Pfc Shane M. Reifert

Pfc Shane M. Reifert
Shane during a sweep of the Shuryak Valley, approximately 3 weeks before he was killed. Photo Credit: PFC Sean Stromback

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thank You

Today was such an outpouring of love from so many people. From family members, my close friends, and total strangers. It was a bitterly cold day, so my family and I were extra-thankful for the Patriot Riders, firefighters, policemen and women, and kind individuals who lined Jefferson Ave. for Shane. As my mom, dad, and I drove behind the hearse carrying Shane, we were all a little misty-eyed. 

"I can't believe all of these people are here who didn't even know Shane," my dad said. 

"Well," I replied, at a slight loss for words, "We are all Americans. And even more than that, we are all human beings." 

It's nice to be reminded of how willing people are to help if they are only asked or made aware of a situation. That's a large part of why I started this blog -- to make people aware of the situation that our soldiers face and provide them with the opportunity to help. Thank you to all who have donated. To those who do not but read my blog, I encourage you to consider donating to the fund we have set up for Shane's brothers who are still fighting in Afghanistan. Giving up a latte at Starbucks, drink with friends, or even some spare change will help to make a difference in a soldier's life. These men do not lead easy lives. They often go hours and hours without sleep, sleep on cots, do not have the opportunity to shower every day, and reminders from home are a luxury. So even a few dollars would help to go a long way. 

Tomorrow is going to be a very long day. I was thankful that my mom, dad, and I were able to view Shane's body today and have some private time with him. I realized that the body in the casket is not my brother, and in an odd way I am also thankful for that. 


  1. Hi Elizabeth, you don't know me... but I wanted to stop by and express my sympathy to you and your family for the loss of your brother.

    I anchor the news in Flint, MI and was reading through my stories as I always do before the show starts. I couldn't help but stop on this one. "Flags are to be lowered tomorrow in rememberance of a Michigan soldier... Army Private First Class Shane Reifert."

    I immediately did more research and found this blog. I just want you to know that even in the news when I have to read stories like this often... not one of them... including your brother's is read lightly.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Liz -
    WEYI - NBC25

  2. Hi Elizabeth,

    I spent a lot of time over the past 6 to 8 years playing games via the Internet with Shane. I knew him by his Internet nickname Swan.

    We would spend hours upon hours playing online games with our other friends online. It all started years ago playing Call of Duty 2. We fought as team, capturing the flag of our virtual enemies, in online competitive matches. We ended up playing many other games together throughout the years. We would all laugh as Swan shouted “EPIC!”, and “I like turtles” over ventrillo.

    Since the day the “clan” learned that we would never again play with Swan in our nightly gaming adventures we have mourned in our own ways. We continue to share our memories of our online games with Swan with one another.

    For many of us Swan was the first person we knew so closely that marched off to serve that will not return. He will be remembered by each of us and sorely missed. It felt so odd the first time after learning of our loss as we loaded up our Call of Duty game to play, shooting our weapons at other gamers in our virtual wars, but we all agreed that Swan wouldn’t want it any other way, playing the games we all loved, making more memories together.

    My deepest sympathies,


  3. My prayers & thoughts go out to all of Shane's family & friends.