New Banners Displayed On Market St. To Honor Military

Korean War veteran Richard Johnson stands in front of his banner on Market Street. Photo Provided.

An active member of the Army and a Korean veteran are among those honored through the Warsaw Salutes You program.

The Warsaw Salutes You Banner Recognition program began as Warsaw Community High School graduate Elizabeth Stone’s Kosciusko Youth Leadership Academy project in 2020. Since the program’s inception, nearly 100 active, veteran or memorial honorees have been recognized. Elizabeth is currently attending college and Miechi Petro and Megan Stone are continuing the program in her absence, according to a provided news release.

Among those with banners is Niki J. Shumpert, who  enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1997 and is a sergeant first class.

Mother Debra Shumpert said Niki is a solider in the airborne unit and is a medical personnel. He’s been deployed to Iraq twice, Korea and Italy. He’s also been to Poland to help with refugees from Ukraine because of the Russian invasion.

Niki wanted to go to college, but decided to go into the military as there are several members of his family serving or having served, including Debra’s sister and mom.

“They’re all military, so he decided to go that route,” Debra said.

The reason Debra wanted to sponsor a banner for her son is because “we’re proud of him.” Niki is in the medical field, so he’s helped other soliders.

Richard T. Johnson is a Korean veteran, having enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1952, serving in the Korean War.

Granddaughter Stephanie Stutzman said Johnson was a 3rd class machinist, working in the engine room. During Korea, he was on the USS Newport News CA-148.

He went from Cuba to the Mediterranean.

After his honorable discharge, Johnson was a tool and die maker until his retirement. He was married to Norma for 56 years until she died.

The reason Stutzman said she wanted to sponsor a banner for her grandfather because he’s in the end stages of his life, so her family wanted to honor him and have him see it before he passed. She said her family is honored to do it for him.

Shumpert and Johnson’s banners are part of the fifth cycle of Warsaw Salutes You Banners, which went on display last week  for Veterans Day on East Market Street.

The banners were originally on a six-month rotation. However, the banners will now be displayed annually on Veterans Day and will be enjoyed for an entire year.

“We hope that this will give more time to honor and appreciate those who served or are currently serving in the military. We recognize this as a great opportunity to build and strengthen community and spirit of patriotism,” stated the release.

Debra said she thinks the program is great “because these guys need to be recognized because they put their life on the line for the country.”

For an application for a banner or for more information, email