Tuesday, June 26, 2012

R.I.P. - Pfc. Steven P. Stevens II

DOD Identifies Marine Casualty

            The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

            Pfc. Steven P. Stevens II, 23, of Tallahassee, Fla., died June 22 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

            For more information media may contact the 1st Marine Division Public Affairs Office at 760-725-8766.


A 23-year-old U.S. Marine had yet to meet his infant son born after his deployment to Afghanistan when he died Friday.

Private First Class Steven Stevens grew up in Detroit and went to Afghanistan on March 21—just days before his son was born March 29, family members said.

“I’m sorry that he never got a chance to see his son,” said his grandmother Dorothy Atkins, 85. “I wish he could have had that blessing.”

The officers who told Stevens’ family about his death said the preliminary report showed he was hit with shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade, said Dwight Atkins, Steven’s uncle.

The U.S. Department of Defense had not released information on Stevens’ death on its website as of this morning.

“He's going to be sadly missed,” Atkins said. “But like my mother used to tell me, his work on Earth was done, and God called him home.”

Stevens’ body is scheduled to arrive at Dover Air Force Base today. His wife Monique, who lives in Florida, and parents Steve and Lois Stevens, both of Detroit, are there, relatives said.

“He leaves this world way too soon,” Dwight Atkins said.

The family’s faith is helping them through this time.

“We’re spiritual people,” Dwight Atkins said. “We just believe God will answer and God will take care of us.”

Stevens grew up in northwest Detroit, attended Detroit Technology High School and went to Florida A & M on a swimming scholarship, his uncle said.

As a baby, Stevens had asthma, so the doctor suggested finding a sport that would help him breathe, relatives recalled. Stevens’ mother put him in the swimming pool and he had been a swimmer since.

“He took to the water like a fish,” his uncle said.

Steven Stevens, a Marine who was killed in Afghanistan on Friday, June, 22, 2012, who attended Detroit Technology High School in Detroit, is shown with his mother and father at a swim meet. Stevens family photo
After two years of college, he joined the Marines to serve his country. Family members say the thought of traveling the world and studying abroad was enticing to him.

“He quit college in order to join,” his grandmother said. “I guess he had the calling because he just went and joined.”

Stevens was good in art, wanted to be an architect, loved to laugh and was a jokester who was good at imitations, his family recalled.

“People who know him know he was a very funny guy,” Dwight Atkins said.

The Rev. Louis Forsythe II, pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Detroit, said he knew Stevens as a teenager and remembered him as polite, quiet young man who loved his family very much.

Forsythe said he told his congregation about Stevens’ death during the church’s two services Sunday.
He asked members to stand for a moment of silence in memory of Stevens.

“He was willing to give his all for his country,” Forsythe said. “It speaks to his commitment.”
Stevens’ funeral is to be held Saturday at Hope United Methodist Church, 26275 Northwestern Hwy. in Southfield. Arrangements are pending.
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I am so very sorry for your loss. As a Gold Star Mom, your pain is felt around the world. You are loved and held up in prayer. May God be with you now and always
Robin Hefner, mother of LCPL Shawn P Hefner KIA 11-13-09

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