Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Nothing to Joke About.....

Some things should just NOT be used in cartoons at all -- political or otherwise. These thoughts today from Mr. Robert Stokely, father of Sgt. Michael Stokely, who was KIA 16 Aug 05 in Iraq, relative to a cartoon appearing in the Atlanta-Journal-Constitution a few days ago (the offending cartoon is below). Mr. Luckovitch, with all due respect: You owe the families of our Fallen a big apology for this... it hurts to see your loved ones' sacrifice made light of.

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I met the most important passenger I could possibly meet as he arrived at Hartsfield International Airport at approximately 5:00 p.m. on August 24, 2005. I welcomed him home by watching through tears as two Army Sergeants uncrate his casket and drape it with an American Flag. Airline employees watch as I, an untrained civilian, stand at attention and salute as best I could. My boy - a man greater than I shall ever be, SGT Michael James Stokely, had come home.

Webster's defines a casket as a receptacle for something highly prized and valued; a coffin, especially an expensive one. That definition is an understatement for the tokely family and many more like us.

Mr. Luckovich's August 27, 2006 editorial parody of the Rush Limbaugh / Michael J. Fox squabble, using rows of flag draped caskets with a clown like individual saying to another "Rush Limbaugh says they're faking it" is over the top. The two have absolutely nothing to do with one another except that Mr. Luckovich is getting a two for one shot by expressing his disdain for the valuable contents of flag draped caskets as he pokes Rush Limbaugh in the eye.

The conerstone of the freedom and way of life we have in America is founded on free speech. Mr. Luckovich can express himself without having his property taken, sent to Siberia, fear of hands, genitals, or head being cut-off, daughter raped in his presence or forced to watch as his whole family is slaughtered. That freedom cornerstone is cut with the sacrificial service of soldiers, especially those whose body comes home in a flag draped casket.

Webster's got it right, for dead soldiers in flag draped caskets are highly prized and most valuable for they have done their best, giving all for America. Can the same be said of Mr. Luckovich and the AJC? Maybe Mr. Luckovich should draw a cartoon and parody himself standing alongside West Park Baptist fanatics who mock flag draped caskets and seek to wound families of dead soldiers.

May God continue to Bless America and may your blessing be so great that you suffer not the welcoming home of your valuable loved one in a way our family and many others have, and may no one mock your loss.

Robert Stokely
Proud dad SGT Mike Stokely
US ArmyKIA by IED 16 August 05
Near Yusufiyah south of Baghdad
E Troop 108th CAV 48th Brigade Georgia National Guard



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