Fallen Low Country Soldier Laid to Rest

Family and friends are saying goodbye to SSgt. Esau Patterson, Jr. Patterson, a native of Ridgeland, South Carolina, who was killed last week while serving in Iraq. Twenty-five-year-old Patterson paid the ultimate price for our country.

"Great soldier, great leader, great motivator," recalled SSgt. Arnold Jenkins. "He made his rank fast because he was a go-getter. He never settled for nothing."

Patterson was killed by a suicide bomber on April 29 in Iraq, while on a special mission. He was supposed to be home three weeks before he was killed, but his tour was extended.

Hundreds gathered in his hometown of Ridgeland to pay their respects. Not only to a soldier, but a father, son, brother, and uncle. A man many say was a godly man. "Loved his family, loved the Army," said Jenkins. "He'd do anything for anybody, smiled all the time."

SSgt. Patterson's memory will forever live on in this community.

Patterson leaves behind a wife and two children.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com