By Bryan Boyhan
About 25 members of Lt. Joseph Theinert’s Banshee Troop will arrive on the East End today to pay their respects to the family of the young Shelter Island man who was killed last June while serving in Kandahar Province in Afghanistan. Lt. Theinert, who split his time between Sag Harbor and Shelter Island as he was growing up, was killed when he was trying to disarm an IED (improvised explosive device). His efforts to warn his platoon, saving their lives, earned him the Purple Heart.
Lt. Theinert is the son of James Theinert of Sag Harbor and Chrys Kestler of Shelter Island. Ms. Kestler has organized a weekend of events to honor and entertain the soldiers while they are staying on the island, including a dinner at the Shelter Island American Legion and barbecue at Westmoreland Farm, also on Shelter Island, both of which are public events. The Sag Harbor American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars will host the men for lunch at the legion building tomorrow, Friday.
The troops, all members of the 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Battalion of the 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, will pass through Sag Harbor’s Main Street sometime between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. today, Thursday, on their way to Shelter Island from Fort Drum. The time is approximate due to weather and traffic. WLNG radio will have updated information.
The men will be met by a Patriot Guard Escort and joined by a representation of local police departments, including Southampton, Shelter Island and Sag Harbor, at Route 111 and Exit 70 of the Long Island Expressway. The group will proceed to Sunrise Highway and then to Montauk Highway through Main Street Bridgehampton where they will head into Sag Harbor on the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike. The procession will slow as it enters Main Street and will be greeted by the Sag Harbor American Legion Color Guard and the Legion Auxiliary. The public is urged to join them along Main Street and the foot of the Jordan Haerter Veterans Memorial Bridge to render honors.
The procession will continue to South Ferry, where they will be greeted by the Sag Harbor VFW Color Guard and the Sag Harbor Fire Department, and then continue on the ferry to Shelter Island.