BOISE – Around 100 people, friends and family of a fallen Caldwell soldier were at Gowen Field Wednesday to welcome him home. The body of Staff Sergeant Octavio Herrera returned to Idaho as part of an honorable transfer ceremony.
Herrera was killed 10 days ago, on August 11th when enemy forces attacked his unit in Afghanistan.
"I'm sure most of you can imagine what the loss of a son would be," said Miguel Herrera, Octavio’s older brother.
With the utmost respect, service men and women welcomed home one of their own Wednesday afternoon. Despite the honorable transfer taking place on a tarmac, it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. But the moment when Octavio Herrera's body was rolled out of the plane, the silence was broken.
You could hear and almost feel the pain of his family - his mother - siblings and wife.
"We're trying to be strong, but there are some very difficult moments," said Miguel Herrera.
Moments that words just don't seem to describe, but can be seen as his family surrounds his casket, adorned by an American flag.
"It's been very difficult, but it's also been, we've had our very proud moments of him as well," said Miguel Herrera.
Octavio lived his life to love and to serve. His former employers say he was a hard worker, the kind of employee you could build a team around.
"We lost a great man, great husband, great brother, great son," said Miguel Herrera.
Octavio died while fighting for Operation Enduring Freedom. At the young age of 26 he was already in the middle of his third deployment to Afghanistan.
"He never shared the evil that he saw in the world. He always come home and shared his love for us, his family. It's going to be really hard living life without him," said Miguel Herrera.
At today's honorable transfer there were upwards of 100 of his friends and family in attendance.
Herrera's funeral is this Friday at Our Lady of the Valley Church in Caldwell. He will be buried at the Idaho Veterans Cemetery.