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GROSSE POINTE FARMS, MI, USA U.S. Army SGT, TROOP A, 3D SQUADRON, 7TH CAVALRY, 2 BCT, FORT STEWART, GA BAGHDAD, IRAQ 12/25/2007
Journal of the Senate, 24 January, 2008
“LET IT BE KNOWN, That on behalf of the citizens of Michigan, we extend our condolences and deep respect to the family and friends of Army Sergeant Peter C. Neesley, of Grosse Pointe Farms, who died on December 25, 2007, while on active duty in Iraq. Indeed, this ultimate sacrifice for his country is a true testament to the kind of individual Sergeant Neesley symbolized: dedicated, compassionate, courageous, and loyal.
Just 28 years of age, Sergeant Neesley died in Baghdad from an undetermined cause in a noncombat environment. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia. In his honor, Governor Granholm ordered flags throughout the state of Michigan lowered for one day on Friday, January 4, 2008.
Shortly after his high school graduation, Sergeant Neesley gallantly volunteered to join the Army, serving his country for three years before returning home. However, he knew in his heart where he belonged and he soon re-enlisted. He was deployed on May 8, 2007, for his first tour in Iraq. It didn’t take long for Sergeant Neesley’s fellow soldiers to recognize what a unique, caring person he was. During his short time in Iraq, his quick humor and kindness touched many whom he encountered. In his final thoughts, Sergeant D. Haynes wrote, “He was one of the best friends I’ve ever had. He was real easy to get along with, as long you could take a joke. He was a guy that would do anything for his soldiers, his friends and his family.” From Battalion Commander Broadwater, “Sergeant Neesley always completed his mission to the highest of standards, never looking for personal glory, but seeking the feeling of making a positive difference.” And, finally, from Troop Commander Kjonnerod, “I can honestly say that Sergeant Neesley was one of the best soldiers I have ever met. He was an extremely smart and talented soldier and a noncommissioned officer. He would have been successful in any one of the numerous endeavors that he had the opportunity to pursue; he chose to be a soldier.”
Sergeant Neesley not only befriended his fellow soldiers, but his compassion led him to care for a mother and her young pup while in Iraq. Work is now in progress to have both stray dogs—Mama and Boris—brought back from Iraq to Sergeant Neesley’s family in Michigan.
Family came first and foremost in Sergeant Neesley’s life. He shared a birthday with his older sister Carey, whom he regarded as a dear friend and confidant. He played a significant role in the life of his nine-year-old nephew Patrick, serving not only as a proud and honorable father figure, but also an exceptional role model. Sergeant Neesley’s parents, Christine and Robert, can be proud of the gracious man they raised who was loved, admired, and respected by so many. As was so eloquently described by his sister Carey at a memorial service in his honor at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial on January 5, 2008, “I think what Peter would want you all to take away from this tragic end is to appreciate every day you are given. Tomorrow is promised to no one. He would want you all to go on and become the best person you can be; chase your dreams. He would want you to appreciate every sunrise and sunset. Every starlit night. He would want you to tell the people who are important to you that you love them. He would want you to reach out to those in pain and offer them a hand.”
IN SPECIAL TRIBUTE, Therefore, This document is signed and dedicated to offer our highest praise as a memorial for the life of Army Sergeant Peter C. Neesley. To his parents, Christine and Robert; sister Carey; brother Theodore; and nephew Patrick, we extend our sincere condolences and request that they accept this tribute as a symbol of the high regard in which his memory is held by the people of Michigan.”