By Lauren Leamanczyk, WBZ-TV

EAST KINGSTON, NH (CBS) – Friends are remembering a New Hampshire Soldier killed in Afghanistan.

Nicholas Bernier, 21, served as a combat medic with the 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

Friends say he was proud to be a member of the military.

Michael Andersen, who had known Nick since he was a child, remembers the change in Nick the first time he came home from his deployment in Afghanistan.

“He looked like a soldier and a full grown man,” said Michael. …from a child to being a man.”

The Andersens’ kids grew up with Nick. Later, he worked at their golf course.

“I heard it. I collapsed. I cried, just like I’m going to do right now,” Michael said.

“It’s very upsetting. We put our flag down,” added Michael’s wife Gail.

Nick graduated from Exeter High School in 2007, then followed both of his parents’ examples and enlisted in the army. He was a combat medic before being killed when insurgents attacked his unit.

Nick is the fourth Exeter graduate to be killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Each time it’s hard on Principal Victor Sokul, a veteran whose own son is in the military.

Watch the report by WBZ-TV’s Lauren Leamanczyk

“Your heart strings go out to all of the families,” he said.

The Andersens will always picture Nicholas as a hardworking kid who focused on his job, a shy young man who had a lot of fun with his brothers and sister.

And they’ll remember the pride he had the last time they saw him.

“I’m sure he was a very good soldier,” Gail said.

Bernier had a short but distinguished military career. He earned numerous awards and medals including the Bronze Star and the Army Achievement Medal


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