The Pentagon says a Camp Lejeune Marine was killed in action in Afghanistan.
Sgt. Christopher Hrbek of Westwood, New Jersey died Thursday after hostile action in the Helmand province.
His stepfather, Jaymee Hodges, said Hrbek was due to receive a Bronze Star for valor for helping save the life of a wounded comrade in December.
The 25-year-old was a field artillery cannoneer assigned to 3rd Battalion, 10th Marines. The Marine Corps says Hrbek joined in January 2003 and was promoted to sergeant in December 2008. He deployed to Afghanistan in November.
Hrbek was a nine-year member of the Westwood, New Jersey Fire Department and comes from a family of firefighters.