American flags now line the street where Private First Class Brad Rappuhn grew up. His neighbors put them there this weekend as a tribute to the young soldier's sacrifice.
"I mean, it's never hit so close to home for us. It was a shock to all of us," says his neighbor Emily Bartlett.
Bartlett says her family received the bad news Sunday, when Rappuhn's aunt came to their home. Reports from Washington say the 2004 graduate of Grand Ledge High School was killed Sunday in Kandahar, Afghanistan, when an improvised explosive device, or IED, went off during combat.
"He was a very nice person to know," Bartlett says. "It's really sad it had to happen to him."
Our attempts to reach the family have been unsuccessful. Bartlett tells us Rappuhn's mother is out of town, making military funeral arrangements. He is being flown to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.
Word of the soldier's death is spreading on Facebook Monday. On his brother Brent's page, people are leaving their condolences and warm wishes for the family. Brent himself shares a message: "My little brother and best friend was killed in Afghanistan... I love you brother and I'm going to miss u... RIP Brad."
Bartlett says her heart aches for the family.
"The whole neighborhood is... We're all very close around here. All of us want to pull together and do something, we just don't know what," she says. "I can't even imagine what it feels like."
The 24-year-old Rappuhn was working with the U.S. Army based out of Ft. Benning, Georgia. His neighbor believes there will be a service for him when the family returns, though details were not immediately available.