The Tragedy and Grace of Sergeant William Stacey

For those who have been following, you’ll know who Sgt. Stacey is (left, above). He was killed this morning by an IED. He was one of the most humane and wise human beings I have ever met, and a hell of a Marine. I wrote the following on my typewriter while getting personal with a bottle of scotch this evening.

There aren’t too many Marines that I wanted to get a beer with once we were back home. I made good friends with many of them, but there weren’t more than a dozen who I really thought I’d spend time with once we’d returned to the civilized world of women and booze and concerns about what type of blinds to put on the windows. A lot of the real world doesn’t make sense out there. A lot of the things people here worry about. Try watchingReal Housewives and imagine what it looks like to a Marine just returned from their deployment. Beer makes sense though. Everyone makes plans to get a beer together once they’re back. I drank a lot of non-alcoholic Becks over there but needless to say it just ain’t the same.

Sergeant Stacey—Will, as he became once I’d returned to the States and exchanged a few emails with his mother—was one of the few I made plans with. He commanded the squad I was embedded with when I ended up in my first firefight, and it was plainer than anything that he kept the men under his command alive. I’ve already written about him, his confidence and charisma and strangely rugged wisdom for a young man of twenty-three, his ridiculous mustache, but now there is more to say because Will is dead.

Full article is here.

I will never forget him. He, and his family, deserved better than this. But with the life he had, he did something incredible, something very few people achieve with a full ninety years. So here’s to you, Will. You’re a great fucking guy.

2 comments
  1. David Sutton says: February 13, 20127:37 pm

    A beautiful paean of regard from one man to another. Will was clearly special, and a cruel loss to future generations who need leadership like his. But nothing is lost that he did, and many he touched like Lawrence will carry his legacy forward in their own lives, in their own ways.

  2. Arlene Swinford says: February 2, 201210:49 pm

    Winston Churchill Quote “We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm”.
    I thought of this as I read the news about Sgt. Stacey. As you have so wonderfully described him, he was even more complete. I am so sad and humbled by his death. I’m also VERY proud, and honored to call him a brother Marine. 31 Jan. was my birthday. I’m 78, a Marine who served in the 50’s. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. Semper Fi.

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