PARKERSBURG - More than 50 people attended the bridge dedication ceremony to a Wood County veteran Thursday.
The new bridge on West Virginia 2 over Interstate 77 was dedicated to U.S. Navy veteran Andrew Mollohan, a former Wood County resident. Mollohan committed suicide in 2009.
Several members of the Mollohan family attended the event, including Mollohan's parents, Tom and Alice Mollohan.
Photo by Jody Murphy
West Virginia Delegate Bill Anderson, R-Wood, speaks to the crowd during the bridge dedication for U.S. Navy CPO Andrew Mollohan.
State Delegate Bill Anderson, R-Wood, served as master of ceremonies. U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., was a featured speaker. The event was also attended by Delegates John Ellem, R-Wood, and Dan Poling, D-Wood, the American Legion Post 15 and members of the Patriot Guard.
Capito said the dedication was "memorializing a life well-served" and the bridge would serve as a remembrance of the sacrifices made. She said veterans need to be cared for, not just for physical wounds and injuries, but for emotional scars such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Tom Mollohan, who approached state lawmakers with the idea of the bridge dedication, said his son did not suffer from PTSD or military-related issues. Mollohan said his son was falsely accused of sex abuse by a stepdaughter. Andrew Mollohan was exonerated of the charges but was devastated by the accusations, his father said.
Mollohan was 40, with 22 years of service in the Navy.
"He thought his career, his life was over," Tom Mollohan said.
Capito said she was moved by the dedication of the Mollohan family. She noted that it's not easy obtaining such honors for service members.
Anderson said he did not know the details of Mollohan's death and never got into the details. He pointed to Mollohan's 22 years of military service and said he represented many service personnel.
"He didn't die dramatically or in combat, but his service is typical of countless veterans," Anderson said.
Andrew Mollohan graduated from Williamstown High School in 1988.
Over the course of his career, he served aboard the USS Trepang, USS Hartford, the USS Miami and the PCU Missouri. He has served as a high priority material expeditor for the Submarine Force; leading storekeeper; he was assigned to the Fleet Integrated Logistic Overhaul detachment in Groton, Conn., in 2000, the only enlisted staff member; he made chief petty officer in September 2006; storekeeper division leading chief petty officer; and logistics specialist division leading chief petty officer.
Mollohan wore the enlisted submarine warfare insignia, expert pistol, Navy Arctic Service Ribbon, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (5), GWOT Service Medal, GWOT Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2), Navy Expeditionary Medal, Navy Good Conduct Medal (6), Navy E Ribbon (3), Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (7) and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.
Keith VanNoy, a St. Marys native who served with Mollohan, said Mollohan "was devoted to his country, his shipmates and his family."