County officials are considering a measure to name two bridges after two Warren County natives, one who gave his life in the line of duty during Vietnam and one who almost did in Iraq.
Highway and Bridge Committee members unanimously passed motions to recommend to the full Warren County Commission the two new bridges on the four-lane to Woodbury be named in honor of Joe Delong and Eric Frazier.
On the committee are Commissioners Gary Prater, Randy England, David Rhea and Blaine Wilcher. Absent was Commissioner Melissa Yancy. Proposed are:
• Naming the bridge closest to 287, also known as Green Hill Road, after Delong. Delong left his Irving College community for Vietnam in 1967 and never came back. According to the U.S. Army, his death followed enemy capture, imprisonment and escape, but his remains have never been located. Based on accounts told by prisoners of war held with Delong, the incident occurred Nov. 8, 1967.
• Naming the bridge closest to Spring Valley Road after Frazier. Frazier left his Warren County home in August 2006 for basic training. He returned in March 2007 severely injured when a Humvee he and three other Marines were riding in rolled over an improvised explosive device. Frazier lost both legs, in addition to a number of other critical injuries, and almost lost his life. His injuries were sustained on Oct. 23, just 27 days after his arrival in Iraq at the age of 20.
Frazier was in attendance at the meeting and thanked commissioners for their consideration.
“I appreciate ya’ll keeping me in your thoughts. There are too many veterans that are forgotten. I’m glad ya’ll aren’t going to allow me to be forgotten,” he said.
Both measures have to be presented to the full Warren County Commission in the form of resolutions. The next meeting is April 20. England asked Frazier if he could be present and he said, “I would be more than glad to. Like I said, I appreciate this and I appreciate all the support this county has shown me throughout everything I’ve been through.”
If the resolutions pass, they will be sent to the Tennessee General Assembly for its consideration due to the bridges being a state route.