Topeka – Legislation that will honor a fallen U.S. Marine from Marshall County is on its way to the Governor. The Kansas Senate today approved House Bill 2436. The bill will name bridge No. 62 on U.S. Highway 77 that goes over the Big Blue River east of Blue Rapids in Marshall County as the 1st Lieutenant Michael Hugh Breeding Memorial Bridge.
Rep. Sharon Schwartz (R-Washington) introduced the legislation after receiving strong support from those who knew Mike.
“I am pleased my fellow legislators recognized the significance of this legislation to those I represent here in Topeka and worked quickly to get it through the process. This is our community’s opportunity to recognize and to honor Mike and others who have served our country and made the ultimate sacrifice,” Rep. Schwartz said.
The son of Merle and Blondie Breeding, Mike completed all of his schooling in Blue Rapids and then finished Officer Candidate School training with the U.S. Marine Corps while a student at KU. After college graduation in 1967, he went on active duty with the Marines and trained to be a fighter pilot. Mike’s plane was shot down near the Quang Tri Providence in Vietnam on February 12, 1970. His body was never recovered.
The bill requires that before the state will put the designation signs, funding must be provided to cover the cost of the signs and help defray future maintenance or replacement costs of the signs. Mike’s brother, Pat Breeding, is heading up the effort to collect the required $2,490.
Rep. Schwartz offered her appreciation to those who helped get the bill passed.
“I want to thank Patricia Osborne, President of the Blue Rapids Historical Society and Museum; Margaret Blaske, family friend and Blue Rapids Mayor John Nowak for providing written testimony to show the strong community support behind this bill,” Schwartz said. “And thank you to Don Kotophish and Lee Borck for bringing this opportunity to honor a man who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we might live in a free country to my attention.”