UPDATE: Government Releases Spc. Sterling Wyatt's Cause of Death
COLUMBIA - The U.S. Department of Defense released the cause of death of Specialist Sterling Wyatt, a graduate of Rock Bridge High School killed while serving in Afghanistan.
The department said Wyatt was killed July 11 from "wounds sustained when his vehicle was attacked with an enemy improvised explosive device (IED)."
The attack happened in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan.
Wyatt was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington according to the department. His awards and decorations include: 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.
Wyatt's death is the second service-related death from the Columbia area in the past week. Specialist Zane Thompson Lee, a Hickman graduate, died in Indiana over the weekend. The cause of his death is currently unknown.
Columbia Board of Education President Tom Rose released a statement in response to the death of the two men.
"Our graduates go on to many things, including military service. We are proud of our students that serve our country through the military. We are extremely saddened to learn of the deaths of two of our former students as they served their country through the military. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and friends," Rose said.