Who were these heroes? Sergeant Jeremy Hardison was 23-years old, originally from Maysville. But he most recently lived in Brown's Summit with his wife, Baritone and his step-daughter.
The couple married in April and Hardison left home for duty in May.
His wife says Jeremy loved his country and he enlisted in the military in 2006. He later served in Iraq in 2009.
Among his awards and decorations include the combat action badge, the iraq campaign medal with a campaign star and the army commendation medal.
Sgt. Donna Johnson, a Raeford native not only served her country in Afghanistan, she also served in Iraq from 2007 to 2008.
Donna's awards and decorations include the combat action badge, the iraq campaign medal and army commendation medal.
Sergeant Thomas Butler originally wanted to be a police officer, but his dream veered into a different service direction.
Thomas joined the military in june 2007.
This deployment to Afghanistan was his first.
He was from Wilmington and graduated from Topsail High School in Pender County in 2006.
His friends knew him as TJ and his family said he was dedicated to his school work and played almost every sport during his school days.
Thomas was awarded the national defense service medal and the army service ribbon.
He leaves behind his wife, holly, and their 6-month old boy.
The the three soldiers and their entire unit left North Carolina in June for Fort Bliss, Texas.
They departed for Afghanistan in August.