New York (STL.News) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.5399/A.7031) designating a portion of the state highway system as the “Chief Warrant Officer 4 Christian J. Koch Memorial Highway.”
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Koch served in the National Guard and was one of three servicemen killed in a helicopter crash during a training mission in the town of Mendon in January.
Shortly after 9/11, Koch joined the U.S. Army. He served as an infantryman in A Company of the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry before becoming a helicopter pilot in 2006. Koch served in the war in Afghanistan in 2012 and 2013 and the war in Iraq in 2008 and 2009.
“Our service members go above and beyond for their country every day. Chief Warrant Officer 4 Christian Koch was no different and his death is a tragedy that did not occur in vain,” Governor Cuomo said. “To his surviving loved ones, we are immensely grateful for his service and sorry for your loss. May seeing his name on this memorial highway bring only happy memories to mind and comfort in knowing New York is with you.”
The portion of Route 64 to be renamed is close to where Chief Warrant Officer 4 Koch lived with his family.
Senator Robert Ortt said, “Chief Warrant Officer Koch was a hero who gave his life while serving our nation, and we will forever be grateful for his sacrifice. Whether a soldier’s duties be on foreign soil or here at home, the dangers that come with service to our country are always present. I am honored to have sponsored this legislation to rename a portion of State Highway 64 in Chief Warrant Officer Koch’s memory, and I hope that it serves as a reminder for all those who travel on it what the true cost of freedom is.”
Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes said, “Christian Koch is our local hero. His friends and family have suffered a great loss. I hope this designation will remind them of how grateful we are for Christian’s service and sacrifice. I am thankful the governor signed this legislation, which shows that the entire state shares in our loss and our desire to honor Christian.”