A Miamisburg man who died during the Vietnam War will be memorialized Saturday during a ceremony dedicating a stretch of road that winds past his final resting place.
The Sgt. Gary Lee McKiddy Memorial Highway Dedication kicks off at 2 p.m. Saturday at Riverfront Park, 3 North Miami Ave. in downtown Miamisburg.
McKiddy, a 1968 Miamisburg High School graduate, was a member of the 1st Squadron, 9th Calvary Regiment, 1st Calvary Division, when he was killed in action May 6, 1970, at age 20 in Cambodia, after pulling fellow soldier Specialist Four Jim Skaggs from a burning helicopter. Attempting to rescue the pilot from the chopper, the aircraft exploded, killing both men.
Legislation approved last year officially named Ohio 725 between South Union Road and Soldier Home Road in Montgomery County as “the Sgt. Gary Lee McKiddy Memorial Highway.”
Rick McKiddy one of Gary’s brothers, said his late father, a World War II veteran who died in 2016, tried for decades to get his son Gary the Medal of Honor recognition. Numerous unsuccessful attempts have been made by U.S. senators and congressmen to have the Medal of Honor issued, McKiddy said.
The family along with Skaggs are still pursuing the Medal of Honor for Gary McKiddy and telling his story.
At the event, they’ll distribute postcards asking for the public to contact the White House and voice their support for McKiddy receiving the Medal of Honor. Those who wish to help may call the White House at 202-456-1414 to leave a comment, send an email to President Biden at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet the president at @potus with the hashtag #honorgarymckiddy.
The memorial highway dedication event will include Patriot Riders marching to front of the podium and standing guard. They’ll be followed at 2:05 p.m. by a jump by paratroopers with American flags and Kaylee Shuster singing “God Bless the USA” as they descend.
Miamisburg Mayor Michelle Collins will deliver opening remarks. She’ll be followed by the unveiling of the memorial highway sign on stage.
Collins will read a proclamation and Skaggs will share the details of May 6, 1970, and the 52-year-struggle to have Gary McKiddy posthumously receive the Medal of Honor.
Springboro Mayor John Agenbroad, a Marine and wounded veteran, will talk about the Purple Heart award and his support for McKiddy to receive the Medal of Honor.
Rick McKiddy will then present a call to action, and the Patriot Riders will present the family with a plaque and a flag.
Immediately following the ceremony, participants will leave from Mound Business Center parking and travel to Highland Memorial Cemetery for a graveside service and a placing of flowers, followed by a 21-gun salute, Taps and a prayer led by Skaggs.
Shuttle parking for the event is available at the Mound Development Corporation site on Vanguard Avenue, off Mound Road and just across from Mound Golf Course. Shuttles will run every 15 minutes from 1 to 4 p.m. between the shuttle parking and Riverfront Park.
To get to the shuttle lot, take Interstate 75 to exit 41 (Austin Boulevard). Turn west onto Miamisburg-Springboro Pike. At the 4-way intersection, turn left onto Benner Road. Shuttle parking will be on your left across from Mound Golf Course.
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