2nd District Kansas State Representative Ken Collins requested funding for three additional signs between Edgerton and Gardner to honor fallen resident Shane Austin at the Thursday, August 25 City Council meeting.
“I’m proud of the things you’re doing in the community,”he said.
Austin was born in Kansas City, Kansas and graduated from Gardner Edgerton High School. He was killed by a grenade Oct. 8, 2006, in Ar Ramadi, Iraq after he joined the U.S. Army at the age of 19 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom 10 months earlier in January 2006. He was in Company A, 1st Battalion, 35th Armor, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division stationed in Baumholder, Germany. He was buried with military honors at Ft. Leavenworth National Cemetary and posthumously received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed House Bill 2478 on Wednesday, April 13 which designated several highways and bridges in the state in memoriam of fallen Kansans.
Clay Longanecker, council member, said he would suggest donating $1,000 for the signs.
Josie Stambaugh, council member, said what was the cost of a highway memorial sign.
Collins said the State requires three signs and the total amount is $4,590.
Stambaugh and council members Deb Lebakkenand Josh Lewis said they would like the city to pay for the whole thing through next year’s budget and if there is a price change they could reach out to KDOT.
U.S. 56 from Edgerton’s northeastern city limit to Gardner’s southwestern city limit has been designated PFC Shane Austin Memorial Highway.
Collins thanked City Council for their contribution and said Austin’s parents Terry and Debra had been heartbroken to lose their son and suffered a great loss.
“He sacrificed in a truly heroic way,” Mayor Don Roberts said.
Austin’s Mom Debra Austin thanked the City of Edgerton for their support.
“The support from the community has made me strong,”she said. “It’s helped me get through this—with all the love and support the community has shown.”
56 Highway honors PFC Shane Austin