U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Matthew "Kyle" Evans was welcomed home by his family and fellow soldiers at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport.

His casket was met at the tarmac and escorted by Patriot Guard Riders, Lubbock Police and soldiers in his Army Green Beret Unit.

"A fellow veteran that has done an amazing thing 17 years that he's been in the armed forces," Michael Decker, deputy state captain of the Patriot Guard Riders said. "As a special forces brother, he's in the elite of the elite."

Evans died in his sleep last month while stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He leaves behind his childhood sweetheart of 22 years, Lacey, a daughter, Maryn, and a son on the way.

He was only 33-years-old.

"We all come in heavy hearts...most of all to lose a brother, but one who has a young beautiful wife who's pregnant, and a little girl, and so, all of you that hear this, just be in prayer for the Evans family," Decker said.

Sgt. Evans grew up in Texas and moved to Wisconsin with his family in 2001. He enlisted in the U.S. Army right after graduating high school in 2004.

"He got right in, finished basic training, went to Ranger School, Special Forces school, and became the elite of the elite...and he was a fierce warrior," Decker said.

Evans served in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan as part of the Special Operations Command in the Global War on Terror.

"It's just a necessary part of our community, to be able to reach out to veteran families, and support them in their greatest time of need and tribulation," Decker said, "and it's at this time that we really see the hand of God and heart of God come and be there for these families."

Services for Sgt. Evans will be Saturday, June 8, at 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church on Broadway.