Soldier's final homecoming marred by frustration

July 14, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Bay Area soldier came home for the final time on Thursday. Staff Sgt. Nicanor Amper IV is one of the latest casualties of the war in Afghanistan.

This is one of those painful images you see with your eyes, but feel with your heart.

"As a man he loved life. As a man he first loved his wife, then his kids, then his family," said Nicanor Amper III, soldier's father.

That family stood in salute of the man they loved and the solider that had given everything to his country. The 36-year-old San Jose native was killed July 5 when his unit came under enemy fire in Khost, Afghanistan. He had served 10 years in the Marines and six in the Army.

"That shows a very selfless person and a very courageous person and for that, we are just forever grateful," said Mark Zappa, a Patriot Guard Rider.

The Patriot Guard Riders were on hand at Moffett Field to pay tribute. Among them was Gold Star Mom Raven Bren whose own son was killed in Iraq three years ago. This is her first Patriot Guard ride.

"I wanted to do this for this family and this man what Patriot Guard did for me and my family, and my son," said Bren.

A funeral service and presentation of military medals will take place in Daly City on Monday.

The emotion-filled day included confusion about whether flags will be flown at half staff on Monday to honor the fallen solider. They will and when we see them, we will know why.

"Nicanor Amper IV was an awesome father, an awesome son, and an incredible solider," said Amper III.


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