HAVELOCK, Craven County - A day after a Marine plane departed from Cherry Point Marine Air Corps Station and crashed in a soybean field in Mississippi, the close-knit town of Havelock is reacting to the tragedy.
The military is an integral part of the community - almost anywhere you go in town you can find American flags or bumper stickers thanking veterans for their service. The crash of the KC-130 that killed 15 Marines and one Navy corpsman, seven of whom were based at Camp Lejeune, hit hard.
George Corbin, a Havelock City Commissioner who served part of his military career stationed at Cherry Point, told NewsChannel 12 the tragedy feels like losing a brother.
"They're brothers, period," Corbin said. "It doesn't matter where they're stationed at, they're fellow servicemen."
Fellow retired Marine Don Beaver, like Corbin, has flown on a KC-130 before during his time in the Marine Corps. He said while the plane isn't luxurious, it's known for being safe.
"It's uncomfortable, there's no bathroom on it," Beaver said. "It's miserable flying them but you know darn well you're going to get where you wanna go."
Investigators are looking into what caused the crash, but Marine Corps spokesman Maj. Andrew Aranda said during a press conference Tuesday morning that foul play is not suspected.