FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The body of the Fayetteville man killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in Egypt last week has been returned to America.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Dallas Gearld Garza, 34, was one of the American peacekeepers killed in the crash. U.S. Army investigators said the crash was the result of a mechanical malfunction on their UH-60 helicopter.
His body arrived back in the United States on Monday night. The dignified transfer ceremony took place at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.
In total, seven military members on a peacekeeping operation with the Multinational Force and Observers in Egypt were killed in the crash. The incident is under investigation.
Garza's family said he served in the military with honor and pride. He grew up in Fayetteville and was a 2005 graduate of Seventy-First High School. The soldier idolized his father who was stationed at Fort Bragg.
"There's a lot of blood, sweat and tears from people who sacrifice their lives for the protection of this country," said Jesica Garza, his younger sister. "And the tears of their families."
Fort Bragg was his first duty station after enlisting in the Army where he would become the Black Hawk pilot he always wanted to be as a kid.
"My dad bought him a PC game for flying. He was on that all the time! All the time! That was what he liked to do," Jesica said.
His uncle David Ramirez shared his favorite memory from four years ago. He said Garza surprised him in San Antonio flying this helicopter over his home while stationed at Fort Hood.
"The neighbors came out. That's the way Dallas was. He wanted to have fun. He did that a lot of with our family. He always made our day," said Ramirez.
Ramirez said Garza was slated to return to American soil in January.
Much of his family lives in San Antonio, Texas, but a host of military friends turned family still live in the Fayetteville community. Garza leaves behind many friends and family including three children and a fiancé.
"Now he's our angel in the sky. Every moment we got to share with him. I'll always remember that," said Ramirez.