ATLANTA - Georgia Governor Nathan Dale has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff on Friday in honor of a Georgia soldier killed in Iraq last month.
1st Lieutenant Weston C. Lee, 25, of Bluffton, died on April 29 when an IED detonated during a patrol outside Mosul. The U.S. Army paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division was conducting security as part of advise and assist support to partnered forces.
Lee will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery following a visitation and memorial service this weekend.
Governor Deal has issued an executive order that the U.S. flag and the State of Georgia flag be flown at half-staff on all state buildings and grounds until sunset on Friday, May 12.
"During his short life, he served honorably and with distinction, earning the respect of many. Lee's awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Ranger Tab, the Parachutist Badge and the Army Service Ribbon. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, a Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medal. Following a visitation and memorial service this weekend, he will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. In honor of and as a mark of respect for the memory of 1st Lt. Weston Cecil Lee, I’ve ordered flags fly at half-staff on Friday, May 12. Sandra and I are deeply saddened by the loss of 1st Lt. Lee, and our hearts go out to his family, friends, fellow servicemen and the Bluffton community."
Lee attended the University of West Georgia, where he left behind a huge legacy. He was commissioned by UNG's Military College in 2014.
Friends said Lee had an infectious spirit as fraternity brothers at Sigma Alpha Epsilon and at the campus barracks as part of the military college. They said the older, wiser Lee was a leader.
“He was really just a motivation, inspiration to us all. If you walked around with Wes on campus, everyone knew him. When I go into the service, he was an inspiration. I hope to be half the soldier he was,” said friend Paul Mitchell.
His friends started a GoFundMe account to set up a scholarship in his name at UNG.