Ariana Lubelli Jul 12, 2017, 2:46 pmJul 12, 2017, 5:57 pm

Newburgh mourns Stewart base military service members killed in plane crash

Officials say 15 marines, Navy corpsman died after aircraft went down in Mississippi

Several area Marine squadron members killed in plane crash 

A community in Orange County is mourning the loss of several service members, after a military plane went down in Mississippi earlier this week, killing 16 on board.

Many describe an area in Newburgh as a tight-knit military community, so when something as tragic as this happens, the impact is heavy.

At the Stewart Air National Guard base, roses have been laid down at the entrance as tribute to lost service members.

More than half of the service members killed in the fiery plane crash in Mississippi were stationed at Stewart Air National Guard in Newburgh.

"It's a real, real tragedy for our community," said Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus.

The area of Orange County is home to about 23,000 active or retired service members.

"We have West Point, we have Stewart Field, we've had various reserve units active around the area over the years, which I'm a product of, so it's a terrible blow. Accidents do happen and it will be interesting to see what the cause is determined to be ," said Retired United States Navy Reserves Nick Stagliano.

The plane crash that took the lives of 16 service members is weighing heavy on their hearts. Military officials confirm 15 marines and a Navy corpsman were on the KC-130 tanker that went down.

"It's like losing a family member. You know, military people are part of a family," says military veteran Bill Burbhee of Newburgh.

At Neptune Diner, just down the road from the military base, veterans sat at a table Wednesday, as they processed the news.

"We do pray, you know, people pray, but we do talk about it. We were just having a discussion about it this morning," says Stagliano.

Meantime, the service members killed in that crash have not been officially identified. Several agencies are investigating to try and figure what went terribly wrong.

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