Community remembers Georgia soldier killed in action

WSAV Staff - LYONS, Ga. (WSAV) — Four American soldiers are dead and two others left wounded after being ambushed by Islamic Extremists in Niger –nearly two weeks ago.

One of those soldiers killed was Toombs County native, Staff Sergeant Dustin Wright. His life and service to our country are celebrated by those who came both near and far to honor him.

Driving into Lyons, Georgia– dozens lined the street to pay their final respects to a hometown hero.

American flags, ribbons, and bows, all in red, white and blue to show pride and patriotism. But, also to pay homage to Sergeant Wright.

Sergeant Wright was killed during an ambush on October 4th in southwest Niger. Wright died from his wounds.

Those wounds have brought the community together to honor and celebrate this Green Beret that many never had a chance to meet– like the patriot guard riders who came from all over Georgia to lead his processional.

Georgia Ride Captain Rick Aaron, who is also a veteran says, "we are here to show honor and respect to a fallen hero and to his family, this man is the epitome of what freedom isn't free means."

Which is why they made the call to lead to processional just two days prior to his funeral.

"I don't think Toombs county has ever seen anything like this and hopefully will never see it again. This is what America, freedom is all about, this is what he is. He will be etched in American history as far as we are concerned," said Aaron.

But Toombs county united while dealing with this tragic loss. Including those who remember growing up and going to school with Wright.

Brittany Bellflower- is a 2007 graduate of Toombs High School along with Wright. She is also his cousin. She says it bring tears to her eyes to see the love they are showing to the man she knew as a class clown.

"You never saw him without a smile on his face or giggling, or trying to make somebody laugh and it's the least we can do as a class to show up and pay our last respects to someone who is such an awesome person," says Bellflower.

Although they graduated 10 years ago she says, it still feels like yesterday they were roaming the halls together.

"Its very humbling, just to see a community and honestly so many people that don't know him to come out and just want to participate in something so special. I think that everyone realizes that without people like Dustin, not just Dustin, but without people like him giving up their lives and just so much of sacrifice," Bellfower said.

After speaking to many in attendance who knew Dustin- they say- he would make the same choice again. Fighting-to free the oppressed.


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