town residents have served abroad and dozens more will still deploy to either Iraq or Afghanistan. Some names have hung more than once while spouses and siblings are displayed two to a post.
This is the town’s small, informal way of showing its respect to those members of the community who for the most part joined the military out of patriotism.
In Sullivan, the effort to support military personnel and their families includes churches, care package packing parties, and coffee klatches. The wonderful thing here is the residents have taken their support an additional step by putting up the signs and honoring their military even further.
As we military family members know, support is imperative during deployment. It is hard for non-military people to understand the fear and helplessness when a loved one deploys for a war zone. The signs are a great way of reminding people on a daily basis that someone’s family member is in harm’s way and protecting each and every one of us.
Since my son will soon be deployed my need for support and understanding grows with each passing day. I think doing something like this in my hometown would be a great comfort to me. Maybe since this story is out other towns might want to do something like this too.
Some might worry about putting a loved one’s name on a sign in public. Let’s face it there are a few crazies out there. I suggest family members or the actual service member have the option of just using their first name. The whole world does not necessarily have to know the service member’s whole name and this might bring a little peace of mind to people who may be skeptical.
So I say spread the word and maybe this could grab some momentum and before we know it many towns and cities could be demonstrating yet one more way to say thank you to our brave military.