Oswego remembers fallen soldier Kyle Rookey

Local veterans said Kyle's death is a shock that hits home in the Oswego community.

Oswego native and Army Specialist Kyle Rookey died Sunday from a non-combat related incident in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

He was 23-years-old, and leaves behind his wife, Victoria, and young daughter, Flora. Kyle is well-remembered by those who knew him.

'He put everyone first," said George Hoffman, Commander of Oswego's VFW Post 2320. "That's probably why he was so much of a solider is that the people came before him. He would do anything to protect people."

Kyle served two and a half years in the army operating drones and was a decorated servicemember. Those in the local VFW post, where Kyle's father George is a member, said Kyle's death hits home in the community.

"It definitely hits the heart," said John Burnswick, VFW Post 2320 Auxiliary President. "He is, you know, very young. It's something that you didn't think would happen to anybody so close. And he's going to be surely missed by everybody here."

In Kyle's memory, local veterans have asked for flags to be flown at half staff. From Friday through Sunday, flags will be at half staff at Oswego City Hall, Oswego county buildings, and local VFW halls.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered that flags on all state buildings fly at half staff in honor of Spc. Rookey on Friday.