Delaware County honors 'Hometown Heroes' with banners

DELAWARE COUNTY, Pa. (WPVI) -- Across Delaware County, local officials are posting banners of "Hometown Heroes," locals who have served in the military.

In Haverford Township, one such Hometown Hero is Fran Ficco. He served in the Air Force from 1984 thru 1990. Another is Marine Sgt. Victor Berg, Jr. His banner went up last week. Berg's father said he is now deployed to the Pacific Rim.

"Memorial Day gives you a chance to remember, but this puts a face, a smile, puts a name of somebody in your hometown," said Victor Berg. "It takes it to the next level."

Upland Borough has led the charge in the county, with more than 70 Hometown Heroes' banners on display thus far.

Many local veterans who have family members posted, or who are veterans themselves, were in the park Wednesday celebrating the fourth.

Like Richard McClintock, whose family served beginning in World War II.

"I have 13 family members whose banners are up there," said McClintock. "I had a brother killed in World War II. I had to get in there. I had seven brothers who were in there already."

Vietnam veteran Richard Ladd said he comes from a World War II family.

"We had our heroes during World War II and everybody aspired to be one. I don't see that much in our country," he said. "I feel good about doing what I did, and if I had the opportunity I would do it again."

The all-volunteer military is now 45 years old, and some feel that has prevented a lot of generations from feeling deeply about the armed forces and the sacrifices so many have made.

"I believe when they stopped the draft they hurt a lot of these younger kids," said Vietnam veteran Bill Kirby. "I believe if I didn't go in the army, I don't know what would have happened to me. I was one of the wild ones. I liked to fight and drink."

Since Memorial Day, Upland Borough this has posted 74 "Hometown Hero" banners, with dozens more expected to be posted by the end of the summer.

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