NEW BETHLEHEM (KDKA) — A Marine from western Pennsylvania was killed in Afghanistan.

Joseph Garrison died on Monday during combat operations in the Helmand province, according to the Department of Defense.

Garrison, 27, is from New Bethlehem, Clarion County.

“He was just adored by so many people,” Stacy Kelp, a lifelong friend, said. “You would never think that one person could touch so many lives.”

He reportedly graduated from Red Bank Valley High School in 2002.

Michael Kundick is Garrison’s former wrestling coach.

“He became a man,” he told KDKA-TV. “Every time he came home he just – he matured.”

Garrison was on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan. Kelp said she expected to see him again.

“He’s been over there several times and every time he’s come back,” she said. “We were just hoping this time would be no different.”

Keli Bonanno, Garrison’s former English teacher, says his service will not be forgotten.

“He gave the utmost sacrifice for the rest of us, so we can sit here and watch kids play little league,” she said.

Stay with KDKA for the latest details.

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