"It's hard," Belveal said. "No question."
He coached Rodewald and his two older brothers.
"I call them my kids," Belveal said. "They're kids that played football or wrestled for me."
He was also Lance Cpl. Rodewald's principal at South Albany High School. The two formed a tight bond and stayed in contact after Rodewald graduated in 2007.
"He was kind of the kid that would run through a wall for you if you asked him to," Belveal said. "As long as he knew you cared about him, then he was willing to do about anything that you asked him to do."
In the yearbook, Rodewald's face is almost always in middle of a crowd.
"Joe was that kid that lived life to the fullest," Belveal said. "If there was something happening, Joe was part of it, not always the right things, but always part of it."
His classmates voted him "most devoted Duck" and "most likely to work at South Albany High."
Rodewald returned to the school last summer before he deployed to meet with Belveal. They talked about life, girls and deployment.
"We had a good conversation about how proud I was of him, that he was going to step up and serve his country," Belveal said. "That's a special gift."
Belveal told KVAL News that Rodewald joined the military to serve.
"The idea that he might be able to help some kids or families that were in trouble seemed to be a high priority for him," Belveal said.
Did you know Joe? Share your memories by posting a comment or share videos and photos on KVAL.com