Friday, September 14, 2007

Army Spc. Todd A. Motley

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Todd A. Motley, 23, of Clare, Mich.

Spc. Motley was assigned to the 6th Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died Sept. 14, 2007 in Baghdad, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle during combat operations. Also killed were Staff Sgt. Michael L. Townes, Spc. Jonathan Rivadeneira and Pvt. Christopher M. McCloud. -- Clare, Mich. (AP) – Todd A. Motley returned to his high school last year to tell students not to give up on their goals.

He came back as more than a 2003 graduate of Pioneer High School. He came as an Army Specialist – the sum of his ambition since first walking through the doors of the alternative high school in 2001.

Motley, 23, of Clare, died Friday in Muqdadiyah, Iraq, when a bomb exploded near his vehicle during combat, the U.S. Department of Defence said Monday. Muqdadiyah is about 60 miles northeast of Baghdad.

Motley entered the Army in March 2005 and was assigned in August of that year to the 6th Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood in Texas.

"Todd was one of your once-in-a-lifetime kids — everything you put in came back," Pioneer Principal Lori Enos said.

"We're all very empty right now. The impact of his death ... has surprised all of us. It makes the world very, very small."

Enos described Motley as creative, loyal and "outgoing but not obnoxious." She said his character was evident the day she handed him his diploma and Quality Student Award — an honor decided by the staff and given to only a few students at the school in Clare, about 130 miles northwest of Detroit.

"The face that I can see was a quiet sense of satisfaction," she said. "When you looked at his face, you knew he was proud of himself but he was humble about it."

She also was impressed by the way he handled his relationship with his high school girlfriend, Karen, who became his wife. She said they didn't display the drama that many students do at that age.

"Karen and Todd had a very mature relationship — it was like what you'd hope that adults would be more like," Enos said.

Besides his wife, Motley is survived by two daughters, Hannah and Kaylee, also of Clare. He also is survived by his mother, Renee; two brothers, Ian and Nickolas; and maternal grandmother, Marcia Dolin. They all are of Hoxie, Ark.

Army Spc. Todd A. Motley was killed in action on 9/14/07.

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