Family, friends honor wounded vet killed in Midland train accident

Sergeant Joshua Michael served 2 tours in Iraq, was wounded twice


SAN ANTONIO – It's been a month since the tragic train accident in Midland that killed four people and injured 17 others.

On Saturday, friends and family of one of the wounded veterans killed held a special memorial ceremony in San Antonio to honor his life.

Sergeant Joshua Michael was killed when a freight train slammed into a parade float he was on with other wounded veterans.

Michael and three other people were killed.

Daylyn Michael, Joshua's wife, said Saturday that it's still too soon for her to talk about the events of that day, but she can remember that he was honored to be a part of that parade in Midland, honoring wounded warriors.

"He was honored to be invited down there," said Daylyn Michael. "And, he was having the time of his life."

Sergeant Joshua Michael, after serving two tours of Iraq and being wounded twice, died a hero, according to friends.

And even on that parade float, Michael tried to help someone else. This time, saving his own wife's life.

"When he saw that the situation was going to be gravely serious, he pushed his wife out of the way to save her," said Bob Weber, with the Military Order of the Purple Heart in San Antonio. "That's Sergeant Michael. He died to save his family."

On Saturday, in a special memorial service honoring Sergeant Michael's life, his friends echoed that love he had for his wife and the two children he left behind.

"I've seen Josh smile," said Steve Payne, a friend of Michael's. "I've seen him happy. I've seen him exuberant, but I've never seen Josh look the way he looked when he talked about her."

"He made you want to be better than you were," said Josh James, who worked with Michael. "I can't thank him enough for that and I can't tell you guys how much I love and how much I miss him."

Before Michael was in the service, he was working as a paramedic in Amarillo. However, his wife said that after September 11, 2001, he joined the army, saying, it was "his calling" and that "he knew what he had to do."

"He was an amazing man," said Daylyn Michael. "He served his country, served his family, helped everybody. He was a paramedic. He loved life."

For a list of recent stories Stephanie Serna has done, click here.

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