Retired Marine, friend of Chattanooga victim pays respects to fallen brothers in arms

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - WHNT News 19’s Daniela Perallon spoke on Friday with a leader of the East Tennessee Patriot Guard Riders.

George Burgan knew both Sgt. David Wyatt and GySgt. Thomas J. Sullivan from their time serving as honor guard for Fallen Service Members.

He says the Marines are family and he came to pay his respects to his brothers in arms.

"It's heartbreaking. This is the first chance I’ve had to come down and see the memorial. And it's just what I needed to do as a Marine is to come down and say goodbye,” Burgan said.

Patriot Guard Rider and retired Marine George Burgan is mourning the loss of men who served their country well.

While he knew two of the victims, Burgan says it wouldn`t matter. All Marines are brothers.

“We connect the way members in the service connect, whether they were in the 70s, like myself, or present day. The bond we share is the bond that will never be broken,” Burgan said.

Burgan describes Sullivan as a bright light in any situation.

"He was an active Marine, always smiling,” Burgan said.

While Burgan did not know Wyatt as well as his comrade, nor did he know the other two victims, he says as a Marine, and a veteran, "When one Marine dies, we`ve lost a brother. We`ve lost a family member. I don`t have to know who you are.”

Both Gunnery Sergeants Sullivan and Wyatt served two tours of duty.

Sullivan was awarded a Purple Heart for his service in Iraq.