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MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — The Marshalltown Central Business District has launched a way to honor veterans from the local area who have served in the military. They came up with the idea of banners hung downtown, with photos and names and dates of those who served their country. 

“I was doing my normal gig of walking downtown and visiting with my downtown businesses. I went in to see Vic Helberg — at Helberg’s and he said ‘hey Deb I wanna talk to you about something and I was thinking oh no he’s gonna talk about parking or something like that,“ said  Deb Millizer, Director of the Marshalltown Business District. But, “He had also had an idea of doing banners for the veterans in downtown it was it was one of those like, stars align.”

The idea was hatched that families could sponsor a banner for their military service member for $200. Of that fee, $25 was used to donate to the food bank. 

“The minute it rolled out on social media, a few newspaper articles…people are just like where can we get one how do we do this,” said Kevin Huseboe, the Marshalltown Veterans Affairs Office Director.  “You know, only qualification for it wasn’t honorable discharge.”

Much of the effort was on the families to come up with the photos and some basic information. Huseboe was able to get some details they missed, like rank, and actual dates of service.

“It was interesting to hear their stories too, of the family getting together with the photo albums bring them out talking about some of the stories, “ said Huseboe, “You know Grandma was telling the kids or grandkids about Grandpa and what he done for Marshalltown.”

The banners are being put up downtown and on the viaduct, as well as on the 13th Street District right next to the Iowa Veterans Home.

“The City of Marshalltown has been fantastic with working with us to put them up,” said Millizer.

She said the 124 banners that have been installed will be left up for a couple of seasons.