Drowned Teen's Memorial Planned

Peers of Waeland Peeples unite to honor his memory


By Monique Williams

Batesburg Leesville, S.C. (WOLO) -- A military couple fighting in Afghanistan returns to Batesburg Leesville to bury their son, as the drowning death of a Midlands teenager brings the community together.

Peers of Waeland Peeples are putting together a candelight memorial service for the deceased teen. It's set to take place at Batesburg Leesville High School Thursday night at 7:00. This, as the deceased teen's parents recently returned from the Middle East, where they were serving at the time of his drowning death.

Authorities say Peeples, 17, drowned after jumping overboard the pontoon boat he and three other friends were in on Lake Murray Father's Day. Peeples and a friend attempted to swim to the dock and, at some point, began struggling. One of the boys was tossed a life preserver by a person in another boat; Peeples went under and did not come back up.

A family friend says Peeples' parents, who were serving in Afghanistan as part of the South Carolina Army National Guard, at the time he died but now home, are overwhelmed at the community's support.

"They were very honored and excited the kids would go to such great lengths they have to go out of their way and do something like this for them," said family friend Stephanie Maroney.

After the candelight memorial Thursday, the visitation is scheduled for Friday evening from 6:00 to 8:00, Milton-Shealey Funeral Home, Batesburg. The funeral is scheduled for Saturday, 11:00am, First Baptist Church, Batesburg. Donations and well wishes may be sent to the Waeland Peeples Memorial Fund, C/O SC National Guard Federal Credit Union, P.O. Box 9366, Columbia, SC 29290.
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