Aggie returns home
Fallen American hero laid to rest at Aggie Field of Honor
Published: Monday, July 9, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 22:07
Husband. Father. Son. Brother. Friend. Cowboy. Texas Aggie. U.S. Army… A great American.
This was the beginning of Maj. Gen. Rodney Anderson’s address to those in attendance for Lt. Col. Roy Lin Tisdale’s, Class of 1992, funeral.
Lt. Col. Stephen G. Ruth, Class of 1992, addressed those with the Aggie welcome, “Howdy. Ruth said those from Alvin, Texas, knew Tisdale was a country boy and a real Texas cowboy. During his time at Texas A&M University, he was a member of the Company D-2 of the Corps of Cadets. Ruth said he had the privilege of being one of Tisdale’s first fish buddies.
“When we finally had the privilege to wear normal people clothes… Roy would choose to wear his green Vietnam fatigues… That was our Roy Tisdale.”
Ruth then spoke of Tisdale’s love of building Bonfire. Building four wasn’t enough so he stayed an extra year to build a fifth.
Col. Jim Dunham, Tisdale’s D-2 company military adviser, then took the stage to share his memories of Tisdale. From his first fish haircut to his first March-In at Kyle Field, Dunham, as he teared up, said Tisdale will never be forgotten.
State senator of District 5, Steve Ogden then presented Tisdale’s wife, Kim, with an American flag flown above the state’s capital in Austin on July 2 in Tisdale’s honor.
Hundreds of students and community members gathered outside the church to pay respects to Tisdale and to his family. The Westboro Baptist Church sent out a news release July 2 saying it had planned to protest the funeral. Members of Westboro Church did not show up.
More than 600 students and community members came out for a silent vigil, also known as the Maroon Wall to protest Westboro’s intentions.
Lilly McAlister, junior sociology major and co-organizer of the Maroon Wall, said the group, which spread like wildfire, wanted to support the family. McAlister said the family had a right to grieve privately and the Maroon Wall was there to ensure that happened.
Tisdale’s body arrived Wednesday as the Patriot Guard Riders and others stood by the road.
Ruth said he asked one woman near the side of the road if she knew Tisdale. She said no, but that Tisdale was a son of Aggieland. “There are no strangers on this road.”
Tisdale was buried with full military honors at the Aggie Field of Honor. Hundreds gathered and lined the roads in honor of him.
Tisdale, 42, commander of the 525th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He was killed by Spc. Ricky Elder, 27 at Fort Bragg, N.C. while conducting a safety briefing. Elder then turned the gun on himself and later died after undergoing treatment at a medical center in Fayetteville, N.C. In a statement, the Army said Elder was recently charged with larceny of a toolkit valued at $1,700 and was awaiting court martial.
The Fayetteville Observer reported Elder’s final Facebook message — time stamped at 2:29 p.m. June 28 as, “My mind in the past couple of years has folded on itself. I just went to the Dr. and they said I just tested positive for Dementia.” Fort Bragg officials said at 3:30 p.m., Elder shot Tisdale.
Tisdale is survived by his wife Kim, and two children, Megan and Roy Lane. Tisdale and Kim were married for 19 years, and he proposed to her under the Century Tree.