A Virginia soldier was killed in Afghanistan over the weekend.
SPC Kyle Stoeckli, 21, was killed in action on Saturday when his unit was attacked by an improvised explosive device.
Stoeckli, a gunner on a mine roller, was recently recognized for his abilities and "optimistic personality that spreads through the Platoon like a virus."
His mother, Sonja Stoeckli, described him as caring, loving and kind. Words echoed by seemingly everyone who knew him.
"And Kyle, if you knew Kyle, you absolutely loved Kyle," said family friend Mark McCracken. "He was the rarest of people. And if you loved Kyle, you will continue to love Kyle for the rest of your life. He was that special."
Friends say he gave great hugs, and was able to move a room with his very presence.
"He just like radiated happiness," said his best friend, Rebecca Reading. "I mean there was always a silver lining."
Friends say he felt like it was his duty to serve his country.
Stoeckli is a 2010 graduate from Cosby High School in Chesterfield. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas.
Congressman Eric Cantor issued the following statement:
"I am deeply saddened to hear about the loss of Specialist Kyle Stoeckli. Specialist Stoeckli is an American hero who died while serving our nation. Our hearts break for his family, friends and all those who knew and loved him. We will never forget the sacrifice he made while fighting for our freedom, and today we will fly a flag over the U.S. Capitol in his memory."
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