Central Tennessee Bridge dedicated to fallen “Night Stalker”


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice

Family and Friends of the late Master Sgt. James W. “Tre” Ponder III gather under the sign that bares his name during a bridge dedication ceremony June 9 in Franklin, Tenn. A bill was passed through the Tennessee Senate and signed by Governor Jack Johnson early last month making the bridge dedication a reality for the Ponder Family (Courtesy photo from the Ponder Family).

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (USASOC News Service, July 13, 2012) – A central Tennessee bridge has been dedicated to a 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment “Night Stalkers” Soldier who was killed in Afghanistan.

Family and friends of Master Sgt. James “Tre” Ponder III gathered in his hometown of Franklin to honor the Soldier by adding his name to the bridge overlooking the Harper River in Williamson County.
Tre, who grew up in Franklin, Tenn., was killed when his MH-47D Chinook helicopter crashed June 28, 2005 as a result of combat operations in Asadabad, Afghanistan.

His wife, Leslie Ponder, told those in attendance of the dedication that her husband would be embarrassed to know that a bridge was named in his honor.

“He was a very humble man, and would have hated all this attention,” Leslie said.
During the ceremony, former city mayor Tom Miller, and father-in-law to “Tre” unveiled a sign recognizing the bridge to anyone crossing it’s width as the James W “Tre” Ponder III Memorial Bridge.
“Anytime you have the opportunity to recognize our fallen, you need to do it,” Miller said. “Events like this help show the community the sacrifices our Soldiers and their Families go through for our freedom.”

Toward the end of the ceremony, Miller read a small portion of the legislature passed through the Tennessee Senate.

“Whereas from time-to-time we name a landmark in honor of individual … no person is therefore more deserving of this honor than Master Sgt. James “Tre” Ponder III, who selflessly gave his life for our freedom today.”