Photo by Amanda Simmons/Press-Tribune | Carly Thompson embraces a guest following the road dedication ceremony at Bossier Parish Community College on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. The section of Highway 80 in front of BPCC has been renamed “Sergeant Craig Nelson Memorial Highway,” in honor of Carly's brother.

Nine-year-old Landon Burrows resembles his father in many ways.

His physical appearance along with his love of sports and the outdoors are daily reminders of a young soldier who lost his life all too soon.

Photo by Amanda Simmons/Press-Tribune | Landon Burrows, 9, proudly holds a commemorative sign that will designate a portion of Traffic Street in Bossier City as “Private First Class Joshua C. Burrows Drive,” named in honor of his dad. The roadway was officially dedicated on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
Photo by Amanda Simmons/Press-Tribune | Landon Burrows, 9, proudly holds a commemorative sign that will designate a portion of Traffic Street in Bossier City as “Private First Class Joshua C. Burrows Drive,” named in honor of his dad. The roadway was officially dedicated on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

Landon was just six-months-old when Army Private First Class Joshua C. Burrows left for Iraq. Rhiannon Burrows made a promise to her younger brother that day in 2006 that she would take care of Landon until he returned home. Just two weeks later, their family received the devastating news that Joshua had been killed.

Rhiannon has kept her promise to Joshua, raising the young boy he left behind.

“It’s just like watching my brother grow up again,” she said. “He acts just like him. I love it.”

Joshua died Nov. 26, 2006 of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Baghdad. He was just 20-years-old.

A portion of Louisiana Highway 72, commonly referred to as Traffic Street, in Bossier Parish beginning at the intersection of U .S. Highway 80, locally known as East Texas Street, southbound to the intersection of Traffic Street and Interstate 20, has been designated “Private First Class Joshua C. Burrows Drive” in his honor.

House Bill 420, presented by State Representative Henry Burns (R-Haughton), designates sections of two Louisiana highways in honor of Army Private First Class Joshua C. Burrows and Army Sergeant Craig Nelson, who were killed in separate incidents in Iraq.

“This is to celebrate the lives who made the ultimate sacrifice,” Burns said, calling it a tribute to local heroes.

The portion of U.S. Highway 80 in Bossier Parish located between the two entrances of Bossier Parish Community College has been designated as “Sergeant Craig Nelson Memorial Highway.”

Nelson, 21, of Bossier City, died Dec. 29, 2004 at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., of injuries sustained on Dec. 16 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his military vehicle in Baghdad. Nelson was a graduate of Airline High School.

Carly Thompson said her little brother (with the red hair that she loved so much) could light up any room he walked in to. She was filled with emotions at the roadway dedication, speaking proudly of Craig while tearful at his loss.

Ryan Jacobson, Craig’s lifelong friend who served in the Army with him, said his friend excelled at the important things in life. He repeatedly looked to the framed photo of Craig as he spoke, fighting to hold back tears.

“He had great relationships with God, his family and people,” Jacobson said. “His legacy is bigger than anything we could have imagined.”

Carly said she is grateful to have a roadway named in honor of her brother. She drives the route often as she comes to Bossier from Haughton.

Each trip she makes to town now will have a bittersweet tribute along the way.

“This is the road people lined to say goodbye to him. When you lose someone like that, one of the things you fear most is that people will forget what your loved one did,” Carly said. “This is a lasting tribute that will be here forever. I couldn’t think of a road any more perfect for Craig. Thank you for not forgetting.”