Hundreds of friends, neighbors and family friends filled the sidewalks along Route 481 in Oswego as the funeral procession for Army Spc. Kyle Rookey moved through Oswego on Tuesday evening. Many in the crowd brought flags or signs paying tribute to Kyle Rookey's service.
Rookey died in Afghanistan last week in a non combat related incident. He was a 2007 graduate of Oswego High School and was known for his work with the marching band and theater programs.
On Tuesday night, a large crowd of current and past marching band members gathered together in downtown Oswego holding a large banner. Steve Defren was the band director when Rookey was a student and said he was always available to help other students.
"I think more than the music, he loved the camaraderie of the band and the connections he made with other students and the connections he was able to make through the music," said Defren.
Current servicemen passed out flags before the funeral procession arrived in downtown Oswego. Terry Baum brought two large flags of her own. Baum's son is in the military and she volunteers at the airport's military welcome center. With tears in her eyes, Baum described how thankful she is for everything all the men and women of the military do for the U.S. every day.
"Without the soldiers, we wouldn't have the freedoms we have at home and we're so grateful for Kyle and all the other soldiers that served our country. I'm so grateful and sorry for the family," said Baum.
As the procession moved though Oswego, the crowd stood at solemn attention - a community joining together to grieve the loss of a native son.
Calling hours for Kyle Rookey will be at the Dain-Cullinan funeral home in Oswego from 4-8pm on Wednesday. The funeral will be private.