EDITORS NOTE: KLTV was asked by the wife of Staff Sergeant Nelson Trent to not publicize time, date or location of the processional, funeral or burial services. The request was made by the family with the ongoing presence of protestors showing up at military funerals.
TYLER (KLTV) - East Texans are remembering a soldier killed in Afghanistan.
The Department of Defense confirmed earlier this week that Army Staff Sergeant Nelson Trent died Thursday, December 13, in Kandahar after an Improvised Explosive Device ignited.
Staff Sergeant Trent was a 1993 graduate of Whitehouse High School.
He and friend James Wansley met while they were students there.
"Our favorite thing was to throw on some camo and then run out in the woods and play bb gun tag out in the woods. So it was kind of like being friends with Huck Finn who was, you know, always looking for the next adventure and always looking for the next world to explore," said Wansley.
They lost touch over the years, but Wansley says he reconnected with Trent online a few years ago and stayed in touch there.
"He was a father, a husband, a friend to me, a hero. He was in the military for 12 years active-duty," Wansley said.
Staff Sergeant Trent served two tours in Iraq, in 2003 and 2005 and also served as a patrol agent for the Texas Border Security Mission. This past May, he accepted a position with the 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, which sent him to Afghanistan.
"It always made me feel comfortable and safe that he was over there taking care of things because I knew he would do it well," Wansley said.
Wansley says Trent always made sure everyone around him had a good time.
"Whenever we would get together with people he was the center of attention. If he was there, you knew he was there, and he liked to have fun," he said.
And in this time of need, an online fund has been established to help Trent's wife, April, with funeral expenses, and to start college funds for his 9 year-old son David and 4 year-old daughter Camryn.
"Every year around this time, the family's going to feel the burden of this tragedy more so than they do throughout the year. And we're hoping that the community can reach out to them so they can feel the love," said Wansley.
If you'd like to donate to the Trent family, please visit their online memorial.
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