SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (NEWS10) – One of the Marines gunned down in Tennessee is from Western Massachusetts.
Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan grew up in Springfield, Mass. The community is now grieving the senseless loss and remembering a man of honor.
The veteran served multiple tours overseas and was a two-time Purple Heart recipient. Those who knew Sullivan and those who didn’t grieved the veteran on Friday.
His brother co-owns a bar and grill in the town. Many came to the restaurant to mourn the loss and try to bring comfort to his family and friends.
They hung a U.S. Marine Corps flag and the American flag in his honor.
“This poor guy and the rest of them served our country; did good for our country, and this is what happens,” resident Mary Clark said.
Driving toward Springfield is the town of Hampden. Not far from Sullivan’s high school, Cathedral High School, were Iraqi War veteran Heath Joseph and Vietnam War veteran Glenn Trevallion.
They didnt know Sullivan but talked about the loss.
“It will be a tough road, so it’s going to take a little while for the families, a little while for the community to grasp exactly what is going on,” Joseph said.
“It’s tough to say how you feel,” Trevallion said. “You can’t do it.”
Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno said Sullivan’s death was not only a loss for the region but for the nation.
The family released a statement through a lawyer that asks that they be given time to grieve as they want to be left alone. The community made sure that happened.
“Do everything you can to support the military,” Trevallion said. “They’re the ones that support us. They’re the ones that protect us.”
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker ordered flags lowered to half-staff at all state buildings beginning at sunrise on Friday in honor of the four Marines killed.
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