ASHE COUNTY, N.C. -- Hundreds gathered at Ashe County High School on Friday to honor Army Sergeant Dillon Baldridge who died in Afghanistan.
Sergeant Baldridge and two of his fellow service members were killed Saturday after an Afghan soldier opened fire on them.
Sgt. Baldridge's family held a public memorial service at the high school where his aunt, Melissa Strickland, sang two songs before a packed auditorium.
"He's a hero," Strickland said. "We're so honored that all of these people recognize that he's a hero."
His brother, Zachary Palmer, said the family is overwhelmed by the support of the Ashe County community.
"I hope you guys take the time today to reflect, and if you didn't know him, that's okay," Palmer said. "There's plenty of stories you can ask plenty of people."
Following the service, a procession lined with motorcycles, fire trucks and police cars drove through West Jefferson to Ashelawn Memorial Gardens, where the family held a private gravesite service.