Mountain View Voice
News - April 20, 2012
MV's post office renamed for fallen soldier?
by Daniel DeBolt
A Mountain View post office could be renamed in memory of U.S. Army Lt. Ken Ballard, who was killed while serving in Iraq in 2004.
"Ken was highly decorated and represented Mountain View well," said Ballard's mother, Karen Meredith, who made the proposal. I thought it would be a nice honor for him."
Ballard died May 30, 2004 in the An Najaf area of Iraq. The Mountain View High School graduate was 26.
Before she will introduce a resolution in Congress to order the name change, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo wants consensus among community members and the City Council. There has to be support from California's Congressional delegation as well. Eshoo's also office also said the community must decide whether to use the Miramonte Avenue branch or the main post office on Hope Street, as his mother proposes.
"The tragic loss of First Lieutenant Kenneth Ballard reminds us how appropriate it is to honor our fallen heroes." Eshoo said in a statement. "That's why I support the effort of the Mountain View City Council, together with the community, to name a post office after First Lieutenant Ballard."
Because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan "it's quite common these days to name post offices after fallen soldiers," Meredith said. "I don't know of one that has not had unanimous support in Congress."
Ballard was leading a platoon in Iraq when fighting broke out in April 2004, delaying a trip home he was planning for that month. His original cause of death was "small arms fire" but Army officials later revealed that he had been killed accidentally by the unmanned machine gun on his tank. After his death he was honored at a funeral attended by over 500 people, and he received three bronze stars and the Purple Heart. His mother went on to regularly speak out against the Iraq war and made sure his story was widely told.
Mountain View City Council members briefly discussed the idea Tuesday evening, April 17, before deciding to make it an action item for a future meeting.
Email Daniel DeBolt at firstname.lastname@example.org