By KATE COIL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
TAZEWELL, Va. —
Two Tazewell County soldiers killed in action in Iraq in 2006 and 2007 were honored Friday as a result of legislation passed in January by the General Assembly.
Family, friends, county and state officials gathered at the Wardell Armory to honor the fallen soldiers by naming a portion of Virginia Route 19 and all of Virginia Route 609 in their memory.
Officials with the Virginia Department of Transportation unveiled a sign proclaiming the portion of Route 19 between Tazewell and Claypool Hill as the “Sgt. Brandon Asbury Highway” and all of Route 609 — also known as Wardell Road — as the “Sgt. David Lambert Highway.”
Sgt. Brandon Scott Asbury, 21, of Tazewell was killed in action in Baghdad, Iraq-Anabar Province on Oct. 7, 2006 when his unit came under small arms fire. Asbury was serving in the U.S. Army’s 4th Support Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.
Asbury received the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart among other medals and citations for his service. Asbury graduated from Tazewell High School in 2004.
Sgt. David Eugene “Bo” Lambert, 39, was killed in action on Oct. 26, 2007 in Baghdad, Iraq during an improvised explosive device attack. Lambert had been called to active duty earlier that July with the 237th Engineer Company, 276th Engineer Battalion, 91st Troop Command.
He served as a corrections officer at Keen Mountain Correctional Center for 11 years and served 15 with the Army and National Guard. Lambert was a native of Richlands and lived in Cedar Bluff before moving to Mavisdale, Va. He graduated from Richlands High School in 1987.
Tazewell County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mike Hymes praised Asbury and Lambert for their service and sacrifice during the ceremony.
“For decades the youth of Tazewell County have volunteered to leave their friends and families and march off to war to defend our God-given freedoms,” Hymes said. “Our county has depended on the children of these mountains to carry forward the voice of freedom and demonstrate the American spirit and ideas to those in foreign lands who have been denied their basic human rights by tyrants.”
Hymes said the signs would continue to remind residents of the legacy Asbury and Lambert left behind.
“These markers will serve as a permanent reminder to all of the sacrifices given by these sons of Tazewell County,” Hymes said. “I am honored and proud to be standing here on behalf of the Board of Supervisors and the residents of Tazewell County, and I feel the message they would want me to deliver to you today is God bless those who are still willing to place themselves in harm’s way to protect us. God bless these families for their sacrifices for our continued freedom. God bless these brave young sons of Tazewell County for their ultimate sacrifice for our continued freedom.”
— Contact Kate Coil at firstname.lastname@example.org