Lance Cpl. Greg Rund, 21, was on his second tour of duty in Iraq when he was killed Saturday, his family said in a statement released Monday. He had talked about joining the Marines throughout high school and enlisted shortly after graduating in 2002.
The Marines confirmed Rund's death Wednesday, saying he died in combat in Al Anbar Province. He was assigned to the 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Rund was a freshman when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris shot 12 students, a teacher, and then themselves on April 20, 1999.
"Greg made us so proud, but he never wanted to be recognized for his actions," said the statement from his family. "Neither Columbine nor Iraq was to define him."
Rund was on the 2000 state championship football team, and his younger brother, Doug, now plays football at Columbine as a sophomore.
"It seems so unfortunate that you get through some things, but it catches up with you," Ken Holden, Rund's former high school counselor, told the Denver Post.
Rund's family described him as "reckless, smart, off-key and wonderful."
"He never did anything like everyone else did," the statement said. "He did everything to the extreme and always knew that somehow with his humor and a little luck, he would make it through."