Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

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

Army Staff Sgt. Tony B. Olaes

30, of Walhalla, South Carolina.
Olaes died in Shkin, Afghanistan, when his patrol vehicle was ambushed by enemy forces using small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Died on September 20, 2004.

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"Thinking of you today cousin.
Happy Birthday and may this day
shine happiness to all."
Maria of CA

"Thank you cousin Tony for serving our country and thinking of you especially today."
Maria of CA

"I served with Tony in the 50th Signal Battalion (Airborne) before he became an SF medic. He would stop by my house every once in a while to say hello and catch up. He never forgot his friends.

I heard he had passed a number of years ago but I had forgotten how to spell his last name and couldn't find the memorial online. Today, I found it out of the blue. It brought back good memories to see Tony's face again.

Rest easy, brother. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten."
SSG (Ret) Korey Chandler of Wichita Falls, TX

"Happy Birthday cousin Tony and may you have a marvelous time in heaven. I thank you for serving this country. Always thinking of you and miss you."
Maria of ma

""10 years... 10 years and it still feels so recent. I remember those who sacrificed to protect that ability. I am thankful for the families of these fine men who endure and remember them with honor. I still wish I could trade places with Tony or Stacie. I wish I could of done more to save them on this day. I'm sorry I couldn't save them. Everyone else was in the fight, and my job was to fix them, except I couldn't. I'm sorry. 

To Stacie's family, I have had 10 years to come up with the right words to express my condolences. The days go by but the pain still stands, there are no words that can express my sorrow. I pray that you and your family has found peace and happiness over the years. Managed to grow and prosper since this tragedy.""
"Doc" of Noblesville Indiana.

"Yes,the time has gone by and I remember talking with my cousin Tony 1998 among a few other cousins.The very short time we all hung out I felt like a kid again. I will cherish that short time talking and laughing. I know he is in a wonderful place with my dad and grandparents.He will always be remembered and very well missed.
Tony's cousin Maria"
Maria of Ma

"Thinking of Tony today. I can't believe it's been 8 years. It still feels like yesterday. A good friend of Tony's and I got together in Bagram the other day. He was Tony's JTAC on the 03 trip to Deh Rawood. We hadn't seen each other since then. We remembered. We will always remember."
Jimbo of Fayetteville, NC

"Well it has been heading on to 8 years now and I still miss you I will always miss you I am your middle child I was just reading all the comments from everyone and I want to say thanks to all of yall. I can't wait to see you again I know that your up there in a better place fishing and meeting all kinds of new people. I know you look down here and say wow my boys are grown. I miss you I think about you everyday I know you are proud of me and the man I am becoming we all miss you we will see you one day standing by those pearly gates waiting for our arrival love you your son Mckenzie L Olaes"
Mckenzie L Olaes of Hartwell, GA

"I didn't know Tony but the world will remember him forever. Though they mispronounce his name every time they say it, I never get tired of politely correcting them. We should have put the pronunciation on it. O-LYE-ISS. Too easy. Love and prayers from 10th Group and TMS."
E of SC

"To the family of:Tony B.Olaes
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""

"Tony, It has been almost 6 years and I still think of you each day. I wish I could get some type of better closure but I guess one day I will. I have missed you so much over these past years. I still picture you sitting there with your necklace in your mouth...You Tony will always be missed and I will see you one day along with every other loved one of yours. You touch so many is so many ways. Even if it was for a short period of time like me. Thank you so much! I love you and miss you!!!!"
JH of North Carolina

"Its been awhile now that you been goon, But there,s not aday that go,s by that me your father,, And you step mother, my wife don't think of you, You was always a hero to us, and you did what you loved most, We will always miss you,Seeing your smile, Talking to you, Or just your surprise visits when you,d come to see us, Always & Forever will you be in our Prays & Thought,s, Love You Son, Your Dad & Step Mom"
DAD & DEBBIE of Lynn Ma

"Tony I wish there was more I could of done that day. I thank you for all you taught me in the few months I was with 45. Not a day goes by that I don't think of that day. To Tony's loved ones he was a good man and is not forgotten. I hope you stay strong. My prayers are still with you."
Colin (doc) of Indianapolis, In

"I did not know Tony myself or his family, but my mother knew him. I'm Samantha Birdsell, Jeanette Birdsell's daughter. My mom was gone for 15 months, and i know personally how tragic it can be to think every night. "is my family member going to come home?" I don't know when Mr. Olaes died, but i am truly sorry that he couldn't return home. People say that the ones sent over seas are the ones who suffer the most. Well they're completely wrong. The loved ones suffer just as much. Again I am very sorry. I will pray for you every chance I get and also I thank your family member (Tony) for serving our country!"
Samantha Birdsell of Kansas City, MO, U.S.A.

"Tony, I was with you the day you and Stacey were taken from us. Your memory and sacrifice are the reason I wear my uniform with pride. Part of me died that day with you, but it allows me to carry a bit of your spirit in its place. Thank you Brother."
SFC Jason Grant, SOT-A 305 Tm SGT

"Veterans Day, 2007
To the family of Staff Sgt. Tony B. Olaes:
Tony 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

"Its Almost four years in four days. I missed you on my birthday...i just wish you could have been there. It would have ment the world to me.

Your Still In my heart Always =]"
Alicia Santiago of Spring Lake, NC

"Here it is almost 3 years later. I still think of him just about on a daily basis. Tony, thank you for everything. You are a wonderful person. I know you are up there looking down on all of us and probably laughing at some of the crazy things we do. You will be missed so much. We all love you so much!!!!"
Unknown of Fay, NC/USA

"2 years later and you're still missed Tony. The baseball fields just aren't the same without you around. Oh by the way....Happy Birthday tomorrow."
Heather of Fayetteville, NC

"I will never forget Tony Olaes. I did not know him in life, but he will forever be a part of mine. Sept 20, 2004 was a rough day for our troops, and Tony was among the best that day. It is never easy to feel loss, and i too am saddened at his death, and yet i said thank you to him. I was left by myself, as the rest of our medical team tended to the other patients, with Tony, Robert (Stacey) and Wesley. I thanked each one of them, and now, well over a year later, I am writing my thanks to you, Tony's family. The families are the heroes too. You pray and wait patiently for us to come home, knowing sometimes we don't - I have an eleven year-old daughter I left for a year - i know she was scared too. I thank you for your sacrafice. I already said thanks to your son, and now i say thanks to you. He paid the ultimate sacrafice and so have you. without our families' support, it would not be possible to do what we need to do. as i tried to wash the dirt from his face i thought of what he'd given for me, and all's i could say was, "thank you". so now to you his family, i say "thank you""
SSG Jeanette M Birdsell (FST -FOB Salerno) of Kansas City, MO 64119

"Thank you to you and your family.. You will never be forgotten"
Nicole warren of Ft. Worth

"Im very sorry to hear about Tony. My name is SHSN Olaes from the U.S. Navy. We probably have no relation, but thats not important I just want to send my condolence to your family from my family. I was very lucky that when the war broke out I was finishing up on my contract. And was able to go home. Im sure Tony was a great man and was proud of what he did. Once again my condolences to the family from my part of the Olaes family."
Odilon of CAlifornia Los Angeles

"My god watch over his family and help them threw there lives. I am his youngest sister.No one could understand what I went threw to find him threw the years and now that I did it's to late. But he all always be in my heart. His family in Mass. will miss our hero. Tony I know your watching down on everyone... You have a nephew!! R.I.P. 143"
Melissa A.Olaes of Lynn,Ma.

"to the oales family from the wahl family. tony was one special soldier an family man. he is the elite of all americans. thank you for seving our country. an for being a military brother to our son. i realize neither of you knew one another. still the specialo bond from a band of military brothers and sisters. to always watch and protect each other. you are a hero TONY! hundred of million americans with no desire to serve his or her country. you are tony a very unselfish person, man, and soldier. risking your life day in and day out. fighting against terrorism and to give those in afghanistan freedom. you have touched the hearts of so many. to all those you have. all hold very precious memories shared with you TONY! my tears are with you TONY, as with my SOn Gregory and all our fallen. we lost our son last year in BALAD,IRAQ. Tony you nare forever in my heart and prays. you family lost someone so very dear to them. i lost another son, for you truely had been Gregory brother. TO YOUR FAMILY: REACH OUT TO YOUR POLITICAL LEADERS. REQUEST A STREET BE HONORED AFTER TONY. HE DESERVES TO BE HONOR TODAY NOT TOMORROW AS REMEMBERED TODAY NOT TOMORROW! HE IS A HERO THAT SERVED HIS COMMUNITY, STSTE AND COUNTRY. YOU WILL NOT BE ASKING TO MUCH FROM YOUR COMMUNITY AND POLITICAL LEADERS. GOD BLESS!"
leonard t. wahl of valley stream ny usa

"I didn't know Tony personally but attended his funeral here in Oconee, as did many of the men of the American Legion Post 124 in Walhalla. We are proud of Tony for his service to his country and especially proud of him as an Oconeean. We attended a special service in his honor as did his family and members of his unit from Ft. Bragg. His loss is heart felt by many in our community and he will be recognized during our Memorial Day service this year as his name has been added to our monument along with a long list of names dating back to WWI.
He has joined a group of soldiers who we vow not to forget."
Bob Lipscomb of Tamassee, SC/USA

"tony b. olaes was a great father , good friend and a wonderful spouse.he will be missed greatly.this family will love him always and forever.he was and still is the best man i have ever known. we love you"
scooter

"There I was, a couple days earlier, helping you prepair to go... You will forever be missed."
db of fay, nc, usa

"to the Olaes family- my deepest condolences to your family at this very difficult time in your lives. Tony will always be remembered as a Hero. We are so proud of his unselfish sacrifice for all of us that call ourselves Americans for we are Americans because of these Precious men that bravely fought without fear. May God Bless you all always- Sincerely Nyla Fernandez mother of Spc, Kyle K. Fernandez who lost his young life in Afghanistan on Oct. 14th '02 (nylafern@yahoo.com)"
nyla fernandez of Waianae,HI.

"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"

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

"Thanks for stepping forward when America needed you. To the family - Thank you for your contribution to our liberty and freedom. I'm sorry for your tremendous loss."
Ronald Carlson of Montrose, MN

"To the family of Tony Olaes, thank you for the sacrifice your family has given to our country. Men such as this is what made our country great. We are proud of him. He is a hero in the sight of all who know the great gift our military give to our country. Your hurt and pain is shared by us, who also lost our grandson in Afghanistan on 6/24/04. Our prayers are with you."
Tom Sisk, grandfather of LCpl Juston Thacker, USMC of Princeton, WV

"To Tony'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 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@banksterling.com"

"Thank you to all who have sent messages on this site. Your thoughts and prayers are a great tribute to my son, ssg. Tony Bruce Olaes. You may contact me directly at ninny9@bellsouth.net and I will reply to all."
Terry A. Ward of Westnubsrer, s.c.

"I am Tony's brother in law. He was a great man. he loved his family and his friends. He served his country for 11 years and this was his second tour of duty from Ft. Bragg. Tony was very loved by his family and friends. He served his country with honor, and in glory. He will Never be forgotton by anyone who knew him. We love you Tony and Thank You for your sacrafice.
Love Always Your Family!"
Unknown of Unknown

"To Tony's Family: Be proud of your son for what he did for all of us. I am proud of him and I feel your pain as I lost my son 18 months ago yesterday in Afghanistan in a helicopter crash. It is painful to face each day without him, but feel pride and honor for what he did for his country to give us the freedoms we have and enjoy each day. God bless you in this difficult time. In Christian love."
Theresa Hicks of Jefferson, SC USA

"To Tony's Family,
Your son is a hero. Very few are willing to give their life for others. I thank him for giving me the freedom to write this. Know that he will not be forgotten. May God give you comfort at this time.
PROUD MOM OF LCPL JUSTON T. THACKER
USMC 6/24/04 AFGHANISTAN"
Sharon Bowling of Princeton, WV United States of America, and Proud of it.

"To the Family of SSG Tony B Olaes. Our prayers and thoughts are with you in your time of sorrow and great loss. Time does not heal all great hurt but hopefully we can find a way to go on. Tony will be in our prayers.

Parents of SGT Daniel Lee Galvan KIA in Afghanistan 8-12-2004.

Ernest & Nelda Galvan and Family"
Blas E. Galvan of Moore, Ok

"To Tony's Family:
There are no words to express the sorrow we feel for your loss. May God bless you and help you through this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"To Family Of Staff Sgt. Tony Olaes:
Tony is a hero. We understand your sorrow and pain. We will continue to lift your family up in prayer. Greater love has no man than this,that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
If we can help in any way please do not hesitate to contact us @ lcpljustontthacer.com
The Family of LCpl Juston T Thacker KIA 6/24/04 Afghanistan"
T E Sisk of Princeton WV

"Thank you Tony Olaes, 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 Staff Sgt. Tony Olaes:
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 Tony 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 Staff Sgt. Tony Olaes:
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 Tony, 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