UNIONVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A bridge in Unionville now bears the name of Spc. Jeremy Tomlin, who died in a helicopter crash in Maryland on April 17.
Tomlin’s life and service to his country were honored during a dedication at the bridge on Monday.
Many will travel over the overpass in Bedford County, and if they aren’t from Unionville, they might wonder about the name on the sign.
“We just miss him, and he’s in my heart, and he’s my hero, and he’s with me everywhere I go,” said one of Tomlin’s grandfathers, Terry West.
“This is something you live with but I’ll never get over it. I hurt every day,” said his other grandfather, Ronnie Tomlin.
Specialist Tomlin grew up on Unionville and graduated from Community High School in 2012.
Assistant Principal Keith Williams remembers him well.
“Not as one in our office for trouble, but who was quietly in class, learning daily what he was supposed to do,” Williams told News 2.
Tomlin married his high school sweetheart and enlisted in the U.S. Army.
He died on April 17, 2017 when the Blackhawk helicopter he was riding in crashed in Maryland during a training mission.
“It was such a shock when those two soldiers came walking up on our back porch. I looked out and I told her, ‘There’s two soldiers. I wonder what they want,’ and it never dawned on me that Jeremy was gone, and then it finally hit. It’s a day I’ll never forget,” explained Ronnie Tomlin.
And with Monday’s dedication of the bridge, everyone hopes that years down the road from now, those who drive by also won’t forget.
“Every day we drive over the bridge and remember him,” said Rep. Rick Tillis. “I want everyone to remember the sacrifices these young men and women in our military make.
He continued, “There’s always a clear and present danger in the military, whatever they’re doing, no matter whether they are training or on the combat line.
“He loved his job being an army helicopter mechanic. That’s what he wanted to do, so he passed away doing what he wanted to do. So he’s got his wings in heaven now,” said grandfather West.
During his time in service, Tomlin received several honors, including the Army Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.