Tuesday, November 21, 2017 Elyria 49°


Bridge named after slain soldier

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A U.S. Army soldier and former Lorain County resident killed in the Afghanistan War is being honored.

The bridge on state Route 113 over the Vermilion River in Birmingham has been named the Staff Sgt. James P. Hunter Memorial Bridge.

Hunter, a Firelands High School graduate, was killed by a roadside bomb in 2010 in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

State Sen. Gayle Manning, R-North Ridgeville, said in a Tuesday news release that Gov. John Kasich has signed her bill naming the bridge after Hunter.

“There is no way to ever repay the debt owed to Staff Sgt. Hunter and his family for the sacrifice they’ve made for our country,” Manning said. “I hope that when our community drives over this bridge, they will understand that our freedom comes at a high price and remember those who have paid that price on our behalf.”

Hunter, 25, was killed while serving with the Second Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division. Hunter was an Army journalist who served two deployments in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.

William “Tom” Hunter told The Chronicle-Telegram last year that his son was dedicated to telling the stories of soldiers.

Hunter said his son was on patrol as a photojournalist taking pictures of a squad of soldiers when the bomb detonated.

“The pain never goes away, but you have to live,” said the elder Hunter, a Vietnam War veteran.

The bridge naming is the latest tribute to Sgt. Hunter. He previously received the Gold Star from the Ohio Legislature. Sgt. Hunter also has the distinction of being the only military journalist since the Vietnam War to be honored on the Journalists Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Through Monday, Hunter was one of 2,036 soldiers killed in Afghanistan since the war began in 2001, according to the Department of Defense. Another 18,109 soldiers have been wounded.

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