Portions of I-22 in Lee County dedicated to Korean, Vietnam War veterans

Veterans of both wars against communism say they're grateful for the honor

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – A stretch of highway in Lee County will now honor veterans of the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

Even though he retired from the U S military nearly fifty years ago, Maxdale Blythe, a veteran of both the Korean War and Vietnam War, still talks proudly of his service to his nation, and he is also grateful that part of Interstate 22 is being renamed in honor of veterans of both wars.

“Anything they can do for America and let them know the price has been paid for it,” Blythe said.

Blythe joined fellow veterans as the new signs for the Korean Veterans Highway and the Vietnam Veterans Way were unveiled.

Transportation Commissioner John Caldwell, who is also a veteran, says it’s important for people to remember the wars against the communist threats from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

“These wars are so close to the older generation, even my generation.  The young people look at these things and it’s ancient, and they need a reminder,” Caldwell said.

State Representative Randy Boyd started the campaign to get the highway renamed, and he hopes as people travel the roadway, they will remember the sacrifices made by so many.

“There’s not enough ways to thank the men who stand for our freedom, get the uniform on and go fight for it,” Rep. Boyd said.

“As we celebrate veteran’s week this week, it’s important to realize, the veteran is the real hero, in America, not sports players, musicians, or politicians, it’s the veterans and I’m so thankful to honor them,” said Sen. Chad McMahan, of Guntown.

Lieutenant Colonel Rex Moody served in Vietnam as a Marine and says he is especially grateful the Korean War veterans are being honored

“That’s called the war that people forgot,  they needed the recognition and honor, I can’t think of anything nicer today,” Moody said.

The portion of I-22 between exits 81 and 87 honors Korean War veterans, while the section between exits 87 and 94 memorializes Vietnam Veterans.

Efforts to rename the section of I-22 began late last year and gained swift approval by the Legislature.

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