A program called Hometown Heroes places banners in prominent locations that spotlight the service of military veterans. One banner photographed last Thursday on Main Street in Clinton features Andrew Miles, an aviation ordnanceman in the U.S. Navy during World II. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

FAIRFIELD — Those in some central Maine communities might have spotted new banners recently that are part of an effort to honor those who have served in the United States military.

“With a lot of the history not being remembered, it’s just shows that we can look up at these hometown heroes and say, ‘Hey, this is why we’re free right now,'” said Armand “AJ” Frappier, senior vice commander at the Fairfield Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6924 at 246 Main St.

A banner program called Hometown Heroes has been operating for several years in the region, and Frappier said his VFW post became involved when a group at the post met over the summer and agreed to fund a new round of banners, with the goal of spotlighting local veterans.

There are now dozens of banners in several towns, including Albion, Benton, Clinton and Fairfield.

Each banner includes a picture of a veteran, the person’s name, rank and in what conflict or conflicts the veteran served.

In Fairfield, Frappier has hung banners along Main Street, near Memorial Park, and on several other roads.


The idea began when the local group of veterans was trying to think of something to do for Veterans Day, Frappier said. And although the banners are to come down before the weather turns wintry, the group plans to bring them back for Memorial Day — May 29, 2023 — and continue for as long as community members support it.

“We’re looking forward to continuing the effort for the following years,” Frappier said. “And as long as the community continues to embrace it, we’re gonna continue to roll with it.”

Residents so far have been supportive, Frappier said. When he was getting started with the banners, Frappier had contacted the Fairfield Historical Society for information, beginning with World War II veterans, and he would even go through old yearbooks looking for photographs.

But as awareness of the project has grown, residents have gotten more involved, with some sending Frappier information about relatives and asking they be included.

“It’s very heartwarming, including some of the stories that are being told when we receive some of the pictures,” Frappier said.

There are cases where information from local residents intersects perfectly with Frappier’s research. One day, as Frappier was hanging banners in Fairfield, a family stopped to inquire about the project, and a woman asked if her father, a World War II veteran, could be included. It turned out Frappier had already found the man’s name and rank, but was missing a photograph, which the family provided.

Frappier said he remembers many of the stories of the veterans, including the one who was a spy in Asia during World War II. Several of his relatives are veterans and are included on banners, such as his grandfather, also a World War II veteran.

A veteran himself, Frappier said he struggles to describe how it feels to have his family recognized like this.

“Words can’t explain it,” Frappier said. “I mean, just happy, sad, everything. It’s just a whirlwind of emotions.”

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