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Disabilities and Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee organizes inaugural ‘LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Memorial Award’ to honor local students

LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Memorial Award Copy copyOn Sept. 11, 2001, Evesham resident and U.S. Air Force veteran LeRoy Homer Jr. lost his life while serving as first officer on United Airlines Flight 93.

He and Capt. Jason Dahl were among the first to bravely confront the hijackers who sought to use the plane as a weapon against its intended target of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.

Countless lives were saved by the actions of LeRoy and others that day, and his dedication to helping others has never been forgotten in Evesham Township.

With that legacy in mind, the Evesham Township Disabilities and Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee is honored to have LeRoy’s name and ideals serve as the basis for a new award that will highlight local students.

The new “LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Memorial Award” will recognize students who exhibit personal excellence by demonstrating leadership skills, exceptional kindness and empathy towards others in areas such as volunteerism or community service, as well as projects or initiatives that have a positive impact on their fellow students or community as a whole.

The award will be given annually to a graduating senior from Cherokee High School, in addition to graduating eighth grade students in each of the two sections at DeMasi Middle School and Marlton Middle School, as well as a graduating eighth grade student at St. Joan of Arc School.

Winners will be selected in partnership with the principals of each student’s respective school.

“It’s an honor for our township and the volunteers of our Veterans Affairs Committee to shine a light on students who represent the values of a hero such as LeRoy Homer Jr.,” Mayor Jaclyn Veasy said. “It is our sincere hope that by highlighting students who exemplify LeRoy’s guiding principles, we can continue to inspire future generations to carry on his legacy of service to others.”

Recipients for this year’s inaugural award include the following recently graduated students:

  • Cherokee High School recipient: Jack DeNick
  • DeMasi Middle School recipients: John Franz and Casey Winkelman
  • Marlton Middle School recipients: Jolene Costley and Roxalana Peterson
  • Joan of Arc School recipient: Taryn Connor

Evesham Township also thanks Master Sgt. Jaron Brown of the U.S. Air National Guard and Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Scott Kadar – two members of the Evesham Disabilities and Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee, who helped organized the criteria for the LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Memorial Award.

During his time in the U.S. Air Force, LeRoy served during Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and he received commendations for flying humanitarian operations in Somalia. LeRoy achieved the rank of Captain during his active service in the U.S. Air Force, and he later became a Major after he entered the U.S. Air Force Reserves.

 “LeRoy’s courage, sacrifice and unwavering dedication to duty are examples of a true Evesham hero and must always be remembered,” Brown said.

“The LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Memorial Award is a small, but important way to honor the memory of this great Evesham resident who gave his life in service to others,” Kadar said.

Evesham Township also thanks the Marlton Elks for providing each recipient of this year’s inaugural award with a $100 check.

Those looking to learn more about LeRoy Homer Jr. are encouraged to explore the LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Foundation at

The mission of the Foundation is to encourage and support young adults who wish to pursue careers as professional pilots and increase awareness to the field of aviation. The Foundation awards flight scholarships to obtain private pilot certification.