Marine Corps Sergeant Phillip Bocks moved with his family from Michigan to Truckee when he was in seventh grade. His stepmother Monica says Phillip had a lot of hobbies.
"What day of the week are we talking about? He loved to ski, he loved to snow board, he was into drama, he had an infectious laugh and smile and then he could be like every other teenage boy, he could drive me crazy."
Bocks joined the Marines in 2000 and loved it so much that when his tour-of-duty was up he re-enlisted. Monica says he understood the sacrifice he might be making.
"He just wanted us to know that this is where he needed to be at this point in his life and I will take that with me for a very long time."
She says Phillip was killed while returning from a meeting with village elders in Nuristan Province. She says he was attacked by militants wielding rocket-propelled grenades. Eight other Americans were wounded and three Afghan soldiers killed in the ambush.