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Ohio House approves naming overpass for fallen Uhrichsville soldier

| June 6, 2022

COLUMBUS (WJER) (June 6, 2022) – A transportation bill that would rename the overpass spanning U.S. 250 north of Uhrichsville after a local war hero is heading to the Ohio Senate for approval.

House lawmakers on Wednesday unanimously approved House Bill 578, which would dub the structure “Specialist Ronald Gene Johnson Memorial Overpass.” Uhrichsville Police Sergeant proposed the designation in memory of the 23-year-old Uhrichsville native killed in action during the Vietnam War, whose story he shared during a Transportation Committee Hearing back in February:

“With complete disregard for his own safety, Specialist Johnson remained exposed to the hostile fire and directed the fire of the squad against the enemy. He continued forward, encouraging his men as they advanced. As they neared the enemy bunkers, he was mortally wounded by a burst of sniper fire. Through his leadership, his squad was positioned to continue the assault and overrun the enemy.”

Johnson’s valor before and during his final battle earned him a Purple Heart and Bronze Star that McCray carried on a motorcycle ride from Los Angeles to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. four years ago.

“When we say never forget, we need to follow those words with action to see that they are not forgotten and that their sacrifice doesn’t fade into obscurity. We need to be sure that it’s more than just a slogan on a shirt or a patch on a vest or a hat.”

Johnson is the namesake of the road the overpass sits on, which was formerly known as Township Road 286. He was the 17th casualty from Tusc County in Vietnam War and among the nearly 3-thousand Ohioans killed in action. 

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