Friends of Gerald Williams say he was a kind man who always smiled, cared for his loved ones, and knew how to get down on the dance floor.
Tuesday morning, the Band of Brothers California announced Williams was the victim in this past weekend's fatal shooting in Santa Maria.
"We are not trying to focus on what happened, we are trying to focus on what he was," said roommate and friend of Gerald Williams, Ronald Bambrough.
The "brothers" of Williams, saying their home does not feel the same without him.
"Things aren't the way they should be. But with Gerald, you never had to worry about that. Gerald was a great man," reflected fellow Band of Brother, and best friend of Gerald Williams, Luis Gomez.
Williams and his roommates lived together at Camp Flores in Santa Maria, a transitional home for veterans without housing.
Co-founder and president of the Band of Brothers California, Steve Baird, recalled first meeting Williams a few years ago.
"I told him, 'We have a home brother. Want to come check it out?" and he came up here and it became his home," remembered Baird.
"What the house means to me, and pretty sure to Gerald as well; it was basically a safe haven for all veterans," admitted Derrick Silvaon Wright Jr, who also lived at Camp Flores with Williams. "Anyone who was a veteran who needed a place to stay, a place to lay their head, somewhere to get back on their feet."
From that moment on, Gerald Williams would have his own, band of brothers.
"You changed everyone's life, Gerald, for the better. You taught us how to become better people," Luis Gomez added. "Because of you, we are forced to learn patience, too. He had a lot to offer, he really did. And I want Gerald to know that I love him, and I miss him."
The group says they are also planning a "paddle out" into the ocean in the near future. It was one of their friend's favorite pastimes. They say living together at Camp Flores gave them the chance to get to know one another at a deeper level, sharing similar experiences and struggles from their military backgrounds.
His friends tell me Gerald's wish was to be buried back in Texas with his family. They are currently looking for ways to fund transporting his body to be buried at his family plot.