A chartered jet carrying Corral's body landed at Travis Air Force Base greeted by his family and veterans present and past who saluted his service and sacrifice.
Corral's flag-draped coffin was loaded into a waiting hearse and driven to his hometown in a procession led by the California Highway Patrol and a civilian motorcycle brigade.
The procession first passed by San Ramon Valley High School where Corral was a well-loved student athlete.
"He was just a great person, always the life of the party, very happy, a really spirited guy," said San Ramon High student Sean Miller.
"People need to know what real heroes are," said San Ramon High student Zach Kline. "A lot of people look at sports athletes and look at a lot of people out there, but it's guys who lay their life on the line every day."
Then, the motorcade drove through the center of town where thousands lined the streets, flags in hand, salutes at the ready. There were also plenty of tears.
"It brings a community like this together," said Kay Warneke of Danville. "Everybody's got a common cause. It's so wonderful to see the people come out."
His friends say Joshua "Chachi" Corral's legacy will be much greater than this final chapter of his life.
"His story really touched everyone. He went into the Marines straight out of school," said Brittany Ramsey of Danville. "He knew what he wanted to do and he, he really made an impact on everyone."
Funeral services are planned for Wednesday.