TANGENT, Ore. -- Some of Oregon’s fallen military heroes will soon be honored along the state’s highways.
Michael Thorpe, the father of a Marine who was killed in Iraq nine years ago, is leading the way. He worked with lawmakers to get a bill passed unanimously that clears the way for the Heroes Highway Project.
Thorpe chose a spot along Highway 34, just a mile from his home in Tangent.
“It’s important to have the sign here, in his hometown,” Thorpe said.
He also chose the spot because it’s across the street from an American flag.
“He died for that flag.”
His son, Tyler Troyer, died when he was 21. Thorpe will help ODOT crews put up the new Memorial Highway sign dedicated to Troyer on the day he would have turned 30 years old.
“He probably would have had kids by now, so there are a lot of things when you think of 30 that we're missing out on,” Thorpe said.
Thorpe likes the idea you won’t miss Tyler’s name when you drive by the sign.
“There needs to be some way of people seeing these names because they only exist in monuments and cemeteries or on a list somewhere, but when you drive, everybody drives,” Thorpe said. “You see that sign and you may look him up on the Internet.”
He wants you to think of his son but also other fallen soldiers, whether you are driving to work or grilling out on Memorial Day.
“[They] paid that price for us so we can do that, that's OK, but just don't forget where it came from.”
Thorpe wants families of other fallen military men and women to have the chance to do the same thing, but he knows some families won’t be able to pay the $600 needed for the sign. He hopes communities will help raise money for other military families who want it.