Gold Star Family Support Scholarships in Memory of...
LCpl Drew Weaver Memorial Scholarship
His memory will live on for far longer.
Drew's classmates, graduates of St. Charles West High School, remember him for his positive attitude, sense of humor and dedication to his country. Work colleagues knew him as someone who made each day fun. Family members say he was a ray of sunshine who could cheer anyone up.
And now Drew is being memorialized another way: in the form of a scholarship from The Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation.
"When he passed, his brother said, 'What can I do? What can I do now? I don't have a brother that will see my kids, be with me from now on.' And I guess my comment to him was, the only thing you can do now is keep his memory alive. That's one of the things we're trying to do with this memorial," said Wesley Weaver, Drew's grandfather.
Drew's family has designated the foundation to distribute the $10,345 given to a memorial fund in Drew's name. The funds will provide scholarships for children of Marines or federal law enforcement personnel killed on duty or under extraordinary circumstances while serving their country.
Tom Walter, chairman of the foundation, said this type of contribution was out of the ordinary, and that every penny would go to the children MCLEF serves. The scholarship will be in Drew's name, Walter said, and he hopes to make it an annual award.
Drew joined the Marines out of high school and left for basic training the following September. He always was patriotic, and wasn't sure what he wanted to do once he graduated, Wesley Weaver said.
Wesley Weaver said the family heard reports that Drew was a good Marine right off the bat, one who was "all business and didn't like down time."
"When they went to battle, he was one of the better ones, they tell me. Or perhaps, there wasn't anybody better," Wesley Weaver said.
Marine Sgt. Casey Fulton has said Drew was patrolling the streets in the Al Anbar province of Iraq with members of C Company 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion when Iraqi gunmen fired upon his unit. Patrolling the streets of Iraqi communities is standard routine for Marines in Iraq, as they ensure there is a visible presence and are instrumental in keeping the peace, Fulton has said.
More than 700 people attended Drew's funeral. Wesley Weaver said Drew's family was overwhelmed at the outpouring of sympathy from those in the city, the business community and Drew's school.
"To me, that is the patriotism that's coming out again from not only his family, but from his outside family," he said.
Drew's family would like to thank all who made contributions to the memorial, as well as Baue Funeral Home, organizers of the Lake Saint Louis-Dardenne Prairie Golf Classic and employees of First State Bank, 206 N. Fifth St. in St. Charles, for the services they provided, Wesley Weaver said.
Brian Weaver, Drew's father, declined to comment for this story, other than to say giving the money to the foundation seemed like the right thing to do.
"This boy was my whole life. He was my best friend," he said of Drew."And his family will be proud of him and cherish his memory for the rest of their lives. We can't take back what's happened, but a parent's job is to take care of the possible and leave the impossible to God," Wesley Weaver said. "This is one of those things we can't fix, so we're leaving it in his hands."