MIDLOTHIAN (CBS 11 NEWS) – Marine Gunnery Sergeant Chad Calvert has seen war.

Even he couldn’t have imagined the tragedy he witnessed at Midland’s annual veterans’ parade.

“The worst dream I  could ever have, I could never dream something this bad,” he said.

Calvert and his wife, Sgt. Kema Calvert, were riding on the back of tractor trailer at the Show Your Support event.

Their truck was crossing the railroad tracks, when Kema saw the train.

“I hear the railroad crossing things going of , and she said something about the train,” said Chad.

The crossing arms, they said, landed on top of the tractor trailer immediately behind them, which was also carrying wounded veterans.

(credit: Calvert family)

“When the people realized what was happening that was on that trailer, you could see them start jumping…There was probably several people in the air jumping as the tractor trailer – or as the train hit the tractor trailer.  That’s how quick it happened,” said Chad.

Veterans, who witnessed the crash, jumped to action.

“Every veteran was off his trailer and running to help,” said Kema. “They were giving mouth to mouth, holding arteries with their hands.”

She remembers one woman with a sprained ankle.

“She wouldn’t let me help her. She kept pushing me off and telling me to go find her husband. She hadn’t seen him yet,” said Kema.

The woman’s husband, Sgt. Joshua Micheal, was already dead.

He had spent his final moments, being a hero.

“To save his wife, he pushed her off,” said Chad.

Now back home, the Calverts say – they still can’t grasp – how those who survived war – could lose their lives – in their moment of honor.

“It’s worse than anything I can think of,” said Kema.

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