WYTHE COUNTY PARTICIPATES IN VETERANS MEMORIAL HIGHWAY DEDICATION CELEBRATION
WYTHEVILLE, Va. – Approximately 80 citizens joined Supervisors Hale, Vaught and Lester beneath the historic Shot Tower in Wythe County recently to celebrate the dedication of U.S. Highway 52 as Veterans Memorial Highway.
Wythe County Administrative Assistant Rhonda Vaught said it was great to see the event take place. “I was very honored to be there,” Vaught said. “I remember when Mr. Easter first started working on this project, so it was awesome to see this come to fruition after all these years. It was great to see all the communities come together for such a good project.”
Wythe County Engineer William Vaughan also attended the ceremony at the Shot Tower.
“We had a good ceremony,” Vaughan said. “Mr. Easter made a special appearance. He’s the one who pulled all this together over the years.”
Clyde Easter has been working to preserve the memory of all veterans within the mountains of southwest Virginia for several years. Easter is from the Fancy Gap area of Carroll County, Va. Easter is a twice wounded veteran of World War II.
For many years, Easter has strived to get U.S. Highway 52 through Carroll, Wythe and Bland Counties designated as Veterans Memorial Highway. Now, his dream is a reality.
In a letter of support for Veterans Memorial Highway, Easter said: “Ladies and gentleman, I urge you to pass this resolution supporting the naming of U.S. Highway 52, Veterans Memorial Highway. I believe that by doing so that it would perpetuate, and preserve the memory of all veterans of all wars, those that survive, and those that gave their lives for the freedom we enjoy today.”
U.S. Marine Corps retired Lt. Colonel Tim Maxwell was the keynote speaker for the event in Wythe County. Maxwell was injured in combat when his operating base in Kalsu was mortared by an enemy attack in 2004. He had shrapnel tear through the left side of his body and two pieces embedded in his brain. Maxwell pushed himself through rehabilitation. Out of the situation he saw an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of other Marines. He established a Wounded Warrior barracks at Camp Lejune, NC so that no Marine would go through the recovery process alone.
Tim and his wife, Shannon, run Sempermax Support Fund and Semper Fi Farm in Rural Retreat, Virginia. They are committed to helping wounded, ill, and injured veterans of all service branches and all wars find support and renewed purpose.
Maxwell served 21 years as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps before retiring in 2009.
Several citizens took part in the event by driving antique cars in the U.S. 52 Veterans Memorial Highway Procession as it traveled from Bland County, Va. to Carroll County, Va. Events were also held in Bland and Carroll counties celebrating the day.