UNDERWOOD, MN ,US
U.S. AIR FORCE
SSGT, 423 SPECIAL FORCES UK, 354 SPECIAL FORCES AK, 354 SPECIAL FORCES GREENLAND, 532D EXPEDITIONARY SECURITY FORCE SQUADRON IRAQ
12/14/2018, UNDERWOOD, MINNESOTA
Skyler was born in Buffalo Minnesota to Dale and Michelle Graff, on February 12, 1989. From birth, he had a zest for life and adventure. Growing up in Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota, he developed a passion for the outdoors and sports. Organizing neighborhood basketball games, leading his friends on adventures in the greenbelts around his Colorado home, camping most summer weekends in the mountains, hunting in the fall and snowboarding in the winter.
In 2002, Skyler and his father moved back to Minnesota, his birth state to be closer to family. Skyler had a special bond with his grandparents, three aunts and uncles and cousins. They moved to a lake near the small town of Underwood. Being the new kid in a small school would have been difficult for most kids, but because of Skyler’s gentle disposition, combined with his athletic ability and intelligence he was able to make a smooth transition in making friends quickly. In high school, Skyler participated in football, debate and golf. His true passion was football where he excelled becoming an Academic All-State, All-Conference and second team All-State player. Skyler’s team finished second in state for nine man football. At their year end meeting, in Skyler’s honor, the coach made the Skyler Award to be given to the player who gave 110% all the time on the field and in school. In addition to his athletic accomplishments, he excelled at school and became a member of the National Honor Society.
During his senior year, he felt a calling to help others and chose the military as the place he could make the greatest impact. He joined the Air Force in 2007. He was stationed in Greenland, where Minnesota winters helped him adjust to Greenland’s brutal environment. Skyler’s next assignment was Alaska where his love of the outdoors continued to grow and he dreamed of one day making Alaska his home. While in Alaska, he was deployed to Iraq, where he conducted over 150 outside the wire missions amassing more than 875 combat hours. Lastly, he was stationed in England as an Investigator.
The teamwork he experienced playing football and in the military and putting others first prepared him for the real battle as a soldier. He was a professional soldier with the accomplishment of the mission as the ultimate team prize. As a famous coach would say, “You need to win the day.” Skyler won many days. Skyler passed away December 14, 2018.
His friends from home and the military called him brother because they knew they could count on him when they needed him. Skyler knew by instinct when his friends were in trouble and had the uncanny knack of showing up when needed. Skyler will always be remember by those who had the pleasure to meet him for being kind, generous and his smile with a twinkle in his eyes. His life was short but his impact on those who got to know him will be long remembered.