One mid-Missouri soldier has returned home early from his deployment to Afghanistan. Yesterday, Sergeant Major Mike Lederle attended a flag presentation assembly at Southern Boone High School. But the soldier’s presence was a surprise for his 9th and 11th graders who attended the assembly.
The moment was seconds away, but Sergeant Major Lederle was ready for battle. His boots were tied, his gear was perfectly rolled and tucked in, and his posture was stoic. But this time, it wasn’t an enemy he was confronting, it was anticipation.
Sergeant Major Mike Lederle surprised his children at their school in Ashland Wednesday afternoon. His 9th and 11th graders, Trinten and Samantha, thought they were just attending a flag presentation assembly at Southern Boone County high School. But during the ceremony, their father – who they thought was still on deployment to Afghanistan – walked out to greet them with a hug.
Groups of supporters lined the streets of Columbia from the regional airport to the city’s downtown today, in honor of fallen Army soldier Sterling Wyatt, a Columbia native who was killed July 11th while on patrol in Afghanistan.
Columbia citizens lined Stadium Boulevard and Broadway this morning with hanging heads and waving flags to greet the funeral procession carrying Wyatt's body from Columbia Regional Airport to the funeral home.
Advocates of media freedom and human rights say conditions are getting worse under Uzbek President Islam Karimov’s authoritarian rule. The last international monitor, Human Rights Watch, was evicted last year.