Band room at Lehigh Senior High named for Marine
It was a joyous occasion on Friday night. Dr. Joseph Burke, Lee County’s superintendent of schools, Lehigh Senior High School Principal Jeff Spiro, the school’s band leader, Jay Parales and the school board’s president, Tom Scott were all there.
It was a happy time because the band room at LSHS was being dedicated and named the Jason Amores Band Room in memory of Marine Sgt. Amores who was killed in Afghanistan this past January.
His wife, Jennifer, and her two small children were on hand for the brief ceremony that drew about 40 people, including family member and old friends of Amores.
Amores played saxophone in the school’s Lightning Marching Band. After graduation from high school, he and his brother, Jeremiah, left together for the Marine Corps and even spent basic training together.
Spiro said Amores’ love for music and his dedication for the school’s band were outstanding.
“We hope one day in the future, someone will ask who Jason Amores was,” Spiro said.
A large colorful sign hangs above the door into the band room in the building behind the main school. King-sized color photographs hung on the walls surrounded by drums and other instruments in the band room. In many of the poster-sized photographs, Amores appeared with a big broad smile with his fellow band members.
Even the county’s superintendent of schools found time to come to the dedication. Burke spoke briefly about how proud the school must be of Amores, who was also dedicated to his country and paid for it with his life.
Jennifer was in the front row in the narrow hall that leads to the band room. With her were her two young children, Korbin, 9, and Violet, 2.
Amores and his wife grew up in Lehigh Acres and both attended Lehigh Senior High School.
“It’s really strange coming back here after all those years,” Jennifer said after the ceremony. “He played sax and I was in the color guard.”
Immediately after the short ceremony, she tossed the coin for the start of the football game at the nearby stadium. Lehigh was playing Estero High School.
As a kid, Amores loved playing Little League baseball and played ball all through high school. He played both tenor and baritone sax in the award-winning Lightning marching band.
Spiro said Amores was called “Mowgli” in high school for running around with his long black hair and a smile. Many in the crowd, including his wife, laughed.
He grew up in a large family with five siblings – four girls and two boys.
As a squad leader in the Marines, Amores was known for his compelling drive to watch over his “men.” Spiro said it was what he did and he did it well both on and off the field of combat.
According to Lt. Col. Jason Morris, his battalion commander, who appeared at the Remembrance Day ceremonies on April 29 of this year, “Sgt. Amores was that true Marine hero who always ran to the sound of gunfire.”
“Jason sought to always protect his boys. That is what he did each and every day while deployed in Afghanistan. Such heroic and selfless acts compelled the United States government to posthumously award him the Bronze Star with Valor,” said Morris in April.
“It’s all so overwhelming,” is how his wife put it after the ceremony.