Stretch of interstate named in honor of Grand Junction man killed in Iraq
DENVER — The first 10 miles of Interstate 70 east of the Utah border will be named after a Grand Junction resident killed in the Iraq War three years ago.
The Legislature approved a resolution Wednesday naming that section of the interstate the Wade Oglesby Citizen Hero Memorial Highway. It is to honor the fallen U.S. Army corporal who died in Taji, Iraq, in 2007, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.
In offering a resolution honoring the former Grand Junction High School student, Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry said Oglesby shouldn’t be remembered just because he gave his life for his country, but for other sacrifices he made to his family.
Penry, who introduced the resolution with Rep. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, said Oglesby twice delayed his education to care for his mother, Linda Oglesby, and then his sister after his mother died.
Penry said Oglesby had hoped to join the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department after his tour in the Army was completed.
Although the resolution calls on the Colorado Department of Transportation to erect signs naming the highway, the state’s fiscal woes prevent it from doing so without help. That’s why the resolution allows the department to accept donations to help pay for it.
Penry plans to set up a special foundation to collect the $100,000 needed to pay for the signs.
He said he’s doing do, and saved the resolution as the last of his legislative career, because Oglesby’s story was “a personal inspiration” to him.