Chaska American Legion Post 57 Commander Steve NaSalle, left, and V.F.W. Post 1791 Commander Rich Daniels raise the American flag at Chaska Middle School West for Veterans Day 2018.

The Prior Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars post will mark this year’s Veterans Day with a new banner program to recognize the area’s active-duty service members.

Starting Monday, the V.F.W. and volunteers will accept submissions of armed forces members’ uniformed photos and other information for 4-foot banners that will hang on downtown light poles.

The plan is to display them from Memorial Day through Labor Day, then returning the banners to the honorees or their families. Each banner costs $70; the V.F.W. is also accepting donations to cover the cost for others.

Dawn Kes, a Prior Lake woman whose son, Jaden, is in the Navy, said she’s seen and heard of similar projects around the country. The idea started with a selfish desire to honor her son, she added, but soon grew.

“I just feel we need to honor these people,” said Kes, who isn’t a V.F.W. member but approached them with the idea and later got city approval for it. “I want to show them that we’re thinking of them.”

The deadline for next year’s submissions is Feb. 1. Submissions can be dropped off at 16306 Main Ave. SE or mailed to P.O. Box 116 in Prior Lake, ZIP code 55372, according to the program’s flyer. More information can be found by emailing

The first year’s focused one active-duty members only but could broaden to all veterans later on, Kes said.

The day before Veterans Day, the V.F.W. is also hosting a celebration of the U.S. Marine Corps’ 244th birthday, according to a news release.

The event begins at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, and runs into the evening with a cash bar, a buffet dinner for a goodwill donation, a raffle for guns and other prizes, and a ceremony honoring Korean War veterans. Marines and the general public are invited.


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