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Parts of Ohio 48 to be named in honor of fallen Army Rangers from Kettering

Published By Dayton Daily News on August 31, 2023
Andrea White In The News

Two sections of Ohio 48 in Kettering will bear the names of Army Rangers who were killed in action after graduating from Alter and Fairmont high schools.

Ohio 48 will be called Sgt. Kevin J. Lannon Memorial Highway between David Road and Rahn Road, while the stretch from David to Stroop Road will be called Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas Memorial Highway, according to the office of state Rep. Andrea White, R-Kettering.

 The sections honoring Lannon, a 1980 Alter grad, and Thomas, who earned his Fairmont diploma in 2012, are set to be unveiled on street signs along the state route — which is also called Far Hills Avenue — Friday afternoon, White’s office said.

 White has been seeking to honor Lannon and Thomas for more than 18 months. In December 2021, she urged the Ohio General Assembly to make the change, records show.

“These two brave soldiers gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives to protect our nation,” White said then. “I want to memorialize these two heroes from my district and give them the honor they deserve.”

 Lannon was 21 when he was killed along with two other Rangers in Grenada on Oct. 27, 1983. All three were members of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, 75th Infantry Division, stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash., according to news reports at that time.

Their deaths were the first battlefield casualties of the elite battalion that was formed during an Army reorganization move nine years earlier, according to the United Press International’s account of their memorial service.

Lannon “distinguished himself the first day in Grenada, acting both as an infantryman and as a medic,” medical officer Capt. Robert E. Kane said in the UPI’s account. “He took care of wounded Rangers and wounded Cubans alike.”

Thomas, 23, was killed on April 26, 2017, during a raid on an ISIS-K compound as U.S. and Afghan forces targeted high-level insurgent leaders in eastern Afghanistan, according to previous Dayton Daily News coverage.

He was a sniper assigned to Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga., according to an Army Ranger website. Thomas was on his third deployment to Afghanistan.

As a Ranger, he was awarded about a dozen badges, ribbons and medals. Thomas was posthumously honored with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star, the Ranger website states.

At Fairmont, Thomas was on the school’s swim team and practiced mixed martial arts in preparation for his military career, the DDN previously reported.

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