By Robert Medley
Navy veteran Kevin Carroll of Yukon could not have been prouder.
His Navy photo from 13 years ago, taken at age 27, was featured on a banner that adorned Main Street in Yukon during a citywide “Veterans Salute” military appreciation month.
Before the ice storm, Carroll, 40, had not gotten a chance to see the banner after it was affixed to a utility pole downtown, on the south side of Main Street. He had planned to take pictures near it, but weather intervened.
“I was really honored to have the banner up there,” Carroll said.
Carroll served in the Navy from January 2001 to March 2009. He was an aviation electrician at Andrews Air Force Base working back shop support for squadrons stationed at the Air Force base near Washington D.C.
He was named “Sailor of the Year,” in 2008. Today he is an engineer for The Boeing Company, and he works at Tinker Air Force Base on the B-1 bombers.
Kevin Carroll was named “Employee of the Year” at Tinker in 2016.
However, since March, he has had to work from home due to COVID-19, and he has grown a beard since March. There was a clean-shaven photo of him on the banner.
Carroll was working an assignment at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota on Oct. 26 when the ice storm hit Yukon.
By Wednesday morning, Oct. 28, the utility pole on Main Street was leaning dangerously, and a power line drooped over the sidewalk, so the banner had to come off the pole when a new pole was installed.
The Carrolls have saved the banner. They hope it goes back up sometime next year. The banner was not damaged, just the pole it was on.
Other banners along Main Street were damaged. Some blew down or were torn in the ice and wind.
Today, Wednesday, Nov. 11, Veterans’ Day, 2020, is an important one to him, he said.
“I miss my military family and all the veterans who have served,” Kevin Carroll said.
He said he is glad the banner survived the ice storm,” he said.
“That’s 2020. We’re thankful it wasn’t damaged,” Kevin Carroll said.
Kalen Carroll said other banners will not go up this year, but she said she expects it will once again next year. Organizers of the banner project hope to put them back up next year before Veterans Day, Kalen Carroll said. There were 40 banners featuring veterans that had been attached to utility poles before the storm.
The banner project was organized by the nonprofit Yukon 66 Main Street Association and the City of Yukon.