Help Army Veteran Revive his Community



Stokes Legacy park

Stokes Legacy Park

David Stokes Jr., always willing to serve others before himself, is building a community park in Cassatt, South Carolina with funds he obtained with a personal loan.

He has made it his mission to create a recreation park on five acres, where there was none before, where families and the youth can practice a healthy lifestyle and where the community can gather for social and community activities. It will feature a soft-ball field, a playground, an outdoor basketball court, a walking track, and a Pavilion with restrooms.

Please Donate Today whatever you can.

A labor of Love for Community

As a young boy, David was known as the hardest worker in the area while picking Cotton and Tobacco with his father, uncles, and cousins. Today, he works just as hard with his carpentry and construction skills to build this space for his community.

Cassatt, South Carolina is a small town with a population of approximately 4,500 people and the nearest recreation park is in Camden which is 19 miles away.

His dream is to provide his hometown with a resource that is not currently available. News of his vision continues to spread throughout the area as neighbors and friends assist with cutting down trees and clearing the site for the playground.

But the greatest resource, money, has been spent mostly on the land. More funds are needed to buy materials, tools, and machinery.

Your help will make a difference for the families in Cassatt, South Carolina.

Please Donate Now whatever you can to the right of this page.

Living the Dream

David Stokes Jr. is an extraordinary leader who grew up and embraces high moral values and a genuine work ethic which ultimately prepared him to serve as Command Sergeant Major of Ft. Jackson, SC. before retiring after 30 years of military service.

Since his days as a young boy and later as an adult, Davidhas overcome serious injury, adversity, racism, and obstacles which would have deterred a less tenaciousindividual.

Neither hardship, injury, nor cancer have discouraged him from pursuing the highest moral and ethical ideals and gaining the respect and admiration of those who know him.

David Stokes Jr. born August 28, 1952, in Cassatt, South Carolina to David and Ida Bell Stokes. He is the third of 12 children and was raised in a 400 Square foot, two-bedroom block house without running water.

From an early age you would find David working alongside his dad, uncles and older cousins in the fields picking cotton and tobacco or running errands for his dad who worked at the local General Store. Working at the General Store provided him the opportunity to be the second breadwinner for his family. David would deliver groceries to the community beginning at six in the morning before going to school. On those mornings when he missed the bus, he would run the six miles to school.

 

When David was six years old, he fell from the top of the family barn and hit his head on a block. His injury was serious enough that he was in and out of the hospital for two years, missing much of his formal education.

His rehabilitation from injury and the loss of classroom time, provided him opportunities to hone the life skills he would need to launch his career as an extraordinary athlete and soldier. He integrated his exuberant personality, a strong work ethic, and a desire to succeed in everything he did, establishing himself as a competitor at an early age.

He was and continues to be energetic and remarkably competitive in his pursuit of every endeavor. His strength of character combine courage with humility and unselfishness.

David was known throughout his community as the “hardest” working little boy.  He especially took pride in his ability to out-pick everyone on the farms.  Even today, the first thing many people in the community reflect on was his work ethic as a youth and how much he took after his father in appearance, values, and beliefs.

 

In 1970, the town of Cassatt integrated with the town of Camden. At that time, David was in the tenth grade and attended Jackson High School, which at the time was an all-black school. David was the star Quarter Back, Running Back, Defensive Back.

 

Unfortunately, when the 2 schools integrated, the impartiality and racism that existed in a newly integrated school displayed its ugly head on the football field and on the basketball court. His success as a high school athlete was undercut and never rewarded. Although he was never afforded a starter position, when he played, he outperformed the starters. On many occasions David was put on the court or football field during those “most” critical moments but never recognized nor rewarded. 

 

David’s experience in high school was the driving force that led him to enlist in the U.S. Army. Staying in his hometown after high school was not an option for him. He recognized that his work ethic and talent would not lead to progress in his hometown.

 

He was encouraged by his parents and his mentor, Mr. Bobby Jones (the Caucasian principle of Jackson H.S.) and many others to enlist in the Army. The Army would provide him the opportunity to achieve his personal and professional goals. 

 

In 1972 David enlisted in the U.S. Army as an infantry man.  From early on he knew the Army was a place where he would thrive and be judged on his character and work ethic. That belief proved true.  He would serve in every leadership position from Squad Leader to Command Sergeant Major.

 

In 1975 he married his high school sweetheart Jeraline. Jeraline was a model Army wife who supported David throughout his career while she endured the sacrifice and hardship known only by military dependents.

They have three children. Monique Hunter, the oldest, is a Lieutenant colonel in the US Army Medical Service branch. Wendy Egbon is their middle child who served 8 years on active duty as a Logistics/Transportation Officer and currently works as a Transportation Specialist for the Department of Defense. Brandon Stokes is their youngest child who is a Sergeant First Class in the US Armyassigned to Ft. Lewis, Washington. 

He and his wife Jeraline have been married 46 years and they have seven grand Children.

 

Command Sergeant Major Stokes’ assignments included Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Vicenza, Italy; Fort Drum, New York; Sinai, Egypt; Camp Howze, South Korea; Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras; and Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

 

While assigned as a Platoon Sergeant in the 1/509thAirborne Battalion Combat Team in Vicenza, Italy, he also had the opportunity to demonstrate his athletic prowess on the Battalion’s Football Team, the “Geronimos”.

 

In 1997 he was assigned to Fort Jackson, South Carolina where he served as the Command Sergeant Major (CSM) for the Training Brigade and later would be promoted to serve as the CSM of Fort Jackson. He was the pride of his hometown.

 

His numerous military training and schools include Airborne School, Jumpmaster Course, XVIII Airborne Corps Noncommissioned Officer Academy, 82nd (ABN) Recondo Course, Air Movement Operations Course, Supervision Maintenance Course, Basic Amphibious Training, TOW OVAL Course, Basic Noncommissioned Officers Course, Advanced Noncommissioned Officers Course, Drill Sergeant School, Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Course, First Sergeant Course, and the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy.

 

Command Sergeant Major Stokes’s awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (5th Oak Leaf Cluster(, Army Commendation Medal (2nd Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Achievement Medal (2nd Oak Leaf Cluster), Good Conduct Medal (9th Award),  National Defense Medal (2nd Award), Noncommissioned Officers Development Ribbon (4thAward), Overseas Ribbon (2nd Award), and Multinational Force and Observers Medal (1st Award), the Master Parachutist Badge, Recondo Badge, Drill Sergeant Badge, German Marksmanship Badge, German Parachutist Badge, and expert Infantryman Badge.

 

After a successful thirty-year military career, he retired after his last assignment at Fort Jackson in 2002.

 

After he retired from military service, he spent most of his free time giving back to his community by helping the elderly and mentoring the youth.  

Unfortunately, in 2005 David was diagnosed with prostate cancer. When he was not undergoing radiation and chemotherapy, you could find David rising early to cut grass and firewood and repairing homes for those who needed help. Cancer may have slowed him down, but it never stopped him from serving his community and he never stepped down from his commitment to his church.

 

For two years, he was a board member of the Camden, South Carolina chapter of South Carolina Habitat for Humanity. He also served five years as a board member of Camden Military Academy Excalibur Society; Excalibur Society is a non-profit organization that awards ROTC Cadets scholarships and raises funds to support the Academy's unique educational mission.  

After, serving 5 years at Camden Military Academy, he went back to college to earn his degree. After taking a year off to focus on college he returned to Camden Military Academy as a Tactical Officer until June of 2020. David Stokes Jr. is the chairman of the Deacon Board at his home church, Red Hill Baptist Church.

He is listed among 100 Sergeants Major of Color, Who Paved the Way for Others to Follow. In 2005 he was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. Even as he underwent his treatment, he continued to assist his church and anyone in his community that was in need.  During the winter months it was common to see him chopping wood for the elderly and providing much needed maintenance support for the church.   

Donations

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  • Melvin Richmond 
    • $100 
    • 13 d
  • Jason Rundell 
    • $75 
    • 15 d
  • Florian Rithbrust 
    • $500 
    • 15 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 15 d
  • Will Nason 
    • $108 
    • 16 d
See all

Fundraising team (2)

David Stokes Jr. 
Organizer
Raised $108 from 1 donation
Cassatt, SC
David Stokes 
Team member

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