Published: Mar 13, 2013 5:13 PM EDT
Updated: Mar 13, 2013 6:26 PM EDT

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - The dog tags around Anthony Valvano's neck feel a little heavier today.

"He knew I thought they were pretty cool. He said just to just to have them," said Valvano.

They were a gift from his friend, Staff Sargent Marc Scialdo. The two had been friends for the past 17 years. But Valvona said he was lucky to call him a "brother."

"He was always...he'd probably punch me in the face for saying this..but he was really loving. He cared about a lot of people. He always put them first."

Scialdo was on his second tour of duty in the Army. On Monday, the Black Hawk helicopter he was riding, crashed, and killed Scialdo and five other Americans on board. Officials said they are investigating the accident. Valvano said Scialdo spent most of his time in Afghanistan in a hangar on the ground.

"Typically they would do maintenance and work and building back up Black Hawks and fixing them and all of those types of things."

But Valvano said Scialdo often reassured his friends and family that he truly loved and believed in the work he was doing in the Army.

"Everytime that re-upping would come up or around or whatever and some of us would be like, 'So, are you coming home?' and hed be like 'No, I think I'm going to a couple more years and a couple more years. He really loved it," said Valvano.