A Wilmington High School grad who has been serving his country for many years will be honored at the Cincinnati Cyclones hockey game Friday night, Dec. 27.
Dan McCarty, a 1982 WHS grad, will be recognized on center ice prior to the National Anthem during “A Hero’s Holiday” celebration for service members.
McCarty’s story was selected from a write-in campaign by 96 Rock (96.5 FM) for people to submit a hero’s story.
“Dan is not only active duty, but he’s also a teacher at Lebanon High School. Actually he’s the teacher that has made the biggest difference in my son Eddie’s life,” wrote nominator Caroline Pennington. “Eddie always came home telling stories about Mr. McCarty every day and Dan saw that my son liked wearing his grandfather’s Vietnam-era army jacket, so he gave him his from Desert Storm randomly one day just because. Eddie almost cried and cherishes it deeply.
“He’s a hero in so many ways and goes above and beyond that he truly deserves this for being who he is and the impact that he has on so many lives. I consider what he did for my son a life-changer because my son has an absentee male biological parent and his kindness helped show my son how to trust and made him feel loved and cared about by a male adult. That’s irreplaceable and irrepayable, but this would be something that he I and his step-dad can do to show our appreciation for a true hero that is an exemplary representation of a service member.”
McCarty served four years in the U.S. Air Force, then stayed in the Air National Guard, where he is currently a Sr. Master Sergeant. He volunteered to serve in Operation Desert Storm in the Middle East, and then came back home where he and his wife, Amberly, had three sons, two of which are also in the Air National Guard.
He still serves his country and teaches at Lebanon High School. He went into teaching because he wanted to make a difference like his dad, James McCarty, did as the high school art teacher for many years, and his other teacher, and mentor, Bruce Saunders.
The family is also being treated Friday to a limousine for the evening, dinner at Moerlein Lagerhouse, a paid trip to Full Throttle and much more, along with Eddie and Alyssa Baker.
The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. Friday as the Cyclones take on the Kansas City Mavericks.