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Bridge in South Carolina named for fallen soldier, church member

SPARTANBURG, S.C.  — Friends, family and public officials gathered at the Central Church of Christ recently to recognize the sacrifice of U.S. Army Capt. John David Hortman.
A bridge on South Carolina’s Highway 296 over the Middle Tyger River was named in memory of Hortman, who died Aug. 8, 2011, in a helicopter training exercise at Fort Benning, Ga. He was 30.
“Tonight, we’re here for a celebration,” County Councilman Roger Nutt said as he unveiled a sign for the bridge. Nutt also attends the Central church with Hortman’s family and traveled with Hortman as part of the church’s singing group when Hortman was younger, according to news website GoUpstate.com.
“Let’s not forget that,” Nutt said, “Do you hear that laughter? That’s what David would want. He’d say, ‘I’ve got a bridge? That’s pretty cool.’ He probably wanted a space shuttle, but the county’s resources are limited.”
Hortman was a 2004 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.
During his funeral service, his longtime friend Stan Fields read a letter given to him by Hortman before Hortman’s first deployment in 2008.
“I died doing exactly what I wanted to do, what God put me on this earth to do,” Fields said, quoting the letter.
The letter listed songs Hortman wanted played during his service, including “I’ll Fly Away,” “It is Well With My Soul” and “Where No One Stands Alone.”

Filed under: National Staff Reports

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