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Marines, family, friends and community members all gathered together to sing “God Bless America” at Lance Cpl. Squire Wells memorial at Sprayberry High School in Marietta, Georgia, July 21, 2015. Wells was one of the five military members killed by a gunman at the Naval Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Those closest to Wells remember him not only as a dedicated Marine but as a young man with contagious enthusiasm and a dedicated loving son.

Photo by Cpl. Sara Graham

Lance Cpl. Squire Wells honored at Sprayberry High School

22 Jul 2015 | Cpl. Sara Graham U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve

Family, friends, Marines, veterans and community members poured in by the hundreds to line the stadium bleachers at Sprayberry High School in Marietta, Georgia on July 21, 2015. Looking at the bleachers a sea of flags waved in the wind as those who came to honor Lance Cpl. Squire Wells stood and showed their thanks for the sacrifices he gave to his country.

One by one those who knew Wells walked to the podium in the center of the high school stadium to talk about his character, the dedication he had to becoming a Marine and the protector he was, not only for those around him but for his country.

“Skip was a protector,” said Andrew C. Esserwein, director of Bands at Sprayberry High School and one of Wells teachers. “If you were sad he would make you happy, if you were by yourself he made you part of the group and more importantly if you were being picked on he defended you, he was a protector of our band family and the Sprayberry community.”

Not only was Wells a protector of his community, he was a dedicated to his mission and respected by his fellow Marines.

“He was an integral part of our battery,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Estep, administrative chief with Battery M, 3rd Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment. “He was a great Marine, always motivated to get out to do his job and do it well.”

According to those who knew Wells, he always had a smile on his face, was a natural leader with contagious enthusiasm and a dedicated son.

Wells followed in his mother’s footsteps becoming a Marine just as she was and following a calling to serve his country.

Wells leaves his mother behind, but not without the support of his family of Marines and the community that surrounded him.

During the ceremony black and gold balloons were release with a memorial cards attached to them in hopes they will reach those in the community that were not able to attend the memorial, the cards will remind those who find them to let Cathy Wells know she is not alone.

At the conclusion of the ceremony Wells was given his last set of orders and was relieved of his duty, but he will always be remembered as a Marine and protector of this country.

“Skip was our hero while he as at Sprayberry, but now we share him with our country and with the world,” said Esserwein. “We thank Skip for sacrificing for all of us, we will miss you and love you.”

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