Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thank you by Robert Stokely

To everyone that has honored Mike these past few days, Thank You, you ALL are dear and wonderful friends to the Stokely Family.

We obviously were impacted a little more than usual with the time of the year we just passed through. I held a brief prayer service at Mike's grave Friday 8/15/08 @ 1820 hours, which was then 0220 hours in Yusufiyah, the time Mike died three years ago on 8/16/05. 25 plus came out to include two of Mike's fellow soldiers, one a close high school friend, and both brought their infant babies born within the last few months. 

Mike's close friend through high school, college and whose first child was Mike's god daughter, Charles "Chuck" Crowder had his second girl, and since it was to be his last planned child, named her Charlye and allowed us to pick the middle name to represent Mike. We chose Mikyla. Charles "Chuck" Crowder should have been given a bronze star for his meritorous service and bravery to rush to the assistance of fellow GA National Guard soldiers hit by an IED but higher ups knocked it down to an ARCOM. 

Mark Allen who served in Mike's unit had his two month old little girl there as well. Both soldiers, along with another of Mike's close friends are scheduled back to Afghansitan in summer 09'. 

I noted to those present that this was the life cycle - men like Mike Stokely die for freedom but we all needed to go on and live as full and happy lives as possible and that having children, for some, is part of that life cycle. Life is for the living and living such full and happy lives is how we best Remember with Honor Mike Stokely and others who died for our country.

Retta, our son Wes and I went back on Saturday evening 8/16 and had a more private time with Mike. As Retta leaned on me, she summed it up best as her tears dripped on my arm - "I sure do miss him", to which I softly responded "So do I..." Seemingly, at first sounds, these are understatements, but then, really, what more can we say that would yield the truest feelings of our hearts. 

Then Retta and I walked away so Wes could have, in his very quiet and private way, time alone with Mike. Afterwards, Retta and Wes carefully arranged all the flowers left by those who had come on Friday and Saturday. It is amazing that three years later, considering some of us might be lucky to have a small crowd at our funerals, Mike Stokely had so many come for a prayer service and individually throughout the day. That is heartwarming to our family, to know that Mike and our family's sacrifice - one which cost us a lifetime of love - is not forgotten and that he is Remembered with Honor.

We will carry on and live as happy and full lives as possible, for we, as a family are committed to Remembering Mike with Honor and he would want us to live such lives - NO, he would expect it of us!! It is the least we can do for Mike.


Robert Stokely
proud dad SGT Mike Stokely
KIA 16 AUG 05 near Yusufiyah Iraq

Thanks to David at Thunder Run for posting this letter from Mr. Stokely.


Sarge Charlie said...

May he rest in peace and may you find peace in your life. We will be brothers forever Mike, I will not forget.

Anonymous said...

I am always in awe at the outward love for Mike and the quiet dignity shown by Robert Stokely. Robert can rest assured his son Mike will not be forgotten. Rest in peace Mike. May God provide comfort to Robert and the family.



Soldiers Angels


Flame of Life

Aleksandr V. Ivantsov