It’s time once again for our Hometown Hero, brought to you by Batavia Downs Gaming with huge help from our friends at WNY Heroes. This Week’s Hometown Hero is orignally from Lancaster, NY.  It's United States Marine Corps Sergeant Dave Celej!

Dave Celej graduated Lancaster High School in June 1992. He reported to Marine Corps Recruit Training, Parris Island on Aug. 11 1992 and proceeded to Marine Corps Communications School in 29 Palms CA. Upon completion, Lance Corporal Celej was assigned to India Battery 3rd BN, 10thMarine Regiment, MCB Camp Lejeune as a Field Radio Operator. From 1993 through 1997, he served as a radio operator, forward observer, radio chief, and battery communications chief. He deployed twice, serving with 3rd BN 12th Marine Regiment in Okinawa Japan, as well as the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard ship in the Mediterranean Sea. Sgt. Celej participated in operations in Bosnia and Albania.

Sgt. Celej reported to Navy/ Marine Corps Aviation Electronics school aboard NAS Pensacola FL in January of 1997. He continued training as an Avionics Technician assigned to CH-53E helicopters at MCAS New River NC, and upon completion in January of 1998, he reported to HMH-464 for duty. Sgt. Celej served as an avionics technician, collateral duty inspector, squadron quality assurance rep., avionics desk Sgt., and upon promotion to Staff Sergeant, the assistant Avionics Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge. He deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard ship, and participated in operations conducted in Kosovo.

In January 2001, SSgt. Celej was screened for Recruiting Duty, and reported for training to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego for training in July 2001. On September 11 2001, SSgt. Celej reported for duty as a Canvassing Recruiter to Recruiting Station Buffalo, Recruiting Substation Horseheads NY. There, he served as a Canvassing Recruiter and Recruiting Substation Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge. He was reassigned as a Marine Corps Career Recruiter in October 2004, and continued to serve at Recruiting Station Buffalo as the Recruiting Station Operations Chief and the Assistant Recruiter Instructor. Gunnery Sergeant Celej was transferred to Recruiting Station Columbia SC in April 2008 where he served as the Recruiting Substation Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of Recruiting Substations Greenville SC, and Asheville NC. GySgt. Celej retired after 20 years of honorable service on September 30 2012. His personal awards include the Navy/ Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy/ Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal.

GySgt (ret.) Celej currently resides in Hendersonville NC with his wife Erin, and daughter Chloe. He attends Blue Ridge Community College and is studying Business Management.


This week, we are proud to call Gunnery Sgt. Dave Celej our Hometown Hero of the week.

If you’d 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 United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Dave Celej, our Hometown Hero of the week!




More From 106.5 WYRK