Kind hearted and always with a smile, that's how Maurice Tenorio remembers his godson AJ Pardo.
He was in shock when he found out about Pardo's death through Facebook.
"I went straight to his mom's house to get confirmation of his passing," Maurice Tenorio said.
Tenorio last saw his godson before he left to join the military.
They've known eachother for 6 years, and now looking back at photographs is what's left to fill the void.
"I think every picture just reminded us of his personality and character," said Tenorio.
Pardo joined the Catholic Parish in high school and was active in the church ever since.
With no previous religious background, Pardo became an alter server and dedicated a lot of time in the Catholic community.
"He fell in love with the community and the friendships he made through the church. He embraced the faith that way," said Tenorio.
Pardo went to Afghanistan to start his 9 month tour. Sadly, that was cut short.
He was one of 5 other soldiers killed in an ambush.
"It's going to be tough to go without him," said James Lope
A 2009 graduate of Granite Hills High School, his friends say they knew he would join the military.
His older brother, Anthony is currently in the service and is stationed in Ohio.
He admired his brother and wanted to follow his footsteps.
Pardo's friends say they're grateful to have known him, and will continue to cherish the memories he left behind with his friends, and the Catholic church that became a vital part of his life.