YOUNGSVILLE, North Carolina (WTVD) — Family, friends, and strangers in Youngsville paid tribute to a fallen soldier on Saturday night.
Flags were lowered to honor 22-year-old Dillion Baldridge, who was killed in Afghanistan after a member of the Afghan army opened fire on his American compatriots.
Baldridge was assisting Special Forces and training members of the Afghan Army.
ABC11 has learned that after his death, the U.S. Army promoted Baldridge from Corporal to Sergeant.
The community honored the fallen hero during a memorial service on Luddy Field, a place where Baldridge played baseball as a child.
During the service, family and friends remembered a man they described as funny and dedicated to serving.
22-year-old Corporal Dillon C. Baldridge of Youngsville
His childhood dream was to become a U.S. soldier, and his dream came true.
“His mind was made up to be a soldier,” his former childhood teacher told the crowd at Luddy Field.
Baldridge was one of his smallest cadets and the teacher didn’t think the young man could survive the program, but Baldridge proved him wrong.