Thirty-eight-year-old U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Dennis Ray Murray, a 1991 graduate of Hermitage Springs High School, was killed in Afghanistan last Monday, November 21.

Murray was deployed to Afghanistan last April and, according to his mother Wanda Maxy, proudly served his country for 21 years.

“He genuinely loved the Army,” she said. “My brother was killed in Vietnam, and when Dennis signed up to join the Army when he was 18 years old, I was worried for him.”

Maxy, who currently lives in the Union Hill community of Clay County, was told that her son was killed after stepping on an improvised explosive device.

For Maxy, the holiday season has been especially tough in the wake of her son’s death, but she clings to the many happy memories she has of him over the years.

“He was always good to people and he was a very loving, caring father to his children,” she commented. “He was a good son, and I am very proud of him. He will be missed by all of us… I miss him all of the time.”

Sgt. Murray leaves behind two children, 14 and 11 years old, in Lafayette. His remains will be carried to North Carolina, but a local memorial service will be planned.