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Memorial Held For Marine Sergeant From Seattle

Patricia Murphy
02/12/2012

Sergeant Will Stacey's fellow Marines carried his flag–draped casket Saturday as friends and family gathered for a funeral service. Stacey was a 2006 graduate of Seattle's Roosevelt High school. He was killed January 31 by an improvised explosive device while serving in Afghanistan's Helmand province. KUOW's Patricia Murphy reports.

TRANSCRIPT

It seems that everyone who came in contact with Sergeant Will Stacey was touched by the 23–year–old's charisma, confidence and leadership. Friends remembered a life well–lived in service of others during the ceremony at Meany Hall on the University of Washington campus.

Stacey's mother Robin recalled a recent phone call her son made to her while marveling at the lights from a hotel balcony in Los Vegas.

Robin: "It was a perfect moment for him; one of those nights that I know remained in his memory till the end and thus it is one that is forever inscribed in mine as well. And now there will be no more calls, at least not of the conventional kind."

Will Stacey wrote letters to family and friends about the emotional difficulty of military service and his dedication to the mission. Stacey's father Robert quoted from one of the letters.

Robert: "If your heart is truly in it, you will never regret it. Looking back, I still wouldn't trade any of it for all the world. The feeling of pride you get is something that cannot be explained, as is the importance of the brotherhood you develop with your fellow marines. We've been learning something about that brotherhood in the last 10 days."

Stacey's family was presented with a purple heart. Stacey was serving his fourth tour in Afghanistan when he was killed.

In the library at Seattle's Roosevelt High School there are two plaques honoring the school's war dead, beginning with World War II. Sergeant Will Stacey will be the 232nd name added to that memorial.

He'll be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

I'm Patricia Murphy, KUOW News.

© Copyright 2012, KUOW

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