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, December 6, 2010

In Re: Jerky, Anonymous Individual Who Commented on my Latest Post

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you so much for not feeling "bad" for me. If I wanted anyone to feel BADLY for me (you see what I did there? I used the English language properly, unlike yourself), I certainly wouldn't be asking anyone at law school. You are a coward and the type of person who gives lawyers a bad name.

You claim to have been around me "enough to have a pretty good sense of the kind of person you are." Yet, we're clearly not friends. My friends know that I'm NEVER looking for anyone to feel badly for me. They know that sometimes I need a hug and sometimes I need them to tell me a story and sometimes I need them to just sit with me in silence so that I have someone to be near me when the giant hole that has been ripped into my heart starts hurting. They're also not cowards like you, a person hiding behind anonymity to write hurtful things. And I'm woman enough to admit that your words were hurtful. If they had a problem with me, they would tell me to my face because I don't associate myself with sniveling, insensitive assholes like yourself. And if you're actually around me enough at school, you would notice that I've been absent from the building since Shane died. I don't go to school because I don't want pity from anyone. I want my space and to be left alone when I'm at school because it's school and I'm still attempting to become a kick ass lawyer. I don't want to talk to anyone about Shane or how I'm feeling. The times I am at school, I surround myself with my close friends or talk with professors whose opinions matter to me. If I happen to catch myself alone, I keep my head down and pretend to be on my phone so that I don't have to talk to anyone.

You tell me that I should feel grateful and thankful. THANK YOU!!! Your words are just so appreciated and I'm so glad that someone who obviously knows nothing about death or grief or sacrifice told me how I should feel! That's exactly what I needed today and you've just really cleared up so much for me.

You've also probably never had an actual conversation with anyone who is actively serving in our military, or else you wouldn't make such asinine comments about how there isn't a draft right now and how I'm "misguided" at my best and "ignorant" at my worst for calling Afghanistan a shit hole. The reason we aren't in a draft situation is because there are brave men and women who VOLUNTEER to give up their lives, their friends, their family, their freedom, so that some whiner like you doesn't have to get drafted. If you'd like to have a conversation with a brave man or woman, please let me know and I will make sure that one of them contacts you when they aren't busy risking their lives in some shit hole so that some asshole like yourself can hide behind a computer screen.

I started this blog as a place for people to donate money that goes directly to Shane's brothers who are still fighting in Afghanistan. The amount of money that we've raised is amazing and is going to help over 30 men during the upcoming cold Afghan winter, as we are able to supply them with the best boots that money can buy so that they might better navigate the rough terrain in which they are often fighting, along with cold weather gear for when they are out on long missions.

I'm guessing that you haven't donated anything. If you're so grateful for Shane's death, put your money where your big mouth is and make a donation.

I also started the blog so that everyone who knew and loved Shane could easily find funeral information and could share memories about Shane with one another.

I've kept writing because I am a writer and my words touch people. I'm not patting myself on the back, but after having 100s of people tell me how much they enjoy reading this blog, I've started to believe them. This blog keeps Shane's memory alive for me and for others. And it's therapeutic for me to write. I write in a stream of consciousness style intentionally. Since you're an idiot, I'll explain and let you know that means that I write whatever is in my head at the time. I don't want my writing to be too edited or too nice. I want it to be real. And if I'm doing my job properly, that means that the reader might gain a small sense of what I feel. Obviously, this entry wasn't one of my best since it produced such a cruel comment from you. My choice in writing style also means that I don't write about every thought and feeling that comes into my head, or I'd be on the computer all day. So if you read through my entries, you won't find any posts really expressing how grateful and thankful I am for everyone who has been so kind to my family and me in the past 30 days. My reason? Not like you deserve to know, but for the other people who read this blog, it's because there are simply not words in the English language that express exactly how grateful and thankful I am. Shane was loved by so many and his death affected so many. And I feel that love on a daily basis. I wish that I had the words to adequately express how grateful I am, but I don't have those today. Today, I felt angry at Shane for being dead, so that's what I wrote about. It's something that I know other people who have gone through what I'm experiencing have probably felt. It's honest. It's real. It's not a pretty emotion and I feel sick to my stomach for feeling this way. But it's what I feel. And I made myself a promise when I began writing here that I would write what I felt in my heart, no matter how ugly that feeling.

I'm going to leave your comment, Anonymous. I knew when I started writing that there would be comments that I might not like. Thanks for being my first! We'll always have this special memory together. It is a free country after all, and according to some stuff I've learned at the law school we allegedly both attend, the First Amendment allows assholes like you the freedom to make ignorant comments.

So thanks so much for your words. They've just really been so helpful to me today. Oops, there I go getting all pissy. "My bad."


Elizabeth Reifert


  1. Beth- I read your blog pretty much all the time and you are an amazing writer. Writing is so therapeutic and words can't explain how much it helped me after my mother passed. You are definitely fulfilling your purpose through this blog and I'm sure you have touched so many people. You speak for so many people... the people who may be afraid to say certain things or the people who are unable to put their thoughts into words. Being able to do that is AWESOME!

    On another note, I just wanted to formally say, eff you to the flapping wet douchelord who had the audacity to come at you with such harsh words.

    Good luck with finals hun!!


  2. Elizabeth,

    "Anonymous" clearly woke up on the wrong side of the bed (hopefully) because to write such hateful things is in no way honoring Shane. Please ignore whoever wrote that as they shielded themselves in anonymity out of shame. I hope that you and your family were able to remember Shane today and attempt to fill the holes in your hearts with the good memories together. You are a wonderful writer. I am inspired by your courage and heart. Your blog creates a wonderful picture of Shane for those of us who never met him. God Bless his brethren, you, and your family.

    James Coller
    LCN Student

  3. Elizabeth,
    I met you when you were a little girl and I adored your little brother. You are an excellent writer. I really think you should take this blog and create a book. Others need to know how a soldier's death affects his loved ones. Too often the American people forget when the news programs are over.

  4. I check your blog multiple times a day and read it immediately when I notice a new post, I don't know you personally, but I am most grateful for what you are doing to help us understand what is going on with you and your family and the experiences and emotions that you are feeling.

    Please do not let someone like "Anonymous" discourage you from keeping up your blog. It is important to share your words, thoughts and emotions and on the other end there are people reading them and then reliving Shane's life and keeping all those men and women in our armed forces in the front of our minds but most importantly in our hearts.

  5. I second the book idea.

  6. Elibeth,
    I wish you were near because whether you wanted it or not, I would give you a hug. Please continue with this blog because as you know, your words are therapeutic especially to those that know your pain. I admit, I do not know your pain as a sibling but as a mother, I do. Take care.
    Vicki Pittman

  7. For purely selfish reasons, I hope you don't let comments like this discourage you from continuing your blog. Because you're really good at it. It is uncommon for somebody to be so articulate and candid while they are going through so much.

  8. Wow I was glad to see you decided to tell off the heartless asshole! I am sorry that people are so cruel and rude. There are a few of us that read your blog that have never met you or Shane but may know other people in your family and are heart broken for all of you. I can only speak for myself but I feel like I almost know you through your blog and I do not think the PUKE that wrote that can know you at all if that is what they think of you!
    I only use the anonymous thing because I am too lazy to sign up but I have your blog sight on my fav list and I check daily.
    I pray for you and your family. I also pray that KARMA bites that asshole in the ass!
    Happy Shark Week!

  9. Thank you for having the guts to write back to that asshole. I hope he feels like a complete dick...oh, and I also second that book idea:)