11 May 2007:
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 573-07
May 11, 2007
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died May 8 in Salman Pak, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle.
Sgt. Blake C. Stephens, 25, of Pocatello, Idaho.
Spc. Kyle A. Little, 20, of West Boylston, Mass.
Both soldiers were assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.
Family mourns soldier, 20, killed in Iraq
Soldier, 20, leaves pregnant widow
May 11, 2007 6:00 AM
NORTH BERWICK, Maine — 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.
"From there on, I was blank. I don't really remember," said Little.
Little had just returned home from his job as the inter-office courier for the York School Department.
"My kids were home. I was home. I was sitting at my table," he said. "I saw the van drive by my house. It kind of slowed down in front of my house. I thought that to be odd.
"I just walked out to the back of my truck and just stood there."
His first thought was that the Army recruiters who have been calling his daughter, Kayla, 17, a Noble High School senior, had come by the house to speak with her. Little thought he'd let the men have their say before sending them on their way.
Then, the two Army officers got out of the van and walked down the driveway toward him.
"Are you Michael Little?" they asked.
"My heart was pounding, and the sweat started coming," said Little. "They said, 'Do you have a son, Kyle A. Little?' — and I thought he said Kyle E. Little."
He was relieved. They had the wrong house. His son's middle initial, after all, was "A" and not "E."
But it was just a matter of mishearing.
After a few more questions, Michael realized he was not to be spared the heartache.
"They said, 'On behalf of the Secretary of Defense, I'm here to tell you that your son was killed this morning from a roadside IED (improvised explosive device)."
"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.
He did basic training at Fort Benning.
"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 never missed a child support payment, and 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. His body will be flown by military transport to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, and from there it will be flown to Worcester, Mass., where his mother is in charge of funeral arrangements.
But for now, the plans are unclear, and Michael Little is still trying to learn details three days after the devastating news of Kyle's death.
He is still in the dark — still waiting for the Army to call again and tell him more. He has seen no one since the two officers came to his door Tuesday afternoon. And he is waiting, waiting. waiting.
Michael Little said he is terrified he won't get word in time to meet Kyle's plane at the Worcester airport.
"No matter how he comes home (in a coffin or as ashes in a container)," he said, "I just want to be able to touch what he's in," he said. "It's the last physical contact that I'm going to be able to make with my son."
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."
He can stop worrying now, he said. And he'll talk to Kyle in the back yard about all the things they never got to talk about.
"I will never be able to communicate with him, but I can talk (to) him."
16 Aug 2005
your help continues to make the deployment esaier for myself and other soldiers here with me. i thank anysoldier and all its supporters for the help
20 Jun 2005
sorry i havn't been able to update you. All of us appreciate the things people send. thank you
30 Apr 2005
I am 18 years old from West Boylston Massachusetts. My unit is Destroyer company 1st battalion 15th infantry regiment. We are an armor company however my small 4 man team is from the artillary branch. we all came from Ft. Benning Georgia. Currently in Iraq i am living in buildings with electricty. Mostly 220v with some optional 110v. all im looking for at this time is anything of an entertainment value. I have some friends here with items such as a Playstation 2, and computers. Many of us have been able to buy DVD players and televisions from some of the locals here. It can be extremely hard sometimes to find something to do in the somewhat limited down time we have. All i can even think to ask for at this time would be things like dvd's, playstation 2 games, magazines, cd's, of course some snacks, or some books. Like i said anything to pass away some of the downtime we may have. Anything and Everything is goin to be greatly appreciated. Thank You