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

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Shopping for the Unexpected; Screaming when Alone

Today I went to the mall with my father. We were going suit shopping. Normally, I love going to the mall, swiping my charge, and carrying home bags. But today was very different. We were buying a suit for Shane's upcoming funeral. 

The first salesperson we encountered was a flit of a girl. Younger than I am and "not my style," as my dad noted. She wouldn't take his measurements, didn't know how long alterations would take. So we moved on to the next store. 

Click "read more" for the rest of my mall encounter and my conversation with Grandpa and Grandma.

Watch Fox 2 News at 10:00 Tonight

Fox 2 News reporter Ron Savage came to our house this evening and interviewed my parents and myself about Shane. Please watch the 10:00 news on Fox 2 Detroit tonight to see the story. Mr. Savage was very respectful and I hope the news story does Shane justice. 

Apparently we are a now a "grieving family."  Visit the Fox News Detroit site below to see part of the interview we gave:
Grieving Family Remembers Pfc Reifert

I thought that the segment was good, although we probably talked to Mr. Savage (the reporter) for roughly 20 minutes. I suppose I shouldn't take things personally, since the lead story on the news tonight was about a girl who was raped and then hung herself. That, and medical marijuana.   

We All Die Alone

I just want to wake up from this nightmare and find out that all of this has been some sort of cosmic cruel joke. That we're just being punked. That there's been a mistake and Shane is alive and well and still out there taking names and kicking ass.  

I keep thinking about his autopsy. How he would have been sliced open on a cold slab. How his organs would have been weighed and then placed back inside with care, in a methodical and scientific manner. How he is now alone in a cold box. How I want to rip my heart out of my chest and give it to my brother so that he doesn't have to be in a cold and sterile box. How we all die alone. 

"Every living creature on earth dies alone."
-- Donnie Darko

Update on Donations

Please click the link to learn how to donate directly on this blog or where donors may send checks if they choose. 

Reporters, the Media, Articles on Shane

Reporters are an interesting breed. One of my close friends is a former reporter and an incredibly kind, even-keeled individual, but I've been learning over the past few days that there are other types of reporters. In the 24-hour news cycle we live in, I can appreciate the need to push stories out. But bothering my extended family because papers are impatient to get a story out while we were in Delaware seemed offensive. One reporter whose call I was returning impatiently asked, "Who are you, again?" She did not get comments from me or my family. 

The Times Herald initially had an article written by Liz Shepard that did a great disservice to Shane and my family. However, yesterday I had the privilege of speaking with Crystal Garcia. She was very kind and did not mince any of my words in her beautiful article, which is linked to below. I think that her article captures the spirit of Shane and that he would have approved. 

Click "read more" for The Times Herald Link and another link to a Fox 2 News report.

Final Arrival

Two months ago, I had a secret. And it was that Shane was coming home on September 9th. Shane had told my parents that he was beginning the process to come home on leave, but he made me promise that I would not tell them the exact day that he would be home. So we told some fibs and made my parents think that he was stuck in Kuwait when I knew he would be arriving in Detroit on a Thursday. 

I made an embarassingly glittery sign to hold. I packed a bag with chocolate chip cookies and Monster energy drinks for in the car. And when I got a text from Shane telling me when his flight would get in, I could not get to the airport fast enough. 

I stood waiting in baggage claim, wanting to jump out of my skin with excitement. As it so often does during great anticipation or dread, time slowed down. 

And then I saw a pair of Army boots on the escalator, followed by an ACU (Army Combat Uniform), and finally my brother's face. I dropped my purse and sign and wrapped my arms around him in a bear hug. People were clapping. I breathed him in so deeply. When I finally let go, my muscles hurt from embracing him so tightly.  We were both a little teary eyed and had the widest smiles possible. Shane was home. Everything was going to be alright.

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