CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- An auditorium packed with students, faculty, and veterans honored Cosby High School graduate Kyle Stoeckli.
Army Specialist 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. He was killed in the line of duty five years ago, June 1, 2013, when the 21-year-old was attacked while on patrol.
Three years earlier, Stoeckli had accelerated his studies at Cosby High School and graduated during his junior year.
He went from student to soldier within weeks.
Five years later, SPC Stoeckli was honored at his alma mater's 12th Annual Memorial Tribute to the US Military.
His mother, Sonja Stoeckli, served as keynote speaker and recounted her son's life and legacy.
Memorial Day is now celebrated much differently in the Stoeckli household, she told the hundreds while behind a podium.
CBS 6's Greg McQuade featured Stoeckli in his Heroes Among Us report on May 17.
“And you see he smiled all of the time,” said Sonja. “He was a true light.”
English teacher Richard Dailey recalled Kyle’s death rocked the hallways.
“I think there is a lot that students can learn characterize wise what Kyle was like,” says Mr. Dailey. “It is important to remember a kid like Kyle because he is the type of kid you wish every kid would be like.”
Sonja Stoeckli presented the Annual Kyle P. Stoeckli Memorial Scholarship to a senior who plans to attend Virginia Military Institute in the fall. It was the first time the scholarship had been given out.
A new permanent display case was also dedicated to the former Titan complete with Kyle’s uniform, purple heart and dog tags.