CHESTERFIELD, Va. -- A special ceremony was held in honor of a Cosby High School graduate, who as an Army specialist gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
A memory of the hero was memorialized on the Wooldridge Road Bridge over the Swift Creek Reservoir, on the anniversary of his death.
Army Specialist Kyle Stoeckli served in Afghanistan as part of the 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, 3rd Platoon “Centurion” Company, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Two years ago, on June 1, 2013, Army Specialist Kyle Stoeckli made the greatest sacrifice any soldier can make.While on the war-torn streets of Maiwand, Afghanistan, the military said Stoeckli’s unit was hit by an improvised explosive device.
He was only 21 years old.
Stoeckli grew up in Chesterfield and graduated from Cosby High school in 2010. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in July 2010.
He made an impression on his superiors almost immediately.
Two months before his death, Stoeckli's lieutenant praised his work ethic; he said Kyle was the "hardest working and most motivated" solider in his platoon.
While serving in the Army, he received 11 honors including: the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, Army Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal and the Expert Infantryman and Combat Infantryman badges.
Stoeckli left behind a heartbroken family, and many friends, who will never forget his personality.
"His life had just started, when it was taken from him," said Stephanie Stoeckli, Kyle's sister, as she fought back tears at today's dedication ceremony. "Every single day I wish he was here to experience this life with us. Exactly two years ago, our lives changed forever; we lost someone who touched our hearts just by his presence."
In Stoeckli's obituary his family wrote that "you never saw Kyle without his huge, infectious smile and sincere laugh."
"Kyle loved everyone, and everyone loved Kyle,” it read.
“Kyle was a special young man who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country,” Steve Elswick, chairman of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors, said. “Growing up in the Woodlake community, Kyle traveled over this very bridge many times, so I think this is the perfect way to honor him and his service to our nation.”
The last bridge named in Chesterfield County was the Triple Nickle Bridge in 1990, named after the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, or "Triple Nickles," who became the nation's first African American parachute infantry test platoon, company and battalion.