The first Upshur County native to die in the Vietnam War was memorialized Saturday afternoon with the naming of a bridge on the Alton Road.
Staff Sgt. Cecil Y. Ware died Feb. 24, 1966, from wounds suffered while his artillery unit was closing in on a Vietcong machine gun nest near Binh Duong Province in South Vietnam. The 34-year-old French Creek man had been in Vietnam just four months previously.
The son of Rosie and Coleman Ware, he had enlisted in the Army in 1952 after working in the logging industry following high school.
The Inter-Mountain photo by John Wickline
Del. Bill Hamilton, left, presents Carmen Ware with a copy of the sign that is on the Alton Road bridge that honors her late father, Cecil Ware. Cecil Ware, a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army, was the first Upshur County resident killed in war in Vietnam.
Ware served tours in Germany and Korea during his time in the Army prior to getting assigned to his duties as a cannon crew member in Vietnam.
Ware's name is listed on Panel 05E, Line 75 on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.
Ware's only daughter, Carmen Ware, came from her home in Indiana for the ceremony to honor the man who died when she was just 5 years old.
"I remember little snippets," she said, recalling the story of how he came home from Korea for her fourth birthday.
She told him she wanted a chipmunk for her birthday present. She said her dad, being an avid hunter in his West Virginia days, thought nothing of getting her the animal.
"I put it on my tricycle, and it bit me," Carmen Ware said. "We had the entire Army base at Colorado Springs looking for that chipmunk so I wouldn't have to get rabies shots. They finally found it on a roof."
Del. Bill Hamilton, R-Upshur, presented family members with copies of the House Resolution which gave the bridge its new name.
Family members were also given copies of the sign which greets motorists passing across the span.
"He made the ultimate sacrifice so we can do what we do today," Hamilton said.
Members of the Buckhannon American Legion post, the Buckhannon Veterans of Foreign Wars post and the Patriot Guard Riders also participated in the ceremony.
Contact John Wickline by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.