Residents replace Lance Cpl. Sutton's stolen Christmas tree - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Residents replace Lance Cpl. Sutton's stolen Christmas tree

A heartwarming twist to a devastating situation. A wreath and a Christmas tree from Lance Corporal Steve Sutton's memorial site in Lee County were stolen. (Source: WALB) A heartwarming twist to a devastating situation. A wreath and a Christmas tree from Lance Corporal Steve Sutton's memorial site in Lee County were stolen. (Source: WALB)
But a group of South Georgians rose to the occasion to show their support and replace it with something special. (Source: WALB) But a group of South Georgians rose to the occasion to show their support and replace it with something special. (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
Gene Sutton (Source: WALB) Gene Sutton (Source: WALB)
LEE CO., GA (WALB) -

A wreath and a Christmas tree from Lance Corporal Steve Sutton's memorial site in Lee County were stolen. 

But a group of South Georgians rose to the occasion to show their support and replace it with something special.  

Initially, Gene Sutton said he was heartbroken to discover someone would steal from his son's memorial site.

But now, he's grateful there are kind people out there who made sure his family's Christmas wasn't ruined by one horrible act. 

"Fighting for the same people that stole the tree you know, and I could not believe that. You know what I mean? How could somebody do that knowing that this place was dedicated to Stevo, you know," said Gene. 

Gene was still in shock after finding out someone had stolen a Christmas tree from his son's memorial site. 

"It tore my world apart, and I said I hadn't had a Christmas tree since he passed," Gene added. 

Gene's son and one of South Georgia's hometown heroes, Lance Corporal Sutton, was killed in Afghanistan in 2012.

Five years later, Gene Sutton finally worked up the strength to place this Christmas tree with 300 red and white solar lights and a wreath at Sutton's Landing Park.

Christmas was his son's favorite holiday. 

But six days after putting it out for display, it was gone.

Gene's wife posted a post on Facebook, saying how disappointed they were by the news.

But by that night, someone replaced what was taken. 

"On Facebook somebody had the headlights pointed to the tree, they said this is Stephen's landing down here, I said 'what!'" explained Gene. 

And the holiday cheer didn't stop there. 

"Somebody else stopped and put the bow up here," and even added ribbons, "It's people like that who make the world go round," Gene added. 

Sutton said he tried to re-order the red and white solar lights for the tree, but unfortunately, they won't arrive until after Christmas. 

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