Limestone County, Ala. – Several people gathered at East Limestone County High School to honor seven sailors who died on The USS Fitzgerald. "We are doing it to honor his friends and the guys that didn't make it back. It`s not about Jackson or us. It`s just something to help him get through the rough times," Jackson's grandmother Rita Schrimsher said.
Joey Railey and Jackson Schrimsher, both locals, were on board at the time of the collision. They are safe, but the family wanted to remember the lives of those who died.
Jackson Schrimsher was in the part of the Fitzgerald where the seven sailors were found dead.
His grandparents said he was one of the last ones out before they had to close the hatch. "He said some lockers fell on him. He pushed them off, swam around the corner, looked up and saw a light. He reached up toward that light, and they grabbed his hand and pulled him out." Rita Schrimsher explained.
"It was chaos after it happened, he manned the hoses all night to keep the flooding at bay so they can get back to port," Joey's stepmom Erin Railey said.
The seven men who died, meant a lot to both Schrimsher and Railey.
"They are grieving, they not only lost their shipmates, but these are their friends colleagues, these are the men they live on the ship with day in and out," Railey explained.
Seven men paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country and that`s not going unnoticed in the Tennessee Valley.
Both the Raileys and the Schrimshers say their hearts go out to to the families who lost their loved ones.