who is your hometown hero?


Who is your hero?

I met mine in May of 1998. He was fresh from Basic Training and I was coming out of my freshman year at LSU. A series of odd events brought him to my dorm room on the very day I was packing up for the summer. It took one afternoon to convince me that I’d found “the one”. I have really great instincts. We were married in September of 2003, had our first baby in September of 2004 during flight school in Fort Rucker, AL. In 2008, he was deployed to Iraq, where he remained for a year (missing the delivery of our third baby and his first 6 months of life– read more on that here). We recently celebrated the birth of our fifth child- and while he is no longer in the army, he’ll  always be my hero.


Even being a former military wife, I’ll never fully understand what our hardworking soldiers go through in times of war or separation-  or that well of strength deep inside that draws them to military service in the first place. I do, however, understand the network of heroes who are left behind: the husbands and wives and children of those servicemen and women… the ones who didn’t necessarily choose a military life- but proudly, humbly, bravely follow their soldiers to lands unknown.

So in addition to the amazing men and women who are willing to fight and die for this country, we applaud the lesser-known heroes in trenches of their own: the tired mom who fixes toilets, mows the lawn and remembers to take out the trash… the anxious dad who drives carpool, braids hair and bakes cupcakes for class, the child who puts one foot in front of the other every day- a weary smile on his face. Our military families are the backbone of this country- and we all owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude.

Having said that, W.D. Wolf wants to honor a hometown hero with “Hometown Firecracker” outfits for his or her family. So, who is your hero? Leave your nominations here. Please tell us a little bit about your favorite soldier, military spouse or family- and what makes them so very special. We will select and announce the winner this week.


Sarah & Shannon

109 thoughts on “who is your hometown hero?

  1. I met Heidi through our love for beautiful little girl clothes. Heidi, for most of many years now, has been raising her two littles alone as her husband has been back and forth to Iraq to protect our country. Heidi is mom, dad, and everything in between. In her “spare” time (haha) she also designs, sews, and sells beautiful creations for little girls to help support her family. I met her through a mutual friend who was promoting her work. I have bought several pieces from her, both because her work is GORGEOUS and because I know I’m supporting a military wife and family. Heidi has incredible strength and courage and every day I dare to live with the spirit she possesses. This July will be the first of many that her whole family will be together and I think it would be amazing and wonderful if she got a “day off” from sewing and was blessed to receive this gorgeous dress. Both to celebrate the wonderful country we live in and celebrate WITH the wonderful man who serves it!

  2. My hometown hero is my husband of four years now. We met in high school but never dated until he came home from his first deployment in 2006. We now have a beautiful little girl who just turned 2. He is a great father and husband anyone could ever ask for. he still serves our country today state side. To all those hometown heroes and their families Thank You!

  3. My Hometown hero was my Grandfather, a POW from World War II. He was a pilot who got shot down and was picked up by the Japanese. I can remember him telling us stories of his adventures when we were little. He would always make the stories sound like even though he was in a tough place he remembered to stay strong and was never worried about whether or not he would make it home. As an adult, hearing the same stories but with the real details it makes me realize how brave he was and how much I am grateful for what he did for us. He did come home, and was able to live a long full life with my Dad, my Grandmother and my aunts. It was a blessing for him to be a part of our life when my son was born and even though it was hard when he passed, he was home. In our hometown. He will always be my Number 1 hero.

  4. This is easy 🙂 hands down… My husband. He is in the army, has been since the day I met him 7 years ago. He selflessly (like all men and women serving) gives up so much to serve the country he loves so much. When he is home, he is 100% Dad and husband… He balances it all amazingly. He is my rock, he makes this army wife job all worth it. ❤ Thank you for this opportunity… My girls would look beautiful in this gorgeous dress!

  5. My husband and I met 10th grade year of high school. We were always best friends, but had significant others the whole time we were in high school. After graduation we lost touch and kinda went our seperate ways. A couple years after high school my Josh added me in Facebook, and he was in the army in Iraq serving our country. We talked about old times and picked up where we left off, but still had boyfriends and girlfriends. After serving our country for 7 years, being in Iraq China Iraq again he finically returned home. He then wrote me on Facebook and asked me to lunch. I had never been so nervous in my life because I secretly had a crush on him this whole time as did he. And for once we were both single! The date went perfect! We have been married for a year and together for 3 and haven’t spent a day apart since. This man worked so hard serving our country, and has PTSD today. Works very hard today to provide for his family and raise his son in a Christian house hold. For this I am forever greatfullllll.

  6. My hero will always be my grandmother. She is 95 now and list my granddad 8 years ago. He was a lieutenant colonel and fought in ww2 and all the conflicts thereafter. She managed to raise 3 children and 7 Japanese orphans while he was absent the majority of those years. When he finally retired she managed to make his life as comfortable and carefree as possible while he dealt with the aftermath and heartbreak of war. She is the most dedicated citizen and still manages to go to cemetery on post each weekend to place flowers on all of the unmarked graves. I pray that I can honor my family and country like she has continued to in his honor. She wears a flag pen everyday, even if only on her housecoat. My daughters birth has bred the life back into her soul and for that reason I nominate her. A true American Heroes wife!

  7. I would like to nominate my sister and brother-in-law. They were high school sweethearts and have been married 10 years with 3 beautiful children. Last April, my then 3 year old son was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a rare childhood liver cancer. This diagnosis obviously devastated our whole family. Following chemo, my son ended up with a liver transplant and we’ve been on our journey for 9 long months. During that time my sister and my brother-in-law stood by our side. Even though for most of the time we’ve known each other, we didn’t get along, my brother-in-law adores my son, and he is his Godfather. I’ve never seen my brother-in-law scared, but I saw it the day he walked into the PICU and saw my son bright yellow from the jaundice and on a breathing machine. See, my brother-in-law is a former Army Ranger who served in Iraq & Afghanistan and he’s seen A LOT. He’s one of the strongest people I know. This past Christmas, my brother-in-law wrote a very touching, heartfelt, emotional letter to my now 4 year old son and handed down his Army Ranger beret. Next to receiving the gift of his liver, that gesture by my brother-in-law has been the most touching gift we’ve ever received. My sister is a self proclaimed WDW addict 🙂 Their son and 2 daughters would look dashing in these outfits!

  8. I would love to nominate my friend, Carla Sposito. She’s an Army wife with two young daughters. Her husband has been in Korea for nearly 15 months, and she’s counting down the days to his return now. We met and bonded during an Afghanistan deployment, and I couldn’t have done it without her friendship and many, many play dates. She’s a friend forever! This would be such a special dress for either of her girls!

  9. Tracey Greene is my favorite military spouse. She has so much heart it is incredible. I grew up with Tracey as she lived one street over from me. When we were in middle school her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. She wasn’t supposed to survive the first time but made it to remission before it came back. When her mother passed Tracey and I drifted apart. Tracey went to a bad place and started hanging with a different crowd of people. Not long after her mothers passing, her father moved them to Pennsylvania and we lost touch. With the help of facebook we have re-connected. Her husband is in the military (airborne I believe) out of Ft. Bragg. They had their daughter in November of 2011. When Claire was three months old he had to go over seas for 9 months. In January of this year he has had to return to Afghanistan for another 9-12 months. She is my hero. She overcame the loss of her mother and found God again. I wish I had half of her strength to do what she does and she does it all to help others. She recently came to stay with me after her husband deployed and she drooled over my 11 WDW outfits. I offered for her to borrow them any time she wants. I have the HF bubble from last year and she eyed it but I could see she might have taken me up on it if it was the dress. I think if she won one she would be ecstatic! We thank her every day for what her husband does to protect this country and she is very humbled by it!

  10. My hero is my husband. He served 2 tours overseas, 1 before we met and the other in 2009 right after our son turned 1. He served 11 years. He is honorably discharged as a captain.

  11. My husband is our Hero. We met right after I had graduated highschool in 2004 and got married the summer of 2007 right after he finished basic training. Within two months we had moved halfway across the country, found out we were expecting and discovered he will be deploying to Iraq within a year. The emotions that come with all that are unreal, but he took it in stride. He was in training for a few months while I was pregnant and then deployed when our first son was only 3 months old. He unfortunately missed many of the first milestones in our first son’s life, little did we know that it would soon be happening again in another year. We got stationed a year later in Texas(still away from family in Ga), while still staying in a hotel looking for a house, I found out I was expecting again. Once we got into a house and he got put with a unit, you guessed it….he was set to deploy to Iraq, but this time in only a few months! We went home on leave and had our first Dr’s appointment and found out we were expecting TWINS! Unfortunately he missed their birth, but was able to make it home to meet them when they were just a week old and came back when they were 4 months old. We finally got stationed closer to home, but yet again he was being deployed, but this time to Afghanistan. Luckily, we are hopefully not going to have to deal with anymore deployments because he is thinking about getting out when his current contract is up. My husband is not only my hero, but my children’s as well.

  12. My brother-in-law is in the marines reserves after being active duty for 4 years. He went to Iraq and spent a year and a half there. This was so hard to for my sister as the phone calls from him were far and few between. When he came back to California he decided to leave the military to be closer to his family and my family here in New York. Unfortunately it was a rough road from there. Due to the lack of jobs, it made it difficult to afford to live here. He decided to go into the reserves in order to support his family. He had to go away for a couple months in order to be retrained in this new position. This is distance again was difficult for them but as a military wife my sister knew that this will always be what could happen.When he came back home he promised his family that he would do whatever he could so that they could stay here in New York with their loved ones. Soon after my sister found out she was pregnant with their beautiful baby savannah marie. Flash forward a little over a year and savannah is now 6 months, my brother in law is now a proud nypd officer, my sister is a preschool teacher and still goes to the reserves once a month. They are working on trying to get a house for the three of them but in the mean time I am lucky enough to have them live here where I can see my beautiful niece grow every day! I know my sister would love that beautiful dress for her and would be honored to win such a wonderful prize!

  13. My hometown hero, is non other than my own husband! Our story is very similar to yours, as we also met at LSU! Mississippi boy, born and raised, found a Louisiana girl and never looked back! After losing our home in 2005 in hurricane Katrina, and a transfer that moved us to Alabama, Josh fulfilled a calling he had since high school and joined the Army National Guard. He is a Captain in the 205th Engineering Battalion out of Bogolousa, La and just returned in December from a year long deployment to Kuwait. Our daughter was 20 months and son was 4 months old when he left. Wow what a crazy year it was. We sold our home and I also suddenly lost my mother, all while he was gone. It is a great feeling to have him home and have our family back together. No one can understand that feeling unless they have been through it! While there may be other families that are more deserving, I always like the chance to recognize my husband! He is a man who gives so unselfishly and really works and lives to please and provide for his family. He’s even become a pro at “carting!” …and THAT, my fellow WDW lovers, is enough in itself!

  14. My hero is Megan Brown. She and her husband have both served us all. She is a fabulous mother to a sweet “special needs” boy and a sassy sweet little girl. She is an amazing wife to a hubby that may be away soon. She will then take on the role of wife, mommy and daddy. She truly deserves this. Thank you for your consideration for this fabulous lady.

  15. My favorite hometown hero is our neighbor Adam Summerford. He is the definition of an American soldier. He has completed multiple tours of duty over seas and came back to the states and became a drill sergeant. He injured his back while overseas and has had numerous back surgeries since then. Finally last year at the age of 28 he had to medically retire due to his back. He has met limitations that have gotten in the way of everyday life. He and his wife are expecting a sweet baby boy in May of this year and we are
    so excited for them! Even though he suffers from major back problems, he is there for us in any way he can be. When my husband is on duty, Adam constantly checks up on me and my daughter. He is one of the most selfless people I have ever had the honor to know. I am proud to know such a fine hometown hero!

  16. My hometown hero is my husband, Roger. He is currently a Blackhawk pilot in the U.S. Army! In July, our sweet baby girl was born with the chord wrapped around her neck 5 times and given a 50% chance of survival. I had just had an emergency C-section and was not able to take care of our newborn. My sweet husband dropped everything and stayed by her side at the NICU for the whole time she was there. These last 6 months have been such an emotional roller coaster dealing with my daughter’s health issues, but he has been my absolute rock! He works so hard and such long hours to make sure I can stay home with our sweet girl and focus on our therapy and doctors appointments. He not only serves his country so selflessly, he sacrifices so much for our little family! We would love to win this dress to wear to all his work events! Thank you WDW for this opportunity!

  17. Although I want to nominate myself (US Air Force injured in the line of duty) I can not think of a better person to nominate than my sister in law Ashleigh Stratton. Her husband Chris is also in the US Air Force. Chris has been deployed for most of their marriage. They have a sassy 5 year old named Taylor Grace, and a sweet baby boy named Jackson. Chris was deployed 3 weeks after Jackson was born and just got home not too long ago. He will be home for about 5 months before he gets deployed to Japan for a year.
    Ashleigh is a strong mom to raise 2 kiddos on her own being so far away from her family. She only owns 1 of your items and this dress would be perfect for the homecoming of Chris when he gets back from Japan.
    Thanks so much for your consideration!

  18. My hero is my husband of 12 years. Even before we met he had a calling to military chaplaincy, and has worked toward that goal since his early 20s. He has been an active duty Army chaplain for 6 years now, and never once looked back. Even after 2 deployments he is still vey enthusiastic about his job, and is an inspiration to many!

  19. My “Hometown Hero” is my little brother, Jerry Conrad, who served in the Louisiana National Guard as a SGT. His troop went to Iraq for a year, and they were supposed to return home to LA in September of 2005. As everyone (at least in LA) knows, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29th, 2005, so his troop was called home early. My brother went straight from Iraq to protecting the residents of our city of New Orleans, and then, he joined my stepfather in helping rebuild the city-they rebuilt people’s houses; churches; and helped anyone needing help. He lost nine of his close friends from his troop during his tour of Iraq. When the family sent him emails, phone calls, and texts on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day, this is always his response:

    “Dear all, I appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers on Memorial Day. I feel honored and thankful every time one of you thanks me for serving my country. It’s wonderful people like you who make this great nation worth defending.

    I also would like to remind you of some friends of mine who are the real heroes. These are the men who deserve real honor and who this holiday is really about. I see them every day and I like to remind people what their names are so they will never be forgotten.


    Say their names one time and pray for their families. Thank you.”

    To me, my little brother will always be my Hero.

  20. Although my husband served in the Marines, and he is one of my two favorite heroes, I would definitely have to nominate my great uncle, Lowell Shaw. He served in the Army during WWII and was stationed in Germany. He is going on 90 years old and is one of the sweetest, most loving and God fearing men I’ve ever met. He and my Aunt have been married since they were 18 years old. He is a man of few words but he always listens and smiles. The war is not something he speaks much of but he is admired more than he will ever know.

  21. I would like to Nominate my husband Michael.We have 3 kids, all girls. Nope we where not trying for a boy lol.
    Mike is currently out, but was in the the Marines until 2011. He struggles daily with PTSD, a traumatic brain injury and the loss of friends killed in his unit. Mike is a OIF veteran and is my hero. He is our kids hero. Every day he does the best he can, he goes to work and he puts a smile on. Even with crushing pain, grief and the turmoil PTSD has caused. Thanks for the chance!!

  22. I would love to thank my wonderful husband for serving in the Marines for four years, and honorably discharged.. He has made many sacrifices and missed out on many special occasions. But his heart was always in the right place. I am so grateful to him for serving our country and for giving myself and our baby a great life. I am so blessed to be married to a man who is proud to be an American. He is my military hero!

  23. My Hero is my husband of 23yrs…MAC Shane Folendore…it has been the greatest journey and one I have been honored to share with my best friend and soul mate!! We met in science class in the 8th grade who knew!! It was our destiny…we started off our USN military career in 1990 we lived in Virginia for the first 2 yrs. in that time I saw him maybe 3 mths on and off…he missed my whole pregnancy and the birth of both of our children…although I do wish he could have been there it was what we signed up for and I wouldn’t change a thing!! He is a tireless mentor and is always there to help anyone in need while making sure our family is taken care of as well. We are now in the last few yrs of our military career and life couldn’t be better. We are blessed with 2 beautiful 18 mth old granddaughters…TWINS…they are our heart. Watching him play and cuddle with them is the best!! and somehow it makes up for time he didn’t have with our own children. No matter where our path leads in the next few yrs we will walk together hand and hand. My Hero my Love he will always be❤️❤️

  24. My hometown hero, is my wonderful husband. He is an injured Iraq War vet who no longer is in the military but now works for the VA establishing claims for veterans just like him. He goes above and beyond the call of duty to make sure veterans get the treatment they deserve, even when he himself is going through similar struggles. He is my hero and I couldn’t be prouder!

  25. I would like to nominate my good friend Heather. Her husband is in the Air Force and currently deployed. She is an amazing mom to her 5 year old daughter and little man who just turned one!! She also runs her own business! Wow! I am so glad to have found and amazing friend in her! I will miss her dearly when they leave this summer! This would be her first well dressed wolf piece and I can’t think of someone more deserving! It’s hard enough to be mom so I can’t imagine having to be mom and dad. 🙂

  26. I nominate Pam Moore McCoy and her husband, Ben McCoy. When Pam was pregnant with their first child, Ben was stationed overseas, in Iraq. Pam had to deal with a high-risk pregnancy alone, and Ben put his life on the line every day. Ben was able to fly in three days before their daughter Peyton was born! 🙂 Peyton is now seven, and she is soon to be a big sister. Pam and Ben are expecting a boy in July. Ben just returned from Bahrain, so Pam is still handling things largely on her own. They are a wonderful family, and Pam loves Well Dressed Wolf! The Hometown Firecracker dress would be beautiful on Peyton when she welcomes her baby brother into this very patriotic family. 🙂

    Thank you!
    Cathy Haas

  27. My hometown hero is my cousin Chris. He left in September 2011 for Iraq a week after the birth of his son and three weeks after the passing of his wifes mother. There was so much heartache surrounding that time but he never once complained. That’s what I admire most about him. During times of utter chaos or sadness, he has a way of keeping it together and some how that shines on to those around him. He came home safely the following summer and continues to serve here at home as a firefighter in Arlington Heights Illinois. Thank you for giving all of us the opportunity to acknowledge our loved ones. Take care.

  28. My hometown hero is my husband, Joe. Not only is he an incredible father and husband, he has also been such an asset to the US Army since 2002. He was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and then again in 2005. His closest friend was killed in action on May 6th, 2005. On June 6, 2005, my husband took a bullet to his back while on a mission. The bullet exited through the front. He was rushed to surgery in Iraq where he lost a lot of his intestines. Things were very touch and go during the surgery as he had lost a lot of blood etc. He was stableized and eventually was flown to Germamy then to the states to recover. As horrible as it was for him to experience being shot , it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Now before you think I’m crazy, let me explain. I had just graduated nursing school and moved to Georgia in July 2005. In August, I met my husband who was out and about for the first time since being injured. Had he not been at the wrong place, at the wrong time, he would have still been in Iraq and I may never have met this incredible man I am proud to call my husband. We were married less than a year later. Through all the therapy, the learning to walk again, finding out that he could no longer be an infantryman, he was always proud to be a soldier. He reclassified to work on Blackhawks but found out shortly after being assigned to his unit that not only did he have the lasting effects from the gunshot but also had pretty significant PTSD and a traumatic brain injury. Although he can no longer be active duty, he has since retired and works for the army with the warrior transition unit. As proud of him as I was for his sacrifices as an active duty soldier, I am evenote proud of what he is doing for other soldiers. The warrior transition unit is full of sick and injured soldiers who are waiting to either return to their units or to get out of the army. My husband works on their computer systems but that is only a very a part of his job. He talks to the soldiers and helps them by talking about their experiences and telling them how he copes. He still struggles daily with the PTSD and lasting effects from the tbi but shows these soldiers many of whom feel down and out that it is possible to live a great life after losing so much. He has taken 4 soldiers under his wing and taught them about computers and the two who have already retired out of the military were able to get jobs in the IT field thanks to the knowledge gained while working with my husband. Like I said, everyday is a struggle for him, but he is still hands down the best father, husband, and soldier I have ever known.

  29. In August 2013, my daughter and her husband were told their 5 yr old son, Parker, had aplastic anemia, a life threatening condition requiring a transplant. As a Coast Guard family living where the treatment needed was a 4 hour drive from their duty station, they had to relocate with Parker and 10 month old twins. Needless to say, it was a trying time for all. One parent needed to stay at the temporary apartment with the twins and another had to be in the hospital 24/7 with Parker. Through biopsies, multiple tests on all family members and blood transfusions for Parker, finally the course of treatment was determined. Parker was lucky. Without a matching sibling (sister Chloe-10months old) for transplant, he would not have had a chance in finding a match because of his father’s genetic background. After chemotherapy, the transplant took place and Parker is doing well enough to return home except for isolation at home, many anti-rejection drugs and weekly clinic visits. Through all of this, his parents have remained strong. Laura and Jamar are my heroes. And Chloe, too. I have always been proud of my children but this experience showed what a team they are and I praise them to everyone. I am lucky to have all of them in my life.

  30. My Hometown Hero is my husband Josh. We have been friends since junior high but never got together until he separated from active duty in 2006. We had our first child together, a son, in April of 2007. After him talking about how much he missed the military we made the decision for him to join the Illinois Army National Guard so we could keep our son in one location. We now have two girls as well. We have been an extremely fortunate military family as my husband has not been able to deploy yet. A lot of people think that those in the national guard are always home but Josh is gone so much. He’s the type of person who goes early to drill and stays late to make sure everyone has what they need. He’s the type of person who volunteers to leave a week early for AT to help set things up. He’s the type of person who pulls extra weekends to run supplies to other units in the state. He’s the type of person who does every school imaginable to further his skills in the military on top of what he already has from active duty. He’s the type of person that volunteers for every deployment that comes up in our state only to miss out. He works full time as a federal technician at our local base on top of the guard. I have never seen such a person with so much drive and dedication to what he does-and he loves it. He makes me want to be so much better in every aspect of my life. He is also such an incredible father and husband. He’s the guy who comes home from work to take all the kids to play so that I may have a moment or two to myself. Moments that I do desperately need due to a disorder but hate to ask of such a hard working man. Overall, he is such an honest, down to earth, Christian valued man that is there for whoever and whenever they may need help. For me, he is the definition of a self-less man. One that I was lucky enough to be given the chance to spend forever with raising three amazing kids.

  31. My hometown hero would have to be my father who served 30+ years in the Army! His unit located in Gulfport, MS was soon to be deployed when Hurricane Katrina destroyed our gulf coast along with their units storage containers that were packed with all their belongings to be taken overseas. I remember being at home with my mom after the storm hit and seeing my father walk up our drive in full uniform covered in sweat; he had to walk a few miles just to be able to get home. Their unit was then put on volunteer overseas service; some men decided to leave the wreckage behind and continue overseas to serve our country, while others decided to stay home to try and salvage what was left of their homes. My father went overseas! Over the years I remember him doing tours of duty in Germany, Panama, South Korea, and Kuwait. He was medically retired from the military last year, but if it was left up to him he would still be serving if his body and the Army would allow him. Although his kids are now adults I’m sure he would LOVE to see his sweet granddaughter and soon to be great granddaughter in a beautiful “hometown firecracker!”

    Thank you and your husband for both of your service to our great country. Being a military wife is a job in itself, I don’t know personally but I do remember what it was like for my mother while my father was serving! God bless!

  32. I would like to thank many family members that are military based but the one who sticks out most in my mind is my SIL, her Captain husband, and my daughters best friend our niece ADALYN ROSE. They are a humble kind family that put God first, family second, and hold the military life dear to their hearts. They will endure some tough deployments and I can only pray their faith and love will grow stronger. I admire them so much and hope to at least be able to purchase the girls dresses and let them show some pretties while supporting Uncle D.

  33. My military hero is my husband! ♥ We met in December of 2010 just a few weeks before his deployment to Afghanistan. We fell head over hills for each other and one of the hardest decisions for us was to go ahead and date or wait until he returned. He ended up asking me to be his girlfriend and I said yes 🙂 Having him overseas was the hardest thing i have ever went through. I was in school at the time and not being able to talk to him for weeks or sometimes even months stressed me out so much! We would Skype anytime we had a chance. Even though I loved seeing his face and hearing his sweet voice so much, It was so hard for me. I missed him so much! Those were the longest eight months of my life! Having him back home finally after the long eight months was the best feeling ever! He came back as a lcpl and is now my cpl Folsom. We are now happily married and now have a little girl. He will be deploying here soon and I can only imagine how much harder it will be this time around that we have our little girl 😦 I love having my military hero but hate him being away. I always try to remmeber that he is doing this for us. To keep us safe. I love my military hero. Semper Fi ♥

  34. I would like to nominate Nick, in the air force, a husband of a friend of mine. I met his wonderful wife through a close knit group of mother’s who buy precious clothing for their little ones, like wdw. When I befriended her and their beautiful daughter Avery Cate, Nick was currently deployed. He had missed every holiday with them that year, including this past Christmas, which they celebrated after his home coming in early January! He was deployed when she found out the gender of their first baby girl, Avery Cate, and to see the Skype video as they revel the gender together is heart warming and will bring tears to your eyes. I nominated this family because of their spirit. Not everyone understands the sacrifices the families make to this country as well. She always stays positive and speaks of how much her and Avery miss and support Nick while he is away. She makes me proud to nominate them for this dress for Avery Cate. They have given me such a heart felt and wonderful view of what it’s like to be a military family. She has searched for last year’s wdw fire cracker dress for a while now with no luck, and I would love for her to win this one!

  35. I met my hometown hero when she was 16 and still a highschool student. I walked in to teach her math class, and I admit it, she was horrible. Gave me hell and made me want to quit. (I didn’t. ) lol We started off not so great. 🙂 The next year she came back to my class and told me how much respect she had for me. Now it’s my turn to show my respect for her. Right out of highschool, Erika Wilson joined the military. She had a sweet little girl, now 6, and chose to deploy soon after her birth. She served in Afghanistan, and came back a strong woman instead of just a strong-willed girl. Just recently she had a little boy. I found out yesterday that she has again chosen to serve our country and finds herself back in Afghan. When I told her how much I respect her decision and how I could never choose a job over watching my children grow, she replied that, “that’s what parents do. They provide for their kids. My job just takes me to the other side of the world. Thank God for Skype and fb.” She’ll be gone for 8 more months. Her beautiful baby boy will celebrate his 1st bday without his mom. He’ll probably be walking & talking when she finally gets to hold and kiss him again. I’m a SAHM. I can’t even think about that without crying. Erika does it with grace and dignity, though. It’s an honor to say that she’s my former student and my hometown hero.

  36. My son in law is our hometown hero. He joined the Army @ 17. He and my daughter met in 2007. He had just come back from Iraq. He is an awesome Christian husband to my precious daughter and the best dad to my sweet granddaughter.

  37. My heroes are my kids. My husband knew what he was getting into when he joined the Army, and I knew what I was signing up for when I married him, but no one asked them if they minded having a dad that deploys overseas for years at a time, disappears for weeks, leaves long before the sun comes up and rarely gets to come to parent teacher conferences or doctor’s appointments or speech therapy sessions or holiday parties. It isn’t always easy for a two year old and a four year old to understand that being a soldier isn’t a nine to five, Monday through Friday kind of gig. And having a 40 year OLD mom that can barely keep up with their endless energy probably isn’t that great either. But they are such a wonderful reflection of their father – diligent, resilient, fearless, amazing, kind and understanding, Even now, as we prepare to leave the only home they’ve ever known to spend two years in Korea, my son matches his father’s enthusiasm for the adventure that awaits us there, even though it means leaving his school, his wonderful teachers, and all of the friends he’s made over the last year. My children are my heroes, and I’m so proud of how they adapt so graciously to whatever life, or the Army, throws at them.

  38. I have two. My father, who served in the reserves (could not serve in a combat area due to his eyes back in the late 60’s and early 70’s) and made many sacrifices to make sure that my mother was well taken care of while he was gone. He has taught me much about the value of loyalty and honor.
    The second is a dear friend Kami. Her husband served honorably and now continues to deal with the aftermath of issues related to severe PTSD. He is unable to work full time as a result and Kami does an amazing job of keeping the family together, all while taking care of him and providing for a child with special needs. The family is amazing, and an inspiration in perseverance. I cannot think of a more deserving person.

  39. I nominate Brenan Miller aka “Payton Jo” she is such an awesome person & mother. Her husband served but he is no longer with them. He is not only thier hero but their guardian angel as well. I see Brenan give selflessly all the time. I can imagine being a single parent is not easy but I see that she enjoys every minute of life with her little one and it’s truly inspiring. I feel very fortunate to have met her.

  40. My hero(es) are our children Vanessa (almost 3) and William (almost 1). They are growing up in a family with not just one parent in uniform, but both. My husband and I both serve as active duty Air Force. My husband is currently TDY, and we will soon be reunited as a family in Korea. My son will have his first birthday away from everything he has ever known. My daughter has been so strong since my husband left, she has made me so proud. My husband and I may wear the uniforms, but our children make sacrifices as well and they are the true heroes in this family.

  41. Well, I met my husband in Shreveport,La while he was at Barksdale Airforce Base in 1993. I met him while on a girls trip to party. Now, this is back when I was young and dumb! His car load of boys were parked beside us girls. We were waiting on a train to cross. So we winked and laughed and met up at a bar. That’s where it all began. My ‘one night stand’ turned into a marriage with two kids. Jonah 6 , izzy 4. We were great friends through our many long distant relationship. To make a long story shorter, we got back together after several over sea missions. Turkey, gulf war, x 2. He got back, we got engaged, married in 2000. My father got I’ll, he lived with us for 5 yrs. so on our 6 th anniversary, we finally were alone! He retired from the military after 19 yrs! He is the best thing that has ever happened to me. And it all started with a train!

  42. First of all thank you for sharing your story and for doing this giveaway to recognize other men and women who are special to us and are our heroes.
    My hometown hero is my husband Cory. We met about 10 years ago, we’ve been married for 9. He has served as an rescue swimmer in the Coast Guard for a little over 9 years. He not only works hard for our family but also for this country. He has a very physically demanding job and one that can be very dangerous, yet he does it happily and with great joy. He truly has a passion to do this job and truly believes it is a blessing. While his job comes with many sacrifices, it is all worth it to him when he is able to assist someone who is in need or rescue someone in the middle of the ocean.
    While I think it is amazing what he has done and what he continues to do because of his commitment to work for the Coast Guard, I also greatly appreciate and want to recognize him for the man that he is.
    He is a godly man who loves the Lord and desires to serve and glorify Him in all that he does. Because of this, he is an amazing rescue swimmer, father, and husband. Everything that he does comes from a passion to serve God.
    Maybe it is my lack of having a good or even decent father growing up, but seeing how much he loves our two little girls and all that he does for them, I truly count myself as blessed that my daughters will get to experience something I am experiencing for the first time, seeing a father who loves and cherishes his children. God is using him to heal brokenness in my own life from the scars my father has left.
    He truly is a blessing to our family and our hero 🙂

  43. My husband, William J Lau Jr, is Active duty Air Force. He has sacrificed so much, including missing the birth of our DD. We were stationed in Germany for 3 years and he was called on many missions and worked 12 hour days, 6 days a week. So thankful for his sacrifices, and all military members, so that my children and the rest of us can live in a free world! Thank you so much WDW for doing this!!!

  44. I met my “Hometown Hero” in 2002. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA and I was in my sophomore year in college in San Diego. In 2003 and 2004 he was deployed to Iraq. When I talk about his deployments, I am reminded of what a hard time this was, and the constant worry I had. I’m also reminded of so many life lessons his deployment taught myself. His dedication and strength inspired me, and continue to inspire me. At that time, we did not have the options to skype or email, and the telephone calls were rare. The one thing I held on to was writing him a letter each day he was gone. For the first year, we wrote back and forth…I was writing much more than him, but I looked forward to checking my mailbox each day in hopes there would be a letter from him!

    He is the hardest working person I know, and has always been dedicated to anything he does. From the day I met him in 2002, he made me feel like I was the only woman in the world, and as of February 2012, he has two leading ladies in his life, myself and our beautiful daughter. He always makes me want to be a better wife, mother, friend, co-worker, employee, etc., and has taught me to be appreciative for all the blessings in our lives.

    I will never fully grasp what it took for him to become a Marine, or what he went through during those two tours to Iraq, but I do know that he truly is kind; honest; an amazing father, husband and uncle; he is loyal; a family guy; passionate; loving; funny; and my list could continue.

    For the past 12 years I have had my own “Hometown Hero” and he is my husband.

  45. My fantastic husband, Travis, would have to be without a doubt my hometown hero! He works so tirelessly to meet the expectations that are set before him by the navy AND be the most amazing and dedicated father and husband! In the last 4 years, he has been deployed three different times. He has had to miss so many important events over the years…dance recitals, holidays, birthdays, vacations, and even the birth of our second child, Wyatt! And it is no small thing to miss the day to day mundane as well! Just being able to be at home for dinner is such a treat for him 🙂 He dedicates himself so fully to whatever is in front of him and somehow manages to balance it all in spite of being gone at least 60% of the time! He records books of himself reading to the kids so that when he is gone they can still ‘see’ daddy! We are always on his mind and feel so loved and cared for even when he is on the other side of the world. It is no easy thing being the family that is left at home when a family member deploys, but I don’t even think I can even fully grasp how hard it is on my dear husband! He makes so many sacrifices serving our country and serving our family! I have learned soooo much watching my husband–he has truly taught me how valuable every moment is with my kiddos! He doesn’t take anything for granted, and I am so thankful that God chose him for me and that this is our story, even though it is hard at times! I know that every single one of these nominees is soooooo deserving! Tears are flowing as I read all the stories and I remember soooo vividly just how the deployments, homecomings, and everything in between feel like 😉

  46. Our hometown heroes are a wife and husband who have been great friends to us even though we moved out of state and away from them. Travis Curtman recently joined the national guard and currently is in Afghanistan. They have three beautiful girls that they are wonderful parents to. What’s even more amazing is that before he left they began working in the church (with no pay) as youth leaders. They have done a great job and the group has grown since they have been actively working and teaching these kids. Since Travis has been gone his wife, Savannah has still been actively involved with these kids as well as taking care of her three children on her own. They never complain and keep on making a difference in the lives of many. I hope you consider this very deserving family!

  47. My husband is my true hometown hero. I met him when we were sixteen when we worked together at the coolest restaurant on the beach. We didn’t officially start dating until after he graduated boot camp. We dated 3 weeks and then were engaged and 5 mths later we were married. He is in the US Coastguard. Last week we celebrated our 15 year anniversary. Let me tell you it was the worst anniversary EVER!. We have 7 children (yes, they are all ours), ranging from 13-11mths. As you can imagine we don’t’ have many volunteers to keep or babysit 7 children at once, therefore going on dates is a very rare occurrence. We planned a night away (our original plans years ago, was to go to Italy for our 15 yr anniversary, haha, didn’t happen). Anyway, we were lucky enough to get my mother in law to keep the kids for the night. Well, long story short, kids got sick, my husband got sick and was in bed a large portion of the night, a pipe burst (again, for the second time in 13 days). When we said our vows, it was for better or worse, in sickness and in health. Now I can say that on our anniversary, all of those things were tested. The last few years have been horrible. He works hard to enable me to stay home with my children and homeschool them. In all of the trials that God put in front of us, my husband proved himself to be the head of our household, my TRUE best friend, the love of my life and a wonderful God fearing father, and my hero. Sorry this is so long, I never get to tell him, how much he truly means to me. Thank you WDW for the sharing opportunity.

  48. My hometown heros are my sister Lauren and her husband Matt. Lauren is in the Air Force and Matt is in the Army. They met in San Antonio, fell in love, got married, and have the sweetest little curly sue Ava Ruth. Our family is very close knit and having Lauren and her little family so far from home in SC has been such a bummer. They all transfer to Germany this summer, to eventually deploy to Afghanistan, taking them even further from us. I’d love for Miss Ava to have some WDW to take to Germany and celebrate the Fourth from afar!

  49. I would like to nominate Wren Brown family and her sweet baby girl for htf for 2014! She has sacrificed a lot by picking up and moving across the country to be with her husband as well as support him! She recently donated to help fund another military families little girls outfit for her daddy’s homecoming after being deployed! After doing so, everybody began to donate and was able to purchase the outfit for the military family! The Brown family deserves this for the time her husband has devoted to his country, and sacrifices as well as Wren for standing behind a her husband and a true hero! There little girl will look absolutely precious in the htf! Please choose the The Brown family for this give away!

  50. My “Hometown Hero” is my husband. We have been married for 12 years and have two beautiful little girls. He joined the Army after he watched his brother who was a Marine go to Iraq 3 times and my sister who is also a Marine go to Afghanistan (2 times now). He felt the calling, so we closed our small business and he quit his civilian job. Life has been completely different since joining the military. He pretty much missed my oldest daughter, who is now 5, growing up and also the youngest who is 2 1/2. Some months we would only see him one or two days. Thankfully, he has been put into a new position and will be able to be home almost every night. The past years were very rough for all of us, but somebody has to make the sacrifice to make sure we can keep our freedoms. I am thankful for all our military members! Without them our lives would be completely different then what it is today. Thank you WDW for taking the time to hear our stories 🙂

    1. I would like to nominate wren and Jeffrey brown family for my hometown hero
      He has served in afganastan while she waited for
      Him to return to be married. Now as a family
      Stationed thousands of miles away from family with their new baby girl
      We are so proud of their service for our freedom .
      I know it would mean a lot to win the firecracker outfit for her first four of July

  51. I met my hero, my husband, December 21st 2005. We have two children, 17 and 2. We are an active duty USMC family and get to see our hero, Sgt Keith Nicely, about 30 days a year. He missed all of our precious daughter’s “firsts” and our sons whole high-school football accomplishments and his first day of college at 16yrs old. He is an amazing, husband, father and man. I could not imagine seeing our daughter 60 days in her whole life. He truly is our hero!!

  52. Thea Castleman has been my best friend, since we were four years old. We are now thirty. We grew up on the same block in Gilroy, California, the Garlic Capital of the world.

    I’d like to nominate her as my military spouse hero. She has sacrificed a lot to support her Air Force husband, Chris.

    Thea and Chris are high school sweethearts. They have a beautiful son, Christopher, and daughter, Cameron.

    Thea lived pregnant with Cameron and alone in Texas and has lived in Florida, while Chris has been deployed. Thea has worked very hard as CEO of the household and has held down her fort, while her husband has gone away for long periods of time, fighting for our country.

    Thea and her family finally made their way back to California, but her husband still deploys often. Also, she lives in Southern California, not Northern, which is where all her family and friends are.

    I am so proud of my best friend and how she takes great care of her little ones! I think she would be honored to have her daughter Cameron wear the Hometown Firecracker. Thea’s family represents an American family, a family that worked hard for everything they have by fighting for our freedoms and doing it on their own. Thea’s daughter Cameron is what a Well Dressed Wolf girl represents, all-American, sweet as pie, and from a family who built themselves from honest hard work.

    God bless!

  53. My “hometown hero” is my amazing husband of 10 years. For over 16 years he has served his country in the USAF and continues to be an inspiration not only to me but our 3 beautiful children. A devoted, godly family man with a heart of service, what more could I ask for? That being said, I would love to nominate my dear friend Angie. She is a military spouse I had the pleasure of befriending a few assignments ago. I forget how long her husband has served but they have 3 sweet children and have had a really tough year. Her husband’s father was critically injured a few months ago and spent some time in the hospital. Her husband was by his side for several weeks while Angie held down the fort. Shortly after that her father was placed in the hospital and spent a few months fighting for his life. He lost that fight just before Christmas. She has had a tough time dealing with the news and caring for her family. A think a little Well Dressed Wolf would be such a beautiful distraction from the new reality she is facing. Thanks so much for the opportunity, WDW!

  54. My family HERO is my dearest sister Lily, a former ER registered nurse who is fighting for her life. Our story is a bit of a sad one. Coming from a large family, my dad lost 3 kids (ages 8,10,12 – two girls and a boy) at once when they went swimming in a lake with a neighbor. His wife died of cancer 6 months later. The good news is that they all received Christ as their Personal Lord and Savior and told the parents that all their life they will love the Lord and go to church. I guess God knew better. My dad re-married and had 7 more kids, one of which, Lily the oldest sister was diagnosed in 2011 with a rare form of sinus cancer, that took over her life, vision and beautiful face. She has 2 kids, Ellie (4 years old) and Ethan 8 years old. For the past almost 2 years she was not able to attend, school plays, recitals or parent-teacher conferences due to her severe pain, not being able to see or eat and sometimes even breathe. She was labeled as “the best caring nurse” by any doctor and fellow co-worker, who spent extra time and sometimes going beyond her role as a nurse. For years we had every Christmas and Thanksgiving at her house, where she cooked no less than 10+ dishes, numerous sides and baked enough to feed an entire neighborhood. She always bought presents for the entire family, extended family and anyone who attended the party without once thinking of herself. I have never seen her done anything for herself, it was always to serve others and give as much away as possible. We don’t have a military soldier in our family, but I just wanted to mention my hero sister Lily and her BIG heart of serving others. She has been hospitalized since day after Christmas due to her cancer spreading to the spine and lungs. The last thing my sister tried to do without giving up is to cook a simple side dish for Christmas was barely standing on her feet, crying of pain, barely seeing with one eye (30%), but she would not let us take her to the ED or go in willingly, even though her pain was a 10 (scale of 0-10)! She fought to serve others a dish because that was the least she could do to make it a “Merry Christmas” There is a lot of sadness in our family during this hard time, and seeing the kids and how they miss their mommy just shatters our hearts. Thank you for the opportunity to share our Hero. God Bless You.

  55. I was US Army and my hubs was a Marine and is now Army! He has served 18 years in the military. He just left for training for 6 months last Wednesday. He is our ROCK! He works constantly and provides for us so that I can stay home with our children, one of which has a respiratory disease. Since she was 3 months old our daughter has gone into respiratory failure in the middle of the night with no known cause. We deal with this on a regular bases. My daughter can not go to regular preschool and my husband who is on active duty orders works two extra jobs on top of the military to make it possible for her to stay at home away from germs. Since October he has gotten up to work at four in the morning only to get off at two and go to another job from three until eleven. He got 3 hours of sleep every night, all just fro support us! He is an amazing father and husband, and he is the epitome of the word HERO. Our family would be lost without him.

  56. My hometown hero is my cousin but more like a brother. Our mothers are sisters and me being an only child we grew up together experiencing so much together. He joined the national guard ten years ago because he wanted to be a part of the American military . Last May we found he was going to Afghanistan. Horror at the thought. Not only is he a man committed to protecting his country but he’s a husband and father to 3 beautiful children ages 6 and 4 year old twins. When we found out we were in shock but then he told us he volunteered for this mission and he wanted to do this for his country . He left last august for what we thought to be a year or more. But through such a blessing he came home at Christmas. They didn’t tell their children and he surprised them jumping out on Christmas Day from a big wrapped box! Best Christmas gift ever!

  57. My hometown hero is Brian Lagarde. He is the husband of my precious friend Carla. They have 5 kiddos ages 10 years to 21M. He recently got back from a year in the Middle East. I am so proud of the sacrifice he and his family have made for the every day freedoms we take for granted! I honestly don’t know how Carla did it by herself for so long. And she always had a smile and was eager to help others. If this comment is chosen, please give the free dress to Carla Lagarde.

  58. My hometown hero is my Papa. This Feb 17 will be my first full year without him. He was the most caring loving grandfather I know. He took up so much time with all of his grandchildren. Took us hunting, fishing, swiming, to get ice cream, came to every ball game, he keep every newspaper article with our names on. He served his country in WWII in the navy and told us thosands of stories about way back when. He taught us uncondtional love. He is truly my hero. Two of my cousins now are in the marines. One in Afghanistan and the other in Japan.

  59. My husband, Bryan, is my hometown hero. He was in the Marines and has now been honorably discharged. I was a single mother to my baby girl when we met and he took her fell in love with her as he would his own child. He has treated her like a princess from day one. We got married after he came home from his second deployment to Afghanistan and have since had two more children and you would never know our oldest isn’t his biologically. She is his princess. He is my hero, not only because he fought for our country, but because without him my sweet (now 10-year-old) girl wouldn’t know a Daddy’s love.

  60. Matt Cole! A marine, he served 2 tours in Iraq and on his 2nd tour (May 17,2005) was hit by a mortar round resulting in a spinal cord injury and paralizing him from the waist down. Matt is such an inspiration to me and our community. He says he would do it all over again even knowing the end result 🙂 He now runs our local state VA office in Covington, LA, helping other veterans & family members seek services and benefits. I’m just the lucky gal that gets to call him my hubby! We were married in 2006 and have 3 precious lil munchkins!
    Thanks for doing this – brings a tear and a smile to my face!!!!
    PS – Your Daddy was mayor at the time Matt returned home and declared Oct.28th “Matt Cole Day” – we celebrate it every year 😉

  61. My “hometown hero” is my amazing husband, Daniel. I met Daniel in college and started dating him the day after he signed up for Army ROTC. We have been together for almost 10 years (March 16 – yes, I still know our “dating” anniversary!) We have been married for 6 years and have 3 beautiful children: Evelyn – 4, Harrison – 2 and Henrietta 1. Daniel is currently serving our country in Afghanistan. He left a few months before our youngest daughters first birthday. He absolutely loves serving and really knows what it takes to be a great military husband. The distance is hard but he never fails to do cute things such as send flowers, write notes, or leave messages. The last time he held our children was over 180 days ago. I can’t imagine what he is going though without holding them. He stays strong which allows me to stay strong at home. I’m looking forward to having my best friend home in about 6months. Thank you to all the other service members and “hometown heros”. They are the reason the United States stands today! But also remember you too are “hometown heros.” Behind every Soldier is a family standing strong! 🙂

  62. My ‘hometown hero’ is my husband, Michael! He is active duty Navy (almost 16 years now) and he sacrifices so much in order to serve our country. We’ve been married for ten years and have three children together (ages 3 months-7 years). He has been gone about 70% of the time in the last 6 years. He recently missed the birth of our third child. He returned home right before our son was 2 months old and he is gone again. He works so hard to provide for our family and to protect our country. He would love to see our kiddos looking so very adorable and patriotic in the hometown firecracker outfits!!

    I was hooked on WDW before reading the story and now will certainly continue to support your company knowing that you’re a former military family! You know the sacrifices it takes from both ends (and how it feels to have daddy miss the birth of a child)! Thank you for taking the time to share your story and to read ours!

  63. I thought I would say my husband was my hero. And he’s definitely one of them. We met while serving together in US Navy. Though I’m a Veteran he still serves our country. But after I thought about it a little bit longer… My kids. My kids are my heroes.

    Daddy leaving is all my sweet babies have ever known, it’s just always been his duty. Our eldest son, Braeden, was born February 2010, just 3 weeks after his daddy set off for an 8 month cruise. They met each other right when Braeden was turning 7 months old. Even though he was ‘home’ they spent the next few months separated due to duty, some out to sea time, some special missions…. In January 2012 his daddy left again for an 10 month tour in Afghanistan. During that time my sweet boy was diagnosed with autism after months of struggles. His daddy is his rock and we know he’ll have to leave again, it just breaks my heart how brave he is now as his dad works long hours and will be preparing to start deployment rotations again.

    Layla is a little over 2.5… her daddy left when she was 6 months old and returned 10 months later. She was instantly in love with the daddy she really only knew for Skype sessions. I’m very nervous how Chance (my husband) being gone will affect her this next deployment, she just absolutely adores him.

    Kids are so resilient it’s astounding. While I’m so proud of my husband for his selfless service and continued dedication to our country, my children sacrifice so much- missed milestones, missed appointments, missed goodnight hugs and kisses… but it’s like they just know their daddy will be back and they never hold it against him as so many dads fear when they leave their babies. Bless all our service members- past, present and future. The military life is a long and hard one filled with goodbyes and separations…

  64. My hometown hero is my sweet husband. He has been in the military since he was 18 years old. He has spent time as an enlisted soldier and also as an officer. He is the most loving, caring god-loving man I have ever met and I am so lucky to have him as a part of my life. He does so much for us, and gives so much back to us, it touches my heart and makes me emotional every time I think of him or see him. He is the best daddy ever. Our kids just make him an even better man. Thanks for the chance to honor him

  65. My favorite hero would be my awesome Husband! He is active duty in the US Navy as a Submariner and I don’t know how he stays sane. He is a very hard worker, gives his all, and still comes home to his family with a smile on his face. We’ve been married almost 7 years. Sadly, he’s deployed right now and he won’t be home in time for our anniversary. I can’t wait to watch my kids run to him when he gets back! He has missed 3 out out 4 of our son’s birthday, and will probably miss his 5th bday in March due to taking on an extra assignment to (hopefully) advance to Chief. He is such an inspiration. Also, I’ve made a friend during this deployment. I’d like to nominate her as well. Wren Brown has been a great friend and has helped me with anything and everything! Her husband is active infantry in the US Army! She’s amazing. Lastly, I’d like to speak on behalf of my children. They would say their daddy is heir hero! For “keeping the world safe”, as my son says. Thanks so much! Xoxo.

  66. This is an easy one for us… We choose our very own Daddy!! He is our hero everyday not only because he serves active in the Army. My parents met before he was deployed to Afghanistan. When he came back they got married in August and the next year had their very own daughter that’s me! We would love to be nominated for this dress! This coming 4th will mean so much more to our family because it will be my first. This dress would be a blessing to make it perfect! Daddy loves seeing me in your clothing! They are truly special to us!! So my hero is my daddy he fights for not only my freedom but your family too!

  67. I would like to nominate my friend, CW3 Brian Black, as the hometown hero. Brian has served our country for over 20 years in first the Navy and now as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot in the Army. He recently returned from a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan (his 3rd career tour) with an elite command. Brian is not only an accomplished pilot, but also a loving father & husband to Shawndah and their kids, Jackson and little Layla.

    At the beginning of his deployment, something very unexpected happened. I remember like it was yesterday; Shawndah sent me a picture of a positive pregnancy test. It was a shock because she had tubal ligation immediately following Jackson’s cesarean birth. Talk about a surprise! I could not imagine being in that situation; specifically, where my husband had just been deployed overseas and I was already alone with a one year old & now (very) unexpectedly pregnant, but Shawndah handled it with grace and Brian supported her throughout the pregnancy. He was away for the first three months of Layla’s life, but he is now back and gearing up for a new assignment that will require his family to PCS to Ft Rucker, AL. I think WDW’s firecracker would be perfect for their last 4th of July in Savannah! I admire all military and their spouses, but this family is a bright light to me because they are great friends. Thank you for your consideration!

  68. We met on a warm fall night not too long after his return home from his first deployment. I was 18 and just ended a 2 year relationship. He came up on the porch of a mutual friend’s home, nodded and passed me by. I was encouraged to go talk to him but I refused. Not 5 min later he came out, brought me a drink, and sat down. The conversation started. This sounds korny and fairy tale-ish but I knew. I just knew. We saw each other when we could between work and collwge schedules. Just over a year later I received the most “devastating” news, yep, I was pregnant. All sorts of things ran through my mind but nevee once was one of them a fear he’d leave. As I broke the news to him by chucking a bag of pre natal vitamins at him from his couch as I sob and scream he just smiled and said we’re ok. WE’RE! He said we’re. Although I was still in panic and scared for this baby, I heard We’re. Time moved so quickly. I moved out of my grandparents, we found and made a home WE had a breathtaking baby girl. He proposed as i sat holding her at home feeling hideous. I said yes. Then more devastating news. Yep, he was leaving. Not just leaving but leaving for war. Less than 25 years old and he was leaving for a second time. Fast forward. He came home to a different wife. One who was more self sufficient, a wife and new mother who felt abandoned. Who felt resentment and hatred. When he returned I was not the same. I was cold and angry. We moved to our new home where he started his career as police officer. He stayed with me. Through all the terribleness, through all the stress and tears and low low downs, he shouldered it. Fast forward some more and beautiful little girl # 2 came. Now nearly 10 yearsr, a deployment, 2 daughters, and a home later, we made it. Tougher than nails, better than bread and butter, we made it. That’s my hometown hero. Always pulling extra shifts, saving lives from the front line in camo and in blue, a daddy, a husband, a friend, and so so much more. He’ll never know any of this because I don’t say it enough but he’s a hero. Not just my superman but your and their hero

    1. I would also like to mention that during his military career and under the age of 35 has received the bronze medal, several coins and achievements, and is currently serving as an E-7 with promotion packet being filled out. Very proud

  69. I nominate my grandpaw Wade Trahan Sr. He stuggled with Cancer for a long time and has now passed on to his forever home in heaven. He is my Hometown Hero and a true American. He severed in World War II as well as many others . He was one of the few, the proud, the Marines. Serving in World War II there was a difficult choice he had to make, save himself as they were about to be killed or try to save 2 of his fellow Marines. What did he choose, well all three of them came out alive that day. He chose not to leave them behind. He is a true American and a true human being. Im proud to call him my grand paw. I love you Poppa T Nome!!! May you rest in peace with Jesus. I wish he could have lived to watch his great-granddaughter, my sweet baby girl grow up. Your time with her was very short poppa im so sorry. You are greatly missed.

  70. My name is Shy, I am fourteen years old. My hero is my Aunt Nicole. She was just talking about how great this company was for doing this. She doesn’t know I put her name in. She is too humble to nominate herself, but i hope she wins. My Aunt Cole is in the Navy. She is not only my hero but my role model, too. She is the most selfless person I know. She puts everyone and everything before herself, including me. I had a bad life, filled with neglect and abuse. The courts removed me from my mom. Aunt Cole went to court and fought for custody of me from the state. She took me in when no one else wanted me. It was tough to be torn away from a life that seemed so simple, and tossed into a whole new one. I officially became part of the Meyer family in 2011. I actually feel love and like I belong now. Somedays are better than others.. But even on those bad days, she always manages to smile and says ” it’s not always rainbows and butterflies”.. But never complains about anything. She does everything for us. She works, cooks, cleans, takes me to yoga, lets me drive in the park, and takes care of us, with a smile. If i am am having a hard time, or feeling down and crabby she makes me feel better. She has taught me so many things, Most importantly she has taught me to be a lady, not to hate anyone, and to always believe in GOD. One day I hope I am a good mother like her. I love her for everything that she has done for me. She believes in me. she is the most influential person in my life. She gave me a chance at life. I appreciate everything she has done for me. She is always there for me. She will never know how much she means to me. She is my hero.

  71. My Hometown Hero is my daughter, Nicole McGill. Her husband is currently serving in Afghanistan while she is home, raising their 2 year old son and pregnant with their second child and first daughter. He will miss the birth of their precious Sophia but is so excited to have a princess. She has not complained, but I know that this is hard on both of them. She has been keeping an eye on this dress as it would be the perfect outfit for little Sophia to meet her Daddy in when he finally comes home to them.

  72. My hero is my husband who has proudly served as a U.S. Marine. He was deployed to Iraq, helped after the tsunami in Taiwan, and was stationed in Japan as well. He now continues his heroism as a police officer and is also on the bomb squad. He is the most selfless man I know who doesn’t think twice about sacrificing his own life for the safety of others. He is also the most amazing husband and father! We have 2 kids so far; a 3 1/2 year old girl and 1 1/2 year old boy. Our daughter was born in 2010 and we found out through some testing at around 16 weeks that she would be born with Down Syndrome. My husband was so amazing and exhibited such faith and love for Christ during that time. I don’t know what I would have done without him. Raising a child with special needs is an experience like no other. It’s wonderful and eye opening and softens your heart, but can also be especially challenging some days. The love and patience my husband has for our daughter is just amazing. I can’t put into words how lucky I am to have met and fell in love with my true hero!

  73. My Hometown Hero is Joe and Daniella Priestler. She is a stay at home Momma of 4 very energetic kids! Her husband Joe is an Army Helicopter Pilot and has been stationed at the base right outside of the town we live in for 2 years. Joe has been a pilot for 10 years and trains others how to fly- he leaves town with almost no notice and comes home days or weeks later with no explination to where he has been. The Army is retireing his helicopter this year, so he will be training on a new helicopter out of state starting in 2 months. He will be in training for 4 months then deployed for his 3rd tour to Afganistan for the next year to 18 mo.
    Daniella also served when she was younger- previous to having children- in the Air Force. I know this upcoming deployment is weighing on her- the challenge of maintaining order and create a new normal for the littles with her husband away for so long. She would love to have such beautiful dresses for her daughters to celebrate all the selfless days and nights their Daddy has spent serving.

  74. My heroes are all those who selflessly serve day in and day out. Among those are both grandfathers in WWII, my daddy and my father in law in Vietnam, my husband in Desert Storm and my brother today with the Air Force in South Korea. I am forever grateful for their service and the service of countless others to protect my family. My prayers and thoughts are with them always.

  75. My husband is my military hero. He has been in special forces training with the army for several years and has shown great dedication not only to the training and his fitness, but also to his country and the foundations upon which it was created. During his training the past 3 years, we have birthed two beautiful baby girls. One birth with him by my side, another birth through FaceTime. I am so grateful for his (and all others soldiers’) sacrifice. We’ve lived together. We lived apart due to high risk pregnancy (#2). It would mean so much to have the opportunity for our girls to don these well dressed wolf dresses. We wear our nation’s colors with pride and in gratitude of my husband/their father and others who commit to the potentially giving the ultimate sacrifice for others.

    Our daughters are age 2 (2t) and age 7 months (9 month). Thank you for your consideration!

  76. My husband is my military hero. His ongoing commitment to Special Forces training with the Army has undoubtedly and continually blown me away. With early hour physical training, late night hours studying language and communication systems, he has sacrificed so much to take care care of not only his own family but also the United States and the foundation upon which it was built.

    During his training at Ft. Bragg, he has endured SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape) in freezing temperatures, grueling courses in foreign language/policy, and multiple months long training sessons 100% out of contact with his children and myself.

    During his training, both of his daughters were born, one with him miraculously able to be by my side, and another where he was unable to attend her birth due to high risk complications that caused me to be transferred out of state to fetal specialists for the remaining second half of the pregnancy. (Remember all of those “I’ve changed our address.. AGAIN emails, WDW?” This is why!!!)

    It would mean so much to us for our girls to have the opportunity to don WDW, particularly in our nation’s colors! They are such beautiful dresses, and our girls’ Daddy would beam seeing them together in attire that reminds him 1) why and for whom he is protecting and fighting for 2) how much he loves his country and 3) that he is giving his daughters an excellent start to the role patriotism can provide starting in the nuclear family and branching outward!

    Thanks for your consideration, and thanks WDW for remembering military families! It means SO much!

  77. My Hometown Hero is my husband, TSgt Chris Bevins. I met him eight years ago, when I was a senior in college, and he was trying to decide what to do with his life. After the horrific events of 9/11, he decided he wanted to make a difference and keep this world safe for his future children. He enlisted in the Air Force and the rest, as they say, is history! We have lived in four different states and one country in the past seven years. We have missed parties, weddings, graduations, and countless other Holidays and family get-togethers. My husband has been deployed six times in the past seven years, with this one definitely being the most difficult. Not only is he gone for 12 months, but he is also leaving behind our just turned 2 daughter. He missed her 2nd birthday, Christmas, and all of her “first” Holidays since this is the first year she is understanding what each Holiday actually is! He is trying to be strong, but I know it is killing him inside. He is a wonderful father, the kind of father every women hopes her husband is. He loves to read her stories, play tea party with her, and they both love playing in the ocean together. It kills me that he is missing so much of her life, and I worry every day that when he comes back there will be a disconnect that may take months, or years to be put back together. I agree that every military member is a hero, but my husband is my favorite one!

  78. I nominate your hubby Sarah, Seth. My heart broke for you when you had to deliver without him. But most importantly I’ve watched y’all support each other. You him and him you.

  79. My husband is by far my hometown hero and the love of my life. ❤
    Gary comes from a family full of Army officers with special operations training so it is no surprise that he spent 10 years stationed in Savannah as an Army Ranger. Over the range of 10 years he did 7 deployments to Iraq and 4 to Afghanistan. After he got out of the military he began contracting and still continues to spend about 2/3 of the year in Iraq with 3 months on 2 months off rotations. Our daughter came 3 weeks early and because of his job we were caught completely off guard and he wasn't home for her birth. She is definitely a daddy's girl. I know that it is hard for him to miss so many parts of her life, but he is such a strong devoted American and truly believes that there is a reason for what he does. More than anything, I am thankful that the job that he has and the things he has/does see every day have not hardened his amazing and caring heart. He will never turn down a tea party, princess book, deny a snuggle, or a plea to please help me cart the new WDW
    My husband is a true American hero…

  80. My Hometown Hero is my dad. He served in the army for 27 years, retiring as a master sergeant. He was orphaned at 10, and joined after his brother did, because “3 squares a day and a chance to see the world sounded pretty good.” He went all over Europe, to Iran, Korea, Norway, and served a tour in Vietnam during the war.

    He met my mom, an army widow at the time, through friends at Ft. Lewis, and they corresponded for several months via Reel to Reel tapes that they still have after he was stationed next in Norway. He proposed, she and her first son (my half-brother) flew out there, and my second brother was born there. I was born at Ft. Belvoir, VA, and from there, we went to Schofield Barracks, HI, and back to Ft. Lewis. Next post was to have been Mannheim, Germany, but rather than keep uprooting us kids, my dad decided that it was time to retire.

    My dad is an amazing man, and so devoted to his wife and family. I love to hear his stories and am trying to record them to share with our daughter. We try to skype every night so that he can see her grow, and I am really looking forward to going home so he can hold her on his lap, since he can’t travel anymore. Fourth of July is our favorite holiday, and I can’t wait for him to see her dancing in her new dress ❤

  81. My hometown hero is my husband Justin. I’ve known him since I was 13, but he didn’t realize I existed until I was 16. ;)….In 2009 I had just started working as a nurse and decided to see what he had been up to via fb. I’d always had a huge crush on him and wanted to see how he was. Two days after I added him as a friend he was injured by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. Justin, along with 3 others, were hit but two of the men didn’t survive. He was transferred back stateside for treatment. We continued to talk everyday during his recovery. He started flying or driving home every chance he got and I flew to see him when I could. After our first date I knew I wanted to marry him. We were married in 2011 and our beautiful little girl was born that September. He is still currently in the process of treatment and possible medical retirement for combat related injuries but has started pre-nursing classes. He is using his rocky path as a silver lining and wants to dedicate his civilian career to being able to provide care for our wounded warriors. Seeing the dedication he had to our country through another deployment in 2012 after being wounded and the love for his job after losing his brothers at arms, to dealing with surgeries, pain, depression, and heartache just makes me admire him more. He is the bravest man I’ve ever met, I’m so honored to be his wife and the mother of our beautiful little girl who has been his saving grace through the dark days. Thank you for your consideration. Good luck to everyone and lots of prayers and love from one military family to another.

  82. I would like to nominate my daughter and son-in-law as true heroes. My daughter, Jacki (Jacqueline Owen Whipple on fb) was just 18 when she met her now husband Jason Whipple. Jason was serving in the US Navy. After a short time of knowing Jason, he was paralyzed in the line of duty. My daughter stayed by his side through the times when it was uncertain if he would even survive, not knowing what his quality of life would be. However, they have now been married for over fourteen years. Jason is permanently in a wheelchair because of his paralysis, but they have taken everything in stride and see it all as a part of God’s beautiful plan. After years of battling infertility, they chose to pursue adoption, but not just any adoption. They have three beautiful children, two sons and one daughter, all with varying degrees of special needs. They are truly inspiring to most everyone they know and use their differences to glorify God.

  83. I’d like to nominate my friend Autumn, a Navy spouse. I met Autumn about 15 months ago through a Facebook support group. My daughter Katelyn and her daughter Molly share the same birth defect. She has been such an inspiration to me and many others.

    At 13 weeks pregnant, Autumn and her husband Cameron were told during a routine ultrasound that their daughter Molly had a birth defect called an Omphalocele. An Omphalocele is a congenital defect that occurs when the abdominal wall fails to close during the first trimester allowing organs to protrude into the umbilical cord. Molly was born with a giant Omphalocele which contains her liver, bowels, stomach, and spleen. She spent 79 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). During the course of her stay, Autumn was alone for over a month while her husband was working. Having a child in the hospital is very difficult and dealing with daily visits without your spouse can be difficult and a bit overwhelming! Much like my daughter’s Omphalocele, Molly’s was too large to repair at birth. Molly will have her belly repaired when she is 4-5 years old and will go through a series of surgeries. In the meantime, her Omphalocele dressing (ointment, two types of gauze and a loosely wrapped ace bandage) has to be changed daily, sometimes twice a day due to its fragile nature. Approximately 4 months after Molly came home from the hospital, Autumn’s husband deployed for 7 months. This meant Autumn had to learn to change Molly’s dressing by herself and be her sole caretaker. It is very common for babies with Omphalocele’s to have feeding issues. Molly has a Naso-Gastric(NG) tube for feeding due to oral aversion and refusing to take any food/liquid by mouth. She also has an intense gag reflex which through months of feeding therapy has only now slightly improved. Molly has faced many challenges without her husband’s help. I’ve have a deep admiration for my dear friend Autumn who has accepted these challenges for the love of her daughter.

    Taking care of a special needs child is a full-time job that takes compassion and lots of selflessness. There are days when Autumn doesn’t get a moment alone or anytime to herself until Molly is sleeping. Autumn has never complained or seemed overwhelmed by her daughter’s needs. She is an amazing mom an example of resilience and dedication. I know she is deserving of this beautiful dress to honor her Navy spouse for all he does for them and our country!

  84. My hometown hero would have to be my grandfather. In the late 1950’s, my grandmother was on her own with three small children when she met my grandfather, a corporal in the Army. They fell in love and were married shortly after with him taking in these children as his own(I didn’t even know he wasn’t my biological grandfather until I was around 11!). My grandfather not only had a career in the military, but went to chiropractic college as well. He always had a way of healing people and putting his love for others before himself, whether it be his country or his family. After all of his military travels and graduation from chiropractic college they moved back to his hometown and had one more child. We only lived about two hours from my grandparents when I was growing up but I never got to spend as much time with them as I would have liked. About 5 years ago, their health started declining and they were moved to an assisted living home in our town. This is when I started to spend more time with them. My grandfather, known to us kids as Popoo, and to everyone else as Dr. Tom, was the kindest most gentle spirited person I’ve ever met. He loved to call everyone “Sugar Booger” and always had a wink ready! My grandfather passed away last year on March 6 and this is when I truly realized what a hero is. Although I regretted not spending as much time with him when I was younger, the time I spent with him before his passing will always be the most special to me. He had always sacrificed to provide for others and never thought twice about it. He lived his life to make others happy. If I can be half the person in my lifetime that he was, it would be an honor. So if you were to choose my grandfather as your hero, I would want you to do what he would do. Choose a needy family at church or possibly at a local homeless shelter and give that little girl/boy a new dress/shirt. I can just see him now, looking down on whoever gets that outfit unexpectedly and giving them a big ole wink!

  85. I was debating entering but how could I not. My Hometown Hero is my little sister and not because I am bias. My sister served her country for 10 long years and in the process has become a wife and a mother. Unfortunately after her second tour my sister was diagnosed with PTSD and struggles with every day life. But she has been such an inspiration. She has taken the time to make herself better not only for her but for her children. She has managed to finish her up her Master’s degree while raising a family alone. Her husband who has served 4 tours is currently overseas and instead of dwelling on it or letting it tare apart her progress she embraces it and the fact that he can still serve his country where she cannot. She has become a helping hand in her community and helps others transitioning out of the military or those recently diagnosed with PTSD. She also has a huge heart and has taken on a mother and daughter who have lost everything. She has opened up her home to them and treats this family as her own. What inspires me most about my sister is that where some would just lay die and give up she has not. She doesn’t know what tomorrow holds for her or if she will even get through it but she sees a rainbow in it all and is grateful for being able to breath everyday. I thank her everyday for all she has given up to protect this country. She is my light! Thank you so much!

  86. My husband is my Hometown Hero. He’s been in the army for the past 17 years. He’s such an amazing husband & father. He gives so much love and support to us even with all of the stress and difficulties that he goes through on a daily basis. It’s amazing to me that he can give so much of himself to take care of others, not only us, his family, but all those he’s never met personally. I’m so proud to be able to call such a selfless individual mine. 🙂

  87. I can not pick just one hometown hero. There are far too many to choose and each one has gone above and beyond for this country. Many of my friends fathers, husbands, siblings, family members have served or currently are serving. My brother in law is in the air force currently. I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every single man, woman, and child who sacrifices their time and at many times lives for this country. I also want to thank WDW for this as well.

  88. I nominate my husband! He serves active duty in the navy and has for 10.5 years. He has deployed three times and is preparing for his fourth.

  89. I would like to nominate my husband. His was a marine his first five years of active duty and has been in the reserves the past 11 years. Along with his 16 years of military service, my husband also serves the community as a firefighter/paramedic. He will be gone for 6 weeks this summer to attend officers academy in the hopes of becoming a master sergeant. We were blessed with our precious baby girl Tinley last April. John is the most amazing father I have ever seen. He is my true partner in life and the most wonderful man I have ever met. He has told me many times he feels it’s his duty to serve his country. He will always be our hero.

  90. As an Army Brat, I grew up used to uniforms, but I never thought if marry one too. I met my hometown hero when he was at the Naval Academy and nine years later we are still a proud military family. This Saturday, he deploys again for eight months. Although it’s not always the easiest life, it’s our life. I love my sailor, my hometown hero, the father of my three children.

  91. My hometown hero is my selfless husband of four years, Chris. He has been on 4 deployments in 4 years with the US Navy. 3 deployments on the USS George Washington and one so far on the USS Tortuga. Weeks after we were married, we picked up out entire lives and moved across the world to Yokosuka, Japan. While stationed there, we welcomed our first son, Christian. My husband was unable to be there for his birth due to being deployed. It was both heartbreaking and devastating for us. After our 3 year tour in Japan, we moved back to the US to Virginia. As soon as we arrived, we learned the ship would be leaving on deployment within a few weeks. Heart broken once more, my husband left, without having time to completely finish unpacking or without me making new friends. The adjustment was hard. So, after missing our sons birth, he would also miss his first birthday, first steps and first words. After what seemed like a lifetime, we welcomed the ship home after months and months of being gone. Our son was a whole different child to him. He was a little boy and no longer a baby. Our transitions through the changes of life have been difficult. He’s never spent more than 6 months at home with us. We have learned to say “see you later” without too many tears and “welcome home” with lots if tears of happiness. Our story sounds similar to so many other military wives’ stories. Going through the motions of being a wife, but a single parent. It’s hard on a family as a whole. My husband uses every second of his time and every ounce of his energy to play with his son. He is such a wonderful father and cannot do enough to show him his love. The moments of seeing them together are bittersweet–because you don’t know how many of those moments you will have again. He is without a doubt, our number one hero. Not only does he give himself wholeheartedly to his family, but to his country that he is so proud of and is so proud to serve. He is a sailor to the core. God bless our country, our service men, and Go Navy!

  92. I have a family full of Hometown heroes. My father is retired Navy, Brother and Brother in law are Marines. I have another Brother in Law and myself are veteran Air Force, but the most valuable Hero to me is my Husband, Mark.

    We met during an exercise on base at the end of March 2002. Few weeks later we had an air show for the community on base. Apparently he was injured on the air field (fell into a hole in the grass). I was a Medic in family practice so I had the task of casting his leg. We talked for a while then I wheeled him out to his ride. A week later he called me ,then emailed me to ask me on a date. We were married on Oct 11, 2002 only 6 months after we met. Soon after we were married, He deployed Dec 2002 for the start of the Operation Enduring Freedom.

    When he returned I separated from the Air Force, found out we were pregnant with our first child, Andrea (first grandchild on both sides of the family!) Mark left several more times for his job as an EOD Tech (explosive ordnance disposal “bomb squad).As a military wife you take on duties of mom, dad, playmate, therapist and all other expected duties as a single parent while our military men serve. His last deployment was when I was pregnant with our second child in 2009. He left the day after Christmas, and I had a beautiful baby girl exactly a month later. Thanks to satellite phones I finally talked to him a few hours after she was born. Mark finally met our sweet E’Olivia Delle at the end of July 2010.

    Today, Mark is retired from the Air Force and works as a traveling explosive contractor. Like many other families we are dealing with the wounds of war. He has PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder and TBI (traumatic brain injury). He has good and bad days and sometimes weeks – a lot of therapy visits! My husband is proud to have served his country as well as fight in two wars. He cries when the National Anthem plays and humbly remembers his brothers in arms- current, past and present.

    I am honored to share my story, as well as, recognize my husband and all the military families as my Hometown hero.

  93. My Hometown Hero is my husband. We first met 15 years ago as lifeguards at our community swimming pool. He asked me out then and I said no because he was younger than me (shallow I know, but who isn’t a little shallow as a young teenager…it’s way more important to be “cool” at that age). Soon after high school he became rebellious and left our small town for the US Marine Corps. While on active duty he completed two tours in Iraq. Fast forward 10 years after we met and we reconnected on facebook and began a long distance relationship. Soon after he was honorably discharged, we were married. While his military service makes him an American hero, there is so much more that makes him my hero. He has been my rock and my support through so many difficult times including infertility and having a son who was born with developmental disabilities. After our struggles through infertility, we were blessed with a handsome baby boy (through IVF) and a beautiful baby girl (who surprised us by arriving a mere 10.5 months after our son). Seeing my husband with our children makes me love him a million times more and is truly what makes him a hero! He is the best father in the world and loves our children with every ounce of his being. It amazes me every day how my “big bad marine” can be such a protective, gentle giant where the kids are concerned. Words will never express how proud I am of this man’s service to his country and how bless I am to call him mine! Thanks to him and all of the other military men and women who have selflessly given of themselves to protect my freedom!

  94. I’d like to nominate my dear friend Juliet Williams Pierce. I met Jules in August of 1999 as a freshman at an all-girls Catholic schol and could tell right away how strong she was…in every aspect. She was an athlete, she was a tough cookie, super popular and strong in her faith…but I didn’t know her true strength until 2005. Juliet was in graduate school for physical therapy and we were living a few hours away, often catching up during hour long phone conversations. I never expected to get a call from her telling me she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 24. For the next few years I watched Jules fight for her life, while continuing her studies. She lost her hair, had surgery, chemo and radiation, but she never lost her spirit or her strength. She graduated on time, with her classmates.

    Juliet beat cancer and met the love of her life, got married and moved from Louisiana to Colorado with Brady. Brady served a tour in Afghanistan and when he came home they decided to start a family. Last January 24th, Juliet had her baby girls, Rachel and Lexie. When the girls were 11 months old (this past November) Brady was deployed once again. Juliet took it in stride, packed her baby girls up and moved back to LA to be near family while Brady is overseas.

    Jules dropped another bombshell on me when she told me they would be moving to Germany in January of 2015…for THREE years. But in her typical style, she is making the best of it and is excited about their next adventure. Throughout everything she has been through, she never once questioned God or her faith, she’s never complained and has always found the good in every situation.

    Rachel and Lexie would look ADORABLE in WDW. And Juliet would be honored to win (and shocked—she has no idea I nominated her!). I’ve learned so much about being a strong woman and letting go of control, and about my faith from Juliet. It truly is a pleasure to nominate her. Thanks y’all!

  95. My military hero is my dad, Carl!! He has thought me so much about respecting others and respecting our country the United States of America!! He was in the Navy and has been to war. He helped fight for freedom which I am very grateful for!! If it were not for our service men and women we would be fighting here on our land. This is the best place to live! I am honored to say “I live in the land of the free and home of the brave!”

  96. I know I’m logging in at the last minute but I really have given this some thought. I love my hubby very much. He’s served three overseas tours as well as being away from us for Flight school and a job in Alexandria…we chose not to move the family for just a 10 month job. He’s been away for almost 6 of our eleven years of marriage. My instinct was to just say that he’s my hometown hero..proudly following in the footsteps of his dad and grandfather and of course, making my daddy and grandfather proud since they both served as well. But the truth of the matter is that my children are all my little hometown heroes too! My oldest is ten and he’s survived all of these deployments and is still delightful and caring and open. My kids take care of each other and step in to help out when dad is gone. AND they seldom complain…they are so proud of their dad! So I nominate my six family members 🙂 Thanks for the opportunity to share~

  97. My hometown hero by far is my MOM. She raised my sister and I all on her own working 3 jobs, no sleep and never ever took away from time with us or things to do with us. She managed an amazing home, sports, sporting events, coaching Gymnastics, taking us to and from dance, sleepovers .. You name it she did it with us or for us. Was always top sales agent in the Real Estate office in which she worked, was the best gas attendant that people went there to get gas just to see her smile and the happiest waitress you would have ever met in your life. Never complained a day in her life she rolled with the punches ❤ In 2005 my Mom started to show signs of an illness in which in months furiosly got worse and worse. I finally managed to get her to let me go with her to the doctor to see what was going on and to explain to the doctor what I saw happening with my Mom. Over the next few years we traveled most of the United States to see several MS doctors to treat her for 2 years then be told it was not MS and turn us away. We then ended up in MD at John Hopkins for several months and that was the hardest thing ever! Having my Mom so far away from myself and my children. When we finally got her back home after so many test and no answers and I continued to care for my Mom and watch her go downhill in April 2012 it was time to put her in a nursing home. She was so bad I just couldn't give her the care and time she deserved ( the time she gave to us & this breaks my heart ) the only thing that gives me a little peace is knowing she would want me to do for my kids what she did for us and not take from them for what she was suffering from. Finally after getting her in and settled and pushing for more testing we finally got her diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. After she has done so much for my sister and I as children and as grown women up until 2006 when she could not she is a HERO in my eyes and I am sure in many others in our local area. She was LOVED and very RESPECTED by many ❤

  98. My hero is easily, hands down, my mother. Born in July of 1968, as the third child to my grandmother…life was not easy for my mother. She was born into a military family. They never really settled in one place and were always on the move with her family. Her father was a military man always gone and died in the war. Her mother was too busy working three jobs trying just to put food on the table. My mom and her sisters were pretty much left to fend for themselves. My mom had my sister and I at the age of 15 and 16 years old. I can’t even imagine what that was like. She raised us as a single mom and has worked all her life to give us everything you could imagine. Now that I am grown and have a child of my own, it breaks my heart imagining how she ever did everything all by herself. I have heard stories about how poor she was as a child, but I never really understood it until last Sunday. My church was getting together clothes for the homeless. My mom and I went to the mall after church and saw an entire rack of jeans and pants on sale for $3.97. They were William Rast. Seriously, Justin Timberlake for $3.97!!!! I looked over at my mom who already had a stack piling up and at the same time we said…” Let’s buy these for the church!” My heart was so full because I know the size of my moms heart and it was like we read each others minds in that very moment! As we were clearing the shelves, a woman and two kids started going through the clothes. The woman was taking these children shopping with a voucher from the state. They were kids in the system from Georgia. My heart was so broken for them. I could tell my moms was too. The boy came out with a pair of the pants and modeled them in from of us. His face was beaming! He had also picked up some sunglasses that the woman said he couldn’t afford, and his voucher only covered clothes. I told myself, buy them for him. After clearing the shelves and heading to the register with my mom, I see the shades in my moms hands! It didn’t totally surprise me because my mom is the most giving person I’ve ever met. My heart was so full it could burst! The boy came over and my mom gave him the sunglasses. I was so proud of my mom. She paid for her stuff and cried so hard as she left the register. Leaving me crying as the lady rang up my stuff. And there standing was the two kids and the lady. The boy wearing his new shades and smiling. I now know. I fully understand and I finally got it! My moms wardrobe as a child consisted of two outfits. She said she just rotated them every other day. And most of the time, they weren’t even washed. I know on that day, my mom saw herself in those children. Her heart broke because she knew what it was like to not have enough money. So you see, my hero is a strong willed, beautiful, courageous, big hearted, selfless, giving, mother. She didn’t have an easy life but with her faith in God, she got through some extremely difficult moments. I can only pray that one day my daughter admires me as much as I do my mother. She gave me life when she didn’t have to. And she continues to show me just how simply amazing she is! If I am chosen as the winner, I would take a family portrait with my mom, daughter, sister, and I. It would mean the world to me!

  99. My home town hero is Captain Chris Cooper and his wife Jennifer. Chris started his military career in the army reserves. They were married in 2009 and Chris was deployed to Afghanastain in 2010. During his deployment Jennifer took care of their two kids and finished her degree. When Chris returned to the states his time was up but he loved what he was doing so much that he re-enlisted and is now a full time solider. They had another child and Jennifer was inspired by their experience to return to school to get her masters in family counseling for military families. She wanted to do what she could to help reintegrate families after deployments.

  100. My Home Town Hero is Tara Clark. Her husband is in Afghanistan. She is raising their one year old daughter, Anna Marie. Tara works full time in a Special Ed class room. The hearts and lives she has touched/changed keeps me in awe of her. She has reached some of her students that suffer with austism. The children’s parents are forever grateful when Tara can help the children out of their world. Just a “Hello Mom.” from the kids can make a huge difference! I do not understand how she does it, but I DO know God gave her a special ability.

  101. I’m nominating my husband, Nick. We met in high school and started dating in my sophomore year of high school. He left for the Navy upon graduation, and I left for the Army immediately after graduating high school. We remained in contact with one another, though it was hard with him going around the world on a 6 month deployment on his first assignment aboard an air craft carrier. I wound up getting medically discharged from the Army, and he insisted I join him in Virginia–his next duty station. A few months later I was leaving my home in Alaska to reunite with my high school sweetheart. We got married in April 1998, and in February 2000, we welcomed our first baby boy. Before he was due to deploy for another 6 months, he made the decision to become a reservist in the Navy. During his year as a reservist, he signed up with the Coast Guard, and went on active duty in Nov. 2001. we’ve endured several deployments leaving me behind to hold down the fort. We welcomed three more sons during the next seven years. In January 2009, we had a big surprise–we were expecting baby #5. In September 2009, we welcomed our first sweet baby girl, Ella. She is the light of her daddy’s eyes, and when she asks him why does he have to go bye bye (deployment), he tells her why–so he can buy her more pretty dresses and defend our country. He returned from a year long deployment this summer, and we got another surprise. Baby girl #2 is due in April, and we are all excited, as she’ll complete our family.

  102. My hero has & always will be my grandfather Clarence Mayhew. He was 1 of the few survivors of the HMT Rohna that was attacked during WWII, the morning after Thanksgivkng in 1943. He was thankful he only lost an eye & was able to help rescue several others, which is why he was awarded a Purple Heart. The stories he would tell about that event & how it makes you appreciate life even more. He was so very active with the disabled vets. As a young child we often visited the hospitals & some others that were receiving home care.
    Not much is ever said about the Rohna & the nightmare those went through. The ship had a little over 2k crew & only about 900 survivors. Only until recently if you were not personally affected by it, you knew nothing about it. I am proud to have so many members of my family serving or served previously in all branches of the service, however the sacrifice & determination if my grandfather has helped so many that knew him.

  103. My hometown hero is Stephanie Howell, mother of 4 little girls under the age of 6, blogger and wife of a military man. She documents it all on her blog, http://www.stephaniehowell.com. They are in Italy right now after moving once a year for at least the last 4-5 years (she was in Alabama for a year) and through it all keeps a smile for all of us moms, military wives or not. I don’t personally know her but she has been an inspiration to me for some time through her words and experiences. I am sure she would love for one of her little girls to get an amazing Well Dressed Wolf dress.

  104. My hero has to be my husband! He is in the army previously an infantry man. Even though he has to leave us quite a bit he is the best father and husband I could ask for. I never thought in a million years would I have someone as wonderful as he is. He helps with every aspect of our children’s lives. Always there to change a diaper when mommy is just too tired. He truly is my hero in both ways of fighting for our freedom and being the most incredible father and husband.

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