A 24-year-old Pasadena man has been identified as one of five soldiers who were killed during security operations in southern Afghanistan earlier this week, school officials said.
Scott Studenmund, remembered as a "beloved member" of his class at Flintridge Prepatory School, was killed Monday, according to a statement released by Headmaster Peter Bachmann.
Studenmund is survived by his parents and younger sister, according to the statement. He graduated from Flintridge in 2008, where he was a standout football and track star.
He took a leave of absence from Pitzer college to train to become a Green Beret, a designation he earned in 2013. He worked as a sniper based in Clarksville, Tenn., before he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2014, the statement read.
Teachers remembered him as a popular and driven student who rarely fell short of a goal.
Clouse, a standout basketball player at Sprague High School in Washington, had been home on leave a week before the attack, Principal Bill Ressel told The Times.
"The biggest thing that we want to portray is what a great kid he was," he said.
Clouse often talked of joining the military with his basketball coach, and was actually on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, Ressel said. The 22-year-old, who graduated from high school in 2010, is survived by his parents and younger brother, Josh.
"Josh really looked up to him. It's pretty tough on him," Ressel said. "They were real close, (Justin) was what everyone would want in a older brother."
Toppen, 19, of Mokena, Ill., has also been identified as one of the five killed in the clash, according to a Facebook post from his sister.
"He was a good student, just an all around great kid growing up that I can remember," said Marsha Stevens, a secretary at the high school. "He played baseball, he was very good at baseball."
Schools Supt. Neil Leist said word that Helton was killed in a friendly fire incident didn't change the fact that the 25-year-old died a hero.
"I think I can speak for everyone how proud we are of him serving his country and to me it doesn't matter what bullet killed him," Leist told The Times. "He got killed serving his country."