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Fallen Soldier Buried With Full Military Honors

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The younger brother of a Fort Bragg soldier who died while on patrol in Afghanistan remembered his brother Sunday as one who loved his job and was proud to serve his country.

"Travis only knew how to be one person, a big brother. (It) didn't matter who you were, he was going to be a big brother to you," said James Nixon, of his brother, Staff Sgt. Travis W. Nixon, 24, of the 82nd Airborne, who died last Saturday on a joint Afghan-U.S. patrol near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

The U.S. Army told Nixon's family that he had spotted an enemy group preparing to ambush his unit and that he put himself in the line of fire to help get his men to safety and armed to finish the fight.

"He died while checking to ensure his soldiers were OK. He was our brother and will be remembered forever," said Capt. Brandon Teague, his company commander, on Wednesday.

Not only a soldier who had been deployed twice to Afghanistan and Iraq, Nixon was also a newlywed. He and his wife, Wendy, married in March 2005, just one month before he deployed again to Afghanistan.

"The wedding was the greatest day of both of our lives," Wendy Nixon said.

Wendy Nixon spoke with her husband at least once a week. He called on Oct. 26, before leaving on a mission.

"(It was) just a call to let me know he loved me and missed me," Wendy Nixon said. "I expressed the same and said, 'OK, I'll talk to you in a few days. Be careful, be safe.'"

That was their last conversation.

"Travis died with the highest honor of being a hero in so many ways," Wendy Nixon said. "He went down fighting and protecting."

Nixon, a native of St. John, Wash., was buried with full military honors in Raleigh Sunday. He was honored with a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Silver Star.

The best way to honor Nixon, family members said, is to support others still serving overseas.

The family also started a scholarship in Nixon's name for students at his hometown highschool in St. John. Contributions may be made to:

Dollar for Scholars SSgt. Travis Wayne Nixon St. John Endicott High School Attn: Linda Bailey 109 Nob Hill St. John, WA 99171


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