Monday, October 08, 2007

Todd Motley laid to rest

The streets of Harrison were lined with flags and people, as residents of this small town turned out to honor Cpl. Todd Motley.

Motley, 23, died Sept. 14 in Muqdadiyah, Iraq, when a bomb exploded near his vehicle. He was assigned to the 6th Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood in Texas.

Motley grew up in Harrison and lived in Clare before being sent to Texas. He is survived by his wife, Karen Motley, 23, and two daughters, Hannah, 2, and Kaylee, 9 months, all of Clare. He also is survived by his mother, Renee; two brothers, Ian and Nickolas; and maternal grandmother, Marcia Dolin. They all are of Hoxie, AR.

More than 300 family members and friends gathered at St. Athanasius Catholic Church for Wednesday's funeral. His immediate family sat on low chairs, greeting people as they entered the church.

"I'm very, very proud of him and I wish it could have been different," Dolin said.

"Tell George W. Bush I thank him for killing my grandson for his oil war," she said, crying.

Pastor Dennis Feuerstein opened the service with prayer.

"You are the God of all comfort," he said. "Father, will you give us enough so we can comfort others?"

Feuerstein said he was humbled by Motley's sacrifice.

"Before us lies one who sacrificed his life," he said. "I feel he gave his life for me."

A couple leaned their heads toward each other as an instrumental "Amazing Grace" filled the church.

"Todd left the love of his life to go on foreign soil," Feuerstein said. "What caused a young man ... to put himself in that position?"

He said one reason might be the love Motley felt for others, and that flowed into concern for the Iraqi people.

"That's the only explanation I have," Feuerstein said. "The Bible says this about everyone: 'Greater love no one has than to lay down his life for his friends.'"

Brig. Gen. John R. Bartley brought comments from three people who served with Motley in Iraq. Spc. David Lasseter called him "a model soldier" and a "reliable friend."

Bartley presented Motley's medals -- the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Army Good Conduct medal, and the Iraqi Campaign medal -- to his family.

"Godspeed to you, Todd," he said as the casket was pulled.

People held up American flags and businesses briefly closed their doors as the mourners drove slowly through town to Pleasant Plains Cemetery. There was a brief graveyard service, in which folded flags were presented to Motley's mother and wife.

A memorial fund has been set up for the two daughters, care of Karen Motley, at Chemical Bank. Anyone wishing to contribute can do so at any Chemical Bank branch.

Read the rest at the Midland Daily News

Related Link:
Todd A. Motley dies 'of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations'