By Bryan Boggiano
Coral Springs saluted ten hometown heroes for their sacrifices and service to the country.
The city commission honored the active duty service members and veterans at their Dec. 7 meeting who are part of the Hometown Heroes Banner program.
The program was started in 2021 to recognize community members.
According to the city, each service member will have a banner displayed for three months along Freedom Lane, which extends along University Drive from Royal Palm Boulevard to Ramblewood Drive.
Banners are displayed for about three months. When the city takes the banners down, they are available for pickup at City Hall.
Eligible military branches for the program include the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy, Marines, Space Force, and National Guard-Active Reserves.
The hometown heroes honorees include Johann Douglas, Army; Tulio Guererro, Navy; David Barthole, Marines; Martin Urena Jr., Marines; Kevin McCrea, Army; Esteban de Jesus Soza, Marines; Gregory Abramson, Marines; Michael Collins, Marines; Joseph Jewell, Marines, and Kyle Crisci, Marines.
Mayor Scott Brook stated the program is one way the city thanks its veterans for the sacrifices that they and their families have made to protect the country and individual freedoms.
He stated people who join the military must be honored throughout their lives.
“I am very proud to be part of a commission, and a community, and the entire city of Coral Springs that backs the support for all of those who have served and are serving our country,” he said.
Guerrero attended the commission meeting, while Douglas’s parents, Michele and Handel Douglas, received the banner on his behalf. David Bartole’s mother, Juny Barthole, accepted on his behalf and said he recently returned from Japan and is training in Tallahassee.
“He’s very proud, and I’m very proud of him, and I’m proud of the program you’re doing,” she said.
Douglas, an army captain, is serving in Watertown, New York, at Fort Drum.
Michele Douglas thanked the city for recognizing the sacrifices that he, others, and their families have made.
The other hometown hero honorees were unable to attend.
Commissioner Joshua Simmons reflected on the sacrifices his mother, a Navy veteran, made and how they affected his family.
“I understand the sacrifices we have to go through as families to give them the reasons to continue to serve because we want to make sure they’re looking out for us, too,” he said.
Guerrero served between 1990 and 1994 in the U.S. Navy and expressed his thanks to the city for recognizing his and other veterans’ service.
“This is a very, very nice project that you do for us,” he said.
The city’s website provides more information on the program and how to apply.
- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan is pursuing his masters in geosciences at Florida International University. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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