Cpl. Adam Galvez USMC

4/2/85 - 8/20/06

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 Adam Galvez St. - A Stretch of Salt Lake Road Renamed for Fallen Marine

By Deseret NewsPublished: Saturday, Feb. 3 2007 12:11 a.m. MST

 

As Tony and Amy Galvez on Friday unveiled a street sign bearing their son's name, 15-year-old Junior Cruz witnessed the culmination of his long Eagle Scout project.

A stretch of 300 South between Interstate 15 and Redwood Road is now also known as Adam Galvez Street, named after the 21-year-old Salt Lake City Marine corporal who was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq last Aug. 20.

"Junior Cruz did about the coolest Eagle Scout project I've ever heard of," Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. said during a ceremony at Franklin Elementary School. "Junior, I think you'd make an awesome governor some day."

Standing across the street from the school at 300 South and 1100 West, Tony Galvez told a crowd, which included 50 Marines who knew his son, that the street sign was a manifestation of what it means for a community to come together in support of the troops.

Cruz's project began last year when he had an idea: If a street can be named after a professional basketball player — as is the case with former Utah Jazz players John Stockton and Karl Malone — then why not get a street named after a military hero?

"I chose 300 South because Adam played baseball on this street," Cruz told a packed gymnasium at the school.

To accomplish his project, Cruz first had to get the approval of the Poplar Grove community and then the Salt Lake City Council. In each case, the support was unanimous. His Boy Scout Troop 987 had to raise the estimated $2,000 it would take to replace about 20 street signs.

"I make this sound easy, but it wasn't," Cruz said.

Several groups and individuals pitched in and helped raise the needed funds.

For his efforts, Cruz was made an honorary member of the Utah Patriot Guard, a group of veterans and civilians who offer their support to the families of fallen service members during funeral proceedings. Guard member Kelly Cederholm said that Cruz had "raised the bar" in a time when boys his age are often more concerned with having the latest Xbox video game.

Cruz also received a letter from Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who thanked the young man for his "valiant work."

Several among the 50 Marines who chartered a bus from their base in Twentynine Palms, Calif., described Galvez as always positive, disciplined, dependable, a cut above and the epitome of what a Marine should be.

On a day in Iraq when Galvez's group was about to leave an area where fighting had been taking place, he told fellow Marine Lance Cpl. Gary Cassen, "I just want to get out there and fight." Cassen said his friend had a great work ethic. "Adam never thought of himself as a hero."

Also killed on Aug. 20 in the roadside blast were Marine Lance Cpl. Randy L. Newman, 21, of Bend, Ore.; and Navy Seaman Chadwick T. Kenyon, 20, of Tucson, Ariz.

Newman's parents, Jerry and Ramona Newman, were at the school Friday to be part of the ceremony, where they were informed for the first time that Scouts back in their own hometown would be trying to get a street named after their son.

Michael Clara, leader of Cruz's Scout troop, said the street renaming here is a tribute to all service members.

Cruz's own mother, Noemi Espinoza, stood by her son's side as the veil was lifted on the street sign. Afterward, she said about her son, "I feel very happy and proud."