Since September 11th, 2002, Soldotna's only bridge has had a new name in honor of those who have put themselves in harms way to protect America's freedoms, and in particular Staff Sergeant David Quentin Douthit, of Soldotna.
The son of Harvey and Nita Douthit of Soldotna, David a four-year U.S. Army veteran, left his family and hometown last in December of 1990 and deployed to Saudi Arabia during operation Desert Storm.
While serving as tank commander during the initial breach of front line Iraqi defenses, Douthit was killed in action while covering the evacuation of wounded soldiers. Sergeant Douthit was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart for gallantry and heroism.
At the official dedication September 11th, David's father Harvey said, "I take the greatest pride in the naming of it the Veterans Bridge, even though they used David's name. He took a lot of pride in being a Veteran and knew that total commitment was the only way to succeed."
Soldotna Mayor David Carey teamed up with Rep. Ken Lancaster in getting the State to officially name the bridge the David Douthit Veterans Memorial Bridge, "It speaks to the type of community we live in, the mothers and fathers and children of this town support this nation," said Carey. "It was a pleasure to be involved and to be able to do this for the Douthit family, the Veterans, and the community and for all of America," said Lancaster.
David's mother Nita said that it would be a little harder crossing the bridge now, but added "We'll be very very proud, and it'll be wonderful for Becca, David's daughter to have his name carried on through the years, and David would have been very happy that it was named David Douthit Veterans Bridge also, because he really loved all the Veterans. It's appropriate, and shows all the love and support that we have always had from all the people of Soldotna."
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