LARGO, Fla. -

Family members say a Tampa Bay-area soldier has been killed in Afghanistan.

The family of Staff Sgt. Matthew Steven Sitton said Army officials told them Thursday that the 26-year-old died this week after stepping on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.

Cheryl Sitton says her son was an adventurous child who joined the Army in 2006.

Sitton was stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C. His family says he had been scheduled to return home in a month. It was his third deployment to Afghanistan.

He also is survived by his wife and infant son.

One of Sitton's high school baseball teammates at Indian Rocks Christian School also was killed in Afghanistan.

Cpl. Frank Gross died in July 2011 when an improvised explosive device caused a vehicle roll-over.