Petition to build a statue of MSG. RICHARD A. “BONES” SMOOT

On August 19, 2020, a bridge in Tornado, West Virginia was named after the legendary U.S. Army Master Sergeant Richard A. “Bones” Smoot. You may remember the now-famous photographs of him riding through Afghanistan on horseback while hunting for the Taliban in early 2002. This is a petition to erect a statue of this man at the West Virginia State Capitol, and I’m asking you to sign below. Here’s why:

Born in 1948 in Crownhill, West Virginia, he served honorably in Vietnam as a young soldier. He went on to become a Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha Team SGT conducting Combat Operations in Afghanistan in early 2002, and the Company Weapons SGT in Iraq in 2005 – 2006 while in his 50s. Dick was a “Whiskey 9” – meaning he was both Halo and Scuba Qualified. He was tragically killed in 2015 while doing what he loved most: riding his motorcycle. Although his family thought for sure they would lose Dick in some overseas combat zone, in the end it was a truck back home which recklessly crossed the centerline of a road.

Since I first posted on social media about the bridge in Tornado being named after him, I’ve talked to and heard from many of Dick’s friends, family and fellow service members. I’ve never personally heard of any one man having a more exceptional reputation; nor any family left behind who felt as proud. As difficult as it must have been to fight in multiple wars, across multiple continents, across multiple decades, Dick remained married to the love of his life throughout all of his decades of service. I had the pleasure of speaking to her the other day, as well as Dick’s daughter, Tangie, and it’s clear that they cherish his memory and miss him dearly. They gave me their blessing to attempt to make what I’m proposing become a reality.

This is a man who our children can look up to. For too long, our real heroes have been overshadowed by celebrities and athletes who are unworthy of the adoration they receive, and who set poor examples for our children, and who dishonor our country and our Flag. It’s been far too long that we’ve stopped building statutes of our military heroes. During this time when others seek to tear down our past, let’s set a new and better example about the importance of honoring our heroes, as well as our nation. West Virginia is a state with one of the highest per capita population of veterans, who comprise more than 10 percent of our population – many of those who served well beyond what could have been expected, such as Master Sergeant Smoot.

There may never again be a more fitting soldier of West Virginia to honor with a statue than “Bones” Smoot. I propose to build a real bronze statue, as we used to do in the past, of a bearded Master Sergeant Smoot on horseback, smile on his face, just as in the epic photos from 2002 Afghanistan. It would be a nod to our soldiers of past, who rode into battle on horseback, and would also honor the Mountain State’s veterans who served in the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, as well as Iraq. I propose that this statue of Master Sergeant Smoot on horseback be erected at the West Virginia State Capitol complex. The legislature goes into session on February 1, 2021. Let’s show support in numbers and collect a contact list of supporters. If the State won’t pay for it, we’ll start a fundraiser.

Who’s with me? – John H. Bryan

Your contact info will be added to the petition we will provide to the State Government, as well as for use as a mailing list for updates on this petition and these efforts. The main thing we need is name, city/state and the email address you prefer for updates and information on this petition. I know some people are gathering signatures off-line, which is great. Just forward them to my office, and I will add them to the list and the email list. (John Bryan Law, PO Box 366, Union, WV 24983).

Petition to build a statute of MSG. RICHARD A. "BONES" SMOOT

**your signature**

673 signatures

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Signature Count:

673
Latest Signatures
673 Mr Michael S. Sep 29, 2020
672 Mr Matthew S. Sep 28, 2020
671 Mr Ethan R. Sep 28, 2020
670 Mr Jeff P. Sep 28, 2020
669 Ms John D. Sep 28, 2020
668 Ms Laura B. Sep 28, 2020
667 Ms Chelsea F. Sep 26, 2020
666 Mr Christopher B. Sep 26, 2020
665 Mr Gabe H. Sep 25, 2020
664 Mr James R. Sep 25, 2020
663 Mr Patrick W. Sep 25, 2020
662 Ms Cheryl A. Sep 23, 2020
661 Mr Richard F. Sep 22, 2020
660 Ms Drema R. Sep 20, 2020
659 Mr Bruce H. Sep 19, 2020
658 Ms Carol H. Sep 19, 2020
657 Mr derek c. Sep 18, 2020
656 Mr Keith H. Sep 18, 2020
655 Mr Matthew L. Sep 18, 2020
654 Ms Ryan S. Sep 18, 2020
653 Mr Justin T. Sep 18, 2020
652 Mr James B. Sep 18, 2020
651 Mr Ray C. Sep 18, 2020
650 Mr Craig S. Sep 18, 2020
649 Ms Brock N. Sep 18, 2020
648 Mr Eros K. Sep 18, 2020
647 Mr Jacob O. Sep 17, 2020
646 Mr Sean D. Sep 16, 2020
645 Mr Victor Z. Sep 15, 2020
644 Mr David L. Sep 14, 2020
643 Ms Amanda L. Sep 13, 2020
642 Mrs Donna B. Sep 13, 2020
641 Ms pam k. Sep 13, 2020
640 Ms Chelsea K. Sep 12, 2020
639 Mr John C. Sep 12, 2020
638 Ms Pat Dransfield R. Sep 11, 2020
637 Ms Jennifer H. Sep 11, 2020
636 Mr Douglas C. Sep 11, 2020
635 Mr Larry S. Sep 11, 2020
634 Mrs Sherry S. Sep 11, 2020
633 Mrs Randalene P. Sep 10, 2020
632 Mr Cary P. Sep 10, 2020
631 Ms Mildred D. Sep 10, 2020
630 Ms Anita C. Sep 10, 2020
629 Ms Barbara M. Sep 10, 2020
628 Ms Kimbra C. Sep 10, 2020
627 Ms Debbie D. Sep 10, 2020
626 Mr Steven A. Sep 10, 2020
625 Ms David S. Sep 10, 2020
624 Mr Philip B. Sep 10, 2020