Gov. Pat McCrory's first public appearance as governor this weekend at a dinner to raise money for homeless vets.
McCrory attended a dinner hosted by the Veteran's Leadership Council to raise money for the a homeless veterans facility in Butner.
The new governor pledged to be attentive to the needs of veterans and said he would use returning veterans as a recruitment tool to lure industries to locate or expand in North Carolina.
"I hope to have veterans be part of our economic recovery," he told more than 400 people who gathered Saturday night at the Midtown Hilton.
"I want to tell industry, 'look at the incredible people we have returning to our bases in North Carolina that you could pick out and have as potential leaders and technicians and mechanics. You name it -- they can do anything.''
McCrory related a story of how his grandfather, Walter McCrory, barely escaped death in France during World War I when an unknown voice shouted "McCrory,'' causing him to turn just in time to miss a bullet whizzing by his head.
"He always said that a spirit was watching over the family and he believed God called his name and saved his life," McCrory said. "I would not be governor here today if somebody had not called his name. Maybe it was God.''
The event, which raised $225,000 for the facility was attended by several top aides to McCrory including Transportation Secretary Tony Tata, a retired general
"Wasn't that a great selection?" he asked, drawing cheers. "To heck with The Charlotte Observer.''