Brandon National Guardsman killed in Hattiesburg - - Jackson, MS

Funeral arrangements set for Brandon National Guardsman

Holden Hughes   Source: Facebook Holden Hughes Source: Facebook
Derrick Valdez   Source: Hattiesburg PD Derrick Valdez Source: Hattiesburg PD
Aaron Dement   Source: Hattiesburg PD Aaron Dement Source: Hattiesburg PD
HATTIESBURG, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Funeral arrangements are set for 23-year-old Holden Hughes of Brandon, who was stabbed to death early Sunday morning in front of a Hattiesburg bar. Hughes, a member of the Mississippi Army National Guard, had just returned from a deployment to Afghanistan.

Visitation will beheld from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday and 11 a.m. - 12 noon Thursday at Ott and Lee in Brandon. A graveside service will beheld at 3 p.m.Thursday at the Hughes cemetery in Tylertown.

Twenty-three year-old Aaron Dement and 31-year-old Derrick Valdez, both of Columbia, have been charged with Hughes' murder. Valdez's bond is $1 million and Dement's $750 thousand. Both were arrested shortly after the stabbing.

Spc. Hughes was on leave and not currently stationed at Camp Shelby. His home unit was the 168th Engineer Brigade of Vicksburg.

During his recent deployment, Spc. Hughes earned the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal and the Shoulder Sleeve Insignia-Former Wartime Service Unit Combat Patch.

Sgt. Sean Baldwyn was a member of the same platoon as Hughes during the recent deployment. He says it was surreal to get the news of the murder.

"He was one of the best soldiers I've ever run into. Always on time. Always where he was supposed to be. Doing the right thing all the time. A great guy. Always a leader. Just an incredible person," said Baldwyn.

Baldwyn says Hughes didn't seem to have a confrontational personality. And believes it's an embarrassment that someone would take for granted not only a hero, like Hughes, by life in general.

Baldwyn said of Hughes, "One of the best friends you'll ever meet. Probably the only guy you'll ever meet to put his life on the line, just to make sure no one else is in jeopardy."

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