Riley Gallinger-Long

Riley Gallinger-Long

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U.S. Navy

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.

Riley, a 2010 graduate of Forest Grove High School in Cornelius, Oregon was a son, grandson, brother, uncle and friend. Riley was a young man known as a kind, humorous, generous, humble and genuine person.

“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 the death of Corpsman Gallinger-Long, his brother Zack reflected on how the family is getting on.

“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.”

A non-profit organization, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), church and participation in military inspired events also help the family deal with their grief. Memorials honoring Riley’s sacrifice allow Zack to show his children local places dedicated to Riley throughout the community. And along the way new stories about Corpsman Gallinger-Long surface with the recurring themes of his fun loving nature and willingness to help others. He was always smiling.

Zack knows that Riley wants to be remembered as a modest individual. “I wrote a letter to Riley while he was in boot camp in Great Lakes. I thanked him for his service and told him how proud of him I was. When I went to visit him a few months later, after he graduated, he commented on the letter. He politely declined to accept the thanks, saying that he didn’t deserve the praise, that he hadn’t really done anything and that the veterans that weren’t coming home were the ones we should be thanking. Today, I am glad I wrote that letter.”

Zack Gallinger-Long was appointed by Governor John Kitzhaber to the Task Force on Military Families for the State of Oregon. The task force reviews proposals for legislation relating to military families and conducts outreach to bridge the gap between military and civilian sectors. He will serve on the task force through 2016.

Riley’s portrait is also on Poster 13


3 Responses to “Riley Gallinger-Long”
  1. My son went on the Illinois motorcycle freedom run 2012 to honor our fallen heroes. My son is 29. There,each rider was given a dog tag in proud memory of our fallen heroes. He received a tag for Gallinger-Long,Riley. He purchased two shirts from the run,one for himself and one for his dad. I have always worn my husbands shirts, so my son knew we would share it. I wear it proudly along with the tag. I receive a lot of compliments on the shirt and proceed to point out the tag. People’s eyes fill with tears of pride as they say how beautiful it is that I wear the tag. I agree. After all, it is about the proud memory. It is with great pride that I draw attention to Gallinger-Riley,Long- age 19.

  2. Brandon says:

    I am truly and deeply saddend to hear about the loss of one Corpsman Gallinger-Long. What he has done will forever echo through the depths of time and he will forever be remembered an american Hero. My upmost sincere Respect goes out to this young mans Faimly, Friends, and loved ones. May you rest easy Riley Gallinger-Long. You will not be forgotten.

  3. Jessica Figueroa says:

    I did not know him but I was in Afghanistan two months when I stood on that flight line and saluted HN Gallinger-Long as his body was being taken home. It was as honorable as we all could have done it from where we were. He is someone I will never forget or thank for the ultimate sacrifice he made when helping his Marines and doing the job of an Corpsman.

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