Hoover Dam Bypass Heros

the Heros:  Mike O'Callaghan and Pat Tillman

Pat Tillman was an outstanding athlete.  He helped lead his high school to a divison I championship.  Pat played linebacker at Arizona State University where he was voted Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year, and graduated in 3 1/2 years with a major in marketing and a 3.84 GPA.  He was drafted by, and played safety for, the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL.  Following the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001, he completed the NFL season, turned down a $3.6 million contract with the Cardinals to enlist in the army, became a Ranger, and served several tours in combat in Afghanistan.  He died on April 22, 2004, in the mountains of Afghanistan, giving his life in defense of our freedoms.

Mike O'Callaghan lied about his age to join the Marines at 16 and served until 1948.  In 1950 he joined the Air Force and served as an intelligence operator in the Aleutian Islands.  He transferred to the Army in 1952 in order to see combat and lost part of his left leg after being hit by a mortar round during a battle in the Korean War.  O'Callaghan's political career began in 1963, when then-Nevada Governor Grant Sawyer appointed him to head the new Department of Human Resources.  In 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed O'Callaghan to be the regional director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness.  In 1966, O'Callaghan ran in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, but lost.  In 1970, he received the Democratic gubernatorial nomination and won a surprising victory in the general election over his Republican opponent, Edward Fike.  He proved to be an extremely popular governor and was reelected in 1974 by a four-to-one margin, the greatest landslide in state history in a gubernatorial election.  Mike O'Callaghan died at age 74 on March 5, 2004, a month and a half prior to Pat Tillman's death.  Photos and text courtesy of Wikipedia.

It is entirely appropriate that the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, built in response to terrorist activity, is named after these two gentlemen who served valiantly and voluntarily in the armed forces, fighting in defense of the United States of America.