Riverside realtor makes sure roadside banners honoring military members stay in tip-top shape

Rob McMillan Image
Wednesday, May 1, 2024
IE man makes sure roadside banners honoring military are in good shape
Riverside realtor Jason Sparks makes sure roadside banners honoring military members stay in tip-top shape.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- A man was driving down a street in Riverside when he realized the banners honoring local military members needed some TLC. So, he decided to take matters into his own hands and do a little sprucing up of the honors.

Up and down Trautwein Road in Riverside, banners hang from streetlights honoring active-duty service members as well as those who've lost their lives. It was an effort undertaken by local realtor Jason Sparks at the beginning of the pandemic.

"It was during that time of uncertainty, folks didn't know what was going on in the world," said Sparks. "And as I went down, all of these banners were faded and really tattered."

He decided to replace all the banners on this street, paying for them himself. Now, four years later, many of the banners have worn out again. So he's replacing all of them... again.

"It just really brightened it up, added a lot, and certainly recognizes our men and women over there doing what's right and fighting for our freedom," said sparks.

But at roughly $250 a pop, replacing more than 30 banners certainly isn't cheap. Mary Badalamente started the group Moms of Military, shortly after 9/11.

"Jason has been a true blessing. You're going to make me cry at this point, but it's very heartfelt, not only for me, but for the families that have loved ones serving," said Badalamente.

Those taking part in the refreshing of the banners say the reaction from the community has been strong, and everyone enjoys seeing them as they drive up and down the road.