Spc. Will Rabon
Rabon's mother Martha Rabon shared a moment with him before he left for Afghanistan in July.
Rabon shares a moment with his family members.
Lexington, SC (WLTX) -- The family of Spc. Luther "Will" Rabon of Lexington County told News19 that he was killed in combat Friday in Afghanistan.
In a prepared news release from South Carolina Adjutant General Stanhope Spears, officials said Rabon and Staff Sergeant Willie Harley of Aiken were killed when their vehicle struck an explosive.
"Specialist Rabon and Staff Sergeant Harley were serving their country with honor and pride. The South Carolina National Guard has lost two more members of our family. My thoughts and prayers go out to their families and friends," Spears said in the Monday afternoon release.
On Monday, the community is wrapping their arms around the families of the fallen heroes.
The guardsmen had only been gone since July and News19 with the Rabon family the day Will left. The last time they saw each other Rabon and his mother Martha, shared words of affection, "I love you, okay I love you son, take care." "Yes ma'am."
Back on July 9th there were tears of separation and worry. On Monday, tears flow freely again. Previous Coverage: Local National Guardsmen Deploy to Afghanistan
Mayor of Batesburg-Leesville, Jim Wiszowaty, has been notifying the community of their loss.
"It's been a long weekend. A real somber weekend in Batesburg-Leesville. Their [the communities] prayers and their hearts are with the families for the two young gentlemen. Ya know, it's tough on everybody right now. You see it on TV and you see it happening all over the county and it's a tragedy. But when it hits close to home, it's even more of a tragedy for us."
Around town flags are at half staff and memories are shared.
"We had a couple ceremonies for them before they left. The guys were gracious. They were happy. It's amazing the way the guys acted when they knew they were going into harm's way."
Back in July, Rabon's mother opened up about her son's mission.
"He's really got a lot to leave behind, but he's willing to do that for our freedom, and defend our country and I'm very proud of him."
"I don't think words can express how much the community appreciates them. The county, the state and even the united states appreciates these guys that go out and do this for us," says Wiszowaty.
Rabon is survived by four young children, ranging in age from six years old to one, and his parents. The Rabon family traveled to Delaware for the dignified transfer of the body.
There's no word yet for either man's funeral services.
Spears said that the mission of the 1221 Engineer Clearance Company is to clear roadways for military convoys. Rabon and Harley were scheduled to return with their unit to South Carolina next summer.