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Route 118 Stretch Renaming For Fallen Soldier Draws Crowd To Yorktown

A dedication ceremony was held for Clayton Carpenter Memorial Highway Saturday Photo Credit: Contributed
Senator Terrence Murphy, Colette Carpenter and Christian Carpenter lead procession down the Major Clayton Carpenter Highway in Yorktown. Photo Credit: Contributed

YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- A stretch of Route 118 will forever be known as Army Major Clayton Carpenter Memorial Highway.

A dedication ceremony was held in Carpenter's honor Saturday in Yorktown. Carpenter, who was a pilot who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was killed in 2014 during a training accident.

"He led a rich life, and was dedicated to his nation, family, friends, church, and to the men and women of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment," Clayton's mother Colette said. "When I drive down the Major Clayton Carpenter Memorial Highway I'll be thinking about the little boy who grew into an outstanding young man and the sacrifice he made, as well as the sacrifices that all the sons, fathers, mothers and daughters have made to protect this great nation."

Captain Amy Daschle, a friend, and classmate of Carpenter's at West Point said he was a tremendous and loyal friend with an enormous heart.

"He had a remarkable and adventurous spirit that was mixed with quiet sincerity and his dedication to doing the right thing," Daschle said. "I'll always remember him, especially as I drive up the Major Clayton Carpenter Memorial Highway during my visits home."

As a senior at West Point, Carpenter was selected to be a Battalion Commander, the sixth highest position in the United States Corps of Cadets.

Jon Ternstrom, an army chief warrant officer, was in the helicopter with Carpenter when it crashed. He said Carpenter saved his life.

"As we were making our final approach we lost thrust in our tail rudder and went into an unrecoverable spin. Major Carpenter was able to cut power to the engines and cut the fuel supply," Ternstrom said. "His thoroughness and attention to detail prevented a post-crash fire. If he hadn't taken those steps, I wouldn't be standing here today."

Carpenter's awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and a NATO Medal.

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