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Thank You To National Park Service Family

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

National Park News

On August 15th, this publication included a report on the death of Stephen Seale, son of Harpers Ferry NHP fee collection supervisor Roxanne Ruppenthal (click on “More Information” below for the original report). Stephen was killed in the line of duty in Iraq when an improvised explosive device exploded outside the Humvee in which he was riding. Roxanne received an outpouring of support from all across the National Park Service and has asked that we pass on this thank you note to all of you:

Dear HAFE Staff and National Park Service Family,

We want to take this time to express our feelings of gratitude during this time of sorrow.  Losing our son, SSG. Stephen A. Seale, while performing his duties for our great nation in Operation Iraqi Freedom, has been a very difficult time for us.

Although we don’t have our son with us in this life, we feel that he is in a better place and we will be together with him once again when we meet in heaven.  We have no regrets, nor hold anyone responsible for his death.  Stephen was performing his duties for our country and he was in Iraq because his country called upon him once again (it was his second tour over in Iraq). Stephen believed in what he was doing and the job that he performed possibly saved the lives of many other soldiers and the Iraqi people.  Stephen’s unit was responsible for locating many Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s) and to call for assistance from other army units to destroy these devises. Locating these IED’s made the area safer for our soldiers and the Iraqi people. 

There is no greater sorrow than a mother losing one of her children.  The pain that I feel in my heart is something I would not wish on any other mother or father to experience.  We need to uphold our men and women in the service of our country in prayer each and every day.  We need them to know that our great country is there for them.  We need to welcome them back home with open arms and let them know we appreciate what they have done for the Iraqi people and for our freedom.  Freedom comes with a price and my son and more than 2,900 other soldiers have paid the ultimate price.

Our prayers are for our men and women in the Military to be safe and to come home to their families.  Our lives will be forever altered due to the loss of our son, but we are hoping and praying that our memories will be enough to sustain us in this lifetime.

We would like to thank you each and every person that sent cards, e-mails, flowers and money for the Isabel trust.  It has given us comfort to know that we are not alone in our loss. May God abundantly bless each and every one of you.

Once again, remember our service men and women in your prayers.

God bless you,

Roxanne Ruppenthal (mom)
Darrll Ruppenthal (step-father)


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