ATLANTA - Friends of a Georgia soldier killed in Iraq are making sure his sacrifice will not be forgotten. They said 1st Lt. Weston C. Lee paid the ultimate price after leaving a huge legacy at the University of North Georgia.
The flags were at half-staff at the university in remembrance of Lee, whose legacy will be remembered.
Four of Lee's former classmates met FOX 5 News on Thursday night at UNG to share their memories and plans.
“This is from Weston's commissioning ceremony, and there's Weston, yeah right there in the middle,” said Colin Marney.
Lee was commissioned by UNG's Military College in 2014. The Department of Defense said 1st Lt. Weston C. Lee was killed this past Saturday when an IED detonated during a patrol outside Mosul as part of advise and assist support group.
“I took away one thing from Weston, it was always have fun no matter how bad your situation was. Weston was the person that had fun,” said Nick S
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.
Mitchell and Colin Marney are to become commissioned officers Friday afternoon at ceremonies at UNG. They said Lee will be in everyone’s hearts.
“Obviously he wouldn’t be here for the ceremony, but I think everyone will be feeling just his absence,” said Colin Marney.
Lee will soon be among other fallen services members etched on a campus memorial. His classmates also said they started a GoFundMe account to set up a scholarship in his name at UNG.
“I think it’s just a testament to him and like his legacy of selfless service and sacrifice,” said Marney.
His friends said 1st Lt. Weston C. Lee was from Bluffton, Georgia, but will be buried with honors at Arlington Cemetery. The Department of Defense said Lt. Lee will be awarded the Purple Heart posthumously.