THORNTON - Northern Lights Little League Inc. kicked off the 2015 baseball season by dedicating a memorial field in honor of a Thornton soldier who was killed overseas in May 2014.
Pfc. Jacob Wykstra, 21, died in a in a helicopter accident in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan after being deployed in January 2014.
Wykstra grew up playing baseball for Northern Lights Little League. His family was in attendance as a parade of little league baseball players released balloons into the air to remember the fallen soldier.
Saturday's dedication has been the best way to honor Jake's memory, according to Wykstra's family. Wykstra's mother, Heidi Katzenbach, says he often used baseball as an escape during his deployment overseas.
"This is what [Jacob] said to me, he said mom, when I'm throwing the baseball it feels like I'm back home," Katzenbach said "It's like the war ended for a short time."
A color guard, fire department, city officials and honor guard attended the ceremony at the Northern Lights Little League Complex on York Street Saturday.
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