Tyler Milam Westbrook was many things - a beloved son, husband, father, brother, grandson, son-in-law and uncle; Promise Scholar and 2002 honors graduate of Williamstown High School where he excelled at multiple sports; an avid West Virginia University fan and magna cum laude graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in 2006; and a highly decorated member of the U. S. Army, a Green Beret, graduating as the Distinguished Honor Graduate from the Special Forces Weapons Sergeant Course. He served in many difficult and challenging assignments over an eight year period of duty which included multiple tours in Iraq. SFC Tyler Milam Westbrook was 31 years old at the time that he ended his life earlier this summer, following a struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. His family, friends and all who knew him were deeply shaken by this tragic loss. Citizens of his hometown of Williamstown filled the Williamstown High School gymnasium for his memorial service.
Many people wanted to do something to commemorate Tyler's special life and to remember his leadership and many friendships. Tyler was legendary among Williamstown athletes. Information from his family indicates that he began wrestling at age four and continued throughout high school, accumulating a career record of 116-27. Tyler placed several times in state wrestling, including holding the role of state champion in the 152 lb. division. Tyler was the football team captain, making All-LKC DB and achieving a 2001 national record with four blocked punts in consecutive games. Tyler competed in pole vault, long jump and relays on the 2001 and 2002 track teams.
While Tyler will be forever remembered for his heroism as a Green Beret and sniper, and his dedication to serving our country, his family and friends want to honor his legacy at the Williamstown High School and recently initiated a scholarship fund with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF). Gifts toward Tyler's scholarship were given to the PACF to form a perpetual memorial award in Tyler's name each year. Established in 1963, PACF is a 501(c)(3) type public charitable foundation so gifts to PACF to support Tyler's scholarship are fully tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. PACF encourages public support of this new charitable fund so that it can grow in its capacity to help others in Tyler's name. The scholarship will be awarded for the first time in May 2016 to the student who is in fourth position among the Williamstown High School graduates, as that was Tyler's class rank at graduation, with the award continuing in that manner every year thereafter. In this way, Tyler's legacy will be forever honored at the Williamstown High School—his high school in his home town—a place that has meant so much to he and his family over many years,.