Sunday, August 28, 2005

Rest in Peace, SPC Stokely!

I'm so very sorry that I was not able to attend his funeral or be there for the procession on Thursday. I wanted to attend so badly, but did not find out about it till too late. :-( My thoughts and prayers are with the family of our own local hero. Thanx to The Walton Tribune for a great job with this article and tribute.

Loganville mourns loss of Stokely
Published August 28, 2005
LOGANVILLE — Hundreds of residents lined city streets to honor a fallen soldier Thursday.Sgt. Michael Stokely, 23, was brought home to Loganville where those who watched a motorcade carrying his body waived flags, displayed signs showing support for American troops and wiped back tears.Stokely, a Loganville resident and Loganville High School graduate, was killed Aug. 16 when he reportedly stepped on an improvised explosive device at an undisclosed location in Iraq. Stokely was a member of the Georgia National Guard called up to serve with the 48th Brigade.On Thursday evening residents stood side by side amidst a sea of American Flags, ribbons and hand-painted signs. Their numbers stretched from Snellville where the motorcade began down Hwy. 78 and through the city he grew up in.Good Hope resident Janet Mitchell arrived at the Ingles parking lot two hours before Stokely’s motorcade was scheduled to arrive. She said her son Brandon was in Stokely’s ROTC class at LHS. She wrote her son, who is in boot camp at Ft. Jackson, S.C., to tell him Stokely was killed.“He was upset but he said he knew Michael died doing what he wanted to do,” she said. Sgt. Randy Whisenhunt, who said he went to church with Stokely at Hebron East, wore his uniform to the procession.“I am out here just to render support to an outstanding soldier that gave his life to his country,” The U.S. Army reservist said. “I just think that it shows most people understand what is going on over there and that we are willing to show support.”“I am just glad to see this kind of support. It is a lot different than Vietnam,” Whisenhunt said. Dewayne Rink, an eight-year-old Loganville Boy Scout Troop 535 member, said he was there to show support for the troops. He was wearing his Scout uniform and blue and red “Support Our Troops” rubber bands to prove it.“This man gave his life for his job,” Rink said. City officials said they wanted to pay proper respect to Stokely and worked to organize and get the word out about honoring the soldier’s arrival.“We owe it to these soldiers,” Mayor Tim Barron said. “We are honoring someone who made the ultimate sacrifice and we are paying our respects to the family to let them know we understand their loss.”The City of Loganville purchased 1,000 flags and police handed them out to community members who stood on Hwy. 78 to honor Stokely. “This was one of those things that you don’t have to think about why you are doing it. You just know,” Barron said.Stokley’s body was taken from Atlanta to Tim Meadows funeral home Thursday. On Friday, viewings were held and on Saturday, a funeral service was held at First Baptist Church of Snellville. Originally, plans were to have the funeral at the First Baptist Church in Loganville, but it was moved to a bigger church. Stokely was laid to rest in Corinth Church Cemetery. “He died because of something he believed in,” his mother Melissa Gardner wrote in her son’s obituary.“We moved to Loganville in 1994 and this is where Mike called ‘home.’ He loved Loganville. I’ve had so, so many people that have knocked on my door that I had never met. I open the door and they say, ‘I knew Mike from such and such.’ You have touched so many lives as you have touched mine. You were so loved.”

Copyright © 2005 The Walton Tribune. All rights reserved.


~K said...

I cried reading this, May The Good Lord recieve his soul.

Kat said...

AMEN. All the flags around here are half-mast, and almost every sign on every business says "In Honor of SPC Stokely."

Peggy said...

Hey Kat and ~K

I went to Josh Dingler's funeral here in Dallas. My best friend tried to go to hte one out in Breman and couldn't get close because there was so many people.

I am just so sorry that so many from Georgia has been lost is such a short amount of time.

Peggy said...

Oh and I linked you up on my blog :)

~K if you click on my name at CJ's place you can find my blog.

Kat said...

Thanks, Peggy! :-)

I wish I knew how to find out where he rests...I would like at least to go lay some flowers at his grave.

Peggy said...

you can call the funeral home and they will tell you the cemetary. They would probably even tell you directions where the cemetary is.

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