PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A local Marine has been killed in Afghanistan.

Staff Sergeant Justin Schmalstieg, a 2000 graduate of Peabody High School, was killed in a roadside bomb explosion.

News of a military death is always difficult to hear, but it’s doubly hard at Pittsburgh Police headquarters because the soldier’s parents are police detectives.

An April issue of The Convoy, a news publication of the First Marine Logistics Group, focused on the visit of General James Conway to Camp Pendleton in California.

It also featured an article on Schmalstieg with his First Explosive Ordinance Disposal Company. They were working on a buried simulated explosive device during a training exercise.

However, it was a real roadside bomb that took his life in Afghanistan and Schmalstieg was using that training as a bomb technician.

He was the son of two Pittsburgh Police detectives. A picture from Peabody High School showed his participation as a cross-country athlete.

The caption for that picture read, “finishing strong.”

His body is expected to be returned to the area this week and details about funeral arrangements have not been released.

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