When two Marine Corps helicopters collided during training over the Arizona-California border Wednesday night, seven Marines lost their lives and Amarillo lost one of its own.
32-year-old Amarillo native, Captain Nathan Anderson, was a pilot of one of the choppers and was killed in the crash.
Most of the Marine's family immediately made their way to Yuma, Arizona to be with his wife and kids and prepare for the Memorial Service to be held on the following Wednesday. But brothers Andrew and Roland were not able to join them, that is, until Sunday.
Thanks to the efforts of America Supports You Texas and American Airlines for providing two plane tickets, the brothers walked through a flag line of stars and stripes before departing from Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport on a plane bound for Arizona.
"It's a show of the flag to provide encouragement and extend 'thank you's' to these two brothers and for the family," said Jack Barnes with America Supports You Texas. "We want to honor that Marine and his family for his sacrifice for our country."
A sacrifice Captain Anderson's family always knew was a possibility, but continued to support him anyway.
"I was constantly worried about it," admitted the Marine's 26 year-old brother, Roland. "I think we all were but it's what he loved to do, it was his passion so we always supported him."
Now, finally reunited with their family in Arizona, they'll have to rely on each other for that same support as they remember their fallen brother, father, son and husband.
"He is an outstanding person and he's been our role model and we couldn't have asked for a better brother," added the Marine's 28-year-old brother Andrew. "He was kind of the leading light in our family."
Roland agreed. "I wish that everybody could have met Nathan," he said. "He was the most amazing man I've ever known or ever will know."
After a whirlwind week of tragic news, grief, needing someone to help get them through, the brothers were finally on their way to Arizona. To honor Captain Anderson, together, as a family.
"The past couple of days have been very, very difficult not being there, not being with family and not seeing his wife and kids," added Roland. "So this is a Godsend that we're going to be able to go do this."