SC parents return from Afghanistan deployment for teen son's mem - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

SC parents return from Afghanistan deployment for teen son's memorial

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SALUDA, SC -

Members of the community joined together to remember the life if 17 year old Waeland Peeples.

Peeples, of the Batesburg-Leesville area,  lost his life last Sunday when he drowned in Lake Murray.

Both of Waeland's parents were deployed in Afghanistan with the NC National Guard when the incident happened. They came home this week and spoke to the group at his memorial on Thursday evening.

They say seeing all of the support from the community will help in their time of grief.

Friends and family say Waeland always loved playing his guitar and the drums.

"Music was the biggest part of his life, besides mud-bogging and trucking, music was everything to him," said Brittany Hydrick.

"He was a good friend, if it wasn't for him, I couldn't have done it, he was someone that I could depend on, I love that boy to death and that will never change," said Hydrick.

Hydrick was one of Waeland's closest friends. She says without him she never would have made it through school. When she found out that he drowned...she knew something needed to be done. So she organized a memorial to honor his life.

"This is our way of saying goodbye, but it's not goodbye forever, its until next time."

Waeland's picture was placed on the rock outside of the school. Gambrell says the rock signifies the strength of the Batesburg-Leesville community.

"It brings the community together and that's what it was intended for when it was placed here."

For Hydrick she says her buddy Waeland will walk across the stage with her at graduation next year and be with her for the rest of her life.

"I feel like he is right here, he is standing right here I know he is," said Hydrick.

The funeral will be Saturday at 11AM at First Baptist Church in Batesburg.

If you would like to donate to the Memorial Fund send your donations to:

Waeland Peeples Memorial Fund
C/O SC National Guard FCU
PO BOX 9366
Columbia, SC 29290

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