By Maj. Thomas Piernicky
| 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) | Nov. 6, 2018
US Army Reserve soldiers Capt. Elias Guerra and Cadet Nnana Edmund of the 851st Transportation Company salute a military memorial stand for 1st Lt. Jonathon Reyes on November 3, 2018, at Mission, Texas. 1st Lt. Reyes died in a car accident while performing military duties in September 2018. The 851st Transportation Company conducted the ceremony to show respect and say good-bye to the highly respected soldier. (Photo by Maj. Thomas Piernicky)
Capt. Olin Fearing, Chaplain for the 319th Combat Support Sustainment Battalion, gives the invocation during a memorial ceremony for 1st Lt. Jonathon Reyes in Mission, Texas on November 3, 2018. Chaplain Fearing spoke words of comfort for the grieving family, friends and fellow unit members of 1st Lt. Reyes. The memorial ceremony remembered the life of a citizen-soldier whom positively changed the lives of people he encountered. The 851st Transportation Company conducted the ceremony to show respect and say good-bye to the highly respected soldier. (Photo by Maj. Thomas Piernicky)
US Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Alex Fink, Commander of the 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Lesslie Rangel-Ortiz, wife of the late 1st Lt. Jonathan Reyes, Virginia Isabel Reyes, mother of 1st Lt. Reyes, and US Army Reserve Capt. Elias Guerra, Company Commander of the 851st Transportation Company, pose next to a memorial stand during a ceremony in Mission, Texas on November 3, 2018. The family and friends of 1st Lt. Reyes gathered to remember a man, husband, father, son and soldier they respected. The 851st Transportation Company conducted the ceremony to show respect and say good-bye to the highly respected soldier. (Photo by Maj. Thomas Piernicky)
“He was the kind of guy that would volunteer for everything,” said Capt. Elias Guerra, Company Commander of the 851st Transportation Company. “If it was something big or something small, he was the go-to guy for everything in the company.”
Reyes had a kind, virtuous soul and always looked out for those around him. If he saw someone having a bad day, he gave them his time and attention.
“He was a very kind person, always generous,” said Rangel. “He liked being there for everyone; always a brother, a friend, someone you can open up to.”
Reyes was regarded as a natural leader with his magnetic and caring personality. Leaders like Reyes are a key component to the success of the Army Reserve.
“He cared not just for the company but everyone he met,” said Guerra. “Anyone he made contact with just kind of migrated towards him, he was that kind of guy.”
As a stalwart family man, Reyes encouraged others around him to maintain strong bonds with their families.
“He always made me contact my family,” said Edmund. “He told me to do what is right, to always bring out the best in myself and be hard working.”
This desire to always do the right thing demonstrated Reyes adherence to the Army values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. That dedication inspired others around him.
“I thought I had a pretty good work ethic, but looking at his, I feel I need to step it up,” said Guerra. “It is challenging me to go up to a higher level.”
Reyes will be remembered for many things including his strength of character and his ability to inspire others to greatness.
“I want other people to know he was a good soldier,” said Edmund. “He was a good person. He was family oriented, he cared about his family and the people around him. And he always carried himself in a manner such as that what a leader should look like. That is what I want people to know about him.”
For those seeking to make a difference in their communities while inspiring others, information about the U.S. Army Reserve and how to become a Citizen-Soldier, please go to https://www.goarmy.com/reserve.html
The 851st Transportation Company is part of the 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary). The 4th ESC is made up of Soldiers, civilians and their families in units headquartered throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. As part of America’s Army Reserve, these units are trained, combat-ready and equipped to provide military and logistical support in any corner of the globe.