Acworth is home to many military veterans. One such hero is Marine Lt. Cameron West, who attended Frey Elementary and lives in Acworth with his wife, 2-year-old daughter and 3-month-old son.
On Oct. 15, 2010, West, who was with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, was conducting combat operations, clearing Taliban-held compounds in Afghanistan, when he was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). He lost his right leg and sustained several other injuries.
Today, West prefers not to dwell on his injuries or his personal heroics. “It’s about all the guys,” he says.
It is important, West emphasizes, that he and other recent-duty veterans look ahead. “We are not defined by what happened to us, but more defined by what we do after events occur. You are not defined by your environment, but your reaction to your environment.”
West adds, “It’s more important what young men are doing now, whether they continue their Marine Corps career, or career with other branches, or have a successful life in the civilian sector. Success is about being with and raising a beautiful family, about being a positive pillar in the community. Those are the things I like to dwell on rather than focus on injuries that happened six years ago.
“My generation of veterans would not have so much support and would not be set up for so much success if it were not for the veterans of the past,” West says. “The past generations of veterans have really done their part to make sure that we are taken care of, on top of the civilian sector in the United States. They have reached out and offered their support, which is always appreciated.”
The organization Homes for Our Troops built a home in Acworth for West and his family. The home is ADA compliant, meaning it is completely wheelchair accessible, he says.
“The home is very beautiful and we are grateful for it,” West says.
The organization started building the home in the summer of 2015, and the family moved into the home in December 2015.
Now, West volunteers for the Taunton, Mass.,- based organization.
“We call other veterans and check on them, and 225 have received homes all over the country in the lower 48 states,” West says. Another 200 homes are scheduled to be built within the next two years.
West is proud the organization receives excellent ratings from charity watchdog Charity Navigator. “Homes for Our Troops is one of the finest organizations helping veterans out there,” West says. (Editor’s note: The organization received a rating of four out of four stars from the charity watchdog).
“It is important to remember that the young men and women who serve our country make tremendous sacrifices and that we do what we can to support them when they come home,” he says. “For me, there have been tough times. But I have been able to rely on a support system of family, friends, and even strangers who reached out and offered their support.”
To find out more about Homes for Our Troops, go to hfotusa.org. To read more about the organization at Charity Navigator, go to charitynavigator.org.
Veterans Day Events
Veterans Day Celebration BBQ
11 a.m.-6 p.m.
American Legion North Cobb Post 304, 4220 South Main St., Acworth, Ga. 30101
Public is invited.
Veterans Day Celebration Breakfast and Patriotic Program
North Cobb High School, 3400 Old 41 Hwy. Northwest, Kennesaw, Ga. 30144
Breakfast is free for veterans and their spouses.
City of Kennesaw and North Cobb Post 304
Veterans Day luncheon
Ben Robertson Community Center, 2753 Watts Drive, Kennesaw, Ga. 30144
All veterans and active military service members are invited to attend.
Admission and lunch are free.
City of Acworth Veterans Day Celebration
Patriots Point at Cauble Park, 4425 Beach St.,
Acworth, Ga. 30101
Public is invited
By Carla Caldwell