When you think of the word ‘hero’ most people assume caped crusaders, but heroes can be found in some of the most unlikely of places. From a local bakery to volunteers on bicycles, and even exploring historical landmarks that aided in the progress of history,  you may be surprised where heroes have appeared to lend a helping hand.

In this episode of Hometown Heroes we introduce you to a variety of heroes throughout our Hampton Roads community, who are changing the lives of our neighbors daily.

In 1607 Captain John Smith saw the value in the land that is currently known as Fort Monroe for it’s unique defensive location. This landmark is currently known as the Casemate Museum of Fort Monroe. Join us as director John Reed explains the historical significance of the museum and how it has served multiple purposes throughout history, including its time as a Union stronghold during the Civil War.

Next, we take you to Sugar Plum Bakery! This bakery is not only delicious, but it is a non profit organization that offers job training and coaching for adults with learning disabilities. Each member of the bakery is an employee who receives on the job training in a multitude of skills, including preparing and garnishing the baked goods. Be sure to check out this spot the next time your sweet tooth hits!

When faced with tragedy, this family took the worst situation and turned it into a shining light to aid families throughout the community. SMILE is a non profit organization that was formed by the Trost family after the loss of their sister/daughter, Samantha, to cancer. After Samantha’s battle was declared terminal, her dying wish was to use the money raised to but her a new prosthetic and to give it back to other children in similar situations such as herself. Her sister, Kristen, and mother, Melia, started SMILE (Samanta Makes it a Little Easier) to raise money for children with life altering diseases and disabilities in an effort to provide them with tools needed to perform everyday tasks. Aubrey is one of those children, who needed a hand operated tricycle after becoming paralyzed from her own battle with cancer.

When Master Chief Petty Officer Ren Hockenberry was injured in the line of duty while serving in Afghanistan, she said it was almost too easy to accept defeat. Hear her story and understand her struggle to see what motivated her to keep fighting through recovery when the pain was nearly too much to bear.

In an emergency situation, there are times when an ambulance may not be able to arrive on the scene. In those times of need, you can find the volunteers of our Virginia Beach EMS Bike Team! These men and women dedicate their time to assisting people at events across the city such as the Wicked 5K and Something in the Water to provide emergency medical assistance! Keep an eye out and you may see them out and about at your next event.

Finally, traveling during the holidays can be stressful for anyone, but it has a particular tiring effect on our service members attempting to get home. For our military members traveling through Norfolk International Airport, they can find solace and relaxation at the USO Lounge! This lounge is volunteer operated, providing food, sleeping options and other accommodations to put them at ease. Watch below to see how a little can go a long way in comforting our military this holiday season.

There is something for everyone in this episode! Be on the lookout for your own Hometown Heroes this holiday season! From all of us at YurView, a very Happy Holiday to you and yours! We will see you next year.