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A Dover Airman's dream came true

  • Published
  • By Airman Shen-Chia Chu
  • 436th AW Public Affairs
Growing up, children have dreams that inspire them to strive toward their futures. Some kids dream of becoming fire fighters, police officers or teachers, aspiring to be like someone they know or look up to.

But as the years go by, many may change their minds and something may hold them back from pursuing their ambitions.

Some only dream dreams, but one Dover Airman followed his heart, held onto his goal and his dream came true.

"Corey has loved to write ever since he was old enough to hold a pencil," said Cynthia Huertas, mother of Staff Sgt. Corey Stokes, 436th Communications Squadron, information manager. "Even as a toddler, he always wanted to read the same books over again and again, tracing the letters on the page and even drawing the pictures."

The sergeant has been writing since the second grade. He titled his first short story, 'Adventures of Detective Hamster.'

"That was the first thing I actually wrote," said Sergeant Stokes. "After that, I began to take my writing more seriously and my grandmother inspired me to write poetry. She taught me more or less how to write poetry and helped me come up with my first few poems."

Mrs. Huertas said her son's grandmother, his faith and his imagination inspired him to write.

"He spent a lot of his time with my mother and me. We taught him to live, love and learn to trust God in all things, to believe in yourself and follow your dreams," she said.

It may have sounded simple enough for the sergeant to 'follow his dreams,' but there were obstacles along the way that almost prevented him from reaching his desire.

"At the age of 13, I received responses from publishers saying that I was too young and publishing would cost a lot of money," said Sergeant Stokes.

But this did not stop him from publishing.

"I wasn't going to give up, so I decided to do some research to try and publish the poems on my own," he said. "My mother and grandmother always said, 'The best way to see or to figure out how to do something is to read how it's done.'"

In 2005, Sergeant Stokes published his first book of poems titled, 'On This Day.' He has published several other poems since then.
"It is a huge confidence builder to be able to walk into a book store and see your own book picked up by a customer," said the sergeant. "It makes me smile thinking back from where I started out to where I am today."

Sergeant Stokes also helped another young, aspiring author get published.

"A young lady, at the age of 14, wanted to know how to get where I am today because she wanted to become a writer as well," he said. "I wanted to help her because I could see she was like me when I was 13 years old, wanting to publish a book."

With the sergeant's help, she has a book of poetry sold in stores today.

"I suggest never giving up on something that you want to do. For me it's writing," said Sergeant Stokes. "I'll never get tired of writing - it's something I'll enjoy doing for the rest of my life."