For the second year, the Military Affairs Council in the Junction City Chamber of Commerce honored local veterans by placing banners with their, photos, names and service dates on light polls along streets in the downtown area.
Families and friends who wanted to honor a veteran paid for the banners to go up. The banners cost $150 for first timers and $25 for previous applicants.
Craig Bender, Military Affairs Council director, said the number of banners increased by more than double – 17 last year compared to the 37 this year. Bender said he believes the number increased this year because the chamber started preparations sooner and spread the word better. While he is happy the number increased, Bender said they chamber would like to see more banners on the streets in the future.
The chamber ran into a complication while hanging the banners this year, as they ran out of the brackets they used to hold the banners to the light poll. Bender said the organization searched for another source.
“We went to the high school welding program,” Bender said. “They took the metal that was donated and made us the brackets we’ve now been hanging the banners with.”
The banners went up Sept. 15 and will be taken down a week after Veterans Day.
Gary Junghans is one of the 37 people who purchased a banner. His father, Alvin Junghans, fought in WWII in the Army from 1941 to 1945. The picture of Alvin Junghans was taken when he was a part of the horse cavalry. He was later moved to become a gunner in Sherman tanks in the 9th Armored Division. During the Battle of the Bulge, he was shot out of the tank, losing his right eye to the wound. Because of this injury, he had a metal plate installed into his forehead.
After returning home, Alvin Junghans started a business that Gary Junghans eventually bought from him: Junghans Agency. Alvin died in 2010 at the age of 99.
“He was born and raised in this area, and so I think it’s a really nice tribute and neat memoriam for him,” Junghans said.
Applications to purchase a banner next year will open in the fall of 2022. For more information, visit the Junction City Chamber of Commerce website at junctioncitychamber.org.