Every Tuesday evening, several hundred reserve soldiers converge at Fort Douglas to prepare for war. Last night, they came together to mourn its conse- quences.
    Douglas C. Stone, a member of the Salt Lake City-based headquarters of the Army Reserve's 96th Regional Readiness Command, died Sunday in Iraq. He was 49.
    Army Reserve officials said Stone's fellow soldiers gathered Tuesday evening, a time usually set aside to drill, to grieve the loss of a man who, over the past six years, had a hand in preparing thousands of soldiers for their tours of duty overseas.
    "There wasn't a unit or individual sent from our headquarters that Sgt. 1st Class Stone did not personally assist in preparing for their mobilizations or deployment," 96th commander, Maj. Gen. Peter Cooke, said in a statement.
    Details about Stone's death are not yet publicly available. Army officials said only that the incident did not occur in combat.
    That made it no more tragic a loss for the 250 soldiers in the headquarters element of the 96th, a unit which had not until Sunday lost a member in the current wars.
    An Army spokesman said Stone, whose Taylorsville family requested privacy as they grieve, was an Air Force "brat" who was born at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. He lived throughout the United States during his childhood and spent much of his Army enlistment in Michigan before moving to Utah in 1999.
    Friends said Stone had served at war at least once before, during the 1991 Gulf War, but as a member of the 96th headquarters element, which does not deploy, he had not yet served in the current round of conflicts.
    That changed last spring when the sergeant first class was called upon to deploy with the North Carolina-based 108th Training Division, whose duties include training non-commissioned officers in the fledgling Iraqi Army. Army officials say he deployed to Iraq in May.
    Neighbor Dee Jones said Stone returned home last month for two weeks of leave.
    "He came home and then he left again," Jones said. "He said he was going to be home in June. He was planning on being here in time for his sons' birthdays that month."
    Cameron and Nathan Stone are 10 and 13 years old, respectively. The boys learned of their father's death shortly after Army officers arrived at the elementary school where their mother, Mary, works.
    Stone's mother, Delores Feigley, of Milford, Mich., learned Monday of her son's death. Her pastor, Gregg Mayberry, said Feigley "still feels as if this is unreal to her."
    Mayberry said Stone had been on the prayer roles at Milford United Methodist Church, where Feigley is the church organist, "ever since he was assigned to Iraq."
    "And now, of course, his family will continue to be in our prayers," Mayberry said.
    Family members said Stone would be buried in his wife's hometown of Petoskey, Mich., about 250 miles northwest of Detroit on the shore of Lake Michigan.
    Stone is the 35th Utahn to be killed in the nation's ongoing wars, according to a count by The Salt Lake Tribune. At least 10 have died in what the military calls "non-combat" deaths.
    Such incidents - including vehicle crashes, accidental shootings, suicides and illnesses - account for about one-fifth of U.S. fatalities in Iraq, according to Defense Department statistics.