Lance Cpl. Tyler Owen Griffin, 19, was killed by an improvised explosive device, according to the Norwich Bulletin.
Lance Cpl. Griffin's stepfather and mother headed to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to take custody of the Marine's body over the weekend and returned to Connecticut on Sunday, the Bulletin reports.
Tyler Griffin was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division and was serving in the Helmand province of Afghanistan.
Griffin graduated from Griswold High School, where he played football, according to news reports. Friends remember him as a kind man who would do anything for anyone.
"I remember one kid didn’t have money to buy a belt in elementary school,” Devin Quinn, 20, a third-class cadet at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. told the Bulletin. “He would get in trouble because his pants would fall down, and (Griffin) went out and bought a belt for this kid.”
A Facebook page has been created in his memory and hundreds of people have left messages. They range from posts as simple as "Thank you," to heartfelt messages from people who knew Tyler well.
Tyler touched the lives of so many, and fought bravely for the lives of so many more. He always had a smile, and was such a gentleman...respectful, kind, and so sure of what he wanted to do with his life. I feel honored to have known him. Rest peacefully, dear Tyler -- Rhiannon Putman Cohen
"I remember when we all wanted to be movie stars and athletes, you wanted to be a Marine. You lived out your dream with courage, determination, and kindness. I hate that you are gone, but i know you will protect us in death, as you did when you were alive. You are forever missed and never forgotten." - Kelsey Maloney
The Department of Defense has not released information about where in Afghanistan or when Griffin was killed. The Bulletin reports that he had been overseas for about 30 days when he was killed.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell said Lance Cpl. Griffin's service to his country would never be forgotten.
"Tonight, all of Connecticut mourns a brave and patriotic young man who has given his life for his country and our freedom," Rell said in a news release issued on Saturday night.
His funeral arrangements have not been made public yet.