Montgomery, Al. (WSFA) -- A military homecoming can be one of life's happiest moments.
In some cases, however, it's just not the way we want it to be.
Montgomery native James Carter died nearly two weeks ago in a helicopter crash over Afghanistan.
As the plane carrying his body arrived at Maxwell Air Force Base, friends, family members, and Patriot Guard Riders paid tribute--and took solace in the fact that he was finally home.
"I think seeing him come home has done a lot for the family," explained John Carter, James' brother.
Carter's return also positively affected many other people.
The fact the Carter turned down a job at home to fight overseas for a fourth time, riders say, speaks volumes of the man's character.
"I think that Chief Carter would be a hero's hero," said Paul Reynolds, state captain of the Patriot Guard Riders.
Family take those observations to heart.
"He had to go back, even though we didn't want him to go back. He had to go back. He said, 'I've got to go back and do what I've got to do,'" John Carter explained.
NOTE: Carter's funeral has been scheduled for Tuesday, June 17th at 11:00AM. Services will be held at Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery.