BLUFFTON, GA (WALB) - South Georgians are honoring a fallen hero.
25-year old first Lieutenant Weston C. Lee was killed in Iraq on a mission fighting ISIS Saturday.
Flags are flying at half staff on a dreary Monday in Bluffton as people mourn the loss of the young man whose life was taken too soon.
It's a shock, it's heart breaking," said one of Lee's teachers at Southwest Georgia Academy Jennifer Hatcher.
25-year old 1st Lieutenant Weston C. Lee is a native of Bluffton.
He was fighting for the very stars and stripes, that now wave outside his South Georgia home, when he was killed.
"Weston's bravery has always been a part of who he is," recalled Hatcher.
A member of the 82nd Airborne Division, Lee was killed by a roadside bomb that exploded outside Mosul during a security check.
"He certainly can be classed as an American hero," said Lee's English teacher of three years Lynn Merkurson.
Lee was a star student and athlete at the Southwest Georgia Academy for many years. His former teachers remember him as a hero.
"Kind, compassionate, genuine," said Hatcher. He was a friend to everyone."
As they think about the young boy they watched grow up, they have fond memories.
They said he always wanted to be a soldier, he told them it was his purpose to protect his country.
"I remember him one day coming up to me saying, 'Miss Merkurson, I'm going to be in the army," remembered Merkurson.
Lee was on his first deployment overseas.
He had joined the Army in 2015 and quickly became a platoon leader.
One of three children, teachers say he was a family man.
"My memories of Weston when I think of him with his parents was he always ran up to them to give them a hug after a game," said Hatcher.
She said she can't even imagine how his mom is handling the loss.
But she should be proud. Lee has been posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medal.
"He would have gladly given up anything for anyone, including his life, and he did. That's what he always knew his purpose was I think," said Hatcher.
People who live near his home in Bluffton said they have since spoken with Lee's parents.
They said his parents got to talk to him the morning before he was killed.
As far as funeral arrangements, plans are in the works.
As soon as we learn that information we will share it with you.
Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved.