Sgt. William Brown, 23, was a 2012 Bolton High School graduate, his family said. He joined the Marines that year and was stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
Police say he was stabbed Saturday morning after an altercation and was taken to a hospital in critical condition, where he later died.
"It's just tearing us apart, just tearing his family apart in terms of seeing a man like him killed for no reason," said Malcolm Reese, Brown's uncle. "Murdered for no reason."
His mother, Betty Reese Luster, said that remembering her son's bubbly personality is what keeps her going.
"Smiles, hugs everybody knew when you saw Will you we're gonna get a hug, a hug and a smile and he always had the best hugs," said Luster.
Luster says her son was just promoted to sergeant and had plans to finish college.
"He was happy and he was so happy he met the president, he was ecstatic," said Luster. "He had decided to become a physician assistant, he had laid out his plan on what he was going to do."
Brown wouldve celebrated his 24th birthday next month.
"He was truly a loving young man who didn't see race, creed or color and he loved everyone and everyone was his friend," said Luster.
Tonight his uncle has a message for the people who committed this horrible crime.
"Think before you go out and do something like this, you take alway a life of an individual who worked so hard who lifted himself up to become the man he is and was and you took his life for no reason," said Reese.
Honolulu police Capt. Walter Ozeki says multiple people were at the scene and three suspects were arrested a few blocks away on suspicion of second-degree murder.
According to family, Brown's awards include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons. He was also a cousin of Emmett Till, a teenager who was infamously lynched and murdered in Mississippi in 1955. The case helped spur the Civil Rights movement.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers a Memorial contribution be made in his name to the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation.