DALLAS - The body of a 22-year-old soldier from Arlington returned to North Texas Thursday.
Stigler's family was looking forward to his return but not as a fallen soldier.
"To this day, I'm proud of doing what he was doing, "said his father Allen Stigler Sr. "I didn't know he had that kind of courage to do what he was doing."
Stigler was a trained paratrooper. Another soldier from Brooklyn was also killed during the accident. Five others were injured. He was scheduled to come home to Arlington in a few weeks.
"He was coming home in one month," his father said. "He was excited coming home, seeing the family, being with family -- real family oriented."
Stigler followed a long tradition of military service in his family.
"We're sad," his mom Leslie said. "But at the same time, we're happy because he fought for us, and he's a fallen soldier. We're very proud of him."
His parents say their son knew he would likely be deployed to the Middle East, but he never let it deter his desire to serve his country.
"It takes a lot of courage to leave the country and not complain. He never complained, "his father said. "He loved the Army, and he loved his job, and he loved his country and his family."
Sgt. Stigler's funeral will be held on Saturday at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Arlington.