"You wanna wake up the next day and feel like hey that was just a dream but then when you realize that it's not it hurts," said co-worker Gerel Bailey.
The tragic drowning of Airman 1st Class Miguel Villasenor has impacted all at Dyess Airforce Base.
Here, everyone is considered a close companion.
"It was incredibly moving just knowing that not only did he affect all the squadron, he affected the base," said friend Jennifer Montgomery.
Hundreds gathered to remember the 26 year-old at a memorial service held at the base.
It was a time too see just how many one life can impact.
"He made everyone laugh he was never ever negative, always positive in life and no matter what he did he did it with a smile," said Montgomery.
No matter who you ask, it's Villasenor's smile and light-hearted personality that stood out most.
"Wonderful smile, contagious work ethic," said Maj. Patrick Bass.
The honor and respect so many had for him was seen in even the smallest of details.
"Anytime we have a security force member go down in the line of duty or in this case an accident we put the tape over our badge to remember them," said Bass.
The flag stood at half staff- the day he died, the day after and on the memorial- the day to pay tribute.
It's the way to show that once a service man always a serviceman.
"Vi's a part of Dyess and Dyess will now be a part of Vi," said Bass.
Even though the memorial ends, the tribute continues- as everyone tries to grip with the loss and learn to move on.
"It's hard to say bye but life does go on sometimes and i know I'll see him again one day," said Bailey.