Melvin Alton Tinker
West Point, 1969
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by Mike Hulten, USMA, 1969 on August 13, 2007:
Mel and I were assigned to the 123rd Signal Battalion in Wurzburg, Germany together, and it was there that I came to know both Mel and his wife Terri. They were two of the most wonderful people one could ever hope to know. They were driving home to Wurzburg from vacation, when they were involved in a fatal auto accident on the autobahn, outside of Karlsruhe. I had the honor and difficult task of being the escort officer to bring Mel and Terri home.
While at the military mortuary facilities in Dover AFB, I experienced one of those moments of kindness that stays with you forever. A very professional and thoughtful NCOIC who was briefing me on my official duties, noted that a flag for Captain Tinker's casket was allowed. But they were not authorized for people who were not in the military. "However," he noted, "here is an extra flag for Captain Tinker's casket, in the event it may be needed." With that, I was able to present a flag to both Mel's parents, and to Terri's as well, at the funeral two days later.
Mel and Terri were wonderful friends, fun to be with, and thoughtful in every regard. My wife and I miss them greatly. They both loved the Lord as well, and they were instrumental in my family's conversion to the fullness of the Gospel message. We look forward, one day, to seeing them and being with them again.
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