The remains of Staff Sgt. Matthew McClintock came home Friday during a solemn dignified transfer ceremony at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.
McClintock, 30, was a Special Forces engineer sergeant assigned to 1st Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group.
He was killed and two other soldiers were wounded Tuesday in hours-long fighting near the city of Marjah, in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province.
McClintock, who was on his third combat deployment, is survived by his wife and infant son.
Friends created a GoFundMe page to raise money to support the family. In just one day, the effort has raised more than $77,500; the original goal was $5,000.
A message from Alexandra McClintock, the soldier's wife, was posted on the page Friday morning.
"I will never know the words to express the gratitude I have for the outpouring of love, the hundreds of people reaching out to help," she wrote. "I wish more than anything there was a playbook for how to handle this. Unfortunately there is no way to express the depth of our grief."
Her husband lived the life he wanted, she wrote.
"I can say without a doubt if he knew when he woke up that day that it would be his last, he wouldn't have changed a thing," she wrote. "My husband, my love, my darling, my soul mate, is a hero, and I am so moved by how many of you have celebrated the amazing man he was."