Let's connect

Reflections on the Life of Noah "Pete" Reeves

Pastor Zach Terry delivers the Eulogy at the Funeral of PVT Noah Reeves
My encounter with Noah “Pete” Reeves began in the living room of my great-grandmother Ethel’s house in Muck City, Alabama. As a young child, I noticed an oval portrait
hung prominently beside the front door. It was a black-and-white photograph with color
additions painted on to draw out the unique distinctions of the subject. In this particular
portrait, the embellishments highlighted the blue eyes that sat deep in the sockets of this
young man's face.

“Granny, who is this a picture of?” I asked as she refilled the cookie jar with freshly baked tea cakes she had just taken up. “That’s my brother, Pete”, she said. “He never came home from the war. We don’t know for sure what became of him.” She seemed to always hold out hope that he wasn’t actually killed in battle; I held on to that hope as well, I suppose.

It didn’t occur to me until years later the connection between that portrait and the songs she often sang in a soprano voice that trembled with age- songs about soldiers lost in battle and the broken hearts left behind. Even as a child, I recognized that the loss of Pete was far more than the sum of its parts. I could tell that a legion of hopes and dreams had died with that young man.

The old portrait was lost in a fire just a few years later, but I never forgot that conversation, or my Granny’s tears as she sang her songs. Those memories came flooding back when my grandmother received a call from the U.S. Army seeking a sample of DNA from the closest living descendant of Noah Reeves. The representative let her know that they believed the remains of her uncle had been located, and that DNA testing would either confirm or disprove this belief.

We really didn’t know what to make of it. She receives several spam calls each day - and this all seemed pretty far-fetched. After confirming that other relatives had received similar
requests, she decided to participate. The whole process took a few years, but we were all
thrilled when we received word that the remains had been confirmed to be those of Noah

Personally, I can’t tell you how humbled I was to hear that our government intended to return his remains to his family and give him a proper military burial. We’ve all been disappointed from time to time by the caliber of leadership we find in our Nation’s capital. On this occasion, I’ve never been more proud to call myself an American and be a citizen of a nation that meant it when they said, “No soldier left behind.”

Later this month, please be in prayer for our family as we lay to rest Noah “Pete” Reeves in Lawrence County, Alabama.
Read more about the story of Noah Reeves HERE and HERE and HERE

Donate to the Work of Maximum Life! 

Zach Terry

No Comments