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Bill renaming part of I-76 in Portage County for Cpl. Benjamin Dillon moves forward

Published By Record-Courier on April 8, 2022
Gail K. Pavliga In The News

The Ohio House of Representatives concurred on a bill that would designate a portion of Interstate 76 in Portage County as the "CPL Benjamin C. Dillon Memorial Highway."

State Rep. Gail Pavliga (R-Portage County) said Sub. House Bill 291 has several road-naming bills within it, including Pavliga’s House Bill 25, which names a portion of the highway for Dillon.

“CPL Dillon was a resident of Portage County, he was a courageous and proud American who dedicated his life to serving his country,” Pavliga said.

Dillon graduated from the Ranger Indoctrination Program in March 2005, after enlisting in the Army in 2004. He served in the 3rd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment as a rifleman, grenadier, automatic rifleman, machine gunner, and gun team leader. He was killed in action in October 2007.

Dillon’s awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal 2nd award, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Army Expert Infantryman Badge, and the Parachutist Badge. He was also posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with V Device for Valor, the Purple Heart, and Meritorious Service Medal.

Dillon often volunteered within his community of Edinburg. He helped with the groundbreaking work to establish Edinburg Township Park, which has walking trails, baseball, soccer and football fields, playgrounds, and concession stands. At Southeast High School, he played baseball, basketball, and golf. Dillon helped maintain the parks grounds and umpired there in high school. The Ben Dillon Memorial Tournament raises money for a scholarship at Southeast High School in his memory. 

Former State Rep. Randi Clites, who introduced the bill during the 133rd General Assembly, thanked Pavliga for reintroducing the bill.  

“I know the sign on I-76 overlooking the Edinburgh ballfields will be forever a physical place that our community will be reminded of the legacy of a great young man,." Clites said. 

The legislation now heads to the governor for consideration to be signed into law.

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