According the U.S. defense department, Cpl. Alex Martinez, 21, died Thursday while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Martinez was part of the 1st Combat Engineer Batallion of the 1st Marine Division in Camp Pendleton, Calif.
ABC7 Chicago spoke to Martinez's stepfather Saturday just before the Marine's family left for Delaware to receive his remains at Dover Air Force base. The family says Martinez joined the Marines in January 2009, weeks after he turned 18 years old.
He had also just gotten married.
Martinez was on his second deployment to Afghanistan when he was killed.
"I would just urge the American public to pray for each of the families of our fallen," said Joyce Carrasco, of the Blue Star Mothers OF America. "They're not just a number and a momentary news story. But this is going to be felt in this family's life for generations to come."
No information about his funeral were available Saturday.