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Soldier ‘Fondly Remembered and Greatly Missed’

February 24, 2013

By Destiny Brandon
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Army Staff Sgt. Guy “Stan” Hagy, a native of the community of Thompson Valley in southwest Virginia, will be remembered not only as a tough soldier but also as a jokester who always tried to make people smile.

Spc. Jesse Rosales of Corpus Christi, Texas, who served with Hagy in Iraq, remembers a moment they shared: “One of the funniest memories I have is when I got a photo of my son,” Rosales recalled. “And Hagy said, ‘Poor baby – you look like your daddy.’ ”

If he could talk to his friend today, Rosales would tell him: “Guy, you were always a clown that could bring me up when I was feeling down.”

Hagy, who served with the 1st Calvary Division in Iraq, was killed on Sept. 13, 2004, when a bomb exploded near his unit’s observation post in Baghdad. He was the first resident of Tazewell County to die in the Iraq conflict.

During the 2013 legislative session, the Virginia Senate passed a memorial resolution honoring Hagy. His death, the resolution said, is a “reminder of the perils faced daily by the thousands of Americans who serve in our armed forces overseas and whose devotion to duty places them in harm’s way.”

The resolution, sponsored by Sen. Phillip Puckett of Tazewell, said that Hagy was “known for his cheerful, helpful manner and sense of humor”; that he was a “courageous and patriotic soldier”; and that he “easily made friends wherever he was stationed and earned the respect of his fellow soldiers and superiors for his commitment to them and to serving the country.”

“Staff Sergeant Hagy will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by his many loving family members, friends, and fellow soldiers,” the Senate resolution added.

There’s no doubt about that statement, according to dozens of messages posted about Hagy on the website Fallen Heroes Memorial.

Hagy graduated from Tazewell High School and joined the Army in 1996. He was stationed in Oahu, Hawaii, and Fort Lewis, Washington, before being transferred to Fort Hood, Texas.

Ingrid Vickers, who lived next door to the Hagy family in Killeen, Texas, recalled a random act of kindness Hagy performed.

“We were neighbors and never really spoke, other than ‘hello.’ Shortly, before he was getting ready to go to Iraq, I was getting ready to trim my tree with a chainsaw. Mr. Hagy begged me to let him help me,” Vickers wrote on the Fallen Heroes Memorial’s bulletin board . “When I refused, he sent his wife to tell me to please let him use the saw. I finally gave in.

“Not only did he do the whole job, his family also helped to carry all the branches to the curve. He then proceeded to cut up firewood for his beloved wife, not because it was cold but just because she loved it. A truly wonderful husband, father and neighbor. The world is truly a poorer place because of this loss.”

Ricardo Cortez of Inwood, N.Y., served with Hagy in Iraq with the Army’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He called Hagy “a great man, leader, soldier, and friend.”

“He always knew how to make someone laugh when things weren’t right and discouraging, and he knew how to take care of business when things got out of control,” Cortez wrote.

“The short time that I knew him will be in my heart and memory for as long as I shall live. He deeply impacted many of our lives with his jokes, uplifting demeanor, friendship, company and kindness.”

Hagy is survived by his wife, Elysia, and her son Robert Fulton, as well as by his daughter Elizabeth, 13; his father , Guy Sr.; his stepmother, Victoria Hagy; and siblings Andrew, Chris, Jeffrey, Joe and Luciann, according to a published obituary.

Army Staff Sgt. Guy “Stan” Hagy

Army Staff Sgt. Guy “Stan” Hagy

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More on the Web

To read the Senate’s resolution honoring Sgt. Guy “Stan” Hagy, visit the Richmond Sunlight website:

http://www.richmondsunlight.com/bill/2013/sr22/

Tributes to Hagy have been posted on the Fallen Heroes Memorial website:

http://www.fallenheroesmemorial.com/oif/profiles/hagyjrguys.html

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In Memoriam: Virginia’s Fallen Soldiers

During the legislative session, the General Assembly passed resolutions honoring three other members of the military from Virginia who died in the line of duty, all in Afghanistan. They are:

  • U.S. Army Sgt. Aaron Xavier Wittman of Chester, who was the first U.S. combat casualty in the War on Terror in 2013. He died on Jan. 10.
  • U.S. Army Sergeant David James Chambers of Hampton, who was killed less than a week later, on Jan. 16, while on patrol in the Kandahar province.
  • U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Gregory Todd Copes, a native of Lynchburg, who was killed on Aug. 17, 2012, in western Afghanistan.