The names of SOCS (SEAL) Robert James Reeves and U.S. Army CPT Aaron Dale Istre were unveiled on the LSU War Memorial Wall of Honor on May 30 during the annual LSU Memorial Day Ceremony sponsored by the University and Cadets of the Ole War Skule.
Both men were killed while serving their country in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Istre graduated from LSU and was commissioned through LSU’s Army ROTC in 2003. He died on March 24, 2012, during a training mission outside Kandahar, Afghanistan. Reeves, who attended LSU in 1997-98, was a member of the Navy’s Special Warfare Tactical Development and Evaluation Group, known SEAL Team Six. He died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011.
Following the unveiling and a presentation of etched renderings of the names to their families, Istre’s uncle, Joe Delvecchio, and Reeves’s father, Jim Reeves, shared their memories of the soldiers. Delvecchio said Istre was dedicated to serving, and the family joked that he would one day be a general. But they weren’t kidding that much,” he said. “He would have attained this position had his mission here on Earth with us been extended.”
Reeves recalled the arduous training his son endured to become a SEAL as well as some of his trials during service such as being shot in the neck and escaping from a roof collapse after a grenade blast. “Rob’s enthusiasm for and love of being a Navy SEAL never faded through his 13 deployments and five Bronze Stars,” Reeves said.
Also speaking at the ceremony were BG Glenn H. Curtis, Adjutant General, State of Louisiana; and Lane A. Carson, Secretary, Office of Veterans Affairs, State of Louisiana; and Interim LSU System President William L. Jenkins.
Secretary Carson was the keynote speaker at a luncheon held at the LSU Faculty Club following the unveiling. The Bayou Brass Quintet and LSU Music Professor Terry Patrick Harris provided music for both the ceremony and the luncheon.