Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Navy Chief Joel Egan Baldwin


37, of Canal Zone, Republic of Panama.
Baldwin died in Mosul, Iraq, when a suicide bomber entered his dining facility and detonated an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to Navy Mobile Construction Battalion 7, Gulfport, Mississippi. Died on December 21, 2004.


Baldwin with his mother awaiting the arrival of his younger brother from Iraq.

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"Chief, tomorrow especially but daily I carry humble thanks for your sacrifice and pray for the loss your family bears. Bless you sailor."
Malcolm Banton of Norfolk VA

"You are not forgotten Chief. We honor you and all the heros that gave their life in battle."
GM1(SCW) McCarthy

"Joel another year has past and I still remember the last time we talked like it was yesterday. I miss you Brother"
Sen Chief Beatrice of Gilbert AZ

"Still thinking of you! Just thought about one of our last times together it's was your birthday and we spent it together in Iraq. I just wanted to say that you are still missed and I will never forget"
John DePedro

"Joel, Hard to believe it's been 10 years. You are not forgotten!"
Mike Gillis of Long Beach, MS

"Joel, it has been 10 years and I remember it as if were yesterday. Today my 40&8 raised our glasses and toasted your life and friendship. I miss you Brother !!!!"
Julio Beatrice of Gilbert AZ

"Joel, we were friends in high school but after we graduated, we never saw each other again. I was so sad to hear about your passing. I will forever remain your friend. Miss you Brother."
Raymond Meadows of APO AA

"Joel, Not a day goes by that I don't think of ya, I will never forget those days in NMCB 74. RIP my friend we will meet again!"
BU1 (SCW) Steph Coffin of Haymarket, VA

"Chief,

I believe a salute is in order. Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice, thank you Chief.

GM1(SCW) McCarthy"

"Since our NCTC Gulfport days in '95 to NMCB 74 in '00, I have always been in awe with your dedication to the Seabees and this great nation. A great Chief and an even better Man! RIP Brother..."
Ed Gonzales, CUCM of Oxnard, CA

"There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about all you and Rue have taught me. I miss you Brother"
BUC Jeffrey Schutz of Waveland, MS

"Joel,
It was a pleasure knowing you and serving with you. I will make it a point to pass through Biloxi this year and salute you."
Willie Hubbard, BUC retired of Pensacola, FL

"Chief,

It's Memorial Day 2013 and Balad Iraq seems like it was just the other day. I have never forgoten you and all that you have given, thank you Chief.

With willing hearts and skillful hands, the difficult we do at once; the impossible takes a bit longer.

GM1(SCW) McCarthy"

"Remembering my Knobber Friend...Joel"
Ralph of Panama City, Panama

"Memorial Day 2012 is coming up and I just wanted to let you know you are not forgotten."
BU3 A. Trivette of Charlotte, NC

"Claudia and Cali, It was such an honor and pleasure to have served with the two of you in the Ridgecrest Volunteer Family this past July, 2011 .... especially in the light of your loss of a husband and father some time ago. We honor his service to our great country. Thank you for your sweet card. Edna and I love you and Cali and pray or you. God bless you both. Jim and Edna Palmer"
Jim and Edna Palmer of Toccoa, Ga

"Joel, I see your daughter just about everyday, She is one of a kind person, I wouldn't trade anything or anyone for her, she brings the sunlight to my parade and when she smiles, I know everything is ok. Through the stories of her childhood, I can tell that she loves you a lot, and through her words of deep feeling, I look towards you and think of you as a role model, I wish I could have met you. And I can tell anyone who asks: Joel was a Great man, a Great Bold man, and he was one of the best fathers out there. And I have unheard feelings for him."
Nick Ybos of biloxi, ms

"I was part of task force that Chief Baldwin served. We had a great working relationship (our units). I just retired after twenty-five years of service. As my unit presented me with going away gifts I started to cry. "Chief I remember your sacarfice and will never forget you," SFC Ruben Carrillo."
Ruben Carrillo SFC of Templeton, PA

"23 Jan 2011: I was in Mississippi today, driving home to Destin FL from Texas. I passed near Gulfport and Biloxi, and it immediately reminded me of my good friend and colleague Joel. We were together at the American Embassy in Mexico City 97-99, and I saw him again several weeks before his untimely passing when we both found ourselves in Balad, Iraq in 2004. I was in the intel business then, and Joel, as part of his TS-cleared Seabee duties, helped me immeasurably both in Mexico and again in Iraq with stuff that remains classified. But to those who knew Joel, that would not be any surprise at all - that he HELPED me. That was always his nature. God I miss him... Claudia and Cali I hope your days are full and rich with memories of a wonderful guy!"
Bob Adams of Destin/Niceville, FL USA

"Had a Cohiba for you last night brother."
RP of DC

"Miss you Bro, I'll be drinking to you tomorrow night!"
SSG Rick Rivera (RET) of Summerville, SC

"Joel...
I just wanted to say that I miss you brother. I keep your article on my wall and look at it everyday as a reminder to the type of Chief that I strive to be. Thanks bro, you will NEVER be forgotten"
SWC Will Bell of Bangkok, Thailand

"Prayers to the family of Chief Baldwin especially at this time of the year. I never forget your sacrifice when I look at my loved ones.God bless and God rest."
Malcolm Banton of Athens GA

"Happy Veterans Day brother . . ."
RP of DC

"I want to say that it was an honor to serve with Chief Baldwin. There is not a day that goes by that i dont think of him. This was a great loss to everyone that knew him."
John DePedro of Baton Rouge La

"Today is the Seabee's Birthday . . . I just thought that I'd stop by and tell you happy birthday brother."
RP

"Joel will always be remembered for his honor and the sacrifice he made for our country. I'd also like to say to Cali Baldwin and Claudia Baldwin that I'm very sorry this tragic event happened. You'll always be in my thoughts and prayers."
Spencer Perkins of Saucier, MS

"I remember . . ."
RP of DC

"I'm friends with Cali Baldwin I was told last year of this terrible tragedy Cali and Mrs. Baldwin I'm so sorry I wish this misfortune would of never happened I'm so sorry R.I.P JOEL BALDWIN all prayers are with their family"
Jacob Pickle of Biloxi, Ms

"I am running my first marathon tomorrow, the 2009 Marine Corps Marathon. I will run mile 23 for Chief Joel Baldwin in honor of his service and sacrifice."
Alice Huffman of Gulfport, MS

"Chief, Spent 10 months on your FOB. Thought of you every day. You were there for us- we are here for You."

"It was such a great honor to have met you, Claudia & Cali. CBC Gulfport and the Navy family will always miss you. Our condolences to the family; know that Joel lives in our minds and hearts always. Hoorah Seabees!"
Rob & Alma Cuff of Gulfport, MS

"Brother, you cheered me up every day with your jokes and by just being you. I really looked forward to going to the Mess afterwork, because I knew you'd be there to offer advice and comfort. You are still with us in our hearts. Hoorah Seabee!"
Ben Suarez NMCB 74 of Panama City, Florida

"Joel, they say time heals all wounds but there are some wounds time can't heal. I can't believe that this December it will be five years since you left us, it's seems like a million years and also yesterday that you were here. We all love and miss you. Cali is beautiful and looks alot like you. The ache in our hearts will never leave.

Big squeezy hugs-"
Jess of Gilbert,Az

"”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 1,660 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!
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 God Bless You.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Kenna"
Kenna - Project Compassion of Manti, Utah USA

"Well Hermano it's almost time again, I will have you with me. As I have gotten here with your help. I keep you one above, and no I have'nt had anyone spit beer in my face since that last time I told you a "JOCK", wierd how I miss that so much now.
Ping..... Ping....
I love you and miss you Joel."
Ur brother BUCS Roo of CBC, Gulfport MS

"Salute to your memory Joel. CZ."
Case Wharry of Fayetteville, AR

"The soldiers do not speak. Nevertheless, they are heard in the still houses: who has not heard them? They have a silence that speaks for them at night and when the clock counts. They say: We are young. We have died. Remember us. They say: We have done what we could but until it is finished it is not done. They say: We have given our lives but until it is finished no one can know what our lives gave. They say: Our deaths are not ours: they are yours they will mean what you make them. They say: Weather our lives and our deaths are for peace and a new hope or for nothing we cannot say: it is you who must say this. They say: We leave you our deaths. Give them their meaning. We were young. they say. We have died. Remember us:"
William Taylor of Bonita Springs, Fl.

"I had the pleasure to serve and work in the same camp as Chief Baldwin. He is both a mentor and a friend. His efforts are still bearing positive results long after his untimely passing. Many thanks for you help my brother, and condolences to his family."
David W Brown of Kansas City, Mo. USA

"Chief Baldwin was my hero, a man of principle. I often regret going to Afghanistan and not Iraq for my last tour. I will never forget the day in Guam when BU1 Andrew baldwin told me he had past. He said to me "You was his favorite and he talked about you all the time." He gave me hope and will always be my favorite Chief. I miss him the most honorable and humble person I have ever known."
Bu3 (scws) Day of Fairfax, Va

"April 13, 2008
To the family of Chief Joel Egan Baldwin:
Joel 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

"Joelito, You were not only my son in law, but you were like a son to us. You might not be here in person but you will always be in our hearts. We always loved you and we always will."
Your mother in law, Yolanda of Florida

"Claudia, there are no words to express the true depths of my sorrow for your loss. Joel was a wonderful man, and I'm certain, a wonderful husband and father. His service is admirable and his sacrifice will never be forgotten."
Teresa (Monson) Robert of Lombard, IL - formerly La Boca, Panama

"Joel and I served together in NMCB 133, Charlie Co., 2nd Platoon, 3rd squad back in the early 1990's.
You were always so hardcore. Always had to been right in thick of it.
I am proud & honored to have served with you. I will miss you.
I will never forget you brother..."
Dave Holmes of Ellettsville Indiana

"God Bless Joel and his family! Canal Zone bratts are like brothers. I played football against Joel, the Bulldogs would allways kick our buts (PCC). I just found out Joel died and I had to cry. I had not seen him in 20 years, but it seems like yesterday. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice that you and your family made/make. You are a HERO!
Claudia may the Lord richly Bless you the rest of your life.

Seimper Fi
Doug USMC (Sgt) ret.
Panama Canal Zone
Balboa High School 1990"
Doug of Tyler, Texas, USA

"Joel was a good friend both on and off the football field back in Panama"
Daniel (O.J.) Carroll of Raleigh, NC

"I will never forget."
Your sister, Kelly of Hallettsville, TX

"Joel, I only have great memories of you while growing up in the Canal Zone. You were a Chief to the Navy but an Admiral to our Zonian community. May God have you in his glory; may he bless Claudia and Cali and your loved ones."
Jorge Bonilla of Miami, FL

"Joel...I have known you since we were fifteen. We had a lot of fun at BHS and growing up in the zone. The memories are precious to me. You were always so kind and one of the most thoughtful people I have ever met. You are missed HUGELY. Happy Birthday Sweetheart. Your friend,
Abby"
Abby Emerick of Tampa, FL

"Feliz Cumpleanos, Hermano! tonight I will toast in your Honor!"
SSG R. Rivera of Summerville, SC

"August 20, 2006
VIRGINIA MEMORIAL QUILT PROJECT
The Friendship Circle Chapter of the Richmond Quilters’ Guild has begun a new project. Our goal is to make a memorial quilt for the closest relative of each soldier that gave his or her life from the State of Virginia in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The entire Richmond Quilters’ Guild represents approximately 300 individuals. Check our website richmondquiltguild.com and select Virginia Memorial Quilt Project for further details and updates.
We are committed to provide a memorial quilt to each family who sustained the loss of a family member in this military conflict. We are asking family and friends of a fallen member of the armed services from Virginia to contact either Debbie Elam at debelam1@aol.com or Mary Biggs mary_biggs@verizon.net to give us information so we may write a letter to the immediate family asking if they would accept a quilt from the Virginia Memorial Quilt Project. We are committed to treat this information with the utmost confidentiality.
PLEASE help us reach out to the families from Virginia who has lost a member of their family in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Debbie Elam ~ 800 Hallsboro Road ~ Midlothian, VA 23112
debelam1@aol.com
(804) 794-6364"
Debbie Elam of Richmond, Virginia

"dear chief baldwin i remember talking to you the day you left when i brought you your package from your wife. you said well its about time. you always harrassed me in good fun about your boxes and every time i would pull in to drop off the mail you were there like a child waiting for the ice cream man. you are a great man and a very dedicated chief. When we heard the next day about your passing we were saddened and mad at the same time because we all thought why you. i couldnt beleive it, it really hit me and still does to this day. you did not deserve this and it eats me up inside. rip chief."

"I'll always remember my good friend Joel. May God Bless you, your family and your fallen brothers. Que Dios te bendiga Joel tu amigo de siempre Roddy Feurtado from Diablo, Canal Zone, Panama"
Roderick (Roddy) F. of LAS VEGAS, NV

"Joel,
You made me want to be a better chief. Thanks. Roo is doing great as a chief. You were a great friend and brother. Claudia, your husband was good man. I wish I could relate the impression Joel left on countless lives. We were fortunate to know Joel."
Will Clark of Gulfport MS

"Joel, miss you man.. Remember jumping off the Gamboa Bridge? Those days were cool.. You died in honor bro. CZ for ever. Olin"
Olin of safety harbor, Fl

"i am so sorry i was Joel's pen pal i hope this all ends soon we caught one and now we need to get the other one i hope you as Joel's family live a happy life. Joel is in a better place now. God bless america i love you all thank you for your time"
Joshua Willison of Stockton, California

"Joel, it's taken me over a year to say good-bye, I wore a 550 cord bracelt in your honor for over a year, I took it off 5 days after Dec 21, it was hard but know that we will see each other again in heaven and talk about the old times growing up in the Canal Zone!"
SSG Rick Rivera of Summerville, SC

"Slowly but surely my memorial to you, Joel, is coming together. First a flagpole, that I put in, with a flag a half mast and then who knows.
I will never forget.
My life will forever have a big piece missing without you big brother.
Your nephews miss you."
Kelly of Texas

"May your name never be forgotten, Chief.
You'll be missed by your Navy family. God Speed Shipmate"
SKC(SW) W. Fields of Colorado Springs, CO USA

"You will NEVER be forgotten Joel Egan.
I love you and miss you with all of my being. Every moment we are apart, will be a lifetime to my heart.
It is not "until death do us part" Joel, for we shall remain together for all eternity. Until we meet together again my sailor..........
Your wife and best friend,"
Claude of Gulfport, Mississippi

"A simple & humble thank you from a fellow CHIEF(1970-2000). In saying that I know you will be missed by both your Navy family as well as all your family and friends. You did not die in vain my friend. You are now assigned to the Supreme Command that knows no rank; just peace."
Gary Stankaitis of Gowanda, NY

"I am a better man for having known you, and the world a lesser place without you. Without your guidance and love as a brother, I would not be what I am today. You are missed every day. Much Love Always."
Peaches of Gulfport Ms.

"I miss you more every day.........I'm glad that the last words we spoke were of love and good things, Ping..... Ping... Ping...... I miss you Joel"
Ur Brother Roo of CBC Gulfport Ms

"Chief Baldwin, goodbye sailor and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texasx

"To the family of Joel Egan Baldwin, I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Hopefully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need someone to pray with you or need to talk to someone please call or write my pastor at Gateway Community Church: Rev. John B. Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd. Covington Ga. 30016 phone 770-787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ."
Polly Ballew of Covington Ga

"I sat next to you Chief on our flight to Kuwait(Camp Moreell) for OIF2, 2004/05. I remember our small talk as our flight progressed and thinking to myself, This man is the perfect representation of the Chief's community. When I heard the news of your passing I could not believe it was that wonderful young Chief I had met not very long ago. Dear Chief Baldwin, you and your beautiful family will always be in my heart and mind. God bless you and your family."
Mr. Jesus Soto of Moreno Valley, California

"To the family and friends of Chief Joel Egan Baldwin,

Those we hold most dear, never truly leave us. May you find comfort in love's everlasting connection.

In the Support section of this web site you will find links to many groups that support you at this crucial time. The Marine Comfort Quilt group would be honored to send a quilt to the next of kin. There are many, loving and caring Americans from all over the United States that will never forget the sacrifice that your loved one has made for our Freedom. Please use our link and register so we can send you our "Love Stitched Together."

Proud Wife of an Air Force veteran and MCQ Member"
Kim Woodard of Richmond, VA

"Always in my thoughts. I miss you!
Your sis."
Kelly of Texas

"I miss you Joel.Love, MaMa"

""My Brother"...You will be missed by all your fellow brothers in the Mess. Thank You for your sacrifice and your living by the Creed!!

Eternal Father, bless Thy Chiefs
Who guide and lead with firm beliefs
In Courage, Commitment and Honor bright.
Strengthen with Thy holy might
Those who wear the anchors of the CPO.
O, guard them, Lord, where're they go."
SKC(SW) Erik E. Lindebak of Great Lakes, IL

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

"RIP Chief"
US Navy Sailor

"Thank you Joel Baldwin, 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 Chief Joel Baldwin:
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 Joel 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 Chief Joel Baldwin:
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 Joel, 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