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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Army's 'Best Warrior' NCO Advises Competitors
Sgt. 1st Class Jason H. Alexander, U.S. Army Forces Command, conducts advanced rifle marksmanship drills during the precombat inspections portion of the Department of the Army 'Best Warrior' Competition on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2006, at Fort Lee, Va. Photo by Jorge' GomezAugust 16, 2007

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A Family Remembers

As we come upon the eve of the 2nd year of Remembrance of the death of my beloved son, SGT Mike Stokely, KIA 16 AUG 05 near Yusufiyah Iraq, I wanted to do something to remember this event. I am a little tapped out on words as I am so busy coordinating the last minute push to have a successful car and motorcycle "Ride to Remember..." in his honor on August 25, 2007. I am driven to have a successful event, not just to honor Mike and raise money for a scholarship in his name at his college, but to set the stage to do this in coming years and use the proceeds to honor each and everyone of the other 25 fallen GA National Guard Soldiers from Georgia's 48th Brigade Combat Team GAARNG with a scholarship in their name and memory.

At the road dedication ceremony last October 6, Abbey produced a video on the lap top at home as a tribute to Mike. The song "American Soldier" by Toby Keith is set to photos Abbey selected as a tribute to her beloved brother and fallen hero, SGT Mike Stokely. Toby Keith most likely will never know who Abbey Stokely or Mike Stokely are, or just how much this song means to a younger sister who lost her American Soldier, Hero and Brother in war. He certainly couldn't envision how many times I have replayed Abbey's video tribute and cry each time, for the words and his melody are so "Mike" to me. To say the least, American Soldier is a fitting song chosen by Abbey to sum up Mike's life as a soldier with but one exception - he never got to have children with his high school sweetheart (Niki) who he married just ten days before he went to Iraq. Mike Stokely was a great husband, and would have been a great Dad. Obviously, he was a great brother. As a dad, I can say he was a great son as well as a most dear friend.

I would hope Toby Keith wouldn't mind this use of his song. I wish that one day I might have the brief chance to thank him in person and tell him the real "value" of his song and what it means to me and our family. But, for now, I'll just say thank you Toby Keith in cyberspace.

Now, I'll turn it over to 15 year old Abbey Stokely and invite you to take four minutes and go to the YOUTUBE link below, and see an up close and personal view of what the cost of freedom is to our family - A Lifetime of Love.

It is no wonder we remember with honor and and on August 25 we will "Ride to Remember..." Mike Stokely, .

When asked what I would say to those who built the bomb that killed Mike, my answer is "They would have better served their cause by leaving him alive to have come home to a family who would have gone on to live ordinary anonymous lives. Instead, by their acts which caused Mike's death, an enemy has brought our family and entire generation of friends alive for the cause of freedom, without bitterness, anger, or bent for revenge, as we Remember with Honor what Mike Stokely gave. We have not wavered, we shall not retreat, nor shall we forget."

Robert Stokely
proud to be the dad of Wes and Abbey Stokely and
proudly remembering my beloved son, SGT Mike Stokely
KIA 16 AUG 05 near Yusufiyah
USA E Troop 108 CAV 48th BCT GAARNG

A U.S. Air Force B-52 and 16 other Air Force and Navy aircraft fly over USS Kitty Hawk on Aug. 14, 2007, during Valiant Shield 2007, the largest joint exercise in the Pacific this year. Held in the Guam operating area, the exercise includes 30 ships, more than 280 aircraft and more than 20,000 servicemembers from the Navy, Air force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jimmy C. Pan - Story

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In Today's News - Thursday, August 16, 2007

Quote of the Day
"The dogmas of the quiet past
are inadequate to the stormy present.
The occasion is piled high with difficulty,
and we must rise with the occasion.
As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.
We must disenthrall ourselves,
and then we shall save our country."

-- Lincoln's Second Annual Message to Congress, December 1, 1862.

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Yazidis fear annihilation after Iraq bombings
Iraqi leader announces new alliance
Military official discusses progress in Iraq

Operation Enduring Freedom
Afghan, U.S. forces assault al Qaeda in Tora Bora

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
Ex-Head of Islamic Charity Pleads Not Guilty in Terror Case
Hezbollah brings Israel war to computer screen

Worldwide Wackos
New Delhi Politician: Ship Stray Dogs to Korea

Politics / Government
U.S. and Israel Sign Record $30 Billion Military Aid Deal
8-Term Ohio Rep. Deborah Pryce to retire
Convicted R.I. mayor back on talk radio
Bush pushes agenda without Congress

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
Vick 'Considering Guilty Plea' on Dogfighting Charges
Police: Man threw ill wife from balcony
Admitted pedophile walks fine legal line

Adventures in Political Correctness
Mayor won't use pistol to start race

Science / Medicine / Technology
Toddler Cold-Med Warning
NASA 'Optimistic' on Shuttle Damage - PHOTOS - VIDEO
U.S. takes measured steps after China import scares
China quality boss says problems sapping trade strength
Cancer panel attacks U.S. food subsidies
Eye-catching new Taser sparks controversy
Review backs antidepressant effects of omega-3s
Study: Dust with retardant may harm cats
NASA nears decision on shuttle fix

Mother Nature
Earthquake Rocks Peru - 7.9-magnitude quake triggers tsunami - PHOTO ESSAY
Magnitude 6.7 Quake Jolts Solomon Islands
Moderate Undersea Quakes Shake Japan
U.S. Geological Survey Quake Reports
'The Earth Was Like Jelly'
Tropical Storm Drenches Texas; Dean Now a Hurricane - PHOTOS - STORM TRACKER - WEATHER WARNINGS
Study: Man-Made 'Drain Hole' Slowly Emptying Lake Michigan
Weather stoking fires in Idaho, Montana

Other News of Note
Rescuers Detect Noise in Efforts to Reach Trapped Utah Coal Miners
Hope Yet for Trapped Utah Miners
Plans for new Minn. bridge questioned

Fox News
Wall Street on Edge After Overseas Sell-Off
Teri Hatcher Stars in Badgley Mischka Advertising Campaign

Reuters: Top News
Bulldozer vs political heiress: S.Korea vote close
DiCaprio talks about going green and "11th Hour"
"Elvis" leaves Filipinos all shook up 30 years on
Fans mark Elvis death anniversary with vigil - Video
Four directors later, "Invasion" hits theaters
Markets in turmoil - Video
Yen climbs, high-yielders fall
Oil sheds $2 on credit squeeze
Mortgage REIT woes are a blast from the past
Oil demand doubts likely to prompt OPEC caution
Mitsubishi plans drive on biofuels output
China, like 1980s Japan, may face big FX rate rise
July home starts fall to 10-year lows
Fannie Mae shares fall
Lehman, Goldman, Bear Stearns down 1-2 percent
Oil sheds $2 on credit squeeze and economy fears
Futures stay sharply lower after housing data
Housing starts point to more weakness
Countrywide draws down $11.5 billion credit line
Paulson says U.S. economy can withstand turmoil: report
Fed's Poole says no need for emergency rate cut
Kraft mulls sale of Post cereals business: paper
Reporters sue HP over its hunt for source of leaks
KKR Financial says it has "ample liquidity"

AP World News
U.S. stocks move toward further pullback
Study: Teen drug use at schools worsens
Indians back in first in AL Central
World markets fall again on loan worries
Elvis fans boost economies of 2 states
Indians win, tying Tigers in AL Central
Wis. lawmakers back beer industry
Obituaries in the news
Def Tech: LUH Takes More Hits
Historic Newsreel: V-J Day
Op-ed: A Green Light for the NSA
Daily Shock: Sniper Shot in the Hand
World's Largest Veteran Job Board
The Web's Best Equipment Guide

CENTCOM: News Releases

Unified Endeavor 2007 prepares soldiers for Iraq deployment
More about the Mission Rehearsal Exercise program
Noble Resolve 07-2 aims at making communication easier - podcast
Newsmaker Profile: Col. L. Ross Roberts - podcast

Multi-National Force-Iraq
Iraqis lead Soldiers to weapons caches north of Baghdad
Baqubah teacher risks life for students
Concerned citizens hand over weapons cache to coalition forces
Six terrorists killed, 5 suspects detained in coordinated operations
Coalition Forces Kill Three, Detain Six, Capturing a High-Priority Special Groups Weapons Smuggler
Iraqi Army, U.S. Special Forces detain seven suspected terrorists in western Ninewa Province
MND-B Soldiers attacked during combat operations
Attack helicopters prevent rocket attack
Five VBIEDs detonate in western Nineveh province

TOP NEWS: Phantom Strike Makes Progress - Video
PACE: AFRICOM to Benefit from Horn of Africa
AFGHANISTAN: Engineers Build Roads, Bridges
IRAQ: Officer Hails Success of ID System
MILITARY NEWS: Comfort Stops in Ecuador
Officials Identify Missing Pilot from Vietnam War

Coalition Forces Train Iraqi Marines in North Persian Gulf
Task Force Works to Reinvigorate Economy
Citizens Help Fight Insurgents
Oil Terminal Nears Completion
Coalition Soldiers Rescue Iraqi Toddler from 25-foot Well

Team Aids Remote Village
U.S. Airmen Teach Afghan Police

Face of Defense
Sailor Reunites with Family
Sergeant Loves to Train Soldiers
After Surviving Sniper's Bullet, Soldier Looks to Future
Marines, Sailor Earn Medals

America Supports You
Support Group Offers Prayer
Dallas Cowboys Visit Wounded
Partnership Builds New Home
Support Groups Receive Grants

BLOGGERS' ROUNDTABLE with U.S. Army Lt. Col. John W. Velliquette Jr.

Officer Hails ‘Tremendous Success’ Of Iraqi Automated ID System - Story

Operation Phantom Strike Builds on Security Progress, Intelligence - Story - Video

Residents of Hababiyah Hail Cavalry Troops - Story
Army Engineers Work to Connect Afghanistan - Story
Team Crosses Mountain, Brings Aid to Village - Story
After 16 Months in Iraq, Sailors Return to States - Story

Citizens Help Turn Tide Against Insurgents
Al Basrah Oil Terminal Project Nears Completion
Training Base Helps Build Future of Iraq
Coalition Soldiers Rescue 2-year-old from Well
Predators Soar to Record Number of Sorties
Military Working Dogs Get New Kennel Facility
Army Logistics Begins New Chapter in Iraq
U.S. Soldiers Help Iraqis Open New Date Plant

Airmen Teach Afghans Hand-to-Hand Combat
Army Chief of Staff Visits Deployed Troops
District Center Opens, Despite Tragedy
Afghan Villagers Benefit from Humanitarian Visit


Renewal In Iraq
Iraq: Security, Stability
Fact Sheet: Progress and Work Ahead
Report: Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Iraq Daily Update
This Week in Iraq
Multinational Force Iraq
State Dept. Weekly Iraq Report
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
War on Terror Reconstruction Report
Iraq Reconstruction

Afghanistan Update

Fact Sheet: Budget Request
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar

Ansbach Aschaffenburg Berlin Berlin-Tempelhof Berlin/Schonefeld Bremerhaven
Darmstadt Frankfurt Frankfurt/Main Freiburg/Breisgau Garmisch
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Geilenkirchen Gelnhausen Giessen Kitzingen
Hanau Am Main Heidelberg Mainz Mannheim Nurnberg Stuttgart Trier
Wiesbaden Wurzburg


Agana Agana Heights Agat Andersen AFB Asan Barrigada

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut
An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Kadena Air Base Okinawa Tokyo Yokohama

Today in History
1777 - Americans defeat the British in the Battle of Bennington, VT.
1780 - The British decisively defeat the Americans in Battle of Camden, SC.
1812 - General Hull surrenders Detroit and the Michigan territory to England.
1861 - President Lincoln prohibits Union states from trading with the Confederacy.
1863 - The Emancipation Proclamation is signed.
1896 - Gold is discovered in the Klondike.
1898 - The roller coaster is patented.
1920 - Ray Chapman of the Indians becomes the only fatality in major league baseball a day after being hit in the head by a pitch from the Yankees' Carl Mays.
1934 - The U.S. ends occupation of Haiti (from 1915).
1948 - The Israeli pound becomes legal tender.
1954 - Sports Illustrated publishes its first issue.
1955 - Fiat Motors orders the first private atomic reactor.
1960 - Britain grants independence to Cyprus.
1960 - The Republic of the Congo (Zaire) forms.
1963 - Independence is restored to the Dominican Republic.
1984 - NASA launches Ampte.
1990 - In Kuwait, Iraq orders 4000 Britons and 2500 Americans to Iraq.

1862 - Amos Alonzo Stagg, football pioneer, inventor of the tackling dummy
1892 - Harold Foster, cartoonist (created "Prince Valiant")
1897 - Robert Ringling, circus master
1904 - Wendell Stanley, biochemist, first to crystallize a virus (Nobel Prize, 1946)
1913 - Menachem Begin, Israeli PM (1977-83, Nobel Prize, 1978)
1925 - Fess Parker, actor (Davy Crockett, Old Yeller)
1930 - Frank Gifford, NFL halfback (NY Giants)/ABC sportscaster
1933 - Stuart A. "Smokey" Roosa, Colonel USAF/astronaut (Apollo 14)
1935 - Julie Newmar, actress (Catwoman-Batman)
1939 - Valeri V. Ryumin, cosmonaut (Soyuz 25, 32)

1920 - Norman Lockyer, editor of NATURE, discoverer of helium in Sun
1948 - Babe Ruth
1977 - Elvis Presley
1991 - Shamu the Whale (age 16), respiratory failure

Reported Missing in Action
Blevins, Lural Lee III, US Army (PA); KIA, remains recovered June, 1969 - ID'd November, 1975

Elbert, Fred, USMC (NY); released by PRG March, 1973 - a.k.a. John Peter Johnson - peace committee

Graniela, Jose A., Jr., US Army (NY); KIA, body not recovered

McElhanon, Michael O., USAF (TX); F100F disappeared en route to refuel

Overlock, John F., USAF (MA); F100F disappeared en route to refuel

Kennedy, John W., USAF (VA); 02A disappeared during reconaissance mission - remains returned 1992/1993, ID'd June, 1996

Simmons, Willie E., released October, 1975

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