Midshipmen at the Naval Academy are mourning the loss of classmate Jason Jablonski who died of complications from leukemia Sunday at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland. He was 21.

Jablonski was diagnosed with leukemia in August and was being treated at Walter Reed, according to a Naval Academy release. His condition deteriorated rapidly over the Thanksgiving holiday and he ultimately died of an infection at 4 p.m., surrounded by his friends and family, the release said.

Jablonski was a class leader, achieving the top academic honors of Superintendent's List his last three semesters. He also played for the Academy's men's club ice hockey team.

He was known in his class for his upbeat outlook, the Naval Academy's commandant said in a statement.

"Midshipman Jablonski was well known by fellow Midshipmen for his tremendous optimism and ability to have a positive impact on everyone he met, even in the face [of] a disease like leukemia," Marine Col. Steve Liszewski said. "His attitude and fighting spirit can serve as an inspiration to us all, and his passing is a humble reminder about the value of life."

Jablonski was a native of Athol Springs, New York and was in his final year at the Academy.

David B. Larter was the naval warfare reporter for Defense News.

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