All posts by Kimmy

William C. Stacey dies at 23; Marine sergeant from Seattle

By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times

Multi-star generals attended his Arlington National Cemetery funeral. His name adorns a fighter jet. His words echo in the halls of Congress.

Since Marine Sgt. William C. Stacey, age 23, was killed Jan. 31 on a remote hillside inAfghanistan’sHelmand province, a letter he wrote to his family has gained much attention from politicians and the news media.

“It’s quoted by liberals, conservatives and generals and people across the political spectrum. They use it in different ways. But I think Will would be proud of them all,” said Robert Stacey, Will’s father and interim dean at the University of Washington College of Arts and Sciences. Read more…

Will Stacey Fund – North East Seattle Little League Championship Speech

By Robin Stacey

Thank you all for inviting us to be with you today on the great occasion of the championship game!  Here with me representing Will’s family are his sister Anna, and Charlie Kirkwood and Linda Kellogg, who would have been his in-laws, as Will and their daughter Kimmy were planning to become engaged this summer upon his return from deployment.  Will’s father sends his regrets; he is across town presiding over the Arts and Sciences portion of UW graduation, which is taking place as we speak.

As Will’s family, we have been truly humbled by the attention and generosity that have been shown to us in the wake of his death. Will joined the Marine Corps six years ago as a grunt, an absolute boot, the lowest of the low right out of high school.  By the time he died this past January, he had done five overseas deployments, four of them combat deployments to Afghanistan, and risen steadily up the ranks to become one of the most well-loved and widely-respected sergeants and squad leaders in his battalion.  When the news came of his death, high-ranking commanders from all over Afghanistan flew in for the memorial services; his burial at Arlington was attended by seven generals, including the Vice Commandant of the Marine Corps, one of only two four-star Marine Corps generals in the United States.  Another general in attendance told us that he had had to leave early from a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in order to be there.

Since that time, Will’s legacy has, if anything, expanded.  A letter he left for us to open in case of his death, in which he detailed his hopes and aspirations for his military service, has now gone around the world.  Portions of it were read by Diane Sawyer on ABC news; it was quoted by Representative Jim McDermott of the floor of Congress and, most recently, formed the core of General John Allen’s Memorial Day remarks to the troops in Kabul.  Two days ago, we learned that the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Virginia would like to place it on display as part of their permanent exhibit of Marine Corps history, a rare honor indeed.   Will himself would have been torn between embarrassment and pride at all this attention, but we are glad that his words survive to give a voice to others in our nation’s armed services whose lives and deaths have not garnered as much attention as has his. Read more…

The Funeral

By Lawrence Dabney

The camera is shaky. As the image swims into focus it grows clear why: a table occupies the frame, two dozen empty shot glasses at its center, marshaled into a pile. At the pile’s peak a generous tumbler of scotch has been perched, glowing like the star on the Christmas tree. Cheers and indecipherable shouts echo from unseen figures around the table. The cameraman declares, “There’s a little bit of Will Stacey in every one of these.”

The moment descends into chaos. The edges of hands and elbows dip into the frame. Somebody tells somebody else repeatedly to put the flash on. Somebody else declares this will work out well. Somebody yells, “Don’t you dare, don’t you da—” just as a hand swoops in to steal the scotch tumbler. Then the video ends.

The Washington Apple, a candified red poison that had previously filled those two dozen shot glasses, was the preferred shooter of Sergeant William Stacey. He would order round after round of them, to his fiancée Kimmy Kirkwood’s great dismay, from any bar he could persuade to make them. Few outside Seattle know the recipe, but it is straightforward enough (crown royale, apple puckers, cranberry juice) to shout across a crowded bar. I’d never had one until I went to Seattle for Will’s memorial service in February this year, when I first met his friends and family. By the time the formal parts of the mourning were done, I’d had enough Washington Apples for an orchard.

The last thing Will Stacey said to me, three months prior, standing inside a piled earth perimeter dug into a vast desert plain on the southern fringe of Afghanistan, was to ask me to send anything I wrote about his squad to his fiancée and his mother. I was leaving, and he was going back out on patrol. His squad was returning to the same place they’d gone the past two days, taking fire both times. This time they’d have UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) support. Insurgents never fired with air support in the area, but UAVs flew too high to be seen or heard. Once the insurgents started shooting, Will explained matter-of-factly, the squad would call the UAV’s Hellfire missiles down onto their compound, and that would be the end of that small piece of the Afghan War. Read more…

Fallen Marine’s Letter Read To Troops Overseas

10 News

Sgt. William Stacey’s final words are still being spoken and his message is being heard across the world.

On Jan. 31, Stacey was killed by a roadside bomb in Helmand Province in Afghanistan. He wrote a letter before his fifth and final deployment. Read more…

Memorial Day 2012: Letter From Fallen Marine William Stacey Read Aloud To Troops [FULL TEXT]

By DAVE SMITH:

On Jan. 31, U.S. Marine Sgt. William Stacey was traveling through the Helmand province in the southern part of Afghanistan — his fourth deployment to the country — when suddenly, a homemade bomb exploded,killing the 23-year-old from Redding, Calif. Stacey had been prepared for this kind of tragedy, having already written a letter to his family that would be opened in the event of his death, which explained why he fought.

On Monday, Marine Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander and leader of the NATO coalition currently in Afghanistan, read Stacey’s heartrendering letter aloud during a Memorial Day service in Kabul. He read it to honor Stacey’s memory, as well as all of those who died in Afghanistan since the war started back in 2001. Read more…

Memorial Day In Kabul: Marine Sgt. William Stacey’s Letter Marks Memorial Day In Afghan Capital

Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, observes Memorial Day by reading a letter written by an American soldier to his family before he died earlier this year, at the ISAF headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, May 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
By SEBASTIAN ABBOT
The Huffington Post

KABUL, Afghanistan — U.S. Marine Sgt. William Stacey was killed earlier this year by a homemade bomb in southern Afghanistan, a tragedy for which he prepared by writing a letter to his family explaining why he was fighting that was to be read in the event of his death.

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Marine Gen. John Allen, read the 23-year-old’s letter during a Memorial Day service Monday in Kabul in memory of all the troops who have died in the country since the war started in 2001.

“Today we remember his life and his words, for they speak resoundingly and timelessly for our fallen brothers and sisters in arms,” said Allen, who also leads the NATO coalition in Afghanistan. Read more…

Will’s Full In Case of Death Letter

By Will Stacey

“If you’re reading this letter, then my time on this earth has come to an end. There is no easy way to explain the way that I feel; no words that can possibly ease the pain that I’m sure you all are feeling. But if it is any help, know that I died doing what I believed in and most importantly, what I wanted to be doing.

For so many years now, I have wanted to be a soldier and above that, a Marine. There are few things more important to me than that. The Marines are a brotherhood that has stood for 232 years. It is a brotherhood born out of struggle, sacrifice and success. And the price of success causes pain to so many. Over the years so many have died, just as I have. Every Marine hopes that he will never have to make the ultimate sacrifice; but everyone is willing to. There is no Marine on this green earth I have ever met that would put his own safety above that of his loved ones. We do this for the ones we care about; we do this because we believe that the good of the masses is worth more than that of ourselves. Read more…

Soldier’s words are an inspiration long after his death

by CHRIS DANIELS / KING 5 News

SEATTLE – Bob Stacey, a University of Washington history professor, acknowledges the apple didn’t fall from the tree.

“He had a strong historical sense,” says about his son William, one of 15 soldiers honored at a solemn ceremony near the Wall of Remembrance at Benaroya Hall Monday. “Guys always joked that he was never without a book.”

Marine Sgt. William Stacey died back on January 31st after the military says a homemade bomb exploded during a patrol in South Afghanistan. Bob says shortly after getting the word, his family discovered a “in case of death” letter that William wrote before he left for basic training in early January 2007. Read more…

Fallen Marine’s Letter Marks Memorial Day In Kabul

by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

KABUL, Afghanistan May 28, 2012, 08:44 am ET

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — U.S. Marine Sgt. William Stacey was killed earlier this year by a homemade bomb in southern Afghanistan, a tragedy for which he prepared by writing a letter to his family explaining why he was fighting that was to be read in the event of his death.

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Marine Gen. John Allen, read the 23-year-old’s letter during a Memorial Day service Monday in Kabul in memory of all the troops who have died in the country since the war started in 2001.

“Today we remember his life and his words, for they speak resoundingly and timelessly for our fallen brothers and sisters in arms,” said Allen, who also leads the NATO coalition in Afghanistan.

Read more…

2/4 Memorial Service Speech – Jerry Lara

By Jerry Lara

The key to Immortality is living a life worth remembering.

On January 31st Sgt William Stacey was immortalized. Will was our friend, hero idol but above all our brother. Any time you come to a new unit you always hear stories about certain marines. Stories that you had to have been there to believe. Well let me tell you everything ever said about Will was true. He was a true 2/4 legend. Everyone had either heard about or knew him. He was loved admired but above all respected by everyone. Read more…