PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — They are tributes to the men and women who’ve served in the Armed Force…banners prominently displayed along Centre Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Hill District.
“We want to play our part in increasing self-value by being able to recognize veterans and present active duty service members with a tribute banner,” said Eric Howze, a retired U.S. Army Veteran and co-founder of No Hero Left Behind.
Howze, who was honorably discharged from the Army told KDKA’s Lisa Washington that he noticed that only a few of the banners he saw around Southwestern Pennsylvania were of Black service members.
“…and there’s no Black veterans represented, it’s almost as if Black Veterans never served…so that was our goal to change that narrative,” he said.
Howze and his wife, a co-founder of the organization, said they reached their goal of displaying 35 banners in 2020, and they’d like to hang more.
“It’s going to take the support of the city to be able to support other underserved communities,” said Howze.
“We want to be able to display 100 banners in the 2021 year so it’s going to take more of a collaborative effort.”
“Me being a homeless veteran was how I fell. By slipping through the cracks, not knowing what resources and benefits were out there,” said Howze.
He added, “When you don’t know that something exists, it’s like it doesn’t exist.”
He wants vets to know there is help available for them, and he wants the community to know and see, the Black veterans who served our country.
More information on No Hero Left Behind, including how to sponsor a banner for an active duty member or veteran, can be found here.