When we sit down in front of the computer to read recent Hometown Hero nominations, I often find myself in awe over the selfless dedication so many of our community members exhibit on a daily basis. The letters may be about someone's service to our country, about a person dedicating hours of their life volunteering to help others in need, going above and beyond at jobs, or sometimes they are about someone going out of their way to brighten the day of a stranger. Whatever the story, they always make me thankful to live in the Rockford area which is also home to so many extraordinary people.

This week's Hometown Hero, Brian Merten of South Beloit, is not only a member of the Rockford Police Department but also a great Dad and dedicated member of the Illinois Army National Guard.

Provided Photo
Provided Photo

Even though Brian's dedication to service often sends him away from his family, his wife Stephanie wanted us to acknowledge her husband for the great man he is. Stephanie wrote;

I nominate my husband, SFC/Officer Brian Merten, as a local hometown hero. My husband has been in the Illinois Army National Guard for almost 14 years.  He was deployed during the pandemic and is deploying again early next year.  He's also a Rockford Police Officer and a wonderful father to our two children. He works so hard with both jobs and is the type of guy to always do the right thing, even when no one is looking. He never expects recognition but he sure deserves it!! He's the most humble person I've ever met and I am so proud to call him my husband and father to our children.  He'll always be our HERO!!

Sounds like my kind of hero too, Stephanie!

Brian, we would like to thank you for your service to our community and our state with a $100 Amazon gift card thanks to our friends at Gustafson's Furniture & Mattress. We hope that you use it on a splurge just for you.

If you know someone in our community that constantly goes above and beyond in life, please nominate them now as a Hometown Hero, here.

Past Hometown Hero Award Winners

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Say cheese, Illinois!