Lance Cpl. Gavin Brummund of Arnold was killed in Afghanistan on Thursday, the Marine Corps reported.
Brummund, 22, was the first service member from Calaveras County to die in Afghanistan or Iraq over the past nine years of U.S. wars in the Middle East.
His mother, Debbie Morris, told The Union Democrat in Sonora that he stepped on an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. He died later at a hospital, she said.
Little detail was provided in an announcement from the 2nd Marine Division, based at Camp Lejuene, N.C.
Brummund served with the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment at the base. He lived in North Carolina with his wife, Michaela Brummund.
Friends of the family said Morris and Brummund's father, Gregg Brummund, have traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to receive their son's remains.
Supporters plan to form an honor guard along Highway 4 between Avery and Arnold about 3 p.m. Sunday, when the fallen Marine is expected to be brought home.
"Gavin was a great kid," said Arnold real estate agent Tim Muetterties, an organizer of the tribute. "We were devastated at the news."
Muetterties said Brummund was one of eight members of the Bret Harte High School Class of 2006 to enter the service together.
Brummund was on the wrestling and football teams at Bret Harte. Assistant wrestling coach Hal Dillashaw said he had the toughness required for the sport and for the Marines, but a soft side, too.
"Gavin was one of those kids who always brought a smile to your face, and he always had a smile on his," Dillashaw said. "He was more of a quiet guy, but a funny guy when you got to know him."
The school planned to honor Brummund and other service members during a fund-raiser for the wrestling program today.
Services are pending.
Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at 578-2385 or email@example.com.