CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR) -- A Chesterfield family's has been living a nightmare since the Army notified them earlier this week their soldier son had been killed in combat.
Days later, on the anniversary of D-Day, faculty and students from Kyle Stoekli's old elementary school delivered some unforgettable support.
Little voices carried a big, heartfelt message for a mother and the rest of the Stoeckli family mourning the loss of their soldier.
"There's a lot of sadness and pain inside,” said Sonja Stoekli. “But I'm honored he made such an impression.”
Construction paper flags Woolridge Elementary School students had made in Stoeckli’s honor were hanging from trees, while Old Glory flapped in the wind at half-staff.
The song and short stories from those who taught him were therapeutic for those grieving the tremendous loss.
"It brought back wonderful memories when he went to school here,” said Stoekli. “He was always such a great kid. He made a big impression on everybody."
Kyle was killed in Afghanistan Saturday, according to the Department of Defense. Officials say his unit was attacked by an improvised explosive device. His first lieutenant recently wrote that Specialist Stoeckli 's optimistic personality spread through his platoon like a virus.
"He went above and beyond at everything he would do," said his mother.
On a day when our country remembered the dying generation of World War II veterans, in Chesterfield County the name of a warrior on terror was temporarily on the school marquee. It’s a name that will never fade away for anyone who knew the soldier with a big smile and heart.
"Keep Kyle in your prayers.,” said Stoekli. “Keep us in your prayers. It sustains me."
The Stoeckli family still working on funeral details. We will pass them along as soon as we get them.