Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Solomon C. Bangayan

24, of Jay, Vermont.
Bangayan died in Baghdad, Iraq, when his convoy was ambushed by the enemy who used an improvised explosive device, small arms fire, and a rocket-propelled grenade. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Died on January 2, 2004.

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"Bang, My New Year always begins with so much memories filled with many mixed feelings. This day in 2004 is always so fresh. I remember our last conversation and laughs. My reflection on this day in 2004 always brings up many "what if's" senerios? Although, I know I cant change the past sometimes I wish I could only change that day with my "what if's" senerios. Even though it was not within my powers I always blamed myself for what happened. I miss you and wonder what it would have been like if you where here...... Would we have been as close as we were then now? A beautiful family? A beautiful home in La Union? Accomplishing your desires in the medical field?
You are truly missed and loved. And most importantly never forgotten. Love you brother......love you."
Geo Bia of Navajo Nation

"Hi Kelly another year was gone by but you are still alive with us.All in the family, freinds, your brothers in the service are still thinking of you and you will never be forgotten memories are still fresh in my heart. Love you and how I miss you.Hello to your dad and mom and dad and your sister Gigi. Take care."
mom,vic and sis. hilda. of Jay Vermont,usa.

"Bang. It's 2016. Another year gone by without you. And you are very truly missed. Although we cross paths at times when I sleep, I wish there was a bether way to meet for a day or even a sec. But the dreams will do for now until we really do meet my brother."
Geo Bia of Vanderwagen, nm

"Hi Kelly it,s time again to tell you how we miss you. you are still alive in my heart so hang and there some day will be together again.It was so happen I know more your brothers at arms your close friends Geo and how he misses you. and many others. I just want to thank everybody who leave a message in the memory of my son. I honor you all and all those who serve with him. Thanks a lot and what a comfort for all of us. Kelly you will never be forgotten."
Vic, Helen (mom) and sister hilda. of Jay Vermont,usa.

"hi brother, its been a long time again since i visited your memorial, am so sorry, but still your always in our hearts, i know you are happy together with dad, i am so thank full for all the kindness you shared with us, we love you so much,"
elma cabamongan of philippines

""Bang. It's me brother. It's been a long day. And many years later. 12 years. But I can remember our last words like yesterday. We did it together live laugh love suffer thru the pain, my partner in crime, my friend my brother . Today I can only remember to live laugh and cry while I recall the memories. Today you still fresh on my mind. Miss and love you bang."
GEO BIA of Navajo Nation

"Ijust want to say thank you for all those who left messages to my son's memorial, your comforting messages always make me feel alive again.always at this time of month bring back the tears. I always hang on when I said goodbye on the middle of november when you came home for vaction and went back and your last word is if something happen don't cry but be proud of me.I am very proud of you my son. Thank you of who you are. Love you,"
Helen(mom) 0f Vermont of Jay, Vermont

"I just talk to your sisters and nephew and neices back home and how they missed you and your dad. they are getting together for your memorial together with your dad.They are thinking you both."
Mom Helen of Jay Vermont.

"Hikelly Its been 11 years but seems it just yesterday,Your presence here in the house is always there every corner I go. So with your sister Hilda still hanging in your picture or wearing your jaket.and your step dad always call some filipino men friends who come to the kelly. we missed you dearly.All your brothers at arms are still fresh to them as we are. They care a lot about you and we feel that they are a part of our family.Thank you Jake Jr. Bia and many others for all the beautiful messsages. I salute you all for keeping us safe. Love you kelly and someday will see you. I am sure you are with your dad. I thank Jesus for being there with them I know it because when you came home for thanksgiving break you accept Jesus as your Lord in savior. Thank you again for all those comforting messages. God Bless all."
Victor,mom and sis.Hilda of Jay Vermont.

"Bang,
You are not forgotten. You set out to do everything you wanted to do to include going to my old unit at Ft. Bragg. I very proud of you. Helen & Victor I am sorry for your loss. Bang was very proud soldier and paratrooper."
1SG Mark A. Boisclair of Ft. Benning, GA formerly of VT & Bang's Recruiter

"Bang. Its Memorial Day weekend 2015 and you are truly missed."
Bia of Navajo Nation

"Bang, yesterday brings back so much opptomistic and pessimistic memories but I never take it for granted. Thank you for being in my life. Every yr around this time remince bout that tragic day. its an emotional roller coaster ride, my heart feels at its lowest at times cause of ur loss and then rises high again cause of the memories I have of us doin * together. I question my self millions of times what if and still shed my tears just as many times. I hope u feel my passion of my expression and it's an honor to be ur brother. Love ya!"
BIA of Navajo Nation

"Today is the anniversary of one of the most horrible things I have ever seen. The one that haunts me the most. I crawl into a bottle right around the middle of December dreading the 2nd of January.
I felt true loss for the first time ever. I felt helplessness. I was out of my element. We were 25 days from going home after invading a country. We were as the movie says “Jolly green giants, roaming the earth”
Since this day in 2004 I have seen things that cannot be unseen. I put 5 people in a body bag in one day. I have suffered through the fear of one of my best friends almost dying as he was covered in the blood and guts of one of his men.
I have held grown men as they cried into my shoulder. I have cried into the shoulder of a guy from south Bronx New York. He held me like a brother because I couldn’t see through my tears as I almost pulled the trigger on a man and his son.
I have felt the tears of a mother whose son I could not bring back. I have heard the words “I love you” from the same mother.
No single event in my life has been more significant than what happened on this day 11 years ago.
We are conditioned to win! But not to lose. So when we lose a brother it is catastrophic.
That is why we are so in love with each other.
I have always appreciated the moniker "Grunt." It is a nickname that some might consider offensive if you have never been one. Grunts come from all different backgrounds, the city or the country, all different races and religions. By ourselves we are not all really that exceptional or talented. But when you put nine of us together and tell us to fight for something we care about, which most of the time is each other, then nothing on this planet can overcome our resolve. Grunts can take anything you throw at them. You are the best humans I have ever known."
Jake of Spokane

"Ur not forgotten ...love ya bang."
Geo Bia of Navajo Nation

"I just wanted to say, he was a great soldier but a better friend and even a better brother to me. I also want to say to bangs family that im so sorry for their loss and that im so proud to have meet bang he was my brother. I was there when we got ambushed and im so sorry that i couldnt do anything to prevent the attack. I also wanted to say that i know hes in a better place right now hes with god, love you brother and god bless you, your family and all my friends that served with me."
Ricardo Costas of Jayuya, P.R.

"Bang,
Mannnn. I was not aware of this being here. I was just remincing about the times we shared. Its been 7yrs. I ll never forget that day. You were converted in to an angel that day and I always thank you for your sacrifices. You have always been in my prayers when I get in touch with the spirit people. You were my closest battle buddy and still cherish your dog tags given to me. We will reunite some day soon when I enter the spirit world. Much love and prayers to your family that I hope to meet someday."
BIA of Navajo Nation, nm

"To the family of:Solomon C. Bangayan
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""

"I just talked to your mom on the phone. She is so loving and forgiving. Their are plans for JR and I to go to the Phillipines to dedicate a library to your memory. I am looking forward to it.
I really love your Family Bang. I wish you could be with them right now."
Jake Baty of Dahlonega, GA

"I still remember the night Bang, Carasco and myself arrived at 3rd Plt together. Damn, that was a long night thanks to Sgt.Hensley. Of all the great friends I made, none were harder are more disciplined than Bang. You are truly missed my brother."
Gonzo of Tampa, Fl

"Warm greetings from the teaching staff and STUDENTRY of the SAN FRANCISCO NATIONAL, HIGH SCHOOL, Sudipen, La Union, Philippines 2520.

Our school conveys her appreciation and commendation to the United States of America in exhausting its ultimate power and commitment in fighting against terrorism and its grave effect.
Furthermore, we express our deepest and sincerest advocacy to the transparency of your strong convergence to a move toward an absolute goal, which is to save the world from the salvo of fear and violence.

At this juncture, with pride and honor, the SAN FRANCISCO NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL is apprising your good government that this institution once molded an ordinary, innocent, young boy who, even himself never expected that someday he would become one a "WORLD HERO". He is none other than ARMY SPECIALIST SOLOMON CARIAS BANGAYAN. His one of the students who successfully finished high school, despite the fact that this school has limited facilities to cater to the needs of every student. He finished his secondary education in the year 1996.

One of the priority needs of our school is a LIBRARY where teachers and students can easily and comfortably access to reading and research work. It is the desire of the school to give the best students with the needed educational requirement to seek for better life. Because of this, we are soliciting funds from those who have kind hearts for the construction of a library building in memory of ARMY SPECIALIST SOLOMON CARIAS BANGAYAN. Your benevolence and generosity for the realization of this project would be very much treasured and appreciated.
God Bless and More Power.

Truly yours,
ELVA FE V. BANG-AS
(Principal)
The SAN FRANCISCO NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL FAMILY

For further information, Pls do contact mobile# 9212421929/9287092744 or email at Spc Bangayan's sister elma.cabamongan@yahoo.com"

"Helen and Victor,
I am so glad that after all these years we still keep in touch. Your family means the world to me and I hope that one of these days soon I will get to go to the Philipines with you. To Bang: It seems like yesterday that you left us, but know that there isnt a day that goes by that I dont think of you. You are my Hero and I know that one of these days I will see you in Heaven. I Love you all and you are always in my thoughts"
JR of Houston Tx.

"Hi brother, it's me again your big sister always been here misses you, it's been 5 years now that you're gone but you're in our hearts always.
Elma Bangayan Cabamongan(Philippines)"

"It has taken me a long time to write this. Not a day goes by, that I don't feel guilty for your death. I feel I should have been able to keep all of you safe. But I couldn't. I am so sorry. I miss you and marc and I wish I could just talk to you guy's one last time. I met your family Bang. They came to my house for a BBQ. It was great.I couldn't believe how much love they showed me. I am so sorry I couldn't save you. I tried. but it wasn't enough. I met your, mother Helen. She held me and told me she lost a son but gained many more. JR misses you also. We both miss you man. I am sorry. love ya"
jake baty

"I did not know Spc. Bangayan but as a former army medic and paratrooper i feel the loss of any trooper as heavily as if they were my own men. I wear his K.I.A. bracelet every day and bear it with honor."
"Doc" Quick of Aiken, S.C. USA

"Hi brother, just wanna great you in advance a happy birthday this coming August 22, its been four years now that you left us, every time i think of you, tears falling from my eyes, until now we we just can't imagine that you're gone, we're just so proud that you left us with honor, were so proud of you, again i just wanna thank those people, for giving us continuous comfort and inspiring messages to our brother, God bless, Sgt Haack and Sgt Baty, thank you for the guidance you've given to bang, Let's go all the way."
Florence Bangayan Cabamongan of Philippines

"Bang, I miss you, I think about you and Seiden all the time and wish I could have traded seats with you both, your memory is forever etched in my heart I am honored to have served with you thank you. God Bless your family"
Brian Kerr of Louisville, Ohio, USA

"April 13, 2008
To the family of Spc. Solomon C. Bangayan:
Solomon 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

"just wanna thank you for your message to our brother, i would like know you better, maybe were relatives, my email is elma.Cabamongan@yahoo.com"
Elma Bangayan Cabamongan of Sudipen, La Union, Philippines

"I find Solomon and I have a lot of similarities. I was also born in the Philippines, joined the US Army and people in my unit call me "Bang". I admire your courage for pursuing what you want to do in life. Being new in the country, you could have been something else but you accepted the challenge.

I salute you!
Mabuhay ka!"
Spc. Benjamin Bangayan of Fort Campbell, KY

"Hi brother! wherever you are now, I know you are happy that your dream of becoming a soldier been fulfilled though in a short time. yes, leaving us at your age is really a hard thing for us to bear but i know for sure that you've gone with a cause, and that's make us your family so proud of you. you're such very responsible, kind brother and uncle to your nieces and nephews. To all who joined us in our time of sorrows, those who gave us comfort, thank you so much, May God bless you more."
Elma Bangayan Cabamongan of Philippines

"Bang, I just wanted to let you and your family know that I think of you and remember you. Although I was not in your platoon you still touched my heart."
SGT Michael Davis of San Antonio, TX

"isa kang mgiting lolo"
rodel bangayan of laguna city

"Bang,
It has been three years since we lost you. Not a day goes by that I don't think about you or your family. I just want everyone to know that you were one of the best soldiers I have ever had the privilage to work with. There are so many stories that come to mind when I think of you. So many times we were sitting in Iraq losing to you at hearts. I still think you rigged the deck. But thats OK.
Helen and Victor I want you to know that I think and pray for you both everyday. One of the proudest moments in my life was when you told me, " you have lost one son but gained so many more", that means the world to me. Bang, just know that I have not forgotten you and I never will. To Helen and Victor, you are a part of my family and always will be. Thank you for all your love!"
SSG James Haack of San Diego Ca.

"Hello son, today is the day that you left us but you are always in my side day and night. I love you and someday I'll be with you. I not perfect mom. I did all things for you that I know how as your mother. I wish I was on your side to hold you that bomb got you. I love you and very proud of you. You are a hero back home too. Everybody loves you as their hero. Your sisters are thinking of you all times your dad as well.
Kelly(Solomon)is just 6 months to finish his degree being electrician and mechanical degree majoring in deisel Mechainic in the university in the Philippines but he has to be in the U.S. before turning 21, but when he came over he said his dream is to be a military man. So kelly you got your dream. You are my hero forever ever. I also know where you are now because when you came home for a 2 weeks break you accept Jesus as your Lord in Savior. Just wait for me and I'll be there with you."
Your Mom, Helen

"Sumalangit nawa ang 'yong kaluluwa, maging aral sana ito sa mga pinoy. Wag pasukin ang gulo ng iba..."
Pinoy of Ca

"Paratroopers do not die, they only drift away...GOD BLESS YOU and the family of SPC Bangayan. He and the rest of the Paratroopers and Service members are true heros and will never be forgotten. AIRBORNE ALL THE WAY!"
CPT Mike Morella of Yongsan Garrison, Republic of Korea

"Helen, Victor and Hilda, I was so honored to meet you and so glad you decided to join us for our journey of remembrance and sharing, this past weekend. I hope that the trip gave you some comfort in knowing that Kelly will not be forgotten, ever. Sharing in your sorrow and pain brought us all closer together and the families of the Vermont Fallen will always be here for you."
Steve and Marion Gray, parents of Jamie Gray KIA June 7, 2004 of East Calais, Vt

"I did not know Spc. Bangayan, but as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division and of the U.S. Army I feel the pain. He was and will always be a part of an elite group of Paratroopers-- the 82nd. All those who paid the ultimate sacrifice will always be remembered as heroes in my mind. Currently, I am serving in Iraq and i know that any day could be my last, but it is something we do as Paratroopers-- we keep fighting because we believe."
Spc. James P. Hunter of Baghdad

"Solomon, from an old 2/32Jive Trooper, My thoughts and prayers go out to you, your family and your loved ones. I now wear your KIA bracelet in honor and in memory of you, and all the fallen Troopers. God Bless America!"
Mike McFadden of Potomac, MD.

"My name is Peter Bangayan I live in SEATTLE WA. I am raised in the Philippines in Cagayan Valley. I know somehow we are related to you. You are hero to all of us. You made my family, our family so proud of you. May you rest in peace."
peter of SEATTLE WA, USA

"To the Bangayan Family, I offer my condolence. I had the oppurtunity of knowing and serving with SPC Bangayan. He was an outstanding soldier. I know that he is in a better place, thank you for raising such a fine American."
SSG Frank j. Reddish, Dco. 2-325th AIR of Fort Bragg, Nc

"I never see you before but I bet you are great soldier I hope you in a good and better place now o.k. you have fun in heaven."
lamont of madison tennessee

"Bang, we never really got to say goodbye to you. You were one of the best soldiers anyone could ever fight side by side with. I hope that you are in a better place. My respects go out to your family for there tragic lose. You were a good person and I will always remembers the good times I had joking around with you. GOOD BYE."
Adam Volkerding of Dayton ,OH

"This MAN was my roomate and friend when I served with him. I remember him well and I will never forget his courage and friendship we had. Bang, I am sorry I wasn't there, I am sorry I got out before you. Please I ask for your forgiveness, the last thing you said to me when we had dinner together at that chinese buffet was - "Nesbitt, you don't know how lucky you are." My God bang, I had no idea. I am sorry old friend, I miss you, I know you finished your mission for your family, even in death. I miss you old friend, my condolences go out to your parents and friends. Bang, since this happend, all I can think about is I could have been there and I might have saved you. I just want you to know that. Again, I am sorry I wasn't there. Graden was the one who told me what happend when I called the batt. phone. If anyone wants to contact me for closure, please write me to at: Defilar@hotmail.com and we can talk, perhaps, and get through this..."
Philip Nesbitt of San Antonio, Texas

"My heart goes out to you , your family and the 2nd 325th AIR for the loss. I too was a member of the 2nd, 325th AIR and I know what fierce and well trained fighters they are. God Bless and never will I forget a fallen comrad."
Sean Midgley of Clearfield, UT , USA

"My father fought, he is alive still. Brave and strong men, YOU will never be forgotten. EVER! God watch over the families left behind"
Dan Ganaden of San Jose, Ca

"Thank you for your sacrifice.Some give alittle and some give all.I read about you on filipino-american site and i wanted to thank you and give my condolences to your family.I myself was injured in Iraq and I know what you had to go through over there.GOD BLESS....."
Spc.Ryan Normandy of 1st AD 2-6 infantry Baumholder,Germany

"Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice as we Americans might have the freedom. My condolences to the family. You must be very, very proud of him as I am fellow Filipino-American."
Bernard of Atlanta

"I, a fellow residence of San Francisco Norte Sudipen La Union, have known Solomon since i was a kid. We went to the same school, from kindergarten to high school. I am very sorry of this tragic event. Me and solomon have somewhat have a bit of connection. I still remember when we were still in elementary school, me and my other friends used to play around (my house and his house facing each other) and I always see him being there taking care of his sister Hilda. He was a very hard working guy, but the only that i can't forget about him was the day I had my accident. Until now i can't take that out from my mind until forever, when my parents told me he was in America I was kinda glad for, we are not that far from each other and thought maybe we can meet up someday for a TALK. His auntie is my Godmother and she's been calling us sometimes. I don't know, i really don't know.... How I wanted to talk to him for the last time, for this words i wanted to tell him, hasn't been heard. I am so sad, really, really sad for what happened to him,,,,, But was too late for me to say a word. Good bye my friend KELLY, may God be with you. You've done great."
GHEN Dingayan of Toronto, Canada

"This old paratrooper will never forget the brotherhood of the greatest division in the world. Although I never ran across Bangayan my heart still hurts for my brother. May you rest in peace."
Anthony of Denver, CO

"We will forever honor you Spc. Solomon C. Bangayan! We are humbled by the sacrifice that you and your family have made for us and our country! God bless your soul!"
SSG Nathan Henderson, and Michelle Henderson of Essex Junction, VT USA

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

"To My Brothers

To my brothers who have fallen
And will not return home
I salute you

To my brothers to my left and right
Who I fight and die beside
I thank you

To my brothers who have returned home
To live again their civilian life
All the luck I wish for you

To my brothers I work with
Going through the tedious tasks of the day
I am with you

To my brothers past, present and future
And those who have come and gone and will be
I support you

To my brothers Solomon Bangayan, Mark Seiden, and Michael Deuel
Who paid the ultimate price
I will never forget you

To my brothers of all wars
Who have stood for their beliefs
I honor you

PFC Michael R. Deuel - 18 June 03 - Baghdad, Iraq
SPC Mark Seiden - 02 Jan 04 - Baghdad, Iraq
SPC Solomon Bangayan - 02 Jan 04 - Baghdad, Iraq"
Spc Connell, William C of B Co 2/325 AIR, Ft Bragg

"thank you & god bless you from a greatfull stranger."
stephen deja of canoga park, ca

"We Will NEVER FORGET !"
Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Solomon, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi B from Montana "

"rest in peace , avenger of the bones!"
bliss of australia

"I was amazed to the heroism of this young guy. I'm proud of him. may God bless and comfort the bereaved family. I am a graduate of the school where he graduated in his high schooling. I was second year when he was graduated. he is a jolly person."
Rodel leonen of San Fernando City, La Union, Philippines

"To the family of solomon bangayan,we filipinos living here in korea are saddened by the loss of your loved one,our prayers are with you,We are proud of you Solomon, may God bless all the filipinos serving in the US military."
orlando romano of seoul,south korea

"SPC Bangayan:
Thank you for giving yourself so that we can sleep safely in our beds at night. There is no real way to say thank you for that kind of gift. Rest in Peace."
Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"Please accept condolences from our family. We share in your loss and in your pain. Find strength in your family, friends and faith to see you through this grief. The light of our men and women lost in combat shines on. My nephew, Capt. Ernesto Blanco-Caldas, was KIA, 12/28/03."
Jose M. Caldas of Atlanta, GA

"May you find comfort in knowing how many people share your sadness. HE is a TRUE HERO! Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless YOU ALL! We Will NEVER FORGET"
The Grogan Family (USMC) of Lakeland, TN

"Rest in Peace Brave Warrior.
The Taylors in NC"

"Thank you. It's not enough but it's all that I can think to say."
Christy Reed of The Woodlands, TX

"Thank you Solomon Bangayan, 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. Solomon Bangayan:
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 Solomon 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 Spc. Solomon Bangayan:
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 Solomon, 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