Pat’s Story

Patrick Allan Tinnell, born to Deborah and James Tinnell, March 25, 1981 led an extreme life as a son, brother, friend, mentor and soldier.

Pat LIVED his life. He was an avid BMX rider in racing and freestyle. He just loved to ride. His mother has been known to say he never went anywhere without his bike. When he was continuously kicked out of the skatepark at Rotary, because no bikes were allowed, Pat and his friend went out into the desert and built their own jumps. Many riders still frequent these desert jumps, known as the “Bump Jumps.” Many of these jumps can be seen in the photo’s featured on this site. Pat was known among local riders for his daring jumps and his willingness to help others learn and enjoy the sport he loved so much. Kids around town are still talking about Teen Break 1999 when Pat became the first ever to jump a BMX bike of a live elephant.

Pat joined the Army in October of 2004. He believed he could make a difference and so did those who knew him. His mother Deborah, asked every Mother’s question: “Why?” To which Pat replied” Because I have to Mom. I will do my very best.”

SPC Tinnell officially entered the Army on October 19, 2004 as an infantryman. Following Basic Training and AIT (Advanced Individual Training), he received an assignment to the Leader Battalion of the Rakkasans. and on March 6th, 2005 he reported to the Spartan Platoon of Crusher Company, 3/C/1-187. Pat quickly displayed competence as a soldier, and as a result, became a 249 gunner for his squad. SPC Tinnell worked hard, and in short time he was one of the top SAW gunners in C Company. Pat was on his first deployment to Iraq, and while there he further proved his abilities as a soldier. He could man any weapons system on the patrol, and the platoon’s leaders chose him to be a M2 gunner. In his training on the M2, SPC Tinnell guaranteed he would find himself as the gunner on the lead truck, the most dangerous position on any patrol. Despite this, SPC Tinnell acted with the bravery and skill his superiors and fellow soldiers had come to rely on.

SPC Tinnell’s awards and decorations include a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Iraqi Campaign Medal and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

SPC Tinnell’s fellow service men and women spoke of Pat’s love of life, his family and his hometown. He was an expert at his job, and served his country with the honor and excellence that should be revered, all the while being who he was; the practical jokes, his “misadventures’ with women, riding and partying. Many fellow soldiers anxiously awaited Pat’s return from leave to tell these stories. Stories of money spent, clothes lost….long one for sure, Pat always kept his spirits high, and his love of life was evident even in the worst of circumstances. Pat spoke often and fondly of his family. ” My Mom is awesome” was something Pat said everyday. Pat’s family is proud to know that SPC Tinnell brought great joy to those who served alongside him while at the same time being an outstanding solider and example for fellow soldiers.

The death of Pat Tinnell was a tragic loss to our Country and Community. More importantly, for his friends and family. Since Pat’s death, many of his friends and members of our community have come together to build a BMX/Skatepark in his memory. We want to do all we can to keep Pat’s spirit alive.