The Harford County community is coming together to remember a fallen hero killed in action in Afghanistan.
Staff. Sgt. Mark De Alencar was killed this week.
His uncle, Jansen Robinson, says the decorated officer's priorities were family and hard work. Throughout the county, there were little nuggets of tribute for Staff Sgt. De Alencar.
For Robinson, sacrifice says a lot about a person's character.
"He wanted to be the best of the best and so that's why he went to special forces. That's something that you want to do," Robinson said.
He says his nephew was no stranger to hard work -- rising to become a member of the 1st Batallion, 7th Special Forces Group -- or putting his family and friends first.
"They told him he had to lose some weight. So Mark would put on a backpack, put bricks and books in it, and you'd see him running up and down the road there getting in shape to re-enlist," Robinson said.
Jansen says Mark re-enlisted to take care of his growing family.
So when he got the call this week that Marks was killed in combat, he was stunned.
"You never think that it would happen to you. You just never think that that would happen until it actually happens.," Robinson said.
A shared feeling for an entire community -- flags flying at office building around Harford County honoring Mark.
Jansen says it's a well-deserved tribute.
"Mark died doing what he wanted to do," he said.
Doing what he needed to do, Jansen says, for his family and in turn giving the ultimate sacrifice.
"They have myself and family on his side that are here to support them, but that's not a replacement for Mark. It's not a replacement for somebody that you share your dreams and thoughts with and so it's going to be difficult," Robinson said.
Staff Sgt. Mark De Alencar leaves behind a wife and five children.
If you'd like to help Sgt. Alencar's family, a GoFundMe account has been set up.