Hartzler Introduces Bill to Name Columbia Post Office After Specialist Sterling Wyatt
On Wednesday, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) introduced H.R. 4960, which would honor the memory of Missouri-born Specialist Sterling William Wyatt by naming the downtown Columbia Post Office Building at 511 East Walnut Street in his name.
“Specialist Wyatt’s life exemplifies what is good about America and what we all should emulate — service above self,” said Congresswoman Hartzler. “Specialist Wyatt gave his life for his country and left an indelible mark on our hearts. His dedication to serving his community and country were a testament to his faith and family — especially his loving parents, Randy and Sherry. It is humbling to have the chance to memorialize Specialist Wyatt’s patriotism and courage by dedicating this facility – located in the heart of Columbia – to the life of service he led."
Spc. Wyatt was born and raised in Columbia. Early on in his life, he showed commitment to serving his community by being an active participant in his youth group and volunteering at church. Through his service and hard work, he was quite an accomplished young man: he earned the rank of Eagle Scout, a first-degree black belt in taekwondo, and certification as a Certified Nurse Attendant all before graduating from Rock Bridge High School in 2009.
Soon after graduating, he decided to continue his lifestyle of service by joining the U.S. Army. He was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McCord, Washington and later deployed to serve his country in Afghanistan. Tragically, at the age of 21 years, Spc. Wyatt was killed on July 11, 2012 while on patrol in Kandahar, Afghanistan. His vehicle was attacked with an enemy improvised explosive device (IED).
“Our military men and women voluntarily sign on the dotted line, willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for all Americans. We all owe them a debt of gratitude we’ll never be able to pay,” said Timothy Rich, executive director of Welcome Home, a homeless veterans organization in Columbia. Timothy watched Spc. Wyatt grow up, as Wyatt lived in the same neighborhood and participated in the same Boy Scout Troop as his son.
After Sterling died, Timothy was one of several constituents who reached out to the Congresswoman’s office about naming the Columbia Post Office after him. “Those who fulfill that pledge and make that sacrifice – like Sterling Wyatt – deserve to be remembered and honored. We are deeply grateful for Congresswoman Hartzler’s effort to memorialize Sterling’s life for generations to come."
Spc. Wyatt’s awards and decorations include the Medal of Valor, Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, NATO Medal, Certificate of Achievement, and Combat Infantryman Badge.
Congresswoman Hartzler chairs the Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations on the House Armed Services Committee and represents Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District.