Niceville native killed in Army helicopter crash
Wendy Victora and Andrew Gant
Courtesy of the Southwest Florida Daily News
Thursday September 13, 2007
A Niceville, Florida, native was killed when his Army helicopter crashed Tuesday evening during a training flight in northeast Alabama.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 David M. Stanley was one of three who died in the crash. The 33-year-old pilot was a 1992 Niceville High School graduate.
He had served two tours in Iraq, according to his mother, Beverly Stanley of Niceville.
She said he decided to join the Army, in part, because he wanted to fly helicopters. He was the lead pilot on Blackhawk helicopters and trained other pilots, she said.
“His family is very, very proud of him,” Beverly Stanley said through tears late Thursday. “He grew up to be a fine young man.
“And we’re very proud of him that he decided to serve his country and he touched many, many lives.”
Chief Warrant Officer 3 David M. Stanley died Tuesday when a Blackhawk helicopter crashed in northeast Alabama. The 33-year-old pilot was a 1992 graduate of Niceville High School.
Stanley was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, according to a press release from Fort Campbell.
In addition to his parents, Joel and Beverly of Niceville, he is survived by his wife, Kristy, son, Christian Mcgwire Stanley, and stepson, Tyler Grant.
The accident is under investigation, but the Jackson County, Alabama, coroner said the helicopter hit a power line in thick fog and crashed in a field near a house.
Captain Scott N. Shimp and Sgt. Jeffrey Scott Angel also died in the crash. Stanley and Shimp were both Blackhawk pilots, but officials did not say who was flying the helicopter Tuesday.
His 25-year-old sister, Delicia Stanley, said they might never know what happened. But for her, the loss of her big brother is staggering.
“I looked up to him,” she said. “He was everything, a good father, a good husband, a good son, a good brother, a good friend.”
David M. Stanley was a Cub Scout when he was growing up. He later played football and baseball at Niceville High School.
She said the last time she saw her brother, he told her that he was glad she had finally gotten out of a bad relationship and that he approved of her fiance. He was due to go back to Iraq near the first of the year.
“He said, ‘if I should die in Iraq, at least I know you’re going to be taken care of,’ ” she said.
Since Stanley joined the Army in 2000, he received the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and the Overseas Service Ribbon.
Back home, he may be better remembered for his athletic prowess. He played baseball and football at Niceville High School.
Baseball was his first love and he was a skilled pitcher.
“He was involved in baseball all his life,” his mother said. “He ended up getting a scholarship.”
Solider in chopper crash had Goshen ties
By Jaine Treadwell, Courtesy of the Troy (Alabama) The Messenger
October 2, 2007
Chief Warrant Officer 3 David M. Stanley, the husband of Kristy Grant Stanley, formerly of Goshen, was one of three soldiers killed September 11, 2007, when their helicopter crashed during a training flight in northeast Alabama.
Stanley, Captain Scott N. Shimp and Sergeant Jeffrey Scott Angel II died when their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter struck power lines in foggy weather and plunged into a pasture.
They were assigned to Company C, 4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 159the Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division.
Ann Sanders, a friend of Kristy Stanley's parents, Anthony and Janet Grant of Goshen, said a memorial service for the three soldiers will be held on Monday, September 17, 2007, at Fort Campbell Passenger Processing Center in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
“From what I understand the family will return to Goshen after the memorial service and, perhaps within two weeks, Dave's body will be flown to Enterprise for a service there,” Sanders said.
“Our church family, Goshen Baptist, is very upset about this tragedy. We feel so helpless and it is especially hard because we can't reach out to the family. We are anxious for them to get home so we can care for them.”
Stanley, 33, was a pilot from Fort Rucker. He joined the Army in 2000.
He was also survived by his son, Kristian, and stepson Johnathan T. Grant, and his parents, Joel Stanley and Beverly Stanley of Niceville.
Alabama officials said the helicopter crashed into a field near a house last Tuesday night. Debris was scattered over a large area and some of the wreckage burned.
The Black Hawk was flying from Fort Campbell to the municipal airport in Chattanooga at the time of the crash, according to an Army statement
The aircraft was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade.
The crash site is about 190 miles southeast of Fort Campbell.
The loss of three soldiers, including the company commander, has been difficult for the approximately 100 soldiers in Company C, said Fort Campbell spokesman Sergeant Mark Swart.
“The chaplain got everyone together to help with the grieving process,” Swart said.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 David Michael Stanley of Clarksville, Tennessee, passed away Tuesday, September 11, 2007, as a result of a helicopter crash near Skyline. He was 33.
Burial will be in the Arlington National Cemetery.
Flowers will be accepted or donations for his children may be made to the David Stanley Memorial Fund, US Bank, c/o Laurie Dove, 1816 Madison St., Clarksville, TN 37043, or made directly at any US Bank location.
Survivors include his wife, Kristy Stanley, Clarksville, Tennessee; two sons, Johnathan Tyler Grant and Kristian McGwire Stanley, both of Clarksville, Tennessee; parents, Joel and Beverly Stanley; paternal grandparents, Nolan and Allie Stanley; maternal grandmother, Audrey Kelley; maternal great-grandmother, Lavana Limberick; two sisters, Delicia Stanley and Katelynn Stanley, all of Niceville, Florida; his father- and mother-in-law, Anthony and Janet Grant, Goshen.
Fallen soldier to be buried in Arlington
3 October 2007
Courtesy of The Southeast Sun
By Kay Kirkland Managing Editor
Chief Warrant Officer 3 David Michael Stanley will be buried Thursday in a place he thought was the most beautiful he’d ever seen.
Stanley, who died September 11, 2007, in a helicopter crash in north Alabama, will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery while his wife Kristy and their sons, Tyler and McGwire bid him goodbye.
Close friend Wade Hussey of Enterprise said Stanley’s wife chose the historical place of honor because she remembered how he once described it, as the most beautiful place he’d ever seen.
Hussey said Stanley, who had lived in Enterprise for several years before going on active duty in June 2001, was a good soldier and a good pilot deserving of a final resting place in Arlington.
“He was a wonderful guy,” said Hussey. “We’re going to miss him, really bad.”
Stanley had served two tours in Iraq before returning to Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Dave Stanley’s helmet is displayed at Sorrells Funeral Home in front of a photo f
rom the fallen pilot’s accomplished military career
The Rev. W.O. Sanders, speaking at the Saturday afternoon funeral service at Sorrells Funeral Home in Enterprise, told the chapel filled with family and friends that Stanley made the supreme sacrifice for his country.
“We’ll keep our nation free only as long as we have people willing to serve their nation, spend their blood and pay the ultimate price so we can have those freedoms,” said Sanders, quoting the words of Thomas Paine, who said the patriot who does not shrink from service in time of crisis deserves thanks and praise.
“David Stanley deserved the thanks and praise of us all,” Sanders said.
Mayor Kenneth Boswell echoed the praises as he presented several commendations to Mrs. Stanley at the funeral service.
Stanley “was a great American” and an “Alabamian of distinction,” Boswell said as he read the commendations from Alabama Governor Bob Riley.
“I want to express my sincere thanks for the ultimate sacrifice your husband has made for his country,” Boswell said, also extending his “sincere thanks” to Mrs. Stanley and the rest of the family members for their support of Stanley during his military career and for their sacrifice as well.
“I remember David for his sweet spirit … those big blue eyes,” said the Rev. Darrell Stanley, the uncle of the fallen soldier.
Though the reality of Stanley’s death is hard for his family and friends to bear, the Rev. Stanley said they will “be able to face tomorrow because of what God has done in our lives and David’s life.”
He said the family is a family of faith and that his nephew lived his life so that he would be “ready for this day.”
Hussey said Stanley was a Christian. “He lived his life that way,” Hussey said.
“He was easygoing. He just didn’t get mad at anything. He was as happy a person as you’d ever want to meet. Even when the worst things happened to him, he had a good attitude.”
Hussey will also remember Stanley for his athletic ability. Hussey and Stanley first met on the baseball field, though they didn’t know it. In the 10th grade, Hussey said, he almost pitched a no-hitter against a Niceville, Florida, team, but an opposing player “was the only one who hit off me.”
Years later, after the two met and became baseball teammates at Enterprise State Community College, Hussey learned that the player who spoiled his no-hitter was Stanley.
“He was just a superstar athlete,” Hussey said. “He was as smooth a shortstop as I’ve ever seen.”
Stanley loved baseball so much, Hussey said, that he named his son for Mark McGwire, the first Major League baseball player to break former New York Yankee great Rodger Maris’ 61 single season home run record.
Though Hussey said he has lots of memories of playing ball, hunting and hanging out with Stanley, he will remember his friend most as a man who loved his family deeply and was never afraid to express it. He talked often about his parents, grandparents, in-laws and other loved ones, Hussey remembered.
“He loved Kristy,” Hussey said. “And she loved him. He was a great dad. He wanted to do whatever he could to provide for his family and do good for his family.”
Stanley and his wife had been married seven years.
“He was so handsome,” said Mrs. Stanley of her husband. “He had the most beautiful blue eyes in the world.”
As she prepared to go to Arlington this week, Mrs. Stanley, who grew up near Troy, said while her husband’s deployments away from the family were difficult, the time that they spent together was special.
“The times he was home were so wonderful; we really made the most of those times together as a family.”
In addition to his wife and children, Stanley is survived by his parents, Joel and Beverly Stanley, grandparents Nolen and Allie Stanley and Audrey Kelley, great grandmother Lavana Limbereck and two sisters, Delicia Stanley and Katelyn Stanley, all of Niceville, Fla., and his mother- and father-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Grant of Goshen.
Donations for Tyler and McGwire may be made to the David Stanley Memorial Fund, US Bank, c/o Laurie Dove, 1816 Madison St., Clarksville, Tennessee 37043 (or made directly at any US Bank).
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard