OLDSMAR, Fla. - Friends are remembering an Oldsmar soldier who died in Afghanistan on Saturday. According to the Department of Defense, U.S. Army Specialist Frank Gross died Saturday when an improvised explosive device went off. He was deployed less than a month ago.
Gross graduated in 2004 from Indian Rocks Christian School. The superintendent there says he's saddened over the news and describes Gross as fun loving and highly intelligent. He was known as "Frankie."
Gross played baseball in high school and went on to play at several colleges. He earned a bachelor's and master's degree from Full Sail University in Winter Park.
Staff Sgt. Matt Sitton graduated from Indian Rocks Christian the same year as Gross and is also in the military. He says Gross was always interested in military lifestyle and weapons systems. He adds that Gross was a good friend.
"He's a great guy to have in your corner. He'd always have your back in any situation. An all around great guy. I was honored to know him," said Sitton over the phone.
Meanwhile, flags now line the Oldsmar neighborhood where Gross' parents live, along with a display in honor of U.S. Army Specialist Frank Gross.
Gross's family is in Delaware receiving his body. We're told they should be back sometime today or tomorrow. There is no word on a memorial service just yet.
The superintendent at Indian Rocks Christian says when school starts in the fall, they will do some type of memorial service there as well.