Wilmington advocate for veterans is July Cape Fear Hero winner - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Wilmington advocate for veterans is July Cape Fear Hero winner

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Tommy Townsend knows just about every inch of Wilmington's National Cemetery.  After all, he had an office in the cottage at the cemetery for twenty years while working for the Disabled American Veterans. 

Working for veterans is what Townsend has devoted his life in doing.  He is a veterans himself, having joined the National Guard after high school.  But with the world changing, the Army got him full time, just before Pearl Harbor.  And for the next twenty plus years, he was a military man retiring at the rank of Major. 

While he has also had a career in education, it is working with the veterans of our area than has been his passion. 

"I was in World War Two and Korea, closer to Korea, and I knew a lot of people who lost their lives and parts of their body in Korea, and I just felt, as an adult retiree, it would be better if I just give up art of my life helping veterans, and I have," said Tommy Townsend, this month's Cape Fear Hero winner. 

Recently, he was selected to represent New Hanover County at the dedication ceremony for the new North Carolina Veterans Park in Fayetteville. 

He has just turned ninety and says he is going to slow down.  However, I doubt that will happen when it comes to helping out other veterans. 

"I think the VA has broadened its approach for veterans," said Townsend.  "Of course, we are getting so many back from the Mideast now, many who have mental problems, fatigue problems, and I don't know how the VA is going to handle it." 

Townsend also hopes that many of the veterans don't wind up with the short end of the stick like the World War One and Vietnam Veterans did. 

For his nearly three quarters of a century of a career in the military and being an advocate for American service men and women, we honor E. T. Tommy Townsend as our Cape Fear Hero for July. 

Copyright 2011 WECT. All rights reserved.

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