Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fallen Soldier

The following is the obituary for R.C. Blystone, a very good friend of Jeff and his cousin Ben. He was killed in Iraq last week. He leaves behind a wife and 3 children. Jeff and Ben and many other Glendale alums are absolutely beat up over this. I don't think I have ever seen my husband cry like he did when he heard of R.C.'s death. They not only were great friends, but share the exact same birth date. That fact really brings home the fact that this young man was in the prime of his life and had many, many more things to accomplish with his career and family. My heart breaks for R.C. and his family, and also for Jeff and Ben. It's so hard to see those you love hurt so much.

Please pray for R.C., his family and friends.

Ronald C. Blystone
Staff Sergeant Ronald C. Blystone, 34, died Wednesday, April 23, 2008, while on his third deployment to Iraq. "RC" was born on February 11, 1974, in Springfield. He was a lifelong resident of Springfield, and a 1992 graduate of Glendale High School. He joined the United States Army in February, 1994, and married Kelly Connell, of Strafford, June 13, 1994.

RC and Kelly have three children Maggie age 13, Molly age 10 and Zackery age 9. During RC's military career he was awarded two Bronze Stars, The Purple Heart, the Expert Infantry Badge, Valor Unit Award, four Good Conduct Medals, two National Defense Service Awards, two Iraq Campaign Medals, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, two Army Service Ribbons, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal. RC and Kelly have been stationed at Fort Irwin California, Schweinfurt Germany and currently at Fort Hood Texas. RC has done four overseas deployments including one in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and three deployments to Iraq.

RC played football and wrestled while in High School. He loved watching the Kansas City Chiefs, scuba diving, and serving his country. Above all else he loved being with his wife and children.

RC is survived by his wife, Kelly, his daughters, Maggie and Molly and his son, Zackery; his parents, Lonnie Joe and Alexia Blystone, Springfield; his brother Matthew, Springfield, and his brother, Joseph who is also currently serving in Iraq; Kelly's parents, Pat and Patty Connell, Kimberling City, and John and Vickie Savage, Strafford. RC is also survived by a step-brother, four step-sisters, numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, and countless numbers of friends and fellow soldiers.

RC was preceded in death by his grandparents William C. and Ponnie Bright, Springfield, and Fred and Velma Blystone, El Dorado Springs. Tentative arrangements for visitation will be held at Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home in Springfield, Thursday, May 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. Tentative Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, May 2, 2008, with full military honors, in the Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Springfield, Mo. In lieu of flowers, the family has set up an educational fund for Maggie, Molly, and Zackery Blystone at BanCorp South. Donations will be accepted at any of the Springfield, Missouri, locations or may be mailed to: Blystone Educational Fund, BanCorp South, P.O. Box 4023, Springfield, MO 65808.

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