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

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A pewsitter in Princeton, TX. I spent 22 years of my life in the US Submarine Navy. Everything after that was just a job. Nowadays I mind the home while the wife works.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

R.I.P. Spc. Jared D. Stanker

Name: Army Spc. Jared D. Stanker

Age: 22

From: Evergreen Park, Ill.

Assigned to the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.

Incident: Army Spc. Jared D. Stanker died Oct. 27 in Arghandab Valley, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an IED. Also killed were Army Sgt. Fernando Delarosa, Army Staff Sgt. Luis M. Gonzalez, Army Sgt. Dale R. Griffin, Army Sgt. Issac B. Jackson, Army Pfc. Christopher I. Walz and Army Sgt. Patrick O. Williamson.

Died: October 27, 2009

(Taken from The family of Army Spc. Jared D. Stanker said their final goodbye today as the 22-year-old was buried with full military honors at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Worth.

Stanker, a 2006 graduate of Brother Rice High School, was killed Oct. 27 in Afghanistan when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with a homemade bomb. Six other soldiers also died in the attack.

"Remember Jared as a precious, loved and loveable person who was committed and devoted to God, family and county," his uncle Bob Stanker said during his nephew's eulogy.

The thousands of people lining the sidewalks and spilling into the street fell silent today when the convoy of police cruisers, motorcycles, limousines, a hearse and cars carrying friends and family started its slow procession down 103rd Street.

Men wiped tears from their eyes and mothers clutched their children a little tighter. Veterans stood at attention while others placed their hands over their hearts.

Most didn't know Stanker. Yet up and down the streets and in the surrounding neighborhoods, they talked as if the Evergreen Park man was one of their own.

"The kid gave up his life for us, the least we could do is come out here and stand up to give support to the family," said Tim Burns, of Oak Lawn.

Many learned about the show of support before the funeral at Queen of Martyrs Church through e-mail blasts sent from family to family in the tight-knit neighborhoods in Oak Lawn, Evergreen Park, and Chicago's Beverly and Mount Greenwood communities.

"If it happens to one of us, it happens to all of us," said Jan Doyle, of Chicago. As the procession got under way, Kathy Meyers, of Oak Lawn, was sitting alone on a curb, her eyes leaking tears.

"I guess in my own way, I'm trying to thank him," she said. "My God, he was just a kid."

Members of the Illinois Patriot Guard Riders joined police forces from Chicago, Oak Lawn, Evergreen Park, Homewood and others to escort the body from Blake-Lamb Funeral Home to the church and again to the cemetery.

"It's like Jared said to me, there's so much negativity in the world and no one thinks anyone cares, but they do care," his mother, Susan Stanker, said after the burial. "All these people. They do care."

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