Tributes & Vigils Category: US Army


    1. Gavin B Reinke September 18, 2009 at 12:00 am

      Rest in peace, thank you for your service. Freedom is not free.

    2. Gavin B Reinke May 14, 2008 at 12:00 am

      Your sacrifice will remain in our hearts for a lifetime,
      with intense gratitude. May God bless you and your family.
      Rest Safely and Securely in God’s Loving Arms.

    3. Staff Sgt. Gavin B. Reinke--A true hero. March 24, 2008 at 12:00 am

      Ballad of a Soldier….I am a Soldier. My name is Freedom. I walk in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. I fear no Evil. I stand for courage, compassion, dignity and life.—My love is Democracy. I am the light in the darkness. I am the sword of the meek. I do not hate.—My code is Justice. I do not pale in the face of danger. I will not turn a blind eye. I do not tolerate transgression.
      —I am an Eagle. I empower the weak. I march boldly. I cry quietly. I sleep lightly. I love unconditionally. Call me in the night, I will come. Pray for me in darkness, I will bring my lamp. Whisper my name and I will hear.—I am the blood of innocence. I am not one face, but many. I am a mother, a father, a son, a daughter. I am no one and I am everyone. I am a soldier and freedom is my name.— I cannot imagine losing my beloved child, let alone because of war. My heart goes out to you.—Marcella O’Nan

    4. Gavin B Reinke March 24, 2008 at 12:00 am

      Empty Boots—Dog tags hang over boots laced up, a bayonet stabs the ground. Kevlar perched on a 16 butt, fellow soldiers gather around.—Warriors in their battle gear, weapons at their side, bow their heads as words are said, to honor one who died.~~An American hero gave his life Defending Liberty. The price he paid was gladly done, for country and family.~~Those empty boots do not support a body or soul. No more they’ll run for cover or some loved one dear to hold.~~As one by one, soldiers pass, this tribute to their own. Thoughts fly to their families across the foam.~~ Now salute, as TAPS is played, blink tears out of your eyes. The ache you feel inside of your heart is Freedom’s painful price.~~Mike Moss, Louisville, Ky

    5. Gavin B Reinke March 24, 2008 at 12:00 am

      American Soldier—They ask him why he’s leaving, why he’s shipping off to fight. They fail to see what’s on the line, all their freedoms, all their rights.~~Comprehension is beyond their grasps, that someone’s got to go. And while every breath may be his last, no fear, no doubt will he ever show.~~~Because he knows that if he dies in some far off foreign land, that his valiant efforts may save lives of his countrymen, family and friends.~~And that girl’s picture in his pocket, though how he longs to hold her, will forever be carried in the heart of this true American Soldier.—
      George Kessler U.S. Navy Retired.

    6. Gavin B Reinke March 24, 2008 at 12:00 am

      Dear Staff Sgt. Reinke~~I am gratful you chose to go when others said the cause was wrong. You did not turn your back in order to help some way bring about peace. I am grateful for you because tonight I can sit down and eat a warm meal. I am grateful to you because of your sacrifice, I can say, ” I do not like war.” This without worrying that my door will be kicked in and I will be dragged away.~~Mostly I am grateful to you because of your sacrifices, I am reminded once again of what it is I have, for this I am grateful to you, because I can go out and say absolutely the dumbest things, and do so, because being dumb is not a crime.~~
      I am grateful to you, because I get to sit down with family and friends and have a meal in peace. I am also grateful to you, because if I think a certain politician is a fool….I can think it without being lined up against a brick wall and shot.~~There are many things Dear Staff Sgt. Reinke that I am grateful to you, because of the fact you did not say no. Peace be with yours and most of all I salute you, because, well I am grateful to you Dear Staff Sgt. Reinke.~~ Cordie Griffin, Louisville, Ky.

    7. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      EAGLES~~To bring down evil, some must fall. To fight for right some answer the call.~~To help the oppressed, some give up their time, their homes, their lives, they’re eagles not doves.~~To keep peace for those in need, some go into wars of just we read.~~To keep us safe, it’s soldiers we call. They will all give some and some will give all.~~ Thank you Mr. Reinke for my Freedom. ~~Hilda Bryant Louisville, Ky.

    8. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      Freedom isn’t Free….I watched the flag pass by one day. It fluttered in the breeze. A young soldier saluted it, and thyen he stood at ease.~~I looked at him in uniform, so young, so tall, so proud,with hair cut square and eyes alert, he’d stand out in a crowd.~~I thought how many men like him had fallen through the years. How many had died on foreign soil? How many mother’s tears ?~~How many Pilot’s planes shot down ? How many foxholes were soldier’s graves ? No-FREEDOM ISN”T FREE.~~I heard the sound of TAPS one night, when everything was still. I listened to the bugler play and felt a sudden chill.~~I wondered just how many times that TAPS meant “Amen” when a flag had draped a cofffin of a brother or friend.~~I thought of all the children, of the mothers and wives, of fathers, sons, sisters, and brothers with interrupted lives.~~I thought about a graveyard at the edge of town, Gavin that you wouldn’t see, of all the graves of fallen soldiers. No-FREEDOM ISN’T FREE.~~Thank You again Staff Sgt. Reinke for my freedom. I just wish you did not have to pay the ultimate price. ~~Bob Mattingly U.S. Navy Sgt. Retired

    9. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      TAPS….TAPS the most beautiful bugle call, known as the most eloquent of all.—-Not only to signal the day is done, but to say goodbye, to a comrade, brother, or son.—-A melody so hauntingly profound, a piercing yet peaceful sound.—-Sounded over every soldiers grave, to honor those who were so brave.—-Soldiers raise their hands to their caps, saluting the fallen as the bugler plays TAPS.—-Rifles are fired in the sky, to say farewell to another American G.I.—-Listening to the bugle play, reminds us of the price they had to pay.—-The sound is bittersweet, letting go of a hero, to someday again meet.—-Nothing is ever more touching perhaps, or can render emotion like the call of TAPS.—-You can hear the bugle weep, where men of valor sleep.—-Tears from a bugle fall, as TAPS is played, for the heroes who gave their all.—-Thank You, Staff Sgt. Reinke for giving your all to Defend America and Freedom. I just wish you wouldn’t have had to die. I salute you and most of all I am grateful to you for my Freedom.—-Martin Bryant WWII Veteran Louisville Ky. U.S.A.—-P.S. You are probably wondering why so many tributes from Louisville, Ky. ? Well just because we are grateful to you.

    10. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      A Whale Story.—I’ve been thinking about something I could write hear as a testimonial, but I cannot find the right words, but I was sent this by a friend, and instantly thought of The Reinke Family, so I would like to share this with all of you, knowing Gavin will already know this.—The Whale.
      —If you read the front page story of The San Francisco Chronicle, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.—A fisherman spotted her just east of the Favralone Islands ( Outside of the Golden Gate Bridge) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her….one slap of the tail could kill a rescuer….They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her.—-When she was free, the divers said, she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around.—-She thanked them. Some said it was the most incredible, beautiful experience of their lives…..The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth,
      says her eye was following him the whole time, he will never be the same.—-May you and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate, to be surrounded by people who will get you untangled from the things that are binding you. And may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude. I pass this on to you in the same spirit.
      Cathryn Yashar, San Diego, Ca.

    11. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      May you rest peacefully for the rest of eternity and live on forever in the hearts and memoies of the people who loved you.—-Bob Bowling U.S. Army Airborne (WWII and Korean War Vet)

    12. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      The OAK Tree……A mighty wind blew night and day. It stole the OAK tree’s leaves away, then snapped its boughs and pulled it’s bark until the OAK tree was tired and stark. But still the OAK tree held it’s ground, while the other trees fell around
      …….The weary wind gave up and spoke, ” How can you still be standing, OAK ?…….The OAK tree said, ” I know that you can break each branch of mine in two, carry every leaf away, shake my limbs and make me sway. But, I have roots stretched in the earth, growing stronger since birth. You’ll never touch them, for you see, they are the deepest part of me.——Until today, I wasn’t sure of just how much, I could endure. But now I’ve found with thanks to you, I’m stronger than I ever knew.”——–Thank You Staff Sgt. Reinke for keeping America safe. But most of all, I salute you for your love of country. Loving her some much you were willing to give it all. I just wish you did not have to take the ultimate fall—–GOD BLESS—–William E. Meyer U.S. Army Retired Louisville, Ky.

    13. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      There was no love more genuine than mine; in giving and receiving it was pure. Grieve not, for my legacy is love pure and true, each memory a gift that will endure, returning you to moments fair and fine.

    14. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      In the quiet moments when the hurt is hard to bear, may love become your shelter. And may the beauty of precious moments be your comfort.——
      Patty Tabor, Cecilia, Ky.

    15. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      Don’t think of Gavin as gone away, his journey has just begun. Life holds so many facets, this earth is only one.~~Just think of him as resting from sorrow and tears, in a place of warmth and comfort, were there are no days and years.~~Think of how he must be wishing that you could know today, how nothing but your sadness can really pass away.~~And think of him as living in the hearts of those he touched and he was loved so much.~~Stevie Coan Louisville Ky.

    16. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day, unseen, unheard, but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear.——-David Hatfield, Grenada Mississippi.

    17. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      Beautiful memories are wonderful things, they last till the longest day, they never wear out, never get lost, and can never be given away. To some you may be forgotten, to others a part of the past, But to those who loved you your memory will always last……GOD BLESS…….Cora Meyer, Louisville, Ky.

    18. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      Tattered around the edges, and faded now with time; memories that linger still, are what he left behind. Like a precious package in a secret room; each a memory, a treasure, a family heirloom. On rare and quiet occassion, the package opens wide ;
      revealing then the memories, that nestle there inside faces etched in memories like a photo from the past; each snapshot printed in the heart, and memories that last.~~Worn and ragged photographs, so faded now with time; yet the lasting love deep in your heart , is what he left behind.~~Love, Hugs and Butterfly kisses. Nikki Clay Age:10 from Kentucky

    19. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      Life matters not what you take with you……but the things you leave behind……and it is clear now he left a world of smiles. How could you not smile looking into those gorgeous eyes.

    20. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      I wanted to find some words on a e-card. That would help you when life gets too hard. When deep in your heart there’s no trace of joy or happiness. Some words that would comfort you—-when late at night—-the sadness and grief returns.—-When you are too tired to fight. The tears that flow so often it seems that you will run dry.—-And life gets so tough that you feel like you just want to cry. Or, at least hide somewhere from the unbearable. Someplace you can rest until you can find some joy again.—-I wish, I knew what the words are that you so desperately need to hear—-that will help and heal and remove some of the tears. What are the words that will lighten the load ? I wish I had a secret code.—-If only I knew the words to say—-to encourage and comfort you in some way. I do not know the words, but this I can do. I will pray to the Father for you.—-Genetta Griffin, Gulf Shores, Alabama.

    21. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend, he referred to the dates on his tombstone from beggining to end.—He noted that first came the date of his birth and spoke the following date with tears, but he sad, what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.—For that dash represents all the time he spent alive on earth, and now only those that loved him knew what that little line is worth.—-For it matters not how much we own….the cars….the house….the cash….What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.—So think about this long and hard, are there things you’d like to change ?—If we could just slow down enough to consider what is true and real, and always try to understand the way other people feel.—Be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love people in our lives like we have never loved before.—If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile, remembering this special dash may only last a while.—So, when your eulogy is being read with your lifes actions to be rehashed, would you be proud of the things about how you spent your dash?
      Thank you Staff Sgt. Reinke for Defending Freedom
      Edward P. Meyer U.S. Navy WWII.

    22. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      For all that knew me, know that I now have no pain. I have lived a life that has brought me no shame. I have lived and loved, that you can plainly see. I have gone to a better place. So, please don’t grieve for me.

    23. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      No person is ever truly alone. Those who live no more, whom you loved, echo still within your thoughts, your words, your hearts. And what they did, and who they were, becomes a part of all that you are, forever—-Dorothy Bowling Louisville Ky.

    24. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      May GOD Bless you

      —with bright stars in the sky when the way seems dark.

      —with smiles to cheer you when the road seems long.

      —with sunshine to warm you when the world seems cold.

      —with love to greet you when each day is done.

      Donetta Jewell, Clarksville, Tn.

    25. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      Smile when you’re sad. Love what you got and always remember what you had. Always forgive. Learn from your mistakes. But never regret. People change and things go wrong. But always remember that my love for you goes on and on.

    26. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      The tide recedes but leaves bright seashells on the sand, the sun goes down but the gentle warmth still lingers on the land. The music stops & yet it echoes on in sweet refrains……for every joy that passes, something beautiful remains.—-I am sorry for your loss. May you find peace, strength, and love.—-Norma Coan, Louisville, Ky.

    27. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      There beside a grave she stands. A folded flag clutched in her hands. A silent teardrop on her face, her brave young child, has entered grace. She does not hear the sermon said, just memories run through her head. The child she held so long ago, the child with faith she let go. The child who heard the nation’s call and in the end gave it all, without fear or thoughts of self, thoughts of freedom and little else. The bugle sounds TAPS in the wind, a mournful song it does send. A reminder to us all, that for freedom, this price was paid, and her sweet young to rest was laid.—-Deepest and Most Heart-felt Sympathy—-Nikki Coan, Louisville, Ky.—–U.S.A. all the way.

    28. Gavin B Reinke March 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

      A life well-lived doesn’t end any more than the music ends, it echoes through time with the whispers of beauty and grace. if we listen, we can hear the encore with our hearts, for the song plays on, just as love lives on. Just remember that grief cannot take away the happiness you shared, that sorrow will fade in time, but love remains forever.
      Chloe Coan Louisville, Ky. U.S.A.

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