April Tri-County Hero

From left. Jennifer Ott and Cindy Hamm from the Homes for Heroes team at CGH Realty Rockwall at the April Tri-County Hero Award ceremony for Royse City Police Officer Michael Baley. To their right is Jason Castleberry, post adjutant of American Legion Post 100.

Royse City Police Officer Michael Baley was named this month’s Tri-County Hero, a program started earlier this year by the local American Legion post.

Baley joined the Royse City Police Department after already having served in the U.S. Army.He was deployed overseas nine months after the September 11 attacks. He has also served in the Royse City Volunteer Fire Department and is currently the cub master of Cub Scout Pack 312.

Baley received a $150 check from the Homes for Heroes team at the offices of the CGH Realty team, located 107 N Goliad St. in Rockwall, along with a commemorative plaque for his service to the community. Councilman Tom Crowley, a member of the American Legion, also attended the ceremony.

The real estate team was the sponsor for the April event. Through its Homes for Heroes program, realtors at the firm reimburse veterans for some of the costs behind closing on a home with their own commission.

Baley thanked the Homes for Heroes team and the American Legion for the recognition.

“We don’t do this for recognition, we do this because things need to be done,” Baley said at the ceremony. “So I appreciate the pat on the back, but there is still plenty of work to be done. So thank you.”

Baley’s mother, Ouida Baley, was a cherished educator at the Royse City Independent School District before her death in February 2014. The school district announced her as the namesake of Royse City Middle School.

Baley’s father, Jerrell, also served in the U.S. military, and was the mayor of Royse City from 2009-14. He was also a volunteer firefighter in the city. Baley credited his parents for his respect for community service.

American Legion Post 100 Adjutant Jason Castleberry thanked Baley for his service and reminded attendees of the meaning of the Tri-County Hero award.

He said the post is currently looking for nominations for the May ceremony, which will be held at the Careers in Dental Assisting office, located 216 N. Arch St. in Royse City.

The award is eligible to former and current military service members and first responders in the area. In addition to Baley, former Tri-County Hero recipients include Bruce Chim, Dave Frierson and Darnell Franklin.

“We see that a lot of our veterans and first responders go above and beyond in their communities,” Castleberry said. “They just have a caring, giving heart to do so.”

Readers can nominate a person they know for the American Legion Post 100’s Tri-County Hero Award online, https://bit.ly/2ZxHCmj.