Marine Sgt. Wade Wilson (USMC photo)
*10 P.M. Update*
Texas is remembering a hero on this Armed Forces Day.
A Leon County Marine is laid to rest after paying the ultimate price in the fight for freedom.
News 3 captured the outpouing of love and support for Sergeant Wade Wilson in Centerville Saturday.
The Marine's passing is uniting not only close-knit Leon County but people from across the state and country.
More than a thousand people, from as far away as Michigan, filled the Centerville High School Auditorium Saturday.
It's a story of sadness but also joy remembering Leona's hometown hero.
And while Sergeant Wade Wilson only lived on this earth 22 years, he lives on in the memories of those who knew him.
It's a life that touched not only those of Leon County but across a state and even the far corners of the world.
Marine Sergeant Wade Wilson of Leona was killed during combat May 11th while on duty in Helmand Province Afghanistan.
We're told his actions saved two fellow Marines.
Pastor Joe Dacus of Leona Baptist Church spoke of Wilson's faith in Christ and heart for service.
"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but he loves what is behind him," said Dacus during the funeral service.
Corey Boudiette has been best friends with Wade since first grade.
"Don't discredit his death by saying we shouldn't be over there you know that was his choice and he was completely devoted to the cause. You know he doesn't, that's not how he felt he just he wanted to do his job and he did his job," said Boudiette.
During the memorial State Senator Steve Ogden and Representative Marva Beck presented the family with a flag that had flown on top of the State Capitol in the Marine's memory.
Following the service at Centerville High School a sea of cars and Patriot Guard motorcycles escorted the casket to Evans Chapel Cemetery outside Leona with hundreds lining the streets as the procession passed through his hometown.
"This is what we do. We're patriots, we're honoring our son that was fallen in Afghanistan," said Janice Hayes of Centerville.
Hayes and friends waved flags in show of support. She is close friends with Wilson's grandparents.
"You just had to be here to appreciate the emotion and the crowd. This auditorium holds 704 people it was full. They were lined up around the sides out in the parking lot listening on the radio. This is just a testimony to this young man," she said.
A young man who gave it all, with a county, state, and nation forever grateful.
"And I know for a fact he's looking down and smiling right now and loving the attention and you know he wants us to be happy. He wouldn't want us to be around mourning, mourning his death," said Corey Boudiette.
Sergeant Wade Wilson joined the Marines at the age of 17 and was on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.
He is survived by his mom and dad, step parents and more than half a dozen siblings.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the "Sgt. Wade Daniel Wilson Scholarship Fund," set up at Citizens State Bank in Buffalo and Centerville or any Wells Fargo location.
More than one thousand people gathered at the Centerville High School auditorium Saturday morning to say goodbye to Sgt. Wade Daniel Wilson. Wilson, 22, of Leona, passed away Friday, May 11, 2012 while conducting combat operations in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. Sgt. Wilson was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine, Expeditionary Force in Camp Pendleton, California.
Survivors include mother & step-father, Cindy Lee (Lowry) & Ward Easterling of Leona; father & step-mother, Mitchell Boyd "Rusty" & Tammy Wilson of Livingston; 3 brothers & 1 sister.
In lieu of flowers, the family of Sgt. Wade Wilson requests that donations be made to the "Sgt. Wade Daniel Wilson Scholarship Fund" set up at Citizens State Bank in Buffalo and Centerville or any Wells Fargo location. Also, memorials may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, a favorite charity of Wade's to which he regularly donated.
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