After their son’s death on June 4, 2010, the parents of 1LT Joseph J. Theinert, Dr. Francis “Doc” Kestler and Chrystyna Kestler knew they wanted to continue Joe’s legacy of caring for his platoon. During his deployment in March of 2010, Joe’s primary goal was to bring everyone home safe. While none of Joe’s men were physically injured during their year-long deployment, they lost their leader when Joe was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED).
For the remainder of the deployment the Theinert-Kestler family worried intensely about the men of 2nd Platoon, 1-71 Cavalry, and upon their return to U.S. soil the family insisted to Army Leadership that the entire platoon come to Joe’s hometown, Shelter Island, New York, so that the family could communicate their love and concern for these men.
It was this visit with Joe's platoon that shaped a lot of our ideas about how important it is for veterans to have time to spend with each other in a relaxed environment, where they can decompress over events they have experienced together or have in common, and heal. Doc and Chrys, having already used the New Mexico property as their own personal retreat, knew that the space would be perfect for veterans, their families, and other Gold Star Families.
1LT JOSEPH J. THEINERT
The Joseph J. Theinert Memorial Fund was founded by 1LT Joe Theinert’s family after he was killed in action during combat operations in Afghanistan on June 4, 2010.
In life, Joe’s primary concern was always others. This started as a commitment to his family and friends and extended, after he was commissioned as a Lieutenant, to his soldiers and their families.
Our foundation continues Joe’s mission of being ever supportive of soldiers and their loved ones.
We Remember Joey.
Strongpoint Theinert Ranch operates on a 1,100+ acres of former cattle ranch amongst the scenic mountains and open prairies of remote Magdalena, New Mexico.
A 95-minute drive from Albuquerque, with no internet and limited cell reception, STR is a complete escape for guests. The property abuts the Cibola National Forest — 1.6 million acres of public land with elevations from 2,700 to 11,300 feet.
Here, guests rejuvenate mind, body, and spirit.
MEET THE TEAM
Civilian/Gold Star Family
Dr. Francis Kestler "Doc"
Director of Mental Health, LCSW
Civilian/Gold Star Family
Currently, STR retreats are made possible by our foundation, our family, and our friends. The Joseph J. Theinert Memorial Fund underwrites all guest travel and retreat expenses – averaging $750 per person – covering round-trip travel, meals, and equipment. Our family provides housing for all retreat guests. Our friends volunteer their time coordinating trip logistics and leading retreat activities.
You can make the next STR retreat possible and help us reach even more vets and families by making a fully tax-deductible donation at JJTMF.org.