Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Army Spc. Daniel J. Freeman

20, of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Freeman died in Ghazni, Afghanistan, when the CH-47 helicopter he was on crashed. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment, Camp Ederle, Italy. Died on April 6, 2005.

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"I had Daniel in my Health class of Sycamore High School. He came to class with a smile and was easy to talk with. He spoke of his desire to become a soldier. I am saddened by his loss yet so proud of his valor. Once an Aviator, always an Aviator. Rest easy brother."
Perry Denehy of Cincinnati, Ohio

"Every so often, I take a look, a peek to see what has been left - what lovely words, thoughts, kindness. It never amazes me how important this place is. Everyone, who leaves a piece of themselves here, is forever in my heart. I come here for solace, as well but it still hurts so much. It will forever be my place to grieve with all of you."
Becky - Mom of Cincinnati Ohio

"Dan....it's been another five years and I still think about your last words to me. "Sir I won't let you down!" Here are my words to you Dan, I won't let you down. - Andrew, PL Denver, Colorado"

"10 years, not really any easier. Miss you."
jb

"Hey bud, just thinking about you today. My boss sent out a message saying that anyone who was in the Airobrne or had jumped out of a plane could go home early and of course I thought of you. Miss you daily, truly. I imagine today the man you would have become, beyond the man you were. The kids, the wife, the family you would have created and the life you would have lived. Your mom misses you tremendously, it still hurts her to talk about you. Your brother is growing up to be an amazing young man who inspires me with his abilities and drive in photo journalism and biking. Your mom and dad both have become better people ,physically, and I like to think they were motivated by you. It's amazing to see her participate in triathalons. She is an inspiration. I know you know who this is and I'll leave it at that. I will love you always and will always cherish every moment."
me of USA

"Looks like there's still a lot of pain. For five years I ignored it and focused on my career. For the last two years I've mourned and felt like I'd put it to rest. Lately I've realized I'll carry it everywhere I go until I die too. If I live to be 80, I'll have beaten your final score four fold, and I will still cry for you, I promise.

Also, Halo 4 just came out. It's a lie though. They've made like 8 of them now. I played battlefield 3 for a while cause my friends were, but as expected, I can't deal with military shooters. They're terrible and no game designers even like making them apparently. When you play you also die like every 20 seconds IF you're good. You did that s**t for real and lasted way longer. I developed real anger management issues playing that game but I'm guessing it went a little past the whole dying every 5 seconds issue. Done with that stupid game.

You haven't missed much movie wise either, though Schwarzenegger is back, so you'll have to miss whatever new stuff he does. Michael Bay kills soldiers in all his movies and pays about as much attention and emotion to those scenes as if they were paper targets being torn up. F**k that guy. If I could say it to his face, I would say "Have you noticed you kill soldiers in every one of your movies, and since none of them are ever even tertiary characters, you do nothing to compel your audience to give the tiniest of sh**s. You've made millions, hang up your f**cking hat and retire."

I'm sorry I forgot your birthday. I kept thinking it was the 20th, but then the whole month blew by. I'm going to try and remember your birthday, not just your death day."
Drew of Burbank, CA

"Hi, My name is Mackenzie. I am doing a report about SPC Daniel J. Freeman for my school. I just want to let you and your family know that you are always in my prayers. He was a true hero. His memory will last forever and will NEVER be forgotten"
Mackenzie of Pennsylvania

"I remember.
I'm so glad that I met Daniel.
I will never forget."
Chris of Redding, CA

"To the family of:Daniel J.Freeman
I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief and you have my thoughts and prayers. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015.
Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga""

"six years...i saw your picture in the fallen heroes section of the jewish war veterans 2012 calendar, and all the feelings i experienced when i heard of your death came washing over me again..i took your name for my living history character from the CW, and it is seems so little, but reminds me of you every time i say your name...becky,shmuel and adam....i do not know what to say...daniel was such a part of my life and drew's for so many years...i remember him every day...take care of each other.....love, diana newman aka pvt. david daniel scheier"
diana bayar newman of long branch, new jersey....the jersey shore

"Six year mark. You are not forgotten brother."
Drew of Los Angeles

"I still miss you, Daniel...esp.your cleaning out my refrigerator, walking the dog Sally for Andrew, and your sense of humor....I think of you oh so often.."
Diana Newman of Long Branch, New Jersey, USA

"I still miss you, Daniel...esp.your cleaning out my refrigerator, walking the dog Sally for Andrew, and your sense of humor...."
Diana Newman of Long Branch, New Jersey, USA

"Daniel: On July 4th they played a 40 minute video at the rose bowl for soldiers from the county that had died this year. It catalyzed a bunch of emotions. I guess I left your funeral and got right back to college, then graduated and got right into my career. I haven't fully dealt with or come to terms with the fact we can never hang out in the material realm again. I've been animating on a cartoon show you'd love and I hope you'd be proud of where I am. I'm wearing your paratrooper ring and trying to navigate my stupid quarter-life crisis. It's all so silly. I talked with your mom and dad and brother. He's kicking * as a cyclist. You'd probably really like my girlfriend too. She's been so good to me while I'm going through my bullshit. I just wanted to let you know that even though I'm finally crying, I will continue with my life and have a ton of stories should we reconnect at some point. I love you.

-Drew"
Drew Newman of Los Angeles

"Dan, 5 years ago today....I'll never forget your last words to me, "I wont let you down sir!" Dan, I want to let you know, you never did!"
Andrew - PL of Omaha, Nebraska

"It has been four years. Daniel would have been 25 years old on Sept. 30.
I invited some close friends over and we shared some cake. I sometimes wonder how his close friends are getting on with their lives and I can only hope that time has healed them as I am healing and that their future is looking bright and worthy of their efforts. So easy it is to visit my memory of loss and grief, as it is to push forward. All these loving words that people have written reopen my wounds, but each time the scar becomes stronger. I can only hope that all that I do in my life is worthy of Daniel's memory."
Rebecca Birkan - Mom

"I never want to forget the sacrifices of so many young men and women. I am so proud it makes me cry. I understand in theroy only that war is a part of human nature but so is love and caring. I wish I could take the families pain away but I can't. I am committed to loving ALL people, myself and our environment. I am committed to working on my happiness everyday because so many have died for my freedom to live my life. Thank you is not enough but it is all I have. All my love and respect. ogersteiner@yahoo.com"
Scott Steiner of Columbus, OH

"You popped up in a dream of mine last night. We were fighting off zombies. You were always so strong and I looked up to you. You were Superman to me. I can't believe it's going to be four years April 6th. I really really miss you."
Andrew Newman of Los Angeles

"What a Brave, Selfless and Inspirational Man. Jan 4/09."
Lee Barron Vineberg of Austin Tx

"7/19/2008
Daniel - please know that you are thought about and remembered by so many.
I pray you rest in peace. you are so missed."

"To Rebecca and Daniel's family,
I appreciate your son's ultimate sacrifice. I am so proud to be an American and it is the young men and women like Daniel that make this country what it is today. Thank you from the depths of my heart. Love and prayers are with you.
Beth Rethman"
Beth Rethman of Redbank (Cincinnati)

"November 10, 2007
To the family of Spc. Daniel J. Freeman:
Daniel gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"God Bless Daniel J. and America."
Dan of Oceanside, CA

"i didn't meet freeman until my senior year in high school when i enlisted in the army. but he quickly became part of my family. i miss him still even though it's been over two years... i think about him and his family everyday... i give my best wishes to his family."
Francheska Ovington of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

"I don't remember exactly when it was that Daniel joined my class at Yavneh Day School in Cincinnati, Ohio, but I do remember that on that day all of our lives changed. Daniel was a tall, skinny boy who had this dream of moving to Mongolia and becoming the king there, I remember it vividly. Daniel, always did have an imagination and he was never afraid to share it will all of us in class, no matter which class we were in, we always heard one of Daniel's out of this world ideas, they always got laughs and I think that's what he always wanted, laughs. Besides being imaginative and wanting to move to Mongolia, he was probably one of the nicest people I have ever encountered in my life. He loved his friends, he loved his family and he really died doing what he loved. Though, it has been over two years since Daniel is gone, I think of him often. I think of our days in school, on school trips and on our graduation day from 8th grade, though that was the last time I had heard from or about him I always wondered what happened to him for high school and college and though I was quite surprised that Daniel had been killed, it was no surprise to me that of all people from my younger days that Daniel was in Afghanistan, fighting for his country, because that was just the type of person he was. It has been 2 years since Daniel has gone and 8 years since I last spoke to him, but that day he entered my class years ago really did change my life and I feel so honored that I was able to be a part of someone so great's life. Thank you Hashem for giving me the opportunity to know Daniel. And to Daniel's Rebecca, his father Shmuel and little brother Adam (who I am sure is not so little anymore) know that you are always in my thoughts and prayers and I hope you have been able to come together with family and friends to attempt to get through times that people should never have to go through. And please just know how many people's lives Daniel touched both as a young one and as a little bit older man. Baruch Dayan Haemet. May he rest in peace."
Rachelfaye Lewis of Chicago, IL

"Our family is thinking of Daniel this Memorial Day. We are also thinking of his family and those who love him and miss him."
Chris and Misty of Redding, CA

"i didn't know this young man but i was googling my name on the internet and this came up my name is Daniel R. Freeman and i just want to give my sympathy to the family for i have friends over there and i know how it feels to loose someone but just remeber never say goodbye cause goodbye means forever but so long means you will meet agian someday so never forget the men and women over there and always keep there memory alive that is all"
Daniel R. Freeman of indianapolis,IN

"It is two years today and I grieve just as deep as an ocean but I soar with the memory of his smile. Some days I am wrenched apart as my mind takes me sliding into memories of all that happened. I miss him more every day as I feel him slipping from my mind but never from the deepest parts of my heart. Thank you for remembering him. I can feel so alone as the world continues on."
Daniel's Mom of Blue Ash, Ohio

"I never knew Daniel J. Freeman. But I just wanted to leave the family a quick note of encouragement.

Through the hard times remember his smile. In the good times remember his laugh. And when things get hard think of the blessing that was once there, and how the memories live on in your thoughts. You will over come the pain but never the tears. Tears aren't just the result of pain but the beauty of memories."
Anna of Spokane, WA

"Daniel,
I would like to say thank you to you and the other men and women who were on that Chinook with you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

"Fury From The Sky"(508th Inf. Motto)"

"I was about 10 years old and on the bus going home from school. An older kid picked me up and was beating me up, holding me by my feet upside down. Then I hear from the back of the bus "come on!!! just let him go". Sure enough I was let go, fell on my head though. To thank the guy who made "them" stop bullying me I shared my portable radio in the back of the bus. That guy, or boy at that point, was Daniel. He made me realise that the grass is always greener on the other side, and its up to me to get there. He and I lost touch during highschool. We hung out every once in a while, but werent best of friends.
When I was in the IDF I recieved a phone call about his death. Not a day goes by where I dont think about him. God Bless him. If there was ever anyone who deserved a ticket to the other side, its definately Daniel. I only wish that I could have taken his place. In about a year I return to finish my 1 1/2 year service in the IDF. I joined for the same reason he did, and I quote "There arent alot of people who understand how important this fight is, but I do. And thats why I am fighting it".
Aba She Ba'shamiim, ten l'Daniel kol hakavod she'yesh baolam. V'ten lanu et kol hakoach l'hamishich kadima."
Aaron Binik-Thomas of Cincinnati

"Daniel Freeman. What a strong, powerful young man. I pray that I can one day be as strong as his parents, as half as strong as this hero. Respect in every meaning of the word will forever be synonymous with the one and only Daniel J. Freemen."
James Loner of Cincinnati, OH

"My name is SPC Robert Grobe i went to basic with Freeman he was good soldier.I can not stress how much I wish I could have hade the chanse to say good bye Him, and i promis to his family i will kill every dame Hodgie i can next time i am deploy i promis you"
Robert Grobe of FTBenn GA

"i am sorry for his loss and hope for the best for the rest of they family. God Bless"
kristina johnson of vermilion, ohio

"To all those who have written letters, posted emails, and send memorabilia, I thank you from the depth of my soul. I still can't believe he is not coming home. I miss him dearly and at the same time I am so proud of him, of what he accomplished and how far he really went in his short life. God Bless each and everyone of you kind people.
Love Rebecca Birkan (Daniel's Mom)."
Rebecca Birkan of Cincinnati, Ohio

"I'm sorry for what happened"
IDK of NE

"Shmuel, Becky and Adam,
I just located this message board and wanted to leave some words for you and Daniel. I am so sorry for the loss of such a wonderful, brave, inspirational, loving, and enjoyable young man. For the short time I spent with Daniel, I am amazed at the impact he has forever made in my heart and in my mind. It was obvious when around him that he came from a loving family and caring home, as he spoke highly of you all. On April 6, 2005 the military lost a wonderful soldier and the world lost a loving soul. He will always be in my heart, and John and I will never forget the true friendship we found in Daniel. Please know that you and your family are in my prayers forever."
Crystal Caughlan of Vancouver, WA

"Daniel was my brother.We were as different as could be but the army made us family. I graduated from sycamore HS with him in 2003. I left with him to the army. He was my Delayed entry program buddy. I graduated from OSUT(boot camp) with him in sept. of 2003 and then from Airborne school in late Oct. He was going to Italy and i was going to 3rd Batt of the rangers.That was the last time i saw my brother hopping on that bus happy as can be with a maroon beret clutched in his grasp. My fondest moments were in the crappy Airborne school barracks still around from WWII where me and daniel would watch movies on portable DVD players and talk about how the war was going on without us and how much we wanted to go. Ill miss him forever and i pray everyday for his family who is stronger than life. Save a spot for me with the paratroopers in the sky bro.
"Ours is not to question why,ours is but to do and die""
Ben Boyll 3/75 Ranger Regt. of Cincinnati,OH

"I remember you, Daniel. We met only briefly when my wife and I traveled to a wedding in Cincinatti/ Kentucky. You were a young kid, becoming a man. We liked you immediately and thought that we might see you again someday. -- We did not get that chance. Thank you for your service. Thank you for choosing to be a protector, instead of one of the protected. Thank you. I remember you. My children will know your name and how someone they never met wanted them to be safer and was willing to put themself at risk to accomplish this. Our hearts go out to your family and friends -- We remember and always will."
Chris and Misty of Redding, CA, USA

"Freeman was a buddy of mine from the DEP program. We were at the same recruiting station and used to play football with the rest of the DEPs in the park once a week. He was a really funny guy and a really good friend. I will miss him dearly. My sympathies to the Freeman family."
PFC James Allen (A 3/69 Medic) of PB Uvanni, Iraq

"To the family and friends,

Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your loved ones bravery and sacrifice. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. Your loved one is a hero. Greater love have no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13.

God bless you.

Home Front Ministries
Shepherd of the Hills Church
Porter Ranch, CA""

"Hello, my name is Shane Shapiro and I was a freshman when dan was a senior at Sycamore High School, I am sorry and I send out my sorrys to his families."
www.shaneshapiro.com of Cincinnati, Ohio

"In honor of Spc Daniel J. Freeman, 20 yrs, of Blue Ash, Ohio. 173 Airborne, 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment, Camp Ederle, Italy. APRIL 6, 2005 AFGHANISTAN
You gave the ultimate sacrifice to our country - I only hope we can all live up to the responsibility that places on our shoulders. Your Aunt, cousins, and I will miss you greatly."
Gary Buchheim of Springfield, VA

"To Daniel's Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our son returned safely from Afghanistan, only to lose his life in Iraq. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your soldier's bravery and sacrifice.

Sincerely,

The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
Gloria Caldas (The Big Ern's Mom) of San Antonio, TX
gloria.caldas@sbcglobal.net"

"TO THE FREEMAN FAMILY FROM THE WAHL FAMILY. WE ARE DEEPLY SADDEN BY THE LOST OF DANIEL. SO THANKUL TO HIM FOR HIS SERVICE. HE IS A TRUE HERO! AN HE HAS TOUCHED THE HEARTS OF SO MANY. DANIEL BECAME A VERY SPECIAL PERSON. FOR HE HAD WAS RAISED BY VERY SPECIAL PARENTS. DANIEL WAS A SOLDIER, AN HE FULLY UNDERSTOOD IT WOULD RISK HIS LIFE. AN ALL AMERICAN'S DHOULD BE THANKFUL TO DANIEL. FOR HE PROTECTED US AGAINST TERRORISM AND HELPED TO KEEP AFGHANISTAN FREE. FOR ALL HE ACCOMPLISHED; HE WIIL NOT HAVE GIVEN HIS LIFE IN VIAN. I REALIZE DANIEL AND OUR SON HADN'T KNOWN ONE ANOTHER. BUT, BOTH BONDED AS MILITARY BROTHERS. BOTH ARE NOW TOGETHER SERVING US ONCE AGAIN. GOD BLESS!"
LEONARD WAHL of VALLEY STREAM NY

"We Will NEVER FORGET !"
Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Daniel will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you ALWAYS. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"To the family and friends of
Spc. Daniel Freeman:
My heart goes out to you. There are not enough words to express my sadness of your loss. My son is at Bagram and I can only imagine your grief. Our family understands your son's sacrifice and the tremdous loss to your family. Your son will always be remembered as a hero."
Linda Haag of Middletown, Ohio

"Dear Rebecca and Samuel, We are heartbroken to hear of your loss in the death of Daniel. We owe so much to him and all others who fight for our country. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers."
The Tepperberg family of Cincinnati, OH

"Rebecca and Samuel, I am so sorry for the loss of your son. My prayers and thoughts are with you. May God grant you peace.Like you I lost my son while with the 173rd in Iraq."
Debora Yashinski (mommaski) of Irondale, AL

"Thank you Daniel Freeman, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"To the family and friends of Spc. Daniel Freeman:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Daniel for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Spc. Daniel Freeman:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Daniel, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on