Today we remember a soldier who is no longer with us.  Our Hometown Hero this week is from Angola, New York.  It's U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Neil E. Todaro.

This one hits close to home for me.  I never knew Staff Sergeant Todaro, but I feel a close connection to the family and why they would want to recognize him as the Hometown Hero.  You see, on August 31, 2008, Staff Sergeant Todaro took his own life after a bout of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Neil was a 2000 graduate of Lakeshore Central School. He served 6 years in the United States Army and had reached the rank of staff sergeant and was serving as a recruitment officer before his death. He served 1 tour of duty in Iraq from 2003-2004. His family is incredibly proud of him and his achievements…and they should be.  This is what we are celebrating today.  We are celebrating a man who fought for our country.

For everything that Neil gave up for our country, we are proud to call him our Hometown Hero of the week.

This one hits close to home because I had a best friend who also committed suicide in 2008.  It was the hardest thing that I’ve had to deal with in my life.  I still struggle with it today.  Suicide should never be an option.  But I also don’t think that the way they went out should define the person that they were before they struggled with depression.

If you would like to help prevent suicide and raise awareness about the toll that it takes on survivors, please join thousands of others in the Out Of The Darkness Walk taking place at Delaware Park next Saturday September 13th.

If you would like to nominate someone who is currently serving our country or has served in the past, click the button below. We will choose a new Hometown Hero each Friday. If their name is chosen, we will not only feature them on WYRK.com, but we’ll be sure to thank them for their service on the air and dedicate the first song on Noon Tunes to them.

Once again, thank you to Army Staff Sergeant Neil Todaro, our Hometown Hero of the week!