It’s time once again for our Hometown Hero, brought to you by Batavia Downs Gaming with help from our friends at WNY Heroes who help us with our nominations every week.  This week, our Hometown Hero is from Depew, NY.  From our United States Marine Corps, it’s Private First Class David Hedges!


He goes by DJ according to his mom and she says,

"My son, my Hero never wanted to do anything else but to proudly serve and protect as a Marine since he was 11-12 years old. Our family has military members serving from all branches, except the Marines. DJ was destined to be the first Marine. As he grew older and completed Middle school & through High school he was a gifted athlete that had options to advance into college as both a soccer player as well as a lacrosse player. His dream and desire to be the 1% to earn the title as a Marine, and honor to serve and protect only grew stronger. At 17 years old entering his senior year at high school he entered the Delayed Entry Program, training and educating weekly at The Batavia Barracks , with his mother signing his commitment to contract. After graduating from Depew High School and turning 18 in June 2017 he trained and prepared himself to enter boot camp in September 2017. He graduated boot camp at Parris Island, SC on December 1, 2017. Traveling from SC to NC for MCT training at Camp Lejeune, he graduated as a PFC in January 2018. He immediately reported to 29 Palms in California to complete his MOS training as a Field Radio Operator. He will Graduate on May 22 , 2018 and earning a promotion to Lance Corporal while awaiting his Deployment Orders. Making his mother, whom raised him on her own as a single mother- and as her one an only child, pray daily as well as brag daily to anybody willing to listen to how her once 'lil baby boy became her hero and defender of innocents against evil and foreign and domestic threats . He was never asked- he volunteered. He never complained - he sang as he marched. He would give his life for everyone reading this and those who don't know. With pride and honor, my hero is my son, my marine, but just DJ to you !"

This week, we want to say thank you not only to David, but to his mom for her sacrifice and we are honored to name David Hedges our Hometown Hero of the week!

If you would like to nominate your own Hometown Hero, click the button below. We like to honor both active duty and veteran heroes from right here in Western New York.

Thanks once again to Private First Class David Hedges, our Hometown Hero of the week!

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