Victim, Sgt. Joshua Michael's friend said Michaels was a friend and a hero.
Summing up the tragedy in one word, Marine Gabriel Dominguez calls the event 'heartbreaking.'
Dominguez will be soon heading out for his first tour of duty, despite never having met Sgt. Michael, he said, "These guys fought for our freedom they fought for everything, and to die like this is really really sad."
Sgt. Michel's brother in arms, Joshua Brower knew him well.
In a phone interview, Brower told Big 2 News, "We had been talking on the phone we were pretty excited."
Brower said the "Hunt for Heroes Banquet" was going to be a reunion for him and Michael. They hadn't seen one another since their tour in Iraq back in 2004.
"I was actually at the horseshoe when one of the volunteer people I guess one of the firefighter or something come up and told the rest of the people the truck had got hit so everybody started going that way," said Brower.
In a conversation with Sgt. Michael's wife, she told Brower that all of the wounded veterans that died, died protecting their wives by shoving them off the trailer before the train could hit. Brower said those action prove that the veterans are heroes still even here back home in the states.
"When you're overseas you're prepared, you know you're always expecting the worse," said Brower.
This tragedy was even worse, said Bower, "Goes from something great to something tragic."
Dominguez will never meet Sgt. Michael, but as a fellow service member, the camaraderie is already there.
"It doesn't matter what branch they're in. These are my brothers," said Dominguez.
Bower told Big 2 News Katiera Winfrey that he and several other service members said, "Show of Support, Hunt for Heroes" must "Complete the Mission". Brower said, that means that despite the tragedy resulting in deaths, they should keep going and not let this de-rail next year's event. In fact he said it should be bigger and better.