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Flags to be lowered for North Carolina soldier killed in Afghanistan

Sgt. Dillon Baldridge

WILKES COUNTY, N.C. — Gov. Roy Cooper has ordered all U.S. flags at state facilities be lowered half-staff in remembrance of fallen North Carolina soldier Sgt. Dillon Baldridge, WNCN reports. The order begins Thursday and continues until sunset Friday.

Baldridge, 22, was killed in Afghanistan on June 10 after a member of the Afghan army opened fire. His obituary states that he was born July 18, 1994, in Raleigh and grew up in Youngsville. The Department of Defense announced that 29-year-old Sgt. William M. Bays of Barstow, California, and 25-year-old Sgt. Eric M. Houck of Baltimore, Maryland, were killed in the same attack.

Baldridge, who was posthumously promoted from corporal to sergeant, was flown into the Wilkes County Airport at about 1 p.m. Wednesday. His procession led from the airport, through North Wilkesboro and ended in Ashe County.

Hundreds lined the route to pay their respects.

Baldridge’s legacy – already cemented in American history – continues to grow, inspiring young Americans to consider serving in the military themselves.

His memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Friday at Ashe County High School. A graveside service will follow for family and military.

Baldridge is survived by his mother, Tina Palmer, and father, Christopher Baldridge. Also mourning his passing are his stepfather Tom Palmer, stepmother, Jessie Baldridge, and siblings Zachary Palmer, Isabel Palmer, Ethan Baldridge, Lucas Baldridge and Shelby Baldridge.