Thursday, May 10, 2007

Blake Stephens reported killed in Iraq

Corporal Blake Stephens was killed in Iraq Tuesday by a road side bomb.

"If you didn't like him, there was something wrong with you because everybody loves Blake," said a friend.

Ride fast, crash hard, that's the motto between Corporal Blake Stephens and his friends.

"Blake was like fuel in the fire. He just always was," said Clint Colling, a friend of Blake.

Blake's friends take a look back this afternoon on their friend who they considered family.

"Always having an older brother, I never had an older brother, he was my older brother and I think he was that way with all of us anyway," said Mike Bullock, a friend of Blake.

Stephens was a 2000 graduate of Century High School. He was on his second tour in Iraq when he was killed earlier this week. He's the first solider from Pocatello to be killed in the war, the 25th from Idaho. In just the last 24-hours, messages have been left on Blake's Myspace page.

"When he gets excited, he does this little shimmy dance and he always had this weird voice he'd talk in," said Bullock. "If you didn't think you could do it, if Blake was there, you were doing it anyway, because he would tell you to do it."

But now these friends are left remembering Blake as he was before he died serving his country.

Between our junior and senior year he signed up for the military so he was gone for boot camp that whole summer and that's when it started. He'd be gone for months at the time so I've gotten to the point where I'm used to him being gone but he always comes back," said Bullock.

"The tight group of friends makes it a whole lot easier and we all miss him a lot so its nice to be able to talk about these stories about Blake because that's how we remember him and that's how he should be remembered," said Colling.

"We've never done as much as that guy has. He did more in a lifetime in 25 years then most of us will do in 70," said Bullock.

"He could have a story for every day he lived," said Colling.

Blake leaves behind his wife, Eri. Blake is the son of Trent and Kathleen Stephens. His father, Dr. Stephens, is a biologist and a member of the ISU faculty.

From KIFI 8