Spc. Darrion Hicks, 21, died Thursday in Ghazni, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained from an enemy improvised explosive device. The soldier was assigned to the 54th Engineer Battalion, 18th Engineer Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, Bamberg, Germany.
Hicks graduated from Broughton High School in Raleigh in 2009. He was a member of the school's ROTC program for three years, and his picture still hangs in the hallway outside the ROTC classroom.
"He knew he wanted to go into the military and that was his goal, to be in the military because he was very patriotic and he wanted to serve his country," Broughton High School ROTC instructor Master Sgt. Richard Suggs said.
Suggs told ABC11 he saw Hicks earlier this year before he deployed to Germany. The Broughton instructor said he learned of Hicks' death after an email from the school's principal.
"The staff as a whole is in shock. When you've got somebody who's just 21 years old, that's mighty young in life to lose your life. I think the staff that knew him is really sad and we're gonna, like I said, miss him," Suggs said.