BLOOMINGTON – Two separate pieces of legislation have been filed to officially name a Bloomington post office and a section of Veterans Parkway in honor of fallen Army Ranger Sgt. Joshua Rodgers.
Rodgers, 22, of Bloomington, was killed in action April 27 in Nangarhar Province during a joint operation with Afghan forces. He was assigned to Company C, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, and stationed at Fort Benning, Ga. He was on his third deployment to Afghanistan when he was killed.
On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, a Republican from Dunlap, introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to rename the post office at 1211 Towanda Ave.
“The naming of the Bloomington post office is a small gesture to show our appreciation for the ultimate sacrifice Sgt. Rodgers made fighting for our freedoms, but it is my honor to introduce this piece of legislation in his memory,” LaHood said in a release.
Also, by unanimous vote, the Illinois House has approved designating Veterans Parkway in Bloomington-Normal in honor of Rodgers.
The resolution was sponsored by state Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington. The designation would be ceremonial only, and would not change the addresses of businesses located on Veterans Parkway.
Congressman Rodney Davis, a Taylorville Republican, said he supported LaHood's bill.
He called Rodgers "a hometown hero and we want to make sure that his name and the sacrifice he made for us is remembered for generations to come.”
If signed into law, the bill would formally rename the post office the “Sgt. Josh Rodgers Post Office.” The legislation, co-sponsored by the entire Illinois delegation, has been referred to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee for further review.
Brady noted that Rodgers joined the Army after graduating from Normal Community High School "because he wanted to serve his country and his community. He was a decorated soldier, but he was also a loved and loving son, grandson, brother and friend. He made everyone who knew him proud, and we in turn are proud to honor him with this memorial highway designation.”
If approved, the legislation would designate Veterans Parkway from the intersection of Interstate 74 north to the intersection of Interstate 55 as the Army Ranger Sergeant Joshua P. Rodgers Memorial Highway, and directs the Illinois Department of Transportation to erect the appropriate signage.
Family members were not available for comment Thursday.