(09/05/12) - He died on the front lines in Afghanistan while serving his country.
Private First Class Shane Cantu of Corunna lost his life when his base was attacked last week.
His family is breaking their silence and sharing their story.
The 20-year-old Corunna High graduate was their pride and joy. "I know Shane would want us to live our live to the fullest," said Shane's mother Jennifer Clarke.
He loved his family and he loved football. "No matter if he was hurt and out with an injury. Shane was at the practices, there with his team, he was a team player."
Shane was one of five children, including a twin sister. He was the only boy growing up in a house full of girls.
"He usually always had a friend over, or he was at a friend's house - one of the two. He did as they did said," said Michael Clarke.
And when Shane wasn't with his family, he was with his teammates. The 2010 graduate of Corunna High School, was a star athlete and a popular student. "Shane lived and loved football and Shane had a teammate that said when Shane strapped on that helmet, they would stay away from him, because he could hit really hard."
Shane's journey through life, called him to serve. He joined the Army to give back. His mom recalls a conversation when he was stationed in Italy. "He did tell me that, mom you have the best lasagna until I got to Italy, but I guess that would be expected."
Shane also loved his grandmother's tacos. His craving for food and his Jim Carrey impersonation are among the memories now bringing comfort to his family. They will move forward, never forgetting the sacrifice he made.
"He was my life, trying to do us all well. They say he's a hero, he was always my hero and always will be."
The body of Shane Cantu will arrive at Bishop Airport Wednesday. The Patriot Guard will escort him and his family to the funeral home in Owosso.
ABC12 Main Station