A 22-year-old soldier from Crystal Lake was killed Monday in a mortar attack in Afghanistan, military officials say.
He was a 2006 graduate of Crystal Lake High School.
McLeod had been married for more than two years and had a 15-month-old daughter, Jocelyn Elizabeth, who was able to see her dad via Web cam from time to time.
He last spoke to his wife, Aimee McLeod, on Sunday evening.
"The Army made him into a man and taught him how to be on his own, and survive and provide," his mother-in-law Julie Ghannam, told the Northwest Herald. "I felt that he was putting these stepping stones in place so he could work on the latter part of his life."
Aimee and Jason's mom, Barbara McLeod, were traveling to Dover Air Force Base on Tuesday to recover his body. Memorial plans are not yet known.
McLeod was assigned to the 704th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.