Columbia Post Office dedicated to local fallen soldier

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COLUMBIA - The downtown location of the Columbia Post Office was renamed to honor Army Specialist Sterling Wyatt. On July 11, 2012, the 21-year-old was killed while on patrol in Kandahar, Afghanistan. 

The event, honoring his life and sacrifice, was hosted by Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler and Wyatt's family. A plaque dedicated to his service will be placed in the post office. 

Hartzler said the event was an honor. "I reached out to Sterling's parents, sat down with them and got to know Sterling through their stories and I asked them for their permission to do this."  

Wyatt's family gave speeches thanking the public for support.

"We have been fortunate that our son has been very revered and I would like to really think of him as kind of the poster person for our service men, because I don't want it to just be about Sterling, he wouldn't want that," Sherry Wyatt, the mother said. 

Also in attendance was Eagle Scout group 706. The scouts lead the flag ceremonies and pledge of allegiance at the event on Friday. Senior Patrol Leader of group 706, Robert Berry Acton, said the continued involvement of Wyatt's family has brought them to the ceremony Friday. 

"His parents are still very active in the group they are merit badge counselors," said Acton.

Acton says the scout group has a scholarship in Wyatt's name to pay for secondary education like trade school and college. 

Sherry Wyatt said local support for her son's honor has helped her family in the last seven years, "Thank you so much for being here for us that pain doesn't go away but having your support keeps us going."

Wyatt graduated from Rock Bridge High School in 2009 and dedicated his lifestyle of service to the Army in 2010. 

Wyatt's awards include a Medal of Valor, a Bronze Star and a National Defense Service Medal.

In his time in the Army, Wyatt was a member of the fifth Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, third Stryker Brigade Combat Team and second Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.