Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Cpl. Christopher Belchik

30, of Brighton, Illinois.
Belchik died due to enemy action in Babil Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Died on August 22, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Cpl. Christopher Belchik.

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"I was 2/2's chaplain at the time CPL Belchik was killed - I remember the night quite vividly - and I was thinking it's pretty close to the anniversary of his death. So it is (I write this on 19 August 2015). It's been a few years, but I still pray for his family and the families of the others we lost that year. Some things never stop hurting."
Eric Verhulst of Sioux Falls, SD

"Cpl. Belchik is one hell of MARINE with a huge heart. Glad to have him in my team! MAKE SURE YOU GUARD THOSE GATES IN HEAVEN, BRO!
Semper Fi!
SSGt. David Martinez"
DAVID MARTINEZ of ROCKVILLE, MD

"Thinking about YOU Chris this Armed Forces Day. YOU are not forgotten HERO!!! Shalom."
Eric Tacker of Dallas, Tx raised in Godfrey, Il

"I grew up with Chris and I miss him dearly. Miss the times we had sometimes I wish I was there with him and maybe he would be ok. I think about him everyday and in two days will honor his service My email is josiejohn69@sbcglobal.net"
John clark of Pasadena california

"I was in 2/2 with Chris. I remember him well. A great leader and man. He always had a way to make Marines see the upside to anything even when they didnt like it. I remember talking to Chris at 2 am one morning outside looking at the stars and talking about our home lives and where we were from. We laughed that night even though we were in hell. He will always be missed and remembered for who he was and still is today. We miss you Chris."
SSgt Trent, David S of Afghanistan

"i remember when he checked in to easy co he was about a good friend and leader as your gonna get the last time i saw him was when i was on my way out he said im gonna miss ya woody isaid id come back before they deployed so we could go hang out but i didnt make it much love for you chris hey brother we will hangout again one day you are a tru hero semper fi"
steven woodlin of oxford nc usa

"To the family of:Christopher Belchik
I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief and you have my thoughts and prayers. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015.
Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga"3-18-11"

"Cpl. Belchik will always remain within our hearts. I can still remember when Cpl. Belchik first checked in to Echo Co. 2/2, like it was yesturday.. I will never forget his warm grin he gave me when we first meet. I was Cpl. Belchiks, first Squader Leader when he came in to the fleet. I was shocked and griefed when I found out about his death. Cpl. Belchik had the biggest heart a Marine can ever have. Words cannot even express how deeply he will be missed.
R/s
SSgt. Navarro, Jose R.
jose.r.navarro@usmc.mil"
Jose R. Navarro of MCB 29 Palms Ca.

"I was CPL Christopher Belchik's Corpsman in Easy Company 2/2, 2nd Platoon. I remember the first day he checked into the batallion, ole' PFC Belchik (then). I was there with him during the workups, the long field humps, and the long 9 month deployment. I served with him in OIF I. CPL Belchik was one of the best leaders and most strong-hearted person I have ever met. We both use to argue about whose 1999 Mustang looked better (mine was blue, his red). I miss you Chris. You are always in my hearts and prayers. May God keep you close always and forever brother!"
Eric Hurley of NC

"I still remember you Chris. I still love you as a leader and a friend. Thank you. My whole life, I will never forget what a great Marine and a great friend you were and still are."
Lucas Lytle of Spring, Tx

"Cpl Belchik was my squad leader when he was taken from this world, i have endured many hard days thinking of him and i miss him dearly. He was a great Marine and even better person. I will never forget him."
Sgt Bruce Lee Baker of Quantico, Va United States

"April 22, 2008
To the family of Cpl. Christopher Belchik:
Christopher 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

"We will be remembering Chris(by name) , along with other specific fallen service members, during Sunday Services, May 25."
Rev. Matthew L. Richardson of Chambersburg, PA

"Chris is young man who is truly missed by all who knew him. I attended Alton High School with Chris and remember all the good times that we shared together. My heart is with the family!! Chris is truly a hero!!!!"
Kristen Flom of Wenatchee, WA USA

"This Veteran's Day, we honor and remember our finest...2007

Chris you are among our finest.

Mary Ellen Salzano, Morgan Hill,CA"

"A true hero. You will never be forgotten."
FDNY of NY, NY

"TO A GREAT LEADER OF INFINTRY MARINES. I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU CHRIS. YOU WERE ALWAYS SOMEONE WHO COULD TAKE THE WORST SITUATION AND MAKE EVERYONE LAUGH SOMEHOW. YOU WERE ONE OF THE FEW THAT TOUGHT ME TO BE A MARINE, A LEADER AND TODAY I ALWAYS TRY TO PUT ALOT OF THE WAY YOU WERE INTO THE WAY I LEAD MY MARINES NOW AS AN NCO. I THANK YOU FOR LEADING ME SO WELL AND WILL NEVER FORGET YOU.
CPL WILLIAM CHRISTOPHER JAMES/USMC"
CPL WILLIAM CHRISTOPHER JAMES of CAMP LEJEUNE,NC/USA

"I send this to you in Honor of your Son I didnt know Young Christopher but I served for 20 years with Marines and I offer my greatest Symapthies to his family. I pray that God comforts you in this time of grief and know that He is always with you and He will never forsake you or leave you. God Bless you and keep you
Semper Fi."
Staff Seargeant (Retired) Woodside USMC of Kurdistan Northern Iraq

"To the Family of Chris, Although I had never had the pleasure to meet Chris I have gotten to know him thru his Mom Lynn, I want to share this Lynn and I had met of all places at the Post Office one morning,I had gotten out of my car and seen another car with a Marine Logo on the window so needless to say I knew I had to know who this person was and needless to say It was Lynn, so being the Noisy person I;am I had asked her where her son was and she told me Kosovo and she in return asked me where my son Lcpl Sam was stationed I told Okinawa and would soon be back in the states only to get ready to go the Sandbox as well, So from that day on we got to our each one of ours sons thru each other, My though and prayers go out to your family there isnt a day that goes by that I dont think about Chris and thank him for what he had done for our Country he will forever be our Hero!!

God bless"
Susan of Godfrey Ill.

"I just wanted to thank everybody who has reached out to my family with such thoughtful and nice words regarding my brother. I haven't been on this site in along time and it's comforting to know people still think of him and that he is not forgotten. I'm glad that he got to touch so many peoples lives he was such an awesome guy and a great brother. I miss his tight hugs and those big dimples when he would smile at you like you were the only person in the world at that moment. For those of you who knew him you probably know what i'm talking about. Again thank you from the bottom of my heart. Proud sister of a great brother Sincerly Julie A Prats If you would like to email me my email is djkprats@aol.com"
julie chris's sister of chicopee ,Massachusettes

"I served with Belchik the first time we were over there in March of 2003. I did an 10 month deployment with him on the USS Tortuga with th 24th MEU(soc).I was in the LAR plt. as a scout but I always worked with him and his platoon if I remember right he was in Easy company 1st plt. at the time. We use to go out on the smoke deck on ship together and talk about home. He was an awesome Marine and an even better man. I had alot of respect for him because he joined the Marines at such a late age. I just want to let his family know that we still thimk about him and I will always remember him!!"
Sgt. Jon R. Hogan USMC of Cartersville, GA/USA

"I served with Belchik the first time we were over there in March of 2003. I did an 10 month deployment with him on the USS Tortuga with th 24th MEU(soc).I was in the LAR plt. as a scout but I always worked with him and his platoon if I remember right he was in Easy company 1st plt. at the time. We use to go out on the smoke deck on ship together and talk about home. He was an awesome Marine and an even better man. I had alot of respect for him because he joined the Marines at such a late age. I just want to let his family know that we still thimk about him and I will always remember him!!"
Sgt. Jon R. Hogan USMC of Cartersville, GA/USA

"you always made me laugh!"
matthew smith of alton il

"My name is Cameron Schilling and I have started “Portrait of a Soldier” which donates a portrait sketch of every Illinois soldier who has fallen in Iraq or Afghanistan. All 122 sketches will be on display for a Memorial Day Presentation in Chicago, Illinois on May 26-31 at the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. After the ceremony the sketches will be given to the immediate families of the Illinois soldiers. I would invite any friends or family members to come and honor these men and women from Illinois who have given their lives to our country. For more information please contact OperationHomeFront.org at 866-417-8889 which is an organization headed by the Lt. Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois who is in charge of the Memorial Day Presentation. Thank You.

Please check out www.portraitofasoldier.org
To contact Cameron email cameronschilling84@hotmail.com
To contact Operation Home Front call 866-417-8889"
Cameron Schilling of Charleston, Illinois

"To everybody who continues to remember my Brother, I want to say thank you. It has been almost 18 months since we lost Christopher. It is still very hard to deal with and even believe. Your kind words help us so much. I check this site at least once a week. My email address is brianbelchik@charter.net please email me directly. I would love to talk with everybody. Thank You"
Brian Belchik (older brother) of Godfrey IL.

"Dear friends and family of CPl Belchik my name is Dan Noble and I was one of Chris's marines I wish you the best and send my prayers up for yaul during this holiday season he was a great marine and I looked up to him."
Dan Noble of Myrtle Beach, SC

"I am a former Gulf War Marine veteran and I attended Cpl. Belchiks funeral as a Hazelwood Missouri Police Officer. I went in order to pay my respect to his service to our country and for his families sacrifice. It was at that time and in honor of Cpl. Belchik that I decided to re-enlist in the Marine Corps. I served as a M.P. with 2MP BN stationed in Fallujah Iraq, returning on Oct. 14 2005. Not a day went by that I did not think of his sacrifice.
Semper Fi"
Sgt. James Taschner of St. Louis, Mo.

"My name is Cameron Schilling. I am a college student from central Illinois. I am the first generation of my family not to serve his country. I am extremely grateful for the sacrifice you and your loved one has given for the United States. I am disappointed by the way the news media has covered this war and the deaths of our youth. The media has stopped listing the names of the soldiers killed in Iraq and people only talk about the soldiers when we reach a specific milestone in deaths. If you just started watching the news today you would not even know there is a war going on. Partisan politics have replaced coverage of our young generation who have traveled to a foreign land in the name of the United States. Whether you believe the war in Iraq is wrong, right, justified or not everyone should pay even just a little more attention to what these young men and women are sacrificing. This is what I would like to do. I want to do my part in honoring these soldiers and their memories. Along with being a college student I am also a budding artist. I draw pencil portraits of local people in my community. I want to offer a pencil portrait sketch to the immediate family of every Illinois soldier killed in Iraq. Please contact me at cameronschilling84@hotmail.com."
Cameron of illinois

"My condolences to the Belchik family and friends. I knew Chris well. I was in charge of the recruiting station that enlisted Chris in Alton Illinois. Yes, he always had the drive, even from the first time he came into the office. He walked in and said that he was ready to be a Marine. He went down to MEPS on the 1st of November 2001. I remember it well and I think about him alot. I am back on recruiting after my tour in Iraq. I had just got in county on August 18th 2004. My heart sank when I heard the news. I am back recruiting in Alton again and have his picture proudly displayed on the wall. Chris, I knew you would make a great Marine.Semper Fi"
GySgt Kevin Stevens of RSS Alton Illinois

"My condolences to the Belchik family and friends. I knew Chris well. I was in charge of the recruiting station that enlisted Chris in Alton Illinois. Yes, he always had the drive, even from the first time he came into the office. He walked in and said that he was ready to be a Marine. He went down to MEPS on the 1st of Navember 2001. I remember it well and I think about him alot. I am back on recruiting after my tour in Iraq. I had just got in county on August 18th 2004. I felt my heart sink when I heard the news. I am back recruiting in Alton again and have his picture proudly displayed on the wall. Chris, I knew you would make a great Marine.Semper Fi"
GySgt Kevin Stevens of RSS Alton Illinois

"My heart goes out to the family of Cpl Belchik. I was his Platoon Sergeant during the early part of his Marine Corps Career. Not only did he have the potential to become the outstanding small unit leader that he was, he did so admirably. My heart was broken when I found out that he had been killed, doing what he loved to do, being a Marine. He had the uncanny ability to make everyone smile when times were getting ugly, made everyone feel at ease. I can honestly state that I have never worked with a finer young man. I have created a profile for him on "Together We Served. com." (togetherweserved.com) as another way to memorialize his sacrifice in order to make this world a better place to live in. I would ask the family to please go in and update the profile as best as possible. I am sure that there will be a great number of Marines that will reveiw it. Again, my deepest sympathy to the Belchik Family."
Gunnery Sergeant Sean C. Kirk of Camp Lejeune, NC

"To the Family of Cpl. Belchik:
We have constructed a memorial to the service men and women from Wisconsin and Illinois who have died in Iraq which includes, as of 7/12/05, 112 crosses and Stars of David. We would like your permission to put Christopher's name on one of them.
We have called our display "Arlington Midwest" and it is located in Wisconsin Dells, WI.
It is our expression of mourning for the indescribable loss you have suffered for our country.

If you would like us to do this, please email me at ArlingtonMidwest@yahoo.com.

We invite you to visit Arlington Midwest. I can send you directions and some pictures by email.

"As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us,
as we remember them."
Marty Preston of Wisconsin Dells, WI

"To everyone who has prayed for my family to be well...Thank you....With all the support and effort i have put in to be normal i stand out from everyone...Because of you guys i know i will be okay....To all the families who loose a loved one i pray for you every night...."
Amanda Belchik(niece) of Alton, Illinois/U.S

"Cpl. Belchik was a stand up guy. I knew him from 2/2 and was attatched to 2nd Plt. with my Assaultmen. He was a respectful, curteous, and thoughtful individual who definitely did stand out from the rest of his platoon. He will forever be a part of my memories of our tour in Iraq (the 1st time with the 24th MEU) and will live on in the memories of all the Marines who knew him and in the Corps itself. Semper Fidelis

Jacob A. Peeff
Sgt/USMC"
of Walnut Creek, CA

"Cpl Belchik was one of my recruits from my first platoon as a Drill Instructor. It's kind of funny that I remembered him right away when I saw his name, as normally I tried to block memories of recruits (you'd have to be a hat to understand). But Belchik stood out from the rest of the platoon because of his maturity and drive. Even after pushing 9 more platoons of recruits, he stood out. From what I have read since learning of his death, his leadership, maturity and drive never lessened. Cpl. Belchik, you will be sorely missed in the Corps, and it's a shame that the good you could have brought to the world will go unrealized. My prayers go out to your family, friends, and unit."
SSgt Scott J McLaughlin of MCRD San Diego, CA

"Uncle Chris, I just wanted to say I love you and that i am so proud of what you did for America. Mom is still going through some hard times but we all will never forget about you.
I miss you so much and can't wait to see you again in heavan.
Love Always,
Kelsy"
Kelsy of Chicopee Ma

"I served with Chris in iraq. He was a exclent leader and an even better friend. I have never had someone have so much faith in me and knowing him made me a better person. My family greatly misses him and we give all our love to his family"
The Lytle family of Houston TX

"We would like to Thank everyone who has taken the time to remember our Beloved Son Cpl Christopher W. Belchik.
The support, love and prayers from people like yourselves, is what helps sustain us during this unbearable time.
We continue to pray for the safety of all our Military and we pray for their loved ones.
And to those who have had to endure the same loss as we have, we extend our deepest sympathy and we honor your loved ones as they are all heros. May they Rest In Peace.
God Bless you all .
Proud Marine Parents of
Cpl Christopher W. Belchik
6-25-74 8-22-04
SEMPER FI
Lynn Lenker (Mother)"
of Godfrey, Il

"Thank You all so very much for kind words and your prayers. Are family is devistated by the loss of Christopher. We also know we are not the only family going through this, And we are praying for all of you as well. God bless you"
Brian Belchik (brother)

"To the family and friends of Corporal Christopher Belchik,

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 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

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

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

"To Christopher's Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your soldier's bravery and sacrifice.

Sincerely,

The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
Gloria Caldas (The Big Ern's Mom) of San Antonio, TX
gloria.caldas@banksterling.com"

"Thank you brave soldier for sacrificing your today for my children's safer tomorrow. You have our utmost respect and gratitude. May God provide your family with comfort in their time of sorrow. May you forever rest in Heavenly peace. Neither you nor your sacrifice will be forgotten."
a grateful family in Phoenix, AZ

"To Christopher's Family:
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

"Thank you Christopher Belchik, 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. Christopher Belchik:
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 Christopher 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. Christopher Belchik:
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 Christopher, 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