As the jet airplane touched down at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base a crowd of family members, friends and military officials watched Staff Sergeant Joe Nunez return home for the last night.  Full military honors were given the veteran who grew up in Pasadena.

“He was a great person,” said his ex-wife Gabriela Garcia, “a great NCO.  He always took care of his soldiers – he put everybody in front of him.”

Nunez was killed two weeks ago in Afghanistan when an improvised explosion device exploded near his truck.  He had served in the U.S. Army for 10 years, five years in combat situations.

“Looking at his record – impressive, inspiring,” said Captain Jaime Soto.  He has been working with the family during this trying time for them.  “Doing this was just an honor for me.  It humbles you.”

“It’s not a situation we want to go through,” Garcia said.  “I’m definitely honored he picked me to be responsible to help with the family.”