LARGO, Florida - The family of a local soldier who died Thursday in Afghanistan says they are very proud of him. According to family members, Staff Sgt. Matt Sitton was killed by an improvised explosive device. He was 26-years-old.
He and his wife, Sarah Sitton, have been married for three years. She said every plan she had for the future has changed.
"It was a huge shock. This was his third deployment. So, we had done this before," said Sarah.
The hardest part is knowing their 9-month-old son, Brodey, will never know his father.
The last time the soldier held him was right before he was deployed in February.
Staff Sgt. Sitton graduated from Indian Rocks Christian School in 2004. He joined the Army two years later. His parents, Steve and Cheryl Sitton, said his death still feels like a dream.
"You know, trying to hold back the tears. Cause I've cried so much. But proud. So incredibly proud of my boy," said Matt's mother, Cheryl.
The Sittons describe their son as a jokester who always made them smile. They said Matt believed in what he did, was good at it, and was committed to being a soldier. He died doing what he loved.
Staff Sgt. Sitton was a son, brother, father, and husband who died a hero. Sarah said little Brodey will grow up knowing just that.
"I wish it didn't have to happen like this, but I know that's the price that some pay and that's the sacrifice he was willing to give. And now it's just, living with it."
Tomorrow morning Staff Sgt. Sittton's parents and his wife will go to Dover to receive his body. No specific details on funeral arrangements have been made just yet.