The Northeast Tarrant Chamber would like to thank everyone involved in Hometown Heroes for helping make the event a big success again this year! At the Chamber, we love our annual Hometown Heroes event because we get to honor some really outstanding people right here in Northeast Tarrant County! We don’t use the word outstanding lightly because being outstanding means you GET INVOLVED, you say YES when others say no, you continue to work when most others stop, and you continue to try when others give up. Outstanding people who get involved in causes, projects or movements do not need to be dragged across the finish line …they have an innate desire to see things through. Thank you to Frost Bank, our Hometown Heroes title sponsor. Thank you also to our Hometown Heroes and their sponsoring organizations as well as all our event sponsors (listed below), who help make this event so awesome through thier support! View our Flickr online event photo album HERE! CONGRATULATIONS to all our Hometown Heroes for 2019 and thank you to their sponsoring organization for highlighting their community-building efforts... 2019 Hometown Heroes... Wayne Battles - Haltom City/Riverside Lodge 1331 Colby Cannon - Bethesda Christian School Dr. Sean Lawler - Bethesda Christian School Jerry Bland - I Can Still Shine John Russell “Rus” Holloway - Longhorn Council, Boy Scouts of America Layla Caraway – City of Haltom City Alex Ng - City of Haltom City “Orangebeards” - City of Haltom City Dale Wheat - Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County Debbie Tweet - St. John the Apostle Catholic School Lisa Smith - St. John the Apostle Catholic School Coach Jason Tucker - Haltom Football Booster Club Battalion Chief Erik Cook - City of North Richland Hills Fire Department Chris Lizak - City of North Richland Hills Community Enrichment Center - Birdville ISD Denise & Saul David - Community Enrichment Center Officer Michael Kuzenka - Cowtown Project Success Marcia Etie - Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains Ella Pursley - Miss Sweetheart Special Needs Pageant Coach Perry Myers, Jr. – Harvest Christian Academy Anne Bruton – City of Richland Hills Lois Dixon - Mid-Cities Care Corp Scott Prescher – City of Watauga David Hall - Northeast Richland Lions Club Susan Blume - Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital HEB Barbara Jackson - The Clubhouse for Special Needs Elizabeth & Alyssa Vega - We’re All About The Dress Scott Muchow, R.N. - Medical City North Hills Kailey Summons - Keller ISD Sergeant Stephen Jackel - Fallen Soldier The story of Fallen Soldier Sergeant Stephen Jackel isn’t your prototypical Gold Star nominee, this is the story of a White Star Family. A White Star Family is one who had a close relative that served in the military and then lost them to suicide. Whether they were active duty, reserve, or retired from the military, the sole purpose of the White Star Family program is to honor those service members lost to suicide and provide proper care and support to the families. Sergeant Stephen Jackel was one of the three injured that day in their vehicle. Stephen became an amputee and due to pain and complications from the injury he also lost his other leg and lived his life after as a double amputee. Sadly, like many of our veterans, there were demons that no one knew about, and on January 3rd, 2018, Sergeant Jackel completed suicide. Those who knew him talk often of how he could make you laugh and cry at the same time while talking to you. He was a brother to many and never left you without a hug. Stephen’s love of his life was his wife Adi (Addie), who completed him and made his life so much better. Adi called him “Blue Eyes” because of his piercing beautiful eyes, and he had charisma second to none. He left behind Adi and 6 children, and it’s been tough for them. Adi is an incredibly sweet woman, misses her “Blue Eyes”, and works hard at just getting by one day at a time. Their youngest Jordan still doesn’t understand where Daddy is, and the whole family is hurting to this day. White Star Families of America is a program under #22KILL, which is a global movement bridging the gap between veterans and civilians to build a community of support to raise awareness to the suicide epidemic that is plaguing our country, and educate the public on mental health issues such as PTS. 22KILL also serves as a resource for veterans where like-minded organizations can connect veterans with programs and services in their local area. Funds raised through merchandise sales and donations are used to support partnered organizations who offer programs focusing on veteran empowerment, mental health treatment, and therapy/counseling for veterans and their families. You can find out more about this movement at www.22kill.com. We honor the service and memory of Sergeant Stephen Jackel as our Fallen Soldier and 2019 Hometown Hero! Specialist Derrick Ross - Returning Soldier Riding in the same vehicle that day as Sergeant Jackel, was Specialist Derrick Ross. Their vehicle was struck by an IED while on patrol in their Stryker vehicle. Derrick lost a leg in that explosion and now functions as a below the knee amputee. The events of that day and everything that has happened since have struck Derrick hard because no matter how far physically away you are from combat, your mind is never far from it. He still carries those demons and struggles sometimes to adapt to certain situations, but he has surrounded himself with activities that feed his brain positive energy. You would never know he is an amputee if you didn’t see his prosthetic. He skis and surfs as well as works out like a beast. He is an inspiration to everyone who knows him, and he lives each day with a zest and zeal that many of us could learn from. Derrick lives in Grand Prairie with his girlfriend Vanessa and her daughter Izzy. We were honored to recognize him with our Returning Soldier Hometown Hero award. THANK YOU TO ALL THE HOMETOWN HERO SPONSORS WHO MADE THIS YEAR’S EVENT POSSIBLE… GOLD Sponsors: Five Star Ford, Herron’s Homes, Medical City North Hills, ONCOR, Santander Consumer USA, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst Euless Bedford, City of Haltom City, City of North Richland Hills, City of Richland Hills, City of Watauga. SILVER Sponsors: AV Media, Bethesda Christian School, Birdville ISD, BrevAll Technologies, Buyers Barricades, Crown Trophy, Empire360, Frost Bank, Magik Digital, Murnahan PR, Panther Island Productions, Southwest ADI/FW Grills, Star-Telegram, TEXRail, Wells Fargo. BRONZE Sponsors: Atmos Energy, Baylor Scott & White Regional Medical Center at Grapevine, Berry Best BBQ, Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages, Cook Children's Surgery Center, Diamond Oaks Country Club, Eventfully Yours, Family Christian Doors, Fresco’s Cocina Mexicana, Grand Hall at NRH Centre, Iron Horse Golf Course, Legend Bank, NOVATECH, Pinnacle Bank, Republic Services, Simply Elegant Weddings, Sweet Memories Catering & Cakes, Troy Dunn Insurance Group. EVENT Sponsors: Awards Sponsor – All About Recognition, Décor Sponsor – Simply Elegant Weddings, Photography Sponsor – Mike Lewis Photography, Military Sponsor - Five Star Ford, Signage Sponsor – Crown Trophy, Venue & Caterer – The Bowden TRIBUTE Sponsors: Allstate – Mirna Castillo Agency, Berry Best BBQ, Family Christian Doors, Lucas Funeral Homes, Republic Services, Troy Dunn Insurance Group. UNDERWRITING sponsors: City of Haltom City, City Point Chiropractic, Community Enrichment Center, Dale White Insurance Services, Eventfully Yours, Haltom City/Riverside Lodge #1331, J. A. Garrison & Co. CPAs, Nothing Bundt Cakes.