The remains of 19-year-old Army Pfc. Brett Wood arrived early Monday at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Relatives say he died in a roadside bombing on Friday.
Relatives and friends gathered Sunday at his mother's home near the Owen County town of Spencer and covered his car with American flags, red and white roses and dozens of candles, The Herald-Times of Bloomington reported.
Wood and his 21-year-old brother Nikk enlisted in the Army and went off to boot camp together in the summer of 2010, after Brett Wood graduated from Owen Valley High School.
"He wanted to protect his family and his country and he really wanted to join after everything that happened with 9/11," Wood's sister, Amber Poland, told WTHR-TV.
Wood was deployed to Afghanistan in April and was home on leave in August after a bomb explosion caused a concussion and hearing loss. Family members say he complained of headaches and dizziness during his visit, but went on a five-day road trip that cousin Josh Wood called "the time of our lives."
"It was really hard for me to wave goodbye to him because we had talked before and he had bad feelings about going back," Josh Wood told The Herald-Times.
Poland said her brother had told her to celebrate his life, not mourn, if he didn't make it home from Afghanistan.
"I told him not to think like that," she said.