Santa Maria native and Army Spc. Kenneth Alvarez was laid to rest Thursday morning. The 23-year-old soldier was killed during a combat mission in Afghanistan last month.
Hundreds of people gathered at the Saint Louis de Montfort church in Orcutt to pay their respects to the young man. People fought back tears as the soldier’s body was brought into the church.
During the funeral, family members brought items to the front that were meaningful to Alvarez.
These included a frying pan, because he loved bacon, a Dodger’s hat and even his favorite CD by Tech-Nine. Many laughed and they say that's the way he would have wanted it.
“I know right now, up there maybe he's saying, "Yup, that's for me, that's all me.' And that's definitely what he would of wanted,” said Matthew Santos, Alvarez's cousin.
At the graveside service, Alvarez received full military honors. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. The commendations were presented to his family.