Virginia Guard Remembers Fallen Soldier

By: Jummy Olabanji Email
By: Jummy Olabanji Email

Friends and fellow soldiers joined together Sunday to celebrate the life of someone who they say may be gone, but isn't forgotten.

His name was Kyle Matthew Hemauer, but to his fellow soldiers he was a fun-loving guy who always had a smile on his face.

"We called him Shrek because when he put green paint on his face he kind of looked like Shrek. He'd put his fingers over his head for the little antenna," said Sergeant Todd Phillips with the Virginia National Guard.

Many of Hemauer's former platoon-mates told us he'd be hard to forget.

"The crazy questions he would ask, he was pretty goofy at times. He was out-going, fun-loving, loved to play sports. When it was time to train you would have to pry him away from throwing the football or playing basketball to train. A very fun-loving guy," said Sergeant Anthony Nichols.

Hemauer was killed while serving in Afghanistan on March 23, 2005.

The platoon in Charlottesville decided to honor his life and memory at their armory.

"We need to remember what he was like and what he died for because that's what all makes it important. Important to each of us to put this uniform on to do the right thing," said Phillips.

They planted an oak tree to grow in Hemauer's memory.

They are called The Stonewall Brigade and Stonewall Jackson would pray for his troops under an oak tree.

"That's the reason it's good to have a plaque here because now you can remember every time you see it, history is only what you remember, and so we want to try and make it history," said Phillips.

At just 21-years-old, Kyle Hemauer was the first solider from the Charlottesville platoon to die in combat since World War 2.

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