15 August 2009

Celebrating the life of Mike Stokely

From his Dad Robert last week, on the anniversary of his last phone call with Mike:

While at the post office I was also mailing out nine scholarship checks from the Mike Stokely Foundation, Inc. which brings to 29 scholarships for graduating high school seniors headed to their first year of college. While they are not full rides, they do carry out the mission of the Mike Stokely Foundation - giving a lot of kids a little help to go a long way in life.

Hughes, Ark., native, Staff Sgt. James Robinson, Company C, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, hands out school materials donated by the Mike Stokely Foundation at a school in Mullah Fayad, March 27. (U.S. Army photo/Staff Sgt. Tony M. Lindback)

I thought about the kids in Yusufiyah who were so happy last year to get school supplies from the Mike Stokely Foundation, and the student at Georgia Military College who was the first recipient of the Mike Stokely Memorial Scholarship endowed by funds raised in the "Ride to Remember...." two years ago, and the one for this coming year.

I thought about young children in need who got a book a month this past year to help them get a boost in life with reading skills, and wondered about a group of children whose socio-economic situation was pretty grim and were elated to get a book from the Mike Stokely Foundation for a birthday present (some the only present they got that day).

I thought about several hundred inner-city kids who come to an annual Christmas Party called Flight to the North Pole and their gift bags contain a book from the Mike Stokely Foundation. I thought back to 1983 when I first got involved with the Flight to the North Pole and the many times Mike came to help with that annual party, even after he was grown.

I thought about the MilBlog community and friends I have come to know through Mike's death. I thought about all my Soldier's Angels including head Angel, Patti Bader.

I thought about all of Mike's former unit, E 108 CAV 48th Brigade GAARNG, many who now continue to serve and are deployed to Afghanistan and a good number of those are with Bravo 2 / 121 INF 48th Brigade GAARNG in Afghanistan.

I thought about the opportunity I was given to serve as Co-Chair of Bravo 2 / 121 Family Readiness Group.

I thought about how this came about because of Mike.

And there are so many other things that Mike's sacrifice has brought my way.

Remembering SGT Mike Stokely
KIA 16 AUG 05 near Yusufiyah Iraq

Because of Mike's sacrifice I, too, have been blessed with a gift: I've gotten to know his Dad Robert. My thoughts are with you and your family today, Robert. We'll always love and remember Mike.

No comments: