WEST BOYLSTON, MA, USA U.S. Army SPC, HHT, 3D BRIGADE, 3 ID, FORT BENNING, GA BAGHDAD, IRAQ 05/08/2007
Michael Little received the visit Tuesday afternoon that every military family dreads.
Shortly after 4 p.m., two Army officers came to his door to inform him that his only son, Kyle, 20, had been killed by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad, Iraq, just hours earlier.
“The whole scenario was out of the movies,” said Little. “Getting out of the vehicles. Walking down the driveway and asking your name.
“A 50-foot driveway suddenly turns into a mile-long slow-motion tunnel.”
Kyle, 20, an Army specialist, was serving his second tour in Iraq. He was stationed with the 3rd Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion Command Security Detachment.
The young soldier’s wife, Tiffany, who is living at Fort Benning, Ga., is carrying the couple’s first child, due in November.
They were married in February. Two months earlier, when Kyle returned from his first Iraq tour, the young couple came to North Berwick for what would be Kyle’s last visit with his father and stepmother, Katrina, and his half-sisters, Karly and Kayla.
He was proud to be in the Army. He had achieved his dream, said Little. His son had floundered for a while, leaving high school in West Boylston, Mass., where he grew up. But he quickly earned a general educational development diploma and entered the Army while he was only 17. “He loved it,” said Little.
“Shortly after he turned 18, he was on his way to Iraq,” said Little.
Kyle served there for a year and a half and returned to the States in December. In March, the month after he and Tiffany married, he was sent back for his second tour. He was serving as a military body guard, said his father.
“He gave the ultimate sacrifice with his life,” said Little. “He was there for a reason and he was proud to be there.”
Michael Little said he is proud, too.
The father and son had not been able to spend as much time together as they had wished, over the years, because the constraints of a tension-filled divorce never made it easy, said Little. But the father said he loved every moment the two had with each other. Kyle was a baseball fanatic who had the Red Sox logo tattooed on his arm. He lived and breathed baseball, said his father.
The two had been so happy to see each other in December, and Michael Little had been thrilled when he received the e-mail in February telling him he was going to be a grandfather. And while he is thankful for that blessing, said Michael Little, all he can think about now is meeting his son’s casket at the airport. The Littles did not know a lot about Kyle’s mission this time — only that he had no Internet or telephones. They could only communicate with him through the mail.
Michael Little said he will communicate with Kyle directly now. “From the time your kids are born, you do nothing but worry about them every day,” said Little. “From now on, for the rest of my days, I will do nothing but think about him.”