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

Larneice Williams brings her 6-year-old Chihuahua, Mr. King, to the St. Francis Pet Care  every other Tuesday to get his routinely checkup and food. Mr. King is considered a regular at the clinic.

Clinic Offers Health Care For Pets Every Tuesday

The Saint Francis House Pet Care Clinic provides free non-emergency health care for pets of economically troubled owners four times a month. In the colder months, they give out cold weather clothes and blankets because homeless shelters do not allow animals unless they are service animals.


Rozie Smith, a volunteer with Food4Kids Backpack program works together with fellow volunteer, Brantley Mason, to put together a canned food box at the organization’s warehouse as the holiday season approaches

Local Organization Fills Christmas Spirit “One Belly At A Time”

Food4Kids Backpack Program of North Florida Inc., is furthering its year-round fight against food insecurity for youth by providing food during the winter holidays to students who mainly rely on meals during school hours.


The drop box for letters to Santa stands at the left entrance of the Gainesville Post Office. Mail handlers check the drop box for submissions four to five times a day.

Operation Santa Seeks Benefactors

Gainesville Post Office participates in the Santa Operation program for the first time. The program started receiving letters from across the country starting Dec. 2, and it will match the benefactors until Monday.


Alachua County migrant children receive gifts from the Angel Tree charity project last Christmas. 

Photo courtesy of Alachua County Multi-County Migrant Education program.

Angel Tree Shines Light On Migrant Families

The Angel Tree Charity Project helps make sure struggling migrant families have a normal Christmas. Hundreds of families are helped with the charity project.


Newnans Lake, shown here near 7400 E. University Ave., in Gainesville, Fla.

Alachua County Receives Florida’s 36th State Forest

The 1,000-plus acres of diverse land west of Newnans Lake in Gainesville will provide bicycle and hiking trails for the public in spring 2015.


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