A Marine from Camp Lejeune was killed Dec. 20 while on a combat operation in Iraq's volatile Anbar Province, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.
Lance Cpl. Myles C. Sebastien, 21, of Opelousas, La., was killed while driving a Humvee in Ramadi, friends told KLFY-TV in Lafayette, La.
"He was brought to a hospital, but it was too late," his mother-in-law, Linda Arnaud, told The Associated Press.
More U.S. troops have been killed in Anbar than in any other Iraq province, and Ramadi is considered by many to be the most dangerous city there.
Sebastien was assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune.
Sebastien recently celebrated his first wedding anniversary, and a family friend said he was two months away from ending his second tour of duty in Iraq, according to the AP.
His former homeroom teacher, Kay Ortego, described Sebastien as having an "extremely sharp mind." Ortego said he came by the school to visit her before his last tour.
"He was very intelligent, and he had a very quiet, dignified resignation. I can see why he would make a good soldier," she told The AP.
According to The Daily World of Opelousas, Sebastien was a 2004 graduate of Opelousas High School. Survivors include his wife, Kelie Arnaud Sebastien, also of Opelousas.
His greeting on his MySpace page, the newspaper said, was dedicated to his wife: "I'm coming home to you, baby girl."