City of Shawnee

Hometown Hero Project

pic of hometown hero graphic

Shawnee is proud to be home to veterans and to men and women currently serving in our military. We are excited to launch the Hometown Hero Project so our community can show support.

The banners are displayed on the streetlights along Nieman Road between 55th Street and Shawnee Mission Parkway and along Johnson Drive between Caenen and Melrose. The banners will be up from August through November.

Veterans and their families will have the opportunity to pick up the banners to keep after they are taken down in November.
Questions? Give us a call at (913) 742-6200 or email [email protected]. Thank you for helping us honor our local veterans and service members!
Dakota Sanford
Dakota Sanford joined the U.S. Army right after high school in 2016 and has been stationed at Fort Bragg most of that time.  He did a 12 month deployment to Saudi Arabia in 2018-2019.  Sanford has also re-upped for another four years and has now been transferred to Germany, where he and his wife will live and work for the rest of his term with the U.S. Army.

Sanford is in the Air Defense group that monitors the airspace over battlefields and directs the attack teams where they see enemy aircraft and other threats.
Ray Erlichman

Ray Erlichman served the U.S. Army from October 1964 to August 1968 and was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant (E6).  Erlichman served in Germany and Vietnam. Erlichman's last six months were spent at Fort Hamilton.  He received several service medals and was awarded an Army Commendation Medal for service in RVN.

Erlichman says one of his more emotional moments came in July of 1968 when, as the body escort for a helicopter crew chief that was KIA (crash and burn), it was his duty to present the flag to his mother. 

The attached picture is from 1967 at Long Binh, RVN.

pic of ray erlichman


Roy Brouhard

Roy Brouhard was drafted immediately following high school graduation. He was inducted in September 1967 and honorably discharged in September 1969. Brouhard was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, Tropical Lightning, and deployed to Vietnam in the Fall of 1967. He was on the ground and saw action during the Tet Offensive in January and February 1968 in Tay Ninh Province.

Brouhard was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Combat Infantryman Medal and was promoted to PFC E-3 on March 20, 1968. He was wounded in action on April 17, 1968 and awarded the Purple Heart on April 24, 1968. During recovery, Brouhard was assigned to Okinawa. When the Commanders discovered that Brouhard's brother was also in the Vietnam war zone, it was decided that Brouhard would finish his service in Okinawa, out of the war zone, as both family namesakes should not have been in Vietnam together.

"During my time in Vietnam, I was exposed to Agent Orange and to this day am dealing with the long term side effects of that exposure," says Brouhard. "The KC VA has treated me with dignity and diligence throughout my numerous ongoing medical issues."

pic of roy brouhard 

John "Jack" Lally

John "Jack" Lally was born and raised in the small house on the corner of Rosehill Road and West 55th Street on February 14, 1923. In the Spring of 1941, shortly after he turned 17, Lally enlisted in the U.S. Army. His first duty station was in the Philippines Islands with the 31st Infantry Regiment as a medic. He was still there when WWII started and saw combat during the defense of the Philippines and became a POW with the fall of Bataan. Lally was a survivor of the Bataan Death March and was a POW for 42 1/2 months, first held in the Philippines and then in Japan. Lally was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross during the battle of Bataan. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star during these actions. He was also awarded the Prisoner of War Medal.

At the beginning of the Korean War, Lally was stationed in Japan and was in of the first groups of soldiers sent from Japan to re-enforce the Pusan lines. He fought in Korea for 3 years. Lally continued to serve in the Army in different locations both in Japan and in the States. He was stationed at Fort Leavenworth in the late 1950s and early 1960s. During this time, he built the yellow house you can still see next door to his childhood home for his Mom. In late 1967, Lally was sent to Vietnam for a one year tour of duty. This was followed by duty stations in Arizona and Okinawa Japan. Lally retired from the Army in 1972 as a Sergeant Major.

He retired in Tumwater, WA and passed away in 1992. Lally still has lots of family in the Shawnee and the surrounding area. Lally's banner flies in front of a home belonging to his relatives, Jon and Mary Owens. The banner next to Lally's is Andrew Pflumm's, who was a relative and best friend to Lally.

pic of jack lally

jack lally and sonlally newspaper

Elmer John Papp
Elmer John Papp is a 95-year-old Shawnee resident who served in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946.

Papp joined the Navy in 1942 when he was just 17 years old. He served the entire war in the Pacific aboard the USS Independence and the USS Halfmoon. His proudest war moments were rescuing downed Air Force pilots using PBY seaplanes.

Honorably discharged, he returned home to Pennsylvania to finish high school and marry his sweetheart (Dea). They were married 65 years and had two children. Papp now lives in Shawnee with his daughter and is excited about being a great grandpa for the first time.

Papp was also Highlighted in a Patriot Features video. You can watch it here.
Patrick McAnany

Patrick McAnany immigrated to the United States from County Monaghan, Ireland in 1851. He ended up in Shawnee in 1858, where he hunted, was a translator and thoroughly loved being with the Shawnee Indians who had their lodge located near 53rd and Nieman.

In 1861, McAnany enlisted in the Union Army. He was shot in the face and had his jaw broken at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek in Missouri. After the Civil War, he lived in Kansas City and was elected as a City Councilmen three times.

The Indian Relocation Act of 1830 allowed Patrick to purchase 139 acres of land from Chief Bluejacket. McAnany and his wife, Helen Mansfield, a fellow Irish immigrant, settled in Shawnee in 1882 and raised nine children.

pic of patrick mcanany

Sean Frickey


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Randy Nealey

Randall Nealey served with the United States Air Force from March 1970 to February 1974. Nealey was stationed at Forbes Air Force Base in  Topeka, KS from April 1970 to September 1973.

The Department of Defense officially closed Forbes Air Force Base as an active base, so Nealey was then stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Mountain Home, ID until February 1974.

Randall was honorably discharged at Mountain Home Air Force Base in February 1974 at the rank of Sergeant.

Nealey's duties as an aircraft load specialist involved the logistics of loading and unloading of both military and civilian aircraft commissioned under the Logistics Air Command. The Logistics Air Command was responsible for the operational readiness of numerous Air Force Bases in the United States during the Vietnam War.

pic of randall nealey

Hometown Hero

The City of Shawnee is not affiliated with the Department of Defense or any Military Service.