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.
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.
MEET THE TEAM
Joe’s younger brother and an avid traveler who often finds time to escape to the mountains with his family to find solace in the natural beauty of the American wilderness.
Jimbo’s love for his brother and the outdoors have helped him to create the framework for the healing environment of all Strongpoint programs. When he is not out working on the Ranch, he is teaching high school mathematics in the Theinerts’ hometown of Shelter Island, NY.
A retired U.S. Army Reserve Colonel, and also Joe’s stepfather. This is the man who first introduced the family to the American Southwest.
Doc grew up dreaming about life as a cowboy, so while on a U.S. Army Reserve active assignment to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas he decided to take a drive around neighboring New Mexico. Needless to say, he fell in love with the “land of enchantment.”
His personal home hosted all Strongpoint programs until the Barracks was completed in 2022.
Maggie graduated from Shelter Island High School with Jimbo in 2005 and considers the Theinert's brothers. Maggie enjoys learning about and meeting new people, which transfers nicely to her career in corporate recruiting. She is particularly passionate about helping veterans transition from active duty to civilian employment.
Maggie's love for Joe and passion for helping those that serve us drives her to ensure that Strongpoint Theinert Ranch provides solace, peace and healing for our veterans.
Dan grew up in Southampton, NY and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1999. After the attacks of September 11th, Dan was deployed in support of both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Following his time in the Marines, he began working for a nonprofit organization assisting homeless veterans. Through this work, and the tight knit communities of the East End of Long Island, he was introduced to the Theinert-Kestler family and has been passionately involved with STR ever since.
Dr. Francis Kestler "Doc"
Director of Mental Health, LCSW
A Licensed Clinical Social Worker who served honorably in the USMC from 1986-1990, and has been working with STR since the planning phases of STR-1 in 2016.
Casey holds a masters in clinical social work from the University of Wisconsin Madison and has a career spanning over 20 years of private practice and mental health directorship and specialized experience in the assessment, diagnosis, and successful treatment of traumatic stress, addiction, and other troubling mental health conditions.
Casey's service in the military, and being a specialist in the trauma field makes him a natural fit as a core team member and STR's own Director of Mental Health Services.
Retired Infantry Colonel who entered the Army in 1987 and retired in 2018. He served in leadership positions in the 82nd Airborne Division, the 75th Ranger Regiment and the 10th Mountain Division.
John deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan and served as the Director of the Army and Marine Corps' Counterinsurgency Center. He also served as the Squadron Commander for Joe at Fort Drum and Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. After returning from Kandahar, he was committed to serving and supporting Gold Star families including the Theinert’s.
Upon retirement, he became active in supporting veterans and families of the fallen through several charitable organizations, namely Strongpoint Theinert.
Brian completed 12 years of combined military service; Active with the 1st Brigade 71st Cavalry 10th Mountain Division and Reserve with the 542nd Quartermaster Company. Deploying to Iraq (2007) and Afghanistan (2010) to serve in both OIF and OEF theaters.
Post service he found a love of connecting with military brothers and sisters through shared experiences. Since first visiting Strongpoint in 2016 he has been involved as both participant and Cadre. Along with connection to STR he also operates Humbled Patriot BBQ which shares his story and raises funds for veteran non-profit organizations.
Tia is currently serving in the Air Force at the 106th Rescue Wing in Westhampton Beach, NY. She has deployed to Iraq (2018) and Europe (2019) in support of the Combat Search and Rescue mission.
As a daughter of a Marine Corps veteran, she has actively sought to assist local veterans and educate civilians on the challenges facing members of the military.
After attending a retreat in early 2019, Tia saw firsthand the incredible work that STR does and wanted to become involved. Since then, she has been an integral part of expanding STR’s Unit Specific Strongpoint programs and creating the first iteration of the Youth Leadership Strongpoint program.