In a ceremony complete with full military honors, Sergeant Kevin W. White was posthumously remembered Monday with the dedication of the bridge on U.S. Route 20, between Oak Street and South Portage Street in the Town of Westfield.
It is now known as the Sergeant Kevin W. White Memorial Bridge, in recognition of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient who was killed in Afghanistan in 2011 when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device. The honor was bestowed upon White at the request of other local veterans and legislation sponsored and passed by Senator Catharine Young and Assemblymember Andrew Goodell of Jamestown.
“Sergeant White is a true American hero," said Young. "He felt called to duty by his country and he took his oath to protect our country and its citizens, no matter the cost. He fought and died to protect the freedoms we hold so dear and we are humbled by his bravery and valor. This bridge will now stand as a testament to Sergeant White’s patriotism and help others reflect upon the true costs of living in our free nation.”
White was a graduate of Westfield Academy in 2006 and, after enlisting in the U.S. Army, was stationed in Baumholder, Germany, as a Bradley Armored Personnel Carrier Driver with the First Armored Division.
He was deployed to Iraq in 2008, serving as Lead Driver in over 200 patrols in a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle. During a patrol in January 2009, White’s MRAP was struck by an explosive device, causing devastating damage to the vehicle. White and his fellow soldiers escaped unharmed and were awarded the Combat Infantry Badge for their actions.
In June 2009, he was re-assigned to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, with the 25th Infantry Division and later earned his Air Assault Badge at the Sabalauski Air Assault School with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, KY.
In April 2011, White deployed to the Pech River Valley, Kunar Province, Afghanistan, at border of Pakistan. It was there, at 22 years old and less than one month into his deployment, he was killed in action.