Imagine you are deployed. It seems like forever since you have last been home. All you want is some 'normal' food. Maybe a good movie to watch? Ice Cream? Anything but this dirt and heat!
So when you write back home to ask for a few nice things to show up in your next care package - what would you ask for?
For First Lieutenant Joe Theinert, the answer was obvious: art supplies and soccer balls.
That is, for the Afghan kids he saw every day.
While that may surprise some, those that knew Joe knew that he was exactly that type of person to do such selfless things. Joe cared immensely for the men in his command and the people he served. "There is nothing glorious about war," Joe once said at the age of 16 "but I will go to keep the people I love away from it."
Joe grew up, perhaps, like any other American kid, active and and playing sports. Family friends remember him running along the roads of Shelter Island and Sag Harbor training for cross country. Joe also dedicated time playing lacrosse and basketball, excelling at both.
Joe would also spend summers as a deckhand at South Ferry. When not working, he was running around - sometimes mischievously - with countless friends and his brothers, Billy and Jimbo.
Regardless of where he was in life, Joe always appreciated the magnitude of service. Joe once had an opportunity to visit his youngest brother, Jimbo, in Ireland while Jimbo was studying abroad. Given the choice of anywhere in Europe to visit, Joe only wanted to see one place.
When visiting the American cemetery, Joe paid careful attention to each and every headstone, taking time to honor each man for the sacrifice they had made.
That was the type of man, Joe Theinert was. Given the choice to take in all that Europe had to offer, Joe only cared about paying respect to those that gave everything so that others may live.
First Lieutenant Joe Theinert gave his life just as he always lived it - in the service of others. With his platoon under heavy fire and pinned into an area heavily laden with IEDs, Joe was able to disarm one device and warn others before a second bomb exploded, no doubt saving the lives of soldiers in his platoon.
Joe's legacy lives on with the organization that bears his name. The Joseph J. Theinert Memorial Fund awards scholarships in memory of Joe and provides crucial support to other organizations that enrich the lives of active and veteran service members, their dependents, caregivers, and Gold Star Families. Aside from supporting a number of great organizations, the Joseph J. Theinert Memorial Fund will give out over $10,000 in scholarships this year alone!
Dog Tag Brewing Foundation is honored and humbled to help celebrate Joe's life by supporting the Joseph J. Theinert Memorial Fund as a recipient of a 2016 Legacy Grant.
For all that knew Joe, they took comfort knowing he would be there to give his all, be that in the fields of play or the fields of battle. He led by example and embodied the spirit of selfless service.
Now it is our chance to give it back.
Please join us and raise a toast. Here is to you, Joe Theinert!
DOG TAG BREWING FOUNDATION
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Dog Tag Brewing Foundation is a combat Veteran-run nonprofit that partners with Gold Star Families to celebrate the lives of our nation's Fallen Warriors.
Interested in contributing to the Foundation's mission of supporting and enhancing Gold Star Family initiatives? Please take a moment and visit our Call to Action Page. Your support matters!