December 31, 2008

A Proud But Broken Hearted Dad - Repost

This is a repost form September 2008 as a part of a Best of series.

A Proud But Broken Hearted Dad

What fear at times like these should our nation hold given the willing sacrifice of my son, SGT Mike Stokely and many others like him?

Wall Street may heave, it may even tumble. Some may lose their homes, and others their golden parachute, but the price of freedom is not devalued by the greed and failure of those who lead in politics or private business. Let us be careful, for while enemies like Al-Qaeda may seek from without to devour us, there are those of our own kind whose selfishness can lead to a similarly disastrous effect on our country.

In these coming days, when there are those who call-out to bail out Wall Street and others, who bails out the financial needs of soldiers who work for $63.00 and change in a war zone? When loved ones come home in a flag draped casket, their severance pay paltry compared to the golden parachutes that many corporate executives seek. Most recently the CEO of Washington Mutual, who after 17 days on the job walked away with $20,000,000.00 severance ($1.2 million per day, $50,000 per hour on a 24/7 time clock)?

And for those in the mortgage industry taking back the bad fruits of their ill given labor - billions in bad loans only an idiot would have made in the first place, consider this: Mike Stokely owned but one piece of Real Estate in his time, small as it is. For three years in a severe drought I have traveled 70 miles one way and fought to get grass to grow on his lawn in Georgia red clay. But, finally, a good stand these last few weeks, after hours of digging down two plus feet, taking out red clay and putting back rich organic soil with fresh cut sod on top and hauling water from a mile down the road to drench it, and keeping it drenched with a bucket brigade of friends.


Grave of SGT Mike Stokely, Corinth Christian Church Cemetery, Loganville GA KIA 16 AUG 05 near Yusufiyah Iraq E 108 CAV 48th BCT GAARNG (Photo by author)

What you are willing to give, how much you get in return and what you are willing to worry about is relative.

Robert Stokely
proud, but broken hearted dad

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