Applications are now closed for 2022
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2022 Hometown Hero Banner Program Guidelines

Nominees must meet all of the following eligibility requirements:


Be a current or former resident of Wilmington


Served in the United States Armed Forces

Honorable Discharge

Meets one of the following:

  • Currently on active duty
  • Received honorable discharge
  • Died in the line of duty

The following information must be provided with your application. No exceptions can be made.

  • A signed photo release
  • If living, the signature of the veteran. Banners may not be applied for as a surprise.
  • Submitted copy of an official military verification document, such as DD-214 or a current military ID card

Banner Design and Display

Banners are 24” x 48” double-sided vinyl. Banners include a singular Veteran’s name, branch of service, years active, and photograph. Banners will be displayed on poles along Route 53 (Historic 66) and Route 102 in Wilmington for a two-year period, between approximately Memorial Day through Veteran’s Day. If all available spots fill there, banners may be placed along other roads. Specific locations cannot be requested. Banners may, and likely will, appear in different locations in their first and second years of display.

Banner Photograph

You will need to provide a photograph of the veteran in uniform for use on the banner. We can accept prints and 35mm slides or film strips. Due to the size of the banners, the photo will print approximately 18 inches wide and 23 inches tall. It is important that we scan an original photo. Making a copy on a home printer or using a clipping of a newspaper photo will make for a blurry photo when it is enlarged on the banner. Your original photograph will be available for pickup after we have scanned it for your banner.


The cost per banner is $150 for display in 2022 and 2023.

Additional Information

  • The number of locations available are limited. Spaces are given to complete qualifying applications on a first-come, first-served basis. Do not bring in your applications early, the application period opens for everybody at the same time.
  • Please do not submit an application without the accompanying photograph, service verification, and signatures. Your application is not considered complete until all accompanying documentation is received.
  • The deadline to submit an application with all required documents is March 31, 2022, or until all spots are full. If you are reading this after March 31, it is too late to get a banner made for this year.
  • At the end of the two-year display period, applicants may choose to keep their banners. You will be contacted at the email or phone number provided on the application with pickup details. Banners not picked up will become property of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. Any damage sustained to an installed banner will be handled at the discretion of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce.
  • One veteran per banner and one banner per veteran.
  • Applying for a banner as a surprise to a living veteran is not permitted under any circumstance.

Purchased a banner in 2020 or 2021?

2020 Banners

You can pick up your banner from Spins & Needles at 614 Davy Ln during their normal business hours. Call Spins & Needles at (815) 592-1183 for any questions about banner pickup.

2021 Banners

You do not need to do anything. Banners purchased in 2021 will be displayed for their second year alongside 2022 banners. Your banner will be available for pickup sometime after Veteran’s Day 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pay to have my banner displayed for a third year?

No. The banners that have been displayed for two years show noticeable signs of wear, and we don’t want them to stick out in a negative way. Any banners you purchased are available to pick up for your own personal use. You may reapply and have a new banner printed to be displayed for another two years. You do not need to resubmit military verification or the photo, unless you want to use a different one.

How can I arrange a surprise banner for my veteran?

All living veterans must grant permission to be on a banner. Surprise banners are not allowed.

The only photo I have is damaged, can I still apply?

We do our best to accommodate everybody. Please submit the best quality *original* photo you have access to. We can digitally correct things like small tears and water stains, and remove other people from the photo if necessary. If you do not have a photo of the veteran in uniform, we can accept a photo in formal wear.

Photos are enlarged to nearly two feet tall, so it is important that the photo is not a print done on a home printer or cut out from a newspaper print. We can also accept 35mm slides or film strips.

Please feel free to bring in more than one photo if you are unsure if what you have will work.

Why did the price increase in 2022?

We have increased the price to cover the increased cost of producing the banners this year.

Is it too late to apply?

If you are asking this question after March 31, yes it is too late for this year. We intend to continue this program, and you should look for applications to be available in January 2023. Sign up for email updates and follow us on Facebook for future updates, or just check back here next year.

2022 Hometown Heroes Application

More Questions?