I am always in awe of anyone who has spent time in the armed forces. I know I couldn't handle the things they see and endure while serving our country, not to mention the grueling training they go through when beginning service. Honestly, I don't think I could be away from my family for months and years at a time, and I have the utmost respect for the people that can.

I am also in awe of service member families. Whether it be moving from place to place each time their loved one gets stationed someplace new, or just trying to live each day without their loved one by their side. These families are as big of heroes in my book as the service members themselves.

For the above reasons and so many more, I am honored to announce that Daniel Gomez of Rockford has been chosen as this week's Hometown Hero.

Provided Photo
Provided Photo

Daniel is a proud member of the United States Marine Corps and still serves the Marines now that he is back home in Rockford. Here is the letter Daniel's wife Becca wrote nominating her brave husband for the Hometown Hero honor;

My husband Daniel and I were born and raised here in Rockford. He has been an active duty marine for almost 12 years. He has been stationed in Arizona, Virginia, deployed to Afghanistan, and we just finished a 3 year tour in Okinawa, Japan. We are now living back in the Rockford area where he is working tirelessly as a recruiter for the Marine Corps. I wanted to nominate my husband for all of the hard work he does in service to our country, and as well as our family, myself and our 2 kids. I hope you will consider him for this hometown hero honor. He deserves it!

Daniel, saying "thank you" for your service never seems to be enough, so in addition, we are giving you a $100 Amazon gift courtesy of Gustafson's Furniture & Mattress. Please use it to buy something that makes you smile or helps you unwind, Daniel, you deserve it!

Do you know someone like Daniel Gomez that deserves next week's Hometown Hero honor? Maybe they are a teacher or neighbor that goes out of their way to make your life better? Please nominate them now, here.

Past Hometown Hero Award Winners

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Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Illinois using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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