Clarence Williams III followed in his father's footsteps when he enlisted in the U.S. Army more than two years ago.
Williams had a passion for the military and had been serving in Afghanistan since February. He was due to return to his family's Brooksville home at the end of this month.
"He gave his life for his country," said his father, Clarence Williams Jr. of Brooksville. "He loved military life."
Williams III and five other soldiers died Sunday while on patrol in eastern Afghanistan.
Their armored vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in eastern Afghanistan. The Taliban took responsibility for the bomb blast.
The Department of Defense has not confirmed the names of the soldiers who died.
The 23-year-old Williams III was serving with the military police while in Afghanistan, said his father. He would go out on regular patrols with a team of soldiers.
Williams III was born in Gainesville and raised in Brooksville, where he graduated from Hernando High School, his father said.
He enjoyed weightlifting and working on cars. He also had worked with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office Explorer's Program.
He enlisted in the Army for an eight-year stint. After that, he wanted to attend college and have a career in law enforcement, his dad said.
Clarence Williams Jr. is a corporal with the Florida Highway Patrol, where he has worked for 22 years. He has served in the Army and is currently a reservist.
Clarence Williams Jr. said his son was a kind and considerate young man.
"This was a good kid," Clarence Williams Jr. said. "He was respectful to everybody."
Williams III is survived by his father, his mother, Talisa Williams; and his sisters, Abrill Edwards of Kissimmee, and Samantha Williams of Brooksville.