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

Teacher Conference Aims to Bring Global Perspective Into Classrooms

Gainesville Connected, a conference in Gainesville, aims to equip teachers to engage students on global issues such as poverty.


Anna Claire (left) and Katie Scarlett (right) are two capuchin monkeys that were once pets but now live in the Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary. Scarlett is blind and Claire is diabetic.

Primate Sanctuaries Feel Stresses of Insufficient Funding

Sanctuaries are struggling to take in primates as researchers and pet owners forgo euthanasia for better homes.


Oct. 23, 2014: Afternoon News in 90

A video roundup of local, state and national stories for readers in North Central Florida.


The Ocala City Council voted not to renew Matthew Brower's contract as city manager on Tuesday. Brower's current contract will expire on Dec. 21.

Ocala City Manager’s Contract Not Renewed

The request to reappoint Matthew Brower as Ocala’s city manager was rejected on a three-to-two vote by the Ocala City Council. Brower was appointed city manager in February 2011, and his contract will now expire on Dec. 21.


Victoria Rusinov administers FluMist to a child at the Control Flu clinic at Littlewood Elementary School.

CDC Studies Effects of Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine Over Traditional Shot for Children

Recent studies suggests a nasal spray form of the flu vaccine is more effective than the flu shot in healthy children ages 2 to 8, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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