I'm a firm believer that it's the little things in life that make the biggest difference. A kind word or help from a stranger can brighten the toughest of days, and simple acts of thankfulness can remind us all that good people still exist in a troubled world.

When I read the nomination letter sent to us by Mary Barlow of Rockford about Robert McNeely Jr. of Winnebago, I knew this man more than deserved to be named a Hometown Hero. Not only is McNeely a member of the Byron Police Department, but he sounds like the kind of person we should all strive to be.

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Here is what Mary had to say about Officer McNeely;

Officer Robert McNeely has gone above and beyond what it means to be a Police Officer. He has done this by assisting in taking me home from a very important appointment on his day off when I had no other way of getting home and couldn’t go unless I had a ride, showing my grandson that Police are good and remembering his birthday (including getting him a gift) when he didn’t have to, assisting citizens whether that be changing lights on their car or a flat tire, helping me to make sure animals get back home when they are found in the middle of the road, and he will also go out of his way to assist citizens who have no money for food by letting them get what they want and then by paying for it. Officer McNeely resembles what it means to be a hometown hero and these are just a few of the reasons why.

If Officer McNeely has done this much for just one person, I can only imagine all the good things he has done for others as well. Officer McNeely, as a token of our appreciation and respect, we are giving you a $100 Amazon gift card thanks to our friends at Gustafson's Furniture & Mattress. Please use it to buy something that makes you feel as good as all the people you help on a daily basis. The Byron community is lucky to have you on their side!

Has someone gone above and beyond lately to make your life easier? Have they helped you out of a jam or done something to brighten your day? Nominate them as a Hometown Hero now by clicking here.

Past Hometown Hero Award Winners

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