Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

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

Marine Cpl. Ronald R. Payne, Jr.

23, of Lakeland, Florida.
Payne died due to hostile action in the vicinity of Tawara, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Died on May 8, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Cpl. Ronald R. Payne, Jr..

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"Ron,can't believe it's been 13 years that you've been gone,and I miss you so much. I'm sure that's true for everyone who knew you.Love Mom"

"Thinking of you always I miss you so much Love Mom"

"Happy birthday brother"
Doc of Pingree grove

"I will never forget,the first time I held you in my arms you were so tiny the outfit you wore home from the hospital had a giraffe on it always knew you were gonna be really tall I miss you so much you'll never know how much every day is such a heartbreak without you,love always Mom"

"I miss you Ron every day love mom"

"Keeping with a great tradition with my son this weekend for you brother. You are missed my man.."
Doc

"You could always see when someone was down..and you always knew the right thing to do or say to bring a smile to their face"
Doc

"Miss you p poppa... think about the times we had often.."
Doc

"Rest - In - Peace, Devil Dawg

Semper Fi,
"Major Pain"
(Member of first-ever LAV Unit)"
Michael B. Parlor of Newport Beach, California

"Another Christmas withoutyourlovedone, you are always in our thoughts and prayers. At Christmas and the coming year. May the year help ease your grief and peace preside in it,s place. The Thompson, Dunkirk, ny"
Thompson of Dunkirk,ny

"Happy belated Marine Corps Bday, and Happy Veterans Day brother. Miss and love you..."
Doc of Streamwood, Il USA

"It has been 10 years since you left us. You have been even more in our hearts than ever. We love you Bubba. Your men came again to comfort us during Memorial week even after 10 years. We met ones again. We still get the phone calls, text, messages that remind us...they haven't forgotten you. Your Marine brothers and Corpsmen are our blessing. We are missing you so much, but know the Lord will join us together again one day. Love you baby."
Momma P

"We haven,t forgotten but have been without a way to communicate for a while, just know you are ALWAYS in our hearts amd minds and wish you a lighter heart knowing people remember your family. Blessing for 2014 and SEMPER FI."
L. And MA Thompson of Dunkirk, NY. USA

"This time of the year is always so hard. We miss you more and more. We will always hurt for you sweetheart. I go to your resting place for comfort yet it never gets better. 11-2-2013"
Momma Payne of Lakeland, Fl

"In memory of an honorable Marine Corporal Ronald R. Payne, Jr. on Memorial Day 2013."
The Thompsons of Dunkirk, N.Y.

"With love in our hearts and peace on our mind, we wish you and yours a special reminder at Christmas and 2013 that Ron will always be with us in spirit. Semper Fi."
lawrence and mary anne thompson dunkirk, ny USA

"I miss ya brother. More and more....never stops"
Rae of raerie81@gmail.com

"Today 9-11-12 was a day to remember. How much we have come so far in our country and in our family. I am so grateful for your sacrifice and yet miss you so much. 8 years hasn't soften our ache to be with you it just makes it harder to realized its been 8 years since we have heard your voice, hugged your neck had your surprise visits home. Thank you ...for so much."
Momma Payne of Lakeland, Fl

"For the rest of my life there will always be times that I look back at our time together. I will never forget that night in Afghanistan. You are a great man and always respected by your fellow Marines. I never thought that losing a friend would be so hard to deal with. So many years later you still have an affect on so many people. That should show you that you are truly a special person. We will always miss you Ron."
Kyle of Indianapolis, IN

"May "Peace" and an end to war be in your hearts this Memorial weekend.
The Thompsons 5/30/12"
Thompson of Dunkirk, New York

"8 Years brother....never easier. The pain and the love burn the soul!"
RAE of raerie81@gmail.com

"Its been a very long time since I've seen your face. I can only dream of you now. December always seems harder...."
Rae of raerie81@gmail.com

"Missing you bubba. I love you."
Valerie Payne Anderson of Lakeland, FL

"Ron not a day go's by that I don't think of you or your Dad, and though both of you I see true Honor and chest beating Pride. There will be thousands of men and women that will call themselves Marines though time however; if someone wants to know what it means to be one just look in the eyes of your father. He has given this country everything and still loves his God his County and his Corps. Your dad taught me what true Honor was and courage that not many men could with stand without a cold heart. For that I know you are guarding the streets of gold but I think ol Pops will be the Sgt in Charge. There Has to be a promotion for him there

Top H"

"6-1-11
Spending time with your Navy Corpsman Robby Spejcher, lunch with your Jon Ward, the many text messages and voice mails from your boys made this years Memorial week so much easier to walk through. I love you so much for having these great men you served with ...keep in touch with us ..even after 7 years..is such a healing for us. We are so proud to have them in our life. We think of you everyday..we shared memories of you with each other and it made us cry, laugh and miss you even more. I love you son....thank you for allowing us to be a part of your short life. Momma P and Poppa P love you dearly."
ronpaynefamily@yahoo.com

"5/24/11 in Memory of Cpl. Ronald Payne---7 years ago and we still keep your family close. May Peace be in your hearts this Memorial Day Weekend. Know many special thoughts are with you.
Sincerely, Lawrence and Mary Anne Thompson Dunkirk, N.Y."
mat of Dunkirk, N.Y.

"I deployed with your Son and although I didn't know him personally we all felt the loss and sadness that comes with losing one of our own. In Corporal Payne's honor I made a donation to my friends who are riding from my base in upstate New York to Andrews AFB, MD to raise awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project. You can see their page here at www.dugandsteve.com Please know that your Son and his ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten, not only from a grateful nation, but also from the Marines who share his legacy and had the honor of serving with him."
Randy Welch of Albany, NY

"http://youtu.be/NV-dQsbXOI8"
Rae of raerie81@gmail.com

"5-7-11
Today marks 7 years. This weeks events with the death of BinLaden and the anniversary of your death ...has been an extremely hard week. I am sadden by the realization that even though that evil man is dead...it doesn't bring you back. I can't begin to explain how hard it was to get up this morning. I don't think but I know it keeps getting harder not easier. I look back on the previous posts from the beginning and one thing has stayed constant is this.....your boys have never forgotten you and what your friendship meant to them, through the love they continue to have for you, they have kept a loyal connection to us..checking on us and sending us encouraging words through out these years. This has been such a blessing to us cause we see YOU in them. We can not wait until we are all together again. Until then, keep watch over us and as the bible states people in heaven pray for those still here...please continue to pray for us. I love you beyond words."
Momma Payne of Lakeland, Florida

"Dear Brother: It will be 10 years since a man that caused hell to our country, It will be 7 years this week since he and his men killed you. And now he is meeting his maker and he is meeting you. I hope you are standing there to say "Time to Pay UP". Brother there will never be closure but this brings a strange peace over me. I love you and may your peace be deep brother! Bubba the US got him....THE U.S!!!! Semper Fi! Your very proud sister"
rae of raerie81@gmail.com

"Mr. and Mrs. Payne,

I am very sorry for your loss. I read of it on the Pat Tillman page. I lost one of my closest friends, Jim Witkowski, on October 26, 2005. After reading of your son, I wanted to post and thank you and your family for your sacrifice. He will never be forgotten. Bless all of you."

"May your peace be deep brother. We are all lacking without you here."
Rae of raerie81@gmail.com

"Today 12-31-2010 you would have been 30 years old. We had a memorial birthday party for you Bubba. Your family and friends came out and shared stories of you with us. It was such a healing for me,dad and Rae. Thank you for your memories of your beautiful life for us to hold on to until we see you again. We will never forget what you did for us. We miss you terribly and know the Lord has sent these wonderful people to help us heal. Your boys STILL call and email us. You would be so proud. We love you sweetheart.....we miss you terribly."
Momma Payne and Poppa Payne of Lakeland, Florida........ronpaynefamily@yahoo.com

"Peace to all the world and comfort to the family of Ron Payne. December 25,2010"
The Thompsons' of Dunkirk, New York

"It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I'm sitting here crying again over your loss. I was at the Veteran's Day Ceremony and heard the painful but oh so proud speech Ronald Payne Sr. gave about his son. The strength it took to look at all those pictures of a son who was taken before his time was just awe inspiring. I pray that in time the jagged hole in your hearts will soften -take comfort in knowing that he was doing what he believed was his purpose in life - there is no greater honor on this earth."
Tammi Kowatch of Lakeland, FL/USA

"May your peace be deep brother, give those that have been with you 9 years today some extra love. You are the best at comforting!"
Rae of raerie81@gmail.com

"Today 9 years ago changed our lives forever. To all the families in pain today..we share your pain. To those who went without hestitation to protect our nation...and didn't come home..thank you will never be enough...though living a life of honor is what we can do to honor your sacrifice. For those still there as a result of this day...thank you too. We will Never Forget.
ronpaynefamily@yahoo.com"
Proud mom of a Fallen Marine Aileen Payne of Lakeland, Florida

"I wanted to thank all you who continuely heal our hearts with your touching remarks. This is a page that my husband and I visit quit often, many times when we are so heartsick for our son. Thank you for never forgetting him and writing your memories of Ron with you...it truly blesses our hearts and allows us to "be with him" again. Those who have never met him...thank you for taking the time to share your appreciation. For this family it means so much.
Proud Mom of Cpl. Ron Payne Jr.
Aileen Payne."
ronpaynefamily@yahoo.com

"Yesterday I turned 29...funny how on my day I was thinking of you a lot! I miss you brother and I hope that I live my life in a fashion that makes you proud!!"
Rae of raerie81@gmail.com

"It was an honor to wear your name and walk in rememberence of the ultimate sacrifice you and your family have made to ensure the freedom of my family and countless others. God bless you and yours."
James West of Lakeland, FL

"To your family Ronnie, Joe is still talking about you as if you were on the football field at the commander's cup yesterday. He now uses you as an example of what a Marine should be to the new Marines coming in. In death you are still touching many, many lives. You were truely one of the good ones who went on to be with the Father a little too soon. We miss you and I will never forget you putting my then 2 year old son on your lap and teaching him to play the drums at Moran's house."
Lisa of Camp Kinser, Okinawa Japan

"Even though I am in another country you are all around me. I love and miss you dearly."
Rae of raerie81@gmail.com

"On this Memorial Day 2010 we are remembering all of our fallen Marines and those who still serve and have served with their hearts and souls."
The Thompsons of Dunkirk, New York

"HI Ron
im my heart hurts for those left behind.
though never meant u i want to say thank you. you chose to fight for our freedom and for that i want to say thank you and may GOD bless your family.
(my mom is a payne)"
michelle c kelley of mooresville nc

"I didnt know you ron but im grateful for your sacrifice for our country.
Im a sophomore in high school and im going to Join The Marine Corps when i graduate. R.I.P. SEMPER FI brother"
Jake Fernandez of Cottonwood, Idaho

"This day" is always so difficult as we remember you. Your face your smile and your courage and faithfullness to your calling. We remember you still. love Aunt Deb"
Debi Filmore of Auburndale, Florida

""Im here without you but you're still on my lonely mind. I think about you and I dream about you all the time""
Rae of raerie81@gmail.com

"Hey Ron, was thinking of you today."
Danielle of west warwick, ri

"I did not ever know you. But I thank you and your family for your sacrifice. I thank you for my freedom. I will always remember those who paid their lives for ours in this country."
Paula of Louin Ms / USA

"I went to "Bubba's place" to be at your resting place, after work today. I just laid next to you wishing I can spend some more time with you again. I have been missing you so much. I miss your presence, just you being with us and your tender heart. It will be 6 years this year and it feels as though you were taken from us yesterday. I know it's been 6 years for us and proably 6 seconds for you. I hope you know we miss you and long to see you again. I love you Bubba....you will never leave my heart, soul and life. Lord please remind him that he is missed and loved."
Momma Payne of Lakeland, Fl

"Savannah sees you sometimes.....thank you for that. I love you brother."
valerie payne anderson of lakeland, fl

""Hey Brother, I just got back from the Stan and I thought of you often while I was there. We lost six more of our LAR brothers in my Company and it was very tough and brought back the all too familiar memories of when we lost you. When you meet them at heavens gates you'll know they are "Destroyers" like us, so take care of them. Still missing you brother and thanks for always watching over us!Semper Fi!"
GySgt Dumais 2D LAR Bn "T-Rex" of Hubert, NC

"I miss you so much. You would have been 29 today. We all ache so much and time has never healed our pain it has only reminds us how long we have been apart from you. We all were together at your resting place. We will always keep this day ...your day. I love you honey.... Momma and Daddy long for the day we get to see you again."
Momma P of Lakeland, Florida

""Because I miss you
Most at Christmas time
And I can't get you
Get you off my mind
Every other season comes along
And I'm all right
But then I miss you, most at Christmas time""
Rae of raerie81@gmail.com

"we now have a grandson serving in Afghanistan this Holiday Season, so all the more to remember your son Ron, and our son who served with him. we hope you find Peace in his memory and know prayers are still flowing for all of the men and women serving our country."
The Thompsons' of Dunkirk, New York

"”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to you. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Over 1,800 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
Mothers and/or Fathers, of our heroes, please be aware that the Project Compassion sponsors will now help cover the costs of the portraits for you to have one - regardless if the spouse of the hero has one or not!
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com. or go to www.heropaintings.com . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and bless you.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Kenna
Project Compassion
P.O. Box 153
Manti, Utah 84642"
Project Compassion , Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"I'm heading to Vegas for a Sibling Survivor retreat....you will be heavy on my mind brother..much love"
Rae of raerie81@gmail.com

"I was at the gym at boot camp "exercise"and I wore my Marine "boot camp" shirt and thought of you during my section. I was struggling to run on the treadmill and a big body builder came by and said, "your hard work is paying off, keep up the great work" . I truly felt he was an angel sent by you and the Lord to keep me motivated. Everyday is an inspiration to do my best, I promised you a new Momma and I plan on fulfilling that promise. I visualize you running right next to me. I miss you terribly. Love you Bubba"
Momma Payne of Lakeland, Florida

"On this day, July 4th, 2009 we celebrate our freedom. It's been 5 years since that fateful day in Afghanistan. You are still remembered, cherished, missed and honored on this day. Enjoy Valhalla Devil Dog."
SGT Jeff Ritter of Polo, MO

"thinking of you all on this memorial day weekend. Love Always, Danielle"
of west warwick, ri

"to the family of Ron Payne---Peace in your hearts this Memorial Day Weekend and forever after.
the Thompson's"
Thompson of Dunkirk,New York U.S.A.

"It was like, the day after we were told by the Marines. It's vivid that Mother's Day was the next day. How Rae called us 1 hour before the Marines came, worried sick about you because she couldn't sleep...she knew something was wrong. You two were always connected that way. Our lives have been blessed by our Valerie returning home. We all have clinged to each other as when we were under the same roof again. Yet our lives is still NOT COMPLETE....YOU are not here. It will never feel complete. It was hard for me to speak yesterday. Yet your brothers spent the day calling us. You would be proud. I love son....I miss you so terribly."
Momma Payne

"Ron you are on the hearts of so many today...your heavy on mine. Thank you seems so inadequate to say to a hero. You are so special to us, I will alway's remember the last time that I seen you when you hugged me at Church before you left the last time you had to bend half in two to be able to hug me cause I'm so little. I love you still and I will cherish your memory and your sacrafice. Love Aunt Deb"
Debi Filmore of Auburndale, Florida USA

"Bubba--today we will all be quiet and still and try and wrap ourselves in your memories...you are missed brother every day..but today we will be still in that rememberance."
Rae of raerie81@gmail.com

"Big Ron,

Wow how time flies!! I am always sad this time of year knowing that this was when you gave everything for your family, friends and country which you loved dearly to make sure that we all continue to live safe. Not a day goes by that I do not shed a tear for you big guy. I remember the last time we all hung out, great times we had!! I am trying to write this at work and keep the tears down, so that I do not short out my keyboard!! LOL. Can not wait for the time when we can see each other again in Heaven; where we are both healthy again, like when we were kids, with out a care in the world, living life to the fulliest and picking on Rae!! (Sorry Rae - you know I Love ya).

Ron, Love you and Miss you dearly."
Josh Filmore - Brother from a different Mother of Winter Haven, FL USA

"Ronald,

May you rest in peace! Thanks for your ultimate sacrifice for our country. You are a hero.

To the family of Ronald,

May you find comfort in knowing that Ronald is still thought of. I do not know him, but I am thankful for him. He is a hero. I lost my little brother Jason Payne on 11/22/2007 and I know the pain that you all are going through. My prayers are with you."
Jessica Payne of Loxahatchee, FL USA

"To the family of my friend Ronnie.
He was my friend. We used to play music together in the barracks in 2nd Lar battalion. He was a hell of a drummer. If there was a description of a gentle giant it would be him. I love him dearly. Having fought in the war, I know what he went through. I'm in tears every time I think of him and the times in garrison we had. He was my friend. I am sorry for your loss. I was at the memorial service at Camp Lejeune. Officers asked me to speak at the service but I couldn't. I just listened. I heard his father speak. I lost it in the church. Again, I say, I was his friend and spent most of my down time with him. I miss him greatly. He will always be in my heart and in my soul. Ronnie I love you and hope to see you when it's my time.
Go Florida.
He would have liked to have heard that.
Matthew Lombardi"
Matthew Lombardi of Ocean View NJ 08230

"Dear Payne Fmaily,
My name is Russ Jacobs and I am an OM, (Old Marine). I joined the USMC 30 years ago in between wars. I am lucky on the one hand to be a Marine during peace times and sad on the other hand that I was only able to serve my country during times of peace. The Marine Corps is a very proud organization that goes back 234 years and is full of men of honor. I know that Cpl Payne touched many lives and he has touched one more. Thank you for your sacrifice for our country, Your son is part of the greatest fighting force in the history of the world and will not be forgotten. We will not let him be forgotten."
Russ Jacobs of Littleton, Colorado

"The days I feel lost in the mix there is one thought that reminds me Im not ..."Come here Rae Im lonely" :) I miss you brother!"
Rae of raerie81@gmail.com

"Never far from my mind, always in my heart."
Marquerite of Rotterdam, the Netherlands

"5 years ago this weekend was the last time we spent together....you are never far from my heart. . . you will always be my Valentine"
Rae of raerie81@gmail.com

"Hey brother...please help over your family right now...they sure do need it...i miss you and think of you constantly...love you"
Doc of Streamwood Il

"I miss the heck out of you!"
Rae of raerie81@gmail.com

""To the family and friends of Cpl. Ronald Payne, Jr.:

I must tell you this, i was just googling myself and came across this page ..GOD works in amazing ways..i just wanted to say i am sorry for your loss and proud to call your son a brother..i too am in the military and at this time stationed in IRAQ, this is my third time here but the point i wanted to make is alot of people loved Ronald, as you can see , and that make me feel glad that he wasn't forgotten and never will be."
SFC Ronald Payne of IRAQ

"Happy Birthday Bubba. We miss you so much. We felt your presence today because you have left us so many memories to blanket us."
Momma Payne and Poppa Payne

""Freedom is a light for which many men have died in darkness"

Happy 28th brother! You are missed!"
Rae of raerie81@gmail.com

"12-25-08
Before we started our Christmas, we stopped to remember you. We will never ever, live a day without you on our hearts. Thank you so much for your courage and sacrifice. We know you are enjoying heaven with all of the others who gave their lives so we could have a Christmas. We love you. On the 31st we are going to celebrate you. We miss you so much. Thank you for giving us those little things that help us through this month."
Momma Payne and Poppa Payne of Lakeland, Fl

"merry christmas Ron!
thinking of you and your family."
danielle of west warwick, ri

"Ron, you are and always will be remembered. I sure miss playing Mao with you on the WASP!"
Jonas Shawanesse of Columbia, SC

""Freedom is the light for which many men have died in darkness"

This is your month brother and you are as always but perhaps missed more this month!"
Rae of raerie81@gmail.com

"Christmas Blessings and Peace in your hearts this holiday season. You are never far from our thoughts."
The Thompsons of Dunkirk, New York

"Christmas Blessings and Peace in your hearts this holiday season. You are never far from our thoughts."
The Thompsons of Dunkirk, New York

"THINKING OF YOU TODAY. I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU."
HM2(FMF)PURNELL C.J of ALEXANDRIA VA

"Momma knows you are still working in this family. We miss you terribly."
Momma Payne of Lakeland, Fl

"I am thankful for you and your friends and those who are standing in God's presence because of their service to our country."
Rae of raerie81@gmail.com

"I miss you EXTRA today!
All my love Brother"
Rae of raerie81@gmail.com

"9-11-08
YOU WERE ON MY MINE ALL DAY, ALONG WITH ALL THE OTHERS WHO LOST THEIR LIVES BECAUSE OF THIS DAY. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU. I MISS YOU TERRIBLY. I LOVE YOU"
MOMMA PAYNE of LAKELAND, FL

"I have been missing you so much. I think of you everyday. Momma sees you in everything she does. Can't wait to be reunited with you and hug you again."
Momma Payne of Lakeland, Fl

"freedom is not free but the brave men of the us marines and uk royal marines will pay most of your share!"
roy glover of uk

"You know its the little things that make me miss you most. Stupid little things that most people won't get..like the fact that every time I see a preview for the new X-Files movie I want to call you and buy tickets to see it at midnight! You would love that. I miss you the most when I realize that this life is not a dream...its real. I miss you brother~!"
rae of raerie81@gmail.com

"to the family of ronald payne jr. he'll never be forgotten because freedom isn't free!!! peace to you and yours."
the thompsons of dunkirk, new york

"You are missed big brother! You are truly missed."
Rae of raerie81@gmail.com

"I feel blessed to have attended the Memorial Day service that honored your son this year and only wish I had the opportunity to meet him in person. The love, pride, sacrifice and sorrow that filled the air has forever changed my heart and mind and how I will think of this time of year now that I have witnessed what this day truly means for a gold star family. Peace be with you as it is for Ron Jr. forever!"
Lana Tanner of Palm Bay, Florida

"5/25/08 - Our family wanted to take a moment to reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day, and our thoughts were turned to Ron, Jr. and his family. 9/11 was awful and very real to us, but it seemed far away. But, on that somber day when we looked upon Ronnie's body laid in his coffin, 9/11 was no longer far away. It was now very close: it came to our city, to our church, and it became part of our lives. Our hearts hurt so bad for the family. We realized that if it were not for Ronnie and others who have given their lives, that the very evil that they fought against would come into our country and take over. We would lose our freedom that we so take for granted. We also realized just how much our freedom costs. We thank God for Ronnie and for all who have sacrificed their lives for us, and for those who are fighting even now. Since we cannot thank Ronnie in person, we want to thank his family for raising him and instilling in him the love of God and the love of his country. Our family has never been the same since that day when Ronnie was laid to rest. He is in our hearts and he will never be forgotten. Today our pastor talked about the woman who anointed Jesus with the precious oil in her alabaster box. He said that there were those who said, "Why was this precious oil wasted? It could have been sold for a high price." But, it was not wasted. There was a worthy cause... the Lord Jesus Christ. Her story is a memorial for all of us. We hear the garbage on the TV and in the news, and there are those that are bitter. But, as our pastor preached, Ronnie's death was for a purpose and it is a memorial to us all. We need to take the time to remember. We need to be thankful. We need to live according to Ronnie's example. Ronnie's life was a gift to us all. Payne family: we love you and we continue to pray for you. Your son's blood is very precious. Your testimony reflects our heavenly Father's loss and gives us a deeper understanding of the death of our Lord Jesus. Words seem so small to express what is in our hearts. God bless you all and may He continue to be glorified through your lives."
Robyn & Amber Bryant of Lakeland, Florida

"To the family of Ronald Payne,
Thoughts are with you this Memorial Day 2008."
The Thompsons of Dunkirk, N.Y.

"To the family of Ronald Payne,
Thoughts are with you this Memorial Day 2008."
The Thompsons of Dunkirk, N.Y.

"4 years ago, the 2 Marines came to our door. Today it is you that filled our day. Your boy Johnny C wanted to spend the all whole day with us, he came to your place and had dinner with us to enjoy stories about you. Doc Consey called to check up on us as did your other boys. Your boys will come together again this year...for you and to carry their adopted family. Thank you for the beautiful memories you left them and us ...it is what we cling to ..it allows us to feel close to you. Your boy Shane sent us pictures of you and him we have never saw before. We love you Bubba, never will we ever forget."
Momma and Pappa Payne, ronpaynefamily@yahoo.com of Lakeland, Fl

"I'm back at LAR but C-co, I am currently in Iraq, I know you are in heaven watching over me and the rest of our brothers. I miss you bro! To Mr.& Mrs. Payne I will contact you when I get back in October 08 sometime. God Bless you and yours! Sincerely GySgt. Kevin Dumais
2nd LAR Charlie Co. Semper Fi!!"
Kevin Dumais of Hubert,N.C.

"God bless ya brother!"
SDI of San Antonio, TX

"Momma Payne,

I have not heard from you in along time and I just wanted you to know that I was thinking of "Big Payne" and I just wanted to say "Thanks for his service" and "Thanks for raising an amazing son." I wish that I could have met him in person but he was a Marine and that means everything to me."
Gy Glaeser of New Hampshire

"Payne Family,
Now that I know I have walked the ground where your sacrifice was made, I am greatly honored. My prayers will always be with you. Talking to you has strengthed my resolve to be the best "Doc" I can be.
Yours in Christ and Corps,
HM3 Glen A Mulkey, Jr, USN"
HM3 Glen Mulkey of Yokosuka, Japan

"To the family of:Ronald R. Payne,Jr. 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"

"To the family of Cpl Ronald Payne Jr.,
May God bless your hearts and souls for providing our nation with a soldier who laid down his life to protect ours. I was one of those JROTC Cadets who saluted your son during the 21 Gun-Salute at the memorial service at Mulberry High School. The last time I saw your son I was only, maybe 12 or 13.We only hung out a few times. However, my father David Mathers worked with Mr. Payne at Peppridge Farms. That is how I knew your son. He was a very brave man for putting his life on the line for our country. And now because of him, I will be inlisting in the military as well. What better way to pay back my debt to him than to do the same. May God bless you and keep you safe.
With Love,
Jessica"
Jessica Cook of Lakeland, Fl, USA

"12-31-07
Happy 27th birthday Bubba. I spent the day out at your place. We couldn't all be together out there, but we still exchanged gifts. Rae gave us a beautiful memorial for us to put by your pics in the house. We miss you so much. I felt as I was out there making your flower saddle for your monument, that we should be planning a surprise birthday party, like Rae did for your last birthday....not making a flower arrangement for your headstone. I know you love being with Jesus. I hope you know how much we miss you. So many called to check on us. You have no idea what a gift that is.
We love you."
MOM AND DAD PAYNE of LAKELAND, FLORIDA

"just stopping by Ron to wish you a happy birthday!!!!
Danielle"

"Today is the 3rd Christmas without you. The whole family was together. We felt your presence all around us. We miss you terribly. Ron, not a day goes by that we don't speak of you or think of you. I know your Christmas with Jesus is so much better than what we have experianced here. We will soon celebrate what would have been your 27th birthday. We will honor you like we always do by exchanging gifts that remind us of you. Keep your presence around us until we see you again. We love you so much.
Mom Payne and Daddy Payne"
of Lakeland, Florida

"Hi Ron, I miss you brother. Savannah crawled for the first time Wednesday, what an amazing moment. I think she was able to do it out of sheer frustration, I am so proud of her. I see a glimmer of you in her every once in a while and it is so comforting. Watch over her, be her guardian angel. I don't know what I would do without my baby girl. I love you Ron so much."
Valerie Anderson of Tampa, FL

"Blessings and Peace throughout the world this Christmas, 2007, in memory of your son and all U.S. veterans who have served and are now serving our country."
the Thompsons' of Dunkirk, N.Y.

"November 18, 2007
To the family of Cpl. Ronald R. Payne, Jr.:
Ronald 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

"A blessing for 2 families on 9/11/07

(I know this is long but it will bless your heart)

I want you to know how the Lord blessed 2 families hurting. We met a
family last year from a town I work in, that lost their son in Iraq
last year. When Rae, Ronnie and I took them to dinner, the one thing
that broke our hearts were their yearning to talk to one of their son's
men who served with him in the Marines... you see he was a Marine and
lost several of his men in the explosion that took his life. A few
weeks later, more of his men had died. Sgt Christian Williams was
their son. Christian's brother told me as we walked to the car, "I just
want to talk to the men who served with my brother ...I want to learn
how my brother was as a Marine". That night I had a heavy burden to
find them at least one Marine who they could speak to. It was my mission
to try to find this for them. I prayed and asked the Lord to help
me find one of Christian's men. I wanted to give this to the Williams
as a gift as I know how much Ron's men means to us. How they have
been such a healing for us, through the stories they told of Ron and most
of all the pictures they gave us with Ron in them. It was like
seeing your son alive one more time. I wanted that so much for Christian's
family.
A couple of days ago, Rae called me and told me she got and email from
one of Christian's Marines. He didn't know that Christian was killed
and found Rae's message on Christian's "Fallen Heroes" page. In the
email, this man, name Ryan, enclosed pictures of Christian. When Rae
told me, I was so excited I was crying. I knew how much these pictures
would mean to the Williams family. That the Lord had answered my
prayer. I called Mrs. Williams and told her that I had a surprise for
her and her family. We set a date to go to dinner so that I could
present her with the pics. She had no idea why we were meeting.
I emailed the Marine (Ryan)and told him what this meant to a family who had
lost their son. What I didn't notice until Sunday was the phone number
he included in his email was RIGHT HERE IN TAMPA!!!!! I couldn't
believe it. I got on the phone and he said, Mrs. Payne I didn't put you together with Rachel
until you left a message on my phone. I just realized that I was one
of the colored guards at your son's funeral. Can you believe how the
Lord worked this out. This man was there for Ron's funeral and was
connected to this family we have been ministering to. I asked him if
he would come as my gift to the Williams. He didn't hestitate and
agreed to come, and he said he would print the pictures to give to them.
Do you know what date was our dinner planned.....it was for tonight 9/11.
I didn't even connect it when Maria and I decided on the night.
What a gift to give this family on 9/11!!!!.
I went to my Kiwanis luncheon and had the winning ticket that had a $300.00
win. I was in shock. The Lord provided for the dinners,
and Rae who needed $100.00 to mail away to the state to make her
"SOFT"(Siblings of Fallen Troops)
group to be "non profit". The rest will go into the "Cpl Ron Payne's Ministries"
for when we buy gifts for the families.
Isn't that awesome, how the Lord worked all of this out........on 9/11.
Needless to say, when the Williams arrive at the restaurant they were
eagered to find out what the surprise was. I began to tell them I had
made it my quest to find them one of their son's men. When I
shared with them that out of the blue this man saw Rachel's comment on Christian's page and
he too wanted to connect with them. I continued to tell them that this
man sent pictures of Christian...at that moment Chrisitan's teenage
brother's eyes began to fill with tears. When I told them,that
this man just found out of Christian's death and was heart broken he wasn't
there for them....the tears began to flow from Christian's
parents......I than told them...that this man was waiting outside to meet them,
they all fell apart. His dad, who had always been quiet and didn't talk
much, broke into tears. Ryan came walking in with a dozen roses for
Mrs. Williams. Ronnie began to cry. Can I just tell you, that after
that, it was just an awesome night. Ryan began to tear up when he saw
the family overwhelmed by him being there. He couldn't speak at first.....
after they hugged him and Mrs. Williams hugged him, we all sat down.
Ryan began to share with them how much he admired Christian,
and that he used to cut Christian's hair. He brought out
those pictures of Christian, and his mother couldn't speak.
She put her hands on the pictures and said, "my son is alive again".
Christian's teenage brother could barely hold the picture. Ryan began
to tell them that he would find Christian's other Marine brothers and
more pictures for them. I can't even tell you what an amazing night
this was for this family. The rest of the night was filled with many
questions for Ryan. We closed the restaurant down.
The many of you who pray for us and families like
us.....here is a blessing the Lord bestowed on us. To look at how
everything was connected at the right time for this night was only the
Lord. I hope you are blessed as much as we were by the Lord letting us be
a part of this miracle.
Thank you for always praying for us, as this is proof the Lord is
continuing to take care of us.
Love Momma Payne"
ronpaynefamily@yahoo.com

"Today we attended one of your fellow Marine's Memorial service, Sgt Christian Williams. The patroit guard was there and his family was so gracious in including you in their tribute. Dad and I were truly blessed by ..yet again another family making their son proud in honoring his memory with such respect. We (The Williams and us)are joined by your death and Christian's death..giving the ultimate sacrifice for us. Christian's mother gave me a beautiful necklace with your colored picture on it, she has one for your sister Rae....and guess what she got dad.....Coffee. Now if that isn't someone who knows your father. She said that she prayed what to give Dad and she said the Holy Spirit gave her the answer.....coffee.
We are honored to know this family and we know, we would have not ever had the chance...had it not been for your homegoing. We will always remember what you did for us and share it. We love you son, and plan to continue to honor you!!!"
Mom and Dad of Lakeland, Florida ((ronpaynefamily@yahoo.com)

"Honored family of CPL Ron Payne:

I have read some of the messages left here and I can say it no better than others have said already. It is somehow important, not to me, but to you that I am a former combat infantryman. Vietnam was my war, but war is all horrible and all the same. More importantly it is the fact that the MEN are the same. American MEN just keep coming. And I can tell you honestly "we" know.

We know. What "we" are doing and what "we" are enduring.

Men like your son do it for you and for me. And I will always have respect and love for your son and the many like him
who care more for honor than they do for life.

When one says "God blesses America", they are saying that God provides young men like your son to bless America and to preserve her.

I salute your son. I salute ALL the very fine young men who go forward AS others talk and debate. That has never been different. Fortunately, the MEN like your son Ronald always seem to come forward at the right time and the right place.

From the bottom of my heart - thanks to Ronald R. Payne, Jr. and MORE thanks to his family."
John P. McKenzie of Cosby, TN

"Dear Payne Family,
As an army veteran I am aware of the sacrifice of our military in a very personal way. Your son, brother, nephew has made the greatest sacrifice a nation can ask of it's citizens. I wear Ron's name on a "Fallen Hero's" bracelet everyday to honor him and his sacrifice. For a year and a half it's the first article I put on in the morning and the last thing I take off at night. My thoughts and prayers are with you and also with those of all the fallen and injured military personel. I will continue to wear Ron's name on my wrist until all the soldiers are home. God Bless."
Ted W. Johns of New Port Richey, Fl.

""If you are able,
save them a place
inside of you
and save one backward glance
when you are leaving
for the places they can
no longer go.
Be not ashamed to say
you loved them,
though you may
or may not have always.
Take what they have left
and what they have taught you
with their dying
and keep it with your own.
And in that time
when men decide and feel safe
to call the war insane,
take one moment to embrace
those gentle heroes
you left behind.
"Major Michael Davis O'Donnell
1 January 1970
Dak To, Vietnam."
America has been built on the blood
of Heros and Brave Men of Honor.
Thank you for your service and my
freedom.. May God bring comfort
to your loved ones.
You shall never be forgotten by
a grateful nation.""
William D. Taylor of Bonita Springs Florida

"To the family of Ron,
I wanted to be in Florida with this weekend, but my scedule did not allow me this opportunity, and it rips my heart out. I'm so sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with you and know if you need anything, Rae has my number.
To Ron;
Such a rough time for friends and family of yours to go through. This Memorial Day, may they all have the strength to wake up the next day. May they all remember the purpose behind your amazing sacrifice and chain of events that followed. Everything happens for a reason. I know it is an overused cliche, however it is so true. Because you gave your dear life, someone else lived. That someone will tell a story and your actions will never be forgotten. You will be looked up to, a Hero to everyone who learns. God Bless you, Ron and God Bless your family. Watch over them this sad Holiday and give them hope in knowing they will see you again. What a reunion that will be! We love you and miss you Ron. Thank you. Thank you for everything. Happy Memorial Day from your Marine Corps Sister."
Shannon

"A Memorial Day tribute to your son, Ron, for what he gave to and for us. Blessings and Peace. 5/23/2007"
The Thompson's of Dunkirk, N.Y.

"Ron,

Thankyou for looking after our son and all of your brothers during the years you served together. We will never forget."
Sue of Cincinnati

"Hey my Bubba,
Dad and I spent the day sharing your boy's story about your Marine days. Your sister Rae gave us a CD of your songs. We got to listen to the CD while being out there feeling the Lord's arms around us. Thank you so much that you gave your all, that you gave us all a safer place to live. We have met some families, spoke to a lot of heroic soldiers but at the end of the day.....we don't have you. That is, I believe the hardest thing for us to deal with, not to get angry with but most of all not get hopeless over.
I remember you telling us one time when I told you I wasn't ready to go through another war. You said, "mom when I joined the Marines you joined the Marines". When I said, "I don't remember signing on the dotted line". You told me to "suck it up". I guess that says it all. So when we feel dispair,angry or plain hopeless, I will remember your words of wisdom..."We'll just suck it up".
We love you so, and will carry on your name, your wisdom and your testimony as long as we have breathe to do it.
Thank you for giving us so many memories to carry us until we meet you again.
Love
Mom and Dad"

"Hey Ron, Just wanted to say ill never forget, neither will my family. Thank you for saving my brothers life. Your a hero i will never forget. keep Watching over me even when i go over. Brothers forever Mark A Snyder USMC"
Mark Snyder of Jacksonville, NC

"Ron,
Today is the day that we all reflect on the bravery and sacrifice you gave three years ago today. we are all proud of you even though it hurts all to know that they can not see you we all know that you are looking over us. you live on through every ones great memories of you. rip Ron you are truely missed!

danielle from Rhode Island"

"Ron, I saw you when I visited the Faces of the Fallen Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery a few weeks ago. Having served in the Army, I have often though about what it would be like to have faced battle, though I never did. I took several pictures of the different soldiers that were represented in the memorial that day. I was really saddened after seeing the memorial, with all the messages from loved ones, including yours, with the notes your loved ones left there. Now that I am back home, I thought I would look you up online and learn more about you. I think you are a one of the many heros, including mine. You, your family, and loved ones have a friend and family member here in Kansas City. Thank you!""
Ian Connors of Kansas City, Missouri

"Hey Ron.
Just wanted to say Happy Easter.
I was thinking about you.
Just like Holly, you're always in my thoughts.
XO"
Shannon

"Happy Easter Ron
You are in my thoughts."
danielle of Rhode Island

"Ron,
I lived with your sister, Valerie for a few months. She was such an awesome friend. Because of her, I will never forget you. You were her hero. She looked up to you so much. She used to show me pictures of you and tell me all kinds of stories. I even remember her showing pictures of you after hell week in boot camp. I do not know why God chooses to take such young people, but I know that you have touched many lives. Thank you for giving the ultimate sacrifice so that my family can live safely and freely in this great nation.

John 15:13"
Sarah Foss McFall of Lynchburg, VA

"Still thinking about you Devil Dog. I miss you and love you. Give Aaron a hug up there for me. Semper Fi Brother!"
FMR. Doc Leigh of Fayetteville, Arkansas

"Dear Ron

Just wanted to say thank you for giving up your life to bring my brother home. We all miss you with all our hearts youll never be forgotten. To the family your son is a true hero which no one will ever forget."
Mark of Jacksonville, NC

"Happy Valentine's Day Ron.
Wanted you to know I was thinkin about you and your family. XO"
Shannon

"HI RON.. Just sending my luv"
danielle

"Dear Cpl. Ronald R. Payne and Family,


I just had the pleaser of meeting your loved one and what he went through on the military channel. I thought that it would be a shame if I, living in St. Petersburg, never got the chance to visit Ron’s resting place. I love to BBQ, perhaps we could have a picnic, if not at the cemetery, then a near by park. Since I never met Ronald, I really don’t have a clue to what he liked to eat but making his favorite dish would be a must. If any wants to be a part of the picnic or knows what we enjoyed eating, please feel free to contact me. Also, it anyone can give me detailed info on where to locate his resting place, it would be greatly appreciated.

peterloui@hotmail.com
Peter Loui
2501 9th Ave. North
St. Petersburg, FL 33713"
Peter Loui of St. Petersburg, FL

"Rest in Peace noble warrior.
MSgt Earl E. Payne Jr."
Ed Payne of Valdosta Ga

"To the Family of Ronald R. Payne, Jr. I had written to you when your son had died..My brother served with ur son in Afghanistan..I wanted to write so much but just couldn't find the words..I lost my brother SGT JULIAN ARECHAGA on OCT 9, 2006 in Iraq..I know your pain and it just hurts and it feels like someone just stopped your whole life..It has been a horrible nightmare but to know that he died a hero makes me soo proud of what he accomplished in his life..as your son they believed in what they did .Our heroes are united in heaven..we will see them one day..with love Sheyla Randazzo(rnscottage@aol.com)"
sheyla randazzo of Baldwin, New York

"Happy Birthday!
I know just like my dad the enemies of this country have taken you from us way too early. The both of you were born at such an amazing time of year. . . a time of creation and new beginning, it just shows how much more incredible the two of you are!
Thank you for never forgetting to visit from time to time you will forever be family!"
Jenn of NJ

"Happy Birthday Ron, and Happy New Year's. I know this is difficult for so many people. I didn't know you but I know of you and I am a mother as well. I couldn't imagine what some mothers these days have to go through. I know you're holding them up, giving them the strength to see through to tomorrow. Your story will touch so many lives, my family's included. You are such a special person, Ron. So many people love you and can't wait to see you.
~For You~
Until the day we finally meet and our Lord sits in-between;
We'll share a smile of knowledge, known only of Marines.
Your family will gather, spreading love of unknown bounds,
As at last we all will come to rest in peace on Holy ground.
Toast it up with Holls because I'm pouring one for you, too~
Missin you, Lovin you,
xo"
Shannon of Jax NC

"Happy 26th Birthday Ron, we sure miss you. We look forward to the day when we will see you again. Love Uncle Bob and Aunt Karen"
of Lakeland, Fl

"Happy Birthday Sweetheart,
This has been a day of quiet pain. Dad and I have been overwhelmed with the reality of knowing you are not here. We celebrated your day at your place and we went to the school. Our gifts to each other reflexed you. It helps when we continue to remember you, it is spent laughing. We are so proud of you. Your Doc called, what a blessing having your men stand in for you. They are you. We miss you so much. Each day we are closer to you.
All our love."
Dad and Mom

"Happy Birthday Ron
I know for a fact that today is tough on everyone, especially ur sister Rae.
She is with Cash so you know it will be a little easier for her. may you rest in peace. danielle"

"Hey Ron, I am heading to Oklahoma today. You know that its easier with Shiloh some how and he knew you like I did and I think being with him makes your bday bareable! I miss you. I feel like I can't say that enough and most importantly I BELIEVE that because of the bond there is no seperation just a different bond. Hold tight to me this week I need it, and if you can't make Shiloh ;) I love you."
Rae of Raerie81@gmail.com

"Hey Ron,
Merry Christmas! I'm so jealous of you and Holls up there together, celebrating the joys of the world from the smallest to the biggest! I know there's no sadness up there, but it's hard to be like that where we are. God Bless you and your family this Holiday Season. I know you're looking out for them along with Holly. They all need you...need BOTH of you right now. Send your warmth to comfort them. I can't wait to meet you, Ron. Merry, Merry Christmas!
Love,"
Shannon of Jax NC

"hey Ron.. just wanted to wish you a merry christmas. Give Holly and Hug for me. Give your family the strength to get through the holidays, especially on your bday... See you Marine!"
danielle of Rhode Island

"Merry Christmas Bubba!"
Rae of Winterhaven,fl

"Its getting close to that time. I miss you more and more as the day approaches. I think only of the times we would fly from where ever we were to celebrate. Remember your 21st!? Best times Ive had. You will be on my heart extra each day. Christmas will never be the same, well life will never be the same, but I think you would be proud of how we are doing. Meet ya at the docks Marine! I love you."
Rae of Winter Haven, FL

"Miss you Ron, even though we've never met. I just wanted to tell you hello and I hope you're watching over our Holly up there. God Bless you, Bubba! Love you...MUAH!!!!"
Shannon

"Miss you Ron, even though we've never met. I just wanted to tell you hello and I hope you're watching over our Holly up there. God Bless you, Bubba! Love you...MUAH!!!!"
Shannon

"To the family of Ronald Payne,
May you have Joy in your hearts and Peace in your soul this Christmas time.
You have a place in our hearts each and every day."
The Thompsons' of Dunkirk, New York

"hay cpl.payne
i have had the chance to learn about you but never meet you which is a shame. your mom and dad are the best and were so helpful to me. i did my hero project on you. too bad you never got to read it.thank you so much for everything you did for the us."
autumn of lakeland,fla

"hey Ron it's thanksgiving.....and i just wanted to let you know that you are missed. it doesn't seem right enjoying all this food that i know you would love so much. erik and i found out last week that we are going to be parents. i wish i could of called you and told you that you have a nephew or neice on the way....i am sure you know somehow. i love you....you are missed."
valerie

"Hi Ron
Happy Thanksgiving, im sure you and holly are up there partying it up. make sure Holly doesnt eat to much ;)
i want to give thanks for having your sister Rae in my life... please watch over her.. she needs you more then ever!!!! may you rest up there ....til the day i get to finally meet you. love danielle"

"Now more then every I need you."
Rae

"Had a dream last night we were clenaing the wepaons, and i was right up by you trying to clean my weapon through you tearorizing me as usual. Miss you big man..."
Doc of Still in the Navy, Italy

"Hey Ron, I just wanted to let you know that for some reason you've been on my mind alot today. Your Dad and Mom came up a few months ago and visited. It was very nice. You're missed, can't wait to see you one day. Thank you Ron."
Joe Sampson of strengthinservice@yahoo.com

"Hey Ron. I just wanted to tell you Happy Birthday, too. I just told Holly and after I posted it, I realized something. OF COURSE it'll be a Happy Birthday; you two are up there together. I think you two will be awesome together, dancing in your blues, thinking of nothing but the moment. God Bless you and your family, Bubba. Happy Birthday to you and everyone else up there. Semper Fidelis, my brother. Until we meet, I'll be thinking of you."
Shannon of Jax, NC

"I had the opportunity to learn of your son while watching a show on the History Channel earlier this week. I live in Orlando and when I heard that your son is from Lakeland, I felt so honored to have lived so close to a Hero. I have a 9 year old son that I treasure, so I can't begin to imagine the sorrow you must feel. We do not take the sacrifices of the troops and their families for granted. We are forever indebted to their service and we thank you. They will always be in our thoughts and prayers. From my family to yours - we offer our warmest condolences."
Alexis of Orlando, FL

"Hey Ron...
I know you and Hol looked down on us last weekend... and i know you both saw Rae and I struggling. but something happened that weekend towards the end and you brought all of us together... so i want to say thank you... Ron "Bubba" give holly a big hugggggggg for me. and tell her, her bestfriend is waiting for the day when i can do it myself.. thank you.. and thank you for Rae!!!!!!"
danielle of crannnnnnnston, RI

"This weekend was rough Bubba but we got through it. I felt you all around me and I thank you for that. The pain is never ending but meeting people like Theresa, who survived it makes me strong. Thank Holly for me because Dani has helped tremendously. And well you know Riguez loves and misses you! ONE MORE DAY CLOSER TO YOU!"
Rae of RaeRie81@gmail.com

"I am not as big as some, not when I have children(young men) in the military also, heading back to Iraq again. I wanted to look your family up for awhile now because my son knew Ronald(and your daughter) I didn't(don't) personally know your children but through hearing thier names being called through school assemblies for the honor roll) Thomas also joined the marines. Same ages, same town, same school's, honor roll, U.S. military, kind of makes us all family in a different way. Many don't realize, if it weren't for our children, worst could have happened here in the U.S.(there were plan's for more bad stuff to happen here) Our children did this for us! I have a younger son heading back to Iraq, served in Afghan and Iraq(he was hit by mortar and we thank GOD he survived). Thomas reenlisted, I(his mother) didn't want him to(knowing all the danger's over there) but couldn't ask him not to because he has to do what he feel's is right. I believe Ronald would have chosen to reenlist too. Once a marine, always a marine. Semper Fidelis'"
Honneffer Family of Florida

"The Payne Family.
Its was in honor and blessing to know Ronald. Even though I wasn't in his platoon, I got to know him by sending time out in the field with him. At first he intimiated by his stature but he was more of gentle giant around many. He was one of many marines that I looked up to. I what to thank you for raising very admirable man. my prayers are with your family and Ronald. Thank YOU"
Cpl Noah Gerstein of Camp Pendelton

"Hello,

I was one of the Marines that carried Cpl Payne from the CH-53 helicopter that brought him back to Kandahar after he died. I waited with him until the humvee arrived to take him away. I saw his First Sergeant crying, and the Marines I worked with that flew him back to Kandahar said that no one said a word all the way back to base, they barely made navigation calls. The whole experience is something I think about a lot. Cpl Payne is one of the two Marines that I had contact with that died while I was in, but everytime I think about Marines or families losing someone overseas, I think of Cpl Payne. I own a vinyl decal shop and made a decal in memory of Cpl Payne, and make them for free when people ask for one. If anyone reading this would like one, I will send you one for free. Contact me at angie@digitaldecals.net"
Sgt Angie Morelli of Jacksonville, NC/USA

"Bubba: It seems like it's taking forever to get to you. I know that we might be struggling through this grieving but it is only because our love for you is stronger then our grief. I pray that this journey I have set out upon will be one that will make you proud. I miss you terribly and cannot wait to lay eyes on your amazing face! Kiss Jay for me!"
Rae of RaeRie81@gmail.com

"Ode to a Marine

In a crowd you're bound to spot him,
He's standing so very tall
Not too much impresses him;
He's seen and done it all.
His hair is short, his eyes are sharp,
But his smile's a little blue.
It's the only indication
Of the hell that he's gone through.
He belongs to a sacred brotherhood,
Always Faithful 'til the end.
He has walked right into battle
And walked back out again.
Many people think him foolish
For having no regrets
About having lived through many times
Others would forget.
He's the first to go and last to know,
But never questions why,
On whether it is right or wrong,
But only do or die.
He walks a path most won't take
And has lost much along the way,
But he thinks a lot of freedom,
It's a small price to pay.
Yes, he has chosen to live a life
Off the beaten track,
Knowing well each time he's called,
He might not make it back.
So, next time you see a Devil Dog
Standing proud and true,
Be grateful for all he's given;
He's given it for you.
Don't go up and ask him
What's it's like to be in war;
Just thank God that it's your country
He's always fighting for.
And thank him too for all the hell
He's seen in that shade of green,
Thank him for having the guts
To be a United States Marine.

Semper Fi"
Christopher M. Williams of Rudolph, Ohio United States

"Wow.. were do i begin????
i guess ill start where it all started. I never knew you... but Once my bestfriend was killed (holly Charette) my life chnaged. it changed for the good but it changed for the bad... i had to focus my life with holly not around but knowing that she would giuide me through the unknown. it was weird. but then i met your family. and they came to me with open arms. and through them i feel like i have known you forever. You sister Rae has been a blessing to me. she has helped be get through my lowest points. we laugh together, we cry together. i know i can always count on her. i know you and holly pushed us together because i think you both knew that her and I would need each other. Ron... You are a true Hero. you fought for what you believed in, and did a damn good job! May you rest in peace. hold Holly tight. and i will see you when i get there.... Semper Fi"
Danielle of cranston, RI

"To the Payne Family,

The memorial is complete and I have digital pictures for you but I am not sure if I sent them to a proper email address. Please contact me at Jason.B.Thompson@usmc.mil

I really want to get these to you!!"
SSgt Thompson of 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion

"Thank you Ron for the sacrifice you made for our freedoms. You are a hero to our family and the community of Mulberry. To Ron's family , may God continue to bless and stregthen you daily."
Bruce and Carla Blanton of Mulberry, Fl.

"To the Family and friends,
My name is Christopher Williams and alot of you know me because we went to church together. I just recently Joined the Corps. I know the family and some friends of Rons. I wanted to leave a little something for Ron:

"It's not the stars or bars you have,
not what you wear on your sleeve or shoulder,
that determines what you are.
It's what you wear on your collar-
The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor-
It is The Title you earned, MARINE
That puts you in the Brotherhood of the MARINES.
We are all still hurting from the tragic event that happend you and your families are in our prayers
Semper Fi- HooRah"
Christopher M. Williams of Ohio

"To the Payne family from the Wahl family. Rachel e-mail in reply to my e-mail. Odd, for things do happen in three's. Had just came home from Gatlinburg, Tennesse doing a "Support Our Troop" rally. Entered afloat to the Gatlinburg Annual Midnight Parade. To honour our wounded and fallen soldiers. An amazing experience for the fallen families that attended. very emotional with eight Army and two Marine soldiers carrying a 4 foot by 26 foot banner listing evryone of our fallen soldiers. (www.fallenheroesmemorial.org) I come home to not one, but two phone calls. On Both soldiers that knew Gregory. Then an e-mail from the Sisk family about your daugther's Soft project. So I e-mail Rachel! Many siblings now have something to help them. Rachel e-mail like the two phone calls. Just had tears rolling down my cheeks. Ron is truely, with you. I believe that with all my heart. For I know Gregory is with me. Four days apart of one another. i want to thank Ron and your family. For your son's service to our country. More importantly, for his brotherhood to our son. Something gregory told me the week before. dad never worry about me. You worry about our family. I have my military family watching over me. As I do for them. We are all proud of our branch of service. In war we have no branch of service. As brother's and sister's we have many mission's. None more important then to watch each others back. An sadly, both are together with all our fallen. An dealing with our lost. Is not easy nor is healing. Ron is watching over you all. Especially, Rachel! We only need to reflect on the very fond and memorable times we each shared with our love one's. To know that your son and mine are in our hearts. God Bless! Ron you will never ever be fortten, you are remember today and all the tomorrow's."
Leonard wahl of Spring Texas

"We enjoyed Independance Day and thought that you would have been out on the streets with the kids with your fireworks. We enjoy this because of you. We were able to share your story in Alabama this weekend...they got to hear of your sacrifice and you as a wonderful young man. Many told us that they would be more appreciative of their freedom since they have heard of you. That the sacrifice our men and women made daily for us was seen differently, because of you. You have no idea, what an impact you have made. We have been able to share God's love and your testimony. We are always amazed at the people and places the Lord has brought us, to share your story and His love. We know the Lord gave you to us...we want to bring you to them.
We love you Bubba, thank you for this gift.
Until we see you again,
Dad and Mom"

"To the family of Cpl Payne, we came across his name and realized he was just a month before our LCpl Juston Thacker USMC KIA Afghanistan. We wanted to let you know we understand the pain goes on and on. We will put his name on our list to honor, we try to honor those near that time. We send our prayers and loving thoughts to you and yours. May our Lord heal your pain. Proud grandparents of LCplJuston Thacker KIA 6/24/04 Naray Afghanistan. we may be contacted at justontthacker@sunlitsurf.com please let us know if we can be of any help or just to talk. God Bless you and all."
Tom & Dixie Sisk of Princeton, WV

"In this life I have learned that no matter what happens I will always feel you near me. No matter who leaves me and no matter who I have to let go. I will NEVER have to let you go! Thank you for being my constant."
Rae of winter haven, fl

"To the Payne Family,

Everytime I visit this site I usually do not stay long. For a grown man I tend to tear up alot for reasons well known.
The news I wish to leave you with is that I have started on the renovation of 2nd LAR's Memorial. Not being able to deploy anymore and wanting to make sure that ALL of our fallen were represented I jumped on this project. So now I hope within the next couple of weeks to send you pictures of it. Trust me it will not be a masterpiece since an old grumpy jarhead is doing all the planning but it will have heart. So if you ever visit 2nd LAR again it will be up on the second deck in our classroom (so the Marines see it every day)

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free". Ronald Reagan


Semper Fidelis"
SSgt Jason B Thompson of 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion

"Semper Fi Man!

I may be heading out to the great sandbox soon.."
Dave W of Jacksonville, Fl

"Ron,

I've been here to this website once before but I had to come back because as a former serviceman from Mulberry I had to check on you and your feedback. I am happy that others are still posting messages. I apologize for not writing sooner. I graduated several years ahead of you and never knew you but I respect you for your service and ultimate sacrifice. May God be with you, your family, and loved ones!

Michael Collins
B/1/325th AIR, 82nd Airborne Division"
Michael Collins of Lakeland, FL/Polk

"My your kindness always surround us and remind us of how you loved each of us not matter what or who we were."
Rae of winter haven, fl

"This past Memorial Day I was in Washington DC and viewed the portrait memorial of the fallen from Iraq. Ronald's picture stopped me, it pulled me in. I ended up taking a picture of his portrait. There is something wonderful about his spirit, something special, and from all the comments I just read about him, I understand he truly was special. For the family, I keep you all in my prayers and thoughts. Ronald is truly a hero and I thank him for his service. I grieve with you for the loss, not only for Ronald but for all the young men and women who had fallen, the families and friends."
Monica of Seattle, WA, USA

"This weekend was full of YOU. Wether that was a smile from Shiloh or a hug from Rob. It was YOU. Thank you. Happy Memorial Day!!"
Rae of Winter Haven, FL RAERIE81@GMAIL.COM

"In Memory of Cpl. Ronald Payne
USMC Memorial Day 2006"
The Thompson Family of Dunkirk,NY

"We will never forget you and what you have done for our freedom.
Thank you,"
Sue R of Cincinnati

"Its that time again Bubba.
I miss you so bad my soul aches.
I can't wait to see your face and
hug your neck! I love you!"
Rae of Raerie81@gmail.com

"Ron you taught me a lot. When I first came to LAR you were my team leader with Bravo Company. I tried to get on the MEU with your platoon. But I just want to say that I will never forget you or the things that you have done. The lessons that you taught me stay with me when I go back to combat. Thank you very much for youre service and courage. You will never be forgotten."
Cpl Hewitt of 2nd LAR Camp Lejeune NC

"Dear Ron,
I just wanted to say that I miss you very much. So much is happening every day...so many things are changing. I wish you were here to be a part of it all. Your nephew was born last week, Christopher Allen - a beautiful baby. You would have loved him so much. I couldn't help but think as i was holding him for the first time, how much i wanted you to be there, sharing in that amazing moment. I pray he grows up to be a great man like you. I'll never understand why it had to be your time so early....did you ever think that you would change the world?-Because you did,complete strangers from all over the world know about you, they respect you, and they grieve for you. i just want to make the most of my life because of what you did for us. I promise to love and look out for our family the way you did and I promise to fix what is broken. Just know that you will always be loved so much no matter how many years go by or how many things change.
Love your little sister"
Valerie Lynn Payne of Tampa, Fl

"Ron, I miss you very much. Every now and then, it hits me all over again that you're not here anymore. I don't like that feeling a whole lot. Growing up, we had alot of good times, running around Calvary, playing sports at Temple, causing trouble at Temple :) (just kidding) - thank you for what you did for your country. I'm proud to have known you - I just wish we hadn't both got so busy after school. Last time I saw you was at my apartment in Lakeland when you, Bobby and Rachel all came over. We had a great time just like we always did. Bob and I still talk about you all the time - you won't be forgotten, my kids will know your name one day. Bye for now."
Joe Sampson of Lakeland, FL US

"I was with 1/6, and I went to Afgahnistan with Ron, as a matter of fact, we stayed in the same berthing on the U.S.S. Wasp, and he really "stood out", believe me, but he stood outas an excellent dedicated to the corps Marine. And you can't find many like him. Thank you for your sacrifices, thank you Mr. and Mrs. Payne for raising a "Great" son!!!!"
Sgt. Ray, Dennis R. of Weapons Training Battalion, High Risk Personnel, Quantico, VA

"Looking back on the memories of the dance we shared beneath the stars above for a moment all the world was right how was i to know that you'd ever say goodbye? and now i'm glad i didn't know the way it all would end the way it all would go our lives are better left to chance i could of missed the pain but i'd of had to miss the dance. Holding you i held everything for a moment wasn't i the king if i only knew how the king would fall hey who's to say you know i might have changed it all yes i could of missed the pain but i'd of had to miss the dance."

"Ronald,
I was watching a documentary on television about the fight your patrol was in. 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.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"i miss you ron. a second christmas without you - it just doesn't seem real. well you will have a little nephew soon, april to be exact. i promise he will know all about his uncle ron and what a wonderful man he was. life will never be the same, i miss you baby.not a day goes by where i don't hear your sweet laughter or see your innocent smile. what an amazing child....no parent could be prouder or ask for more. i love you sweety.

love your mom"
kathy of lkld,fl

"To the family of Cpl. Ronald Payne---
We wish you peace this holiday season, and hope your grief is tempered with the joy you know remembering Ron, his bravery, and the life he led as a U.S. Marine. In our hearts the bells of Christmas will always ring for Ron, and each and every one of the fallen, and for the U.S.Marine Corps. Our love to you and Semper Fi."
Lawrence and Mary Anne Thompson of Dunkirk, New York

"i am ron's cousin les payne jr. we didnt talk much after we grew up which sucked b/c i thought that ron and val were really cool kids. we both went to iraq and there were times when i thought i wasnt coming home. i would have taken your place if i could ron. if valerie or his mom or dad read this please contact me, i havent talked to any of you in ages. payne_les@yahoo.com"
les of austin, tx

"Today is Thanksgiving and a day of giving thanks. How ironic that we are thankful for the very gift you had to die for. We love you and miss you terribly. We talk of you everyday and spend a lot of time laughing when sharing story of you because you always made us laugh. Our family has been extended since your boys have stood in for you. We are so proud that you are our son, our hero and our angel. Your boys have never forgotten to call us as you would have expected them too and they continue to keep us in their hearts. They have spoken of your sacrifice to your school, your church, your family and your home town. Thank you for leaving you... in their hearts so they may continue to share in our lives. When our hearts are saddend we are thankful we have your letters to go back to...your words of "I love you Dad and Mom" and " I can't wait to come home" still melt our hearts...and when the days are impossible to bear...we ALWAYS get a call from one of your boys or they come down to see us. Thank you Ron for giving them to us. We love you and long for the day we will be able to see you and hug your neck again. Love"
Dad and Mom

"I noticed recently in the Lakeland Ledger that Mulberry High School recognized Ron's sacrifice for his nation while fulfilling his duties in the Marine Corps. I was glad to see that he received the coverage that he deserved."

"Today on Veteran's Day, November 11, 2005 my nephew's High school, in Mulberry, Fl. honored him with a beautiful memorial that would remind everyone who comes on campus of his sacrifice for OUR freedom. I'm sure he would never have imagined that this would happen but I am thankful that many students will come by that monument and stop and think about what ONE man from THEIR school did for our freedom. I miss you Ron and my prayer is that many will stop and reflect on how they can make a difference in their world as you have done thru your life and death. I Love You Ron....Aunt Karen"
Karen Bowden of Lakeland, Fl

"I served with your son in Iraq he was the best of all of us. When we were quick to anger he was quick to be kind. It was an honor to know your son. Semper Fi"
Sgt. Ryan Trim of Wasilla ALaska USA

"Dear Payne Family and Friends,
It has been over a year since Ronnie has been gone and we miss him so much. I moved to Ohio and your whole family has been in my prayers. God has done amazing things for us all and we thank him everyday for his love and grace. The last time I saw Ronnie was at church before he was deployed back accross seas. I still remember his tight grip of his hand-shake. Since Ronnie has left us I decided to Join the Marine Corps. to honor Ronnie and his family. I leave in August of 2006. Before I leave to go to basic training I am planning to visit the Payne family and go back to church. Even though I am going to the Marines I want to thank Mr. Ron Payne Sr. For helping me through all my problems and I am glad to be able to stand up and fight for our lovely country. When I go to Basic Training I am going to stand tall and remember "Ronnie would do the same for me." I hope everything is fine with everyone. I am always praying for the Payne Family and The friends of mine. Thank you for your time and God Bless The U.S.A. Ronnie will never be forgotten. "Once a Marine always a Marine!" Semper Fi"
Christopher M. Williams (tbonerulzs2002@hotmail.com) of Rudolph, Ohio United States

"I just saw shootout on the History Channel, I went to boot camp with Cpl Payne. I mourn your loss and will pray for your family daily. I remember him always as a good man and a damn fine marine. The last time I saw him was in 29 Palms at a CAX, but I know he gave his life as a true marine, and did so without regret I am sure, because of the man he was. He will always be remembered, and I am proud to have known and served with him, even if it was just basic training. Semper Fi, Marine keep the streets of heaven safe until we all arrive."
Fmr Cpl William Mckenzie of Jacksonville, NC

"I would like to thank this Marine's family for their son who protected my 2 girls by putting himself in peril. I saw his actions on the History channel. He was a very brave and good man."
kirk grander of austin tx USA

""Who You'd Be Today"

Sunny days seem to hurt the most.
I wear the pain like a heavy coat.
I feel you everywhere I go.
I see your smile, I see your face,
I hear you laughin' in the rain.
I still can't believe you're gone.

It ain't fair: you died too young,
Like the story that had just begun,
But death tore the pages all away.
God knows how I miss you,
All the hell I've been through,
Just knowin' no-one could take your place.
An' sometimes I wonder,
Who'd you be today?

Would you see the world? Would you chase your dreams?
Settle down with a family,
I wonder what would you name your babies?
Some days the sky's so blue,
I feel like I can talk to you,
An' I know it might sound crazy.

It ain't fair: you died too young,
Like the story that had just begun,
But death tore the pages all away.
God knows how I miss you,
All the hell I've been through,
Just knowin' no-one could take your place.
An' sometimes I wonder,
Who you'd be today?

Today, today, today.
Today, today, today.

[Instrumental Break]

Sunny days seem to hurt the most.
I wear the pain like a heavy coat.
The only thing that gives me hope,
Is I know I'll see you again some day.

Some day, some day, some day.
song by kenney chesney

HOW MUCH I MISS YOU BUBBA!"
Rae-Raerie81@gmail.com of FL

"To the Payne family I served on the 22MEU with your son. and Its been over a year and your family has been in my thoughts and prayers all the time.
Since I have been back I have worn a black band on my right wrist that has all of your son's information. It's like the pow/mia band but it's black
His memory will always be with me."
Sgt Keenon of North Carolina

"To the Family,
I fought in Afghanistan with your son. You are all in my prayers. I think there is a new Marine gaurding the gates of heaven."
Steve Brown of USMC

"Remember Me
Can you remember how I look
Can you remember my name
Can you remember a fallen hero
A Marine named Corporal Payne

Can you remember how I laugh
Can you remember how I cry
Can you remember that awful feeling
Of the night that he died

O-I remember everything
It still brings tears to my eyes
And the things that I remember
is the reasons he died

O-I remember
What he use to say
Looking down on me
It will all be Okay


Can you remember my dreams
Can you remember my heart
Can you remember how it made us
To never be apart

Can you remember everything
the little things nobody sees
I miss him everyday
and all the things he taught me

O-I remember everything
It still brings tears to my eyes
And the things that I remember
Is the reasons he died

And the thing that i remember
In me, "Corporal Payne" is still alive

"I'll see you again Corporal""
Michael Cervantes of Iraq

"I miss you and love you very much. I wish that you could be here for my wedding and so many other things. I know you are happy where you are, but it hurts so bad to accept that. We all miss you.Boys are dying every day over there, it really breaks my heart. i hope they all come home very soon. Continue to watch over us all-
Love You"
Valerie Payne of Tampa, Fl

"TO THE FAMILY:
I WILL NEVER FORGET THE WAY WE ALL FELT WHEN WE LEARNED OF OUR BROTHERS PASSING, IT WAS TRULY A SAD DAY IN HATI."

"TO THE FAMILY:
I WILL NEVER FORGET THE WAY WE ALL FELT WHEN WE LEARNED OF OUR BROTHERS PASSING, IT WAS TRULY A SAD DAY IN HATI."

"RONNIE NONE OF US BOYS FROM BRAVO WILL EVER FORGETT YOU MY FREIND."
1ST PLT BRAVO CO. of CAMP LEJUNE, NC

"MARINE CPL RONALD R. PAYNE, JR -
You are an American Hero whose ultimate sacrifice will not be forgotten by a grateful nation. Rest in peace Marine. You will be remembered and honored for always being faithful to God, Country, Family and the Corps.
AMERICA SALUTES CPL RONALD R. PAYNE, JR."
D. BURT of PORTSMOUTH, RI

""I'LL SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE, IF I MAKE IT. AND IT MAY BE A LONG HARD RIDE, BUT I'M GONNA TAKE IT. SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE I DON'T HAVE A PRAYER, LET THE WEATHER TAKE ME ANYWHERE. BUT I KNOW I WANT TO GO WHERE THE STREETS ARE GOLD, CAUSE YOU'LL BE THERE.""

"TO the Payne Family, my name is Michael Hance, im with 2nd lar and was with your son in Afghan. I just want to let yall know that we have not forgoten and never will."
lcpl hance,michael j USMC of iraq

"Today is July 4th. Some how it is always hard to celebrate. I feel this day is just another day to remember the high price of freedom. I feel it is a day to be extra thankful. This year we will do so again, a little stronger perhaps, but not any less sad. Now, we have HOlly to thank for our freedom as well as Ron. Lord help her family through their grief. Help our country remember her and all those like Ron who gave their life so that we may live ours.

God bless the Heroes of America.
God bless their famlies.
God bless America."
Rae of Lakeland,FL RaeRie81@gmail.com

"To the family of Ron Payne,
Although it's been over a year since the loss of your son, you are never far from my thoughts. Christmas, Memorial Day, this 4th of July, always brings special thoughts and thankful ones that you've come through this past year, even though it's been very rough. Each thought also reminds me of how fortunate we are to have happiness and joy around those times in not missing a loved one, but being able to see him, call him and know he's safe. I wish that for you, to feel joy and happiness again without having a heavy heart. Always know in our lives, happiness is tempered with thoughts of your family and Ron, and will always be.
We are far from you but near in our hearts."
Lawrence and Mary Anne Thompson (SSgt. J.B.Thompson0 of Dunkirk, N.Y.

"Dear Mr Payne, I was a Marine who served on the 22MEU along with Cpl Payne. I did not know him, but I had the pleasure of meeting him at a Camp in Doha Qatar, where we prepared for operations. We were organizing gear to send into Afghanistan. I was assuming duty as Radio Watch Supervisor, and your son was next to me taking charge of his platoon. He was talking to me about the preperation of all the gear going out. There was a large working party that day, and his platoon was working the hardest. The day Payne past away, I was also on Radio Watch, and received the traffic before anyone else did. It was later passed on to the rest of our chain of command that he past. It hit my heart terribly the day hundreds of us stood in formation for your son, and tears streamed down my face silently. Your son had already given his life prior to this operation, when he was in Iraq. I could not understand why God wanted him now? I talked to all of the Marines in his platoon, and the thing they most admired about him was his character, great personality, and his smile. He smiled at me that day on the Air Field, and that smile is stuck in my heart forever. I would give anything to take his place. As Marines our hearts are bonded for life until I die and in spirit. I admire your son everyday, and he is a hero to me. I will tell my kids about Cpl Ron Payne, when they are born. He will never be forgotten!! Semper Fidelis June 4, 2005"
Sgt David J Thompson III of Hong Kong China- American Embassy Marine Security Guard

"To Ron's Mother, my beautiful cousin Kathy:
I know this has been an unbelievably difficult year for you. My hope and prayer is that God has brought people into your life to give you support and demonstate God's love and care for you in tangible ways. I'm so sorry that my family (and by that I mean all YOUR aunts, uncles, cousins and, of course, Grandmother) cannot be there to daily wrap our arms around you and your children. Please know that we always pray for you and send our love. Reading all the messages from people who were inspired by Ron in life, as well as in death is truly amazing. Most of us may live very long lives, but still not have the opportunity to change the hearts of others the way he was able to in such a short time. Kathy, please take comfort in the messages of encouragement. And remember these are only a fraction of the people who loved Ron and are better people because of him. I pray that you will feel the strength God gives you for each new day, and that the joy outweighs the sorrow. All my love to you, your parents and your children, Leigh Anne"
Leigh Anne Darnell of Tuscaloosa, Alabama

"Dear Ronnie, Aileen & Rachel,
We wanted you to know that in memory of your "loving" Ron our Youth Group has adopted Ron's Battalion, now stationed in Iraq, in memory of Ron. We are so touched by Ron's life story. The amazingly strong Christian man that he was - not only saved lives from death but shared his Savior with others so they could be spared from Hell. I have read so many beautiful words about Ron and yet the most powerful were the words spoken by his pastor. When he spoke of Ron's salvation. This was more of his life's purpose than any other. As a youth group we are challenged to live our lives like Ron - no fear of what we believe - knowing that we will spend eternity with our Savior Jesus Christ - and always willing to share that with others - in this country or another. Our prayer is that everyone who knew Ron will see this and strive to serve God as Ron did - so they may spend eternity with him. When we spoke of him this Sunday in church - we all felt that he will be one of the first faces we see in heaven - dressed in full uniform - guarding heaven's gate. Thank you Ronnie & Aileen for raising such a strong Christian Man who touched so many lives and continues to. We feel it is a blessing to have the opportunity to support Ron's battalion & honor Ron.
God bless you!"
Chosen Generation Youth Group of West Milford, NJ USA

"I just read each message for Ron - what a wonderful tribute. In tribute to Ron and the heroes like him, I will teach my young children about the sacrifice and devotion to country that fine soldiers like Ron represent.

To Ron's mother: Reading your messages and your reflections of Ron brought tears to my eyes. What wonderful memories you must have of a fine young man.

Based on the wonderful tributes It seems quite clear that Ron made a difference in many peoples lives.

Your country is proud of you."
Jim Marshall of Newnan, Ga

"To My Oldest Son Ron,

It has been a very hard, lonely year without you. I know it will never get any easier. I still remember the unbelievable joy I felt when I held you in my arms for the first time. What i would give to have that moment back. You were such a beautiful baby who grew up to be such a honorable man. My worst fear as a mother came true on May 7th of last year, when I heard the news that my first born child had been killed. My heart broke in a way that i never even knew was possible, yet you had given me 23 years of happy memories to help it mend. You know the precious memories, the ones that were shared just between the two of us. As a mother I wanted to teach you everything, but now I find that you taught me so much more. I know that I made some mistakes, and I am sure there were times that I could have done a better job, but you were always so patient and understanding. You loved me so much no matter what, just the way I loved you. Your family misses you. Grandaddy Bob, Grandmother Ann, Heather, Keith, Valerie, and everyone in Alabama. I also know that your father misses you terribly, and I know that his heart is broken because you are gone. Despite any problems that your father and I had it never changed the fact of how much we loved you. You were our first born child, and nothing or noone can ever take the place of that. I just wish you could be here today to see your "little" brother. He now towers over your sister Valerie and he looks just like you. It has shocked me how much he has changed in the past year. He has grown so much, in stature and in maturity. People have to take a second look when they see him now because he looks like his big brother. I only pray that he follows in the example that you laid for him. Continue to watch over us my sweet baby boy. Until that sweet day......"
Love Your Mom, Kathy of Lakeland, FL kthysymr@walmart.com

"Rest in Peace Devil Dog...See you in heaven....

J and T in NC....USMC"

"Wow! A whole year! It is hard to imagine how different my life is then
one year ago today. It still isn't completely real. Ron has been in
his new home now a year and I am sure that it only took him a couple
minutes to adjust, however I can't say the same for myself. It is
still very hard to live with such a huge part of my life and of myself
is not physically here.

I am not sure how to remember him in a way that is honoring and yet
something that won't make our family live and dwell in the sorrow of
the loss. However, I believe we do well with our sadness so that one
or two days out of the year we can wallow in it a bit ;) We will all
spend the day in a quiet sadness with a deep sense of gratefulness for
what he did for us and you.

I have learned many things this past year. One of the things I have
learned is that the saying that God only gives you as much as you can
handle is very true. Although, there have been times where it feels as
though I cannot go on. That the pain is too much and that Id rather
just sleep through it all. For every day I feel that way there are
three more that I feel God's strength wrap around me and pick me up.
I have learned that my faith is the only thing that will sustain me in
those quiet lonely moments. I have learned that even though I cannot
see my brother, he is so intimately around me. He finds ways to make
sure I feel him with me. There are days where I wish I could just
lean on him and feel that unconditional love but on those days I can't
feel him his friends call, my mother reminds me that she loves me
extra that day, my dad tells me my strength is amazing, or my friends
just make me laugh and in each of those moments I feel Ron.

I am deeply grateful for each of your support and love. Please don't
ever forget Ron's sacrifice and most importantly the way he lived his
life and loved in his life. Today take a moment to remember that our
life is a gift and that a year ago someone gave his life so that you
can enjoy your gift.

--
Till Then. . .

Rae"
Rae of Lakeland,FL RaeRie81@gmail.com

"May 7, 2005
It has been a year today that you gave your precious life for us, your family, your friends, your Country, strangers in a foreign land and above all your Marines brothers. We are still aching over you leaving us but proud of the life you live. Your Marine brothers have become our Marine sons. They have taken Rae as their own sister and watch over her and have been protective as you were. We want our lives to be a testimony worthy of your sacrifice. We promise to keep your Marine brothers close to us, we promise to tell your story, we promise to let everyone know that your Lord was your guiding light and Savior. That because of your faith, you enjoy Heaven. We are blessed to have your legecy to share, your love and memories to sustain us. Today will be a day of graditude, pride and love. You have surrounded us, reminded us and showed us, you have NEVER left us. Today we will honor you. Today we will mourn the longing of wanting to hold you and jumping up to kiss you. Today we will continue to hold our heads high because "little Ron" grew up to be a giant of a man and whose shyness drew great attention. a Thank you to all of you who have sent us cards, called, emailed us, spoke of our son's story to your family and friends and have his picture in your home and office. You will never know how that has helped carry us through the saddest of days. Thank you for telling us "WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOUR SON AND WHAT HE DID FOR US AND HIS SACRIFICE SO WE MAY LIVE FREE". Please never Forget!! To Ron's Marine brothers, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, THE TIME YOU SERVED AND FOR CONTINUING TO MAKE YOUR BROTHER PROUD. Thank you for allowing us into your lives to help us heal in ours. Your love has truly been our healing.
Thank you Bubba for being a beautiful, son who has made this family proud beyond measure.
Love Dad, Mom, Rae and family
ronpaynefamily@yahoo.com"
of Lakeland, Florida

"we will always remember Ron and i know he is still here watching over all his brothers till they return from their final missions in Iraq."
Cpl. Stephen Cochran II of JACKSONVILLE,NC/NASHVILLE,TN

"April 21, 2005. Almost a year has lapsed since Cpl. Payne's passing. As the mother of a Marine serving with Ron, I will forever honor the sacrifice of this brave young man and of his beloved family. He will not be forgotten. He is our hero."
Mrs. Ron Parsons of Charlotte, NC

"I came across your web page and wanted to tell you that your web page brought tears to my eyes. As an Army spouse and a Army Reservist, I wanted to say Thank you for your Sacrifice. My heart goes out to you. And know that you and your son will from this moment until forever remain in my heart and in my prayers."
TAO of NJ

"Dearest Mr., Mrs. Payne and Rachel, I just want you to know that He will never be forgotten in our home. No matter how much or how little is said, always know that it is He that gets Ben through each day. He truely misses him, as do we all. We love you all and thank you for continuing to be in our daily lives. love you all always, SGT. Benjamin C. Brown III, Billijo and his little wresteling partner, Tyler"
Billijo Brown of jacksonville, nc

"Ron had made the ultimate sacrifice. For all of us who have served and believed in our duties' call, I thank Ron and grieve for him. The real soldiers know his sacrifice and every American citizen should be grateful for him. It is the Ronald Payne's in the world that make our world and nation a safer place."
Michael Collins of Lakeland, FL/Polk

"Payne In Our Hearts

Hero is defined as any man admired for his courage, nobility, and exploits, especially in war. In Greek mythology a hero was a legend, a man of great strength and courage. The Greek word is heros, which means to watch over and to protect. I don’t think there is a better word in any language than hero to describe my friend, Ron Payne.
Our hero and the protector of the freedoms we all enjoy stood at 6’7”, and every inch of him was heart. He wore the blue and white on the court and the gridiron of Mulberry High School, as proudly as he wore the Red, White, and Blue on the battlefield. He truly was the picture perfect symbol of a United States Marine.
Ron Payne exemplified every one of the core values of the United States Marine Corps: Honor, Courage, and Commitment. Honor guides Marines to show the ultimate in ethical and moral behavior including: Leading by example, Maintaining a high standard of integrity, Supporting and Defending the Constitution, Placing faith and honor above all else, and Honoring fellow Marines, the Corps, Country, and Family. Ron Payne was an honorable man.
Courage is the mental, moral, and physical strength ingrained in the Marines. Courage is the ability to do the right thing, in the right way, for the right reasons. It is the inner strength that enables a Marine to do what is right, to adhere to a higher standard of personal conduct, and to make tough decisions under stress and pressure. Ron Payne was a courageous man.
Finally, commitment is the spirit of determination and dedication found in the Marines. It leads to the highest order of discipline for individuals and units. It is the ingredient that enables 24-hour-a-day dedication to the Corps, and country. Commitment inspires the unrelenting determination to achieve a standard of excellence in every endeavor. My friend, Ron Payne was a committed man.
Payne was not just the perfect Marine; he was also the perfect child of God. His soul shined like the Florida sun on summer afternoon. Like a single beam from a flashlight in a dark room, Ron Payne was the light in a dark and troubled land.
The last sentence of The Marines’ Hymn states,
“If the Army and the Navy
Ever gaze on Heaven’s scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.”
To end, I believe Mr. Ron Payne Sr. said it best when he said, “Heaven is much closer now and one day we’re gonna see him again.” Payne we love you and miss you. But we continue because we know you are smiling down on us and we will see you again keeping the streets of Heaven safe till we get there.

-J. Argo"
Rae Argo posting for my son Jason, currently at Parris Island, SC working hard to honor the memory of his friend Ron of Mulberry, Florida

"To Aileen and Ronnie Payne and the Payne family:

From March through September of this year, Arlington National Cemetery will present an exhibit called "Faces of the Fallen," an exhibit of more than 1,000 individual portraits honoring America’s service men and women who lost their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq. The address of the official website describing this moving exhibit is http://www.facesofthefallen.org/main/ When the exhibit closes, the portraits painted for the exhibit will be donated to the families.

My name is Ted Reed, and I am a portrait artist working and teaching portrait painting in the DC metropolitan area. I have volunteered, and am honored, to paint the portrait of Ronald Payne, Jr., for this exhibit. I have read and been moved by the accounts of Ron's acts on the day of his death. I am working from an official Marine photograph of Ron, and fear that I cannot capture the strength and dignity Ron's portrait deserves from this reference photo. If you have a photo from which you would prefer I paint his portrait, please contact me through The Art League School, where I teach, in Alexandria, Virginia, at 703-683-2323.

Whether or not I hear from you, please know that there are people like my family and myself, who were never fortunate enough to know Ron, but who know that we live in freedom because of his sacrifice and that of soldiers like him, and who are forever grateful.

Sincerely

Ted Reed"
Ted Reed of Vienna, Virginia/USA

"10 Feb 2005:
To the Payne Family:

It has been a long while since we spoke and since the "reunion" of BLT 1/6 and the 22d MEU returning to the states.

I wanted to take a moment to let you know that your family and Ron have not been forgotten. You and Ron are continually in my thoughts and prayers. I was so moved by the outpouring of affection and sympathy from your community that sad day last May. Not many days go by where I don't think of that and the positive impact Ron had on so many people in his life.

While no words will ever ease the pain of your loss, please know that your's and Ron's sacrifice remains a very special part of everyone the Payne family has touched.

We all hope that Afghanistan and others in the regoin will find their way after so many centuries of fighting, so that no other families must put forth their sons and daughters in those age old struggles.

God Bless you all and God Bless Ron.

Semper Fidelis!"
GySgt M. Cave of Jacksonville, NC

"Its amazing how even though the days pass how the memories stay fresh. Still 9 months later the anniversary of Ron's homegoing is so unreal. I am amazed at how even in the middle of my family's pain and longing for Ron he finds ways to touch us. He reminds us that it is us that he loved and who took care of him. I am grateful I have so much. As Feb comes upon me I remember that it was a year ago when I was last with my brother. I am thankful for the bond we had far above anything or anyone else in this world. I pray that those who read this page and venture into Ron's life they take advantage of their siblings and their family. In the end it is all we have standing next to us. . . those who truly and purely love us. I regret nothing when it comes to my brother and I am proud to say that. Our relationship was what it was and I was and still am lucky. I am blessed. I am blessed with parents that tackle the obsticles but in front of them with dignity and amazing class and still have the ability to love me so much. I am proud to call myself their daughter. My family is a good and pure one and I know that is part of the reason Ron was who he was. We are so lucky to have his friends now in our family daily. They are my brothers and I am honored when they call me Sis. . I miss being called that. I feel so blessed even through my pain. I pray for those around me to feel the same."
Rae of Orlando, Fl , USA

"Our Thanksgiving gift"
It amazes me how the Lord continues to comfort those in sorrow and healing to the broken hearted. How He knows just when we need strength, renewed hope and a measure of your lost love one's presence and love again. How He supplies that with people. Our Thanksgiving would have been the first without our son. With heavy hearts and knowing Ron wouldn't surprise us this year....Ron sent his Marine brothers to do that for us. Thank you "Doc" and "Cash" for showing up on our doorstep in place of Ron. Words will never describe the emotions felt when we saw you in your full dress military uniform..metals and all, saying "mom we came to have Thanksgiving with you, dad and Rae because we knew Ron couldn't". You have no idea what that meant to my husband, Rae and I. Thank you Rae for "as usual" helping the boys pull the surprise off. Ron would have been proud. "Doc" and "Cash" we know you could have had Thanksgiving with your families and yet you wanted to be with us, is love beyond measure. Ron would have been so proud of you for looking after us in that way. WE saw Ron's love he gave you both in the love you both brought to us. Thank you for being a part of our son's life, his death, and a part of us. To be a part of his Marine family is a gift only Marines can give. THank you for telling us "We are your second family". Thank you Lord for bringing a family a gift of love when the one they love could not be here to deliver it. We are forever grateful."
Aileen and Ronnie Payne of Parents of Cpl Ron R. Payne Jr. Lakeland, Florida

"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"

"Dear Ron,
It has been 5 months since you have died. Tonight has been extremely hard for me, I guess because I am thinking of all the holidays coming. This will be our first christmas without you. Mom, Heather, and Keith are all very sad. Grandmother and Grandaddy miss you more than anything. I just wish I could take back so many things, but I guess we all have regrets when we lose someone we love. You always were a good brother, a good person. Whenever we had our fights I was so stubborn. I just thought that you would be around forever, and we could eventually make up. I have to say that I am so sorry for my ignorance and pride. I just thank God that our last time together was a happy day. You hugged me so tight and told me that you loved me so much. You asked me to please watch out for Mom, Heather, and Keith while you were gone. I want you to know that I am doing my best to take care of them. Heather, Keith, and I just feel so incomplete without you here. It has always been the four of us, and now things are so different. We just want you to know that we thank you for what you did. You were not only fighting for your country, but rather for your family. Please watch over us, the same as you did when you were here. Life is hard without you.........and the world was a better place when you were here. We miss you"
Valerie of Tampa, Fl

"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

"I went to school with Ron, back in Mulberry. He was a really great guy, one of the best friends I had after moving down there from Virginia. When I found out he had died, it really upset me. I haven't really kept track of many people from back home, but I knew Ron had wanted to join the Marines. He did well from what some of the guys back home have told me. I've been to the Mid-east back when they were building up for invasion. I was in a Maintenance unit fixing communications equipment for the PATRIOT missile systems.
Just wish i could of had a better chance to hang out with Ron before we both ended up getting sent in different places of the world. Take care Everyone."
SPC Bill Landis of Camp Humphreys, Pyongtaek, South Korea

"To the family of Cpl Ronald Payne, Jr.:
I am most sorry for the loss of what I have heard to be an amazing Marine, and there isn't a doubt in my mind that he was such a person. I never had the pleasure of talking with your son, but I have a friend that served with him in Afghanistan. I am a Cadet at the Delaware Military Academy, surrounding our flags we have bricks, these bricks engraved with so many things. It is one of these bricks, that in his honor, I am working towards getting, a brick that will live forever at the base of our flags, his name forever to be engraved there, never to be forgotten. I wish I could do more, but all I can do is promise that by the time I graduate in 2008 that that brick will lay there and I will remember him forever as a person that gave me the freedom to follow in his footsteps. Thank you for your son. God Bless America and God Bless our Troops!"
Kristin Beblo of Middletown, Delaware

"I would just like to say that my that Cpl Payne was one of the best Marines that I have served with."
Ssgt Hester of Paducah, Kentucky

"Corporal Payne, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

"Dear Family of Ronald Payne Jr.
I tried writing in May but was very upset and visiting our son, SSGT. Thompson at Bethesda Hospital, who was injured with Ron when this incident occurred. I first thought about your family and terrible loss upon seeing the news crawl on May 8th, knowing our son was badly injured, but also knowing "someone" was receiving even worse news. The crawl was going continuously and I knew our son was going to be alright in time, however always thinking of your family and the anguish you must've been going through and still are. Our Marine sons are very special, our children, the light of our lives. I was so relieved when we saw our son in Bethesda, and still thought of you knowing your circumstance prevented that sort of reunion. My heart goes out to you and I wish we could all go back to when they were still on the USS Wasp, and now, that they could all come home together. Please know Ron was not alone, and if he's like all US Marines, a very proud dedicated Marine. He shared that pride with our son by doing what he did that day, and being a true comrade in arms for our son and his fellow Marines. I will never forget his name, nor the family who loves him so very much. Please accept our sincere sympathy as it's the only thing, in addition to many thoughts, that I can offer you. I truly wish I could give you more strength, and take away your pain. I hope God will wrap his arms around you and help you through the bad times. I realize how very very fortunate we are in still having our son with us, but you're always on my mind and through our thoughts and in my heart you always will be. Although we don't know each other, our sons did, and through them, we have so much to be proud of. I hope it's a source of comfort to know we will share your pride in Ron, through our son, because they will always hold part of each other forever. Respectively, Larry and Mary Anne Thompson----parents of SSGT. Jason B. Thompson US Marine 22 MEU 1/6 USS Wasp and Afghanistan"
Mary Anne Thompson of Dunkirk,New York

"To the family of Marine Cpl. Ronald R. Payne Jr.
We offer you our heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your brave son, Ronald. We feel that all those who serve our great nation in the military are the sons and daughters of us all. God bless you and Ron and know that you are in our prayers and the prayers of thousands of Americans."
John and Pauline Carroll of Edina, Minnesota

"To Ronald R. Payne Jr.'s Family,
My brother is serving in Afghanistan 22 meu 1/6 charlie co..He knew your son and they are all brothers there and they will carry on his legacy forever..I can't think of any words to say to you because its soo hard..I know this..we are soo proud of our marines..your son died protecting us..To me that is a hero and we will always remember him..I know my brother has a special place in his heart for him forever..Baldwin, NewYork,Sheyla Randazzo sister of LCPL Arechaga,Julian 1/6 charlie co. 22meu"
Sheyla Randazzo of Baldwin, New York

"To the family of Ron Payne,
Our son Aaron Flynn served in the same vehicle with your son Ron. We were told that Ron was Aaron's best friend in Afghanistan. Aaron used to travel from Camp LeJeune to Bradenton to see his grandpa while on leave. We think they may have driven together on some of those trips. Aaron recently wrote us a letter from Afghanistan in which he expressed his thoughts regarding your son. We would like you to read what he said.
"Obviously, it's very difficult to have lost a friend in the manner which we lost Payne. What makes it even more difficult is that even though they all didn't die my vehicle lost three people out of seven, not just one. Although I miss Payne permanently, I miss Doc & Staff Sergent quite a bit as well. We had gotten to the pont where we worked extremely well together and it has take a little while to re-adjust. Fortunately, and unfortunately we've stayed fairly busy. Fortunately, because we don't have a lot of time to sit around and dwell on things, but unfortunately because we're beginning to realize how hard it's going to be to leave this place without Payne. Leaving Afghanistan, getting back on ship, going on liberty, returning to the U.S., going out for our first beer, all of these things are going to remind us that Payne isn't here, and we know it will be tough. However, (and I always used to hate it when people said 'everything happens for a reason', or 'there is a good side to everything') I am beginning to realize (as I believe most men who have a friend taken in this manner eventually do) that while I mourn for my friend Ron, I must honor him by first of all continuing to fight for the cause in which he wholeheartedly believed in, and died for, and then, when it's over celebrating life and freedom and all the privilages that my friend gave his life for, so that me, my buddies here, and all our loved ones back home could continue to live freely and without fear as Americans in the greatest country in the world.
I know in my other letters I've talked about perspective, and how experiences like this and interaction with people like these open our eyes to how great we have it; and while that's very true I now feel my eyes have been opened even wider. If I ever needed some affirmation of how lucky I was and how great our country is or how privaleged we are, I didn't have to come thousands of miles to observe people live in poverty! I only have to look to my left or to my right at the men beside me who willfully volunteered their very lives to defend the freedom and right to life of all Americans, even when sometimes that freedom is used to petition against our troops and slander our leaders. The fact that we live in a nation whose men are willing to die for their friends and family, as well as people who would reduce their wages, badmouth their leaders, possibly even spit on their faces and burn their nations flag because that's what freedom is, should be more perspective than anyone could ever need!
I feel like I just can't stress enough how lucky we are; and how my friend Ron has helped me realize that we're not just lucky to have T.V. and video games and modern convinences, we're not just lucky to live in a thriving world class economy, we're more fortunate then we could ever know that we have people who believe in democracy, believe in freedom, believe in a way of life so strongly that they are willing to defend these things and all the people encompased in these things with their lives.
I intend to jump on that boat, kiss U.S. soil, and truly cherish that first beer, because my friend paid the ultimate price so I could do those things. I truly believe I'll never have a problem with perspective again, and I hope you guys are able to take some of this to heart as well. I will always miss Payne, I know I'll never forget him, and I, as well as the rest of my platoon intend to honor his memory by never taking our freedoms for granted and truly trying to take advantage of the privaleged lifestyles he died defending.
Yes, it's very hard to lose a friend. I loved him very much. All the guys here still get quiet and shed a few tears when we think of him, but we're all so proud to have known a hero like Payne. He died in what we all believe to be the most honorable way possible and none of the boys nor I will ever forget him."
Cpl. Aaron Flynn June, 2004

We hope we can meet you sometime when we are in Florida. We are so glad our son had the honor of knowing your son. If you would like to write back we would be honored. Our e-mail is bflynn@mcg.net
God bless you and keep you,
Bob and Val Flynn"
Bob Flynn of Minneapolis, MN USA

"A poem for my son:

Holding you forever was my only plan
Never letting go of your precious little hands
I fell in love with your smile as I saw myself in you
Now I find you are gone from my life and I don't know what to do
You were my first born child
Any parents pride and joy
God only knows just what I would give to embrace my baby boy
There hasn't been a day where I haven't cried
I gave you life , God took it away If only I knew why
Though it hurts I know where you are is better than where I am
So I ask you this one thing, Please hold me forever and never let go of your mothers precious hands."
Kathy L. Seymour (Mother to my beloved son Ron Jr.) of Lakeland, FL

"I am Rons little sister. I miss him very much. When Ron came home from Iraq last year he stated that he was not a hero. He said the heroes were the soldiers who didn't make it back alive. So my brother is now a hero by his own definition. Of course I would give anything to have him back but at the same time I am proud of how brave and sacrificial he was. Our mother Kathy would like to thank all of you for the prayers and kind words that you have had to offer. God Bless America and those who die to protect her.
Valerie Lynn Payne of Boca Raton, FL"
Valerie Payne of Boca Raton, Fl/U.S.A.

"What a privilege to get to know Ron's mother online and to sense the Spirit of God working in her life -- getting her through each day. I am so thankful Ron's family are born-again Christians and have the "blessed hope" of a wonderful reunion in Heaven and all of eternity to spend with Ron there. God bless you and your family, Aileen, and may He comfort your grieving hearts today and in all of the difficult days that are yet to come. ~~Susan in Pensacola

May this passage in God's Word comfort your hearts:

I Thess. 4:13 ¶ But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

"To a man that needed no words to show that he was a man of honor. A man that strengthened our hearts and minds with his love. A man that would and did sacrifice his own life for that of a brother's. A man that even in the short time he graced us with his prescense he changed our lives forever. . to this I say I love you and miss you."
Rae of Lakeland, Florida

"MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO THE FAMILY OF RONALD PAYNE, ESPECIALLY HIS MOTHER KATHY. HE WILL BE VERY MISSED."
SHAD of USA

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

"Your son is a great American hero, to whom we are deeply grateful. Our family sends yours our sincere sympathy on your profound loss. We pray for your strength and abiding love for one another and Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, so that you may endure and grow in your faith. Your sacrifice is heartbreakingly honored in our outpouring of love and respect for you all. Thank you, thank you, thank you for allowing your precious son to serve for the sake of freedom. His life was not lost in vain; he will be remembered. We are so in awe of our military families. We salute you."
Laura Adelmann of Northfield, Minnesota

"My heartfelt sympathies to the family of Cpl. Ronald Payne. My husband served with Ron in Afghanistan, and has been extremely upset since it happened. Please know that you are in our prayers."
Ashley Warlick wife of Sgt. Keath Warlick 22MEU USS Wasp of Jacksonville, NC/USA

"To the family and friends of Cpl. Ronald Payne:
My heartfelt sympathy to you on the loss of this brave young man. My son, who was involuntarily recalled to active duty, is serving with the 22MEU in Afghanistan, so your loss is personal, although I never actually knew Cpl. Payne. I have offered prayers for him at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Clearwater, FL.
Dotti Doyle
PMM of Lt. Col. Geoffrey Doyle, USMCR, deployed in Afganistan"
Dotti Doyle of Riverview, FL

"To Ronald's family, I am so very sorry for your tragic loss. I can't even imagine losing one of my children. May god give you comfort. Please know that many of us appreciate his service and sacrifice for our country."
F.Smith of Pennsylvania

"I am overwhelmed with the love and support we have received from total strangers but now our family thru the sacrifice my son has made. My husband and I have been so grieved my the loss of our only son, yet sites like these have lifted our spirits beyond words can say. My son love the Lord, his family and the Corp. My fear is that people will forget not just his sacrifice but the others that have lost their lives for our United States and people they will never meet in those foreign countries. When I read of the others who have died...I see that we have lost a lot of great young people to a awesome cause. John 15:13 "Greater love hath no man than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends". Thru Ron's death I hope people remember that finding God's will in one's life and doing it with honor, courage, integrity and making a difference in someone's life should be everyones' goal in life. Ron fufilled God's plan for his life. We couldn't be more prouder of that. We feel unworthy to be called his parents. Thank you for your love and tender words that will be our healing through the coming months."
Aileen Payne (mother of Ronald R. Payne Jr.) of Lakeland, Florida

"I am the sister of Cpl. Ron Payne Jr. I came across your page and wanted to extend my gratitude for all of your love and prayers. We as a familiy definately need it. I have never experianced such a loss and it has been a trying time. Today is Memorial Day and it seems that we are feeling the sacrifice so much more. Thank you all and I will leave you with what my brother said last year on this day in front of our church "Remember the price of freedom is paid in blood.""
Rachel of Orland,FL

"My prayer and thoughts are with you. I know there are no words that can ease your pain, just remember that your son was proud of serving his country and fighting for what was right. He will be missed deeply by all that knew him. He is now with God watching over and still keeping others safe. He will live forever in our hearts. My husband and I will never forget him. SSGT Brian Romans 2LAR 2mardiv, camp lejeune"
Nahwahkah Romans of McGuire AFB, NJ. US

"To Cpl. Paynes Family, Our sympathy and prayers are with you and yours. There are no words to express the sorrow we feel. To know he is now with God and watching over the rest of his buddies gives some peace to them.
May he rest in Peace.
Semper Fi !
Proud Parents Of SSGT. Brian Romans BLT 1/6 LAR WPNS CO.Uss Wasp"
Bob & Chris Romans of Muscle Shoals ,Al.

"My thoughts and prayers are with all of your family, but especially for Ronald's Mom. I am a Mom of Marine Corporal, who died serving his Country on April 17, 2004. He was 23 years old and stationed in Iraq. I understand completely the loss you are enduring, and my prayers are with you. A bible verse that has encouraged me through these last weeks is Psalm 34:17-19: The righteous cry out, and the Lord hear them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all. I pray that you are feeling The Lord's comfort and the prayers of those who care.
God Bless you and your family."
Terri Bowman, Mom of a fallen Marine, of Las Vegas, NV, USA

"To Ronald'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

"I want to express my heartfelt sympathy. My thoughts and prayers are with you."
Robby Aumen of Charleston, SC

"My heart is with you and Ronald's fellows during this time. May God provide you with the support you need, including comfort and strength. It is these Heroes that have ensured our freedom. My family and I are forever grateful. You remain in my thoughts and prayers."
Missy Ledford of Chattanooga, TN/U.S.A.

"There are no word to express the sorrow I feel for your fallen Hero. It is because of the brave men and women like Ronald R. Payne, Jr. that we have the freedom to live our lives without fear. May God surround you with His love and comfort in the days to come. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 Semper Fi! Sherry Doty, proud Marine Mom of LCPL Hollie L. Doty 1stFSSG, CSSG11, Camp Pendleton, CA"
Sherry Doty of Anaheim, CA

"to our fallen brother..you will be missed.your bravery saved many lives that day and your country moarns our loss of one of our own. semper fi corpral payne.
blt 1/6 bravo comp mom whose son is still there in afghanistan"
lcpl bob's mom of L.Lakes FLORIDA

"I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in my prayers. May GOD give you strength and comfort. His newest Angel will be watching over you.

Very Proud Marine Mom of LCpl Jay
3rd FAST Co."
Teresa Anderson of Prattville, Alabama

"Mr/Mrs Payne,
I know you don't know me but I am so sorry for the loss of your son...my nephew is also in the Marnies....thank God for your son who has done a great job and all the others..I pray that God gives ya'll the power to go on and to know we all love ya'll no matter how hard things are to understand. In every way just trust in God he will see ya'll thru.
Praying for ya'll"
The Cookes of Gastonia, N.C.

"You & your family are in our thoughts & Prayers.May God Bless each & everyone of you."
Proud Aunt of LCPL Ronnie Davis , Blt 1/6 Weapons Co., USS WASP of Picayune , Mississippi

"May your angel watch over you and his Marine brothers. This Marine mom will not forget the sacrifice your son made."
Lynda of Maitland, FL

"To the Family and Friends of Cpl. Ronald R. Payne

As a former Marine I offer my sympathy and condolences in your loss, and my salute to a fallen comrade. Semper Fi my brother. May God grant you Peace."
Dave (USMC) Father of Sean, 82nd Airborne of Ashland, Ohio

"I am so so sorry for you loss and may God grant you peace. You are in my prayers."
Lisa Bullis of Lawrenceville, Ga USA

"I am so saddened by news of fallen soliders. My son, a Medic with the 82nd Airborne, returned from Iraq in April. When he returned to California on leave I was blessed to spend some time with him. He returned to Fort Bragg on Mother's Day and unfortunately, I missed him at the airport and was not able to say good-bye. I know how upset I was, but after finding out about this brave solider killed on Mother's Day, I have no call to be upset. I can only imagine what this brave soldier's family is going through, espeically his mother.

God Bless you Mother of Ronald R. Payne, Jr.

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers."
Cathie Adams of Redondo Beach, CA

"To the family of Ronald Payne, Jr. I am so sorry for your terrible loss. My prayers are with you all."
Sue Humble of Byhalia, Ms.

"I am saddened by the loss of this brave, loyal and patriotic young man. I wanted to say that I am not only praying for cpl Ronald R. Pain jr. but for his family and his fellow Marines. May you be blessed knowing that others share in your loss and at the same time are praying for God's blessings on you and all of our military forces. Ronald gave his all for each and everyone in the USA and the world--freedom is not free--what a gift cpl Pain Jr. has given. Rest assured--that we are very grateful to him,you, and all the wonderful men and women who are now serving in God's special forces. Ronald is in God's army and is a guardian angel. Remember him as a gentle breeze touches your face or warm feelng of comfort warms you. He is there!!!!
A mom of two sons who have served in in the middle East. (82nd Airborne and 1st CAV)"
Noralee Walter of Rio Linda, CA USA

"My sympathy and my heart goes out to your family at this time of shock and sorrow. I've learned that families of military are somehow all related so we tend to share all of our children with each other. We all share in this loss. God Bless and stay strong."
Barbara Semel and LCPL Mike Mullen (Afghanistan) of Wildwood, NJ

"ANYTHING WORTH STARTING, IS WORTH GIVING IT YOUR ALL DOING YOUR BEST AND FINISHING your goal is to MAKE YOURSELF PROUD IN ALL THAT YOU DO..i know ronald payne did just that..i'm honored to know that he thought protecting family, flag and country was important enough for him to join up.."
marine mom donna of Poquoson, VA USA

"My heart aches for your loss;-(Know that Ron is watching over all of us now;-)"
PMM Cpl Henning of Zilwaukee Mi

"My thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time. Your sons sacrific will never be forgotten.

Mother of Lcpl Jason Litton 1/6 USS WASP
Cpl Matthew Litton 1/2 Camp Lejeune"
Margie Litton of Philadelphia, PA USA

"Ronald Reagan once said,
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem." Please gather comfort in knowing your son made a difference, not only to America, but to the world. May God bless and comfort you.

Parents of Cpl. RC Parsons,
Blt 1/6, USS WASP"
Mr. & Mrs. Ron Parsons of Charlotte, NC USA

""A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers."
--President John F. Kennedy
Ronald will be remembered and honored by all who enjoy the freedoms he died to protect. May God bless him, his loving family and friends. My sincere condolences to those left behind. Another brave young Marine guards the streets of Heaven."
Jane Starliper of Clarksville, MD/USA

"To the Parents, family & friends of Cpl. Payne Jr.,
NO words could ever fill your loss. Altho we may not have had the honor of personally knowing Ronald, we do know the ultimate sacrific he has given to ALL of us sleeping safely in our beds at night. Those of us who have not lost our Marine or Soldier in this war on terror can only imagine the emptiness of your heart. We can only offer our love and prayers at this most difficult time you face.
May God be with you, keep you and hold you close in his arms. Amen.
Michelle Longwell
Mother of Cpl Longwell
3/2 2d Marine Division
Camp Lejeune NC"
Michelle Longwell of Atlanta, GA USA

"My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Ronald. No words can express our appreciation for young men like him who are fighting to make a better world for the Iraqi people as well as to make us safe. May God bless you."
Deborah Hunt of TX, PMM of SSgt Matt

"My heart and prayers go out to your family. Your son was a courageous Marine."
Helen Gerstein, PMM of Cpl Gerstein

"My heart breaks at the loss of this Marine. The only thing that slightly mends it is knowing that he will continue to serve in our memories. I currently have someone deployed in Iraq with the USMC. My thoughts and prayers go to this fine Marines family and unit! God Bless, Kristen"
Kristen of Oceanside, CA USA

"I believe all who have given their life for their brothers, sisters and their country are now Marines with God's Corps. Ron is an Angel looking out for his brethren in harms way far from home. Thank you Ron...for your unselfish service and honor to America and Americans. WE WILL NOT FORGET!"
Dodi Broker: Marine Mom of Reno, NV

"To the family and friends of Cpl Payne,
May God be with you during this difficult time.Know that you are not alone and that we are praying for you. Cpl Payne will not be forgotten."
Susan Rinaldi of NJ Proud Mom of Cpl Blake usmc

"Cpl Payne touched more lives than we will ever know. God gave him a mission and he carried it out. We will forever be grateful to him and try to live to be worthy of his sacrifice. John 15:13"
Gladys Stefany of Milford, PA

"rest in peace clp payne,your courage will never be forgotten."
rose custer of fort lauderdale fl usa

"Semper Fi and RIP brother!"
Mike (USMC) of Indianapolis Indiana

""To Ronald'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 his bravery and sacrifice.

Sincerely,

The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne, KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.

Gloria Caldas (his mom) of San Antonio, TX"
gloria.caldas@banksterling.com"

"Thank you Ronald Payne, Jr., 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 Cpl. Ronald Payne, Jr.:
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 Ronald 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 Cpl. Ronald Payne, Jr.:
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 Ronald, 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