Reported By Todd Dunn, Video Journalist - bio | email
FRANKLIN, Tenn. -
A sergeant who died while attempting to rescue four Navy SEALS in Afghanistan in 2005 had a bridge in Franklin dedicated in his honor Monday.
Master Sgt. Tre Ponder was honored at 10 a.m. at the bridge that carries Highway 96 over the Harpeth River in Williamson County.
The bridge is located near Third Avenue South and Pinkerton Park.
Lieutenant Colonel Scott Wilkinson worked with Ponder and said naming a bridge in memory of fallen soldiers is a great way to honor them.
"It is a fitting tribute to the type of quiet professionals that I worked with on a daily basis because it is something that people use every day, but it is something that doesn't draw a lot of attention and that is exactly the kind of thing that a non-commissioned officer like Tre would have wanted," Lt. Col. Scott Wilkinson said.
Tre's widow Leslie told Nashville's News 2 her husband would be embarrassed to know the bridge was named in his honor.
"He was a very humble man, a quiet professional in the 160th and would have hated all this attention honestly," Leslie said.
Ponder was killed when his helicopter was shot down during combat operations in eastern Afghanistan.
"He did not have to be on that aircraft, not at all, but I know why he was and I honestly believe that if he would have known the outcome of what was going to happen, he would have still gotten on board," Leslie said. A graduate of Battleground Academy in Franklin, Sgt. Ponder lived just three houses away from the bridge.
"We feel very honored and very blessed that the state of Tennessee and Franklin has done this and the city of Franklin," Leslie said.