Barun Rai, soldier from Silver Spring, killed in Afghanistan

Barun Rai

Loved ones are remembering the life of a Montgomery County soldier who was killed in Afghanistan this week.

The 24-year-old Specialist Barun Rai from Silver Spring was killed in Afghanistan when the vehicle he was riding in rolled over, the Pentagon said. He died on Aug. 3 in Logar province.

Relatives told ABC7’s John Gonzalez that Rai came to the U.S. from Nepal. He dreamed of joining the army.

"He was a nice boy,” said Siddhesuar Das. “Very nice person, helped everybody"

He joined the U.S. Army a few years ago and loved it, relatives say. Most recently, he was deployed as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

"Now everybody is sad... It’s not a good feeling,” said Sita Tamand, a relative.

His parents and sister came to Dover Air Force base Friday for the return of his body. At his home in Silver Spring, relatives and friends remember a caring young man.

"He definitely was an upright" person, neighbor Victor Sesay said.

He said Rai often tried to prevent parking tickets for his neighbors. Before deploying, Rai was assigned to the 54th Engineer Battalion 18th Engineer Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command in Bamberg, Germany. His family was planning to visit him in two weeks.

Expressing himself better in Spanish, friend Walter Aguilar says the neighborhood has always been extremely proud of their local hero.

"It's a big loss for us, too young to lose your life... We are all left deeply saddened,” he said. “But indeed a hero fighting with valor for the country."