1st Lt. Weston C. Lee, a 2014 graduate of the University of North Georgia, died April 29, in Mosul, Iraq, from injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated during a patrol.
“Lt. Lee made the ultimate sacrifice in service to his country, and our hearts and thoughts are with his family and friends,” UNG President Bonita Jacobs said when the news was received.
Lee, 25, of Bluffton, Georgia, a paratrooper, was assigned to 1st Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He deployed to Iraq in December 2016; it was his first deployment.
Lee was “an extraordinary young man and officer. He was exactly the type of leader that our paratroopers deserve,” Col. Pat Work, the commander of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, said. “Our sincere condolences and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”
Two fraternity brothers of Lee’s, Colin Marney and Nick Shaw, started a Go Fund Me account to solicit donations to establish a scholarship fund in Lee’s memory; additional proceeds will go to Lee’s family. Additionally, tax-deductible donations may be made through the UNG Foundation website to the 1LT Weston Lee Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Marney called Lee a caring person who was “larger than life” and said Lee served as a role model for his fellow cadets and fraternity brothers.
“Weston was just one of the most competitive people we’ve ever met and he was just a winner all around. Everything he did he did 100 percent and we thought we’d establish something that rewarded people who followed that legacy – giving your all no matter what like Weston did,” said Marney, who graduates and commissions into the U.S. Army’s armor branch on Friday, May 5. “The overwhelming success that we’ve seen with the Go Fund Me is a testament to his character and that people felt so strongly about him.
”Lee’s awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Ranger Tab, the Parachutist Badge, and the Army Service Ribbon. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, and the Meritorious Service Medal.
Lee was interred in Arlington National Cemetery, on May 25.
Lee is the eighth graduate from the university killed while on active duty since 9/11. As is tradition, his name will join theirs on UNG’s Memorial Wall on the Dahlonega Campus and he will be honored during the April 2018 Memorial Retreat.