A local sign shop is helping families welcome back military members returning from overseas with free, custom-made "Welcome Home" banners.
The Tucson-Speedway Fastsigns sign and graphics center, 3009 E. Speedway, is offering the 2-foot-by-4-foot color banners, each featuring a patriotic design and customized with the returning loved one's name. Banners must be requested in person at the sign shop, preferably at least three business days in advance.
David Hirsch, owner of the Tucson-Speedway Fastsigns franchise, said he and his staff wanted to show their gratitude to troops for their service.
"We've done a few of the banners and charged for them. Every time we did, I felt kind of bad about it, so I said, 'We should just give these away,'" said Hirsch, who bought the Fastsigns business about a year and a half ago.
Though Hirsch isn't a veteran and has no returning troops in his family, each order will carry special meaning, he said.
"Each request we receive will mean that another serviceman or woman is on their way home to see their loved ones."
By the numbers
Approximate number of Air Force personnel based at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base
Estimated number of U.S. troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan
Estimated number of troops deployed at least twice to Iraq or Afghanistan
Sources: Davis-Monthan AFB, Brown University, staff research