Each session, a handful of Oklahoma heroes are honored with the naming of bridges or highways in their memory. This year, Sen. Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, wants to include Edward DeVore, a soldier from Henryetta who was killed in action in Vietnam and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest honor.
“Edward was just a few months away from his 21st birthday when he died in 1968 in a firefight in Vietnam, heroically giving cover to wounded and trapped soldiers, continuing to fight even after he’d been mortally wounded. His selfless bravery saved the lives of his fellow soldiers that day,” Thompson said.
The official citation for DeVore’s Congressional Medal of Honor described his bravery in a battle that took place in Vietnam in March of 1968.
“With complete disregard for his safety, Sp4 DeVore assaulted the enemy positions. Hit in the shoulder and knocked down 35 meters short of his objectives, he ignored his pain and the warnings of his fellow soldiers, jumped to his feet and continued his assault. Although mortally wounded, he continued to place suppressive fire upon the entrenched insurgents. By drawing the enemy fire upon himself he enabled the trapped squad to rejoin the platoon in safety.”
Thompson wants the state to name the bridge over Coal Creek on US Highway 75 Business in Henryetta the “Edward A. DeVore, Jr., Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Memorial Bridge.” The language will be included in an omnibus bill containing other memorial highways and bridges to be named for Oklahoma heroes who died in the line of duty.
“There is no way we can adequately convey our gratitude for Edward DeVore’s service and sacrifice so far away and so long ago, but we can continue to honor his life and service to his country,” Thompson said. “It’s my great honor to do that for this Oklahoma hero.”
For more information, contact Sen. Roger Thompson at 405-521-5588 or email Roger.Thompson@oksenate.gov.