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Late veterans honored with highway designations

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Two area service members who were killed in the line of duty, one in 2012 and one in 1968, are being honored with naming designations on the state highway system.A section of Interstate 990 in Amherst has been renamed the 'Staff Sergeant William R. Wilson III Memorial Highway.' Wilson, a Getzville native, served in the Army in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He died in March of 2012 while training Afghan forces and was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

"The “Staff Sergeant William R. Wilson III Memorial Highway” will celebrate Staff Sergeant Wilson’s life and forever remind our community of his sacrifice. Staff Sergeant Wilson’s exceptional service to our country should never be forgotten, and designating the I-990 in honor of him is a fitting expression of our gratitude and admiration," said State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer (R-Amherst), who sponsored the designation.

In Chautauqua County, a bridge that runs across Interstate 86 on Route 394 in the Town of North Harmony is being named after Asheville native John Stow. Private First Class Stow served in the Marines during the Vietnam War. He was killed in 1968 at the age of 18. 

The 'John Stow Vietnam Veterans and MIA Memorial Bridge' memorializes all soldiers who served in the war, as well as those who have gone missing in action in service to our country.

"PFC Stow embodies the type of heroic soldier who dedicated his life to the cause of freedom for our great nation, making the ultimate sacrifice," said State Senator Catharine Young (R-Olean).

"Many of our Vietnam Veterans were not given the recognition they deserved when they returned home and this is one way to help correct that injustice."

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation Wednesday. Highways in Madison County and Schuyler County have also been named for service members from those parts of the state, Lance Corporal Jeremy Lasher and Army Specialist Christopher J. Scott.

"This bridge and these newly renamed roads will honor these brave young men, and ensure that their sacrifice is always remembered," Cuomo says.

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