SGM James Sartor, who was honored by the General Assembly with renaming a portion of Highway 24 in his honor. Photo courtesy Shrine of Remembrance.

The Colorado General Assembly has renamed a portion of U.S. Highway 24, from Garrett Road to the intersection of Elbert Road in Falcon as the "SGM James Gregory Ryan Sartor Memorial Highway."

The House adopted a resolution on the renaming on Feb. 7. The Senate adopted that joint resolution, HJR 1003, Tuesday. The resolution's sponsors are Rep. Timothy Geitner, R-Colorado Springs, and Sen. Paul Lundeen, R-Monument.

Sartor's wife, Deanna, and their three children were present for the resolution.

Geitner told the House that the day Deanna came home from retrieving his body, the streets leading to their home were lined with American flags. "We wanted Sergeant Major Sartor's family to know that we knew of his heroism and we vowed to remember and support his family."

Lundeen also spoke at the House ceremony. "This stretch of highway will be a reminder daily to the many who drive this route that the sacrifices of our military is real."

Sartor served in the Army for 18 years, enlisting in 2001, and helping to lead the U.S. invasion of Iraq, according to the resolution.

He spent 14 years as a Special Forces Green Beret, including in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. His service earned him numerous awards and medals, including the Bronze Star Medal with three oak clusters, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with three oak clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation Award, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Valorous Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Unit Citation with one oak leaf cluster, and the National Defense Service Medal.

Sartor's final tour of duty was in 2019. On July 13, his unit came under enemy fire in Faryab Province, Afghanistan, and Sartor died from injuries suffered in that attack.

The resolution does not come with the funding for signage; that's being left to possible gifts, grants and donations made to the Colorado Department of Transportation, which will seek a cooperative agreement on the maintenance of that signage with the El Paso Board of County Commissioners.

Both the House and Senate adopted HJR 1003 unanimously.

The resolution honoring Sartor was part of the Colorado House's Military Appreciation Day at the Colorado House on Feb. 7. 

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