Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Lance Cpl. Alexander S. Arredondo

20, of Randolph, Massachusetts.
Arredondo died as result of enemy action in An Najaf, Iraq. He was assigned to Battalion Landing Team 1/4, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. Died on August 25, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Lance Cpl. Alexander S. Arredondo.

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"I have a shirt that was made as tribute to those who have passed from alpha 1/4 for a camp Pendleton mud run ran in June and would love for the family to have it. Please email me if you would like it cjdenoncourt@yahoo.com Once a marine always a marine!! I would like to mail it or drop it off, I live in Plymouth. Although we never met we are brothers!! Corporal Chris Denoncourt"
Chris Denoncourt of Plymouth, ma

"10 years today you were taken from us. I miss you very much and think of you and Brian every day. Love you both! Xoxo"
Auntie Laura of Brewer Me

"Hey there brother. Just wanted to pop in and say happy birthday. You would have been celebrating your 29th bday today. Often, and especially days like today I wonder where you would be in life, in the world, how we would be celebrating your birthday. Would you be married by now? How many nephews and nieces would I have? The answers we will never have. Regardless your always in my thoughts. I hope you and Brian are celebrating your asses off together. Love and miss you bro. Ill see you in a couple hours for some shots. Brothers til the end and everyday after."
Elias C Contos of Norwood, ma

"Dear Alex - you came from a proud, strong and very brave family. My heart filled with pride as an American when I saw on the news that your father, at the Boston Marathon, also ran into danger, rather than from it. Great praise is earned by this family of heroes."
Lily (Aunt of Donald Oaks, Jr. KIA 4-3-03 Iraq) of Erie, PA

"Alex, My goodness you are greatly missed. Time keeps passing by, but your memory lives on through friends and family. Please know that not a day passes by where I don't think of you, Brian, and your family. As an educator I incorporate lessons of sacrifice and selflessness- homage to you. I miss you always and will remember you forever.
Stephanie"
Stephanie Corey Ponte of Taunton Ma

"For the last few years now I have sat and read this Memorial to my nephew Alex. It has taken me that many years to get to this point, where I feel the need to actually say something. I am so glad & not at all surprised that Alex affected so many people, in a positive way. When I see the living Memorial Tat that Ayup got and see how hard Crespo worked to get up to Boston for Alex's brother, Brian's funeral and reading Glas, Anspach, Sandoval and so many other posts on this wall from every other Marine or Serviceman. I know that he was loved in that Cadre he shared with his Brothers!! I want to thank you all for being Friends and Brothers to Alex. All of us who knew that part of him, know he truly was a genuinely Brave, Honorable, Fearless, Mischievious, Compassionate, Kind and Selfless young man. That Man could be swimming in a pool of shite with a smile on his face!!! So I want to thank you Marines for pushing him to excel, as a Marine and a Person who always wanted to be challenged further!!
To the Marine who rode your motorcycle from Colorado to my sister Victoria's house in Maine in the Summer of 2005 to fulfill a promise to Alex. I can't thank you enough for that visit. I was there at Alex's Moms house turning a Basement into living space and trying to heal & help Victoria, Brian and Nathaniel deal with the horrible reality that Alex was no longer physicaly with us on this Earth. So when you showed up, it truly was one of the best deeds you have ever and will ever do in your lifetime. Please forgive me, for I do not even remember your name, yet I want to thank you so much for that gesture!!I hope you enjoy the Tonic CD.

I want to also thank all of Alex's friends, who have posted on this Memorial. I hope you all realize that you all helped to make him who he was as a person. I always say that Alex was a Living Angel in the truest sense of the word and that Infectious Smile and just the Pure Sparkle of Life in his Eyes are a testament to that!! I could recount so many stories of Alex that would make you all laugh and cry. That will be in the future though, because I am tempered and somber after reading this Memorial yet again.
For 5 Years I wore Alex's Parris Island issued Dogtag around my Neck. Until one day I woke out of a Dream where Alex was telling me that Elias Contos needed to have it. So I gave it to Eli knowing it was the right thing to do. Eli says he learned and was pushed to be better by Alex in one of his entries here, well the pendulum swings both ways Eli and you should know that you greatly helped shape your brother in ways you could never realize. He loves you!!

Thank you all for the kind words and shared memories, of a Man I Truly Love like a Son.

Ours Is Not to Question What or Why
Ours is Just to Do or Die!! Semper Fi!!"
Alex's Uncle, Stephen Foley of Boston

"Alex, you have popped into my head as I sit here in Marjah, Afghanistan in 2012. I don't know why but you have. It seems like only yesterday that your mom called me to break the news of your fate. That was a rough day. I hope your mom, dad and brothers are doing well. Memorial Day was a few days ago and we held a ceremony for all the fallen brothers here at our Combat Operations Post. You were in my thoughts as you and all my fellow fallen brothers always are. God Bless you and your family."
Mauro Martinez - of Marjah, Afghanistan

"Alex,

I cannot believe how quickly time has gone by without you here. I remember the car rides, the long walks, the late nights, the letters, the phone calls, the never ending political and social commentary we discussed. I think of you often and I will remember you always. Rest in peace and know your memory will live on."
Stephanie Corey Ponte of Taunton, Ma

"To the family of:Alexander S.Arredondo
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"3-18-11"

"Alexander, i don't know who you are, and before ten minutes ago I had never heard of you. But one thing I can say is that you have made an impact on the world. Look at all these people leaving their condolences. You are not just Alexander, you are the image of every fallen hero to me. I am writing my college paper on the grief of war and I'm happy to have you in it. After reading all these wonderful things about you, i'm convinced that you were and are a great person. Your memory will live on with everyone for the rest of their lives, and they will tell their children of heroes like you. It does not matter whether a person supports the war in iraq or not, it only matter that they respect the people fighting for something thats worth fighting for. You are a role model. I hope one day when i have kids that they could have a tenth of the courage you have. Mr. and Mrs. Arredondo, you are the parents of a hero."
Omar H. of Fort Worth, TX

"August 25 2010, I cant believe it has been 6 years. I remember that sunny summer day when I was babysitting alexs little brother nate, for his mother. We miss Alex so much!! You would think as time goes by that pain would go also but is stays. There is not a day that goes by that I dont think of Alex and his mother Victoria and brothers Brian and Nate. We love you Alex!!! your Auntie Laura (wah-wah) xoxoxo"
Laura of Bangor, ME

"I never had the privledge to meet you, but a good friend of mine served with you. His name is warren glas. Will you please watch over him and help him along his path when he is feeling lost? From what I've grown to know about you, you were a great soldier with a lot of courage and honor. I pray that you have found peace."
MARCY NORTON of EL PASO, TX

"I also did not know Lance Cpl Arredondo, but it is my honor to be standing at his point today at the Run for the Fallen. My prayers to him and his family."
SGT Katrina Smith (USAR) of Waterville, ME

"Damn, another summer is here. Every time summer comes around i always think of Najaf for some reason. Every time Najaf comes up, i end up remembering you and Skinner; i think all Raiders do. There is no way in hell anyone of us are going to forget you two or any of the other Raiders that got hit that day. I hear your family is planning a hike up to the memorial in about a month or so. I'm sending an email to your family to get more confirmation i'll definitely be interested to get out there. If any other Raiders catch this before July of 2010 i believe, consider heading out to Horno to re-unite with our boys, we owe it to Dondo and Skinner to go out there in person. If you guys want more information i believe that one of Alex's family members who is setting this up has posted his email. If not, i'm going to try to get more info asap so you can hit me up at pvargas0331@gmail.com"
Cpl. Peter Vargas of Buffalo Grove, IL

"Dondo...wow Najaf seems like so long ago...we were just children. Even though I was in Weapons Platoon I always looked up to you as one of the greatest leaders in the company. I remember when I left my rifle on a 7-ton during training, and you found it. I was so upset at the thought that you'd be dissapointed and think I was a turd. A lot has changed since then man, but I'm glad to see that your memory is being honored daily.
They told me that after I got shot you got up there in my spot so you could "Find the bastard that got Davis." Of course, the same bastard ended up getting you. You should know tho, bro, that our boys found him and took care of him after that.
Thanks for looking out for me man. You've left a legacy that won't ever be forgotten. Everyone that ever met you was inspired by your optimism and charisma. I count myself as extremely lucky to be one of them. God bless. Raider."
Matt Davis of Clemson, South Carolina

"hey buddy. Its official. July 10 -17 ill be in san Diego and taking the hike up mount horno to the memorial. I can't wait to meet all your brothers its been such a long time in the works. Arthur Jess and Paul are going to take the hike up as well. If anything, it will be the most important thing I do in my life thus far and I'm pissed that it took me 5 years to not only work up the courage to do it, but finally follow through. Ill come see you soon Alex, and I love and miss you always. Stay hard bro.

To all the 1/4 raiders: thank you so much for being there with Alex through all the turmoil and craziness. In some ways you all knew Alex in ways I could never comprehend and I have only myself to blame for that. For those of you that are still fighting to keep us all safe from the terrors of the world, my heart and thanks go out to you and your families always. Also keep in mind that Alex IS looking down on you, watching and keeping you safe. Although I have yet to meet you in person, we already have a strong connection, the love and memories of a friend and brother. If you know you will be around between 7/10/10 - 7/17/10, contact either myself @ eliascontos@gmail.com or Dave smith. I would like to meet as many of the guys as possible."
Elias Contos of Norwood, ma

"Its been a long 5 years man. Your mom and mine still talk I guess but I never manned up and went and saw her. I guess I just don't have the courage to face my fears. Every day I miss you man. Even more now. I named my daughter Alex after you. She's still a baby but I always tell her how important she is and how much she has to live for because you didn't. I constantly think about why bullets missed us for so long and then that one morning all of us seemed to get taken out. I wish I would've been able to say goodbye. I never did. I got shot that morning and by the time I got to the hospital you were already gone. When we got hit you were one of the only people to come check on us and help us and I wish I could've done the same for you. My only regret in life is not being more like you. You will always be my friend and I will always remember you. You died a hero's death and it provides me with some comfort knowing you wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Most people won't understand but I know you made your peace with your world and I know you were ready to die even if the rest of us weren't ready for you to. I promise to raise my daughter to the best of my ability and honor your memory always. Safe travels to you man."
Patches of Dallas, TX

"I just wanted to let your family know that my heart goes out to them. I lost my cousin, Jamaal Addison, in Iraq. We spoke briefly in the Atlanta airport at the coffee shop. God Bless"
Kimani Mustafa of Atlanta, GA

"Alex was my godson and very close to me and my children. we miss him very much and the pain never goes away. the memories we have are wonderful. we continue our lives in his memory and try do it right. we know the truth! To my wonderful sister and the only mother Alex knew you should be very proud of your self in the man you raised. I know that I am and just know that the truth will be told. Love always, Auntie Laura"
Laura of Bangor Maine

"Hey brother, just been thinking about you lately and wanted to tell you I miss you. Keep a seat warm for me up there. I love you man."
Warren

"my name is aaron reed i serviced with lcpl arredondo and went to iraq with him i was on the roof that horrific day and watched everything i leave my sympothy for his family and friends."
aaron reed of reno nevada soon to be mission kansas

"Marine:

I did not know you, and I do not know your family. However, not a single day goes by where you and your fellow fallen soldiers aren't in my thoughts, prayers and heart.

God bless you, and each of them for giving the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation of ours.

You make us proud, Marine. You are one of the few - one of the proud.

Your comrade in arms (USAF),

SSgt C. Hesselrode, USAF (Retired)"
C. Hesselrode of Chandler, AZ USA

"I went to high school with Alex and would like to create a motorcycle run in his memory. If anyone can help me out please contact me at dava60cc@yahoo.com
thanks,
Matt"
MATTHEW J. DAVIDSON of Braintree, MA

"Semper Fi Marine,May God bless you and your entire family. Thank you for your extreme sacrifice."
Matthew Gray USMC ret. of South Easton

"My name is Elias Contos and this will be the second message that I leave on this site. It seems a lot of the troops that knew alex are coming home and putting up their memorials on this site. I was wondering if any of the troops that seved with alex if they could contact me with stories pictures, anything at all. I've had trouble getting email addresses"
eliascontos@gmail.com of norwood ma

"As I look out my living room window, thru some trees... I can see a memorial plaque honoring you that hangs at a street corner here in Norwood. It's been there now for a few years and looks like any other plaque found on numerous street corners here in town that pays tribute to fallen veterans though no one ever seems to pay attention to these. You know, just another sign. But a few days ago, most likely because of Memorial Day (5/26/08), someone attached an official Marine photo of you to your plaque and for the first time, I was able to see what you looked like. Well, I don't know why but that made me search for you on the web and, as a result, I am here. I read all of the tributes and was moved to tears by the words of your comrades, friends, former classmates and, especially, your family. I guess now you are no longer a strange name on a sign to me. I now know where and how you died, how dedicated you were, what a leader and friend you were to your comrades, where you went to school, that you had a "killer" smile, you were special to girls, and that you were loved.

I too,served in a dangerous place many years ago but I was very lucky. I got to come home to my loved ones. You are a true hero and your loss is a tremendous loss to this country. I hope that all who knew you will find comfort and peace despite losing you. I salute you."
M of Norwood, Massachusetts

"Dondo,

Today is Memorial Day. As always you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. I miss you bro, and I know a lot of other people miss you as well, but it's sacrifices like yours that make this nation great.

Thank you for being an inspiration. Thank you for your service. Thank you for your sacrifice. Rest easy."
David Smith of ALPHA RAIDERS!!!!!!

"March 28, 2008
To the family of Lance Cpl. Alexander S. Arredondo:
Alexander 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 Chlders
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"Alex I thank you for your association with so many of the Marines in the BATTLE at AN NAJAF Cemetery.Especially with my son 1st Richard Zjawin.You guys actually had the WAR in IRAQ WON at that point .With AL SADAR trapped with the MAHDI Army.IT was peace activist and gutless politicians who let you guys down.They did this issuing the order to let AL SADAR go with his Army and weapons. That is why we are still there today and so many others have paid the ultimate price as yourself.I KNOW you will be GUARDING the gates at HEAVENS DOOR.SEMPER FI"
Walter Zjawin of Metuchen NJ

"You know when I first got transferd to Alpha Company Raiders from Comm I did not know what to expect. You all were on a level of motovation that I never thought could be reached. And it always seemed like you were one of the Marines who was leading it. Sometimes I go onto my computer and look at the Alpha Raider video that was made and when I hear 1st Sgt Young say the Raider Creed it still gives me chills. I will never forget when we were in Iraq and you would come into my room and say "Hey POG you got any AA's?" with a big old smile. You know all thouse POG comments for some reason really did bring light to sometimes really stormy days. You always seemed to make the best out of the worst situations and would in turn make us see the bright side to them as well. You know I got on the internet today looking for the Alpha Raider Hyme and found this page. When I was reading through the letters people have wrote it made me think that maybe you led me here so that I could say some things as well. I was not in Najaf with you even though I wanted to go, so I cant say I knew what it was like. But what I can say is that for the time I served with you in the work-ups to Iraq was by far the greatest experiance of my life. I still have the Raider T-Shirt and to this day wear it with pride. Rest in Peace Arredondo. "We Few, We Happy Few, We Band Of Brothers, He Who Sheds His Blood With Me Shall For Ever Be My Brother."
1/4 Alpha Raider For Life"
Cpl. Erickson Juell of Redding, Ca

"Alex,
I'm sorry I always gave you a hard time because you were junior to me in the marine corps. I know that it wasn't easy for you to go straight from SOI to OIF1 and I didn't make that time any easier for you. I never told you this when you were alive but I have a lot of respect for you. As a man and as a marine. You never complained when all the rest of us were crying like girls about some BS work that had to get done. I always noticed and respected that. So man, forgive me for being a mean drunk of a senior marine because I'm going to give you a hug when I see you in the afterlife. I love ya, man."
Anonymous of Anytown, USA

"I did not know your son. I just happened across his web page. However, I am grateful for men like him who serve for all of us. I too have lost a son, but in a different way, so I know some of your pain. I guess I just wanted you to know that many Americans are like me and grateful for Alexander's sacrifice."
Mark Westrick of Sanford, NC

"Alex,
The best memory of you I have is when we were on top of the cliffs at red beach and I was afraid to repel down. You talked me into it. Man all the Raiders miss you and we will NEVER forget you. You were a great guy. Rest in peace Alex. Raider for life and beyond."
john of woodlawn, arkansas

"I briefly went to elementary school and baseball camp with Alex. He was easy to talk to, always had a smile on his face. Just an all-around good kid."
Michael Baker of Dedham, MA

"Arredondo was a stand up Marine. He was one of the few that understood the reality of war. His understanding of the Iraqi people changed my view of the war. He helped me understand the difference between the Iraqi civilian and the enemy. I miss you dondo. You will never be forgotten."
Gabriel Prado of Corvallis Oregon

"I can't help but think of Dondo. He meant a lot to my son, who served alongside him. I know words fail me, and I would never be able to write anything that comforts you the way I wish it would, but I pray you sense God's comfort and His presence as you learn to live without your son. Dondo will never be forgotten."
Beverly Rosen of San Antonio, Tx

"Alex,
Where do I begin? As all the Raiders that have been on here before me have said, I miss you Dondo, more than words can describe. I can go back to so many fond memories of us. From climbing school, where we really first got to know each other... where our fears of heights were forgotten and our bonds were formed. We would place pro and jump down like 15 feet to test it to show the others that it was safe. How we ended up driving, what 2 hours to snowboad in Brogdons car... and i broke my tail bone and had to ride back on my stomach in the passenger seat. Then always saying "Bomber" LOL that was the word.
Then Iraq came and i have fond memories of you being on my left flank as we all went through the cemetary. You just had an attitude about you that made me smile in the hardest of times... we climbed those T-Barriers in FOB Baker, where we had like 7 people on them.. you climbed up it upside down LOL how great.. always talking about getting back and boarding... TOE SLIDE...HEEL SLIDE!!!
And then i had to listen on the radio as all our brothers started falling, and found out that you weren't coming back. It was the first time i had lost someone extremely close to me, it is indescribable.
Now, im out, im back home, living safely under our free skies, and theres not a day goes by that i don't think about you Alex, i could go on and on and on about how much i thank you for everything you taught me, everything we shared... but i'm just going to say it like this. I Love You Alex, Forever... until I see you at the gates of heaven..
"WE FEW, WE HAPPY FEW, WE BAND OF BROTHERS, HE WHO SHEDS HIS BLOOD WITH ME, SHALL FOR EVER BE MY BROTHER""
James Reed of Battle Creek, MI

"Dondo,
I didn't know you as well as many others did but we are still brothers. Everyone from 1/4 seems to have a story about you and what a great person you were. I remember always trying to find your lane during the boat raid cliff assaults.
RAIDER FOR LIFE!!!!"
dsmith_raider@yahoo.com of Akron, OH

"Alex,

Hey brother, it's me Mendoza. I'm sorry that i've taken so long to do this. Ayup, Pineda, Medina, Bagby, Enrique, Velazquez and I were all hanging out last night and we remembered you. I told 'em about how close those damn hellfires landed in front of us in the cementery and how you would give me and velazquez a hard time about smoking. I told 'em about how you would cover me when we were clearing those goddam tombs in the cementery. It's funny to think that i never would have gotten to know you better if you hadn't been on that far right flank of your platoon and me on the far left of mine. I remember you, velazquez, anspach and me fighting for every inch of that cementery. My friend, mostly I remember carrying you down the stairs of that building and hoping to god that the tracks would hurry and come get you. doc soto did everything that he could while we prayed. sadly, the good lord decided that you were due up in heaven.

I hope that God gives your family the strength that they need day to day. I can't pretend to know what they are going through, but I hope that they read this and know that you have a whole company of brothers who would do anything for them.

my friend, i want you to know that your picture is framed at my house and that my son knows your name. From now until the day i die, i will remember you and make sure that my son tells our embellished stories to his children. From now until the end of time, we shall be remembered. we few, we happy few, we band of brothers.

SEMPER FI
RAIDERS FOR LIFE

DOZA"
Carlos E. Mendoza of San Bernardino, CA

"Hey bro. Its me Ayup, I dont even know were to begin, its so hard for me everyday to go on with out you. I talk to crespo and Ssgt. Sandoval somtimes and we talk about how much we miss you bro.And hear I am crying like a little girl right now thinking about what happend that day on the roof.And when I held you in my arms befor they took you away. I relive that moment every day in my head. And just thinking that you were standing right were I was, it kills me bro. It hurts so bad. I love you so much man and miss you more then ever. your brother!!!!

Cpl. Michael Ayup
1st BN 4th MAR
Alpha co. Raiders Wpns platoon

Raider for Life!!!!!"
Cpl Michael Ayup of Camp Pendlton CA.

"Alexander -
My son just got out of USMC. He was in 2nd CEB and also in Fallujah, Iraq and was very lucky. He misses his friends in the USMC. He has invited several to come up here to Walpole,MA for Thanksgiving. My wife and I went to your funeral here in Walpole, MA in 2004. I have met your Dad, stepmom, and grandmother 2 times sice then. I hope they are doing better. I visit your grave sometimes and often leave a little something. I know that they and all your friends (here and in the USMC) all miss you very much. Sorry you had to go. You will not be forgotten. Semper FI.
Bruce MacPherson"
Bruce MacPherson of Walpole, MA USA

"well ive been out for about a month and i really cant move on wit my life, yet i havent said goodbye to all thoose i needed to and i def havent said what i needed tosay to you and your fam but i will soon i havent finished what i started writting but im workin on it man, i just want your family to know that you arent forgoten not for a sec"
adam of chicago il

"To LCPL Alexander S Arredondo, USMC, I wish to express my gratitude for your brave and honorable service to this country. I think of you daily, for I wear a memorial bracelet with your name, rank and military branch inscribed along with the date of your untimely death. I wear a MIA bracelet too along with a bracelet that has special meaning about my daughter who was born the same year as you. She is battling a different cause concerning her health. The bracelet with your name reminds me everyday the ultitmate sacrifice you and your family gave for this country. You see your dad was on a radio show a while back and I listened to his story about you and how he heard the news of your death. I cried all the way home from work. I had this bracelet made so I can wear it and remind myself of the brave and ultimate giving of yourself for me, my family and our country. I will always and forever wear this bracelet proudly and will tell anyone and everybody who ask what my bracelet says. I will tell your story and I will always wear it with love and great pride for the ultimate sacrifice you and all the
US soldiers who serve to protect us and our freedoms. Thank you Alex,
May God be with you and your family and may we all meet someday.

To Alex Arredondo's mom, dad, family,extended family. Please accept my heartfelt condolences. I wear this bracelet proudly and will wear it the rest of my life. Its a personal memorial to help me remind myself that Alex and many service men and women who give their all for this country. The parents of the service men and women give up their children and that I would never know what it is like for my daughters have never served. But they are educated by me and my husband to always respect our service men and women. I hope and wish that the pain you have felt will eventually ease and be filled with loving memories. May God be with you....."
Julie of Seattle, Washington

"To the family of Lance Cpl Arredondo:
I have dreamed of serving my country all my life, and it is heroes like your son Alexander that have inspired me to push harder against all obstacles to make myself better and to fight harder. I plan on enlisting after college, and if I ever have a son, I would like to give him the name "Arredondo" either as first or middle. My heart goes out to you, and I would like to leave this last message from a person whose words are far more eloquent and powerful than my own:

Executive Mansion, Washington, November 21, 1864.

Mrs. Bixby, Boston, Massachusetts:
DEAR MADAM: I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours very sincerely and respectfully,

Abraham Lincoln.

You, the family of your hero, hail from the long line of families who have made that costly sacrifice in the name of freedom and under the glorious American flag, be proud of your son, proud of your nation, and have peace in the knowledge that your son could not have devoted his life to a more honorable career, or have lived and died more bravely. God bless you, God bless the soldiers still serving, and God bless America.
yours,"
Loyal, of USA

"He loved like no one else...His smile eased us all...He held me when a friend's father died...He held me when I cried...I cried alone when it came time to bury him...My husband injured by losing his first born kin...Daggers of hate at my presence at graveside...I felt no anger just sad at your not being alive...You left us all when we truly loved you most...We could never feel the same but instead only feel lost...
To a true "sun" of mine, my stepson, my friend, Alex Arredondo...
Yo sé que Dios te tiene en los nubes cuidando a todo nosotros...Semper fi et pax...Mélida Arredondo"
Mélida Arredondo of Boston, Massachusetts

"Hey Dondo, it's been two years next week since the worst day in many of our lives. I've thought about that rooftop every day and every night for the past two years. It took a while to understand why it was you and not someone else. Why Dondo? He didn't ever do anything wrong, never hurt anybody. Why? I struggled with this question for a long time and as we come to the anniversary of that fateful day once again I remember why. You were stronger in your faith and your character than anyone I've ever known. The good Lord knew where you were going and He needed more time to work on lost souls like mine. Thank you for being the rock that I can stand on. Thank you for reminding me what life is about and who to live it for. I love you buddy. You are sorely missed and forever will be. "From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother" Raider For Life. Semper Fi."
Warren Glas of Union Grove, Wisconsin

"Dondo, sorry it has taken so long for me to say good-bye...i have been kinda thinking about this for the past couple of years...now im out of the Marine Corps and all it does it make me look back on everything....I was standing right next to you when it happened...I wish with everything in me there was something i could do...but by going to your families website and reading the letters you sent home it made me realize you were far more braver than any man I have ever known...I am proud to have fought next to you and proud to have been your brother "RAIDER FOR LIFE"....I will see you soon...with all my love..Semper Fi"
Cpl Jarred Dorhauer of College Station, TX

"GATLINBURG-TENNESSEE ANNUAL MIDNIGHT PARADE AND FIREWORKS DISPLAY. GROUP OF FALLEN FAMILIES DESIGNED AND ENTERED THE PARARDE. TO HONOR OUR FALLEN SOLDIERS. WE HOPE THAT ALEXANDER FAMILY CAN ATTEND. I MET HIS 'DAD' IN CRAWFORD, TEXAS! JULY 3RD AND 4TH 2006."
Lleonard_wahl@hotmail.com of Spring, Texas

"You were a great leader and a great friend Alex. Firm but fair, and always with a smile on your face. You are gone but never forgotten, and I am proud to have known you and called you friend. Raider 4 Life and Semper Fi."
Cpl Adam Tresidder of Kuwait

"You'll always be in our hearts Love ya Bro"
Lcpl Castor of Grand rapids MI

"To Carlos you pain like so many parents is so great that words could never be able to explain all you gone through and still are going through. Remember your son is now walking with God he is in heaven protecting us. When he was here on earth he wanted to protect his family and his country and now he has a bigger task because now he is helping all of us to reach heaven like he did. Our country would never be as wonderful as it is if it wasn't for men and women that are in the military protecting us always so no one but no take that freedom away from us. Thank you for being into this world a man of honor and courage. God bless you and your family and know we are always praying for you. If you know of others that still have not recieved their quilt please contact me at debeniel@ncn.net and let me know also check my website which is www.freedomquilts.net"
Betty Nielsen (Freedom Quilts Inc) of Fonda, IA

"I knew Alex as a little boy. Our moms were friends and so we played together with our little brothers frequently. I don't remember much but I do know that Alex always made me smile. Unfortunately over the years we lost touch and I never had the pleasure of knowing Alex as a grown-up but I know that he was a fine young man. As I celebrate my 22nd birthday, I remember that he never saw his 21st. I am saddened by that but I know that he died doing what he took pleasure in, serving his country. I talked with his father yesterday (Memorial Day) and I saw the pride that Carlos has for his son. I will never forget you, Alex, or the sacrifice you made for us to feel safe at home. Rest in peace. I'm proud of you."
Laura Houseman of Roslindale, MA

"Family Chain

"We little knew that morning, that God was going to call your name. In life we loved you dearly, in death we do the same. It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone; for part of us went with you, the day God called you home. You left us peaceful memories, your love is still our guide; and though we cannot see you, you are always by our side. Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same; but as God calls us one by one, our family chain will link again once more.

Wanted to share this with you and your family that it will give you some comfort and peace. We lost our Daniel, 24yrs old, 3 days before Easter April 13, 2006, our family chain was broken that day.

"one good morning, when this life is over, I know I'll see your face""
Rosemaria Garza of Fort Cobb, Oklahoma

"Today, I met Alex father in Crawford, Texas. I also amthe father of a fallen soldier US ARMY Sgt. Gregory L. Wahl KIA Balad, Iraq 05-03-04. It was an emotional meeting to talk with Carlos. Oddly, we have much in common. For my daughter-in-law is from El Salvardo. i expressed to Alex DAD. That he is an American Haero! An a hero back in Costa Rica! That by Alex own word in his letter he wrote to his loving mother and father. He spoke much truth! That many soldiers serving our country come from many spanish country. I appreciated Alex service to our country. that his family should be extremely, proud of Alex. healing is not an easy process. Still you all hold very precious and fond memories you all shared with Alex. That he will always be in your hearts. Alex is someone's someone and he is someone to our family. Ms. Laura Youndblood will be in contact with you by e-mail. Many many things of information. we have that can help you to honour your son. Sometime people meet or things happen in our life for a reason. Carlos and I, had a calling to be in Crawford easter weekend. To Alex mother: thank you for rasing wonder children. An to his brother: no matter what? You decide to do. Alex is with you in your decision. By the way your Dad spoke of you all. One day i like to meet you all."
Leonard wahl of Spring,Texas

"Alex was my cousin and i loved him very much, since he was a small child he was full of energy and love. My brother Seth and he were only a month apart in age and growing up were very close i was sad i didn't get to spend more time with alex as a young adult because we live so far away.As a teenager he came up for a few summers and we had a blast. Alex was so funny and lovable he liked music and movies and just having a good time. Alex had the most beautiful smile.He was always a very respectful kid and disciplined as a result of him and Brian taking karate for many years. When i think back at my memories of him i will always see that sweet little boys face grinning,and running off at a family reunion looking for an adventure! I will always love you and think about you XOXOXOX"
Sarah Skoniecki of Buffalo, NY

"Arrendondo-
I did not know you in person, but I knew you through all of the loving stories told by my brother. You are missed and still loved dearly. Thank you for being there for Warren, but mostly, thank you for being a Marine."
Anna Glas-Bonner of Kansasville, WI

"Just to let the family know, the loss you've taken for your son is felt across the USA. I'm sure you are gald to know that others like myself fell greif for those who we did not know. Please keep faith and hold your head high"
D Baldini of San Francisco CA

"Dondo,
I will never forget those long cold boat rides with you during the 11th MEU SOC work up. I will always remember how no matter how bad it got, you always had that smile that made everything seem alright no matter how shitty things were. The company has been up to the 1st Marines Memorial 4 times since your death, and I go up there at least twice a month. I will always remember what your death has taught me, and I will never forget what you sacrificed. Your fellow Raiders will always remember you."
1st Lt Richard Zjawin of A Co 1st BN, 4th Marines

"Alex,
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!
A fellow Marine;former Randolph resident"

"I only knew Alex from the four years at BH and i can remember him talking about joining the Marines and how proud it made him feel. I am proud to have known him and thank you for the sacrifice that you have given so we can feel safe."
Dan Stigas of Holbrook

"Dear Mr. Arredondo

Two weeks ago we briefly met in Boston where you handed me a letter and information about your son. I have read all of it several times and though I have never met your son, I can't help feeling emotional about it.

You probably know that the war in Iraq has been a major point of discussion over here in Europe but no matter what opinion one has, for us it has always been a war that was fought far away by people we don't know. The event in Boston with all the boots on the lawn and the letter from your son has made it very real and personal to me.

I feel sorry for your loss and I sincerely hope something good will come out of this war in Iraq. Alex was a brave young man who knew the risks but he chose to go anyway. You must be very proud of him.

I am an ex-officer in the air force of The Netherlands but unlike Alex, I have never been in a combat situation. I salute your son and I wish you all the best.

Yours sincerely

Lt. Jan van Gent"
Jan van Gent of Belgium

"MARINE LCPL ALEXANDER S. ARREDONDO - You are an American Hero whose ultimate sacrifice will not be forgotten by a grateful nation. Rest in peace Marine. You will be remembered for always being faithful to God, Country, Family and the Corps. May memories comfort Alexander's family and friends always. Semper Fi
AMERICA SALUTES LCPL ALEXANDER ARREDONDO"
D. BURT of PORTSMOUTH, RI

"Alex was a great person and a friend to everyone he met. I miss him and wish I had the chance to make more memories with him. I still remember the day he came in to BHR with short hair, now that was a shocker! Happy Birthday Alex, and God Bless your family with the strength they have had and will need."
Kara Mason Castro of Providence / Randolph

"I'm Alex' Dad, Carlos. Today is 8/1/05. In a few days, Alex would have turned 21. On 8/25/04 (my b'day), Alexander was killed. Here is the information the Marines provided me as to how Alexander died.

"Lance Corporal Arredondo served as Fire Team Leader during the Battalion's attack into the old city of Najaf. As the Platoon attacked to clear a four-story hotel, it was heavily engaged by enemy machine gun and sniper fire from three different directions. Lance Corporal Arredondo returned fire exposing himself to great risk to ensure the members of his team were safe. After fearlessly exchanging fire with enemy snipers for more than three hours, Lance Corporal Arredondo fell mortally wounded as he moved through the rooms to inspect the Marines' defensive positions."

A few week's ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Gunnery Sgt. David Cruz who came to Boston to meet me and my family. He explained that Alex died in one of his fellow Marine's arms. The sniper shot Alex in the left temple as he stood to fire from behind a window sill. To that Marine who held my son in his last moments, God bless you. I hope to meet you. I'm comforted to know Alex was not alone.
Semper Fi to you all...Carlos Luis Arredondo, Roslindale, MA Email: carlos_arredondo@yahoo.com"
Carlos Arredondo of Roslindale, MA

"Mr and Mrs Arredondo, your son was on my Amtrac in OIF I. I was the vehicle commander and watched your son fight bravely during the war. He was a fine young man who had a great sense of humor and had lots of friend. I still have an Iraqi flag hanging in my room with his signature and comments on it. It was a pleasure to serve with him and I am very sorry that he is no longer with us. My thoughts and prayers are with you."
Ssgt Kirkland of Jacksonville, Fl

"It saddens me every day when I look into the ranks of First Platoon Raiders and I neither see Lcpl. Arredondo or PFC Skinner. Alex was one of my best and a fine young man. I miss him every day along with Nicholas and I wish I could have them both back. But because I served with great men like Alex, It is his memory that keeps me going strong every day to be the best in what ever I am doing. I have decided to stay in the Marine Corps for as long as the Corps will keep me. I dedicate my time and service to my fallen Warriors. For the rest of my life, I will always be proud to have been that platoon Sgt of Alex and Nicholas. Semper Fi and I will see you again.

Respctfully
Simon L. Sandoval
SSgt USMC
Alpha Company Raider
1st Platoon"
Simon L. Sandoval of Oceanside Califronia

"My deepest condolances to the Arredondo family. I have many great memories with the Arredondo family. I met Alex's family through his younger brother Brian when we were both in elementry school. Alex was a good friend. He was always the bigger cool brother you wanted to do stuff with. When they lived in Norwood I would go over there house all of the time. Although I didn't see the family as much when they moved to Randolph, I still saw Alex in high school because we both went to Blue Hills, and he was one grade ahead of me. Whenever I saw Alex he always had a smile and something funny to say. I miss him very much, and still think about him often. Alex is a Hero and none of us will ever forget him."
Brian Cunningham of Norwood, MA

"ALEX, wow where do we begin when it comes time to talk about you . not only one of my best friends but a friend to everyone all over it seems .. the one thing im going to leave behind to everyone else is about the night we came back to our rooms at about 3 in the morning and you grabbed a rope and said " hey frank, lets jump off the roof of our barricks with this rope ..!!! " and of course i laughed and said lets do it alex. thanks for all the great things you did for me and all the great things you did for everybody else .. your never forgotten alex.. and someday we will see each other again .. love always and forever !!!"
Frank Richardson of Mccallsburg, Iowa

"I was with him when God took him to a better place and I will say that he is and was one of a kind. He definitely watched out for his fellow Marines on countless missions before the last. I have so much admiration for him eventhough I am much older. To the families.....LCpl Arrendondo was truly a hero to remember everyday of our lives....I will never forget him and Skinner for as long as I live. May God bless you all."
SSgt Johns 1/4 Alpha Company of Camp Pendleton, California

"I had Alex in my Company for OIF1 and OIF2, all my young Marines are like sons to me. LCpl Arredondo will, and is still truly missed by his fellow Hero's. His spirit will forever be in Alpha Company, Alpha Raider for life, we love you! "SOME GAVE ALL, ALL GAVE SOME." AN NAJAF, IRAQ AUGUST 2004"
1stSgt Synovec of San DIego, Ca.

"I went to school with Alex for four years and I knew him through an friend. He was a amazing person and he could always make you laugh."
Crystal of Dedham

"ALEX WAS A GOOD MAN AND I AM SURE HE WAS A EVEN BETTER SOLDIER, WISH I GOT TO KNOW YA BETTER. U WILL BE MISSED DEARLY"
SPC JOHN BALIS, US ARMY of FORT SHAFTER HAWAII

"I got to know Alex in the 4 years we attended Blue Hills Regional together.
In the short time that I knew him, I knew him to be a very motivated, caring, and tough person.
I feel very honored to have known alex and I thank him for his sacrifice.
Semper Fi Alex, We all Love and miss ya -- Derek"
Derek Fairfield of Braintree, MA/USA

"I only hung out with alex a handful of times, only when he was home, seeing as his girlfriend is my best friend. In the short time I knew him, i knew what a wonderful person he was. He was so good to Sheila, and to Jessica. I had infinite respect for him. i know i didn't know him very well, but he touched me in a way no one else has. I miss him a lot, knowing that he won't be here hanging around with me, Jessica, and sheila, but I know hes watching over everyone. I will never forget him, or everything he did for our country. I am truly sorry to Carlos, Victoria, Brian, and Nathaniel. God bless you all, and god bless alex"
Brittany Callahan of West Bridgewater, MA

"Alex was like a brother to me and my Friends (Arthur And Eli) he would have done anything for not only us but anyone who would of asked. It's the hardest thing in the world to think he gone but he lives on in each of us Alex touched our lives and made them better i know he is in heaven looking down at us helping us when we need it. Alex i love you and miss you with all my heart i will see you again."
James Stallings of Dedham,Ma

"My name is Elias Contos, and I would like to say that I am most thankful to everyone that has remembered Alex, and continues to do so. It is because of peaple like us that their memory lives on. I grew up with Alex, and just like all of you, I looked up to him as if he was my own blood. I firmly believe that this little thing was the only thing that Alex and I did not have. Through out the years, Alex pushed me to be greater that I was, to get to his level, and he would push himslf harder, in turn making me go even furthur. We enlisted together, but unfortunatly I was not able to go into the marines due to a back injury. This saddens me to no end, because I feel that had I been there, with my brother, which is how i saw him, that this might not have happened. Alot of peaople say that they would kill for someone, but how many can say that they would also give they're own life for someone elses. I know alot of the soldiers that were with Alex when he was killed, know what I am talking about, and I also know that they did everything that they could. Thank you very much for being there for him, and i hope that he taught all of you, the same as he has taught me so much. Every day I still feel an empty spot in my heart for OUR fallen brother, but with help from his family and our friends, I have started to accept things. To Victoria and Brian, both of you have helped me so much by taking me in even furthur as family, which thanks i also extend to the rest of the Folan family. I miss everyone. To Carlos, thank you as well for trying to get everyone closer together. To the Marine Corp, thank you for giving Alex his dream, which was to make a differance, and his journey, which not alot of people will understand but thats ok. To our friends and family for the comfort they have shown, and compassion towards each other. And last, Thank you Alex for everything you have taught me over the years, for always being there no matter what for all of us, for pushing me to keep going, even when i didnt have the strength to do it, i was able to draw off your energy, for doing everything in your power to make sure that your family and friends were safe, and most of all, for being my best friend and brother. i will always remember you, and keep you with me. I love you bro, stay hard. your best friend, Elias Contos"
Elias Contos of Norwood MA, USA

"It is so hard to realize when someone is gone, but then you realize that they are not really gone. They are not here physically but their spirit is forever here they are always listening to you. I am soo glad I knew someone like Alex, a kind hearted man that gave himself up selflessly to others. Alex was the reason why I won best material in the 8th grade it was a Science Fair on electricity!! I met Alex in karate. Alex is someone we need more of in this world. Someone as loving and caring and kind hearted. There are very few of those people in this world and believe me Alex was one of the few. Brian, Ms. Foley, and Mr. Arredondo. You should be soooo proud to have someone like Alex because all though he is not here physically knowing him he will always find ways to help us. Alex is my guardian angel. I'm now a senior and I come to realize that God has bigger plan for people. In fact it is soo big that life is not big enough. Good Luck Alex and thank you for being my friend!

Luv ya Alex muah!!"
Lyndsay Hercule of Randolph, Ma

"dondo you were my team leader, brother and my friend. i will guide my marines like u guided me. i will never forget you. i love u bro"
Lcpl Brittner Eric 1st plt 3rd sqd 3rd team of FOB Duke

"Mrs Foley and Mr Arredondo,
your son was a wonerful man. He was warm Kind and Giving. i will never forget the times we shared. like when myself, my sister and him sat in the white prob till the early morning talking the day before his first tour, or when he came back in early ( may, june) and he came to visit us and saw the mini brontosarus ( lucky our yellow lab) and him in his black KIA. I'm glad we were good friends. You will always be remebered in my heart. Another angel to guard the gates of heaven. Thank-you for all that you've done. Miss you. Your family is always welcome in our home when you come to Massachusetts. Brian and Nate Ia m truly sorry. Im sure you know Alex loved you. God bless you all. And thank-you Alex. Love you, you were like a brother.~!"
Sandra Corey of Randolph, MA

"Alex, you were truely one of a kind. when i first met you i knew there was something great, and wonderful about you. you knew how to brighten up a room by your smile, and your little jokes. i will always remember you. i will always love you and cherich you as a friend, and my american hero"
Reem of Mission viejo, california

"Thank you Alex for everything that you have done...You were a great friend. One of a kind.. You are a True American Hero!!!! You will always be in my heart.. never to be forgotten.. God now has an other angel.. Look over us and protect us like you like you did in Iraq..."
Kim Carter of Holbrook, MA

"Alex,you are an amazing friend, a true hero, a beloved son and brother. You will be sorely missed but remembered forever. You were a true walking Angel, one that God called back far to soon. I'll miss you forever, but remember you always!"
Stephanie Corey of Randolph, ma

"Mr. and Mrs. Arredondo
Your son is a hero. He Fought a war that he thought was necceasary. He Was a good soldier. He only want to defend his country and most of all he wanted to make you proud.Proud of his name and his orgin. He was the bravest Marine in military history and A good friend. He loved his family. He Never forgot his family back home. Alexander s Arredondo would walked in harmsway. It Was his family that kept him alive. He would even walk straight into enemy fire. On that day jesus walked with him. God showed him the way. He always talked to god. The only thing he pry was that of his returned back home."
Wilmar Arredondo Candia of Centereach,NY,USA

"Mr. and Mrs. Arredondo
Your son is a hero. He Fought a war that he thought was necceasary. He Was a good soldier. He only want to defend his country and most of all he wanted to make you proud.Proud of his name and his orgin. Alexander s Arredondo would walked in harmsway. He would even walk straight into enemy fire. On that day jesus walked with him. God showed him the way. He always talked to god. The only thing he pry was that of his returned back home."
Wilmar Arredondo Candia of Centereach,NY,USA

""Thank You" to everyone for their support and prayers.
My son Alexander is forever my "HANDSOME HEROE"."
Victoria of Bangor, ME

"This young man would have been a great leader - they say there is only one born per century - we were short changed. Rest in peace Lance Corporal Arredondo - you affected many lives in a positive manner."
T of Iraq

"Rest in peace Raider. You are truly missed."
1stSgt Young, Alpha Raider of FOB Echo Iraq

"Dondo, you're of the greatest guys I ever knew. I've never met anyone that I could joke around with for hours and we'd still make each other laugh. It took an original mind to come up with some of the antics you and I performed, and thats probably one of the biggest things I'll miss about you. You and I were a lot alike, and I'll never forget the times we shared last year in Iraq. Those were some of the best times in my life, and that was largely due to you, and your company. I hope you watch over me and allow yourself to laugh at me now and again, like old times. I love you man, and I'll always have the pictures to remember you."
Brent Mills, SS Plt, 1/4 of Conroe, TX

"Thank you Alexander Arredondo, 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 Lance Cpl. Alexander Arredondo:
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 Alexander 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 Lance Cpl. Alexander Arredondo:
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 Alexander, 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