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.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

R.I.P. Pfc. Devin J. Michel

Name: Army Pfc. Devin J. Michel

Age: 19

From: Stockton, Ill.

Assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

Incident: Army Pfc. Devin J. Michel died Oct. 24 in Zhari province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

Died: October 24, 2009

(The following was taken from The marquee at the drive-in near the edge of Stockton says, Devin - always in our hearts. Other signs positioned throughout the village carry a similar message and the one by the high school seems to sum up the town's sentiments saying: Gone too soon, Pvt 1st Class Devin Michel, Hometown Hero.

The military released a notice Tuesday saying that 19-year-old Army Private First Class Devin J. Michel of Stockton died October 24th in Zhari Province of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive, but to the folks in Stockton, Michel was much more than just a face or a number in some unit on the other side of the world. He was Terry and Rebecca's boy, a great kid with big blue eyes and a grin that wouldn't quit.

On Friday in response to a growing demand for information, Army Casualty Assistance Officer Sgt Sergeant First Class Michael Ryan organized a press conference at the Michel home in Stockton giving Devin's parents and widow the opportunity to discuss their loss before reclaiming their privacy to begin preparations for the funeral and memorial services slated for Friday, Nov. 6 and Saturday, Nov. 7 in the Stockton High School gymnasium.

Michel, a Jo Daviess County native was assigned to the First Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, Fourth Brigade Combat Team, Fourth Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.

His mother Rebecca said he was a joy, but high spirited.

"He liked to have fun," she said. "We constantly tried to keep him busy and keep him going. He was a fun kid and I loved him to death."

She said he made the decision to enter the service to see the world and earn some money for college.

"I told him if you don't have a plan you're not going to sit in my house and eat Cheetoes all day on the couch," she said. "Find something to do like join the army and they'll pay for college when you decide what you want to do. So he picked the army and that's where he went."

She said that she wants him remembered for being the fun loving kid that he was.

"He wasn't a kid anymore, but he did love to have fun," she said. "He lived his life like each moment was his last. He'd grab the bull by the horns and he always wanted to go have fun. 'Grab the basketball, lets go shoot hoops," he'd say."

She expressed her gratitude to the Stockton community for their support the family during the crises.

"Our neighbors are the best people in the world," Michel explained. "They bring food and watch the house for us while we're in and out. I can't say enough for them. I mean putting ribbons up everywhere and as soon as folks found out everybody was flooding in with food and asking what they could do and providing phone numbers for us to call if we need anything. They pretty much put a blanket over us to try to help us."

Rebecca stopped for a minute to regain her composure before responding to the question of what her last words to her son were.

"I told him I loved him and to be safe," she said.

Devin's wife Anika said that as the news of his death spread, friends began contacting her to offer their support.

"I was a thousand miles away in Colorado and my phone and Facebook page just lit up," she said. "Friends I hadn't heard from were calling to say they would be there if I need them. I can't say enough good things about this community."

She said that Devin was a great guy who could put a smile on your face.

"He worked hard and called me in situations when I could not understand how he managed to get a call through," she said. He will be greatly missed."

She said they were married October 3, 2008.

"We just had our first anniversary a couple of weeks ago," she said. "I don't know how he did it because they were in the process of moving between bases, but I did get a half dozen roses. I'm thankful for that, but I don't know how he did it."

She explained that his unit only has access to two phones and two computers making communication very difficult.

"There are quite a few people there and they are not able to communicate with their families," she said. "Those are someone's sons and husbands and wives and daughters, and we don't get to hear much. I don't understand how we don't have enough money to furnish computers and phones for them to call home. It's not fair."

Anika said that the last time they spoke she mostly updated him on things that were happening back home.

"It was rough because I hadn't heard from him for awhile," she said. "We talked about his upcoming furlough and decided we would go to Manny's in Savanna for pizza. He was excited about that."

She said they also discussed the possibility of him reclassifying.

"I didn't want him in the infantry anymore, but I pretty much lost that argument" she explained. "He didn't want to have a desk job. Shooting guns and blowing stuff up was pretty much what he wanted to do."

She said his passing still has not sunk in for her.

"For me it's like he's just deployed somewhere. I hadn't seen him in five months. He'd call me once a week if I was lucky, twice a week if I was really lucky. I knew it was hard for him to call home and I understood. It may have been easier that way, but I love him and I miss him."

Devin's father Terry said that as with any young man Devin's age, there were good times and bad.

"He was free-spirited and if he wanted a goal he aimed for it," he said. "He wanted it all his way and he seemed to think things were easy to come by. He was a typical kid."

He said he would get the strength to continue in the face of his family's loss by staying busy.

"Our neighbors are here for us," he said. "I'll stay busy working and focus on normal life. Things will have to go back to the routine, but it's going to be a while."

The visitation for PFC Devin Michel will be at the Stockton High School on Friday November 6th beginning at 4:00 p.m. The funeral will be on Saturday November 7th at 11:00 p.m. at the high school with a reception to follow the funeral.

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