Williams recalls the plane was silent aside from a few sniffles as passengers watched.
The casket containing the body of Green Beret Warrant Officer Shawn Thomas was brought out of the plane to an honor guard. "There was not a dry eye around me". He was posthumously awarded a Meritorious Service Medal and Army Commendation Medal for his service, as reported by Fox5.
Passenger Lisa Williams was sitting in a window seat near the cargo hold and caught on video the pivotal moment when Thomas' family saw his American-flag draped coffin for the first time.
The woman who filmed the video said Tara (pictured with her husband) had thank her for the footage and wanted her to share it so the public would know of his sacrifice. God bless his wife and family.
He had deployed seven times to Iraq & Afghanistan and this was his 8th deployment. The 35-year-old had deployed to Niger and helped train local soldiers to fight against terrorism.
His brother, Michael Thomas, told News 9 his brother was due back home this month.
"Under his big beard, tattoos and giant muscles there was a small town Oklahoma boy that was grounded by his faith, strong values, and family", his obituary read. He and his family - wife Tara and children Cheyenne, Taylor, Gavin, and Natylyn - were based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.