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Bridge naming honors Vietnam serviceman

Almost 100 family, friends and Vietnam veterans gathered Oct. 3 in the South Central Community for the dedication of the Floyd W. Jason Lamb Jr. Memorial Bridge.
Lamb was 20 years old when he was killed in action May 4, 1970, while participating in a search and clear operation in the Nui Yon Thon Mountains, located approximately 8 miles southwest of Tam Ky City, Quang Tin Province, South Vietnam. He received a fatal fragmentation wound when a concealed enemy explosive device was detonated.
For his actions in Vietnam, Specialist Fourth Class Floyd Watsel “Jason” Lamb Jr. received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation, National Defense, Vietnam Service and Vietnam Campaign Medals.
His sister, Judy Freeman, said the weekend for the dedication and sign unveiling was chosen because Lamb’s birthday was Oct. 4. “He would have been 66,” she said last week.
Freeman had the idea for the naming while attending a Vietnam veterans reunion at the Appalachian Fairgrounds in July 2013. “I first brought it up to Allen (Jackson) a couple of years ago, and he has taken care of everything,” she said.
Jackson, retired U.S. Air Force, works with veterans in the local community. Freeman said he spoke with officials in Nashville and Washington County and was instrumental in making possible the naming of the bridge that crosses the Nolichucky River on Bailey Bridge Road in Chuckey.
Lamb grew up in the South Central Community, and was the son of Floyd Watsel Lamb Sr., a U.S. Army World War II veteran, and Bonne Belle Waddle Lamb. He was a member of the Boy Scouts of America, and was salutatorian of his 1967 graduating class at Lamar High School, where he was a member of the Beta Club. He was married with no children.
Lamb enlisted in the U.S. Army at Knoxville on June 12, 1969. After completing basic and advanced training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Lamb was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry Regiment, 198th Light Infantry Brigade, 23rd Infantry Division, “The American Division” as a Light Weapons Infantryman.
His tour of duty in Vietnam began Dec. 10, 1969.
Lamb is buried in the Liberty Freewill Baptist Church Cemetery in Chuckey, and is commemorated on the Vietnam Memorial Wall, Panel 11W Line 096.
The ceremony at the South Central Ruritan Clubhouse was hosted by the Johnson City/Washington County TN Veterans’ Memorial Foundation. The Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 979 provided the Honor Guard, and the Lamar and South Central Ruritans supplied lunch and refreshments afterward.