Published: Jan 23, 2011 4:42 AM EST
Updated: Jan 21, 2011 11:20 PM EST

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla.- Southwest Florida mourns the loss of a hometown hero. Marine Sargeant Jason Amores was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, while serving in Afghanistan. Amores was born and raised in Lehigh Acres.

Sgt. Amores' family says from a very young age Jason was a protector, loyally looking after his five younger siblings. He eventually made that trait a career after deciding to enlist. Today, his family mourns the loss of their loved one, but celebrates his unwavering courage overseas.

"He was a great person. He loved his country, he loved the military," Amores' uncle, Bob Middleton said Saturday.

Family remembers the life of Sgt. Jason Amores...a devoted husband, father, and Marine.

"I'm so proud of him. I bragged about him all the time to everybody. Some people probably got tired of hearing me because I just bragged about him, I'm so proud of him," Middleton said.

Sgt. Amores was killed in combat on Thursday while leading his Battalion through Afghanistan's front lines. He was serving his fourth deployment, following two tours in Iraq, and a special assignment chasing Somalian pirates.

"I think he liked the thrill of war and the excitement of it," Middleton said.

Amores enlisted back in 2004, leaving a fruitful construction career to serve alongside his little brother.

"He asked me to take him to his recruiter. Him and his younger brother. I just felt so honored, that he asked me to do that," Middleton said.

But tonight, Jason's family remembers a young version of the level-headed leader...an outdoors man, who loved to hunt and fish. He was a 1999 Lehigh Senior High School graduate, later marrying a former classmate and having two children, Corbin and Violet.

"His kids were his life. Other than the military, I think the family and the military was his main thing," Middleton said.

And while family prepare to lay their loved one to rest, they're holding tight to memories of their hero.

"I'll never forget him. I mean he'll stay in my heart and my mind forever," Middleton said.

Family of Sgt. Amores are planning a memorial service here in Southwest Florida. Details will be announced at a later date.