Lake County will honor the service of a local U.S. Army hero, Pfc. Derek Arthur Gibson, by designating a portion of County Road 44 in the Eustis area as Pfc. Derek Arthur Gibson Memorial Highway.
The road dedication ceremony is scheduled for 9am Friday, Aug. 2, at the Lake County Fairgrounds Expo Hall, 2101 CR 452 in Eustis, a news release states. Earlier this year, county commissioners and city of Eustis officials approved a resolution for the road designation on CR 44 between CR 452 and South Fish Camp Road.
Derek, a 2004 graduate of Eustis High School, was killed in action April 4, 2007, at age 20 by an improvised explosive device during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
He entered the Army in 2005 and was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment and 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. He was stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado, until he was deployed in 2006 to Green Zone, Camp Prosperity, Camp Falcon, in Baghdad, Iraq.
Derek, a private first class, was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Combat Infantry Badge.
“It is with our deepest gratitude that we name this road in honor of Pfc. Gibson, a Lake County native who gave his life for our country,” County Commission Chairwoman Leslie Campione says in the release. “We hope that this small gesture on behalf of the board will allow the entire community to continue to honor the military service of this decorated war hero and forever remember his bravery.”