HOUSTON (KTRK) --The families of two Houston-area Marines killed in a helicopter collision in January are preparing to lay their loved ones to rest.
"I miss him and we love him," said Donna McGrew, the mother of Major Shawn Campbell, 41.
Campbell was one of 12 Marines who lost their lives when two helicopters collided during a nighttime training mission off the coast of Hawaii in January. He grew up in Spring. He was a pilot, a married father of four children, a Christian and a proud Texas Aggie. His mother is even prouder.
"I couldn't be more proud. He served with honor. He was an esteemed aviator," said McGrew. "He was the best dad in the whole world."
On Saturday, McGrew's only child and Corporal Matthew Drown, 23--another marine also from Spring and killed in the same collision--will be honored at the Fallen Warriors Memorial on Cutten Road. McGrew expects a reverent celebration.
"These are two Texas sons who gave their lives," she said.
Meantime, relatives, friends and brother Marines gathered Thursday evening for the visitation for Cpl Drown. His services are Friday and will include full military honors. Campbell's burial will be next Saturday at the Aggie Field of Honor at Texas A&M, according to his mother. In January, all 12 Marines were honored during a service in Hawaii.
No cause for the helicopter accident has been released. McGrew is not sure she needs one.
"There's no blame for anyone. Accidents happen all the time. Everyday," Said McGrew.
She is grateful for the military and community support and for a place near home where she can find solace despite her son's sacrifice.
"I miss him and we love him and we thank all twelve for their service. Freedom isn't free."
Ceremony to honor two Houston-area Marines:
Fallen Warriors Memorial
14500 Cutten Road, Houston
Saturday, April 16th