SHERMAN -- Friends say Spc. Braden J. Long was doing exactly what he dreamed of doing since high school-- fighting for the country he loved in Iraq.
Friends of Braden remember memories of growing up together at Piner Middle School in Sherman.
Friend Aaron Gregory remembered Braden’s toughness.
"I remember when we we're younger, and we wrestled on the trampoline, and he was smaller but he beat me and taught me it's not the dog in the fight in the dog but the size of the fight in the dog."
Friend Josh Nail says Braden was determined to follow his heart when he asked what his plans were after graduation.
“He said ‘I want to go into the military and serve my country."
Upon graduation, Braden signed up and started training in Fort Riley, Kansas, and then was sent to Baghdad in February on Mountain Patrol.
"There’s no doubt in my mind if he was given a task he'd get the job done," added Gregory.
But news that Braden's Humvee was hit by a grenade attack on Saturday is hard for everyone to bare including his friends.
The memories though will remain with those who knew him well.
"I never saw him saying a mean thing to anyone. He was always friendly and nice," Gregory said.
"He always had something funny to say. He was always outgoing with people."
Braden's friends say his brother is also serving in the Air Force. They say their prayers are with his family.
Funeral services are now set for Sherman soldier Braden Long, 19, who was killed in Iraq on Saturday.
Family members say funeral services for long are set for August 19th at the Waldo Funeral Home in Sherman.
Long will be escorted back to the states by his brother, who is also serving in the Air Force in Germany.
They will fly into the Grayson County Airport sometime next week.
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