ADOLPH, W.Va. – The bridge crossing the Middle Fork River in Adolph was dedicated to U.S. Army veteran Garry Monzel “Mike” Shannon, who was killed while serving in Vietnam. Shannon’s family members came from all over the country to speak at the ceremony.
Shannon, a Randolph County native, came home from service to attend his grandmother’s funeral. He then returned to Vietnam so he could fight alongside those close to him.
“He had maybe two months left to serve. Didn’t have to go back. He was told he could stay. He saw his unit on the news going into Cambodia-First Air Cavalry Division-and he said he had to be there. He had to go back and be with his brothers. He didn’t have to, but he went back and he died,” said Mike’s nephew Jeffrey Shannon.
Though he was only four years old when Mike passed away, Jeffrey said his uncle’s sacrifice taught him an important lesson.
“When your country calls, you serve. You don’t make up excuses, you don’t look for a way out, you don’t use your privilege to get out of the service. And if there’s a draft and you’re called up, you should do your duty,” said Jeffrey Shannon.
This dedication was the result of a resolution passed through the state legislature, pushed through by Randolph County Delegate Bill Hartman.