Marine from Lehigh laid to rest
A Purple Heart and an American Flag were presented to Jennifer Amores, the widow of Sgt. Jason G. Amores, 29, on Monday morning at Lee Memorial Park on SR82. The presentation by the U.S. Marines on behalf of the United States followed memorial ceremonies inside the funeral home.
More than 200 people turned out, with many sitting in an overflow room during the services with full military honors for the Marine killed in Afghanistan.
Amores grew up in Lehigh Acres where he played Little League and later graduated from Lehigh Senior High School where he was active in the school’s marching band. He graduated in 1999 and in 2004 he enlisted with his brother, Jeremiah, in the U.S. Marines. They served together during their Marine basic training.
Sgt. Amores was killed Jan. 20 in Afghanistan when he stepped on an explosive device while conducting combat operations. His family went to the U.S. Air Force base in Dover, Del., that weekend to meet Amores’ body, which was then brought home.
The solemn ceremony began Monday at 10 a.m. at the funeral home with the Navy Hymn being played.
The main sanctuary of the funeral home was filled and many sat in an adjoining room and stood in the lobby and watched the services on a closed- circuit television.
MgySgt. J.D. Sterling of the USMC recited the Lord’s Prayer along with the many guests with others in the military helping to conduct the services.
Many shed tears in the chapel when Sgt. Amores’ widow spoke to the group about the love she and her husband shared and how she would always remind their two young children, that he died for his nation.
“I’ll never let them forget him,” she said.
Family members spoke, including his sister and his stepfather, as did others.
In the chapel were many young people who went to school with Amores, along with numerous family members and friends.
After the near 90-minute ceremony, everyone walked about a quarter of a mile to the grave site where final services were held and the American Flag was presented to his wife and to other members of the family.
As Jennifer Amores accepted the flag, she listened intently to the Marine’s words. She continued to weep as the ceremony came to an end.
Amores graduated from Marine Corps Recruit Training Parris Island in 2005.
After completing the School of Infantry that year, Amores was assigned to the 2nd Battalion 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
While attached to that unit, he was deployed to Iraq from September 2005 to February 2006, and again from April to October of 2007, and again from August 2008 to March 2009, according to the program pamphlet handed out at the services.
He was later assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, Calif., with which he made his final deployment to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom in September of 2010. He was killed in action on Jan. 20.
In addition to the Purple Heart, he was also presented awards including the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon with one Gold Star, Navy Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal with one Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one bronze campaign star, Iraq Campaign Medal with three bronze campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment ribbon with three bronze stars, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal, Rifle Expert Badge (third award, and the Pistol Expert Badge.
Taps was played at the conclusion of the service at the grave site.
As those who attended walked out of the funeral home, Amazing Grace was played over the loud speakers.
His mother, Beverly Middleton, sat in the front row during the presentation of the American Flag.
In addition to his wife Jennifer, who also grew up in Lehigh, Sgt. Amores is survived by his son, Korbin, 9, and daughter Violet, 3.
He also is survived by his mother and step-father, Beverly and Curt Middleton; father Jay Amores, step-mother Gigi Amores; sisters Shoshona and Emerald Amores; sisters Rebecca and Samantha Middleton; brothers Jeremiah Amores and Joshua Amores. Other survivors include his grandparents, Susie and Wendell Rice, and an aunt and uncle who are his godparents, Angela and Robert Middleton.