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

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I often think about the Shane that I know and love and the Army Shane. I know there is an entire part of Shane that I only got a glimpse. The reason I only got a glimpse is because that is the way Shane wanted it; he wanted to keep me from worrying, he wanted to keep me from truly knowing the sacrifices that were made, he wanted to keep me from the truth.

Recently, Colin Shearing, one of Shane’s brothers-in-arms sent me a few photographs that he had taken of Shane. I asked Colin about the photograph and he responded, “It was taken in the beginning of our deployment. It was one of our first actually big missions; it was called Operation Strong Eagle One. The photo was specifically taken on a rooftop in Daredam. It was taken on day three of what turned out to be a five-day mission.” Colin gave me permission to post this photograph.

This photograph stopped me in my tracks because this is such a rare capture of the duality of Shane. Here is Shane in that godforsaken country. Here is Shane in his uniform, dirty and without a shower for at least three days. Here is Shane with that gait that is frozen in time.

I could easily close my eyes and put a cleanly showered Shane in his favorite Black Keys t-shirt, old jeans, and Converse shoes with that exact same gait. Those of us who knew and loved Shane could do the exact same thing. This is Shane!

They say, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but to me – this picture is a gift that cannot be measured in words.

As I continue to “put one foot in front of the other.”

Always and forever,
Shane’s Mammy and Beth’s Momma

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