Names of our Fallen lovingly read by
Gold Star Mother Nancy Geary
& Gold Star Uncle Bill Geary.
Video photos by Friend of the Fallen Alan Glassman.



   
 
ARMY SPECIALIST
DAVID STELMAT

May 29, 1980 ~ March 22, 2008
 



 

Operation Iraqi Freedom
132nd Military Police Company, North Carolina Army National Guard, Rocky Mount, NC


27, of Littleton, N.H.; killed in action when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device in Bagdad, Iraq

  See David's Bio >
 

David and some his friends were responsible for a widely circulated photograph after the 2001 terrorist attacks. David’s stepfather Jeff Rennell said that he and his friends climbed to the top of the Old Man of the Mountain to hang a huge American flag from the granite profile. He went back later to retrieve it, but not before some photos were made into posters memorializing the moment.
David was expected to return home from Iraq after 15 months deployment.  His plan was to resume his studies at the New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord and become a Physician’s Assistant. He
went overseas twice, because he felt he had a job to do. As his mom, Maryanne Rennell says, David never said he would do something unless he was sure he could live up to the promise. “I was so truly blessed. He was the best son a mom could ever ever have had.” He is Army National Guard Specialist David Stelmat Jr. And though the tall strong one, the baby brother to what his mom says are two adoring sisters: “He was their protector, even though he was the younger child...so they came up with D.J. and it stuck.”
She said her son always wanted to help others and joined the military after high school in hopes of becoming a medic. It didn’t happen during his first stint as an Army rifleman in Afghanistan. He wanted to be a Medic then, but was put on the front lines. “And after ten months, he was just about as emotionally and psychologically destroyed as you could get.” He was discharged -- but D.J.’s determination to fix the things and people he saw affected by war drove him to petition Governor Lynch and the National Guard for another chance. “He would always say, ‘you know Mom, I can come home but they're going to have to live this for the rest of their life.’ He wanted to go back in a capacity to help them. His sister has done that to Africa as a nurse, and he wanted to do the same thing to Iraq.” “Perhaps what most distinguished D.J. as a person, was the way he was connected. Not only to his family and his friends, but to the world that he lived in.”
David loved the outdoors. He worked for several years at Cannon Mountain and chose to live in a humble 10 by 10 cabin in the woods of Franconia. “It was truly rustic. And we were right here. He had a bedroom upstairs if he wanted, but he just really wanted to see what it was like to live like Daniel Boone. And he did it for three years.
Spc. Adam Rich served with David in Iraq with the 237th Military Police Company of the New Hampshire Army National Guard. He remembers his friend as “a good, funny and charismatic person.”   “David was one of the best soldiers I worked with, hands down,” said Spc. Rich Colcord, another member of the unit. He said members from New Hampshire’s rural North Country stuck together. “It’s a brotherhood that’s hard to describe unless you’ve been through it,” he said.
Alan Campbell, a school guidance counselor,  said David  was a prankster, always making others laugh, at Profile
High School in the late 1990s. “He was still a clown, but he found his focus helping others,” said Campbell. “He matured into the person he was meant to be.”
David’s father, David Stelmat Sr. was a Marine during the Vietnam War. He had one of the ministers read a statement for him at the service. “We are all so very proud of you, son, and our love for you will never diminish.”