SPRINGIFIELD, Mass. - It seemed so far away but a senseless terror rampage in Chattanooga, Tennessee has hit close to home.
"You can't say anything. You give them a hug and pray for them," said Kit Devlin.
"It is just heartbreaking to know another one of our soldiers is gone," said Nathan Johnson of Springfield.
Four Marines are among the dead, including Gunnery Sargeant Thomas Sullivan, a Springfield native who was killed at the recruiting center on Thursday.
Forty-year-old Sullivan endured two tours in Iraq, and earned a Purple Heart He grew up in Springfield's East Forest Park neighborhood and
graduated from Cathedral High School. The school is honoring him on their Facebook page.
At Nathan Bill's Bar and Restaurant in Springfield, owned by Sullivan's brother, a huge flag drapes the entrance and earlier flowers were left at the door.
The bar's Facebook page salutes Sullivan saying … "anyone who went to Cathedral High or grew up in East Forest Park knew who Tommy was, he was our hero and will never be forgotten."
Devlin is a family friend who came by for support.
"He came home to celebrate the 4th of July and then he went back home to get killed in Tennessee," she said.
In nearby Agawam, Colonel Fran Kurnow has lowered his flag. Kurnow is the commandant of theMmassachusetts Marine Corp League.
"I just think as a Marine our guys need to be able to take care of themselves," he said. "We do it overseas, we train to do it and we do it damn well but we just have to take a stronger position and let people know we're not going to put up with this."