Central Valley High Grad Killed in Afghanistan

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tyler-senior-photo


Updated 9.9: Tyler Vietti’s life will be celebrated at 7 p.m. Sunday at Wynne Price Field in Shasta Lake. The baseball field is at 4230 Vallecito St. Bring chairs or blankets to sit on. The family says that “anyone who loved Tyler is invited” and they encourage people to dress casual – like you’re going to a ballgame.

Updated 9.2: See a message below from Paul Vietti, Tyler’s father.

The north state lost one of its own this week. 

Tyler Vietti, a 2006 Central Valley High School graduate and star athlete, died from injuries he suffered while serving in Afghanistan, sources close to the family reported Tuesday afternoon.

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For three years Vietti was Central Valley High’s all-league pitcher on the school’s varsity team. And in 2005 Vietti played defensive end for the championship Northern Section football team, the same year he was backup quarterback for the Central Valley Falcons’ team that went on to win the Northern Section’s Division II title.

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Seth Twyman, now of Sacramento, got to know Vietti when the two played football together at Central Valley High School during their freshman and sophomore years. Twyman said he always appreciated Vietti’s positive outlook.

“It was always a good thing to see Tyler because he was a real happy guy,” Twyman said.

“He could brighten up your day because he always seemed to be in a good mood. Tyler was a real stand-up guy.”
Others recall Vietti as a handsome young man with an easy smile, someone with many friends, someone who was dependable and who worked as hard as he played. He is remembered as an engaged participant in life who put his whole self into everything he did, whether it was sports, or homecoming tug-o-wars or mugging for a senior prom photo with a friend.

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Derrick Ferguson, 21, of Redding, played basketball with Vietti in high school. Ferguson said Vietti was a happy, funny person who liked to make people laugh.

He also had a serious side to him.

“He was an awesome guy, someone you could trust,” Ferguson said. “It’s unfortunate he’s gone now.”

Ferguson said that he hadn’t seen Vietti since the two graduated high school, but he’d seen Vietti’s father a few times since, who gave updates about Vietti’s life.

“His father said Tyler was pretty happy, something about he’d gotten married, and had a kid,” Ferguson said. 

In addition to his wife and child, Tyler Vietti leaves his parents, Dawn and Paul, and brothers Danny, Cameron and Eric, as well as scores of other family and friends. 

Wednesday update:

Late Tuesday night Paul Vietti, Tyler’s father who’s worked in broadcast media for many years, said even he was surprised at the north state reaction to his son’s death.

“… It obviously means that Ty had a huge impact in a lot of peoples lives — not just ours,” Vietta said.

“Ty wanted nothing more than to be a hero for his family, and he’s definitely accomplished that.  I’ve already been inundated with calls and text messages – and this is before the media even caught on – so we just want to tell everyone thank you for your thoughts, prayers and offers to help.  No one really knows what to say, but everyone wants to help.  To be honest, I don’t know how to react either – just by telling everyone ‘Thank you and we love you!’  We’ve always been a close family and I know this will just bring us even closer and we will get through this together – day by day.  All I know is we are going to head to Ft. Lewis, WA, probably this weekend for a ceremony there, and to see his wife and almost one-year old daughter.  Then, when we get back we will hold a public ceremony of some kind.  I’ll give you details whenever we finalize them.  This is just going so fast … we’re not sure exactly when and where we’re supposed to be right now.  Anyway, thanks again and I attached a picture of Ty taken the night his daughter was born.”            

tyler-with-his-baby

Gracious Palmer, Shasta Lake’s mayor, said she was shocked and saddened to hear the news Tuesday of Vietti’s death.

“We thank him for his service to our country,” Palmer said.

“We send our most sincere condolences to his family.”

Palmer, who was preparing for this evening’s Shasta Lake City Council meeting when she heard the news, said she would announce Vietti’s death during the meeting, and recommend an official proclamation in Vietti’s name.

Meanwhile, those who knew Vietti — people like Twyman, his former high school classmate — have their own proclamation.

“Tyler will really be missed,” he said.

“He died for his country, but it sucks that the world lost such a good guy.”

Photos courtesy of the CVHS Alumni Association.

Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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46 Responses

  1. Avatar Helen says:

    I had the pleasure of being Tyler's teacher when he attended Buckeye Middle School. He was an extremely talented young man both in athletics and in the classroom. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this time of grief. Just know that Tyler touched many lives during his short stay. I know I shall never forget him.

  2. Avatar CinnamonKern says:

    Tyler was one of the sweetest souls ever to pass through my classroom, a genuinely honorable and kind person, and a Falcon true to the end. His presence in our community made us all better, and his loss will leave us all diminished. May there be some peace in the days to come for his lovely family.

  3. Avatar Julie Gee says:

    I did not know Tyler but my daughter knows one of his brother's–my heart goes out to his family. Tyler and his family is in our thoughts and prayers.

  4. Avatar The Fountain Family says:

    Dear Vietti Family, you will remain in our hearts and prayers. Our children have played alongside your children for many years and we have always known you guys to be a loving, close-knit family with a lot of love and talent. We are so sorry for your loss.

    Phil, Chris, Andy, Zac, Hannah, Nick, and Sam Fountain

  5. Avatar larry says:

    he will be missed and he was a good young man, i had the pleasure of coaching him in pop warner football and seeing him grow up before my eyes. our whole family offers our prayers for his family. the Rogers family

  6. Avatar Brad Tillson says:

    Tyler – RIP. Thank you for your selfless service.

  7. Avatar Anderson Family says:

    To Paul, Dawn, Eric, Cameron, and Danny:

    Our families have been so close since our move to the north state 10+ years ago. Words cannot express how deeply saddened the entire Anderson family is by your unthinkable loss. Tyler will forever be apart of our family and we will miss his always open and happy demeanor. May God bless you all!

    Being a history instructor I thought the letter below might better describe my thoughts when most words seem meaningless….

    Executive Mansion,
    Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.

    Dear Madam,–

    I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

    I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

    I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

    Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

    Abraham Lincoln

    Tyler:

    Your Baseball Family loves you and misses you already! Bless you.

    Coach "Andy"

  8. Avatar Amantite/Salyer Fami says:

    We all had the privilege of knowing Tyler through sports growing up. He was vibrant, hard-working and an all-in-all great guy. He always had a smile on his face and a joke to share. He made every game, barbecue or event a pleasure to attend with his outgoing and happy-go-lucky attitude. He was kind and helpful to his little brothers and always included them in whatever he was doing.

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Vietti family and thank Tyler for his selfless service to the country.

    The Amantite and Salyer Families

  9. Avatar Bodner Family says:

    To Paul, Dawn, and the boys:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of loss. Tyler was a great man. As for Kurtis and I, we can remember his joking manner and how much of a joy he was to be around. Kurtis and I both hold countless memories of Tyler that we will not forget. Tyler will be missed greatly. This world is not as great of a place with his loss. Tyler is a true Hero, our whole family is grateful and thankful for his service to us and this great nation. We are proud to call Tyler one of our heroes.

    -Tyler
    Tyler. You were a good man. Hope you find peace and comfort in the next life, my friend. You are already missed.

    -Debi, Kody, and Kurtis.

  10. Avatar Mancasola Family says:

    We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Tyler's passing. Tyler was such a kind young man. Paolo came to know Tyler when they were teammates on the CV Varsity Basketball team. Because Paolo was homeschooled and a freshman, his teammates were inclined to ostracize him, but Tyler refused to be a party to it. Tyler's actions said much about his character. We hope the Vietti family can take solace and pride in the knowledge that they raised such a fine young man.

    Tyler will be truly missed.

    The Mancasola Family

  11. Avatar Teresa Norman says:

    Dearest Paul, Dawn, Eric, Cameron and Danny,

    I think I have loved your family since the first time we met all those years ago.

    Words have not been created that could express how my heart feels right now. It will forever be my blessing to have known Tyler. Please know that you are loved.

    Teresa Norman

  12. Avatar Breanna and the Tomj says:

    ? RIP Tyler Vietti… i hold so many memories that we have shared, since we were kids, so close to my heart! one imparticular that makes me laugh out loud every time it comes to mind! 🙂 There was never a time that i saw you that you didn't make me smile! you were an amazing friend!!! you will be missed more than you'll ever know! you …are a hero Tyler and you will be rememberd as such forever to those who were lucky enough to know you! love you Tyler, always and forever……?bre

    Vietti Family,

    I am so sorry for your loss! I don't even know what to say other than that Tyler was one of the most amazing people I have ever met! From little league to Highschool graduates I am so lucky to have had a friend like Tyler! My thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through this terrible time! Again, words cannot express how sorry i am!

    Love always,

    The Tomjacks

    The world has lost an amazing man, but Heaven's gained another angel

  13. Avatar James Harris says:

    I was lucky enough to know Tyler and play ball with him while growing up. This world truely is a lesser place without him in it. I thoughts and prayers are with you all Vietti family, I wish I could be there.

    JR

  14. Avatar Cameron Widner says:

    i just want to thank you tyler for being such an inspiration to everyone. you are truly the epitome of what parents want for their kids. no one will ever forget what you've done for this country, our high school, and for this town. i feel privileged to have gotten so close to you over the past 10+ years. i love you and miss you so much Ty. lefties till the end.

  15. Avatar Joy Yoshioka says:

    My heart and prayers go to Tyler's family. His service is deeply appreciated and
    his sacrifice will always be remembered.

  16. Avatar aunt sara says:

    thank you everyone. i am tyler's aunt sara and it's so healing to read your comments and memories about my nephew. our family is grateful for all your words. we'll be sure to let everyone know about the plans for his memorial/ceremony – please come and show your love and support, it really helps during this horrible time.

  17. Avatar Brianna Halfhide says:

    "If tears could build a stairway And memories were a lane We would walk right up to Heaven And bring you back again

    No farewell words were spoken No time to say goodbye You were gone before we knew it And only God knows why

    Our hearts still ache in sadness And secret tears still flow What it meant to lose you No one will ever know

    But now we know you want us To mourn for you no more To remember all the happy times Life still has much in store

    Since you'll never be forgotten We pledge to you today A hallowed place within our hearts Is where you'll always stay"

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Vietti Family. Tyler will be missed and thought about often. He was a joy to know and has touched so many lives. He will forever be remembered as our hero.
    -Brie

  18. Avatar kirsten walshe says:

    tyler, honey.. i miss you. me and karsyn are struggling here without you. you were our life, our world.. our family will never be the same without your silly face, always smiling, always joking. you were the love of my life, and when i said our wedding vows october 29th, i meant them. forever and ever. you will be so dearly missed. you weren't just my husband. you were everything. you were my best friend, my strength, my inspiration, my laughter, my world. you were my support, you were my soulmate.. you are my hero. this is not the end. i will be up there with you some day. your baby girl loves you tyler. karsyn will have an amazing life, because she'll have you as her guardian angel. i know you're looking down, i know you know what we're going through, i know you'll keep us strong and help us through this. forever and ever boog, right? that's what we always said. i love you tyler, i love you yesterday, i love you still. i always have, i always will. xoxo, you wife, kirsten.

  19. Avatar Kelly Brewer says:

    Dear Vietti family: Wishing you strength and comfort over the loss of your beloved Tyler… ~

  20. Avatar Josh Gilbert says:

    Tyler was a good friend of mine at Central Valley High School. He was always cheerful and a funny guy. He will be forever remembered.

  21. Avatar Budd Hodges says:

    Gone too soon. God had a better use for Tyler and took him home. May God bless you Vietti family and all his many friends. May you find comfort in remembering him with kindness and the many good deeds he accomplished.

    Budd and Nancy Hodges

  22. Avatar Willie Mowry says:

    We are deeply saddened by the news of Tyler's passing. Our condolences go out to the entire Vietti family, and to everyone that knew Tyler. Our families have been intertwined over the past 10 years, as my daughters and the Vietti boys played little league together. Our community has lost an amazing young man.

    I had the pleasure of being on the board for Shasta Dam L.L. while Dawn was the president. They (Paul and Dawn) worked tirelessly to ensure the program provided joy and happiness to all that participated. I am forever grateful for all their hard work and dedication.

    On this day, I remember the glow that shined when Tyler was present. He always seemed to be such a happy-go-lucky young man that was never without a smile. He was a fantastic athlete who once spiked a volleyball so hard at me during a parent/faculty/student game that it felt like the word "wilson" was permanently tattooed on my forehead.

    Dawn, Paul, Eric, Cameron, Danny, Kirsten, and baby Karsyn, please know that this community mourns with you. You all are in our thoughts and prayers. May you all find comfort and strength during this difficult time.

    The Mowry family

  23. Avatar Chere McMillan says:

    To the family of Tyler Vietti, We send strength, comforting thoughts and prayers during this sad time for your family. We did not know Tyler but we are forever grateful for his sacrifice for our freedom.

  24. Avatar SPC Nick Dimon US A says:

    To the Vietti family, sorry for your loss. It saddens me to hear of a fellow alumni and also a fellow brother of war to have fallen. His service for this country will never be forgotten and his selfless bravery will give those still fighting hope.

    Psalm 91

  25. Avatar Dreuc Bertolucci says:

    Dear Veitti,

    i didnt no tlyer but i do no danny! He's a great kid and i'm sure Tyler was the same im so sorry about ur loss! I luv u danny ur awsome and i hope ur ok!

    Love evergreen middle school!

  26. Avatar Samantha says:

    Tyler we will ALL remember you, and how brave you were for going over to Afghanistan to serve our country. I am glad to of been a friend of your at CV. RIP and keep doing all the good things you are good at up in heaven.

    Dear Vietti Family,
    I am so sorry for your lost. I knew Tyler, but not much. For who i knew him as he was a remarkable person to of known. I wish I knew more what to say but, i just want you to know you are in my prays and that Tyler was really brave to do what he did.

    Samantha

    RIP TYLER!!!

  27. Avatar Ken Cleland says:

    Dear Vietti Family and friends;

    I did not know this young man, but I want to convey my deepest sympathy for the family and friends of Tyler.

    He has now touched my heart like many other young men and women whom have fallen, and left this earth to soon.

    May God Bless Tyler and and many others like him.

    Ken.C

  28. Avatar Chelsey says:

    TyMan. You silly guy!

    There is not one memory i can look back on (good or bad) and not laugh with you in it!

    Even when you were driving me CRAZY some how you managed to do the "Tyler Thing" and make it all seem so silly in the end.

    You also managed to teach me some lessons about treating highschool as a playground and your family always comes first.

    Thank you so much for just being a great guy.

    To your family:

    "There is no words to describe the pain of losing a friend in this war. I will say that his sacrifice is not unnoticed."– alex dickerson, soilder currently in afghanistan, these were his words commenting on Tylers death.

    I hope you read, cherish and take these words to heart.

  29. Avatar Neutron says:

    To the Vietti Family:

    You never wish anyone to die. No matter how much you may hate a person, or you may disagree with them….you would never wish a person death. Tyler had no enemies, he had no disagreements with anyone and always had a trademark smile on his face. Tyler was one of those guys that you will NEVER here a person say anything bad about him. He never was hard to deal with or to get along with, and always was a "yes-sir" kind of guy. I can never understand the pain that you are dealing with right now, never know what it is like to have this kind of heartbreak. In war, we hear on a day to day basis, that 10 were killed, or that 26 were taken captive. However we never pay attention to that until it is one of our own. Tyler was a monumental part in the Central Valley community. As a baseball player, a football player, and a scholar at CV….he was one that you noticed no matter what. Hearing of Tyler's death brought such a sadness to my heart that I know is magnified 10 times in yours. I hope that in time, the pain can ease, and that your family can overcome this loss. I hope you can accept the sorrow that lies within my heart and understand that if there is ANYTHING that can be done on my part for your family in this time of hardship, I am here for you. Tyler was killed in a cowardly way, and before he could even take full advantage of what life had to offer him….but his sacrifice will not be overlooked by anyone.

    With all my heart, I am deeply sorry for your loss,

    -Matt Perez (Neutron)

  30. Avatar Jake Hale says:

    I had the pleasure of coaching Tyler in the CV Falcon basketball (Family) program. Tyler was such a great young man to coach or just be around. It"s hard to sit here and think that a young man with so much love for life is gone. Thank you, Tyler for all the great memories, you will always be in my heart.

    Love Coach Hale

  31. Avatar Kinsey Kelly says:

    Tyler, you are, still, such an amazing person. You're love, positive attitude, and humor will remain in our hearts forever. You and your family mean so much to my family. I will miss our "punch–in-the-arm" hello's. You are appreciated, and remembered for your hard work and dedication. Especially to our country. We love you unconditionally, and miss you already.

    Vietti Family, Thank you for giving us an amazing person. You guys are such a wonderful family, and we love you all so much. Eric, Danny, Cameron- stay strong, time is a healer, and never forget how inspirational your big brother was.

    No one will forget the sacrifice you made for this country, Tyler. No one will ever forget you. We love you, we miss you. Heaven definintley gained an angel.

    -Kinsey

  32. Avatar Cory Adams says:

    Being in the military now for almost 5 years and losing 4 friends already, hearing about this was truly the hardest one to go through. I'm sure Tyler was as great a soldier as he was a friend and athlete. It's very unfortunate to have lost a great person. I'm proud to have known him and wish his family the best.

    Cory Adams

  33. Avatar Annie Marcellus says:

    I had the pleasure of going to school with Tyler and his younger brother Eric. My mom, Laurie Marcellus, was one of Tyler's teachers at Buckeye Middle. He was an amazing person with a genuinely kind heart and soul. No matter what, Tyler could always make you laugh. My mom still tells the story of the time when Tyler was her aid in her drama class and he chopped the tip of his finger off. It brings a smile to my face every time I hear it. My heart goes out to his family. He was an irreplaceable person in this world who will be greatly missed. I am so sorry to his entire family, and I hope his daughter grows up knowing she had an amazing daddy.

    Love, Annie Marcellus

  34. Avatar Teresa Norman says:

    Whether you knew this young man or not, I hope that you will try to attend his memorial. I am hoping that so many people show up that we spill out into the street, the parking lot and adjacent parking lots!

    I have loved Tyler from the time he was a child. I love his family and have cried a bucket of tears in the past week for their loss. I will undoubtedly cry all day Sunday as well, but I wouldn't miss this one for anything!!! This kid deserves the biggest, proudest send off that the north state can put together.

    In prayer for peace and rest for the Vietti's and for Kirsten.

    Teresa

  35. Avatar larissajones says:

    I never really knew tyler but he was a good friend of my friend. its so sad goin to the games and seeing the faces that knew him and loved him. he was a very nice kid someone told me that he "IS A STAR AND WERE THE STARS ARE HE BELONGS THERE"

    R.I.P TYLER

  36. Avatar lydia marvel says:

    It was certainly a great service tonight tyler pitched a great game i admire the vietti family because they have always been so strong there will always still be love and the memories soo cherrish everyone of them….i love you vietti family

    and a huge thanks to everyone who came tonight and showed there love and support..kirt always stay strong and know that tyler is watching always.

    Love Never Fails

  37. Avatar Haley says:

    Tyler;

    To this day i still miss you. it feels like just yesterday you were teaching me how to be a better basketball player. you were the one who gave me the nickname squishy. i was chubby okay., Lol

    and even on my award for our 5-1 season you wrote "Coach: Tyler Vietti. Swishh". i gave you that nickname cause it seemed like everytime you went for a shot you made it. luck or what!

    and all the times Albaugh wanted to throw you outta the game cause you argued. you were the coach. Lol.

    i miss you. they say it gets easier as the days go on.. but for me.. it gets harder. i wish i went to that going away party you invited me to. i wish i called you more. i wish i got to say goodbyee:/

    I miss you Tyler. and ill love you forever.

    Bless your family. your parents, Brothers Wife and Daughter.

    Look over us all.HaleyBurden

  38. Avatar Devin Williams says:

    R.I.P Tyler

    you died surving your country, and you risked your everything to help the ones you love. you mean a lot to everyone, but your really a great guy.

    im glad i got to no you, and you truley are a hereo(:

    whenever i hear your name come out of someones mouth, i always say

    "i met that soilder, and within that little time he changed my life"

    even though your gone, you'll never be forgottin.

    -your little friend, Devin Williams

  39. Avatar Haley Burden says:

    Happy Birthday Karsyn.

  40. Avatar Ashley Sanchez says:

    Tyler,

    it is hard on practically everyone to realize that you are gone. you will be forever missed. it seems like only yesterday that you were coaching us girls in bball camp. we had the best times. you && your crazy nicknames for us. thanks for helping me fix my crazy shot. its really paid off. i miss you so much! thank you for everything you have done for not only our country but the people here, in this small town, full of people you have inspired since the day you were born.

    Vietti Family:

    my heart goes out to you. i thank you so much for blessing us with an amazing man. Eric, Cameron and Danny. keep your heads up. we are all here with open arms. love you guys so much.

    ?Ashley Sanchez

  41. Avatar Gina Speer says:

    It's hard for me to comprehend that Tyler is gone. I just don't understand how someone so good and who so many people loved would be taken from this world.

    I can only think of the first time I met him, my freshmen year when he was a senior and how sweet and helpful and funny he was. He and Chris Bishop and all of his other friends deffinitely made that year one to remember for me.

    Tyler is someone I will never forget. He will always be in my heart and in my prayers.

    We miss you Tyler and we love you more then you know. We know you're looking down on us, watching out for us, and always there for us. We love you.

    Gina Speer

  42. Avatar Amber Heric says:

    Tyler,

    Hi baby. It's been almost 7 months since you've passed. and it still feels like yesterday we were watching the sunset at ocean shores together, playing in the summer sun, making future plans together, and just all the things we shared together before you deployed. It's difficult for me to accept the fact that your gone. Its so surreal to me. But like you always told me, your always with me, ALWAYS AND FOREVER! I know that your watching over me and helping me get through this. I just received your goodbye letter in the mail about a month ago. It was hard to read it, but i'm so glad that you wrote it for me. You were the love of my life too babe. And thank you for all the money you left me. That was very sweet of you, but money can't replace you. I would rather have still alive and by my side than anything else. But Iguess it's time for me to face reality and try to move on with my life, just like you said in the letter. Dmitry came down to stay with us on his mid-tour leave. It was great to spend time with him. You are missed so much Ty. By so many people. I love you sweetheart, but this isn't goodbye. Because i know you are waiting for me in the sky.

    I love you, Always and Forever

    Love, your fiance, Amber

  43. Avatar Taylor Lien says:

    R.I.P. Tyler Vietti. You were a great man and im so sad to see you go. You are missed and loved by so many. We miss you and cant wait to see you in heaven. We love you.

  44. Avatar Kayla says:

    Thank you, Tyler, for everything you did. You have no idea what impact you had on your family and friends and the rest of the world and I know you don't know me, but I wish that we could have met one day. Your daughter is beautiful, just as your wife, and you set a perfect example for them both, even though you'll be watching them from Heaven. Your wife and your daughter are both in great hands with your family and I promise you that they will be taken care of. And I promised that when I had a son, I would name him after you, first and middle name.

    You were an incredible person, Ty, and I know that just by hearing about you so much. You truly are missed and we all love you.