ASHTABULA, Ohio -- Louis Santiago smiles slightly, even as she appears to hold back tears when she talks about her grandson, Michael Metcalf.
"I was so convinced that Michael was going to be okay," she says softly.
Pfc. Michael Joseph Metcalf, was killed two weeks ago by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
He was only 22 years old.
Michael lived in Florida with his mother, but spent a great deal of time with his dad and family in Ashtabula.
He even worked at the local Wal-Mart, where his family says his nickname was "Cowboy Mike."
"I was always afraid for Michael because he was so courageous," said his uncle, Anthony Metcalf.
The family hopes the community of Ashtabula will turn out to pay its respects to Michael on Wednesday.
An honor procession will leave Cleveland Hopkins Airport at 2 p.m. on Wednesday and drive Michael's body to Ashtabula.
"You know, he was going to save somebody (when he was killed)," Anthony said. "He wasn't a liar or a cheater. He was a good kid, and I think that's the part that makes it hard, because he was a good kid."
"And as far as I'm concerned," Anthony says, "he died a hero."
Calling hours will be Friday from 4-8 p.m. at the Zaback-Ducro funeral home in Ashtabula.
Funeral services will be Saturday at 1 p.m. at Gateway Church in Austinburg.
Michael will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.