State honors Laird

State honors Laird
A young Martin serviceman who gave his life in Iraq will be honored Friday. Dustin D. Laird, 23-year-old soldier will have a bridge named in his honor on State Route 840 at Abiff Road near Dickson. Sgt. Laird was killed August 1, 2006 near Rawah, Iraq when an Improvised Explosive Device exploded near his vehicle. Two bridges along State Route 840 are being dedicated to Laird, and Sgt. Stephen R. Maddies, a 41-year-old soldier from Elizabethton. Staff Sgt. Maddies died July 31, 2007, of wounds received from enemy small arms fire in Baghdad. State legislators earlier named State Route 840 the Tennessee National Guard Parkway “to honor Guard soldiers and airmen for their contributions in preserving America’s freedoms in the war on terrorism.” In September of 2007, 15 bridges and overpasses along the route were dedicated to National Guard soldiers who died while deployed. A reception for the families will be held at 11:00 a.m. at National Guard Headquarters on Sidco Drive in Nashville. There will be media availability at 11:35. The public is invited to the dedication ceremonies and unveiling of the memorial signs at each bridge location beginning at 1:00 p.m. Motorists should expect temporary, one-lane closures near the two bridges on Friday. The closures will begin at 12:30 p.m. and drivers are encouraged to use caution when traveling through these areas. Simultaneous dedication ceremonies at each location will begin at 1:00 p.m.

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