Robert is the father of Sgt Mike Stokely whom this blog has written about many times. Robert is with out a doubt the best father I've ever met, and I only hope that at some point in my life as I continue to grow I can be as wonderful a person as his children have become.
You all know how proud I am of my children, and today I want to show that pride about Abbey. I have talked before of the hardships she has weathered since Mike's death and her own near death injuries from a car wreck and then Lyme Disease followed by the sudden death of her 17 year old best friend and first boyfriend. She has weathered much to say the least. She just had a great break-out year nailing her first year of college in Honors courses for pre-med at the University of Georgia, scoring all A's except one 89 in Honors Chemistry where the highest grade was a 92 - the first B she ever made in her life. She came back second semester with 4.0 including Advanced Chemistry where she only needed a 68 on the Final to get an A. Now, at age 19, after her first rigorous year of college, rather than idling away the summer with fun, sun, and shopping, carefree and catered to, she spent a good deal of her own money and we pitched in to send her on a a "study abroad" trip to Ghana Africa where she is not studying, but working for free doing medical and nutrition service work for the kids and others in that country. While they did get in some fun time and sight seeing, the bulk of the trip has been traveling around in a 12 person van with 15 people crammed in that are on the team, with a ride to an from their assignements being two hours each way each day with an 8 or so hour shift in between, and 13 hour van rides other days.My hat is off to you Robert, you're the father I and everyone I know wants to be. What a role model.
Today, Abbey posted a blog referencing that her mom, who is an Post Partum OB nurse at a Northside Hospital, which delivers about 17,000 - 20,000 babies a year, calling it a "Spa". If you have time and can, read her blog today and then it will make you think. And she has other posts not quiet so heavy, some even very funny. From around these parts we have a saying "Tough as a Lighter Knot." A lighter knot is that part of certain pine trees that is hard as a rock, will eat a saw blade up and will not decay. It is also extremely rich flamable material, such that in days gone past it was a prime ingredient in gun powder, and the gathering of "fat lighter" stumps from cut down pine trees of that variety was big business. It has a rich pungent smell that is akin to Pine Sol disinfectant on steriods. No doubt, I am a very blessed dad for a son stood up for America and Iraq and endured hardship and rigors with a smile until the moment of his death; another son too son Wes thrust into manhood by his brother's death yet he manned up without a whimper; and now Abbey. And the Mike Stokely Foundation is there with her, having sent medical and school supplies for them to use and hand-out. Obviously, our small Foundation can not even scratch the need that is there, but maybe in the life of a few children, for a short period of time, a difference was made and it will be a bridge to a better day and way of life for them.
Lighter knots are marshmallows compared to Abbey.
proud dad Mike, Wes and Abbey Stokely
Remembering with Honor SGT Mike Stokely
KIA 16 AUG 05 near Yusufiyah Iraq
USA E 108 CAV 48th BCT GAARNG