Sterling Wyatt, 21, was a soldier who lost his life in 2012 in an IED explosion while serving the US Army in Afghanistan. His mother, Sherry Wyatt, 55, came to StoryCorps to share the story of how she learned of her son’s character through his journals and stories from his brothers-in-arms.
Sterling Wyatt’s death while serving the US Army in Afghanistan in 2012 lead to the funeral that brought out thousands of Columbians dressed in red to show their support of the Wyatt family.
The story was produced by George Varney for KBIA. Music by Chris Zabriskie.
The Rev. Carol McEntyre began her role as senior pastor at First Baptist Church in downtown Columbia in July. During her first week, news broke that Army Spc. Sterling Wyatt, a member of the church, was killed in Afghanistan.
A crowd gathers before the funeral of Army Spc. Sterling Wyatt on July 21 at First Baptist Church on Broadway. Wyatt died earlier this month in Afghanistan, and thousands of community members gathered in red shirts to support the family.
Credit Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS
People in red shirts line Broadway in preparation for the funeral procession of Army Spc. Sterling Wyatt from First Baptist Church to the cemetery. After the service at the church, community members spread themselves out along the route.
Columbia came together on Saturday to remember a fallen soldier. A radical protest group had said it would be in town for the funeral, but it was overshadowed. The event was much more than a response to a protest.
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.