It's time for the Otero County and the lower Arkansas Valley communities to come together to help fund the signage for the SSG Brian Cowdrey Memorial Highway.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has indicated that signage will cost $2,800, so I am launching the effort with the first contribution of $100.
Please consider contributing, and let's ensure that Brian's legacy is remembered for generations to come.
Below is the resolution, passed by the Colorado State Senate and House of Representatives on May 9th, 2018:
CONCERNING THE DESIGNATION OF THE PORTION OF
COLORADO STATE HIGHWAY 50 FROM THE TOWN OF SWINK
TO THE CITY OF LA JUNTA AS THE "SSG BRIAN COWDREY
WHEREAS, Staff Sergeant Robert B. "Brian" Cowdrey was born on May 26, 1972, in La Junta, Colorado; and
WHEREAS, SSG Cowdrey graduated from La Junta High School in 1990 and married the love of his life and high school sweetheart, Kimberly Jill; and
WHEREAS, SSG Cowdrey enlisted in the United States Army in 2003 and was deployed one year later to Iraq where he worked at Abu Ghraib prison; and
WHEREAS, While serving in Iraq, SSG Cowdrey found his calling as a flight medic, completed his training in 2006, and was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, in Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and
WHEREAS, SSG Cowdrey's crew was part of the All-American DUSTOFF MEDEVAC Company, which stands for "Dedicated Unhesitating Service To Our Fighting Forces, Medical Evacuation Missions", and which is known for providing helicopter aeromedical evacuation from the battlefield; and
WHEREAS, SSG Cowdrey would go on to earn several awards and commendations for his long tenure of service in combat, including a Combat Action Badge, a NATO Medal, a Humanitarian Service Medal, a Purple Heart, and a Bronze Star with two oak leaf clusters; and
WHEREAS, Those who knew SSG Cowdrey describe a man dedicated to his wife and sons, who was steadfast in his "hard right over easy wrong" mentality, and who loved hunting, the outdoors, and being a foster family for German Shepherds; and
WHEREAS, SSG Cowdrey was a natural leader and teacher whose tough demeanor as a trainer of platoon soldiers earned the respect of those he worked with; and
WHEREAS, On October 13, 2011, during his fourth deployment, SSG Cowdrey's medical unit responded to an urgent call from an observational post in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, that was under heavy enemy fire; and
WHEREAS, Despite quickly deteriorating weather conditions and the rugged terrain, SSG Cowdrey and his crew members were able to balance their Black Hawk helicopter along a steep mountainside, jump out, and recover two critically wounded soldiers; and
WHEREAS, SSG Cowdrey then asked permission to leave the helicopter again to retrieve more wounded soldiers, but upon returning with another patient, SSG Cowdrey was struck and killed instantly by one of the helicopter's rotor blades as he pushed the patient to safety; and
WHEREAS, SSG Cowdrey gave his life in the service of others, and his sacrifice to his country should be remembered; and
WHEREAS, It is fitting that we honor the life and valor of such a hero, so devoted to family and country, and who saved countless lives directly in the line of duty and also by training others to do the same; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Seventy-first General Assembly of the State of Colorado, the House of Representatives concurring herein:
(1) That the portion of Colorado State Highway 50 from the town of Swink to the city of La Junta be designated as the "SSG Brian Cowdrey Memorial Highway";
(2) That the Colorado Department of Transportation may accept and expend gifts, grants, and donations for the purpose of the initial placement of signs at the boundaries of the town of Swink and the city of La Junta for the "SSG Brian Cowdrey Memorial Highway"; and
(3) That the Colorado Department of Transportation may explore a cooperative agreement with the Board of County Commissioners for Otero County for the maintenance of the markings for the "SSG Brian Cowdrey Memorial Highway".
Be It Further Resolved, That copies of this Joint Resolution be sent to Jill Cowdrey, Justin and Stacie Cowdrey, Nathan Cowdrey, Jacob and Fallon Cowdrey, Jay and Cathy Bollacker, Jim and April Faull, Quentin and Jen Cowdrey, Donna Faull and Cathy Peterson, and William and Kaysie Schmidt.