A Southern California man was one of five US soldiers killed in southern Afghanistan on Monday, officials said.
Scott Studenmund, 24, of Pasadena, graduated from Flintridge Preparatory School in La Cañada Flintridge in 2008, school officials confirmed on Tuesday.
"Scott was a brave, virtuous patriot," Headmaster Peter Bachmann said. "Please hold him fast in your memories, and hold the family fast in your hearts."
A friend confirmed that the Studenmund family received word from the officials Monday night.
"It's just very raw right now. And you know, when you send your child off to serve in the military, this is always the risk," family friend Mary Lyons said. "But you just hope and pray it never happens."
Studenmund was a Green Beret and US Army staff sergeant, family members said. He spent a year at Pitzer College before he achieved his lifelong dream to become a soldier, Lyons said.
"He enlisted. And went through the Green Beret training program. So he out of all those that applied to be a Green Beret, only 15 percent make it, he was one of them," Lyons said.
Studenmund attended Flintridge Preparatory School from 2002 to 2008, where he was an honor student and athlete who was beloved by friends and faculty, Bachman said.
"When I think about Scott’s service, I think of the Founding Fathers -- a virtuous man must be prepared to risk his life, fortune and sacred honor for his country. This sentiment guided Scott," Bachman said.
His family currently lives in Pasadena.
"They were so proud of him," a neighbor said of the family. "I feel so sorry for them."
Studenmund was deployed last January and was due home in August. The American flag at the Studenmund's home was seen flying at half-staff Tuesday.
The Pentagon confirmed Tuesday that the American special operations forces killed Monday were victims of friendly fire. Defense and military officials said the soldiers had been working with Afghan forces. One Afghan soldier was also killed.
The soldiers were killed by a NATO air strike called in by ground troops requesting back up to help them deflect the Taliban, according to an NBC4 report.
The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement that the soldiers died when their unit came in contact with enemy forces Monday, but "there is the possibility that fratricide may have been involved."
NBC4's Samia Khan contributed to this report.