Portion of Hwy. 87 S Renamed for Local Military Hero

Posted on April 2, 2024 by Romi White

Photo courtesy Trudie Tolbert
Signage has been erected on Hwy. 87 S, designating a portion of Hwy. 87 S in memory of late Retired U.S. Army Command Sgt. Major Ric Landreth, who served 30 years and fought in the infamous 1993 Battle of Mogadishu.
The July 2023 designation was supported by Florida Senator Doug Broxson, and the legislature approved renaming Hwy. 87 S between E. Bay Boulevard and Bob Tolbert Road as “Sgt. Maj. Thomas Richard ‘Ric’ Landreth Memorial Highway.” Subsequently, signage went up this week – just in time for his April 1 birthday.

“He’s an American hero who very few people knew about,” said Holley resident Tim Tolbert, who was involved in the effort. “The Special Forces community, including 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta are known as quite the professionals, and he was the epitome of that. It’s the least we could do to honor him.”

Landreth, 63, of Southern Pines, North Carolina was born April 1, 1957, at Eglin Air Force Base to the late Thomas & Peggy Broxson Landreth. He grew up in Holley and proudly served 7 tours during 5 conflicts in the U.S. Army Special Ops Delta Force.

He was a veteran of #CSquadron, 1st SFOD-D, and would undertake several high-risk operations alongside his brothers in arms all over the world. His deployments included Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Landreth was awarded a Silver Star and Bronze Star Medal with Valor and Oak Leaf Cross Air Medal. He was laid to final rest October 30, 2020 at Arlington National Cemetery.

“Ric was one of the best,” said Retired U.S. Army Master Sergeant Norman Hooten, who was the Delta Force team leader in 1993’s the Battle of Mogadishu. The movie “Black Hawk Down” portrayed their team’s experience in Somalia.

Landreth’s younger brother, Mike, said Ric was very humble. “Ric would never let us tell anyone this, as he and his squadron were all men of honor, but the book and movie ‘Black Hawk Down’ was about his squadron in the Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia,” said his brother Mikey Landreth. “Ric was the real life guy of one of the characters.”

“He was dedicated and unselfish,” said Ryan Landreth, Ric’s son. Ryan said his Dad’s recollection of Mogadishu “wasn’t pretty because his rifle was jamming a lot, and he was trying to clear it as they were going through building to building.” 

Family members say Ric loved his country and was extremely proud and honored to have served with such an elite group of brothers in arms.

Photos courtesy Mikey Landreth