Hartzler Bill to Memorialize Fallen Missouri Soldier Passes House
Click here or on the image above to see Congresswoman Hartzler's speech on the House floor honoring Specialist Sterling Wyatt.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler’s (MO-04) bill, H.R. 4960, which would honor the memory of Missouri-born Specialist Sterling William Wyatt by naming the downtown Columbia Post Office Building at 511 East Walnut Street after him.
“Over the past few months, I have had the privilege of hearing firsthand accounts of Sterling’s service and sacrifice and meeting with and getting to know Sterling’s wonderful parents, Randy and Sherry,” said Congresswoman Hartzler. “I am deeply moved and humbled by Sterling’s willingness to serve his country and, sadly, pay the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the freedoms we cherish. We are forever indebted to Sterling and his family for all they have given for our nation. It is my hope that by naming the downtown Columbia Post Office in his memory we will forever honor his life of selfless service and inspire future generations to serve others, as well. Everyone who passes by and enters its doors will see this brave soldier’s name and be reminded that freedom is not free.”
Born and raised in Columbia, Spc. Wyatt was an active participant in his youth group and church. He was also quite accomplished: he earned the rank of Eagle Scout, a first-degree black belt in taekwondo, and certification as a Certified Nurse Attendant all before graduating from Rock Bridge High School in 2009.
Soon after graduating, he joined the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McCord, Washington. He was later deployed abroad to serve his country. Tragically, at only 21-years old, Spc. Wyatt was killed on July 11, 2012 while on patrol in Kandahar, Afghanistan. His vehicle was attacked with an enemy improvised explosive device (IED).
Last fall, Cathy Rupard of Midwest Mailing Service in Columbia contacted Congresswoman Hartzler to recommend that the downtown Columbia Post Office be dedicated in memory of Spc. Wyatt. Her letter was accompanied by a separate letter of support from Tim Rich of Welcome Home, which provides transitional and emergency housing and other support services for homeless veterans. Upon receiving these letters from her constituents, Congresswoman Hartzler met with Spc. Wyatt’s parents, Randy and Sherry, to get to know Sterling through them and to verify their support of this effort to memorialize their son’s memory. They wholeheartedly lent their support, and the Congresswoman introduced this meaningful bill, shepherding it thru the legislative process in the House.
Spc. Wyatt’s awards and decorations include the Medal of Valor, Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, NATO Medal, Certificate of Achievement, and Combat Infantryman Badge.
This legislation now heads to the Senate for consideration.
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