The Glasgow-Cedar Grove Lions Club and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8363 of Chesapeake hosted a dedication ceremony and road sign unveiling on Sept. 21 for a memorial bridge in Cedar Grove that honors three military veterans who died in the line of duty.
The veterans memorialized by the bridge, which crosses U.S. 60 in Cedar Grove, are Army Pfc. Earl Russell Cobb, Army Spc. 4 Carl Bradford Goodson and Army SSgt. George T. Saunders Jr.
The ceremony began at 11 a.m. with a presentation of colors, the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem, which was sung by Nikki Atkins. The Rev. John Massey performed the invocation.
Welcoming remarks and acknowledgement of the three fallen soldiers’ families and various dignitaries in attendance followed.
House of Delegates member Larry L. Rowe (D-Kanawha) delivered remarks and the reading of a Legislative resolution for the bridge.
James L. McCormick II, National Junior Vice Commander, Military Order of the Purple Heart, spoke afterward.
The bridge sign was unveiled, followed by musical renditions of “The Army Goes Rolling Along,” “Amazing Grace” and “Taps.”
Massey performed the benediction to conclude the ceremony.
The veteran honorees
• Earl Russell Cobb, known throughout his life as Russell, was born on Oct. 24, 1946; grew up in Kanawha County and graduated from Cedar Grove High School in 1966.
He entered the Army to serve as a Private First Class in the 22nd Infantry Regiment of the 25th Infantry Division. Cobb was killed in action on Sept. 4, 1967, five months into his tour of duty in Vietnam.
He is buried in the Ward Cemetery at Ward.
• Carl Bradford “Punkin” Goodson was born on Oct. 14, 1948, and grew up in Kelly’s Creek outside of Cedar Grove. He graduated from Cedar Grove High School in the Class of 1966 and was a member of the Church of God at Ward. He served in the Army’s Light Weapons Infantry, 101st Airborne Division with the rank of Specialist 4 and was killed in action on April 6, 1970, five months into his tour of duty in Vietnam. He is buried in the Ward Cemetery.
• George Thomas Saunders Jr. was born on Feb. 28, 1942, grew up in Cedar Grove and graduated from Cedar Grove High School in the Class of 1959. Saunders joined the United States Army, served six years and attained the rank of Staff Sergeant.
Saunders was posted to the First Military Police Company in the First Infantry Division in the Republic of Vietnam in 1965. He was killed in hostile fire on Oct. 31, 1965, less than two weeks into his tour of duty. He is buried at Woodland Cemetery in Cedar Grove.