Soldier dies; animals help his family cope - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Soldier dies; animals help his family cope

Michael Geisler Michael Geisler
Mark Geisler Mark Geisler
The accident occurred on the Big Island The accident occurred on the Big Island

EWA BEACH (HawaiiNewsNow) - An accident during military training has left a family without a husband and father. The National Guard Soldier, who owns dozens of pets, swerved his Humvee Tuesday to avoid hitting an animal. The Ewa Beach man was critically injured in the crash, but died Friday from his injuries.

Saturday night, Sergeant Michael Geisler's family is mourning his death. We spoke to his grieving brother, Mark Geisler, who says what caused the accident is helping his family cope with the tragedy.

Mark expressed, "If something was serious or out of the ordinary, he'd be there to lighten the day, or make it easier, just bring a smile." Sergeant Michael Geisler's family misses that smile more than they ever dreamed, now that the loving husband and father of two, has died.

Mark went on, "He's a happy-go-lucky guy that pretty much, if you walk into a room, and didn't know someone, or saw someone that wasn't part of the group, he'd be the guy that would go up to you and say hey, and make them feel at home."

Geisler graduated from McKinley's ROTC program in 1985, and spent his life doing what he enjoyed, which was field artillery for the National Guard. Mark explained, "He just made his 25 years. And only being 44 and being 25 years in the military, that's pretty much half of his life, and he loved that."

Police say on Tuesday night, the Ewa Beach man was driving a Humvee at Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island. That's when he swerved to avoid an animal in the road. The vehicle flipped over, pinning Geisler. Then, on Friday night, he died. "we know what he did was of valor. He loved his animals, and he didn't want to. He avoided the animal that was in the road, and we give him credit for that," Mark said.

Geisler's brother says his passion for animals may have ended his life, but his spirit lives on, "On the day of his passing yesterday, three of his guinea pigs gave birth, so that was a little shining star, or a little calling. I just think it means that he's still here, he's still with us, and he's looking out for us."

It's hope, that binds the family. "He probably wants us to be strong, come together more, make sure everyone's safe, secure and happy, and no stress, you know."

Geisler's family says they'll be making funeral arrangements on Monday for the 44 year old. The rest of his combat team in the Hawaii Army National Guard is still training on the Big Island.


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