Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Cpl. Joseph O. Behnke

45, of Brooklyn, New York.
Behnke died in Baghdad, Iraq, when he was in a vehicle accident. He was assigned to the Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 258th Field Artillery Regiment, Brooklyn, New York. Died on December 4, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Cpl. Joseph O. Behnke.


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

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"It been over 10 years and I will never forget the time we shared and the strength you gave me. My brave and humble friend who always shared his strength when I always felt so weak. Rip brother you are never forgotten."

"Its been 8 years old friend i keep ur smile on my wall and our memories in my heart"
Martinez of Sc

"Joe, you made life in Iraq more comfortable by using your construction skills without asking for anything in return...we know you are remodeling god's house up there in heaven"
Sgt.. Foulkes of 1/258 FA


Words an not express how proud I am to have served with you. You were a true inspiration to everyone who knew you."
SSG Steven L. Smith of C-Btry 1/258 FA

"Loving Friend

A Poem For the Memory of Joseph Behnke

A true Friend you knew how to be
You lived by example each day effortlessly
As you moved along sharing your Love
Without a second thought of whether you should
You gave of yourself as only you could

I thank you Joe for being a good Friend and Brother
To me and for reminding us through your actions
How people should be with one another

My hope is that those you have known
Did not miss what I experienced and saw
Because if they did, they have failed to see
The richness of true Love from above

Knowing that we will never see you again in this
Lifetime I feel a great pain in my chest
It is so severe I don’t believe it will ever rest
Through the reddened eyes of others I have
Seen that I am not alone and can Lovingly
Say my Friend will never truly be gone

The Love and Friendship you gave so naturally
Entered our hearts and reached deep down so
Swiftly to touch our Spirits with a gentle strength
Leaving your Spirit’s handprint which will last indefinitely

These humble words are my way of saying
It has been an honor that you shared yourself with me
If my Spirit could hold a pen and write
It would take up pages to express and acknowledge
What can only be felt and not written

Thanks I can give each day for the Gift of having
Known you as Brother and Friend who was always True
Although sadness I will always feel, happiness is also
There knowing we will meet again in the place from
From which we all came"
Vincent Kevin Jones of Portsmouth, Virginia

"Another year and the loss of such a great man and patriot is still hard to comphrehend, Behnke fought for his family and for his fellow soldiers and will be forever missed and always remembered!!!"
Kovalik of Brooklyn, NY

"Behnke - your not only a great soldier and comrad your a great man. Thanks for all your hard work to make life more comfortable for the troops. You will never be forgotten"
SSG Nibbs (Steelrain32) of 1/258 FA

"”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,

"Re: Sgt. Joseph O Behnke

I represent PRAYER SHAWLS 4 FALLEN SOLDIERS (PS4FS), an organization that since October 2007 has sent over 2,700 prayer shawls to military families who have lost a loved one. We are an organization of over 240 groups from all over the country. We make every effort to reach families even when post cards are returned after they have moved. Would you kindly send me a contact email/address so that we may send a loving hand-made prayer shawl to the family? Thank you!

Cozette Haggerty, Prayer Shawls 4 Fallen Soldiers
Email: ps4fs@charter.net
Website Address: http://webpages.charter.net/ps4fs/shawls"
Cozette Haggerty of Wilbraham, Mass.

"I have set up a page for Joseph Behnke on the Military site "Together We Served" http://army.togetherweserved.com/army/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=Login"
Richard Martin of 5th year in Iraq (04-05-Scania)

"My friend Joe, I will always miss you.Our talks while training to go to OIF2, our coffee drinking in country. The family stories that we shared. You are greatly missed by family and friends alike. Thank you for being one of my brothers in arms. God bless"
Sgt. Onix N. Lugo of Bronx, NY

"Condolences to the family:

I recently found a GEOcoin honoring CPL Behnke; it has been placed it in a geocache outside Chamois MO. Like all Americans, I owe a debt of gratitude to CPL Behnke; I want to make sure his memory lives on and it is my hope that the coin travels to every state, carrying the story of the life and sacrifice of this American hero.

You have much to be proud of, and I'm honored to have made your acquaintance even in this virtual world. If you want to follow the travels of the geocoin, watching Americans honor CPL Behnke city by city and state by state, you can track it via geocaching.com.

You will be in my prayers."
Bobby Jean of Missouri

"My name is Joseph Behnke and I first want to say that I am very sorry for your loss. I am currently a police officer in Boston. I served in the Marine Corps during Desert Shield. Behnke is a different name in the states and I noticed a namesake that was a REAL HERO. There even might be a relation. Even though we never met I feel and share your pain. May Joe rest in peace with God's angels. I feel little safer knowing that I have an angel namesake watching over me while I try to carry on his heroism protecting the public. If any family members read this I can be reached at joebehnke@yahoo.com. I would like to hear more about Joe. Semper Fi.....Joseph R. Behnke Jr."
Joe Behnke of Boston, Mass.

"cafe bustelo, i miss those moments bink, i'll never forget the lessions that you tought me brother"
Martinez of Southcarolina

"Behnke Family
Its been almost 4 yrs since I lost one of my best friends. Every time I would get down he would always find a way to cheer me up. The day before the tragdy he was working on the CQ and told me to stop he had to check for an IED that made me laugh instantly I will always rember the man that he was and that he watch's over all of us everyday. I miss ya Joe"
Spc Edward Houck of buffalo ny united states

"April 22, 2008
To the family of Cpl. Joseph O. Behnke:
Joseph 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

"WOW I would have never imagined how hard it would be for me to write to you. It has been three of the longest years ever and in my heart I feel as if you are still here . . . I could almost hear you speaking to me yet I can't hold on to it for long because it hurts so much not to see you standing in front of me or know that you are on the other end of the phone. Everytime I think of you I get just a little stronger and accept it a little more. You meant the world to sooo many people and yet the world means that much less to us without you here. I have always been fond of you and looked up to with admiration for your dedication, determination and respect for all that you believed in. I feel blessed and honored to have had someone like yourself in my life and I will forever love and miss you dearly. There is not a day that Anthony doesn't mention or speak of you. The impresssion you made on him is simply amazing and irreplaceable. There will never be another you and we will never be the same without you. As I write I feel your presence over my shoulder yet I fear looking back and not seeing you; however, when I look up when times are hard I know you are right there looking down on me and blessing me with strength. R.I.P. you will always be remembered and never forgotten! Love You! 12/4/07 -- 11:11 a.m."
Ingrid Limage of Old Bridge, NJ (USA)

"This is the first time i have left this message..Joe was an awesome soldier and a Friend. We served together during homeland security and he was a good friend that always gave an ear to listen to what you had to say. He would always refer to his kids and his wife's "fantastic" cooking. One big thing Joe and i had in common was our "passion" for a good cup of coffee. There has never been a moment that i dont think of you when ever i put on that uniform.... its still hard to this day.... I Guess its true what they say, "God always takes the good ones first". You were a great man, friend, father, grandfather and husband.. You will never be forgotten brother. "Ready And Faithful""
CPL. Michael Rentas of HHB 1/258 FA - Jamaica, NY

"To the family and friends,
I would like to extend my deepest sympathies. Losing a loved on is the hardest thing in life. I am writing to not only express my sorrow for you but to let you know about a memorial I am working on. I am creating a quilt to honor the fallen soldiers from the New York City Area. Each soldier will have a panel created. I am inviting the friends and families to get involved. If you are interested or would like some more information please contact me at nycfallensoldiers@yahoo.com"
Esther Kabalkin of Staten Island, New York

"To the Family of Joseph O. Behnke,

Warm thoughts to you in reflecting on the loss of your American hero. I know that many looked up to him, admired him and loved him. He raised amazing children and has a loving wife.

Joseph O. and his family are prayed for as he is kept in our memories- we are thankful for his sacrifice and dedication to defend us.

Although I never had the opportunity to meet Joseph O., he has surprinsingly appeared in my dream.

I hope our dads met in Heaven.

With spirit in Christ."
Friend of Joseph C. Behnke of Brooklyn, NY

"To know and work with Joe was to appreciate and respect everything that he stood for. The 258 and the US Army National Guard was a better place because of Joe. May God Bless you and your family."
SSG K J Garcia of Newburgh NY

"My heart felt sorry and prayers to the Behnke family. I can truly say that i had the honor of serving and becoming friends with joe. Joe was not only a great friend, but one of the best soldiers i have ever had work for me. When ever he thought i wasn't being fair or hard on another troop, He'd always start with "mister" in his nyc accent. On that fatal night, i had the great honor of eating dinner with him and talking about family and loved ones.I also live with the nightmares and heart ache of not being able to do more. I miss you Joe, and i know the big guy upstairs is telling you to take a break. You're up there working your butt off making heaven a better place for all. That is the man you are, and will always be remembered as."
SSG Scott Heaton 42A of Kenmore,NY

"Joe was a great guy. He and I were the same age, in the same unit (1-258 FA) and went through the same training at Fort Dix before we got shipped out to Iraq. We were in the same unit but different companies. I remember him being so calm and cool through all the training. I gravitated to him because he and I were of similar age and maturity. I was saddened to hear of his death. I pray that his family knows how much he loved them and that he rests in peace."
William F. Soto of Glendale, N.Y.

"Joe was a wonderful human being - all heart. He was doing a complete renovation of our apartment when the towers were hit down the street on 9/11. He loved kids, and we'd get a kick out of the gleam in his eye when he'd describe the special design touches he had worked out with our son for his bedroom. We consider that apartment a memorial to Joe. We still talk about him often, we miss him, and our hearts are with his family."
Lou and Sue Erlanger of Brattleboro, VT


"hey joe miss u man thank for surving our country from lost cusin"
Joseph fiorino of New jersey

"You served with honor and departed with all of the 258 FA including "B" Btry.and "Charlie""
Ian Otway(Ret.) of Staten Island N.Y.USA

"You served with honor and departed with all of the 258 FA including "B" Btry.and "Charley""
Ian Otway(Ret.) of Staten Island N.Y.USA


Madi of nowich ny

"Uncle joe you were a hero to the heart and we will always remember you forever.
Please watch over us and keep our children out of harms way.
To an outstanding uncle and a great friend to everyone R.I.P uncle Joe"
Max Ross of Norwich , NY

"Joe Behnke was a kind, honest, and extremely thoughtful person. He worked from time to time in my building in NYC and when my son was very young Joe smiled at both of us whenever we met. He is missed by me and by all the people in our building."
Howard Sage of New York, New York

"I miss you Uncle Joe. I think about you all the time. You will always be my role model. I spent the best years of my life with you.
Rahman Jiminez of Cortland, New York US

"When i saw this site i really didn't think it would be this hard to leave a message. Behnke you were inspiration to us all, from your tireless work to make our lives better to that last night i waved goodbye to you as you rolled out the gate not knowing it would be the last i would see of you. I took it rather hard but because of that i rolled out that same night, you should have seen it, me (gunning of course) Bhola (driving) and Top as a TC.It was quite a crew, but i went out because i knew that i couldent mourn when their was still work to be done, work to keep others from mourning, i know u would have done the same thing, not out of disrespect but out of the utmost respct, because to me nothing was more important than solidering for my country and i heard you speak the same many times.I still feel a bit guilty though and you know why, take care Behnke"
Spc Kovalik 3 2 C of Brooklyn NY

"i miss you uncle joe.."
rocky of ny

"Corporal Behnke thank you,and my condolences to the family

Donna Behnke of Toronto,ontario

"to joe family, i served with joe in iraq.i am from ny national guard 127th armor bn. i was attached to his unit 258th fa. i was proud to serve with him. the night, i find out he died. i cried alot. joe, did some much for us. he build things for us. he love his kids and grandkids. also his wife. it is hard talk about this.i am proud to know him. to his wife and kids email me if any thing i can do for you. god bless joe and his family. tedsgt@yahoo.com"
Ssg ted lord 127th armorbn nys national guard of jamestown, n.y.

"To the Behnke Family, I am so sorry for your loss. Your Joseph is a true American Hero. Joseph will always be remembered and honored. May God Bless you all and God Bless Joseph."
Mary Ghaney of Brooklyn, New York

"To the family of Joseph O. Behnke, 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 to talk to someone or need someone to pray with you 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.U S A

"To the Behnke Family
I never knew Joseph, But I served in the US Army for 5 years in many horrible places, and when I returned to NY, my brother left for Iraq in the same unit as Joseph and I prayed for him every day. Now my prayers are for you and all the others lost and their families as well as the heros fighting at this very moment. Joseph is a true hero and American Patriot.
He will never be forgotten!!!"
Matt Ricozzi of NY

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

"There are no words to express the sorrow we feel for your loss. May God bless you and help you through this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

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

"Thank you Joseph Behnke, 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 Cpl. Joseph Behnke:
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 Joseph 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 Cpl. Joseph Behnke:
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 Joseph, 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