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A former Thomas Stone High School graduate and student athlete was killed in combat while serving in Afghanistan.

U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Aaron C. Torian, 36, of Paducah, Ky., died Feb. 15 from injuries sustained during combat patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Torian was assigned to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Special Operations Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, according to information provided by Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in a press release.

Torian joined the Marine Corps in 2003. He joined MARSOC in 2006 and was promoted to master sergeant in September.

His awards included the Purple Heart, Navy Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon with gold star, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with three stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.

Torian graduated from Thomas Stone High School in 1995.

Craig Guice, classmate and friend of Torian, said he was not surprised to read of all of Torian’s achievements.

“He wanted to be the best at whatever he did,” Guice said.

While Torian’s family moved back to Kentucky after having spent several years in Waldorf, Guice said Torian still had many ties to the Charles County area including lifelong friendships.

He said several of Torian’s Charles County friends drove to Dover Air Force Base earlier this week to be with Torian’s family when his body arrived at the base.

Guice said he still was in shock over Torian’s death.

“He was one of those guys who was bigger than life,” he said.

Henry E. Lackey High School Principal James Short remembered Torian from his days on the football field.

Short was the coach of Stone’s football team, where Torian was a member of the offensive line.

Short said it didn’t surprise him that Torian would go on to join the military as he was very tough-minded and wasn’t afraid of anything.

He was “very talented and very energetic,” Short said. “A very good kid and very competitive.”

Short remembered Torian as being “well-liked among his teammates.”

Torian is survied by his wife, Jurley, and three children.