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Family Reflects On Soldier's Death

A Northumberland County community paid its final respects to a fallen hero.
Milton, Northumberland County -- "After all these years of us giving to him, he gave back so much."

Family and friends are celebrating the life of Army Staff Sergeant Thomas Baysore, Jr. The Northumberland County soldier was serving his third deployment in Afghanistan when he was killed on September 26th. His father and widow said Baysore knew he was going to die before he got there.

"He started crying and said he would love us forever," said his widow Jamie Baysore.

"I told him to be careful, but not to hide, if you're going down, go down fighting, and that's exactly what he did," said his father Thomas Baysore, Sr.

They shared stories and reflected on Baysore's not-so-perfect past. He was an abused foster child and a troubled teenager that turned his life around in the military.

"He's unbelievable," said Baysore, Sr. "It's not the boy I thought I was going to end up with, but I'm so proud of him."

Baysore was awarded three Army Commendation Medals and five Army Achievement Medals, among many others. The Patriot Guard Riders held American flags in front of the entrance to the First Baptist Church in Milton.

"He was the poster child for what an American hero is," said Mike Vogt. "This man was a true patriot."

"He helped a little girl that was blown up by her own people," said Baysore, Sr. "He helped get her to medical attention."

Baysore was also a hero to his five-year-old son, Darren. The little boy's aunt read a book she wrote for him.

"He's still thinking that eventually God is going to let him come down, give him a hug, let them play trains, and he wants to go for a bike ride on his motorcycle," said Jamie Baysore.

Staff Sergeant Baysore will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. He will also be awarded a Purple Heart posthumously.
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