During the 2021 State of the State address from the State Capitol in Pierre Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Kristi Noem presented her Governor’s Award for Heroism to Hughes County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Lee Weber.
Weber tragically drowned drowned in the Missouri River, north of Fort Pierre, after jumping in to save his 8-year-old son on July 3. He did manage to get his son to safety.
Noem recognized members of Weber’s family who attended the speech.
Below are excerpts from Noem’s Tuesday speech:
“Chief Deputy Weber had served the department since 2015. Before that, he enlisted in the U.S. Army soon after 9/11 and completed two tours in the Middle East in service to our great country. He was active in the Army National Guard and loved hunting and fishing, watching football, and spending time with his wife, Wendy, and their six children, whom he loved deeply.
This past July 3rd, Lee was boating with his family on the Missouri River. His son fell out of the boat with no life vest on. Without hesitation, Lee dove into the water to save his son. While he was able to get his son to safety, Lee was not able to save himself. He died a hero that day.
We grieve the loss of this great man, and we honor Lee for his courage, his sacrifice and his selfless commitment to you and your family. Wendy, I want to extend my prayers and condolences to you and to your entire family.
Would you and your family please stand? Today, given his selfless courage and sacrifice, I am awarding the Governor’s Award for Heroism to your husband, Chief Deputy Lee Weber.”