Raleigh, N.C. — The body of a fallen Raleigh soldier was returned to his hometown Monday, where he will be buried later this week.
Darrion T. Hicks, 21, of Raleigh, was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on July 19. He was stationed in Germany and deployed to Afghanistan a few months ago to help find buried explosives.
Hicks was promoted posthumously from the rank of specialist to corporal.
The Patriot Guard Riders and Raleigh police officers paid respects as Hicks' flag-draped casket was flown into Raleigh-Durham International Airport Monday morning.
A memorial service will be held at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at 10 a.m. Wednesday and is open to the public. A burial service will then take place at Raleigh National Cemetery.
Hicks was a 2009 graduate of Broughton High School, where he was honored as Mr. Junior ROTC. He participated in the Broughton ROTC drill team, color guard and Veterans Day parade units.
He joined the Army immediately upon graduating and was assigned to the 54th Engineer Battalion, 18th Engineer Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command in Bamberg, Germany.
"We knew he was trying to serve his country," said family friend Gloria Murray. "He did that, and we want to commend him and his family for the work he has done."
Broughton teachers recalled that Hicks always wanted to become a soldier.
"I know he was going to make a good one," automotive technology teacher Ricky Brantley said. "You know what? He passed away fulfilling the goal he had set."
Hicks is survived by his mother and younger brother.