MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –  A small Wisconsin town came together Friday night to salute a fallen Marine.

Sgt. Carson Holmquist grew up in Grantsburg.

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He survived two tours in Afghanistan only to be killed during the rampage at a military training center in Tennessee Thursday.

At his high school Friday night, Holmquist’s relatives and former classmates met to mourn the 25-year-old husband and father.

His family wants people to know Carson was a hometown kid who never dreamed of doing anything but serving his country.

The community stood solemnly, silently, side by side in their sorrow. The overwhelming loss of the young Marine was palpable.

“We are all diminished for the loss of this fine young man,” Joanne Goldman said.

The community enveloped Holmquist’s dad, Tom, and stepmom, Sue, as they arrived.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

No words were needed to show the deep pain felt by his family.

“In a small community, people are going to pull together and support the family, but specifically the Marine family is tightly knit,” Rebecca Wendelboe said.

The group lit candles to honor a Marine family described as a man who liked to hunt and fish and enjoyed working on cars with his dad. A man who never hesitated in serving his country.

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Grantsburg High School Principal Josh Watt remembers when Holmquist enlisted.

“One of the greatest moments,” he said. “Something I’ll never forget, especially now. I remember when Carson walked in from boot camp, he was dressed in his blues and was so proud of accomplishments and becoming a Marine, and that’s something I’ll always remember.”

He was remembered for his unwavering service and his sacrifice.

(credit: Holmquist family)

(credit: Holmquist family)

And as the community embraced Holmquist’s family, they realize this family, this town, is forever changed.

“I thank you for the young Marine, I thank you for his life,” Colleen Schrimer said as she prayed.

“It means we won’t forget what he did for us,” Goldman said.

On Friday, the flag was at half staff.

Holmquist’s family said his body will be come home for burial, but that won’t be able to happen until the investigation is complete.

His wife, Jasmine, and two-year-old son, Wyatt, must also stay in Chattanooga until that time.

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The fellow Marines who died with Holmquist were Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, from Massachusetts, Lance Cpl. “Skip” Wells, from Georgia, and Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, from North Carolina.

Jennifer Mayerle