BELLEVUE, KY (FOX19) - A Bellevue High School graduate has been killed in action.
Family members say Private First Class Russell Madden, 29, was serving in Afghanistan when his convoy was hit by a missile attack.
Madden graduated from Bellevue High School in 2000. He is the second soldier from that class to die while serving in the military. Justin Scott was killed in 2004.
"He was kind of the class clown, he made everyone laugh," said Nick Wilson, the athletic director at Bellevue, and a classmate of Madden's. "Good guy, tried to make friends with everyone, tried to do the right thing."
Bellevue school officials say they plan to begin a leadership award in Madden's name.
A makeshift memorial of flowers and balloons has been set up outside the Madden home.
Madden leaves behind a wife and two young sons. Members of his family are at Dover Air Force Base Thursday, where they will meet his body.
"He definitely had a great sense of humor and could think of things on the spot, out of nowhere, to make anybody laugh," said Madden's sister, Lindsey.
Lindsey said she and her father were packing up care packages Wednesday evening when they received the knock on the door.
Lindsey says the most recent letters and phone calls from Russell were about how things were getting worse, but also how proud he was to serve.
"All he ever told me, every time I talked to him, was that he wanted to make me proud," she said. "And he has. He always made me proud."