Two prayers....

God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

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A Catholic who follows Rome & the Magisterium. I'm against gay "marriage", abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning. Altar girls, Communion in the hand, Eucharistic Ministers and "Protestant" music in the Church doesn't bother me at all. A proud American retired submarine sailor. Our borders should be secured with a 10 ft. high fence topped by concertina wire with minefields out to 20 yards on both sides and an additional 10 yards filled with warning signs outside of that Let's get energy independent NOW! Back Israel to the max, stop appeasing followers of the Pedophile Prophet. Pro 2nd Amendment, pro death penalty, Repeal all hate crime legislation. Back the police unless you'd rather call a hippie when everything hits the fan. Get government out of dealing with education, childhood obesity and the enviornment. Stop using the military for sociological experiments and if we're in a war don't micromanage their every move. Kill your television, limit time on the computer and pick up a book. God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

Friday, November 06, 2009

R.I.P. Pfc. Brandon M. Styer

Name: Army Pfc. Brandon M. Styer

Age: 19

From: Lancaster, Pa.

Assigned to the 569th Mobility Augmentation Company, 4th Engineer Battalion, Fort Carson, Colo.

Incident: Army Pfc. Brandon M. Styer died Oct. 15 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an IED. Also killed were Spc. Jesus O. Flores Jr., Spc. Daniel C. Lawson and Staff Sgt. Glen H. Stivison Jr.

Died: October 15, 2009

(Taken from
Nineteen-year-old Brandon Styer died alongside his Army buddies in the hard countryside of Afghanistan.

Styer was buried this weekend in the softer land of Lancaster.

Loved ones surrounded him here, too.

Hundreds gathered for his "Life Celebration" funeral service Saturday morning at First United Methodist Church, 29 E. Walnut St.

Styer's American flag-draped casket was wheeled up the aisle and placed in the front of the pews.

Photos of Styer and his loved ones shingled several memory boards in the vestibule.

So many people filed into the sanctuary that some were directed to an upstairs auditorium to watch the ceremony via live video feed.

Mourners included family, friends and numerous classmates from Conestoga Valley High School, from which Styer graduated last year.

A poem was read. A duet was sung, along with "Amazing Grace."

Emotions ran high. Some loved ones cried and dabbed away tears as they remembered the energetic young man known for his flashing eyes and perennial grin.

These are "hard days" indeed, said the Rev. David T. Ryan in his eulogy.

"You are filled with all kinds of emotions." Sorrow. A sense of love. "Anger at those in faraway countries. We don't know their names, we don't know their faces."

And yet, Ryan said, it was oppressed strangers that this "true American hero" was trying to help.

That gesture counted, said Ryan, who added that Styer is still not alone.

"Brandon is seeing God face to face. Those eyes, now closed to us... are shining brightly in God's presence."

Styer, a Lancaster native, was the son of Jill M., wife of Scott A. Myers, Fayetteville, and Terry D. and Diane K. Styer, Lancaster, and the stepson of Dr. John A. Hall, Lancaster.

He is also survived by his twin sister, Alyssa M. Styer, of Fayettville, and sisters Angela, wife of Gabriel Bauza, Lancaster, and Tracy, wife of Rick Bowling, Willow Street.

His maternal grandmother, aunt, four nieces and a nephew also survive.

Pfc. Brandon M. "B-Sty" Styer enlisted in the military when he was still in high school, trained at Fort Carson, Colo., and went on to defuse roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

One of the devices exploded Oct. 15 as he was patrolling in a vehicle in Kandahar Province, southern Afghanistan.

Styer and three other men in the 569th Mobility Augmentation Company, 4th Engineer Battalion, were killed. Overall, according to the Denver Post, at least 28 Fort Carson trainees have died in Afghanistan.

Ryan asked the congregation to remember that other families are also grieving.

But Ryan, who knew Styer since childhood and kept in touch with him on Facebook, urged people to focus as well on joy.

Ryan is pastor of Hopeland United Methodist Church, and formerly led Leola United Methodist Church, where Styer worshipped.

Ryan recalled how young Styer tapped his considerable "personal charisma" to wiggle out of boyhood scrapes.

"Brandon was not perfect," Ryan continued. "None of us are. Brandon went through his own tough times."

Nevertheless, Ryan said, "he loved life."

Styer's enthusiasms included family, friends, animals and the blue Mazda RX-8 he'd recently restored. The Washington Redskins. The Phillies.

Styer also loved God, said Ryan, who read aloud the confirmation statement that Styer composed six years ago:

" 'I believe that God is very amazing. I also think that he will be even more amazing than I can imagine when I meet Him in Heaven some day.'

"I knew from conversations with Brandon that he still honored his faith," Ryan added, "that he was proud of who he was and what he was doing."

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey J. Snow, seconded that idea.

Some say this generation is spoiled, said the commander of the Army's 20th Support Group. "You and I know this is not true."

Soldiers such as Styer are proof, Snow said.

The Lancaster recruit was "a friend to everyone in the platoon," Snow said.

"He was a gifted young man" who could have done anything he wanted, Snow added, but "he had the courage of fortitude. He chose to serve his country. ... He dedicated his life to the protection of others."

Snow, holding his hat in his hand, stepped down from the microphone and walked solemnly to his seat.

Styer was interred with full military honors at Conestoga Memorial Park.

A low rumble announced the approach of the motorcycles at the head of the funeral procession.

A sizable group gathered in the cemetery as a powerful wind whistled through yellow maple leaves.

Seven rifles sounded a three-volley salute fired by Pennsylvania National Guard troops from the 328th Brigade Support Battalion, Lancaster.

Sgt. 1st Class Mark Carper, of the 28th Division Band, Holidaysburg, played taps.

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