Editor's note: Columbia Board of Education President Tom Rose issued this statement following the deaths of Sterling Wyatt and Zane Lee:
“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."
COLUMBIA — Sterling William Wyatt, a Rock Bridge High School graduate and U.S. Army soldier, was killed Wednesday in Afghanistan.
Wyatt served in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan and was due to return home in August.
He was featured in an article from the Missourian Neighborhood News published March 18, 2010, that featured employees of the Bee Line at 912 S. Old 63.
At the time, Sterling was living at home with his younger brother, Chandler, and his parents, Sherry and Randy Wyatt. Sherry Wyatt is a registered nurse at University Hospital.
When the article was published, Sterling was attending Moberly Area Community College and was planning to transfer to Columbia College and join its ROTC program. After that, he planned to join the Army and train to become an Army Ranger.
He said he wanted to join the Army because he is “really not organized and it would be a good place to learn to focus.”
Wyatt was also an Eagle Scout, according to an article published in the Missourian in 2009.
Wyatt was assigned to 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
He joined the Army in November 2010 and arrived at the Washington state base in March 2011.
Wyatt deployed to Afghanistan last December. This was his first deployment.
The U.S. Army does not disclose cause of death until 24 hours after the next of kin has been notified.
Information about funeral arrangements was not available Wednesday evening.
Supervising editor is Katherine Reed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.