For his courage and selfless actions, a Navy EOD Tech was honored locally Friday by city officials, friends and relatives.
The ceremony held at Tucker Creek Walking Trail came as a surprise to Conway native Scott Weaver, who will be memorialized with the Weaver Mile at the trail and a CrossFit gym installation near the start of the trail segment at Salem Road.
Weaver, 37, is visiting family members in Conway while he recovers from an injury he suffered overseas while clearing a path for a military vehicle.
Weaver’s sister, Holly Perkins, tearfully explained to the crowd Friday that her brother was struck by an improvised explosive device while deployed in Afghanistan.
Perkins said Weaver put himself between a military truck and driver when he discovered an IED in the driver’s path. As the driver backed out of the field, he struck a 50-pound IED that exploded and caused fragments of the vehicle to tear Weaver’s left calf off, according to his sister.
Perkins said Weaver was knocked unconscious and thrown just a few feet from the other still live IED.
Weaver, who has undergone intense physical therapy and nine surgeries in his recovery, was walking steadily alongside his wife, Cat, and their children Friday.
He expects to return to full duty as a Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician in December.
Further explaining her brother’s military accomplishments, Perkins said Weaver earned a Bronze Star for Valor for clearing three soldiers to safety in a mission through mountainous terrain in the Zabul province of Afghanistan after the area of operation was destroyed by an IED. Weaver was also recommended for the Silver Star for saving a Navy Seal who was shot in the leg in an ambush by Taliban fighters, she said.
"He is still missing part of his calf, but he’s a strong fighter," Perkins said. "When they took him to the hospital after he was hurt he was still trying to do pull-ups in his hospital bed."
The standalone Conway CrossFit gym installation to be built alongside the pavilion at the trail will be used in the Weaver Gauntlet workout, which consists of pull-ups, push-ups and other physical challenges.
CrossFitters were meeting later with Weaver on Friday to do complete the Weaver Gauntlet as a group.
Weaver is a 1994 graduate of Conway High School, a certified Navy diver, a graduate of Navy EOD School, and has conducted more than 77 combat missions removing many high value Al Qaeda targets, according to his Navy biography.
"He is very modest. There are a lot of things he did that we didn’t know about. He’s got the Purple Heart and Bronze Star," Perkins said. "He didn’t really tell anyone. He’s just a good guy, and he’s the all American hero."
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)