Instructor remembers ‘Fallen Soldier’

Eulogized as a comedian, a great guy, a great person, a great soldier and a great friend, former Bamberg Job Corps student, Specialist 4th Class Abraham Sherrod Wheeler, III, was laid to rest Saturday, September 4, in Fort Jackson National Cemetery as a result of injuries he sustained on Friday, August 28, in Afghanistan.

Job Corps Center welding instructor, Keith Edgington, who taught Wheeler from March 20, 2006 to October 30, 2006, remembers him as being “a good student, very smart, a quick learner and having a good natural ability in welding.

“I would tell him I needed this and in about 20 minutes he would come up to me and ask do you mean this? He did better than most students did here,” said Edgington.

As a result of Wheeler’s death, Edgington, a military veteran himself, said he has made a point to get in touch with all of his former students and their families who are serving overseas in war. “It was devastating to learn of Wheeler’s death,” he said.

Rod, as he was affectionately called by family and friends, was educated in the public schools of Richland County and was a 2005 graduate of Ridgeview High School. At Ridgeview he was honored for two years as the best defensive player for the football team. He continued his education at the Bamberg Job Corps Center where he received a certificate in welding.

Shortly after leaving the Bamberg Job Corps Center on June 20, 2007,Wheeler joined the United States Army. He completed his basic training at Fort Benning, GA, and his Advanced Individual Training at Fort Gordon, GA, and was assigned to HHT 3/71 Calvary at Fort Drum, NY. In December of 2008, his unit was deployed to Afghanistan where he was performing his duties as a Communication Specialist.

During his brief military service, he was the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and postmortem - The Purple Heart Award. He was devoted to his family and had a humble and loving spirit with a smile that would light up any room.

Wheeler’s life, love and legacy will be cherished by father, Abraham Wheeler, Jr., his mother, Wendy Hudson; and his brother, Travis Wheeler, all of Columbia, South Carolina.