First Lt. Weston C. Lee, 25, of Bluffton, Ga, a decorated U.S. Army paratrooper assigned to 1st Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina was killed by an IED blast while on patrol April 29, 2017 as part of an advise-and-assist mission near Mosul.

Lee joined the Army in March 2015 and deployed to Iraq in December. He was a platoon leader on his first deployment at the time of his death.

Lee was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medal. He was also the recipient of awards and decorations including the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Ranger Tab, the Parachutist Badge, and the Army Service Ribbon.

“1st Lieutenant Wes Lee was an extraordinary young man and officer. He was exactly the type of leader that our Paratroopers deserve,” commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team Colonel Pat Work said in a statement. “Our sincere condolences and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”

Last week, First Lt. Weston C. Lee’s body returned home.

PLEASE take a couple of minutes out of your day to watch this and honor one of the best young men ever to come out of our little corner of Georgia. I've never felt so many emotions in such a short amount of time. I still feel like I'm going to be sick and I'm pretty sure I don't have any tears left. I'll never pass by the TV when this is happening again. It's different when you personally know the soul the empty vessel in that box carried. It's just different. And it will be for the rest of my life. Rest in peace Weston. There won't be another one like you brother. And everyone who knew you knew you were an unashamed believer in Jesus Christ. Because of your profession of faith we grieve, but not as men with no hope. What a gift you gave is in that!From my friend Bruce Wilson in Blakely-Many of us have seen or heard on the news tonight that Weston arrived in Dover Delaware. Weston will be transferred to the Air Force Mortuary at Dover Air Force Base. It could be 6 to 7 days before he is released. After that he will be flown to Ft Benning in Columbus. Then the local folks of Blakely will go and bring Weston home. No local plans have been set at this time. These arrangements are subject to change.

Posted by Brad Hughes on Thursday, May 4, 2017

A scholarship fund in honor of Weston C. Lee was set up by Colin Marney, a fraternity brother of Lee’s from the University of North Georgia. As of Tuesday, more than $57,000 was raised through a GoFundMe account.

According to the GoFundMe page:

We have solidified how this scholarship will be established, and are working at creating a Board of Directors for the scholarship. The funds collected (with an amount so far undetermined which will be set aside to assist the Lee family) will be deposited into a scholarship endowment with the University of North Georgia. The qualifications of the scholarship are tentative, but we want to make it clear that this scholarship will be accessible to all contracted cadets at UNG, not just brothers of SAE.

-The paratrooper was tragically killed in late April.