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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 05, 2009

R.I.P. Staff Sgt. Glen H. Stivison Jr.

Name: Army Staff Sgt. Glen H. Stivison Jr.

Age: 34

From: Blairsville, Pa.

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

Incident: Army Staff Sgt. Glen H. Stivison Jr. 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 Pfc. Brandon M. Styer.

Died: October 15, 2009

(Taken from -- Staff Sgt. Glen H. Stivison Jr. placed the welfare of the men in his Army unit above everything else, save that of his family.

True to form, the Blairsville native was leading a mission to assist fellow U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan Oct. 15 when his vehicle encountered a concealed explosive device, fatally injuring him and three other occupants.

Details of the ultimate sacrifice made by their 34-year-old son have been growing clearer in the days since a military officer arrived in Blairsville with the dread news for Glen Sr. and Jan Stivison.

Jan Stivison said Wednesday she was told her son's convoy of vehicles already was on the move when he decided they should alter their course to answer a distress call from a platoon that was under attack. The distressed platoon was "taking heavy fire, and one of their vehicles was hit," she related.

But, she said, her son and his fellow soldiers "weren't able to reach the people they were going to help before the explosion," along Highway 1 near Kandahar, Afghanistan. As was usual, she said, her son was in the lead vehicle of the convoy.

"My son's men loved him," she said, noting the mostly younger soldiers in his unit referred to him affectionately as "Papa Sti." Although, in terms of age, they were more like younger brothers, she said, "He referred to them as his kids."

"He told me his men would charge the gates of hell with nothing more than a spoon if he asked them to," she said. At the same time, "If they had to go out on a dangerous mission, they knew he'd be leading the charge."

A Department of Defense release Monday confirmed that Stivison was among four soldiers who died of wounds suffered when their vehicle was attacked with an improvised explosive device (IED) in Kandahar province. The others who perished were Pfc. Brandon M. Styer, 19, of Lancaster, Spc. Jesus O. Flores, Jr., 28, of La Mirada, Calif., and Spc. Daniel C. Lawson, 33, of Deerfield Beach, Fla. They all were assigned to the 569th Mobility Augmentation Company, 4th Engineer Battalion, based at Fort Carson, Colo.

The explosive device cut short the military career of Glen Stivison Jr., a 13-year Army veteran, husband and father of two boys. But his mother noted the combat engineer had completed the requirements for promotion to first sergeant and is expected to receive that recognition posthumously, along with the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

The latter honor, she said, stems from an incident when Glen Stivison Jr. was credited with saving the life of his own first sergeant in late July, after the other officer stepped on a hidden IED that blew away the lower part of his right leg.

She said her son quickly applied a tourniquet and called in assistance to have his first sergeant and friend promptly evacuated for medical treatment. "They say, because of my son's quick action, his very close friend is alive today," and recuperating at Walter Reed Army Hospital, Jan Stivison said.

Jan Stivison said her son had talked about joining the armed services while still a student at Blairsville High School. After he graduated in 1994, he initially pursued studies at Lock Haven University and Westmoreland County Community College.

When he was 21, he took a trip to Pittsburgh to take a military entrance test. His mother recalled cautioning him, "Don't sign any papers." But, at dinner that evening, he surprised his parents with the news that he'd enlisted in the Army.

Glen Stivison Jr. completed tours in Korea and Iraq before heading back to the Middle East in February. She said her son initially returned to Iraq but his unit was reassigned in May to Afghanistan to help clear explosives from roads.

Jan Stivison noted, when she became concerned about her son's safety on his latest mission, he replied simply, "I am a soldier. This is my job."

She said her son also reassured her: "He said, 'I'm Iron Man. Nothing's going to happen to me.'"

When Stivison's unit arrived in Afghanistan, he told his mother that the soldiers slept in tents but that cots were in short supply. Illustrating his regard for the men in his unit, she said, her son used his cot to stow his equipment and slept on the ground along with the other soldiers.

"He said, 'When my men have cots, I'll use a cot,'" she recalled. "It took them two months to get cots."

Stivison was able to return to his home in Colorado Springs, Colo., to see his wife, Eryn, and their children -- Andrew Wyatt, 6, and William Blaze, 8 -- during a leave in late September, before returning to duty in Afghanistan.

During such leaves, his mother said, "He spent as much time as he could with his kids. He went to school and ate lunch with them, and he went to their after-school activities. He took them to track practice and ran along with them."

Family members drove to Dover, Del., last Friday to witness the arrival back on U.S. soil of Stivison's remains. Jan Stivison said she planned to return today to Dover so she can accompany her son's body to Colorado Springs, where a visitation will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Shrine of Remembrance Funeral Home. Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at the Shrine of Remembrance "America the Beautiful" Chapel. Committal services with full military honors will follow.

Jan Stivison said a memorial service will be scheduled at a later date in Blairsville, at the First United Methodist Church.

Glen Stivison Jr. last returned to his hometown during a two-week break at Easter, during which he helped celebrate the 80 birthday of his maternal grandmother, Georgia Graham, who resides in the Aultman area.

Though he was known for his quiet demeanor as a youth, Stivison left a strong impression on those who knew him as he was growing up in Blairsville.

Before graduating from Blairsville High School, Stivison played for three years at offensive and defensive lineman for football coach Ab Dettorre.

Dettorre recalled Stivison as "a team kind of player" who enjoyed football. "He was a tough kid. He was ready to get in the dirt and play the game."

Off the field, he said, Stivison was mature and courteous. "He was a good kid. If he was your neighbor, and your mower broke, he'd cut your grass."

Stivison also wrestled in high school and enjoyed the outdoors, Dettorre said.

Dettorre called Stivison's death "a whole community loss. "

"I just feel so bad," the coach said. He was a gentleman. Unfortunately, he died way too young."

Jim Yohe, a retired Blairsville teacher who resides in Myrtle Beach, S.C., fondly remembered Stivison as a student in his U.S. history class.

"He was an extremely even-tempered person who was quiet and a hard worker," Yohe said. "He was just the kind of guy you'd like to have around."

Blairsville Elementary teacher Kathy Frola taught Stivison as a first-grader and helped organize an effort by students at the school to send letters and a Christmas care package to the soldier in 2003, when he was completing his first tour in Iraq. At the time, Stivison's younger brother, Ben, was a student in Frola's classroom and another brother, Billy, was a fourth-grader at the school.

"We were very proud of Glen," Frola said. "The first-graders considered him our hero."

"Our sympathy goes out to his family," she said. "He was a wonderful young man."

During last Friday's home football game at Blairsville, a moment of silence was observed in memory of Glen Stivison Jr. and the U.S. flag was flown at half-staff.

Tuesday, in a show of support for the Stivison family, faculty and staff at all buildings in the Blairsville-Saltsburg School District raised more than $1,000 that will be given to the family to help with travel expenses or other needs. Employees who dressed down in jeans that day paid $5 toward the fund drive while some participants donated more.

As the Stivisons struggle to cope with their loss, Jan said, "Blairsville has been wonderful. So many people are praying for us and have opened up their hearts and wallets to help us."

1 comment:

Mike in CT said...

Thank you for posting these stories.

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