A Navy SEAL from New Hampshire was killed Saturday in a skydiving exercise during military parachute training in DeLand, Florida.
Petty Officer William Marston, 31, of Concord, was found on the ground unconscious with a broken leg, taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead, police said.
The deadly accident is under investigation, naval officials said.
"He was very competitive. He expected a lot of himself," his father Bill said.
"I was always proud of his determination and his effort," his mother Nancy added. "How could I not be proud of him?"
Marston was part of an East Coast-based Navy SEAL team. He had graduated from the Derryfield School in Manchester in 2001 and had been a second baseman on the Stonehill College baseball team in Easton, Massachusetts.
"The entire Naval Special Warfare community extends our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of our teammate, Blake. He will be missed by all who knew him," said Navy Special Warfare Command spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Mark Walton.
Elected officials also praised Marston's service and offered their condolences.
"Blake Marston represented the very best of New Hampshire's long tradition of service, dedicating himself to protect his fellow citizens and defending the enduring concept of freedom that is our very core," Gov. Maggie Hassan said.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen praised his "incredible commitment to his fellow servicemembers, the state of New Hampshire and our country," while Sen. Kelly Ayotte called him "a patriot who served our nation with honor and courage" and Rep. Annie Kuster called his service "an inspiration."
Marston's memorial service will take place in Bedford, Massachusetts on Saturday, and he will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.