Troop banners adorn Owensville

Sgt. Norbert Schellenberger's family takes him out to surprise him with his banner.

By Brett Milam

The troop banner program, honoring fallen and surviving veterans of war, dots nearly every telephone pole in the village of Owensville.

Sgt. Norbert Schellenberger's family takes him out to surprise him with his banner.

Owensville Chief of Police Mike Freeman, following in the tradition of counties, villages and townships all over the country, is the man behind the banners.

Sgt. First Class Benjamin Burdsall, 10th Battalion, Operation Iraqi Freedom, alongside Master Sgt. Harold "Speed" Brothers, 323rd Bomb Group, European Theater, WWII

“It’s something the village started in Jan./Feb. of 2016,” Freeman said. “We had been talking about it for a couple years and finally came full circle.”

Petty Officer 1st Class Clifford M. Paff, WWII

Word-of-mouth was helpful, Freeman said. In that initial push in the summer of 2016, they had 16 banners ordered.

Nowadays, 120-150 banners line the streets of Owensville.

“It was like an atomic bomb went off,” Freeman said. “It was like boom; it went crazy real quick.”

Freeman said there’s still 18-20 more banners to go up.

“I’m hoping to get these up before the holiday weekend,” he said. “The village is very honored and proud to do this tribute to our armed forces people, the ones who have served and lost their lives and the ones who have served and remain alive today.”

WWII veteran, Sgt. Norbert Schellenberger and his family made it out to his banner, honoring his time served.

The banners are 5 feet by 30 inches and cost $130, which is handled through an application form.

Freeman said they can’t guarantee where they will go in the village because so many telephone poles have already been taken.

“The village has chosen to fly them year round,” Freeman said. “The village just couldn’t be prouder.”

To see the full list of veterans honored from WWII to the Korean War to Vietnam War to the Iraq War, go to

The site gives the reader more information about those particular wars, battalions, regiments and so on.

If you would like to have a banner recognizing a loved one’s sacrifice, go to to fill out an application.

There’s also a Facebook page for all troop banner programs at