Central Texas Heroes: Major Jason Righteous Norwood

KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) When you grow with a name like Jason Righteous Norwood, you have a lot to live up to.

Major Jason Righteous Norwood

That middle name, Righteous, came from his father, a pastor.

And among that father's many life lessons for Norwood were to aim for high achievements and protect others

"I received my acceptance letter to West Point nine days after 9/11 so it was a very emotional time for me," Norwood said, "I knew prior to 9-11 I wanted to join the military and afterward that only solidified my resolve."

After graduating from West Point, Norwood entered active duty in 2006 as an artillery officer.

And by 2009 he was sent to Iraq.

"I was a commander for what's called a target acquisition battery. It's a battery that tries to track when bad guys are trying to send indirect fire rounds to us," Norwood said, "we would try forewarn the people who are in those different areas that indirect fire is coming so we can either one, stop them, or catch them so they couldn't do it again."

Norwood remembers one very close call that could have ended much differently for him and his soldiers.

They were at radar site and he was asleep in a small shack.

He said, "I hear 'incoming' and hear thump thump thump, and it was the mortars hitting all around us. They didn't detonate but their tail fins were sticking up out of the ground."

Amazingly they were all ok.

But traveling was most definitely dangerous throughout the country with IEDs and ambushes.

Norwood said, "we had some incidents when we were traveling and some guys weren't as fortunate so we've had some situations."

Norwood returned home in March of 2010 and remains stationed at Fort Hood.

He's the deputy director of the Ready and Resilient Campaign on post.

"Our job is to make sure we're providing services to positively affect the comprehensive fitness of the Fort Hood community" Norwood said, "our hope is to integrate services that are offered, we try to integrate them so we have a more positive effect on the lives of the community."

And there's one program he's working on to help veterans get the help they need in tumultuous situations when police may be called.

Norwood said, "it can be an emotional traumatic episode that results from PTSD, it can be anything. The stressors that are on veterans are overwhelming."

Norwood says they're dealing with not only the effects of combat, but the jarring and difficult transition back to civilian life.

The program is called No One Left Behind.

"More often than not they get lost in the shuffle, they get left behind and we didn't want that to happen anymore," he said.

They're working with Killeen Police so the officers can direct them to counselors on staff 24 hours a day through the program, to get veterans the help they need.

"Police officers, especially in military communities are very hesitant to arrest unless they have to," Norwood said, "rather than say I'm not going to arrest you, I'm going to leave you here, I'm going to leave you here with some information for some people that want to help you.

Norwood says he's proud to work with the military community and make life better for those who've served our country and those still serving.

"What I loved about the military is I could constantly affect positive change on people's lives, because there's much more connection in the military than probably any other field."

The No One Left Behind program number is (800) 123-4567.