CHICAGO (AP) — A 21-year-old Marine from Elgin has been killed during combat in Afghanistan.
The U.S. Department of Defense says Cpl. Alex Martinez died Thursday while conducting combat operations in southern Helmand province.
He was assigned to the 1st Marine Division in Camp Pendleton, Calif., and was on his second deployment to Afghanistan.
His stepfather, Jim Bethke, says Martinez joined the Marines shortly after turning 18, taking summer classes so he could graduate early and enlist in the service.
Relatives will head to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Saturday to receive his remains, which were to arrive on a flight from Afghanistan.