"Jeff Sherer was a hero, and he was a hero to the soldiers he worked with and fought with," Sergeant First Class Page Morgan Said.
Those who attended Wednesday evening's vigil say their memories of 29-year-old Army Sergeant Jeffrey Sherer will never fade.
"He'll forever live in my heart, and he'll forever live in my memories for the things he done for me, big and small," friend Candice Chatham said.
An improvised explosive device killed Sherer in Zabul Province Afghanistan. He was on his second tour of duty while stationed at Fort Wainwright near Fairbanks, Alaska, which is a long way from rural Johnston County, but Four Oaks was never far from his heart.
"Four Oaks was his hometown," Chatham said. "He wanted to make a career out of the military, serve his country and come back here one day. And that's never changed."
It has been years since many of his friends in his hometown have seen him. Although time hasn't stopped the pain of his death, his purpose has soother sorrows.
"He died not in vain," friend Sadie McCausley said. "He gave his life for a good cause, and that's the way he felt about it. He's one fine, sharp young man in my book."
Sherer leaves behind a legacy as a soldier, a hero and a friend.
His friends say his funeral at Arlington National Cemetery is planned for June 23. He leaves behind his wife in Alaska.