A North State family is mourning the death of their only son in Afghanistan.
First Lieutenant Sean R. Jacobs, 23, died Thursday after being struck by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan.
His father, Robert Jacobs, said his son was a platoon leader and was on night patrol west of Kandahar. Jacobs said the platoon was sweeping mines when their vehicle began to overheat. When the platoon got out of the vehicle one of the sergeants stepped on an IED. The blast killed the sergeant, Jacobs, and wounded another sergeant in the platoon.
Jacobs graduated from Foothill High School in 2006, and excelled in academics, cross country and track.
After Foothill, he continued to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where he graduated in 2010.
His father said Jacobs was stationed in Ft. Lewis, Washington and had been in Afghanistan since April. He was about half-way through his deployment.
Jacobs' father said he and his wife, Jacquelyn, are still in shock by the loss of their only child.
The couple returned from Dover Air Force base in Delaware early Monday morning.
Bill Joseph was Jacobs' cross country coach and physics teacher at Foothill High.
He described Jacobs' work ethic as incredible.
"He would run through a brick wall for me. He was one of the hardest working athletes I have ever seen," he said.
Joseph said Jacobs' had a quiet leadership about him that was infectious.
"He gave me a tremendous amount of hope in our society, as well as the younger generation knowing that he was going to go in the military and be a leader," reflected Joseph.
It is unknown when Jacobs' body will be brought back to Redding, but he is expected to return within the next week or so.
Service arrangements are being made with Allen & Dahl Funeral Chapel in Redding.
A military funeral is planned at the Northern California Veterans Cemetery in Igo.