Part of State Road 87 could be named after Black Hawk Down veteran from Santa Rosa County – Pensacola News Journal

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Icon 10월 18, 2021

A section of State Road 87 in Santa Rosa County could be renamed after a late veteran who grew up in the Holley area and served during the Black Hawk Down incident.
Santa Rosa County Commissioners on Tuesday heard from Navarre resident Jake Landreth about renaming State Road 87 between East Bay Boulevard and Bob Tolbert Road in honor of his uncle, Sgt. Maj. Thomas Richard “Ric” Landreth, who was born at Eglin Air Force Base and grew up in the Holley area.
The commission unanimously voted to sign off on a resolution that supports renaming that portion of the road as the Sgt. Maj. Thomas Richard “Ric” Landreth Memorial Highway.
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The resolution will be presented to state Rep. Jayer Williamson, and the measure would need to be approved by the Florida Legislature before the new name would be enacted.
Landreth told the commission that he is also spearheading ways to fundraise for a monument in his uncle’s honor. He said he has gotten interest from local organizations, as well as from the Fort Bragg special forces community in North Carolina.
Sgt. Maj. Landreth died April 25, 2020, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. He served in the U.S. Army Special Ops Delta Force, undertaking high-risk operations around the world, and was in the military for more than 30 years, a career that included deployments to Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. He retired in 2005 after seven tours in five conflicts, according to the resolution the commission approved.
During his tour in Somalia, Landreth and his squadron were involved in the Battle of Mogadishu in October 1993, which also is known as the Black Hawk Down incident. The battle was depicted in the 2001 movie “Black Hawk Down.”
“So if you’ve seen the movie ‘Black Hawk Down,’ that’s what we’re talking about here,” said Commission Chairman Dave Piech in reference to Landreth’s service.
Landreth’s nephew said his uncle also answered the calls for “100 other missions that will never make it to the movies.”
He also said his uncle lived a life typical of most Holley kids before joining the military.
“(He) more or less did what we all did growing up here: enjoyed what was, back then, a very wild Santa Rosa County,” Landreth said.
Also on Tuesday, the commission agreed to move forward with formally renaming the Holley Ball Park near State Road 87 as the Lenny James Tolbert Memorial Park.
After 17-year-old Lenny James Tolbert died in a car crash coming from Pensacola Beach to Gulf Breeze in 1980, his family worked to get a plaque in his honor placed at the ball park where he and his sister played and his father coached. But in 2004, Hurricane Ivan washed away the plaque.
The group behind the push to rename the ball park after Tolbert also is working with Landreth to create a monument in honor of his late uncle. The Landreth and Tolbert families are related to one another.
“And I hope we can make this the beginning of something in Holley where we can continue to honor our ancestors and protect our communities,” Landreth said. “And to face the growth we all experience with some dignity and not to forget.”


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