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Watertown bridge dedicated to fallen U.S airman

Xavier Smith • Aug 4, 2017 at 5:16 PM

One fallen member of Wilson County’s military family was immortalized Friday as a bridge in his native Watertown community was dedicated in his honor.

The bridge over Florida Creek in the Greenvale community of Watertown will now be known as the Robert J. “Bobby” McGuire Jr. Memorial Bridge. McGuire was a member of the U.S. Air Force and stationed at Hulburt Field in Florida when he died in 2002 in Puerto Rico during a flight mission.

“On behalf of myself and the McGuire family, it’s very moving to see all of you come out here and support us during this event. I’m sure it’s touched them just as much as it has me. It means a lot to us,” said Tony McLain, who brought McGuire’s story to county leaders.

“He was a loadmaster on a C-130. A C-130 is a cargo airplane. The backend of the airplane is about the size of a flatbed semi-trailer. I think it’s fitting that we’re putting a bridge with his name on that supports transportation and moving stuff, because that’s what we do,” said Lt. Col. Michael Haack of the 15th Special Operations Squadron stationed at Hulburt Field. “We do mobility. We do logistics and Bobby, as the loadmaster in the back of the airplane, that was his calling card – moving cargo and moving people.”

Haack described the memorial for McGuire and others at the base and described the significance of the bridge dedication.

“Seeing this up here is special and I think it helps join our two communities together,” he said.

“I think we can say about Mr. McGuire is he loved his country. He loved this country enough to give his life. He loved his community, too. That’s what that sign will represent for all the people that live here. His legacy will live on every time someone passes by here,” Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said.

Wilson County Commissioner and veteran Terry Ashe said McGuire’s legacy would live on in the community.

“When we’re all gone, some child is going to be on a school bus turning onto Greenvale Road here and they’re going to look up and his name is going to be there,” Ashe said. “They’re going to research who Bobby McGuire was. He was a real man. He was an American hero and we should never forget that.”

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