Bill proposed to name post office after fallen soldier

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COLUMBIA – Rep. Vicky Hartzler introduced a bill to rename the Columbia Post Office after Specialist Sterling W. Wyatt.

Wyatt grew up in Columbia and graduated from Rock Bridge High School. He was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2012 when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device, or IED.

Timothy Rich, Executive Director of Welcome Home, said his own son knew Sterling. Both families are neighbors, and the connection made Rich want to write a letter of support.

“Every veteran who enlists or in some other way, shape or form gets involved with our military, voluntarily signs on a dotted line willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for all of us,” Rich said. “And that’s a huge commitment.”

The letter of support accompanied a letter specifically written to Rep. Hartzler. A friend of Rich’s wrote the original letter.

Rich said the idea for the post office was to honor not only Sterling, but all veterans. 

“That’s just deeply moving to me that people really care about us as Americans and about this country and about our community enough that they’re willing to put their life on the line to preserve our way of life,” he said.

According to Randy Wyatt, Sterling’s father, the day he found out about Sterling’s death he was at work and his wife was out of town. His wife, Sherry, had to come home before they were both allowed to hear the news.

“Some people say ‘I got to meet my hero.’ It’s like, I got to raise mine,” Sherry said. “I gave birth and raised my hero.”