TOOMBS CO., GA (WTOC) - A community is mourning the loss of a native son killed serving his country.
Flags are flying at half-staff across Lyons and red, white, and blue ribbons adorn doors as people honor the memory of Staff Sergeant Dustin Wright.
Many are remembering the Toombs County High graduate who joined the Army and became a Green Beret.
Former schoolmates like Colt Silvers say this is what the community should do for someone like Wright.
"He was a hero. That's a term that should be associated with his name for the rest of time because he was a hero," Silvers said.
Wright's brother says his family feels pride in the way he served.
Will Wright was 13 months older than Dustin, but he stopped calling him 'little brother' when they got to high school. He was big, but not just in stature.
"Dustin was a man who belonged to everybody. He didn't just belong to our family. He didn't just belong to Toombs County," Will Wright said.
He remembers the pride when Dustin followed him into the Army, and when he became a Green Beret. Last week, he saw national reports of the attack in Niger, and he felt the loss before the Army notified his family.
"I knew what had happened immediately, but I also knew that the way my brother lived his life, he would not have had it any other way, and he would not have traded places with any other member of his team," Wright said.
With his brother's remains now returned to the United States, they must plan a funeral, but he says his family is already touched by the outpouring of love and support from their community for a young man who lived to serve.
"It means so much to me because they are all part of my brother, and we're getting little pieces of him back from everybody," Wright said.
Friends have established a Go Fund Me account to benefit the Green Beret Foundation as well as the place that houses military families when they come to claim the remains of fallen soldiers in Dover.