Navy Corpsman Riley Gallinger-Long—July 2012 Shipment Honoree
Riley Gallinger-Long died last week while conducting a patrol in Helmand province when he was shot in the lower back while tending to a wounded Marine.
Lieutenant Oliver David says “It’s always a tough loss whenever we lose one of our corpsmen. They’re part of our fighting unit. Sailors and Marines working side by side every day. Our thoughts and our prayers go out to his family and his friends.”
Riley was less than a month into his first deployment.
Riley, a 2010 graduate of Forest Grove High School in Cornelius, Oregon was a son, grandson, brother, uncle, husband and friend. Riley was a young man known as a kind, humorous, generous, humble, genuine person and a member of the Latter Day Saints.
The family paints a picture of an avid fisherman and a patriot who was born on July 4 1992.
He hoped the military would prepare him for a future as a fire chief or emergency medical technician.
Hope’s reflection on the day she got the news. “A black car pulled up and three people in uniform got out,” she said. “And I knew – just everything stopped.”
The men broke the tragic news that her husband had died earlier in the day, and Hope says she screamed, “No!” over and over again.
“It’s not supposed to happen to him. He’s supposed to come home. We’re supposed to have our life. We’re supposed to be together,” she says nine months later – not nearly long enough to heal.
Hope Gallinger-Long offered thoughts about the death of her husband, killed far from home in Afghanistan. She wants Corpsman Gallinger-Long remembered not as a statistic, but as a vital, loving human being devoted to his family and his nation.
“He was the sweetest guy,” buddy Cody Brown said. Riley was praised as a hero who gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country. Some months after his death, his brother Zack reflected on how his family is coping.”
“We are all coping with his death and while it has changed all of us, we are all closer and stronger than ever before. …It was seeing all the people in the community from all walks of life coming together with such passion over a shared loss.”
Riley is survived by his wife, Hope Gallinger-Long his identical twin, Wyatt Gallinger-Long, his mother Susan Blanchard and his father Jeff Gallinger.
- Military Times -HONOR THE FALLEN