Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan and Assembly Member David J. DiPietro joined representatives of the New York State Department of Transportation in designating a portion of state Route 75 in the Town of Eden the “Captain John J. Levulis Memorial Highway.” A 2012 Niagara University graduate, Capt. Levulis is an Eden native and was serving in the United States Army when he died of injuries suffered in the crash of his military Humvee on the New Jersey Turnpike in May.
“Capt. Levulis served our country with pride and distinction from his days in ROTC at Niagara University, to his assignment with the 10th Mountain Division as an infantry platoon leader in Afghanistan,” Sen. Gallivan said. “He was also a beloved member of the Eden community, a leader, and a role model for others. It is fitting that we honor Capt. Levulis by dedicating this highway in his name, which will serve as a lasting tribute to his courage and sacrifice.”
“Capt. Levulis was a decorated soldier and represents the best our nation has to offer,” said Assemblyman DiPietro. “This dedication is an appropriate and fitting expression of our pride and gratitude to a fallen hero.”
The legislation signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo designates a 14-mile stretch of Route 75 in honor of Capt. Levulis, from its intersection with Route 62 to the Eden-North Collins town line.
“On behalf of Gov. Cuomo, we are honored and humbled to be able to pay this tribute to Army Capt. Levulis,” said New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll. “This official designation on state Route 75 in his hometown of Eden will always remind travelers of the dedicated and courageous service of Capt. Levulis, who died while bravely serving his country.”
Family and friends gathered at the Newell Faulkner American Legion Post 880 in Eden on Friday to formally dedicate the highway and to unveil road signs that will be erected along Route 75.
Congressman Chris Collins’ office also presented the Levulis family with an American flag to commemorate the highway dedication.
“Capt. Levulis gave the ultimate sacrifice serving our country,” said Congressman Collins. “Renaming state Route 75 in his memory will remind all those who pass by of the tremendous impact he had on our country and the Western New York community.”
“Our family is grateful to Sen. Gallivan, Assemblyman DiPietro, Gov. Cuomo and Congressman Collins for honoring John in this special way,” said Julianne Viviano, Capt. Levulis’ wife. “John was proud to be an infantryman, and he was proud to tell people he was from Eden. He would be amazed, but not surprised, by the outpouring of love and support we have received from the community.”
Capt. Levulis attended Eden Central High School, was a 2012 summa cum laude graduate of Niagara University and an ROTC cadet. Capt. Levulis was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum and served as an Infantry Platoon Leader in Afghanistan. He was the recipient of numerous awards and medals, including the Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO Campaign Medal, Airborne Wings and the Meritorious Service Medal.
Capt. Levulis was traveling with three other Fort Drum soldiers in a military convoy en route to Fort Dix, N.J., when their Humvee was struck by a civilian vehicle on May 1. Capt. Levulis suffered serious injuries and died on May 7. He was 25. Capt. Levulis is survived by his wife, Julianne; his parents, Barbara and Gary; his brother, James, and numerous other family members.