Gov. Roy Cooper ordered flags to be lowered in tribute to Cpl. Dillon C. Baldridge, who was killed June 10, 2017 in Afghanistan.
In a memo sent to state officials, the UNC system, courts, General Assembly and others, Cooper ordered that the North Carolina flag be lowered to half-staff on all state facilities beginning Wednesday in honor of Baldridge, 22, who was from Youngsville.
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Baldridge was one of three soldiers killed June 10 in the Peka Valley, Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan. Also killed were Sgt. Eric M. Houck, 25, of Baltimore, Md.; and Sgt. William M. Bays, 29 of Barstow, Ca. Reports from national outlets say the three were killed when an Afghan soldier opened fire in an apparent inside attack. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
They were assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Company D, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.
In a release, the Army said Baldridge was posthumously promoted to sergeant.
“Today, as we grieve, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Cpl. Baldridge, Sgt. Houck and Sgt. Bays. We take this as a family loss,” said Maj. Gen. Andrew Poppas, Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell. “In the days ahead, the 101st soldiers and the Rakkasans will continue the fight against terrorism with unbridled determination. Our soldiers are battle-hardened and committed to the defense of our nation and the freedoms for which we fight.”