Sunday, October 17, 2010

Monterey Bridge Honors Fallen Soldier

A bridge on Interstate 40 in Putnam County has been named for a soldier who died in Afghanistan in 2007. Family and friends gathered Friday to dedicate the bridge in Monterey to Sgt. Alex van Aalten. The 21-year-old van Aalten, died on April 20, 2007, from wounds suffered during a rescue mission of Dutch troops in Sangin, Afghanistan. He was serving with the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, N.C. The Army awarded van Aalten a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, and he was posthumously awarded the Netherlands' Gold Medal of Merit of the Minister of Defense. Tennessee lawmakers had passed a resolution designating the I-40 bridge that spans Highway 70 between Exit 300 and Exit 301 at Monterey for van Aalten.