Smith’s bill honors fallen soldier

COLUMBUS — State Rep. Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) has introduced legislation to name a stretch of road in Jackson County after U.S. Navy Reserve Lt. Stephen Byus, who was killed in action last September during a mission in Kabul, Afghanistan.

He was serving his third tour of duty in the Middle East at the time of his death and left behind a wife and two children.

To honor his service to our country, Rep. Smith introduced House Bill 271. The bill would designate State Route 93 between Coalton and Wellston in Jackson County as the “Lt. Stephen Byus Memorial Highway.”

Earlier this year, the Ohio House and Senate presented the Ohio Military Medal of Distinction to Byus’ family. The Medal of Distinction recognizes members of the armed forces who have died while serving in uniform. Several of Byus’s family members, residents of Jackson County, attended the Statehouse ceremony, including Randall W. Byus (father), Suzanna Byus (mother), and two brothers, Randall and Matthew.

A resolution recognizing Lt. Byus read in part:

“America has remained strong through the efforts of people such as Stephen Byus, who have demonstrated a commendable sense of duty, dedication to the noble principles of democracy, and love of country through exemplary military service. Indeed, his family and the citizens of Ohio and the United States can be proud that he helped preserve our nation’s traditions of courage and excellence.”