|Birth: ||Apr. 11, 1987, USA|
|Death: ||Feb. 1, 2011, Afghanistan|
Tread lightly, 'tis a soldiers grave,
A lonely, mossy mound;
And yet to hearts like mine and thine
It should be holy ground.
Speak softly, let no careless laugh,
No idle, thoughtless jest,
Escape your lips where sweetly sleeps
The hero in his rest.
For him no reveille will beat
When morning beams shall come;
For him, at night, no tattoo rolls
Its thunders from the drum.
Tread lightly! for a man bequeathed,
Ere laid beneath this sod,
His ashes to his native land,
His gallant soul to God.
Army Spc. Ryan Anthony Gartner is coming
home Friday to be buried.
Gartner, 23, died Feb. 1 in Afghanistan
after being shot in a noncombat incident
days before his unit was to end its
deployment, military officials reported.
Gartner was an interrogator in the 201st
Military Intelligence Battalion, 470th
Brigade. The unit was training Afghan
government officials in interrogation
"This type of work is highly classified,
which is probably why Ryan Gartner was
reluctant to talk about his work with his
family, and why the circumstances of his
death will probably never be made public,"
Gartner's obituary stated.
Gartner was born in Corpus Christi and spent
part of his life living with his father and
stepmother in Dumont, N.J., where he attended
high school before enlisting.
Gartner's father and stepmother in New Jersey
said he eagerly awaited a discharge. Several of
his friends died in Afghanistan and he had grown
weary of deployment on his second tour, his
father, Irvin Gartner, said.
Gartner's body is expected to arrive at Naval Air
Station Corpus Christi at about 10 a.m., military
officials said. His family and an Army honor guard
will be there when the chartered aircraft arrives.
The Patriot Guard Riders and the Aransas Pass
Police Department will join the procession to
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2932 in Aransas
Pass for visitation. Services are Saturday.
CORPUS CHRISTI — ARANSAS PASS — Army Spc. Ryan
Gartner of Aransas Pass was remembered Saturday
as a quiet, dutiful soldier who was always
willing to lend a hand.
"The thing I choose to remember is his quiet way
of smiling, a giant ear-to-ear grin, and his desire
to help others," one member of his platoon wrote.
Gartner, 23, died Feb. 1, two weeks before he was
due home, after being shot in a noncombat incident,
the Army reported. The Army's Criminal Investigation Command has not released details.
About 100 soldiers who wanted to attend the funeral
were snowed in on their return from Afghanistan,
said Sgt. 1st Class Travis Thornton, the platoon's
leader. They had a memorial for him in Afghanistan.
Brig. Gen. Manuel Ortiz read from their letters
during a Mass at St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic
"He could be sarcastic," one letter said, drawing
laughter from Gartner's family, "but he was funny.
He might grumble, but he was always there for the
ones he cared about ... Even when the situation was serious, he would ask, 'Why so serious?'"
Thornton, who worked with Gartner for two years,
started a workout program with Gartner after the
soldier told him he wanted to be in better shape.
Thornton said he made it hurt, but Gartner stuck
The platoon sergeant stood at attention and offered
a long salute to a portrait of Gartner placed beside
his casket at the front of the church. He turned and embraced Gartner's mother, Caroline Oley of Corpus
A small choir sang hymns in English and Spanish.
Gartner spoke and wrote in both languages at age 4,
family members said.
The Rev. Roy Jacob Kalayil said although he didn't
know Gartner personally, "What I do know is that
Ryan was playing the big leagues when it comes to the things that matter. He had chosen a life of sacrifice."
Nearing the end of his second tour, he had
mourned the deaths of several friends in Afghanistan
and was ready to end his military service, his family
said. He considered entering the family jewelry
business. On Jan. 22, he sent his belongings to his
Around Aransas Pass, flags flew at half-staff
Saturday, and dozens of people lined the route
from the church to San Antonio Cemetery to show
support. About 100 people gathered for a
military-led graveside service, the path to the
grave lined with flag-carrying members of the
Patriot Guard Riders.
Ortiz gave a flag to Gartner's father and stepmother,
Irvin and Patricia Gartner of Dumont, N.J. After two soldiers removed the flag from Gartner's casket,
Ortiz gave it Oley.
"This flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation
and the United States Army for your beloved son, Ryan, honorable and faithful," he said.
The family plans to bury Gartner alongside family in San Antonio Cemetery, north of Aransas Pass.
Creed of the Military Intelligence Corps
I am a Soldier first, but an intelligence professional second to none.
With pride in my heritage, but focused on the future,
Performing the first task of an Army:
To find, know, and never lose the enemy.
With a sense of urgency and of tenacity, professional and physical fitness, and above all,
INTEGRITY, for in truth lies victory.
Always at silent war, while ready for a shooting war,
The silent warrior of the ARMY team.
San Antonio Cemetery
Created by: Gayla
Record added: Feb 17, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 65749391