Tuesday will be a very difficult day for the Loredo family. Staff Sargeant Edwardo Loredo was just weeks from the end of his Afghanistan tour when he was killed. But the soldier's family finds comfort because final resting place stood for so much to him.
After Edwardo Loredo graduated from Sam Houston High School, he didn't even tell his family he had enrolled in the army.
"He was just a big adventurer," said his cousin Elizabeth Huff. "He just wanted to go out and explore."
And he did, earning his way to staff sergeant by the age of 34. His cousin Elizabeth says he was really more like a brother to her and when he came home standing tall in his uniform they were so proud.
Huff said, "He wanted to protect us here, he wanted to protect them there. He was a protector, a guardian."
Huff knew when her cousin was deployed to Afghanistan late last year it would be a very dangerous mission. He had been to Iraq before. He died during combat in Afghanistan, just one day short of his 35th birthday and just weeks before he was to finish his tour to the Middle East.
"Of course we are saddened that he is not with us because we miss him so much," Huff said. "We miss him a whole lot but we know that he is with the angels."
Loredo had told Huff he was ready to get out to spend more time with his family. His wife Jennifer is also in the army. The first sergeant was also deployed to Afghanistan in May. She was stationed in the northern part when her husband was killed.
"He's proud of his family," Huff said. "He loves his wife so dearly."
Not all of the family can make the journey to Arlington, but when taps fill the air at the National Cemetery for their dear Edwardo, they want him to know how much he meant to them, as they say they know what Arlington symbolized to him.
"It means honor to be buried there," Huff said.
The staff sergeant's wife and children will remain in North Carolina after the funeral at Arlington.