SPC James Burnett, of Wichita, died on Wednesday while serving in Afghanistan. His family confirming the information Thursday morning.
SPC Burnett is a graduate of Clearwater High School, and most recently lived in Wichita. He served in the Army with the 11th Battalion Infantry, based out of Alaska.
"He always went out of his way for everybody. When anyone needed anything, he was there for them. It didn't matter what they did to him," explains Burnett's mother, Rebecca Metcalf.
She and her husband John say they are incredibly proud of their son and say he died a hero.
"It was always a great sense of pride with what he chose to do with his life," said John.
Burnett first joined the Army Reserves when he graduated high school in 2009. He joined active duty about a year later.
His family says he had been serving in Afghanistan since April.
"That big smile, that's what I think about when I think of James," said Amy Keeler, Burnett's fiance.
"He didn't think with his head, he thought with his heart. He had the biggest heart I've ever seen," adds Kyle Clark, Burnett's friend.
Funeral arrangements are still pending.