Sunday, September 09, 2007

John Christian Stock reported killed in Iraq

A Longview U.S. Marine who friends and loved ones say epitomized all that is good about East Texas died in combat Thursday while serving in Iraq.

Staff Sgt. John Christian Stock, 26, was killed in Western Anbar Province while manning a traffic checkpoint. His father, Jerry Stock, said his son's death was the result of a suicide car bomber.

Stock, a member of the 2nd Marine Division 3rd Battalion Bravo Company, initially served four years in the Marines. He was out for six months and then re-enlisted.

He leaves behind his wife, the former Lindsey Tyner of Longview, an 8-year-old stepson, Levin, the couple's 9-month-old son, Wyatt, his father and his mother, Gwen Stock, and four sisters and a brother.

A rosary in Stock's honor will be recited at 8 a.m. today at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 2108 Ridgewood. Led by St. Mary's Catholic School, the rosary is open to the public.

"I've received many visitors throughout the day, and it's very comforting to know how well thought of my son was in the community," Jerry Stock said.

Jerry Stock said his son had been in Iraq since March, which was his first tour of duty there.

Along with his five siblings, John Stock attended St. Mary's Catholic School and was active in the church.

"He was a fine young man, very committed to trying to do something valuable with his life and very committed to his family and his country," said the Rev. Gavin Vaverek, pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church.

Vaverek said he talked with Stock and his bride-to-be before the couple wed.

"He was considering going back into the Marines, and that was a very serious commitment to make, and his wife Lindsey was very supportive of that choice," Vaverek said. "He very intentionally chose to go back into the Marines to fight the war against terrorism."

Before re-enlisting, Stock studied automotive repair in Houston and continued friendships he'd made in grade school.

Bosten Gisi, 26, had been friends with Stock since early childhood.

"I've known him for 20 years. He was a great guy, very outgoing, had a lot of friends, and always kept a smile on his face," Gisi said.

The boys started Cub Scouts together, then Boy Scouts and earned their Eagle Scout rank when they were both 15, Gisi said.

Gisi's father, Mike, was Stock's assistant Scout master and remembers a jovial young man.

"He was always fun; you could always kid him about something, and he loved to play practical jokes," he said.

When not Scouting, Stock enjoyed athletics. He played soccer at St. Mary's, where he attended through the eighth grade. After transferring to Longview High School, he was a member of the varsity swim team.

Like many East Texas boys, Stock loved music, rock and traditional Southern country artists.

"He like Waylon Jennings, and all the Hanks: Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr. and Hank III. He had an adventurous and fearless spirit that was evidenced in the many pastimes he enjoyed: kayaking, camping, white water rafting, and mountain climbing," Bosten Gisi said. "He was a good East Texas boy through and through. He was not scared; he had no fear, and that's why Iraq did not scare him. He said he knew what he had to do, and he was proud to do it."

From the News Journal