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Graduation Night – Moon over Yusufiyah

The Stokely family sat in a football stadium on a warm Friday night just before Memorial Day 2001 to watch Mike Stokely graduate high school. He already had boot camp / basic training and a year in the National Guard under his belt and would be heading off for Advanced Individual Training at Ft. Gordon in a few weeks. His little sister, Abbey, almost nine, couldn’t let go of him, even to have a photo taken with Mike and their brother, Wes. She swung on his arm adoringly – her look of love says it all. On the morning of August 16, 2005, as my wife Retta and I sat with Wes and Abbey just after breaking the news to them of Mikes death earler that morning, then 13 year old Abbey buried her head into my shoulder, sobbing these words: “he was supposed to chase away my first boyfriend, he was supposed to cheer at my graduation from high school, he was supposed to be an uncle to my children…” These words seared my heart, broken as it was. I shall never forget them. She lost her oldest brother that day, her “Bubs” which she called him short for his nickname, Bubba. Tonight, May 27, 2010 at the football stadium for Northgate High School in Sharpsburg GA, Abbey Stokely graduated last with her class. READ MORE David M Editor: The Thunder Run
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