Monday, August 31, 2009

Army Spc. Tyler R. Walshe

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Tyler R. Walshe, 21, of Shasta, Calif.

Spc. Walshe was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.; died Aug. 31, 2009 in southern Afghanistan of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Spc. Jonathan D. Welch and Pfc. Jordan M. Brochu.

Spc. Tyler R. Walshe leaves a wife and young daughter who will have her first birthday this Veteran's Day. He also leaves his parents and three younger brothers behind.

He was known to his friends at Tyler Vietti, or Tyler Walshe-Vietti, as he chose to identify with his stepfather's name. He was a 2006 graduate of Central Valley High School in Shasta, California, where he was a star athelete. He was an all-league pitcher, played defensive end, and was backup quarterback for the Central Valley Falcons’ team that went on to win the Northern Section’s Division II title.

Central Valley grad killed in Afghanistan

Note: This is an updated story from the one that appears in the Sept. 2 issue of the Bulletin.


Tyler Vietti, 21, a 2006 Central Valley High School graduate, was killed in action while serving in the U.S. military in Afghanistan, his father Paul said in an email to the Bulletin Tuesday night.

Paul Vietti, who apologized and said it was just too hard for him to talk about what happened but that he was more than happy to answer questions via email, said his son was on a mission with his troops when he got out of the vehicle and was hit by an IED (bomb).

“He currently is being flown back to the states,” Vietti said in the email. “There will be a ceremony for him on his home base in Ft. Lewis, Wash., where his wife and daughter live.”

Vietti said his son joined the army at the age of 18 and had just gone to Afghanistan about a month ago. He met his wife Kirsten while he was based in Ft. Lewis. Their daughter turns one-year-old in October, Vietti said.

Paul and his wife Dawn now live in Cottonwood. Tyler has three younger brothers – Eric, Cameron and Danny. Vietti said a ceremony will be held locally, probably sometime next week.

Vietti said they have received “a ton of calls and text messages” since news of Tyler’s death spread throughout the Gateway School District schools, the city of Shasta Lake and on the Internet where many MySpace pages were listing “R.I.P. Tyler Vietti” following name titles.

“We would just like to say thank you and we love you to obviously a lot of people who Tyler touched their lives,” he said in the email. “We are very proud of him.” The last sentence was all in caps with several exclamation points.

Tyler Vietti was a star athlete at Central Valley who played defensive end on the undefeated Northern Section champion football team in 2005. He also was an all-league pitcher who was part of the Falcons’ varsity squad for three years and pitched in the Lions All Star Game. And he played on the basketball team as well making him a three-sport athlete at the school.

“Tyler was a happy, fun-loving young man,” said Central Valley Baseball Coach Bob Anderson. “He didn’t have a mean bone in his body. He befriended everyone. He was a quality young man and so pleasant to people.”

In addition to playing defensive end, Vietti was also the Falcons’ backup quarterback on the 2005 team that went 12-0 and won the Northern Section’s Division II title.

“He was very honest and open, and just a great kid,” said Central Valley Football Coach Matt Hunsaker. “He was a throwing type of quarterback and we were a running team, but he said, ‘Coach, just put me where ever you want me to play.’ He was a big, tall lanky guy and fearless. He wasn’t afraid to do whatever we asked him to do.”

Army Spc. Tyler R. Walshe was killed in action on 8/31/09.

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