Five More Local Military Men and Women are Recognized for Their Service With Military Banners
The increasing number of banners along Central and Sespe Avenues honoring Fillmore’s military men and women shows how proud and appreciative the city is of their service.
The increasing number of banners along Central and Sespe Avenues honoring Fillmore’s military men and women shows how proud and appreciative the city is of their service.

What a great tribute the “Military Banners Program” has become to the men and women of Fillmore currently serving in the military. The immensely popular Banners have now been placed on Central and Sespe Avenues and the available spaces have rapidly been filling with new Banners almost monthly. I, for one, almost daily go to town and rarely do I not take a trip by my son's Banner to acknowledge his service. I know of a few other parents and family that do the same with their loved ones Banner. I also make it a point to acknowledge the others as I travel past theirs and note that some of the young men and women have had Banners placed by their family, but have not had an article written about their service. Some of them I know and others I don't. I curiously wonder about what they do within their respective branches of the military, who their family are and maybe I wonder a little about this brave person who chose to serve all of us. If for some reason the family of those American Heroes and Fillmore/Piru son's and daughters felt it is to late to have an article put in the Fillmore Gazette, it isn't and I would be proud to gather the information and photograph and share their story with the rest of the community. My contact information runs weekly in the Fillmore Gazette.

On Monday, November 23, 2009 at 9:00 AM five more banners were installed on Sespe Avenue as part of the “Military Banner Program” which now totals forty-two installed Banners. A small, but enthusiastic and proud group of family and friends and Veterans of Foreign Wars Members met in front of the Fillmore Unified School District Offices for photographs and later watched as City of Fillmore crews, coordinated by Fillmore Fire Chief Rigo Landeros, installed the Banners on the street lamp posts of Sespe Avenue. The the five young men and women are Shawn Burson (Army), Robert Rodriquez (USMC), Jacob Bailey (USAF), Daniel Stevens (USAF) and Brynna Casas (USAF). They now join William “Bill” Edmonds (Army), Joanathan “Jon” Gerlach (Army), Yvette Olivares (Army), Claudia Toledo (Navy) and Joshua Campos (Army). Kevin “Buddy” Edwards (Army), Michael Edwards (Army), George Poppic III (Army), Phillip Diaz (Navy) Steven Zanotti (Marines), Michelle Hart (USAF), Christopher Gurrola (USAF), Ryan Hackney (USAF), Kevin Vest (Army), William Foster (Navy), Mark Thompson (Army), Alfredo Hurtado (Army), Garrett Kendrick (Navy), Edward Martinez (Navy), Anthony Magallanes (Marines), Marcos Ruvalcaba (Marines), Michael A. Chavez (USAF), Gordon Richardson (Army), Joshua Mendez (Navy) Pedro Rivera (USAF), Eleazar Lopez (Army), Kevin Freeman (USAF), Joseph Ponce (Army), Ray Alvarado-Ponce (Marines), Matthew Cobos (Navy), David M. Ortiz (Army), Kailey Andrews (USAF), Frank Solorzano (Navy), Jenny Altamarino (Army), Jonathan de la Rosa (Army), Gilbert Zavala (Army) and Brandon Hadley (Navy).

The “Military Banner Program” is to honor the young men and women of our community who are currently serving in the military. The intent of the “Military Banner Program” is to recognize their service and the sacrifices they are now making and will make in the future to keep our Country safe. The “Patriotic Banners” that will be placed on Central Avenue and Sespe Avenue on the light poles will be partially funded by the families of those currently serving and the remainder funded by grants. Each banner will have the name and branch of service of those young men and women from the Fillmore/Piru communities currently serving in the military. When the person named on the banner is no longer serving the banner will be given to the person named on the banner or to a family member.

The “Military Banner Program” is an effort begun by Fillmore School Board Member Virginia de la Piedra, in conjunction with the City of Fillmore, Fillmore Unified School Board, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9637 and the Fillmore Sunrise Rotary. It is similar to other programs begun by other cities including the City of Santa Paula.

To participate in this recognition a family member of a currently serving military man or woman should contact:
Virginia A. de la Piedra – School Board Member / Up for Education
(805) 524-1732 FAX (805) 524-4154, or
Email -

You will be required to complete a short form and provide the following information that will be used to administer the program:

1. A “Military Recognition Form” must be completed by either the individual whose name will appear on the banner, or a family member. This form may be picked up at City Hall or you may call or email Virginia at the numbers listed above. The form asks for the name and branch of service of the currently serving military person to be recognized as well as some additional contact information.

2. Banners come at a cost of $180.00. The family will be responsible for $90.00 of this cost with the remainder to be paid by funds raised to support this program. Financial assistance may be available if needed. The costs are for the banner and the brackets used to install them. The City of Fillmore will install them at no cost.

3. The City of Fillmore will then coordinate the installation of the banners on public streets.

4. Please make check out to: Up for Education

Mail to: P. O. Box 220
Fillmore, CA 93016

If you should need additional information in purchasing a banner, or would like to contribute money to assist in the purchase of a banner please do not hesitate to call Virginia at the number listed above and she will be happy to assist you.