Bay area Army Staff Sgt. Matt Sitton has died in Afghanistan. His family was notified Thursday.
The family of Staff Sgt. Matthew Steven Sitton said Army officials told them Thursday the 26-year-old died this week after stepping on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.
He was scheduled to come home in September after his third tour of duty.
The 2004 Indian Rocks Christian graduate leaves behind a wife and 9-month-old son. Sitton was stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C.
On a Facebook memorial page for Sitton, Cherie Miles Grieco said of the soldier who once worked at a kids camp, "The kids loved him and hung all over him. One of the best teen leaders that I ever have known. His drive and energy went above and beyond the requirements of being a camp leader."
Julie Pigsley wrote, "My favorite Matt Sitton fact - Looking at the sun made him sneeze."
"He was funny. He was smart, compassionate, he was perfect and he loved the Lord and that was the most important thing to him," Pigsley said. "And I think that's why everything else just fell into place. He was an incredible, incredible young man."
IRC School Superintendent wrote on the school's website, "Matt's brother, Jonny, watched a white car pull up outside their home and watched two uniformed military personnel approach the door."
"The staff and students at Indian Rocks Christian School send our love to the Sitton family," Mayes wrote. "Having graduated three children from the school with another who is now in his Senior year, the Sittons have been a family that has impacted our campus in a major way."
Sitton's high school baseball coach, D.J. Springman, said the soldier was an exceptional athlete. "[He was] probably one of the best players that I coached at this school. Just a hard-working kid." Springman said he was the type of athlete who was the first one in and the last one out.
Sitton told his coach, 'I was born to be a soldier,' Springman said. "And so I think I went away with that peace, knowing that's exactly what he wanted to do and he felt God him to do it."
"Amazing, amazing man," Pigsley added. "An amazing solider. He was amazing at whatever he did."
Fellow graduate Frank Gross also died in the line of duty in July 2011.