Soar, hero, soar!

Stephen Fortunato, 25 Photo Courtesy of the Fortunato Family.

One of our own has given his all for the country and mission he loved.

From Wake Up America here:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Stephen Fortunato, Killed Tuesday in Afghanistan, Tells Why He Served

H/T to MM, she asked that people spread this far and wide and after reading it, I agree…..everyone needs to read it.

This was a blog entry on Army Specialist Stephen Fortunato’s blog, dated Aug. 30, 2008, and was sent to the Globe by his mother, Elizabeth “Betty” Crawford.

From Boston Globe:

If I may …

I’d like to say something….Just to get it out there so it is clear.
To all the pampered and protected Americans who feel it is their duty to inform me that I am not fighting for their freedom, and that i am a pawn in Bush’s agenda of greed and oil acquisition: Noted, and [expletive deleted] You.

I am not a robot. i am not blind or ignorant to the state of the world or the implications of the “war on terrorism.” i know that our leaders have made mistakes in the handling of a very sensitive situation, but do not for one second think that you can make me lose faith in what we, meaning America’s sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers in uniform are doing.

I am doing my part in fighting a very real enemy of the United States, i.e. Taliban, Al Qaida, and various other radical sects of Islam that have declared war on our way of life. Unless you believe the events of 9/11 were the result of a government conspiracy, which by the way would make you a MORON, there is no reasonable argument you can make against there being a true and dangerous threat that needs to be dealt with. i don’t care if there are corporations leaching off the war effort to make money, and i don’t care if you don’t think our freedom within America’s borders is actually at stake. i just want to kill those who would harm my family and friends. it is that simple. Even if this is just a war for profit or to assert America’s power, so what? Someone has to be on top and I want it to be us. There’s nothing wrong with wishing prosperity for your side.

I am a proud American. i believe that my country allows me to live my life more or less however i want to, and believe me, i have seen what the alternative of that looks like. i also believe that our big scary government does way more than it has to to help complete [expletive deleted]-ups get back on their feet, a stark comparison to places where leaders just line their own pockets with gold while allowing the people who gave them their power and privilage to starve. I have chosen my corner. I back my country, and am proud to defend it against aggressors. Also, if you dare accuse us of being inhumane, or overly aggressive because we have rolled into someone else’s country and blown some [expletive deleted] up and shot some people, let me remind you of just how inhumane we COULD be in defending ourselves. Let me remind you that we have a warhead that drops multiple bomblets from the stratosphere which upon impact, would turn all the sand in Iraq to glass, and reduce every living thing there to dust. Do we use it? No. Instead we use the most humane weapon ever devised: the American soldier. We send our bravest (and perhaps admitably craziest) men and women into enemy territory, into harms way, to root out those whom we are after and do our best to leave innocent lives unscathed.

…One last thing…a proposal. i know it has been stated time and time again but i just think it is worthy of reiteration. If you find yourself completely disgusted with the way America is being ran, and how we handle things on the global stage, you can leave. Isn’t that amazing? No one will stop you! If you are an anarchist, there are places you can go where there is no government to tell you anything. That’s right…you are left solely to your own devices and you can handle the men who show up at your door with AKs in any way that you see fit. Just don’t try good old American debate tactics on them because you will most likely end up bound and blind-folded, to have your head chopped off on the internet so your parents can see it. However if you insist on staying here and taking advantage of privilages such as free speach and WIC, keep the counter-productive [expletive deleted] to a minimum while the grown ups figure out how to handle this god-awful mess in the middle east….

There is an article in the Boston Herald here:

Grandma and Beverly mourn loss of fallen army hero

By Laurel J. Sweet
Friday, October 17, 2008

When fallen Army Spec. Stephen Fortunato was home on leave to the North Shore last month, his loved ones, never suspecting it was for the last time, proudly took their marching orders.

Grandmother Veronica “Nona” Fortunato, 82, of Beverly fulfilled every request for homemade chicken soup, eggplant Parmesan and banana cream pie, while mother-in-law Dorinda Favaloro of Gloucester tackled spaghetti and meatballs and turkey.

“He was so sure everything was going to be all right,” Fortunato said through tears yesterday as news spread that her 25-year-old grandson, a Humvee gunner with the Army’s 26th Infantry Regiment, had been killed by a roadside bomb Monday in Afghanistan.

It was the first day back on patrol for the husband of 22-year-old Sherri Fortunato of Manchester-by-the-Sea.

“I said, ‘Now Stephen, don’t be a hero. Just take care and come back,’ ” recalled his grandmother, who last saw him Sept. 25. “He said, ‘Nona, don’t worry. We’re so well-trained.’ And God love him, he ended up getting killed.”

Stephen Fortunato, the oldest of three sons born to Betty Crawford, 56, of Beverly, was the great-nephew of late Beverly mayor Peter Fortunato.

His grandmother said the 2002 graduate of Beverly High, who enlisted when he was 21, planned to return to school, possibly to design video games.

“He was my love,” she said.“I think Stephen would say, ‘Just go on with your life and remember me.’ He wouldn’t want us to be sad. He willingly went to fight.”

Stephen Fortunato was the first Beverly serviceman killed in action since 1969, during the Vietnam War.

Beverly Veterans Agent Jerome Giulebbe Jr. said calls poured into his office yesterday by the dozens.

“The outpouring in this community will be incredible,” Giulebbe said. “I know it will.”

Favaloro, 49, said her son-in-law loved animals, especially his pet python.

“We’re very proud of him,” she said. “He’d light your heart up.”

Rest in peace, hero, rest in peace. Prayers for all who love this special man.

“Every soldier IS one of our own. Every soldier’s family IS our own.”

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