My 30 minute visit with the Under Secretary of Defense, Arthur J. Myers, went very well. But, we need to keep the letters coming to say no to changing the Dover Policy (no media at Dover).
Then, I had the opportunity of oppotunities. Besides a one on one personal guided tour of the Pentagon and the Office of the Army Chief of Staff, I was surprised by getting to spend over 15 minutes alone with General George Casey, Army Chief of Staff.
I am still amazed at this opportunity and I can only say that General Casey is a down to earth, genuine person, and he understands what it means to be a Gold Star Family, for he is a Gold Star Son, his father having died when his helicopter was shot down in Viet Nam (General Casey was 21 and had just been commissioned when his father was KIA.) And the guided tour was awesome, especially since I am a big fan of McArthur. But, it was sombering experience to visit the crash impact site from 9 / 11 and to stand where the plane hit the Pentagon.
I have tried to think how to put these opportunities into perspective. I can only say that the footprints and shoulders of my "boy", Mike, have carried his old man to places few see, at least as up close and personal as I have been given the privilege of seeing.
proud dad SGT Mike Stokely
KIA 16 AUG 05 near Yusufiyah Iraq
USA E 108 CAV 48th BCT GAARNG