Saying good bye is the hardest thing to do, especially when the loss is sudden. But that's exactly what family and friends of Army Sgt. Joshua Michael were forced to do Saturday during his funeral.
Joshua Michael enlisted in the Army in 2001. He served two tours in Iraq and then in a terrible tragic twist, he was killed in a moment of celebration. The vehicle he was riding in was hit by a train during Midland's veterans parade.
Saturday afternoon as his funeral took place inside the old San Jacinto Building in Amarillo. Outside the Patriot Guard Riders, many former military members lined the streets, flags draping - a sign of solidarity for a family left with a heart wrenching loss.
"Today we've gathered to recognize Sgt.. Joshua Michael, said on Patriot Guard Rider. "While we may not have known him personally, the man wore the uniform, he is one of our brothers, we respect him, he is a true hero. Our motto in the Texas Patriot Guard is we stand tall and silent for our brother or sister who has fallen for us."
It will be said over and over again, that Joshua's last actions were to push his wife Daylyn to safety before the train hit. Ride Captain out of Wichita Falls, Jimmy Murphy rode some 250 miles to not only honor the memory of Joshua but to provide solace for those he loved that are left behind.
"At one point, he wrote a check to the citizenry of the United States, for service, even his life if need be. Unfortunately, he cashed in that check saving the person he loved most," said Murphy. "In every sense of the word he is a true hero."
A hero that may have taught those that hear his story, life is fragile, family is everything, a legacy is forever.
Sgt. Joshua Michael was laid to rest at Llano Cemetery with full military honors late Saturday afternoon. He is survived by his wife Daylyn and their two children.