JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — If you drove down I-26 through Johnson City Saturday morning, you may have noticed a group of cars and police parked on the offramp Eastbound at Exit 17. It was for a ceremony honoring a local veteran who lost his life serving the country. The Boone’s Creek Interchange is now named for Senior Airman Ben Daniel White.
White was killed in Afghanistan in 2010. A 2004 graduate of Science Hill and former student at ETSU, White joined the United States Airforce as a pararescueman. He served with the 48th Rescue Squadron helping with recovery and medical treatment in warzones, and died during a mission. The signs were installed on June 9 on the 11th anniversary of his death. His parents told News Channel 11 they hope the signs will help keep his memory alive.
“When you see his name on the overpass or underpass or wherever the signs end up, you know people will say ‘Benjamin White? Who was that?’ and they’ll Google it or get their phone out and they’ll find a story that’s unlike any story that you’ll ever read.” said White’s father, Tony White.
“They see his name there and his name is not forgotten and by his name not being forgotten, his service and his sacrifice to our country is not forgotten,” said his mother Brenda Shelton.
State Senator Rusty Crowe sponsored a proclamation to rename the interchange in White’s honor at the request of the Washington County Commission.
Allen Jackson, a veteran himself who helped with the project, said the process started in December 2020 and with the help of local and state officials made the deadline to get the signs approved shortly after the interchange was finished.