Highway named after Michigan Medal of Honor winner

Medal of Honor winner and Jackson native James Bondsteel, picture courtesy Colonel McCormick Research Center

There isn’t much Michigan can offer that can top a Medal of Honor, but the state offered one of it’s sons an honor all the same.

Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill Tuesday naming a stretch of U.S. 12 after Staff Sgt. James Bondsteel, a Vietnam veteran who saved many lives.

The James Bondsteel Memorial Highway runs through Jonesville, about 30 miles southwest of Jackson, where Bondsteel was born.

The Medal of Honor’s website says that on May 24th, 1969, Bondsteel led a platoon into battle near the village of Lang Sau. His team destroyed four enemy bunkers.

But Bondsteel was just getting started. He ran 200 meters under fire to help a nearby platoon that was in trouble. Then he returned to his own sector with military hardware they needed to keep fighting. He then destroyed four more enemy bunkers.

Then, wounded by a grenade, he refused medical help and took out two more bunkers. And while still wounded, he killed an enemy soldier who was about to kill an officer.

“Staff Sgt. Bondsteel is the true definition of an American hero, bravely risking his life to save others during the Vietnam War,” Snyder said in a press release. “Naming this portion of highway in his honor not only recognizes his service, but also ensures that the story of his courage and bravery will be memorialized for generations to come.”

Another honorary website says Bondsteel died in 1987.


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