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Highway dedicated in honor of fallen Tazewell County soldier

09082017KI0075 NORTH PEKIN – A state highway was renamed in honor of a fallen Tazewell County soldier today. Part of Route 98 was renamed the “Sgt. Dean Russell Shaffer Memorial Highway” after two Peoria area lawmakers passed a resolution at the General Assembly this Spring.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 20 with State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) to honor Sgt. Dean Shaffer, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2012.

Sgt. Shaffer was a graduate of Pekin Community High School and was serving with the U.S. Army’s 25th Infantry Division when the Black Hawk helicopter he was on crashed during a medivac mission in Helmand Province, killing on board. Sgt. Shaffer had previously been deployed to Iraq.

“Soldiers like Sergeant Shaffer gave what Lincoln called their ‘last full measure of devotion’ to their country,” said Koehler. “The least we can do is show their families that we truly appreciate the ultimate sacrifice they have made while serving our country.”

Sgt. Shaffer was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his service in Afghanistan. Sgt. Shaffer was 23 years old when he died.