A SWFL veteran honors his fellow soldiers with yard signs and now he’s being fined

Published: May 31, 2021 6:48 PM EDT
Updated: June 12, 2021 12:01 PM EDT

A community is rallying behind a SWFL veteran now that he’s being asked to remove his yard signs. These signs show support for his fellow veterans.

He’s being charged $50 for every day those signs remain posted.

A letter from The Rotonda West HOA says that veteran Larry Altenburg had until May 26, not even Memorial Day, to remove all of the signs from his front yard.

His neighborhood is filled with veterans, and they’ve made it clear that they won’t accept this.

American flags line every driveway in one Rotonda West Community.

“I put that up myself. My wife and I go around and we plant those flags at no cost to the residents and we tell them to keep them and put them up whenever they wanna,” Altenburg said.

But, Altenburg didn’t stop there. He turned his yard into a place of remembrance. “I have a sign that says ‘let us remember those who paid the ultimate price for freedoms’ and then each sign is each different war and lists how many killed in action and how many were wounded in each war,” said Altenburg.

For 12 years, he put up his signs with no complaints from his homeowners’ association. On May 21, that changed.

“I then went to the board meeting and presented it to the board and explained to them what I had, what it was, and one of the board members said that it is ‘black and white. A sign is a sign,'” said Altenburg.

A sign is a sign, and three more board members agree with that sentiment. This means Altenburg can only put up one sign or face fines of $50 per day.

“To me, it’s just showing disrespect to all those who died for our freedom,” Altenburg said.

Neighbors like Michael Baker decided to step up and help Altenburg keep those signs posted.

“We love it. We think it’s a wonderful thing and it gives us a chance to remember the fallen so it’s a wonderful thing for the whole community,” Baker said.

They raised $1900 to keep the flags waving. Any money that is leftover they will donate it to a veteran’s charity.

WINK News reached out to that Rotonda West HOA to see if the board plans to fine Larry hundreds of dollars. So far, we have not yet heard back.