The Washington National Guard regrets to announce the death of one of its members serving on federal active duty in Iraq.
Specialist Samuel Donald Stone, age 20 from Port Orchard, a machine gunner assigned to Troop C, 1st Squadron, 303rd Cavalry Regiment, a part of the 81st Brigade Combat Team, died May 31st, 2009 as a result of a vehicle accident during a mounted combat logistical patrol near Tallil, Iraq.
Governor Chris Gregoire and Major General Timothy J. Lowenberg, The Adjutant General, have spoken with SPC Stone’s parents to offer their support and condolences during this time of bereavement. “I am deeply moved by Samuel Stone’s service and the impact he had on those around him. The people of Washington join me in honoring his sacrifice and expressing our condolences to his family, friends and community,” said Governor Gregoire.
“SPC Stone was an outstanding soldier who served with distinction with his primary aviation unit (the 66th Theater Aviation Command) and his “adopted” unit (the 81st Brigade Combat Team) for this combat deployment. We miss him tremendously and will always remember his commitment to his state, nation and fellow soldiers,” said Maj. Gen. Lowenberg.
Samuel Stone graduated from Wellpinit High School, in Wellpinit, Washington in March of 2003. He enlisted in the Washington Army National Guard on March 21, 2007 as a CH-47 Chinook Helicopter Repairer and was the Distinguished Honor Graduate in his training class. A well-respected member of the 66th Theater Aviation Command, SPC Stone was highly regarded for his technical proficiency and his can-do attitude, as evidenced by his award of the Basic Aviator Badge. In August of 2008, he volunteered to deploy with the 81st Brigade Combat Team for its second combat deployment to Iraq. During his tour of duty there, his proficiency and excellence earned him a promotion to the rank of Specialist in April.
SPC Samuel Stone was born in Bremerton, WA on June 10th, 1988. He worked as a construction worker and a carpenter by trade. He is survived by his parents Nancy & Stephen Stone of Port Orchard, WA, his sister Sarah Sorensen, and his brothers Jay Stone and Todd Conrad.