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16 Veterans Return to Midland One Year After Train Tragedy

MIDLAND -- It was a warm welcome for veterans returning to Midland one year after the train tragedy.
MIDLAND -- It was a warm welcome for veterans returning to Midland one year after the train tragedy.

Last November, four veterans were killed during the Show of Support parade. A freight train hit the parade float they were riding on as it crossed the railroad tracks.

But this year, Terry Johnson, the program founder, says 16 of the surviving veterans are back.

"It was a great emotional reunion for all of us to get back together," said Johnson.

After being greeted at the Midland International Airport, the veterans were escorted by officers and Patriot Guard Riders to their hotel downtown.

"Now they get to literally be embraced by love the Permian Basin is fixing to show them. They're glad to be here and we're glad to have them back," Johnson said.

In addition the 16 veterans who returning from last year to complete their hunt, there's also a teen taking part in this year's celebration, the son of Army Sgt. Joshua Michael. Sgt. Michael was one of the four veterans killed in last year's train tragedy.

"This is a very special group of people having gone through what we've all been through so, to get them back here and finish what we started is very important and it's going to be part of the healing for all of us; for them and also for all of us that make it happen," Johnson said.

Johnson says everyone seems in good spirits and he's looking forward to this year's Hunt for Heroes.

"On the plane everybody was laughing and cutting up coming to Midland, and to hear that and coming from what we were involved with last year, it was just heart warming. It just doesn't get any better than that," Johnson said.

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