Santa Maria native and Army Specialist Kenneth Alvarez was killed during a combat mission last week in Afghanistan. Tuesday, he came home.
It was a very somber morning as family and friends escorted their loved one across town.
The plane transporting specialist Alvarez touched down at the Santa Maria Airport late Tuesday morning and two fire engines performed a special water salute.
Hundreds of people gathered on the tarmac at the Santa Maria airport to welcome home the young man.
The honor guard carried his casket to the hearse and the procession across town began. More than 100 American Legion and patriot riders escorted specialist Alvarez.
Along the route people held flags and placed their hands over their hearts.
“The outpouring has been phenomenal. The community, everybody just friends, neighbors, people that we don’t even know just coming up and passing on their condolences and bringing food to us and just phenomenal, it’s indescribable,” said Alvarez’s uncle, Leo Santos.
There are a couple of public services over the next couple of days. Wednesday there will be a public visitation at the mortuary from 12:30 to 2:30 in the afternoon and then from 3:30 to 5:30 at Saint Louis de Montfort church in Orcutt. The funeral is at 9:30 Thursday morning at Saint Louis de Montfort church.