Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

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

Army Spc. Chrystal G. Stout

23, of Travelers Rest, South Carolina.
Stout died in Ghazni, Afghanistan, when the CH-47 helicopter she was on crashed. She was assigned to the Army National Guard's 228th Signal Brigade, Spartanburg, South Carolina. Died on April 6, 2005.

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"I still think of you, miss you, and I will always love you... Don't get too attached!(Remember)....I'll be there one day....."
Brockington of SC

"To the family of:Chrystal G. Stout
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. She 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""

"Crystal was the first person I met when I arrived at Bagram in 2006. I was the only Air Force female attached to their brigade and I was a bit worried how that would work out. She made me feel welcome, like any other soldier and was the only person who offered to show me around and help me move my things into our hut. I'll never forget the day I found out she had passed, a total shock. Days before I had watched her throw clothes and baby wipes into a bag telling me about the FOB she was going to, she couldn't even shower there. But hearing how excited she was you would have thought she was going home. That's the kind of positive person she was. She is still to this day one of the most kind hearted, caring and giving people I have ever met. I think about her often and miss her all the time. Your time on this earth was too short and I wish we had met sooner. Thank you for your sacrifice I know you're watching over us now."
SSGT TONI EPPS of Baghdad, Iraq via Tinker AFB, OK

"I never had the opportunity to meet Chrystal, I was only assigned to the honor guard who performed the ceremony. Even this many years later,I still have not forgotten the love and support that the entire city showed for this young girl. It is a great reflection of her character and activities in the community. Please accept my sincerest condolences even at so late a date,and know that every day I think of the loss that your family has suffered, and it makes me strive to be a better husband, father and member of society in general in her honor. She is not here in body, but the impact of her life is felt as far away as Oklahoma."
Sgt. James Ray (ret.) of Meeker, Ok

"It had been many years since Kristal, you and I had our fun together in AIT. We laughed together and were there for eachother for those few months. But those few months mean a life time of memories to recall whenever I need to smile. I will miss you and will never forget you."
Erin Dunning (SPC) of Twin Falls, ID

"I miss you"
Sean of Easley, SC/USA

"November 10, 2007
To the family of Spc. Chrystal G. Stout:
Chrystal 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

"To My Dearest Chrystal,
My heart broke the day I found out about your helicopter going down (the day of my baby shower). We talked before you got to Ft. Benning and we emailed that when you got back, we'd meet up in New York (Me,you,and Sias)to hang out and shop and catch up on old times. You were the best "Battle Buddy" I ever had and I was so proud to be your Platoon Guide in Basic Training (Ft. Leonard Wood, MO) and a friend for life. I spoke to your dad the day of your funeral and I just couldn't keep myself together because it felt like yesterday that your family took me in on "Family Day", had me to try "Hawaiian Pizza" (pepperoni and pineapples), we graduated and then your family took me to the airport. I confided in you over the years as you did with me. I still cry because my little sister is gone but, I know you are watching over me. Your family raised a beautiful human being and I got to start my military carrer with an "Angel." You will forever be in my heart and memories.

If any of the family members are reading this, I'd like to reach either Tony or Crystal's mother. Please call me at 315-921-5022."
Michele Hollins-Cooper of Columbia,SC

"To My Dearest Chrystal,
My heart broke the day I found out about your helicopter going down (the day of my baby shower). We talked before you got to Ft. Benning and we emailed that when you got back, we'd meet up in New York (Me,you,and Sias)to hang out and shop and catch up on old times. You were the best "Battle Buddy" I ever had and I was so proud to be your Platoon Guide in Basic Training (Ft. Leonard Wood, MO) and a friend for life. I spoke to your dad the day of your funeral and I just couldn't keep myself together because it felt like yesterday that your family took me in on "Family Day", had me to try "Hawaiian Pizza" (pepperoni and pineapples), we graduated and then your family took me to the airport. I confided in you over the years as you did with me. I still cry because my little sister is gone but, I know you are watching over me. Your family raised a beautiful human being and I got to start my military carrer with an "Angel." You will forever be in my heart and memories.

If any of the family members are reading this, I'd like to reach either Tony or Crystal's mother. Please call me at 315-921-5022."
Michele Hollins-Cooper of Columbia,SC

"I just wanted to say to Chrystal getting to know you during the few years i had was awesome, memories of us will always play in my mind (but we'll be together soon to remember them together). To her family chrystal was an awesome woman and i know you are proud. To the soldiers she served with your sacrifices are not in vain and are greatly appreciated thank you so much. Chrystal will always be a vivid memory and the soldiers will always be in my prayers the same way chrystal was."
Shakyee McClintock of Greenville, SC/USA

"thank you for having such a selfless young lady. it must be hard, but she did not pass in vain. god bless you all. sorry for your loss. we all grieve with you. . . national guard is amazing. i hope to go over to the sandbox and make my own print as well. thank you. our prayers are with you."
fellow guard girlie of medina oh usa

"I met Chrystal while TDY to Bagram and I can honestly say that I will never forget her. She was always so happy and friendly. It is so sad that she is now gone. It's been just over a year and a half, but I still think about her. Everytime that I got work out...I wear my pedometer that she got me for Christmas. I will never forget you Chrystal!!! I remember the day I heard what happened...the day after my birthday...the day it was released on the news. I said a prayer for you Chrystal on my birthday...the day the helicopter went down...the day you went to heaven. I will do this forever more. I miss you. To her family...you had the sweetest daughter. She was really a great friend. She is truly missed."
Fran Hodges of RAF Croughton, UK

"It's been a year and a half, and I am broungt to tears....tears streaming down my face for you! I miss you more than words can ever say! I remember when you were born, and watching you grow from a tiny tot with big blue eyes to a woman, a soldier, a child of God! I wanted you to know that I had a daughter in April, and I named her Sarah Chrystal, for you and your grandmother who has gone on before and sits with you now! My love for you and her both floats to heaven on the wings of doves, of prayers.......I love you!"
Cindy Stout (Chrystal's Aunt) of Hillsville, VA USA

"Chrystal,
I would like to say thank you to you and the other servicepersonnel who were on that Chinook with you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy."
Mike Casey of El Paso, TX

"I became friends with Chrystal in AIT, good old Fort Gordon, GA. Even when we had to get up at 4:00 a.m. Chrystal still had the brightest smile that could warm the darkest of days! We went to church every Sunday thanks to Chrystal, she was just a woman everyone could look up to and respect. On our graduation from AIT, we went to Chuckie Cheese's to have some good old fashioned fun! We were just girly girls, being just that! I hang a picture of my friend and I wherever I go, she will not be forgotten."
SGT Corey Fink of Fort Hood, TX

"My sister was a great person, and even more she was my mentor my 2nd mom and light in my eveyday darkness. She could turn the worst of days into days you would wish could last forever.To say a part of me went with her would be a understatement.Ive never had my legs taken out from under me like the day i got the news.Its been a year almost to date and to read about her and see her pics is like the first time i got the news.. To all her friends that read this," Thenk you, knowing how much everyone cared and helped in our time of need.God bless"."
Jeremiah of GreenVille

"Chrystal,

Where do i begin? You always were there for me when I needed you. You were the voice of reason that kept me in check, the hand that kept me on the straight and narrow (forcefully sometimes, I might add), the shoulder for me to cry on, and most importantly. you were, and still are, my best friend. There are so many things that I am going to miss about you: your laugh, your beautiful smile, that stare you would give me when you didn't approve of what I was doing, staying up all night watching cheesy scary movies that we'd seen 300 times already. To sum it up, I'm just going to miss everything about you. This world we live in is so unfair it seems. I thought that my children and your children would play together one day, but in the blink of an eye, all of that is gone. I will never for the life of me understand why God took you from us so early, but I rest easy knowing that you would not come back now even if you could. You were so unbelievable Chrystal, I wish the whole world could have known what a joy you were to be around, how you could brighten the worst of days with a simple hug and a smile. God truly broke the mold when he made you. Thank you so incredibly much for all of the great memories you have given me, I hold them more precious than gold. I'm going to miss you girl, there will never be another like you. I know I will see you again one day, and I hope my first experience in Heaven is seeing you smile and getting to hug you one more time. I love you Chrystal. Rest In Peace, you've earned it."
Kevin Patterson of Nashville, Tennessee

"It hurts to know that you're gone, and that I'll never get to spend my summer with you again. I remember how we planned that I'd live with you after I graduate high school, and how we would have so much fun together. I'm speechless when someone asks me about you. I just don't know how to explain what a beautiful great person you always were. It's unbelievable to know that you aren't here anymore. I love you so much, and I'm more than proud of everything you've done. I wish I could make you as proud as you've made me. You've affected me in more ways that you could possibly imagine. I look up to you and always will no matter where you are. At least our wonderful Lord can take care of you now. I look forward to seeing you on those streets of gold. I miss you."
Crystal Spurck of Kempner, TX

"Well I know when I write this you will not see it, but sometimes it's just good to put it in words. We had a rough life together and missed out on many years of enjoying each others company. I thank God we had the last few years together in peace and love. We grew not only to be sisters but best friends. Even though I know your having a blast right now with the ONLY God of the universe I can't help but wish your were here. I was looking forward to Elisha and Eian getting to know one of the best women I know but luckly they can be proud of their Auntie Chrystal. We are all proud of you but mostly for your silent testimony that still lingers in peoples minds and hearts. I love you Chrystal and my missing you is only for a minute. SEE YA SOON!!!!!!"
sonya powell of travelers rest SC

"To my best friend,
It has been hard to accept the fact that you are not here with me anymore. We shared many events that lead us to be here in Bagram. From the time we met and became friends at a small private school in Piedmont, to moving out on our own, to when we decided to join the SC National Guard and to the moment we said that we will go to Bagram. You were the strength in our friendship. The light when there was nothing but darkness. I find comfort only in the fact that you drew your strength and light from our Savior. And that you are at peace in Heaven. You were the true definition of a Christian. You were generous and forgiving, loving and firm. You were the only one who stayed beside me when everyone else thought I was backsliden. I am sad to think that your nephew wont know you here in this world. You stood firm in your beliefs and your actions. I hope that everyone who knew you, knows what it took to be a soldier. That they know just how proud you were to wear the uniform and what you went through to have the right to wear it. I hope that everyone who knew you knows that it wasnt easy to say yes when we were asked to come here to Bagram. I remember when they asked us. It was together because they never sent one of us without the other. We came here together to look out for the other and take care of each other. Im sorry to your family, Sonya, Jerimiah, Shayne, Elisha, Tony and Julie that I didnt do my part. This world wasnt good enough for you to stay here so God took you home. I will always miss you.

Ecclesiastes 4:9,10"
Kristal Hudgins Mason (Hudge) of Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan

"I never knew you, never even knew you were here but that day in April was a sad day for all. I am in an aviation unit right next door to "Big Windy" here at Bagram Air Field and when we heard about Windy 25 going down it was like we all lost a brother or sister. We will never forget the ones we knew and will never for get the ones we never got to know. May your spirit rest well knowing you are in the company of friends, family and our other fallen heroes. Since you left us there has been more Fallen Comrade Ceremonies. Please welcome these soldiers and let it be known that they also will never be forgotten.
T.F. Sabre"
SGT. M. Doshier of B.A.F. Afghanistan

"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""

"My dearest daughter,
As I sit here tonight, almost 2 months to the day you went to be with our Lord. I want you to know that Daddy is doing okay. I miss you much! Your brother got his diploma that you so pushed him to. You would be proud!

I want to thank all the people who have prayed for us in this time of sorrow. Those who have left kind words and those in the military who have adopted my family as one of their own. My heart beats proud for not just my daughter, but all of you who have fought and do fight till this day for what God has given us FREEDOM!

May God bless you and this great nation.
Tony Stout - father of Chrystal. And Lori (stepmother) CHRYSTAL YOU ARE MY HERO.... Heart4Lori@aol.com"
Tony Stout of Easley, SC

"Dear Chrystal, I only regret that I was not as accessable to you as the rest of our crew. Hudge,Brock,Tara,Doug. Your lost pains me deeply. It was you, and Hudge alone. who kept ME intact by expressing all your grattitude and reminded me of who I am. You guys in fact, gave ME purpose. Now I do not exactly know how I may have impacted your lives, but your impact on me was extraordinary! Although I am cheated out of saying thank you for your encouragement I am sure you know. You convinced me to strive for perfection, and instead of you following my example, I had to follow yours. For that I will be eternally greatful. Thank YOU for your support, and thanks for your encouragement.
To the family, Chrystal is and always will be very special to those whose lives she touched, and we all would agree that the world WAS NOT, WILL NOT,and WILL NEVER be ready for such BEAUTY. For Chrystal was the epihany of inner and outter beauty, Just exceptional. I thank her every day for her encouragement,.....thats right, even now. Bless all of you"
HENDERSON of Simpsonville, SC/USA

""A personal note from us..... Tara and Everett (Brockington)

Chrystal was a very special friend to Tara and I and especially to those of us that did not deploy with the unit. She was a valuable part of helping us prepare for the return of the 151st to home station. While at the 74B school, SPC Everett Brockington, SPC Kristal Hudgins and I (Tara Walker) got to know the person Chrystal really was - as a soldier and as a friend. She knew what she wanted and always found a way to make it happen. It breaks our hearts that she had to leave this way, but she died on an adventure of a lifetime. She loved to try new things - and ironically, if we all were in Afghanistan - and on the same shift, we would have all been on that helicopter together. I would have been honored to have her share my foxhole! She always had my back and to know that someone has your back in the heat of battle says a lot about a soldier. She was that soldier. We are missing a vital piece of our family now, and for those of you who did not get a chance to meet her or get to know her, you have really missed a blessing of a lifetime. My life has truly been touched by hers. If you really got to know her, you know what I mean! Chrystal always had a giving heart. We will never forget what you stood for and you will always be with us. I am a better person because of you. I will never forget your humor, smile, determination, and sprit. I am proud that you thought of Tara and me as part of your family. Miniature golf, bowling, and basketball won't ever be the same without you..... I want to thank the Powell family for a job well done and great friends like Vicky and Marley who helped shape her into the person she was. Mr. and Mrs. Stout your daughter not only was a hero in death but in life also. Thank you.......
Tara and Everett of Greenville/Irmo SC
Your message is being posted..."
Tara and Everett of Greenville/Irmo SC

"Sonya, you and Chrystal have always been special to me. I love both your fire, grit, and independence. But most of all, I love your faith and love of our God. Your testimonies have meant a great deal to many people. Through this accident, I pray many come to know the Lord. I will always have a thankful heart for Chrystals service to our country, and her supreme sacrifice for our freedom. Sonya, you can call on me anytime, and for anything. All because of Christ and His love for us, Love, Mrs. Hagy"
Renee Hagy of Greenville, SC USA

"To the family of Chrystal:

I was really hurt when I heard the news about the helicopter crash. I worked with SPC Stout for about 5 to 6 months before my unit left Bagram to return to Hawaii. She was a really sweet girl and she will be missed by a whole lot of people. I know I'll definitely miss her."
SGT Nadine Gant of Schofield Bks, Hawaii

"To Chrystal's Family and Friends:

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

Sincerely,

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

"TO THE FAMILY OF CHRYSTAL,
MY HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES ON THE LOSS OF YOUR DAUGHTER. I TOO, KNOW THE PAIN OF YOUR LOSS. MY SON, SSG. TONY B. OLAES WAS KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN ON SEPTEMBER 20, 2004. YOUR DAUGHTER WILL FOREVER BE IN OUR PRAYERS, AS WILL YOUR FAMILY.
SINCERELY,"
TERRY A. WARD of WESTMINSTER. SC

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

"To The Family of Army SPC Chrystal Stout: My heart aches for and with you. On March 23, 2003, I received the same devastating news that you just received. My son, Staff Sgt. Jason Hicks was killed in an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

To Army SPC Chrystal Stout: Thank you for loving our country more than life!
You and your sacrifice will not be forgotten."
Theresa S. Hicks of Jefferson, S. C. USA

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

"To the family and friends of Spc. Chrystal Stout:
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 Chrystal for the sacrifice she has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Spc. Chrystal Stout:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. She 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 Chrystal, 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