HAZARD — At the Nov. 15 Perry County Fiscal Court Meeting, Mike Turner of the U.S. Army Reserve, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Postal Service in Hazard presented the court members with 8 names to be considered for bridge and road dedications in Perry County.
The first was Travis Perry. Perry volunteered for the Army after graduating from Perry County Central High School. For his service in Afghanistan, where he was hit by an attack from a roadside bomber, Perry received a Purple Heart and numerous other service awards. The exact bridge for Travis Perry’s dedication has not yet been selected. However, according to Turner, the bridge will be located on Hwy. 15 somewhere near Vicco.
The next dedication belonged to Corporal Bernice Steele, who was drafted in 1943 and served during World War II. Steele survived the war and is now 93 years old. The bridge dedicated to Steele is on Hwy. 15 and passes over Main Street in Vicco.
Pvt. Astor Tucker also served in World War II. Pvt. Tucker did not make it home. He is buried in Italy. For his service, Astor Tucker received a Purple Heart. The bridge to be dedicated in his honor crosses over Troublesome Creek on Hwy. 476.
The bridge on Hwy. 15 that crosses over Hwy. 7 in the Jeff community will be dedicated to Sam Caudill. Many folks know Caudill from his years working as the Post Master in Jeff. Caudill served during the second Iraq War. He earned the rank of Command Sgt. Major along with numerous awards.
Johnny Begley served in Iraq and earned the Sgt. Major rank. Begley worked 32 years as a law enforcement officer, along with 21 years of service for the Army and National Guard, at which time he received several medals. Begley’s bridge is located on Hwy. 80 in the Dwarf community.
Hazard Police Chief Minor Allen was next on the list. Allen achieved the Sgt. Major ranking for his service. The bridge on Hwy. 15 near Arrowood Drive in the Happy community will be dedicated in honor of Minor Allen.
For Jack Neace, his dedication will be a highway rather than a bridge. Neace gave his life, while serving his country in Vietnam. Hwy. 1067, which branches off Hwy. 15 in Grapevine beside Willie Miller’s B.P. will be known as the Jack Neace Memorial Highway.
Finally, Carl Stidham was remembered. Stidham was drafted in 1951 and served the U.S. Army in Korea, where he gave his life for his country in hostile fire. First Street in Chavies, near the Chavies Clinic, will be known as Pfc. Carl Stidham Memorial Drive.
The highway dedications will not cause the official names of these roads to change. However, signs declaring those roads in these veterans’ honor will be placed at the entrances to the roads.
The Fiscal Court voted unanimously to approve all the dedications. Soon, signs will be posted in honor of these brave Perry County natives.
Sam Neace can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.