WUFT News

Fallen Army Veteran Lives On Through Keystone Heights Football Team

By on September 6th, 2013
Army Sgt. Dick Alson Lee hasn't played for Keystone Heights' high school football team since 2000, but a current player is honoring his jersey number.

Photo provided by Joseph Sayers

Army Sgt. Dick Alson Lee hasn't played for Keystone Heights' high school football team since 2000, but a current player is honoring his jersey number.

The bright white lights shined down on the honored No. 4 as the Keystone Heights High School Indians faced off against the West Nassau High School Warriors on Aug. 30′s Friday night football game.

This is the first season Army Sgt. Dick Alson Lee’s jersey number can be seen on the field since it was retired after his death last year. He graduated from the school in 2000.

His mother, Brenda Carroll, attended the Aug. 30 game to present the jersey to Brighton Gibbs, a KHHS junior, who she said embodies characteristics of Lee.

“He’s a very well spoken young man, very well mannered. I don’t think they could have picked a better person,” said Carroll, 51.

Joseph Sayers said Lee, his best friend, lived and breathed KHHS football. He said high school football is everything to a small town, and it was everything to Lee. He watched hours of game film on other teams.

“He could tell you the size of the players, their numbers, their names, what play they were in, when they lined up,” Sayers said. “He was extremely dedicated.”

When his Humvee ran over an improvised explosive device in the Ghazni providence of Afghanistan in April of 2012, the community considered naming the high school’s football field after him. It resolved to present his jersey number to a player on the team who possessed similar qualities as Lee.

An elementary school field was named after a local Vietnam veteran who was also killed in combat. It’s a big deal when something like this happens in such a small town, Sayers said.

“It’s kind of a legacy for the town,” said Dakota Wiley, a senior at KHHS. “It’s a big effect because everyone knew him, he died in combat serving our country, and he gave everything he had to protect his town, his country.”

Wiley has wanted to join the U.S. Army since he was 8 years old. He wore dog tags to Friday’s game and plans to enlist after high school.

Lee left behind a young family — his wife, Katherine, and sons, David and Joshua.

Contributed photo / WUFT News

Lee left behind a young family — his wife, Katherine, and sons, David and Joshua.

Lee was also interested in serving since he was young. One night, his mother remembers, her husband woke up and didn’t find Lee in his bed. He and his friend went out and dug a foxhole in the backyard. They were “playing army.”

Carroll said he was extremely dedicated, responsible, kind-hearted and would do anything to brighten someone’s day.

One of the men Lee served with wrote her a letter, in which, he told her he realized Lee played a huge role in making him into the man he became. He went on to thank her for making Lee into the man he was.

“Apparently, one of his friends passed over there, and it was Alson who helped him through it,” Carroll said.

The jersey will be worn by Gibbs for the remainder of the season in Lee’s honor.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

Gainesville's Labor Daze Fest attracted attendees for music and political conversation. Jon Uman, candidate for State House 21, was also in attendance.

Labor Daze Fest Provides Venue for Music and Politics

Gainesville’s annual Labor Day event, Labor Daze Fest, attracted visitors for fun as well as for political conversation. Minimum wage and labor unions were among the topics some attendees hoped to hear more about.


Alachua County Sheriff’s Office To Supervise Waldo After Ticketing Charges

A plan, under development, would allow the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office to supervise Waldo police operations after allegations that the former chief and interim chief established illegal ticketing quotas.


University of Florida President Bernie Machen is doused with ice water for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Machen was nominated to participate in the nationwide campaign by Kéran Billaud, a Ph.D. student at UF.

UF President Participates in ALS ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’

University of Florida President Bernie Machen participated in the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” on Monday. Machen nominated all YouTube viewers as well as the president of UF Student Government and the vice president of the UF Division of Student Affairs.


State Buys Land For Florida Greenway

State park managers have said they will be buying or trading land in Marion, Palm Beach, and Jackson counties. This is to fill the gaps of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway, a recreational outdoor area that spans 110 [...]


The charred remains of a Levy County home are all that remain following a fire that killed two people early Wednesday morning, August 20, 2014. (Virginia Hamrick/WUFT News)

Two People Die in Levy County Home Fire

Local law enforcement and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating a mobile home fire that occurred in Levy County early Wednesday morning.  Lt. Scott Tummond of Levy County Sheriff’s Office said the Bronson Fire Department responded to calls at [...]


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments