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Panel to work out details of veterans’ banner program
• Applicants can apply for ad hoc committee
Banners antioch
An example of banners honoring local military veterans and active duty personnel can be found in this example in the Bay Area community of Antioch. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Mayor Javier Lopez’s desire to see the main thoroughfare of Ceres adorned with banners honoring Ceres military veterans and active personnel – much like what is done on Countryside Drive in Turlock – resulted in the City Council on Monday approving the idea of a special ad hoc committee to work out the details.

Lopez said he would like the first banners hung from poles along Hatch Road between Herndon Road and Richland Avenue.

“We are the third largest city in Stanislaus County and as promised I will continue to find new ways to support our community,” said Lopez.

After a discussion it was agreed that the committee will be open to Ceres residents who apply. Also to serve will be Councilman James Casey who is a Vietnam veteran, as well as a city staff member to serve as a liaison.

Applications will be available on the city’s website and be available for 30 days. 

Lopez’s initial idea was appointing Staff Sgt. King of the Turlock U.S. Army recruiting office, Freddy Morales of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion Commander Pete Samaniego, resident and veteran Gene Yeakley, Supervisor Channce Condit and now Vice Mayor Bret Silveira.

Silveira felt it would be more appropriate to appoint newly seated Councilman James Casey since he is a Vietnam veteran. Casey agreed to serve.

Casey said it is important to remember veterans who served in foreign wars. He said he hopes the committee be “an instrument where the veterans in our city as an avenue to direct veterans and their families to the resources that are available.” Casey said the public often forgets about veterans during times of peace.

Despite several veterans in the audience suggesting that only veterans serve on the ad hoc committee, Councilwoman Linda Ryno suggested opening up slots to the community rather than go with Lopez’s list. Lopez agreed.

Yeakley said the city’s quest is “way, way overdue.” He said an estimated 1,000 veterans live in Ceres.

Samaniego suggested that the American Legion and VFW recruit members from the ranks of veterans. Morales agreed saying, “we know what we want, we know what we need.”

John Warren, a Ceres resident, suggested only Ceres residents serve on the committee with preference to veterans.

Ryno suggested not excluding non-veterans because that would prevent parents who have lost a service man or woman in battle from serving. The council agreed.