LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - An American hero makes his final journey home to his native soil, and hundreds of East Texans are there to remember his sacrifice. His family says he was a true American patriot willing to do whatever it took to protect our country's freedom.
This afternoon Army Sergeant First Class Alejandro Granado made his last journey back home. As an eerie silence fell over East Texas Regional Airport, the plane carrying the body of Sergeant First Class Granado arrived.
"This gentleman gave his life for our country and he's a true American hero" said VFW post 1183 commander Brad Bemis.
For the family, it was the sobering realization. Their hero was home.
"My brother is someone I always looked up to we love our quality of life and we love our freedom," said Alejandro's brother Jose Granado, who has spent 16 years in the marine corps. "He fought in Operation Desert Storm he fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom he fought in Operation Enduring Freedom, he was my hero."
He served more than 20 years in the Army, falling last month in Afghanistan. A life his family says was never wasted.
"He did more in those 22 or 23 years than most people do in their lifetime" brother Jose says.
And all who knew him, wanted to honor his memory.
"I'm proud it makes me feel extremely proud that he's categorized as a hero," says Jose. "He definitely doesn't have to wonder if he made a difference in this world, because he did"
139 Patriot Guard Riders took part in the honors today. Granado will be laid to rest in services on Monday.