FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The mayor presented a Blue Star Banner to a Fort Wayne man who was serving in the military to celebrate his safe return home. Tom Henry presented Command Sergent Major Brian Kiess the banner Wednesday.
“I was surprised to be nominated for the award and I appreciate those who nominated me,” Kiess said after receiving the banner. “It was nice to get the recognition.”
Kiess works with the City’s Division of Public Works and returned home from deployment with the U.S. Army Reserve. He was recently deployed overseas on a training mission to the Dominican Republic. While there, Kiess constructed two schools and three clinics. He has also been to Iraq and Afghanistan in the past.
Mayor Tom Henry announced the Blue Start Banner program earlier in March for Fort Wayne residents who are serving in active duty. In honor of their service, the banners are placed along West Jefferson Boulevard, near Swinney Park.
When a service member returns home, the banner is taken down and presented to the individual. The banners are on display from April- November and then are taken down during the winter. When the program began, 16 banners were installed.
Friends and family members of anyone who is currently deployed is encouraged to fill out an application with the city to have a Blue Star banner made for your loved one.