Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

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

Army Spc. Christopher M. Katzenberger

25, of St. Louis, Missouri.
Katzenberger died in Bagram, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained earlier that day in Ghazni, Afghanistan, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV during convoy operations. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Died on August 9, 2005.

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"Doc-

Thinking of you on Memorial Day."
LTC Rob Eason, TF Alamo of TX

"Parents of Chris. I just read an entry in my son's journal while he was serving in Afghanistan: "Spc Chris Katzenburger-killed in Afghanistan- IED - our troop - his parents sent clothes and gifts to the children of Afghanistan." I know your profound sorrow. Your son was a gift. My son survived Afghanistan; he died unexpectedly while teaching in Texas. I am the mother of Cpt. Franke Gracia. Our boys now share a citizenship provided by our heavenly Father. God be praised."
Julia Alaniz of Temple, Texas USA

"Chris it's been a long time but I think of you every time someone talks about the military or raises a flag."
Anita of Lake St. Louis Missouri

"I knew Chris before he joined and he was amazing person. He was a great friend and we shared a lot with each other. I still miss him but knows he's in a better place. I miss you buddy."
M. King of New York, NY

"We are thinking of you today. In my brief knowledge of SPC Katzenberger's life and Service, may i say it was an honor and privilege to work with him in Gardez AF. RIP Doc..."
CPT Phil Turner, Gardez PRT of Des Moines, Iowa

"Chris,
I never had the privilege to know you, but I have one of your dog tags.
You were KIA the day my daughter turned 28.....on 9OCT05.
I'll always remember to pray for your family on that day.

Dr. John Knoles
Fellow Vet, USAF"
Dr. John Knoles of Phoenix, AZ

""So... What was up in that tree in the front yard" your secret is safe with me buddy ;-)"
Kozmo of Ballwin

"Chris,
I miss you so much. I regret not going in with you. I think of you daily. I'll never forget the times we spent together. I miss and live you buddy."
Kevin Wheeler of St. Louis

"To the family of Spc. Christopher Katzenberger... Today I participated in a Run/Walk for the Fallen in Camdenton, Missouri. I walked in memory of your son/brother/family member. Although I did not know him, I have read about him and I have to say, what a wonderful young man. Thank you to Spc. Christopher Katzenberger for your ultimate sacrifice. You and your family are in my prayers."
Denise Decker of Sunrise Beach, MO

"Not a day goes by that I don't remember our friendship. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten nor taken for granted. I love you man."
AJM of Florissant Mo

"Miss you! Not a day goes by that I don't think about you! Love you!"
angela cheek of florissant,mo

"You are dearly missed..you brought light and smiles to so many people..i remember your willingness and desire to be the best you could and i ALWAYS admired you for that..it has been some years since you left us..but as the years flow by like a river i feel closer than ever to you. be well and rest in peace friend Troy Criddle"
Troy Criddle of indianapolis IN

"It has been a little over six years now that this awesome soldier, medic, and hero has passed. I have just stumbled upon this site and thought that it is only right to pay my respects to someone that changed my outlook on life. I personally did not know Spc. "Katz". I was a Medic in the emergency room the night that he was flown into Bagram Afghanistan. I can say that was honestly one of the worst days of my life not only because another soldier was gone but a medic. I knew this soldier was loved very deeply by the men in his unit because of how heartbroken they were, sitting in the clinic waiting area, wanting some sort of news on THIER medic. One of the hardest things to ever do is to give someone that bad news, I personally could not face any of his soldiers. After my shift was over that following morning, I had taken one of my good friends outside with me so I could just cry and vent my frustrations. I told myself from that day foward I would never take life for granted again. I will live it to the upmost because my tomorrow is not guaranteed. Not a morning goes by that I don't think of you when I wake up, if for nothing else it is to remind me to be greatful for every second I have.
I hope if someone reads this that no offense is taken in any way by what I have written. I know sometimes that I am not the best at words and trying to describe what I feel. This is the first time that I have even spoke of "Katz", other than to my fellow medics that were there with me that night. So trying to put into words something that I have had bottled up for six years, I can only hope it came out right and is read with only the best of intentions. I felt the need to let the Katzenberger family know, from me, that your son is not only remembered by people that knew him but he is also remembered by those that didn't. Greatest condolences."
(former) Spc, Jennifer McKinnis of Houston, Texas

"Its been six years chris and not a day goes by you are not thought of. Rest in Peace and God Bless!!!"
SSG Clifton Whitley

"I was thinking about you today buddy. All the fun times we had growing up. I miss my friend Chris."
Kozmo of St.louis

"Batweasel ( our dog), my wife, and I had the privilege of being members of the Soldiers Angels in 2005. As fate would have it, Christopher was one of the guys in the 504th PIR that we were sending cookies, baby wipes, and other tokens of our appreciation to.
Not having children of our own, it's hard to imagine the heartache of losing a son or daughter. After receiving the email from a Captain regarding the loss of Christopher, all we could think of was the family in St. Louis. Passing on condolences hardly seemed to be enough and we had a flagpole erected on our front yard in memory of Christopher.
It's now Memorial Day 2010. Every time Patti and I look at that flag, we think of Christopher and all of the men and women of our armed forces, along with their families. They and the families have our sincere appreciation and thanks.
For Christopher's family, God Bless you and keep you. God Bless America."
Jerald and Patricia Granger of Marble Hill, Missouri

"I allways find myself thinking about that night in the C Co. TOC. I Cleared the air for you and tried to give as much support as I could from where i was. You will allways be on my mind Katz. My prayers are allways with you and your family."
(formerly) SGT Carnes of Coconut Creek, FL

"Chris you will never be forgotten as long as I'm around. You could lift our spirits up in the worst of times. You, your family and your loved ones are in my heart.

RIP Good friend"
Shaun Groomes of Spartanburg, SC

""We remember every day but especially this Memorial Day. Rest in peace my brother.""
MAJ Matt Rogers of West Point, NY

"So today I wandered in the aid station and saw your smiling face looking back at me from a picture on the wall. It gave me the thought that you'll always be there watching over us. You touched so many lives in your short stay on this earth my good sir. All the boys here in C co. still talk about you, it almost feels like your right there with us when we are. I just wanted to let you know, your thought of often and missed greatly. You are a man among men, and I hope you continue to be our guardian angel."
Biznoyd of Ft, Bragg, NC

"My brother was in Afghanistan while Christopher was serving. He said that he will most remember him and his family this Memorial Day. My family will remember him for his service, his sacrifice and his love of this country."
Judith Gracia Graves of McKinney Texas

"I did not know Chris like many of my fellow TF Alamo soldiers. I was in the 504PIR TOC when the call came through that his vehicle had struck an IED. I am deeply sorry for your loss. Even though I never met him, I learned a lot about his character and committment from 1SG Simon. Everytime 1SG Simon spoke of Chris his eyes would well up with tears. Your son impacted a lot of lives. Thank you for raising a fine American and Paratrooper.

Tim Redhair
CPT, IN
C Co, 3-141IN
TF Alamo"

"There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about my friend Katz, I miss you man."
anonymous of usa

"Dear Famly of Christopher Katzenberger:
To honor the Mo/Ks soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families,the professional portrait artists of the Grateful Hearts Project are offering to paint a portrait of the individual soldier for his family.

These 16"x20" original portraits are being offered completely free of charge in recognition of the sacrificies made by these brave soldiers and in condolence for their families loss.
Please email us at gratefulheartsproj@sbcglobal.net for more information.
Sincerely;
The artists of Grateful Hearts"
J. Gragg of lee's Summit, Mo.

"October 11, 2007
To the family of Spc. Christopher M. Katzenberger:
Christopher 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 Nevada

"I saw a medic treating a paratrooper today and I thought of you. You are and forever will be a great soldier and man that is missed by everyone who knew you."
CPT Michael Filanowski of Tallil, Iraq

"In Sept. of 2005 a friend came up to Winnipeg, Canada and wore a "herobracelet". When she returned to CA she bought me one. It goes without saying who's name it was.

I'm a bit late in paying my respect as I was on vacation(to see that friend), but Chris was surely not forgotten as Aug 9th will always be a day for me to pay my respect. As well as everytime someone here in Canada asks me "What's that?" (on your wrist). As I answer "One of my brothers died in Afghanistan"."
Greg Ballendine, 1-504PIR Veteran of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Canada

"In Sept. of 2005 a friend came up to Winnipeg, Canada and wore a "herobracelet". When she returned to CA she bought me one. It goes without saying who's name it was.

I'm a bit late in paying my respect as I was on vacation(to see that friend), but Chris was surely not forgotten as Aug 9th will always be a day for me to pay my respect. As well as everytime someone here in Canada asks me "What's that?" (on your wrist). As I answer "One of my brothers died in Afghanistan"."
Greg Ballendine, 1-504PIR Veteran of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Canada

"Two years only seems like yesturday. My prayers will always be with your family. We all miss you, Katz we will never forget you! Rest easy brother."
SGT Bush

"9 August, 2007
2 Years have passed and still we miss Chris no less. I have no words to say that can possibly help to console his friends and family, but for the simple fact that we have not forgotten the sacrifices that He and his family have made for the rest of us. Just know that my thoughts, and those of my family go out to everyone, especialy today, and especially his family. We miss you Chris, thanks for everything."
SPC Schlichting, Kyle J. of Tallil, Iraq - Medics 2/504 PIR

"I was in A.I.T. with Katzenberger. His bunk was right across from mine. He was such a funny guy, always doing off the wall stuff to make us laugh. I remember staying up late telling stories about all the stupid things we did before we signed up. He used to get so excited about some stories and laugh like crazy. I just found out about his passing today when I ran into one of our old friends. I can't say how many times up till this moment I wished he was joking. I am sorry for the loss of this fine man and soldier. I wish I could have been able to hear one last joke, one last laugh or even one last goodbye. When put in certain situations people build bonds and his bond was that of friendship and laughter and he will always be remembered for that."
Spc. De La Cruz, Daniel J. of Doha, Qatar

"I came across this website yesterday. As a person who was there at the time of the incident, I feel obligated to tell why were in that area that day. I did not personally know Chris, but I want to honor his memory by telling my part of the story. Chris was part of a multi day mission to root out and capture suspected insurgents in Ghazni Province. Chris' vehicle was hit by a pressure plated IED. It is my assumption that as many as 5-6 other vehicles includng mine had passed over the same area without somehow being struck by the IED. The spot where Chris' vehicle was hit was directly adjacent to a small village where a few suspected insurgents lived. We had been in that same village earlier that day in order to try and capture these insurgents. The insurgents were not in te area at that time so we had moved back to FOB Ghazni. While at FOB Ghazni that day new intelligence was gathered that suggested insurgents were also located at a village just adjacent to the previous village we had been at earlier in the day. It as determined that a part of the overall convoy would check out this village while the other part of the convoy (Chris' vehicle included) would check out the first village to once again try and capture the insurgents. It was at this point that Chris' vehicle ran over the pressure plated IED. At that time my vehcile raced to the scene and pulled security. An immediate search of the area was done and nearly every single male of that village and nearby villages was questioned about wheher they knew who planted the mine. A few people were arrested at that time but it was widely viewed that the main insurgent we had been looking for in that first village was to blame. After that incident TF Alamo made it a point to root out this insurgent. After a few weeks and with the help of Afghan nationals, this insurgent was captured. A proper interrogation was done of the individual and as someone there a the time of the interrogation I def felt this man was responsible. This man was later sent to another facility where he later was let loose. I do not now why he was let loose, but somehow they beieved he did not commit the act or somehow the information was not properly sent about who this man was or what had happened. I made it a point to tell the proper authorities that this man was probably the man who had been responsible for Chris' death. I even visited the man at the facility and spoke to all proper channels at this facility to try and persuade them that this man was probably responsible. Yet somehow he was later released. I left Afghanistan a short time later. I ater heard from a freind that this man had been killed presumably by US Forces but I don't know if that is entirely accurate.
I hope this can help clarify what happened that day. I am not sure that this man was actually the one who was responsible, but I believe he is. Thanks for hearing my side and I hope this did more good than bad by telling what I witnessed that day."

"It is another new year, 2007. The time has not diminished the grief that is still fresh for those that love your son, and will continue to mourn, and as the time goes by, they realise that there is no salve for their wound of the greatest magnitude, the pain of not having the pleasure to speak and hear your son. I spent an evening at Fort Bragg this weekend. I spent an evening with 10 men, all wearing a bracelet with Christophers name on it. Each braclet shows the marks of time since they placed them on their wrists, and each and every one of those 10 men, had a permanant mark where the bracelet has rubbed the wrist bone raw - I realised it was because not one of them has taken it off since last year. There were baseball hats, with American flags in the front, and stiched into the side the simple words - In Memory of my Friend Katz. These hats are worn and frayed and loved. As I walked out to say my goodbyes to these young men, the vehicles they had had the image of a kneeling soldier, head bowed, "In loving memory of Christopher "Katz" Katzenberger". This young man, taken so soon, so painfully, is so loved and will always be loved. I know that in 2008, I will revisit these men and meet your son all over again through them. Thank you for giving the men of the 82nd Medic Unit their hero and purpose."
G of Ft. Bragg NC

"I would just like to say I haven't seen Chris in many years, I just recently found out what happened to him. my heart goes out to his family & friends, he was loved & cared for. Chris was a good man, I know I will never forget what he meant to me in my life. I went to his site yesterday & left him a rose. He will always be remembered"
Jackie Blaine of st. louis, Mo

"To the family of:Chrostopher M. Katzenberger 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"

"Christopher,
I would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

"Airborne All The Way!""

"9 August 2006
One year later, SPC Chris "DOC" Katzenberger is remembered by his brothers. He will always be remembered for his contagious smile, amazing sense of humor, and for being an outstanding Paratrooper and medic. We will never forget."
CPT Matt Rogers of Tempe, AZ

"To Christopher's family and friends. I just wanted to let you know that my wife and I were at Ft. Bragg this last Friday to welcome home our nephew and the rest of Charlie Company 2nd/504th. As soon as the young men were assembled at "green ramp" people started to speak of Chris and purchase remembrance bracelets, and it was immediately clear to me that the entire company had "Come Home" together! God Bless you all and know that the Rambow (Spec. Lenzi) family will not forget the sacrifice made by Christopher and his family."
Timothy Rambow of Moore, SC.

"To the Katzenberger Family. I graduated with Chris from De Smet High School and have never been prouder of being a graduate of the school. I hung out with him only a few times but was a stand up man. I thank him and your family for his service in keeping this the land of the free and the home of the brave. He is the definition of the De Smet moto: Men for Others. I grieve for your family and he will be remembered as not only a man for others, but a Man who gave his life for others and freedom!

travismizzou@hotmail.com"
Travis Young of Surprise, AZ

"To the Katzenberger Family, I would like to tell you Chris was a great person and a hellva guy to have around always knew how to lift your spirt when times were rough. He will be missed but never forgotten. I would like to tell you all we have continued taking the fight to the enemy and he is always in our thoughts."
PFC Clifton Whitley C Co. 2/504 P.I.R. of Afghanistan

"I too was in SPC Katzenbergers AIT class; he was a wonderful person with a personality which was great to be around given the conditions we were all in and was always the perfect person to go to when you needed a good laugh. All the best to the Katzenberger family.

PFC McQueen (Claremore, OK)
Madigan Army Medical Center
Ft. Lewis, WA"

"As a mom of five young children, I am so grateful for the sacrifice of this brave solder Christopher M Katzenberger. You are loved by many. Words can not express the emotion. He payed the ultimate price for our freedom and the freedom of so many other people who suffered under the rule of Sadaam. May God be with his family in this time of sorrow and may you find comfort in the fact that we think about Christopher's sacrifice for the love of his country. May we NEVER forget! Thank you!"
JILL HUGHES of HOUSTON TX

"TO THE KATZENBERGER FAMILY FROM THE WAHL FAMILY. CHRISTOPHER THANK YOU FOR SERVING OUR COUNTRY. MORE SO FOR BEING A MILITARY BROTHER TO OUR SON GREGORY. YOU BOTH SERVED AT FORT DRUM. MY HEART AND PRAYS ARE WITH YOU CHRISTOPHER AND YOUR FAMILY. LOSING SOMEONE SO DEAR IS VERY DIFFUCULT; MORE SO TO WAR! WE LOST OUR SON GREGORY LAST YEAR IN BALAD, IRAQ. CHRISTOPHER YOU DESERVE TO BE HONORED TODAY. SO I SUGGEST YOUR FAMILY REACHES OUT. TO THE POLITICAL LEADERS IN YOUR COMMUNITY TO DECIATED A STREET AFTER CHRISTOPHER TODAY NOT TOMORROW! OFTEN HONORING OUR FALLEN TAKE'S YEARS AFTER A CONFLICT AND OR WAR, WRONG! SOMETHING VERY WRONG WITH THAT. CHRISTOPHER MEMORY MUST BE IN THE HEARTS OF ALL AMERICAN'S NEVER TO FORGET. HE HAS MADE AMERICA ALOT SAFER SINCE 911! GOD BLESS!"
LEONARD WAHL of VALLEY STREAM NY

"I attended the same AIT class with Chris and had a great time training with him, he was always laughing and making other soldiers feel better about the conditions we were placed in. It is an honor to have known and trained with this great soldier and his story in Afghanistan will be told to my fellow medics as my unit prepares to go back to Afghanistan.
PFC Mathis (Charlack, MO)
HHC 2/87 IN BN Medic Platoon
3rd BCT/UA "Spartans"
10th Mountain Division
Fort Drum, New York"

"As a veteran paratrooper of the 1-504PIR, I have an enormous amount of respect, pride, and heartfelt appreciation for Christopher's sacrifice.(loss of words)

Take care my AIRBORNE brother! ALL THE WAY!!!"
Greg Ballendine of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Canada

"To the Katzenberger Family, I am so sorry for your loss. Your Christopher has helped to prevent another 9/11 which makes him a true American Hero. He will always be remembered and honored. May God Bless you all and God Bless Christoper."
Mary Ghaney of Brooklyn, New York

"To the family and friends of SPC Chris Katzenberger,

I was with Chris when his vehicle was hit with the IED. His platoon was attached to my company for combat operations in the Ghazni district. Chris was amazing all the way up until the time we put him on the MEDEVAC helicopter. He continued to thank everyone for the help they were giving him while waiting for the MEDEVAC. He was a great Medic, a great Paratrooper, and an amazing young man. We carry the memories of Chris every time we go out on a mission. He will forever be with us as we drive on with our mission. There is not a day that goes by when he is not in our thoughts and you all are not in our prayers.

CPT Matt Rogers
Commander, A/307th EN BN
1st BDE, 82nd ABN DIV"

"I do not know Chris or his family but my sister, Cindi, works with Mike Katzenberger. I am so sorry for your loss and feel your pain. My son, Trevor, was killed in Iraq in July 2004. Thank God for our sons and other fallen heroes who are willing to make sacrifices to keep us safe and to help others. I will keep your son and your family in my prayers. Our sons will be missed but not forgotten. I am so thankful for this website; I received so many wonderful messages. I hope you find comfort from the messages you will receive."
Pam Oder of Desloge MO

"I am so sad for the loss of your beloved son. Although I did not know Christopher, I work with Mike (his father). Listening to Mike share stories of the joy that Christopher felt when he was helping out the children of Afghanistan is very emotional. I am very proud to have been touched in this way by Christopher. Your family is in my prayers."
Cindi Lamers of Desloge, MO

"To the family of Chris Katzenberger:
I want to express my deepest condolences to you on the loss of Chris. Our country lost a courageous soldier, but most importantly your family lost a huge part of it.

I know the pain you are going through, as I recently lost my cousin Adam in Iraq. His general told me to remember this above all else... Our boys are heroes in the way they led their lives, not just in their deaths. They left the comfort of home and family to go to unknown dangerous places, to improve life for others. It takes a very special, selfless person to do that. All of you had a hand in making Christopher what he was, so you should be extremely proud to have raised such a brave and unselfish man who stood up for the flag and for those who had no one willing to speak up for them. I want thank you for your part in making him what he was.

Lastly, thank YOU, Chris, for putting everything you had on the line for freedom."
Elle of Saint Louis,Missouri

"To Christopher'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. Our sons are true heroes!

By His Grace,

Gloria Caldas
Proud Mother of Fallen Hero
Capt. Ernesto "The Big Ern" Blanco-Caldas
82nd Airborne, KIA Iraq 12/28/2003
San Antonio, Texas
gcaldas48@aol.com"

"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.
Our nations HERO, Christopher will be remembered by name.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
God Bless you ALWAYS.
Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"Thank you Christopher Katzenberger, 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. Christopher Katzenberger:
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 Christopher 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. Christopher Katzenberger:
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 Christopher, 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