CLAY CO., GA (WALB) - A South Georgia town is working to rename a park in honor of one of their favorite sons, who died serving in the military.
The death this year of Lt. Weston Lee of Bluffton touched the entire South Georgia region, sparking a huge show of respect as he came home for the final time.
Lt. Weston Lee, 25, was very well known in his hometown of Bluffton.
Lee's teachers and family members said the military was his dream from a young age.
"He has talked about this all of his life, wanting to be in the army," said Charlotte Shivers.
A star student and athlete at Southwest Georgia Academy, Lee stayed in touch with the students after he joined the Army, leading weight room workouts and Bible study.
"He had that personality, that when you met him, you always remembered him because of his smile, his friendliness, and his passion for life."
"I always looked up to him. And every time I see him in the hallway I'd always call his name, he always liked to hang out with me because I was like, a fun little kid."
On April 29, during his first deployment, Lt. Lee was killed while on patrol in Mosul, Iraq when an improvised explosive device detonated.
Lee's body was flown back to the United States with full honors.
Then on May 12, a motorcade brought his body from Ft. Benning to his hometown.
Hundreds of people lined the route with flags to honor him. Freedom riders and law enforcement from across the state led the procession.
"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," explained Teacher Jennifer Hatcher.
A memorial was held at Lee's home church, and rain did not dampen the emotion of the service.
"He paid the ultimate sacrifice for this country, and he's our hometown hero," Patty Milner said.
"He was one of the ones who fought to make our country free, and he was the one who fought for us," said Ragan Harrell.
"It was extremely emotional. Like you can tell people really love the community around here," explained Joseph Worsley.
Army officials said Lee was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, and Meritorious Service Medal.
Bluffton city officials said they are raising money now to rename a park in honor of Lt. Weston Lee, complete with an 8-foot bronze statue of him.
They will hold a fundraising event in Bluffton on August 12.
Bluffton city officials said they are raising money now to rename a park.
If you want to donate you can mail a check to Brandi Nicole P.O. Box 1, Bluffton, GA 39824.
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