A new billboard in Waldron honors two local men who lost their lives in the line of duty.
Friday (July 12) a memorial sign was unveiled in remembrance of Scott County Sheriff Cody Carpenter and Arkansas Fish and Game Wildlife Officer Joel Campora. The two men died while attempting to rescue two women during heavy flooding that swept through Scott County May 31.
"This is very special," said Campora’s mother, Lyla. "And yes, I will look at this a lot."
Lyla says the community has been very supportive since her son's tragic death.
"It's just been fantastic,” she said. “People coming over and just talking, it’s encouraging."
The billboard is being donated for a year by Clear Channel Outdoor. It is located on highway 71B in Waldron, across from the Farmers Co-op.
Waldron City Officials, the Scott County Sheriff’s Department, and members of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission were in attendance for the unveiling of the billboard.
"I don't think I’ll be able to drive through here without pulling over for just a moment and looking at it, admiring it, admiring my friends and how they lived and how they died," said Waldron Police Chief David Millard.
Several members of the close-knit community were also on-hand, including the Waldron Bulldogs football team who cancelled practice to support Carpenter's sons who is on the team.
“We just decided today that, you know what, practice just isn't that important,” said Coach Shane Davis. “Football's taking a backseat to all this right now. We just cancelled practice today and came out here to support our brothers and pay respect to some real heroes."
Friends and family of Carpenter and camporee say this tribute will be a reminder of the sacrifice the officers made for the community they loved.
"They both loved their job this is what each of them was born to do, and both of them woke up every morning happy to go to work," said Brian Bailey, with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission.
After his death, Carpenter's wife, Amie, was appointed sheriff of Scott County. She was honored by her peers this week at the Arkansas Sheriff's Association Convention in Fort Smith.