Local News

Slain Rocky Mount soldier a 'hero' to family

Posted November 19, 2012 3:18 p.m. EST
Updated November 19, 2012 6:30 p.m. EST

— A soldier from Rocky Mount died last week in Afghanistan, only three weeks after deploying there, his family said Monday.

Staff Sgt. Rayvon Battle Jr., 25, was part of the 38th Engineer Company, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

The Army has released few details about how Battle was killed, saying only that it happened Nov. 13 in Kandahar province. But his family said they know he died doing what he felt was important.

"He said to me, 'Grandma, I want to go so I can learn more to be a man,'" said his grandmother, Dora Harris.

Battle also had been deployed to Iraq twice.

His mother died when he was young, so Harris reared him. The 2005 graduate of Northern Nash High School always dreamed of becoming an engineer, she said.

"I'll always love him dearly, and within my heart, he'll always be my hero," she said. "It's hard on us, but through the grace of God, I know he's going to take care of us."

Battle is survived by his wife and a young daughter. Harris said no date has been set for his funeral, which will be held in North Carolina.