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The Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) today, Friday, June 22, designated a section of Williams Lake Road in Waterford Township as Operation Iraqi Freedom Memorial Highway in honor of the Oakland County soldiers who lost their lives in that conflict.
The dedicated section runs from M-59 to Gale Road. Operation Iraqi Freedom ran from 2003 through 2011 and involved U.S. forces freeing Iraq of dictator Saddam Hussein and his regime.
“This is a nice way to honor the memory of the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country during that conflict,” explained RCOC Chairman Eric Wilson. “We owe those people and their families our eternal gratitude, and this is the least we can do.”
Wilson, a veteran of the Vietnam War, noted the idea to designate the road originated with the families of three fallen soldiers, including one mother of a soldier killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom who is an RCOC employee. The three fallen Oakland County soldiers were: Damian Bushart, Byron Fouty and Andrew Waits (son of RCOC employee Diane Waits).
“We are extremely appreciative of the sacrifice these families have made, as well as the families of the many other veterans who served in this conflict, and we believe this designation is a small way to show our appreciation,” Wilson said. “Our desire is that this designation will help those who use the road remember what a price some of our servicemen and women have paid to protect our freedom.”
The designated roadway is marked with brown signs stating, “Operation Iraqi Freedom Memorial Highway.”
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Editor’s Note: Attached is a photo of RCOC employees installing the sign on Williams Lake Road just north of M-59