Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Jeremy Stacey remembered

Los Chavez Cpl. Jeremy L. Stacey lived in Valencia County for only a few months before joining the Army, but his grieving mother says he was planning on making it his home once he left the military.

His dream of one day living near his mother, Betty Click of Los Chavez, was lost on Thursday, July 5, when he was killed in Baghdad, Iraq. Stacey, 23, died of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device.

"It's been rough for all of us," said Click of her son's death. "It's been hard on me too. Every few minutes, I remember something about him, and I just can't believe he's gone."

Stacey joined the Army in September 2003, a few months after his family moved to Valencia County. He spent much of his youth in Amarillo, Texas, and later moved to Bismarck, Ark., where he graduated high school.

Click said her only son enlisted in the Army right after high school. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team and 1st Cavalry Division.

Stacey was an armor crewman and had been a decorated soldier. He received the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal and the Army Service Ribbon. He was posthumously laterally appointed to the rank of corporal and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

Click said the last time she spoke to her son was in mid-June when he called her a few days before his sister Jessica was to be married.

"He just called to let me know that he was OK, but that things were getting a little rough," Click said. "I always worried about him."

Click said her son had re-enlisted in December for an additional three years, but was planning on buying a house in Valencia County. During a two-week leave in April, Stacey visited his mother and talked about his plans.

"He was excited," Click said.

Described by his mother as very quiet and a little reserved, Stacey also dreamed of one day going to college and becoming a writer. Click said he was very handy on the computer and would create illustrations for his stories.

"He's a fiction writer," Click said of her son. "He had his writings in a laptop with him (in Iraq), but I'm not sure if I'll even be able to get to them now because he had a password."

Memories of her son and the life they shared will continue to bring smiles to Click and his sisters, the grieving mother said. She remembers times when he was little boy running around in his cousin's snow boots in the middle of summer heat and spending the whole night playing video games.

Not only was Stacey a brave soldier, a loving son and a talented writer and artist, but he was also a protective and doting older brother of his four younger sisters.

"He cared a lot about his family," Click said. "His sister called from Amarillo and asked if Jeremy loved her. He loved all of his sisters and would have done anything for them.

"I am very proud of my son, and he was loved," Click said.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalized, but Stacey's mother said she will bury her son at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe. He is survived by his mother, Betty Click, and his four sisters, Jessica Stacey, Shaila Stacey, Lisa Close and Erica Close.

From the News Bulletin

Related Link:
Jeremy L. Stacey dies 'of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device'