Moore County continues to mourn the loss of Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross, 29, and Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond, both from Aberdeen. The soldiers died by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan last week. The heroes were killed in Ghazni province, an area where the Taliban is resurgent. It was the deadliest attack against U.S. forces in Afghanistan this year.

When you think of a hero, does someone that kisses boo-boos, has tea parties and tickle fights come to mind?  That’s exactly what I envision.

Eric Emond was more than a soldier in the U.S. Army. He was a son, brother, friend, husband and a daddy to his precious little girls. He is survived by his wife, Allie, and their three daughters.

The Emond’s have impacted everyone’s path that they’ve crossed. They are an admirable group of people that deserve to be surrounded by our love. “A heart that is broken is a heart that has been loved”

Now Eric’s family must learn to navigate this life without their hero, and that’s where we can help make a difference. Eric was a co-founder of an organization called Massachusetts Fallen Heroes.

He knew that our Veteran men and women who didn’t make it home were far more than a name on a plaque. Eric helped make a difference in his community, and now it’s our turn to make him proud to have been a resident of Moore County.

Donations can be made to the Emond family at 

If you would like to send a letter, card or note of encouragement to Allie and her girls, you may mail it or drop it off at 163 E. New Hampshire Ave. Southern Pines, NC 28387 and address it to Allie Emond, C/O Sage Harvest Gourmet Jerky.

Andrew  Ross was also more than soldier, he was a newlywed excited to spend a lifetime with his wife, Felicia.

Felicia said, in a tribute to her hero, on Facebook, “You made me the happiest woman in the world, and I’m so glad to have known you.” She described Ross as “the most perfect man, the love of my life.”

Donations to Felicia Ross can be made at

Also killed in the attack was Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, age 25, of Hookstown, Pennsylvania. Sgt. Jason Mitchell McClary died days later at the military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. He was 24 years old and from Export, Pennsylvania.


Army Sgt. Jason Mitchell McClary (left) and Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin. All photos contributed.

Donations to Elchin’s family can be made at

At this time, a campaign for Sgt. McClary hasn’t been published.

Feature photo: Feature photo: Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond (left) and Army Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross.

Article written by Sandhills Sentinel contributor, Nicole Droz.








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