Hundreds of mourners gathered on Friday at Community Bible Church to celebrate the life of Javier Gutierrez, a San Antonio soldier killed in Afghanistan earlier this month.
He was born on Aug. 1, 1991, in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
Jordan Gutierrez, the sister of the Army Sergeant First Class, sang between testimonials and sermons during her brother’s service.
Army officials say Gutierrez and another soldier were shot and killed by a person dressed in an Afghan security uniform.
His uncle — Pastor Robert Gutierrez — spoke at the service.
"You, through all of your actions, shined a great light for Christ and for this country, and that's something that no terrorist coward will ever extinguish," said the pastor.
Gutierrez’s widow Gabby said she would do her best to bring up their four kids.
"That's his legacy. And one thing the Lord has put in my heart, my faith in Christ, is that I will see him again,” she said.
A graveside service with full military honors is planned for Saturday Feb. 22 at 10 a.m. at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.
The 28-year-old, nicknamed Jaguar, served in the army as a 7th Special Forces Senior Communications Sergeant, earning several medals, including a Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal.
His funeral program described him as a humble Green Beret who believed the U.S. was unique, blessed, exceptional and, therefore, worth fighting for.
His late great grandfather, Thomas Ortiz, was a World War II veteran.
Beside his wife and four children, he is survived by his parents, two sisters and a nephew.