Three Years On:
Sergeant Michael Stokely KIA August 16, 2005 near Yusifiyah, Iraq
It seems so fitting that today, 3 years and 3 days after Mike’s passing that I posted the letter from Major General John Kelley about Sgt Michael Ferschke, a letter that could very well have been written about Sgt Michael Stokely of E Troop 108 CAV 48th BCT Georgia ARNG. A letter that could very well describe the dedication and devotion to Duty, Honor and Country that Sgt Stokely exhibited through out his entire life. A letter that despite the belief by many liberals that our soldiers are nothing more than automatons following orders proves that they are anything but, for their devotion is unmatched by any other but those that wear the uniform of the US Military.
I never met Sgt. Stokely, but have been introduced to him through conversations with his father Mr. Robert Stokely. After only one conversation with Mr. Stokely it’s obvious that Mike was one of those men that you should have known: a devoted son he helped his father canvas for votes in his first election for County Solicitor, a son who according to his doctors was not supposed to live, but who in the end lived a life so full and purposeful that he touched, in a positive way, the lives all those with whom he came in contact.
Son, a simple three letter word, but one that is so full of meaning, a word that explains the conundrum of Mike Stokely and so many of those who have died in war and peace - a word that by itself in one breath defines the link to the father and the path to the future. It’s not hard to imagine after spending a few hours with Mr. Stokely the kind of son that Mike was, and by extension the kind of man he had become. Mike Stokely was without a doubt a man sure of himself and his place in this world. He knew not what to expect when he agreed to become a Scout in the U.S. Army, but he accepted that challenge like he accepted the challenge placed upon him by God. He lived his life’s purpose.
Mike like those before him, and the thousands of those who will follow, chose to leave the comforts of home and hearth, the predictable daily life of a civilian and took up the path of a warrior in service to his country. A life fraught with danger but also immense satisfaction and camaraderie, a life that most American’s will thankfully never know because men like Mike, serve while many debate.
Service - that is the life Mike chose. Service to an ideal greater than any known to man for not only did Mike serve his country, he served his God. He accepted his purpose in life and lived it without question and in doing so he gave his only life in service to his God so that his brothers might live.
Sgt Mike Stokely died 3 years and 3 days ago in a place called Yusifiyah, Iraq but the memory of Sgt. Mike Stokely will never die for it lives on in all of us that continue his work, spread his message and live our life’s purpose. I can only hope that one day I grow up to be the man he expects me to be.
Others honoring Sgt Mike Stokely
Keep My Soldier Safe
Some Soldier's Mom
Sgt. Mike Stokely died Aug. 16, 2005, in Iraq. He was one of those extraordinary young men who have a tremendous impact on so many people even though his time among us was cut short. To honor his memory, Stokely's family has organized the Mike Stokely Foundation for the purpose of helping children and others who might not otherwise be able to afford it gain access to good books and the skills needed to read them for pleasure and learning. "Mike loved to read, from the time he was a small child till the day he died in Iraq. In fact, during the last call his Dad received on Aug. 8, 2005, he talked in glowing terms about how much he appreciated reading material sent to him."
In March of 2008 the Mike Stokely Foundation delivered nearly 1,000 pounds of school supplies via parcel post to Capt. Starz of 101st Airborne Division for distribution to schools in Yusifiyah. When the locals learned that the parcels had come form the family of a US Soldier killed there they wanted a picture of Sgt Stokely so they could use it as an example of forgiveness and understanding. Just another example how the life of Sgt Stokely, even in death, touched the lives of others, is it any wonder that his family totaly believes in Romans 8:28 - “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God.”
I urge you to help honor the memory of one of America's fallen, by supporting The Mike Stokely Foundation. Your donation can be mailed to:
The Mike Stokely Foundation
P. O. Box 833
Sharpsburg GA 30277.
The telephone is 678-416-1387