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Road name change will honor fallen soldier

The state Senate has unanimously passed legislation sponsored by state Sen. Sam McCann, R-Carlinville, to name part of Old Route 36 in Jacksonville after Staff Sgt. Matthew Weikert.

“Staff Sergeant Weikert is a true American hero from Jacksonville who gave his life in defense of our country,” McCann said. “This will keep his name alive for all those travelling through town, and let the area show how proud they are of his service.”

Weikert enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2001 and served three tours in Iraq in four years. He later enlisted in the Army, where he completed another tour in Iraq, before serving his fifth tour in Afghanistan.

Weikert was mortally wounded by an improvised explosive device in Paktika Province of Southern Afghanistan but managed to radio for help, saving the lives of two of his injured comrades.

For his service, Weikert was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and numerous other medals, ribbons and stars.

“Staff Sergeant Weikert dedicated his life to the cause of freedom through his five tours,” McCann said. “He will be remembered for his love of country, his generous spirit, his patriotism, and his love for family and friends, especially his son, Jayse, who was 10 years old when his father was killed in action.”

House Joint Resolution 60 renames Old US Route 36 along Morton Avenue in Jacksonville from west of U.S. 67 to north of Interstate 72, as SSG Matthew Ward Weikert US Army/USMC Memorial Highway.

“The least we can do for his sacrifice is let his name honor this road,” McCann said. “My regret is that this is all we can do in this resolution for Staff Sergeant Weikert.”

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