Hometown Hero honors others in Our Town

Published 06/07 2013 04:31PM

Updated 06/07 2013 06:43PM

ST. JOSEPH -- When you're driving into Our Town, Main Street is filled with signs honoring men and women from the area who are serving our country. WCIA-3's Amanda Porterfield is here to tell us about this Hometown Hero.

James Wasson served in the Army. Now he's determined to recognize anyone in the military. By doing that, he's not only brought the town together, but around here, he's definitely earned the respect of the community.

Driving through town, it's easy for these signs to become just another blur on the side of the road. But, they're so much more than that. Just ask James Wasson.

"It helps keep them from being forgotten."

For Wasson to get out his tools and make one, all someone has to do is call and ask to honor an active military member. He's made 51 of these signs since he started two years ago.

"I didn't see anybody else doing it, so why not do it? They need to be recognized."

With sign number 52, he's recognizing a Marine, as the Marine's family watches, taking pictures, giving tearful hugs after it's done.

"Thank you, this is an awesome thing you guys are doing for the troops. I appreciate it."

That moment is what Wasson says it's all about. It's financially harder now though since donations have thinned out over time. He spends $40 of his own dollars to make each sign and doesn't charge the family a thing.

"I think this is an awesome thing that they're doing for every branch of service. It's nice to know who in your community is serving for you. It's very nice."

But, perhaps the biggest sign is the one in Wasson's own front yard. It's a 10-foot flagpole honoring his son who is following in dad's footsteps in the Army. It's a sign of how close to home his mission really hits.

"This mission is going to continue on. Whatever I can, whenever I can, we will be taken care of. A soldier will be recognized."

Wasson says he will continue to use his own money to do this, but welcomes donations. He also says the hardest part about this is finding out who in the area is actually serving. There's not a list, so he wants to make sure people know he's here and willing to do this.

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