When we started our mission to find Hometown Heroes in the 815, 779, and 608, we always said we wanted to hear about all kinds of heroes. Yes, we love honoring military members, veterans, and first responders, but we also wanted to take this opportunity to honor 'ordinary' men and women in our communities who do extraordinary things.

We love reading stories about people who go out of their way to brighten someone else's day, or like this week's Hometown Hero, a person whose job literally saves lives but never gets the glory of doing so.

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This week's Hometown Hero is a man named Kyle Otto who works for Vannguard Utility Partners in Wisconsin. The nomination letter was sent by Caleb Dassow, and here's what he had to say about Kyle...

My hero locates underground utilities. How is he a hero? He’s the unsung hero who helps prevent and avoid incidents such as natural gas main leaks, power outages, by protecting the contractor and the lines so that the public can stay safe when someone needs to dig. When you call Julie (IL) or Diggers Hotline (WI) he’s the one that shows up. His official title is Damage Prevention Specialist, but that entails a lot about keeping the community safe at all times. Those guys are true heroes.

I couldn't agree more with Caleb's opinion of Kyle Otto. As a small way of saying thank you for the job you do every day, Kyle, we want to give you a $100 Amazon gift card courtesy of our friends at Gustafson's Furniture & Mattress. We hope you can put it to good use by buying something that makes you smile or that you have always wanted.

If you know someone who provides a vital service that often goes unnoticed like Kyle, please nominate them as next week's Hometown Hero, here.

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