Hundreds from the community came out and lined the track around the Corunna High School football field. They created a "ring of light" with candles to honor one of their own - a former football captain and Army Private First Class Shane Cantu.
"It hurts a lot but he was doing something for actually everybody not just himself and that's what made Shane...Shane," said Pfc. Shane Cantu's friend Joshua Cleveland.
20-year-old Shane Cantu died Tuesday when an explosive device was thrown over a wall at his base in Afghanistan. His cousin says the family has been hit hard.
"There's a huge part in my heart gone because he was a huge part of the family," said Andressa Vanhorn.
Those who knew him well says they lost someone who's hardworking, loving and inspiring.
Ricky Dennis, a current Corunna High School football player, says he was inspired to follow in Cantu's footsteps.
"He gave me inspiration to be the best I can as a human being and a football player and try to be a leader too like he was," said Dennis.
Friends say the healing process will be long and tough, but they will always hold on to the memory of a hero who made the ultimate sacrifice.