MILLWOOD, W.Va. — Have you ever driven across a bridge dedicated to someone’s memory and wondered who they were? How did they leave this world? Who did they leave behind?
Earlier this year, one such bridge was dedicated in the Millwood, W.Va. area along W.Va. 2. Though it was in Jackson County, W.Va., it was dedicated to a young man with family in Mason County, W.Va., in fact, the Roush family has one of the most well-established, deep-rooted family trees in the area. Some of those family members and friends attended the bridge dedication, as did Delegate Scott Cadle who originally worked on the legislation to move the dedication forward in honor of Army Sgt. Arthur George Roush who was just 22 when he died in Korea in 1954.
Tragically, Roush’s obituary read “The young Jackson County soldier was shot when a buddy was cleaning a gun on Aug. 14 and it accidentally went off and sent a slug into Roush’s chest.” He was scheduled to leave Korea just 20 days after the fatal shooting.
Beyond an awful twist of fate, the rest of Roush’s story was told in the resolution drafted by the West Virginia Legislature to name a bridge in his honor:
Whereas, Sergeant Arthur George Roush was born in Millwood, West Virginia, on June 13, 1932, and was the eighth of eleven children born to Calvin Elmer Roush, Jr., and Goldie Flesher Roush; and
Whereas, Sergeant Roush was a good student in school and took part in church and school activities and, along with his brothers Donald and Pete, was active in 4-H; and
Whereas, Sergeant Roush was adept at woodworking projects, making an end table for his mother as well as several bird houses and little dancing men; and
Whereas, Sergeant Roush went to work on a river boat early in life where he made good money and later bought a new big green Oldsmobile that he was so very proud of; and
Whereas, Sergeant Roush met the girl of his dreams, Becky Jo Barnett, and was looking forward to spending the rest of his life with her; and
Whereas, Sergeant Roush was very fond of children and spent a great deal of time with his nieces and nephews but his life was cut short when he died in Korea on August 14, 1954, and he never got a chance to be a father to his own son, Rodney, who was eight months old when Sergeant Roush died; and
Whereas, While Sergeant Roush’s family was devastated by him dying so far away from home, his wife Becky Jo Roush raised their son to be a wonderful man who visits her every day in Broadmore Senior Living in Hurricane; and
Whereas, It is fitting and proper, to honor the life of Sergeant Arthur George Roush for his dedicated service to his community, state and country and gave the ultimate sacrifice by naming this bridge in his memory; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Legislature hereby requests the Division of Highways to name bridge number 18-2-2.72 (18A004), (38.88137, -81.86401), locally known as Millwood Bridge, carrying West Virginia Route 2 over Little Mill Creek in Jackson County, as the “U. S. Army SGT Arthur George Roush Memorial Bridge….”