Saturday, March 24, 2007

Douglas Stone remembered

Throughout Douglas Stone's tour in Iraq, his mother e-mailed Bible verses and prayers of encouragement to her four adult children each day from her Milford home.

But on March 13, Dolores Feigley was grieving the death of her son and told her oldest daughter, Susan D'Astoli of Scottsdale, Ariz., "I just can't find anything."

Stone, 49, an Army sergeant 1st Class and full-time reservist, was killed in a noncombat incident Sunday in Iraq, according to Claude McKinney, an Army Reserve spokesman.

"We are basically numb," D'Astoli said.

Stone moved to Milford when he was 8. He graduated from Milford High School and attended Grand Valley State College in Allendale.

He joined the Army soon afterward and served in the Persian Gulf War. He met and married his wife, Mary, when he returned.

"We cover these stories every day," D'Astoli, a senior executive producer for investigations at an ABC affiliate in Phoenix, said through tears that night. But "you never think it will affect you, until it hits home."

Based at the 96th Regional Readiness Command at Ft. Douglas in Salt Lake City, Stone was sent to Iraq last May with the 108th Training Division. He returned home to Taylorsville, Utah, on a 10-day leave a few months ago, and was to end his tour in June.

He was assigned to train Iraqi soldiers, D'Astoli said.

"He cared about his mission," she said. "He totally believed in his country."

D'Astoli called her brother, younger by two years, "awesome." He was sandwiched between her and two younger sisters. The girls, of course, gave him a hard time, she said, laughing.

Aside from his "wry wit," D'Astoli said she marveled most at her brother when he was with his two sons, ages 10 and 13. She called him "the best dad on the planet."

"When he talked to his boys, his voice changed. He was calm. He was patient," she said.

He also was very involved with his sons' Boy Scout troop, and he loved hunting and fishing with them.

And, "he was a huge, huge, Red Wings fan," she said.

Besides his mother, his wife and his two sons and D'Astoli, Stone is survived by his father and two other sisters.

From the Observer

Related Link:
Douglas C. Stone dies in 'non-combat-related incident'