I met Joe Gardner as a fresh faced airborne artilleryman circa 1993?. I found Joe to be very charismatic, but quiet and reserved. Always deep in thought as he examined his surroundings and always in search of higher meaning and purpose in the things he experienced. I also got to meet his alter ego, the Drunk Paratrooper, also commonly known as a knuckle head…. This was not isolated to Joe but ran instinctually in most of us booze drinking hard charging cannon cockers, and Joe was no exception! I enjoyed our long discussions encompassing almost any topic typically over copious amounts of booze, and found his thoughts always well thought out. One of my most vivid memories was sharing a half scratched out fox hole during a Field Training Exercise (FTX) in which the foxhole was filled with near freezing water as was our sleeping bags and found no compunction in cuddling / spooning with Joe! I would share a foxhole with Joe anytime, and I would bring the booze!
Jeffrey Lewellyn – United States Army Airborn/ Gun Dog/ Brother