N.C. Senate Bill 335, which included a provision to name the future U.S. 221/U.S. 421 overpass in Deep Gap after Sgt. Dillon Baldridge became law on Tuesday, June 26. The bill’s provision to name the overpass after the fallen solider was championed by N.C. Senator Deanna Ballard and N.C. Representative Jonathan Jordan, and was overwhelmingly passed by the House and Senate earlier this month.
“I know Dillon loved this region of the High Country and I am humbled to be a part of honoring his service with this bridge naming. I sincerely appreciate the work of the Blue Star Mothers of North Carolina and Sgt. Baldridge’s family in ensuring that his legacy and sacrifice will not be forgotten” said Senator Deanna Ballard. “I pray we’ll remember that great bravery merits great gratitude and to always thank all military families and veterans for their service.”
“I am grateful to be just a small part of honoring a local hero,” added Representative Jonathan Jordan. “Sgt. Baldridge is a true inspiration and his sacrifice should be remembered by all. I hope his memory inspires everyone in our area.”
Baldridge was killed on June 10, 2017, by a Taliban infiltrator while serving in the Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. The 22-year-old was honored as a hero by the Ashe and Watauga County communities where his family lives and where he was laid to rest.
The new bridge is part of a multi-year project to widen U.S. 221/U.S. 421 into a four-lane median highway. The naming in honor of Sgt. Baldridge comes one year after his death.