A North Texas soldier was killed in a fight at a Grand Prairie bar early Monday morning.
Army Spc. Orlando Salazar, 28, collapsed after he was hit in the head during a fight at El Toro Loco.
Salazar served two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was at home in Grand Prairie this week before he had to report to Fort Hood.
"I thought those were the times that I was going to worry the most," said his father, Caesar Salazar. "I wasn't supposed to worry when he came home to U.S. soil. This was supposed to be his safe haven, his comfort zone, a place he didn't have to look over his shoulder."
He and his son went to El Toro Loco on Friday night to hear a band. Salazar said he left at about 11:30 p.m.
"He said he was going to stay there with his friends, he'd be OK and not to worry," he said.
Investigators have not said what started the altercation. But Salazar said it wasn't like his son to get into a fight.
"I never even saw him even argue with anybody," he said.
He received a call two hours after he left the bar that his son had been in a fight and wasn't breathing. Orlando Salazar later died at Arlington Memorial Hospital.
His father said the past few days have been rough but said that knowing the impact his son had makes the pain a little more tolerable.
"I've learned a lot about my son these past couple of days that I didn't know," he said. "He was such a huge person, a big person, and I've learned a lot about him."
Salazar's funeral will be held at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at Immaculate Conception in Grand Prairie.
Police arrested José Abel Navarro, 27, in the case and are searching for two or three other people.
Navarro was convicted of intoxication manslaughter in 2001 and of felony drug charges in 2009.