Local woman honors best friend with a veterans banner

Ramon Rios

MILTON — A Milton resident plans to honor her long-time best friend by commissioning a banner to be made that will be flown in downtown from Memorial Day to Veterans Day.

Erica Phillips Moyer and Kristi Sivers were separated by two years when they met at Milton High School in 1994, but the two became best friends. More than 25 years later, Moyer and Sivers are now adults with families of their own, but they have remained best friends.

“I just saw her last week,” Sivers said. “She was in town to celebrate her parent’s 50th wedding anniversary.”

Moyer graduated from Milton High School in 1996 and Sivers in 1998. Moyer attended Pensacola Junior College and joined the Navy as soon as she graduated. Sivers married an Army soldier and eventually came back to live in Milton.

“She enlisted as a sonar tech. She got her education and became a Navy nurse,” Sivers said.

Moyer is currently stationed in California, but she retires next month as a lieutenant commander after serving 22 years. Attempts to contact her were unsuccessful.

Sivers said Moyer and her husband plan on touring the country in an RV, and did not know if she would come back to Milton to live.

“She spent a lot of time in the military. I‘m just so proud on her, her service to the country,” Sivers said.

Sivers is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution Three Rivers Chapter in Milton.

When the DAR chapter decided to partner with the city of Milton and create the Veterans Tribute Banner project, she bought a banner in honor and appreciation of her best friend‘s commitment to the country.

Rita Takeuchi, Chapter Regent for the DAR in Milton, got the idea after seeing her hometown of Hillsboro, Ohio, decorated with the banners.

Takeuchi approached the city with the project idea and the City Council approved the project. DAR found an American company based out of Cape Coral, Florida, named Military Tribute Banners, to provide the banners.

Each banner is individualized to honor a specific person with his or her name, branch of service and a photograph.

The city will then hang the two-sided 44-inch-by-20-inch banners from lampposts throughout the downtown area prior to Memorial Day and leave them up until Veterans Day 2020, according to Takeuchi.

The cost to sponsor a banner is $85. The banner is yours to keep after the display. Individuals, businesses and churches are encouraged to sponsor a veteran, living or deceased, as long as they have an honorable discharge, explained Takeuchi.

“The veteran does not have to be local or have served in our area, we are pleased to honor all American veterans,” Takeuchi said. “As banner orders come in, I think the thing that has struck me most is that each one tells its own story.”

To order a banner go to https://militarytributebanners.org/current-programs/florida/milton-fl.html.

DAR has received banners from the following veterans among others:

A veteran who was on Iwo Jima

One who was part of the D-Day invasion

Two killed in action

A Congressional Medal of Honor recipient

Two Distinguished Flying Cross recipients

One family that had three consecutive generations of veterans

A man who served in the Army during WWI and in the Navy in WWII

A female veteran

An Iraq War veteran

Multiple Vietnam veterans

“It is truly humbling to think of these individuals and the sacrifices that they and their families have made to defend our nation’s freedoms,” Rita Takeuchi said.