Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Special Agent Jay P. Balchunas

Wisconsin Department of Justice - Division of Criminal Investigation, Wisconsin

End of Watch Friday, November 5, 2004

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Special Agent Jay P. Balchunas

Dear Jay,
Yesterday marked one year that you went to be with the Lord. Your family and friends were in my prayers....especially your beloved fiancee, Luann. Even though we never knew each other while you lived on this earth, I feel like I knew you because of Luann. I have heard so much about the incredible life you lived...your achievements, your hobbies, your dreams, your hopes, your plans, and so much more. You were an amazing person and will never be forgotten. May the Lord continue to shine His face upon Luann and comfort the ones you loved so dearly. You will forever be remembered, Jay Balchunas. I look forward to meeting you in heaven.


Kelly Gillain
S/O of Deputy Sheriff Joshua Blyler EOW 5.2.04

November 6, 2005

Our family is thinking of you and your family today, and the great sacrifice you gave for all of us with your life. May the memories of your life be strong and beautiful especially today.

Linda Rittenhouse, mother of fallen officer Jesse Matthew Rittenhouse e.o.w.9/16/04

November 5, 2005

It was one year ago today my high school buddy Jay passed away. I will never forget Jay; he is in my thoughts every day. I believe he is my guardian angel, and I could not wish for a greater hero to walk beside me.
My prayers and love go out to his family and fiancee Luann, as well as his many friends and coworkers in law enforcement and firefighting. You too are all heroes.
Kenneth Kaminski Nov. 5 2005

Kenneth Kaminski
a high school friend of Jay

November 5, 2005

On this, the first anniversary of your passing, we pause to remember.
We remember those left behind, your service to the citizens of Wisconsin and most of all, a dedicated public servant.
Know that in your memory, we continue on.

Master Trooper
Virginia State Police

November 5, 2005

In remembrance of Jay Balchunas on the first anniversary of your death: I remember reading about your sad and tragic death a year ago. I see
reflections left by your sister often
and I know enough time hasn't
passed for any degree of healing. I
hope justice is served here on earth,
but if it isn't, there's always eternity to
look forward to. Know that you are
missed and the sacrifice you paid
was too great. My heart goes out to
your loved ones.
Lynn Kole
Washington State

November 5, 2005

It will be one year that you were called away. I know the pain still runs deep in the many broken hearts that have been left behind and will for as long as they walk this earth. There are no words I can offer to comfort them except that you are a true hero and you will never be forgotten. Keep watch over your loved ones and try and bring them comfort, also protect those still out on patrol. Jay, you are a hero and loved by many who will keep your memory alive.

Bob Gordon, father of fallen officer Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

Bob Gordon

November 4, 2005

Hi Uncle Jay,
Tomorrow is trick or treat and I am going to be a firefighter in your honor. I wish you were here so I could show you my costume. Bryan is going to be sheriff Woody from Toy Story. We both miss you so much.
Andy and Bryan

Andy and Bryan
Jay's nephews

October 29, 2005

It has been one long year since you were shot, yet it still seems like yesterday that we got the call. So much has changed since you left us. If only we had known that the last time we heard you say goodbye would really be your final goodbye to us. We had one more week with you, but that one week could never be enough - we should have had a lifetime left with you. We all love you and miss you so much.

October 29, 2005

It seems so long ago that we lost you, yet even today, you are not truly gone, less forgotten. Your memory serves us all in the selfless devotion you gave to other above all else, including your own being. You were a teacher of life. You were a teacher of hope. You were a teacher of strength and wisdom. No one shall ever deny you the honor destowed on you that fateful day. And while it took that one day to bring to the forefront your greatness, it really didn't take that day to do that. As friends, coworkers, and associates, we all know the great man you were and forever will be. Jay, you were so many things to so many people. Even though the people you have touched in your life come from far away and close by, the one undeniable truth is you are dearly missed every day you are not in our lives. And until the day we all meet again up in the big police station or firehouse in the sky.... May the wind always remain at your back, may the sunlite always shine upon you, may God's warmth always be bestowed on you, and may the love of those you left behind always overflow your heart.

See You On The Roof, Brother!!!

God Bless,
Gregg R Schulz

EMT Gregg R. Schulz
Higgins Ambulance/ Wood County Sheriff's Rescue Team

September 20, 2005

Today is the motorcycle ride in your honor and you have blessed us with another beautiful day. A lot of hard work has gone into the planning and I am sure that it will be a huge success.
Please keep everyone safe on the road both during the ride and after the after-party.
God bless you, Jay, and continue to rest in peace. We love you and miss you.

Linda - Jay's sister

September 10, 2005

Family & Friends of Jay,
My heart goes out to you all as you endure these trials. I know that your hearts are hurting. I pray that the peace of the Lord will surround all of you and comfort your hearts.

My dear friend, Luann:
You are special beyond words. I pray that our Lord will shelter you in His loving arms every day. Your friendship is a blessing. You are a true testimony of the grace and love of Jesus Christ and a testimony of your's and Jay's love. You are in my thoughts and prayers always.


Kelly Gillain
Sig. Other to Deputy Sheriff Joshua Blyler EOW 5.2.04

September 5, 2005

Well, Jay, a mistrial was declared - now we have to sit through this all over again! Unfortunately the judge had no choice in the matter, but I wonder if those few are still patting themselves on the back for wanting to go to trial...

September 1, 2005

I pray the person who shot you will not be granted a mistrial, and that he will live out the rest of his life in prison reflecting on all he did to screw up your life and the lives of all who knew and loved you.

August 5, 2005

The person who shot you was convicted of murder today. Justice has been served, Jay. Now, may you rest in peace. We love you and miss you.

July 26, 2005


Justice will never be fully served, but we got as close to that today as possible. Reynolds was found guilty on all 3 counts - first degree intentional homicide, attempt armed robbery while armed and felon in possession of a firearm. Sentencing is obviously yet to come, and the other trial, but we will thank God for this much so far.
We think about you often and miss you dearly.

July 26, 2005

Jay is the embodiment of heroism. I recall in high school he told me that he wanted to be a firefighter, a police officer, and ultimately a special agent when he got older.And by God if he didn't do just that. What a role model this man was.
Jay and I went seperate ways after Marquette, and I didn't hear from him again until his tragic death. I still cannot grasp that he is gone.
I do believe he is here in spirit, however. I have asked Jay to be my guardian angel; a fitting choice given his background. I know that he will protect me like he protected so many members of our community during his career.
My prayers are with his many friends, family members and loved ones. God bless you all.
Thanks Jay for touching my life in such a special way. Peace dear friend.

Kenneth Kaminski, high school friend of

July 21, 2005

Everyone is praying for you and your friends and family at this difficult time.

July 20, 2005

Today is not a special day. It is just an ordinary Monday. But it seems more important to me.

I was sitting here thinking about life and you and realized how much I've changed because of you. Although I have never met you, your legacy of love, dedication and committment has made me a better person.

Thank you for touching Luann. Sounds funny to say, but I have been able to get to know you through the wonderful stories she shares of you; and know that your sacrifice has made me a better person.

Thank you Jay - you are truly an amazing person.

A friend of Luann's

June 20, 2005

"The cry of the city like a siren's song
Wailing over the rooftops the whole night long
Saw a shooting star like a diamond in the sky
Must be someone's soul passing by

These are the streets
Where we used to run where your Papa's from
These are the days
Where you become what you become
These are the streets
Where the story's told
The truth unfolds
Darkness settles in

Shine your light down on me
Lift me up so i can see
Shine your light when you're gone
Give me the strength
To carry on, carry on

Don't wanna be a hero
Just an everyday man
Trying to do the job the very best he can
But now it's like living on borrowed time
Out on the rim, over the line
Always tempting fate like a game of chance
Never wanna stick around to the very last dance
Sometimes i stumble and take a hard fall
Loose(?) hold your grip off the wall

Shine your light down on me
Lift me up so i can see
Shine your light when you're gone
Give me the strength to carry on
Carry on

I thought i saw him walking by the side of the road
Maybe trying to find his way home

He's here but not here
He's gone but not gone
Just hope he knows if I get lost

Shine your light down on me
Lift me up so i can see
Shine your light when you're gone
Give me the strength to carry on
To carry on"

jay you are my inspiration to carry on in my career, still miss you and think about you every day. Keep us safe down here and watch over all of us please.

new berlin friend

June 12, 2005

I was fortunate enough that Jay crossed my path when I was relatively young. Jay was a mentor to me while I grew as a Firefighter. Jay was special to me- I appreciated his candor. His concern prompted me to delve into some personal issues a little deeper. At the time I may have been less than thankful...but looking back I consider Jay to be my guardian angel. Jay you have affected my life in a very progressive way- more than you know. Someday when we are both in God's Kingdom...I will personally thank you. I miss you.

Jason L.
NBFD (former member)

May 27, 2005

Dear Jay,
I was honored to stand at your name the night of the candlelight vigil with your precious Lu. Hearing Josh's name and your name read off was extremely emotional and painful. But, in the midst of all the pain, there was a great comfort knowing you are both with our Lord.

I heard a lot about you during police week from people who love you very much. You touched so many lives and have left an incredible legacy. You will never be forgotten.

I'm praying for Luann (my dear friend) and for your family.


May 19, 2005

Time will never heal the wounds that were left when you left us. Nothing will ever take the pain away, because you will never be forgotten. You now continue to watch over and protect us as you did when you were here. Each day I put on that uniform, I think of you and all that you did. Please watch over me and keep me safe.
Linda, you are so special to me! We have been through so much together, I'm sorry this event was one of those things. I admire the strentgh you have shown and continue to show. He was a wonderful person and although I would've liked things to be different, he touch my life in a way that no other will ever be able to do. I started out my career with this event, it is something that I will take with me everytime I put on the uniform, but it is a reminder to stay safe and come home! Thank you for being my friend and know that I love you dearly. Good luck with everything in D.C. I will be thinking of your family this whole week.
(I cried enough for the both of us when I wrote you better have a smile on your face right about now, if not, call me I'm sure I could change that:) ever need me, you know where I'm at!!!)

Dane County

May 8, 2005

It was 6 months ago today that we received that dreaded phone call in the middle of the night. Two days ago we accepted another award for you - this one came from the MU Criminology Dept.and you were nominated by Dr. Zevitz (big surprise!) Here is a quote from Ralph Wlado Emerson used in the acceptance speech.

"To laugh often and love much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To give one's self;
To leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, or garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
To have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation;
To know even one life has breathed easier becuase you have lived.
This is to have suceeded."

Jay, you were a huge success. We love you and miss you.

April 29, 2005

You left us five months ago today and I miss you more with each passing day. You always have been a special light in my life and I love you dearly.

April 5, 2005

I think about you everyday. I'll always treasure the memories of the times we shared, especially those of when we started with DCI. I am, and always be, proud to say that you were my friend. Rest in Peace my Brother, and know that you touched the lives of so many more than you could have imagined.

March 29, 2005

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