Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine 1st Sgt. Michael S. Barnhill

39, of Folsom, California.
Barnhill died after his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device near Haqlaniyah, Iraq. He was assigned to the Marine Force Reserve’s 6th Engineer Support Battalion, 4th Force Service Support Group, Eugene, Oregon. During Operation Iraqi Freedom his unit was attached to 2nd FSSG, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). Died on May 28, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine 1st Sgt. Michael S. Barnhill.


Contributions to the Families of the Fallen


Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

Please report inappropriate messages

Even though it's been some years since we worked together at mule creek, it was a honor to work with a true friend with integrity, honor, courage and bravery...God speed brother !!!"
Richard council of Lodi, California

"4 days from today it will have been 15 yrs. I will never forget you 1stSgt."
R. P. of CO

"You’ve never been forgotten. Joanna and the kids are on my mind and in my prayers as it approaches Memorial Day and 13 years since your passing. Semper Fi Kimberly wife to Sgt. Barker USMC, MTM Sacramento"
Kimberly of Roseville, Ca

"I think of you still from time to time and ill never forget you teaching me at old kovars"
Mitch chambers

"When I was 10, Mike taught me everything I needed to know about being a goalkeeper. Every save I ever made in the next 6 years of soccer was because of him. I still remember our last soccer practice with him. You will never be forgotten."
Megan Meraz of Granite Bay, Ca

"I used to work with Joann at the Lakewood YMCA, but I lost touch with you both when you moved back up north. I was horrified when I saw your name on the fallen list; hoped it wasn't you, but when I saw Joann's name in the obituary, I knew it was. You will never be forgotten; I hope to get back in touch with Joann some day. She and the kids are always in my prayers."
Tammy of Arkansas, formally Lkwd CA

"Mike, for some reason your face came to mind, and I was reminded of the laughs we had over "...walk wi' pride, laddie!". To Joanna, Mike, Michelle and Ashley, I think of you all now and then and when I do, I stop and pray for you. Big Mike was a good man, and he's still missed."
Jeff Wheaton of Roseburg, Oregon

"My Dear Husband Lover Friend
It has been 10 long years and it seems like yesturday that they came knocking at my door. I think of you everyday missing you everyday needing you everyday
I love you with all my heart and soul
Joanna Barnhill
Wife of 1st Srgt Micheal S Barnhill USMC"
Joanna barnhill of Citrus Heights

"Ten years ago, I lost my friend and brother-Marine, 1st Sgt. Mike Barnhill. I think of him and the sacrifice that he made, continually. And, I find myself wondering about his wife and children and hoping that they have been able to heal and to live with gusto in appreciation of the great example he set for all of us. Semper Fi!"
Deak Lundlee of Tucson, AZ

"It was a pleasure and privilege to serve with you at 2nd Motor-T. Fair Winds and Following Seas 1stSGT."
Steve Sabath of Paradise, CA

"This year marks the 10th year that our country lost a great man, Patriot, loving father and Husband. I still wear a USMC badge holder every day to keep your memory alive. You are not forgotten my friend. I thank you for my families safety and freedom. I know you are teaching kids in Heaven the finer points of goalkeeping. Semper Fi!"
Charlie Meraz of Granite Bay Ca

"I knew Mike back in 1980. He was just a
Freshman then, and I was a Senior. He was the normal Freshman dork to most seniors, but me being a senior,and new to Folsom, we seemed to get along quite well. Being on the Dive team together later put us together even more. He was a great kid back then, sure wish I could have known him as an adult. Semper Fi Marine!"
Mitchell Booker of Yermo, Ca.

"Mike, you are missed each and every day. You would be so proud of your family. Even though its been 9 years, it feels like the call was just yesterday. We love you Mike."
Gail Moxley of Orangevale, CA

"The last time I saw you, you were pumping iron at our makeshift gym back on base at al Asad, Iron Maiden blaring on the boom box. I'll always remember you that way, 1st Sgt. Rest easy."
Michael Winniford of San Francisco, CA

"Mike, I will never forget you and all the good time we had growing in the small town of Folsom. I miss you very much."
J.B. of Folsom, Ca

"Mike and I took a large group of young MARFORRES NCO's to Okinawa one year for A.T. I was the detachment 1st Sgt and he was the Company Gunny. We had a great time in the jungle. I can still hear us laughing in the rain and heat and nasty terrain. Awesome warrior to be with.

We were both in Iraq in 2005. He was up north, I in Ramadi. I was totally crushed to hear about his death. Later that year I was repositioned to Al Qaim. The medical facility there was named after Mike. I have a picture of it in my archives and would be glad to share it with you. mmosher@thumosproject.org

He's not forgotten. I will share his story tomorrow with other OIF warriors on our annual 50 mile hike.
Mark Mosher of Wilmington, NC

"I can't beleive it's 8years since. You have been gone . I miss you so very much . I love you so very much. Everytime I think about you I keep missing you everyday. I know you had to do what you had to do . You make me so proud of you . I love you with all my heart and soul. You are my soul mate I want you back . Proud wife of Michael Scott Barnhill 1stsargent USMC"
Joanna Barnhill of Citrus Heights ca

"1stSgt, I still remember you. You are not forgotten."
GySgt Evella M Smith (ret) of Jacksonville, NC

"Mike, I miss all those times we worked together at 2nd MTM Co. I remember I first met you in April of 1990 when we were standing in formation. You were the Sgt for one platoon and I was for another. You were commenting on my last name Pabst and I said to myself, whoever that guy was who was trying to make comic relief to my name, I need to know this guy. And from then on we stayed friends. As I moved in one direction becoming an officer, I had the privilege of being his platoon commander and write is evaluations. (Fitreps) We discussed after he picked up GySgt if he wanted to go First Sergeant or Master Sergeant. Without a blink, he wanted to be a 1st Sgt. I returned back from Iraq in 2005 just before Memorial Day. When I heard he was killed on Memorial Day, I was devastated. I went to the funeral and saw his family. I noticed everyone was just confused and sad. I noticed Mike's son was very disconnected from everyone else and I really felt at a loss. Joanna, I do hope you and your whole family is doing well. Tonight I am working Graveyard shift on patrol here in Tahoe. I will be reading the life of 1st Sgt Barnhill to my Deputies and honoring my friend as to why we have a great nation because of those who sacrificed all. I will miss you Mike and I will always remember you. Semper Fi!
CWO5 David Pabst"
David Pabst of Tahoe, California

"It is hard for me to believe that it is seven years ago, today, that we lost Mike. He was a classmate, a friend, and a fellow Marine, and barely a day goes by that I do not think about his sacrifice and his family. I am grateful to his wife an children for their sacrifice. Thank you, Barnhill family for your gift to us."
Gary "Deak" Lundlee of Tucson, Arizona

"It has taken me a very long time to leave a message I can not believe it will be 7 years come may 28 2012 I will always miss and love u u have touched our life's so eryp much u were a very wonderful father and husband I love you so very much"
Joanna Barnhill of Citrus heights ca

"thank you"
mark sahagen of hb ca.

"Hello Michael, I remember meeting you in 1985 at the Mine Shaft out in Rancho Cordova. We danced and had great times playing mini-golf. Then you left to go into the Marines.We wrote back and forth while you were in basic training.Then we lost track of eachother. I went off to start my life as did you. I was so sad to hear of your loss. You were a great friend. I will never forget you and the summer of 1985."
Christina Bertagnini of Carmichael, CA

"Hey Mike, when we first met as Officers at MCSP we couldnt stand each other and after 2-3 years of mad dogging each other we ended up being the best of friends, Baton instructor partners and yard cops together. The last time I saw you was doing Honor Guard for a fallen Officer. And you told me you were going back to Iraq again. I remember telling you that you didn't have to go and that you have a family here to think about. You looked me in the eye and said I have all my Marine brothers over there still and need to bring them back home safe. Somehow I understood but still worried about you the whole time.
I played TAPs for your service and it was everything I could do to play through it. It wasn't till later that I broke down and cried for loosing a good friend.
You are truly missed and thought about all the time.
I played TAPs again in El Dorado Hills yesterday (5/28/2011) for the Fallen Warriors Memorial, I wore the black memorial bracelet that bares your name. As it happens you passed away 5/28/2005. Your name was read and your history of being from Folsom and going to Folsom High.
So yes your memory is still alive and you will always be in our hearts.
Love you Brother and all my thoughts and prayers go out to your wife and kids. And thank you for your commitment and your ultimate sacrifice that we can be free."
Brock of Sloughouse

"Mike, Yesterday was six years since you have been gone. We have not and will never forget you and your sacrifice."
Dennis Greenhalgh of MCSP

"1st. Sgt. I see your face when I think of Irag. We traveled with laughter and shared our thoughts. I will always remember you my friend. It has taken me this long to be able to write or talk about you. I am not the person that says goodbye. I will see you soon enough and by the way we are tied 1 to 1. I still have the crazy towel! Semper Fi!"
Sgt. Godley USMC of Central Point Oregon

"Was a great partner in the unit(Mule Creek St.Prison)My pleasure to work with Mike.Good worker and always had your back.Great humor.Miss you.God Bless your family."
Jon Garner. of Jackson,Ca.


Friday will be five years since we lost you. Your friends and partners at work greatly miss you. We have not and will not forget your sacrifice. Your dedication to duty as a Marine and as a Correctional Peace Officer is still admired by all who had the pleasure and honor to work with you.

We send our Love to your family as we honor you this Memorial weekend 2010. Semper fi"
Dennis Greenhalgh of Galt, CA

"It's been almost 5 years Brother and I still think of you daily. WE were friends and partners, You were one of those folks you never forget.
Thanks for being there for me when I needed you."
C.S. of Amador County


I had the pleasure of serving with you in Iraq 2005. You were an inspiration to all of our Marines. Rest in peace brother.

"Semper Fi"
MSgt Thomas of 6th ESB, Springfield Oregon

"I never want to forget the sacrifices of so many young men and women. I am so proud it makes me cry. I understand in theory only that war is a part of human nature but so is love and caring. I wish I could take the families pain away but I can't. I am committed to loving ALL people, myself and our environment. I am committed to working on my happiness everyday because so many have died for my freedom to live my life. Thank you is not enough but it is all I have. All my love and respect. ogersteiner@yahoo.com

Scott Steiner of Worthington, OH USA

"I had the priveledge of being together with Mike at two duty stations. And I saw him breifly days before we left Camp Pendleton for Kuait. MIke and I were freinds and I will always feel a loss of a great guy. Semper fi my brother."
Bruce Riggs of Oregon City, OR

"Michael Barnhill or better known to our family as "Coach Barnhill". You were a coach & friend to our son Dustin Harris when he played soccer in Orangevale. I will never forget the first soccer practice of the season. Dustin was small & very quiet. The first time I heard you speak or "bellow", I thought, "oh this is not good". I was sure that Dustin would be scared to death of you. To my susrprise, on our way home, Dustin simply said, "I love this guy". You coached him until you decided to switch over & coach your daughter's team. In which at that point, you encouraged him to try out for select soccer. He did & was very successful. Years have since passed & things have changed. However, in Dustin's eyes, he still loves you & admires you. You two share some common things: a love for soccer, a birthday of Novemebr 4th and a great love for this country. You see, Dustin is in the USAF and I know wherever this journey takes him, you are watching over & "coaching " him. Thank you for being such an inspiration to Dustin and for your continued "coaching"."
Tammi McCray of Orangevale, CA

"25May2009 To the family of 1st Sgt Barnhill: As unfitting as it is for someone to pass away, it was fitting that it happen so close to Memorial Day. Each year as we approach May 28th I remember 1st Sgt Barnhill and his full measure of devotion. I served with him as one of the combat engineers from MWSS471. I remember he liked giving haircuts and he hated being cold - dressed like an Eskimo on a winter convoy. Surely he had a meaningful life. And every Memorial Day I consider the sacrifice your family is making. I pray God bless you through his word and the edification and comfort in it. Jhn 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Rom 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
In Christ, Sgt Peter Boucher USMCR 1998-2005 of Clinton Township, MI

"i only met 1st Sgt Barnhill a few times while i was in iraq but he definantly made an impression. He was a great leader and always made sure his junior marines were taken care of. i wanted to say thanks for giving me a hard time 1st sgt. you wont be forgotten."
Sgt. Dave USMC 2002-2006 of kansas

"I went to the Reserve Staff NCO Advanced Course with Mike in the Summer of 2002. Our Platoon had a sense of comaraderie and teamwork that can be attributed to Mike. His positive attitude and motivation affected the entire platoon.
Mike and I made a few trips to WalMart during the two-week course to get supplies. I have a picture of our platoon on my office wall. On the back of the picture, Mike had written a short message to me that ended with "where's WalMart?" He will always be remembered by this Marine. Rest in Peace my Brother. God bless and be with his family members."
Gunnery Sgt. Chuck Betz of Middleburg Heights, Ohio

"i have a brother in law who is stationed at the jungle warfare trng center in okinawa japan..he told me to watch a video on youtube...it is a short documentarty on jungle training . i saw michael barnhill in the video. it said he was a martial arts instructor. my son takes ma..so i decided to look up mr barnhill to see if he had a website.
i found this link..from an old army medic...let me say THANK YOU!!!

your sacrifice keeps my family free!"
jason evans of georgia

mollie Jensen of Woodville Wisconson

"I don't know if this is the appropriate message to leave...but I was going through some old letters from California and had some from Michael Barnhill from Travis AFB in California and was wondering..."
Mollie Jensen of Woodville Wisconson

"April 13, 2008
To the family of 1st Sgt. Michael S. Barnhill:
Michael 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"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"Thank you friend. May the generations you leave behind cherish the taste of freedom to the degree at which it was paid for. I pray your service never be thought of in vain but by Gods grace you went forth to defend for those who could not. God bless and keep you at rest forever and ever."
L. Barnhill of Englewood, CO USA

"To the family of:Michael S.Barnhill I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief. He died a hero defending freedom and we are so grateful for anyone defending our freedom.
Know that I am praying for the peace of God that surpasses all understanding for you and that one day we will all meet in Heaven where we will rest in the arms of Jesus.
If you need someone to talk to or someone to pray with please call my Pastor at Gateway Community Church, Reverand John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd Covington Ga. 30016 Phone 770- 787- 1015 (fax)770-787-8215.Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew"

"1stSgt Barnhill
You haven't been forgetton brother! The world lost a great man, father and husband! Piece to you and yours!"
Doc M of Deep in Texas

"First Sergeant, it was an honor to serve with you, I will never forget you nor your sacrifice, you are an inspiration and I will never forget the last time I spoke with you, God bless you and yours"
Sgt. Wolf of Corvallis, OR

"I miss you 1st Sgt."
Lcpl Jeff Lloyd of Medford, OR

"I don't even know where to start. I met the First SGT out there in Iraq. He always crossed the Waddi in the morning with a smile, no matter how bad it smelt. I saw him that morning and he had that same smile. I was always honored to be in his presence. He worked only a couple of buildings away and he was always making sure his Marines were taken care of. I believe every Armed Service Member is born for greatness and FirstSGT Barnhill used his to care for his junior Marines. I'll miss your smile."
CPL Bettis (Mortuary Affairs) of Marietta, GA

"hello, I do not know if we are related but my name is Michael Wayne Barnhill from Boonville, IN and I have a son Sean Michael Barnhill, Lance Corporal USMC stationed in Okinawa, Japan. I want to express my sorrow for your loss. I am sure your son was a great man and you should be proud. Again, I am so sorry for your loss."
Michael W. Barnhill of Boonville, IN

"Michael, you will be missed, I always had a great day at the MCSP, when I got to be in the same Building or Yard with you. You definitely did your job always with professionalism. Our prayers are with your family. Heaven has a new angel on guard."
Norma Christensen(KING) of Sacramento, CA

"As a Barnhill, and son Of a WW2 vet I want to thank god for Michael's life. Because he died, me, my sons and grandchildren can count on being free just a little longer. God bless and comfort you."
Van Barnhill of York, S.C

"Mike, You were a good friend and confidant. You were a good cop and excellent instructor. Every time I look at this bracelet, I wear it with pride. I only regret that it represents being KIA I remember the good times we shared at work and all that you taught me. You are a better man then I. You will be Greatly missed. See you in Heaven my Friend Semperfi always"
Jeff Simonsen of Elk Grove California

"My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family and I thank God for unselfish Americans like Michael, for without them,we would not live in a free world"
Jan Frissen of The Netherlands

"I loved mike like a dad. I was one of his daughters best friends, i was actually there when they heard the news, i had such a hard time there and i know that the Barnhills are to so i just wish the best for there family and i know that mine will be helping out as much they can.I miss Mike just as much as anyone but i know that alot of people wish he could come home."
Carly of FairOaks,California,USA

"dear joanna, i just now found out about mike. i am truely sorry. my son, michael, is also in iraq. i admired your mike alot. and enjoyed karate at kovar's with him. my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
the harpe family"
Therese Harpe of Fair Oaks, CA


Thank you for giving all for God, Country and Orangevale. You were the best goal keeping trainer Megan ever had. Kelsey and Megan miss you terribly, and so do I. The Fireballs are dedicating our season to your memory.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be at your back
May the rains fall softly on your fields
and the Sun Shine warmly on your face...
and until we meet again
may God hold you in the palm of his hand

Semper Fi!"
Charlie Meraz of Orangevale Ca

"God Bless You Michael, you have served your country well. May the Lord comfort your family. We pray everyday for your fellow soldiers."
Linda Biesel of El Cajon, CA.

"God Bless you Marine."
Mike of Osceola, Indiana

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

"FSgt Barnhill,
It was a pleasure to meet you out here. I know I was a pain when I tasked your company with guard duty but, that’s how we met. When we talked we just clicked. We both ware the same type of red wristband you had the Vietnam MIA one and I had one of my Marines that got killed out here. You set up the sand bags in front of your building just like the Engineer castle that was so cool. FSgt rest in peace you will be missed dearly."
SSgt Steven E Scoopmire of Jacksonville, NC but, now in IRAQ!!!!

"We are deeply sorry for your loss. America will forever honor your Hero.
The Courage, Honor, and Valor that your Hero showed will always be remembered.
We are grateful for the sacrifice that was made and we will NEVER FORGET.
God Bless your family and please know that you are not alone.
All of our prayers are with you."
Jennifer and SSGT Larry Mays of Massillon, Ohio

"To The Barnhill Family,
Our Family, Our City, Our Country grieves with you. We are so saddened by your loss. Your Soldier is OUR HERO! We will never forget him or the others who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless You and your Brave Marine..Semper Fi!!"
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN

"i dont know exactly who you are but my names alyssa i grew up in sac ca and now live in ne i look on the kcra channel.com and i just so happend to see the story. I am so sorry for the loss. I lost my dad when i was 9 and i am 21. i know its hard, you all will make it and do great best of luck to you all."
alyssa of fairbury ne

"I will never forget Mike's friendly face when he walked into Kovar's. I only talked to him through Karate, but he was someone I always looked forward to seeing. I will always miss you Mike. Thank you for everything!"
Jennifer of Fair Oaks, CA

"God bless you Mike. Your sacrifice will forever be in our hearts. You and Aaron gave my daughter a great soccer year. Our thoughts and prayers to your family. Rest in peace coach."
Cindy, Brooke, Devin Owens of Citrus Heights, CA

"To the family and friends of First Sgt. Michael S. Barnhill,

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 Marine Mom and Proud Member of Marine Comfort Quilts "
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca USA

"Dear Joanna, Michael Jr., Michelle and Ashlee,

Mere words could never suffice at a time like this. My heart aches for you, and you will remain in my thoughts and prayers. I pray that the deep hurt you feel can be in some part eased by the feeling of great pride for Michael’s valor and deep sense of patriotism.

To Michael Sr. I would say, you have made the ultimate sacrifice and did so willingly and without hesitation. Thank you so very much for defending my freedom. It means so much to me, to the people of NYC and to the entire nation. Thank you for your bravery and sacrifice in the service of the country that I love so very much.

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Most Sincerely,
Pat Shoukry - (6 Miles from "Ground Zero")"
Pat Shoukry of New York, N.Y.

To Michael's family,
We know your pain, and wish to express our deep sorrow for your loss. Your son is truly a hero and will be known forever for his bravery and willingness to protect our great nation. We pray every day for the families of lost soldiers. God bless and keep you.
'My sacrifice, God, is a broken spirit;
God, do not spurn a broken, humbled heart.' Ps 51:19"
Webster and Ruth Reed (Father and stepmom of Jonathan Ray Reed who died in Iraq on January 28, 2005) of Krotz Springs, Louisiana

"I attended High School in Folsom, California with Mike. He was always around to joke with at lunch. I remember his excitment for the Marine Core. He couldn't wait to join the armed forces and to serve our country. My condolences to Mikes family and friends.
All my best,
Lynne Krause (Laux)"
Lynne Krause of Woodland, California, USA

"To your family mike you are a real hero, I remember the times we shared at the Creek (MSCP). may you never be forgotten for the service you did."
Dave Pendleton of Jackson, Ca

"Mike was like an uncle to me. I will miss him with all my heart. He was one of the best persons Ive ever known. He will live on in my memories of him, and the memories of his children and wife. I miss him like crazy already and it just doesnt seem fair to me how this could happen. If someone could explain to me why, maybe then I would understand."
Nichole of Stockton, Ca

What an honor it was to hear about my husband speak of your heroism! I pray that you rest in peace, and i thank you from the bottom of my heart for your heroism and dedication in servig this great country of ours! You will never be forgotten! May God bless and watch over your family!"
Tammy Fisher of Bend OR

Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Michael will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you ALWAYS. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"Rest in Peace Devil Dog. You will never be forgotten. You are never far from those that love you. You are a bright star shining in the sky at night. May GOD bless and be with your family, friends and fellow Marine brothers who love and miss you.
Semper Fi
J and T in NC

"Thank you Michael Barnhill, 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 1st Sgt. Michael Barnhill:
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 Michael 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 1st Sgt. Michael Barnhill:
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 Michael, 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