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

Friday, July 20, 2012

What's in a Name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Romeo and Juliet (2. 2. 1-2)

The summer months have allowed my mind to travel down memory lane. I remember the excitement and joy when I discovered I was pregnant with each of my children. I did not want to know the sex of the babies, for me, it was like peeking early at Christmas presents.

I remember when Beth was born and wanting our daughter to have a strong name. Kurt and I easily agreed upon Elizabeth Mary.

Ah, then when I became pregnant the second time, we could not as easily agree upon a name for a boy. I remember wanting to name the baby John Michael. Kurt thought there were too many Johns already in my family. In hindsight Kurt was right, my godfather and one of my brothers share the name. So, we mutually agreed upon Shane Michael, which is an Irish form of John.

No one in either Kurt’s or my family had the name Shane. My family has a fairly strong tradition of naming children after someone in the family. This little baby seemed to fit the name. I remember holding him in the hospital thinking, no, knowing, we had selected the right name. And that was that, whether I called him Shane or Shane Michael, it was just a-okay.

I remember the day Shane was baptized, and Fr Ron saying Shane’s name. Again, I knew this was a perfect match.

When Shane joined the Army, I wondered if anyone knew or cared enough to know Shane’s first name. It was always, Reifert this or Reifert that.

And then I realized I was sadly mistaken when Shane deployed to Afghanistan with his Bushmaster Brothers. Ah, this Bushmaster Brotherhood, something I still grasp to fully comprehend. I have come to the conclusion that only the men of Bravo Company fully understand this brotherhood.

Previously, I posted about visiting Fort Campbell and meeting Shane’s brothers-in-arms. It was an afternoon filled with laughter, tears, and storytelling. I remember meeting Chris, who was there with his wife and son. I remember meeting Zack who was a bit on the quiet side. Both men were so polite and respectful.

A little over a year ago, Chris welcomed his second son into his family. A little over five months ago, Zack welcomed his son into his family. Both Chris and Zack named their sons, Shane. Ah, for much different reasons than Kurt or I ever had in naming Shane. Kurt, Beth and I are honored and humbled. Oh, this brotherhood of the Bushmasters continues to truly amaze me.

Oh, Juliet, I must beg to differ with you. Juliet dismisses Romeo’s name as a mere meaningless convention. Mr. Shakespeare, you got it all wrong, especially when it comes to the name, Shane.

I wish each family many years of love and happiness with their Shane.

And now I know the answer to my question, that Reifert’s Bushmaster Brothers know his first name.

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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