MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The body of a Miami soldier who died in combat in Afghanistan was returned to South Florida on Tuesday.
Army Specialist Gerardo Campos, 23, died Saturday June 2nd after his unit was attacked with small arms fire in Maiwand, Afghanistan while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Campos’ remains arrived at Homestead Air Reserve Base Tuesday morning.
More than 28 family members, including his wife and 10-month old daughter, were there as the Honor Guard carried the late soldier in his coffin out of the small plane.
More than 150 members of every branch of the military stood linked together to remember the Homestead native.
Funeral services are set to take place at Palms Woodlawn Funeral Home, located at 27100 Old Dixie Highway in Naranja at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday.
Gov. Rick Scott has ordered all National and State flags be flown at half-staff at the Miami-Dade County Courthouse, Homestead City Hall, and in Tallahassee on Wednesday, June 13th, in honor of Specialist Gerardo Campos.
Campos grew up in Homestead and was one of five children.
“He was just a good man, honest man, good man brave man,” said sister Erica Campos in an interview last week.
“He was everything, everything you can think of – superhero, friend, father, best brother,” said Eduardo Campos, the youngest of the 5 siblings.
After graduating high school in 2007, Campos enlisted in the Army in March 2010.
His sister Erica said he taught her to be tough.
“He always did say that I have to be strong for them, show them not to be scared and I know that’s what he did,” said Erica.
“If anybody would get to know him, they’d be honored to know him,” said Eduardo. “I know he went down serving his country and I’m very proud of him and now it’s up to me and my older brother to take care of his little daughter.”
His family said his wife Rubi and daughter Bella were the loves of Campos’ life. His wife was getting ready to send a present for his first Father’s Day.
Now, they will all teach Campos’ daughter to be proud of her dad.
“He left with honor, a brave soldier,” said Erica. “He fought for us. He gave his life for us”
Spc. Campos was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
In April, his unit was sent to Afghanistan for the 23-year-old’s first deployment.
Army officials say his awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the NATO Medal, and the Parachutist Badge.