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Military banners coming to Brentwood

| Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
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An example of the Brentwood veterans banners.

Brentwood Councilman AJ Doyle knows the pride veterans have for serving his or her country.

Doyle, an Army veteran, said he thought there was a reason why Brentwood did not hang military banners in the borough. Turns out, no one in Brentwood stepped up to organize a banner program that can be seen in neighboring Whitehall, Jefferson Hills, Pleasant Hills and Baldwin Borough.

Brentwood Council adopted a resolution in August to bring the military banner program to the borough. The deadline to apply for a military banner is Feb. 15. Doyle said about 50 applications have been submitted as of the end of January.

“We have a large Fourth of July parade with a huge military presence,” Doyle said. “The World War II veterans still do everything they can to be in the parade.”

The banners will hang from utility poles along Brownsville Road in Brentwood. The banners are displayed from Memorial Day until Veterans Day. When the Brentwood Independence Day parade steps onto Brownsville Road this year, Doyle said the banners will add to the civic pride.

“This is a great program and such a no-brainer,” Doyle said.

Applications can be found at brentwoodboro.com. The cost is $80, which includes a smaller banner for the family. A good quality military photograph is recommended.

“My favorites are the World War II-era portraits,” said Doyle, who displayed a sample banner with his military photo at a council meeting last year.

Doyle said he met with members of the Brentwood Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1810 about the program. They emphasized the importance of having accurate information, so Brentwood will require a DD-214, or discharge papers, so proper credit is due.

“My hope is we're going to get more communities involved,” Doyle said.

Whitehall will display military banners for the fourth straight year. Anne Giovannitti of Whitehall approached council with the idea after seeing the banners in Castle Shannon.

With council's approval, Giovannitti continues to handle the applications for the borough's banner program. She said about 216 banners are displayed in Whitehall, including one of her husband, Charles, a Navy veteran and member of the Brentwood VFW and Pleasant Hills American Legion.

Applications are accepted all year and can be obtained at the Whitehall Public Library or on the borough's website.

“I think it's nice for everyone to see what a real hero looks like,” Anne Giovannitti said.

Baldwin Borough started the military banner program last year.

“The response was tremendous,” said Ryan Rectenwald, junior vice commander of the Sons of the American Legion, or SALS.

The Sons of the American Legion and the Ladies Auxiliary are affiliated with the Nix-Vogel American Legion Post 935 in Baldwin. The groups have partnered with the borough and Duquesne Light Co. to hang the banners.

About 100 banners were displayed along McAnnulty Road, Churchview Avenue and Streets Run Road. Rectenwald said the banner program will be extended to other streets as well.

Applications are accepted throughout the year and can be found at troopbanners.com/baldwin. Applications can be dropped off at the American Legion at 280 Joseph St. Rectenwald said the Sons of the American Legion handle the orders.

The banners from all communities are created by Harry Munson of HTM Designs Castle Shannon.

“He does outstanding work,” said Rectenwald about Munson.

Jim Spezialetti is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5805 or jspezialetti@tribweb.com.

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