Sgt. Jason Santora died April 23, 2010, in Logar Province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and conducting combat operations.  He was 25. The soldier was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga. Sgt. Santora was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and Meritorious Service Medal. Santora was survived by his father, Gary Santora, his mother Theresa Santora, his sister, Gina Santora, and his uncle, Ralph Fico.

“I always said that every girl should have a big brother like him,” Jason’s sister, Gina Santora told Newsday.

The Travis Manion Foundation honored Sgt. Jason Santora through the Character Does Matter program on May 24, 2012, when his story inspired 600 students at his alma mater, Sachem North High School in Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.

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