On Wednesday, July 11, 2012, while on patrol in Kandahar Province Afghanistan, Specialist Sterling W. Wyatt was killed in action when his vehicle was attacked with an enemy IED. Sterling was assigned as a Gunner to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington (Jan 2011). Sterling was promoted from Private First Class to Specialist 4 days prior to his death. He has been awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Medal of Valor, the Bronze Star,the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, NATO Medal, and Certificate of Achievement.
Sterling was born September 4, 1990 to proud parents, Sterling R. (Randy) and Sherry (Hawk) Wyatt. He attended Shepard Elementary School, Lange Middle School, Oakland Jr. High School and Graduated in 2009 from Rock Bridge High School. During his senior year, Sterling also completed his Certified Nurse Attendant certification at Columbia Career Center.
While attending Oakland Jr. High School, Sterling was one of a small group selected to represent the City of Columbia via an exchange program with Hakusan City, Japan. Ms. Jean Selby, sponsor of this adventure wrote in a Facebook post, “Taking you to Japan on the exchange program and writing a letter of support for your Eagle Scout recognition are highlights when I look back. You stood for everything good in this world. I cannot fathom why your life was cut so short with all you stood for and had to offer.”
Sterling was active in his church youth group and operator of the soundboard at First Baptist Church of Columbia. He had a very discerning ear for music, and had a love for fun and was full of life.
In 2008, Sterling achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, Troop 706, St. Andrews Lutheran Church. In the same year he also completed his 1st degree Black Belt in Taekwondo from Hockman’s ATA academy.
After graduation, in 2009, Sterling took college classes at Moberly Area Community College and worked at the local Bee Line Convenience Store near his parent’s home. He took all of us by surprise by joining the Army. But his decision was one that gave him a purpose and focus in his life.
Sterling is survived by his parents, Randy and Sherry Wyatt and his brother, Chandler. His paternal Grandmother, Barbara Wyatt of Columbia, maternal grandparents, Harold and Wanda Hawk of Eldon, Missouri. Uncles - Darrel Albu (Oahu, HI), Francis Wyatt (Cuttingsville, VT), Daryl and Harold Wayne Hawk (both of Eldon, Mo), Aunts – Debbie Albu (Oahu, HI), Rhonda Hawk (Moberly, MO), Vickie McQueen and Melissa Hawk (both of Eldon, MO); many cousins and his brothers-in-arms; Hill, Lyden, Frizzel, Tate, Seigfied and many others too numerous to name. He is preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, William E. Wyatt of Columbia.
Sterling was known for his quick wit, kind heart, his loyalty to his friends, and his ability to pick people up that were feeling down or sad. We will miss those blue eyes, big hugs and that smile!
Visitation will be held Friday, July 20, 2012, 5 – 8 pm with Memorial services on Saturday July 21, 2012 at 1 pm. Both Visitation and Memorial services will be held at First Baptist Church, 1112 E. Broadway, Columbia, MO 65201. Interment will follow the service at Memorial Park Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Boy Scouts of America-Great Rivers Region, the Central Missouri Food Bank, or the Sterling Wyatt Memorial – First Baptist Church.
Tributes can be left online at www.memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.