Friday, June 01, 2007

HOOAH! Stokely's Father Helps Get BIll Passed

Stokely’s father helps get bill passed

By Sharon Swanepoel
The Loganville Tribune

Published June 1, 2007

ATLANTA — Robert Stokely, father of Loganville fallen soldier Sgt. Michael Stokely, asked for support for HB 131, legislation introduced to allow the widow of fallen Georgia National Guard soldiers to collect their dead husband’s scholarship from the state of Georgia.His request paid off as Gov. Sonny Perdue signed the bill into law Thursday.HB 131 — Surviving Spouse HERO Scholarship legislation passed unanimously in both the House and the Senate. Stokely had asked citizens to urge the governor to go ahead and sign it before the bill was signed.“This is more than giving $2,000 scholarship to a Georgia National Guard widow,” Stokely said. “It is about self respect as a state and a statement as a citizenry that we will back our words with action when our soldiers go and do their duty and when it costs them their life.”In his petition to the legislature, Stokely quoted the last letter his son had sent home to Niki, his wife of just 10 days before he left for his final tour in Iraq.

Michael Stokely died in Iraq on Aug. 16, 2005 after stepping on an IED. The last letter home to his wife was dated Aug. 13, 2005. It was read at his funeral.“I can’t wait to come home and help you finish your education,” the young soldier had written to his wife in that last letter.“The HERO scholarship will help her do that in his absence, along with the other fallen Georgia National Guard who left surviving spouses,” Stokely said.

Although to date no female Georgia National Guard soldier has lost her life in Iraq, now that the the legislation is law it would cover the husband of any female soldier who might be killed in action in the future.


Snog Dot said...

Mr Stokley never ceases to amaze me. Did I mention I got to meet him when we were in DC? Awesome!

chtrbx said...

YES!!!!! Thank you Robert for all your hard work on this issue!!! This is such great news!!!!!

Bear said...

It's amazing what networking can accomplish when you bring a good cause to peoples attention. Good for our leaders in congress, including the governor, for doing the right thing!

Robert Stokely you deserve many thanks for taking your time and energy to pursue the passage of HB 131 by putting out the call for all of us to let our voices be heard. It's reasonable and civil for us to take care of our fallen hero's families in every way we can.

SK said...

Robert, if you're reading this, it seems we can never thank you enough for all you have done and continue to do! You truly do amaze me.

In DC you gave me a window sticker with a picture of Mike, and his information printed. We placed it on the window of my car, shortly before Memorial Day. I just wanted you to know, your son IS remembered and thanked, every single day.


Cat is my copilot said...

This is fantastic! And even I got to meet and listen to Robert Stokely at the conference, and it was truly a pleasure (right up there with meeting JP's Mom).

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