NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - As the South Ferry boat approaches the dock in Shelter Island, you can instantly feel Joe Theinert's presence. His name is seen all throughout the town on street signs and on ferry vessels. These are reminders that the courage and sacrifice of a soldier killed in action will never be forgotten.
The middle of three sons, Joe's passion for the military started at a very young age. So in March 2010, when Joe was deployed to Afghanistan, he had one mission on his mind: serve his country and make sure everyone in his unit came home safe.
Lt. Joseph J. Theinert was a platoon leader in the 10th Mountain Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team. He was killed on June 4, 2010.
Their pain fueling their mission to make sure Joe's spirit and drive never die by creating the Joseph J. Theinert Memorial Fund in his honor. But their mission doesn't stop there. Since creating the memorial fund, they've partnered with many different organizations. One of those is the telling project. It helps veterans share their stories. Another partnership is with dog tag brewing.
Gold Star families like Joe Theinert's are finding ways to turn their pain into purpose.