Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Joel L. Bertoldie

20, of Independence, Missouri.
Bertoldie was thrown from the military vehicle he was driving in Fallujah, Iraq when an explosive device was detonated underneath. Bertoldie was assigned to Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 4-64 Armor Battalion, Fort Stewart, Georgia. Died on July 18, 2003.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. Joel L. Bertoldie.


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

"You are not forgotten on this day you left us 15yrs ago. God Bless"
Gordon & Tracey of Liberty MO

"Thinking about you on veterans day."
Gordon & Tracey Thorpe of Liberty MO

"I see that it is your Birthday so we thought about you and your family. Just want to say you are remembered by us all. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sacrifice to our country and our freedom."
Gordon & Tracey of Liberty MO

"Happy Birthday Grandson. 33years old you would be. Unbelievable. Hard to believe your son will be 14. And what a wonderful boy he is. I couldn't be more proud of him. Just wish I could see him more. Guess you know he's playing football again and of course I'm happy about that. We are all making the best of things down here. So worried about your Mom and not just about her cancer. She is not happy. A lot of it is her job. Hopefully she can find a better one. And like me, she still misses you so so much. Thank God she has Koda, Kimber and Wesson. And Rod. Have to get ready to go clean a house. Ugh. Tell Grammy hi and I miss you both so much. Love, Grandma Barb"
Barbara Martin of Independence, Mo. USA

"Thank you for your service Joel. You are an inspiration to everyone. You are not forgotten, you're a hero. To Joel's family, you are in our thoughts and prayers and we love you all."
Gordon & Tracey of Liberty MO

"We think of you, Debbie.. Often..
Joel has not been forgotten here..
His memory is honored in the Plowman household.. Even though we only knew him through you!
Our continued prayers are with you!"
Scotty and Shawn Plowman of St. Joseph, Missouri!

"Thank you for all you did. I haven't forgotten you or your sacrifice. I appreciate you, my family appreciates you. I am sorry that this even happened. Be at peace my friend."
J. Baldwin of Thomasville, GA

"Miss ya man. Always thinking about you. I will never forget the kids in Bagdad getting us sodas and them flat cookie things in Bagdad for a 2$"
SPC Glowacki David of Brookfield Il

"Well, another year gone by. Every year I try to tell myself this will be the year that I won't get that sick all over feeling as the 18th approaches,,,,I know the date is coming and I try so hard to mentally prepare myself to make this year different,,,however, I just can't get a grip on the tailspin that takes me back to that tragic day. I remember every minute of that day...the days that followed are a blur, but that day is forever tattooed on my heart. I will never forget the feeling of total chaos of feelings the night before...so hard to explain it, like something broke inside me before we actually got the news. Love and miss as much as all the yesterday and the same as all the tomorrows! So Blessed to have Jesse, Koda and Kimber,...,.and all the rest of our family and friends. Your friends never cease to amaze me!!"

"Today is your 31st birthday. It fills my heart at all the people that remember you and miss you every day. The outpouring of love is tremendous. You touched so many lives in your short 20 years in such a huge way that they still talk about your amazing personality and awesome smile 11 years later. Grilling steak and chicken, Grandma Barb is making you a cake and we will release balloons. With Koda, Jesse, Nikki' Kimber and Rodney. Love you, my son :)"

"Remembering how I was feeling 31 years ago...walking the neighborhood 9 months pregnant getting ready for the birth of my first born child! Loving you before I met you and having no idea how completely and thoroughly you would take over my heart and my very being. Guess that explains why, after almost 11 years the pain can be unbearable at times, but always the pain is accompanied with the beautiful memories and love I will always feel for you. Forever missing you son."

"Still thinking of you bro. You are never forgotten."
Joe Escobar of Plano, TX

"Thought about you and your family today. Just want to say you are remembered by us all. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sacrafice to our country and our freedom."
Gordon of Liberty MO

"Another holiday season come and gone...still missing you like crazy! Still hurts to my soul that you aren't here with us and the kids! The only thing that makes it seem real that you have been gone 10 years is looking at the young man your son is becoming...he is absolutely amazing!"

Just wanted you to know that Im thinking of you, as I do often and let you know that I miss you so so much!!! Love you big brother!! <3"
Love, Kandy... aka lil wev :)

"There is no loss like that of a child...a child you conceived out of love, carried 9 months with love and protection, you gave birth to with awe and raised from that moment on with pride and unconditional love....NO OTHER LOSS LIKE IT! How anyone can compare it to anything shows they have never lost what truly comes with being a parent from time of conception! Forever missing you my son."

"Veterans day...you are loved and missed by sooooo many! All the kind words are so appreciated. YOUR FAMILY misses you so very much, every single day. Have gotten some amazing pics of Jesse and Kimber. I love seeing her wrapped in the blanket your AUNT STACEY made you...I feel like you are giving her a big hug. Jesse is amazing with her and they remind me so much of you and Jordan. I know Kimber will love Jesse as much as Jordan loves you. She still cries over your loss. She is determined to name her first boy, Joel Lin! :) I get to have Jesse and Kimber over tonight, what a blessing! Makes the end of a tough day so much brighter! Love and miss you always! My son, my flesh and blood...till I see you again! :)"

Lisa of KCMO

"Miss you bro"
Joe of Plano, TX

"I wonít be posting on here anymore Joel so I guess this is goodbye. Iím tired of every post I make being ridiculed by your mom. I would think she would have just a tiny bit of compassion since we have both lost a son. But there is none and I canít keep seeing anything I say to you being made fun of and treated in such a hateful way. Thatís not what this website is for. I will always love you as you know. Luckily, we will be in little Kimbers life, your niece is really beautiful.

Aunt Christie"

"Like you needed anyone to tell you your brother was going to be a DADDY! hahaha..Being OUR guardian angel, you know that today or tomorrow we will be blessed with the newest BERTOLDIE family member and the first girl in years and years. I know Koda is missing you more than ever, I also know that you are right there with him! As you also know Jesse is an amazing 11 yr old young man. Can't wait for his big MINDCRAFT party Saturday. Lot's of fun and games. As you know Erin always goes all out for him! Love and miss everyday MY SON!"
Debra Bertoldie

I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy."
Mike C. of El Paso, Texas

"Thinking of you today, wishing you were here. It gives me peace knowing our family has the most amazing angel looking out for them, but it doesn't make me miss you any less.
Love, T"

"Good Morning Grandson. About time huh??Sorry it's been so long. Spending most of my time at Trent and Stephanies trying to help. Someone has to be with Trent all the time. Steph has been working a few hours at the tax office. Right now that's all the income they have. I also do a lot of cleaning while I'm there. It's easy because it's new. Their house is really nice. I finally get to see Jesse tonight. It has been too long. Tomorrow your Mom is taking him, Megan and Kayla to the new Oz movie. They will have a great time. Your Mom is doing so much better. Even at work. Trent is about the same. He has a little movement in his left hand. I't a very sad situation, but he never complains. I just pray he gets better. How about Koda becoming a Daddy???????? Your Mom says he's really happy. It's been almost 10 years since there was a baby in the family so it's time. I need to get busy and do something, so bye until next time. Love and Miss you so much. Grandma Barb"
Barbara Martin of Kansas City, Mo. USA

"Hey Joel, your brother is going to be a Dad! I know you would be so excited by that so I thought I would let you know! We miss you!
Aunt Christie"

"Christmas time again! Miss you as much today as I did 9 years ago. Getting ready to go be with Koda, Jesse, Dad, Erin and Nikki. I don't know where I would be today without each and everyone of them. They all give me strength in different ways and I thank God for them, as I thank him for each and everyday I was blessed to have you as my son. Momma loves and misses you dearly."
Joel's Mom

"Dear Brother, it's been hard to reminisce on the pain that the time in service rendered me...but when I think of your sacrifice I am ashamed that I wasn't with you. Battle , I love you forever, and I will see you in paradise. Forgive me for not being there for you better... May Christ keep your thoughts as white as snow..and never let you look back on this sorrow. We will embrace again my friend. PV2 SIVAK"

"Hey nephew!! I haven't posted on here in quite a while. It has been 9 years since we lost you, and it is still so hard for me to think about...even though I do think about you each and every day! We got back from playing Rocklahoma yesterday....and I know you were watching down as we played "Broken Hero". I caught Lisa's eye at the beginning of the song, and I could tell she had tears...so I couldn't look at her face the rest of the way or I would have lost it. It was an honor to play that song for so many people on what would have been your 29th bday! Just wanted to say that...I hope I did ya proud with my words before we played it...and believe me, I had a drink for you afterwards!! Love and miss you!!"
Uncle P of KCMO

"To the family of Joel Bertoldie. Today is Memorial Day. As usual I frequently visit the "Faces of the Fallen" in the New York Post. I wanted to honor by name the Soldiers who were from Missouri, particular those from Independence. I found four - Joel was one of them. He looks like someone I had attended school with named Scott Bertoldie. I went to William Chrisman JR & SR High school. The class of 76 has a page on facebook, and I posted a message to ask if anyone remembered a Scott Bertoldie because I saw Joel's picture and it looked like him. A classmate named Scott Anderson verified that it was Scott's son. My condolences to the family of Joel. I too am a former soldier, and Desert Storm Veteran!

This what I posted on facebook:

Does anyone remember going to school with a Scott Bertoldie? The reason I ask is that I was reviewing the Washington Post looking at "Faces of the Fallen" - specifically those who were from Missouri - 139 of them... 4 of whom were from Indep. Here are their names: SPC Joel Bertoldie -04/18/03 -20 years of age, PCF Matthew M. Murchison -08/04/07- 21years of age, Shawn P. Rankinens -03/07/07 - 28 years of age, and SPC Richard Crane -02/08/05 - 25 years of age. All of them with the exception of one were killed by IED's. THANKS TO YOU MY FELLOW SOLDIERS FOR YOUR SACRIFCE!! I SALUTE YOU TODAY, AND EVERY DAY!

(I was just wondering if Joel was Scott's relative - he looks very similar to him.)

If you want to see what I have posted just request to join Wm Chrisman Bears Class of '76. Maybe you'll see people you know from back in the day. I did post a link about him, and it shows his picture. Hope the family does not mind as I did not know his photo would show up."
Lynn Saunders-Shuler of Orlando, FL by way of Independence, Mo

"Ok. 29 years ago was one of the happiest days of my life. We brought a beautiful, dark haired baby boy into this world. It still hurts to the core that you were only with us 20 short years. I am, however, grateful that you grabbed every minute and lived it to the fullest. It seems like yesterday I got the dreaded call from Koda...I remember everything that day down to what I was wearing. The months after that are a blurr. I am blessed to be able to keep up with several of your good friends via Facebook...oh boy, would u love that!!! I know it is a bittersweet day for Uncle Pat as he plays Broken Hero to a crowd of thousands on your birthday. Jesse and Erin are at the lake. Oh, the fun times and great memories made there on your birthdays!!!! Hopefully, I will see Koda a little later. U r forever in my heart and soul. I will miss you till the day I see you again. Mom"

"Happy Birthday Grandson, You should be here to celebrate but in my own way I will do it for both of us. I don't know where the last 29 years have gone even though it seems like yesterday that you were taken from us. I get to dog sit today with Carma Jade. In fact, Stacey just dropped her off. She and Jim are going to Rocklahoma to watch Pats band. It's a 3 day event. Pat is really excited about it. This will be the biggest crowd the have ever performed for. Mom isn't doing so good but I know thing will get better for her. I got an offer for a different job so I have a lot of thinking to do. Now I have to get ready for work. Sweetheart, I love and miss you every day. Grandma Barb"
Barb Martin of Independence,Mo.USA

"My boy, cannot believe that you would be turning 29 this year...you were still so very, very young when you were killed. Cannot believe it has been almost nine years since we lost you. I guess that will always seem like yesterday to me, even though life has gone on it just never seems like you have been gone that long...I remember every little thing about you. I guess it is a mom thing. Found a picture of you with koda and several people have thought it was Jesse. This particular photo looks JUST like him. Even Jesse is amazed by it!!! He is such an amazing kid...so very much like you in some ways and so very much like Erin in others...how could he go wrong!!! He so very loving and thoughtful. Koda has moved back home with your Dad. Your brother has grown to be a good young man...I am very proud of him. I miss you so darn much...it still hurts to the core of my being!!! Unwritten Rulz is doing you proud!! nominated for video of the year for Broken Hero and your amazing Uncle Patrick for drummer of the year. They are also playing ROCKLAHOMA this year...a very big deal. Even more so because they are playing on your birthday! It will be an extremely bittersweet moment as they sing Broken Hero to their largest crowd ever on your birthday...it was meant to be....love you so very much...not a day goes by that I don't miss you. That was the hardest thing to deal with when I moved out of the house, however, your are forever in my heart, memories and soul...nothing and no one can take that from me....LOVE YOU, MOM"

"Hell my son, Wow 2012! Another difficult year without you. Your Dad and I just could not keep our marriage together. Wouldn't change all the good times and memories we made as a family. We did make a great family, however, without our boys at home we just didn't have much in common! Koda is a wonderful man and Jesse is an amazing little boy. They are the brightest spot in my life. The holidays were definitely different this year, however, our wonderful family made things happy and fun. My brothers and sisters have been an amazing support team for me every time I need them. Uncle Pat's band are going to be releasing their first full length CD with a big release party and everything. They are a great group of guys and you are always with them. Love and miss you as always, there is always something I wish you were here to talk to. Love you so very very much. MOM"

"Merry Christmas Grandson. We all went to Pat and Lisa's about 5 this evening for dinner but we had breakfast! We decided a few years ago to not do the traditional turkey, etc. since it was so soon after Thanksgiving. We've done Italian, Mexican, snacks, and this year your Mom thought we should do breakfast. So we had biscuts and gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon, 3 kinds of sausages, potato, ham & egg casserole, pancakes, cinnamon rolls, muffins and I forgot what else. There was a lot of food and a lot left over. Just wish you could have been there. Went to Jesse's Christmas program at school a couple of weeks ago. He really did good. But I know you saw him too. He's quite a boy. And so good. It' almost 11 o'clock and it has been a couple of hectic days, I'm worn out but I loved every minute of it. Love and Miss you so so much. Grandma Barb"
Barbara Martin of Independence, Mo.

"Grandson, It has been awhile but don't think I don't think about and talk to you EVERY day. Things could be a lot better here but I still have faith that they will improve. I sure hope so. I know you know what I'm talking about. One thing that never changes is how much I miss you. All my love, Grandma"
Barbara Martin of Independence Mo.

"We won't ever forget you Joel.

Aunt Christie"

"Even though he has passed on giving his life for our country, never will he be forgotten. my heart goes out to SPEC Bertoldie family and friends"
SGT Rayford Hickman HHC 4/64 Ar Bn 1983-1991 of West Memphis, Ar.

"Well Erin and Jesse are at Disney. She did an amazing scavenger hunt for him to find out they were going last night. She is doing such an amazing job with being a single parent. I cried because it was awesome, but I also cried because it broke my heart that you are not here to go with them. These are the times that my anger could get the best of me, but I refuse to let that emotion spoil special moments. Always loving and missing you. Mom"

"Wow, your son starts 3rd grade today! Erin posted pics on facebook and he was being the happy go lucky kid he always is. He has that same charisma that you always had. It is amazing how much he is like you! He got the best parts of you and Erin. What an amazing mother she is. I know you are so proud of both of them. The Unwritten Rulz video has been a huge success and I know you are very proud of what the song and video says. Forever missing you! Love your MOM!"
debi of independence, mo

"Wow, your son starts 3rd grade today! Erin posted pics on facebook and he was being the happy go lucky kid he always is. He has that same charisma that you always had. It is amazing how much he is like you! He got the best parts of you and Erin. What an amazing mother she is. I know you are so proud of both of them. The Unwritten Rulz video has been a huge success and I know you are very proud of what the song and video says. Forever missing you! Love your MOM!"
debi of independence, mo

"I was taking a walk down memory lane yesterday lol. Remember when we dug in your backyard and found "Indian treasure"? I had you convinced that Indians had lived there and buried it :)
I was looking at the picture of you and Brandon in the old house, the one I bought from Grandpa and thinking of all the times you two spent the night and all the crazy things you guys talked me into! You could convince me of anything! Like the time you guys said your parents would, of course!, let you ride in the trunk of the car or how every time I babysat you....this time!...your parents said you could stay up as late as you wanted LOL! Or the family legend of when I took you and Brandon out to eat, you guys ordered food and then wouldn't eat it, acted silly and then you two locked yourselves in the bathroom and had the faucets on full blast! I remember standing out there saying...you boys get out here and people in the restaurant laughing and me trying to convince them I wasn't you guys mom LOL. It was fun at Christmas at Grandpa's..you always wanted auntie to put your toys together. Once you even told me you could swim, when you couldn't, just because you saw that Brandon could! I had to jump in and pull you out! You caused more than a few of the grey hairs on my head...and I am proud of that! I remember writing you a letter and signing it "love, Santa" and you really believed he sent it!
I think I just want to tell you thank you, thanks for wanting to spend time with me, thanks for all the crazy things you pulled that made for wonderful memories but mostly, thanks for telling me that I was your favorite aunt. I know our last private talk was emotional so thank you for telling me what I meant to you. I will always carry that with me.
If you can, could you tell my Dad that I miss and love him very much? Sometimes I feel a little lost without him.
Aunt Christie"

"Hey Joel, Thinking of you today more than most. 8 years is unbelievable! Even though we don't get to be a part of Jesse's life I hear he is just like you. I saw the video today and even though we didn't get to be a part of it, I felt good knowing that I was a big part of the memorial where alot of it was filmed. I never thought of you as a step nephew and I know you never thought of us as step Aunts. No one can change our love for you or your love for us. I am so glad I gave you that devotional. I am happy you used it! Love always, Aunt Kelly"
Kelly of Blue springs

"Oh I forgot. Your cousin Adrianna wanted me to tell you hi also!
Aunt Christie"

"Joel, I know you are laughing as hard as I am about that comment....LOL MOM"

"Oh my amazing son, What a day. Eight years and it seems like yesterday until I look in the mirror or at Jesse...LOL Jesse and Erin took me to dinner at the Outback which was great. UR video is so amazing a great tribute to you. So many of your friends still talk about you and miss you. Of course, your family, Jesse, Koda, Dad, Grandma Barb, Grandma Judy, Aunt Stacey, Aunt Stephanie, Aunt Lisa, Aunt Linda, Uncle Pat, Uncle Rick, Uncle Jim, Jordan, Megan,Makayla well all your family that was ALWAYS there for you will never stop missing you and loving you. They were all there for the video. It was awesome when we all let the balloons go. Of course, Jesse let some go tonight. That is his way of saying he misses you. And you and I know the truth about the "Family Thing" :)
love MOM"

"Hey Joel, been a long time. Just wanted you to know that I miss you and am thinking about you!
Miss our close times!
Aunt Christie"

"Hey bro....miss you like crazy as always. Today is 8 yrs. you've been gone now. Doesn't seem right. UR released our video for Broken Hero today.....it means the world! Love you!!!!"
Uncle P of KCMO

You are in my thoughts today, like everyday!
Eight years now.....YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.
Lisa Garrett

"4th of July...sitting home alone thinking about how much fun we had as a family on this holiday :) miss you as always love, mom"

"I had so much to say...however I get here and it all seems to trivial...we tried to keep it together for you and koda..you are gone and koda is an adult..so we are not going to make to old age together...I will never regret a moment spent with your dad. Our time together brought our wonderful sons into our lives and you and erin brought jesse...he is and will always be my miracle and sunshine...I knew he was brought into our lives for a reason...missing you so much...now and always...only you, me and jesus knows how much"
debi, koda's mom


Hey man, its been some time. Just wanted to let you know that I'm still thinking about you. Won't forget the crazy times we had as roomates. I just wanted to let you know, I find out in two weeks what I'm having. Yes, thats right. I'm going to be a daddy. It scares me at times. You know, I work fulltime for the Nationl Guard and I think about what if I had to leave my wife and child behind for a deployment. You know what I'm getting at. It's a whole new change for me. I have alot more then myself to take care of now. Anyways man, Someday I'll make it out to your resting place. I promise. I never forget about you, and what you gave for this country. Take care, Miss ya man"
Michael LaFountain of Hopkinton, Rhode Island

"Hey Joel, I've thought about you many times but haven't stop here to say hey. As Memorial day approached your the first person I thought of and as July 4th comes our way I find myself reminded of you again. You know, all through the year there are things that make me think of you and I'm grateful for the service you gave to our country and my very freedom you preserved. We all sleep and wake up in freedom and safety because of heros like yourself. I thank you from the bottom of heart and I pray for your loved ones so they don't hurt tomorrow as much as they did today."
Gordon Thorpe of KCMO

"In Loving Memory of my son, my sunshine, my laughter, my heart, my tears, my pain...I would not change a moment of the precious time you blessed our lives. You were truly one of a kind and your love for life inspires me everyday. Everyday is a gift and must be celebrated. Our family celebrates you on a regular basis and you will NEVER be forgotten. Your friends still miss you and after eight years that says a whole lot about person that was Joel Lin Bertoldie...Missing you every single day.
PS They lied when they said the pain would get better"

"Thinking of you on your 28th bday!!!!!"
Dana Moore of Independence, Mo

"WOW 28...We celebrated with dinner, Bud Lights and the traditional Jesse letting go of the balloon for you. Lots of thoughts of you on facebook...I will NEVER stop missing you..love you forever"

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDSON, I'm sure you're up there celebrating with Grammy and Adrian. Also with the other soldiers. I'm going to your house tonight for dinner with Mom and Koda. I hope Jesse is there. I know how proud of him you are. He is fabulous, thanks to Erin and your genes. He is definately his Fathers Son. I'm glad Koda will be there because none of us see him very often. We all went to Jordans 13th birthday party Sunday. It was interesting!!!! But Pat got us all together again. This afternoon I'm going to visit Carma Jade, Aunt Staceys little dog. She got attacked by a pit bull last Sunday morning and was hurt pretty bad. When I leave there I'm bringing you roses. Hope you still like them. We pray for Uncle Jim. I'm sure you know he's having a hard time now. I'm trying to find a job with no luck at all. Will you talk to God and help us? I know you know how much I love and miss you. We all do. Till next time. Grandma Barb"
Barbara Martin of Independence, Mo. USA

"hey MY son,,,lots of things going on...miss you so much...8 yrs and it still feels like yesterday...i knew i would always miss...love you so much mom"

"UNWRITTEN RULZ getting ready to video tape there first video and it is BROKEN HERO...so very proud of the song...means so very much that they are doing a video...and of course they have included the family...JESSE was such a professional when he taped his part...got right up there and did it...was so very proud of him....just wish...oh hell...you know what I wish... love and miss the same as when you were just taken from us....always will....your mom"

"Pat sent me a new song that is so much written for us....Sevendust Angel's Son..it is amazing...makes me cry but still awesome...the song says soooo very much...love always mom"
debi of independence

"hey son, i know it has been along time since i have been here...sometimes it is just too tough...i just do not think this pain is ever going to stop...i just miss you so very very much...i guess i keep it mostly to myself anymore..it is a pain that is hard to share or explain...erin called tonight, she had a parent teacher conference and jesse is far advanced...like we didn't already know that...he is especially good at math...i almost cried when she told me that...i realized how very good you were when we got your things back from iraq and i saw all your math notes about things i can not even guess at....memories that get you at the darnest times... love and miss you beyond what words can say....mom"

"Merry Christmas Grandson. I'm sure Christmas is wonderful up there. Give my best to Grammy and Grandpa Bill. We are all going to Uncle Pats at 3 this afternoon. You are always with us. Your picture is on the mantle every year. Still wish you were with us. I'm not sure Jesse will be there but I sure hope so. He's going to spend a day with me next week. I know he will want to go swimming and play games on the computer. He really is a good boy. Erin is a great Mom. I need to make deviled eggs for our dinner. No noodles this year!!! Love and miss you very much."
Grandma Barb of Independence, Mo.

"Good Morning Grandson, It's been a few rough days. I'm sure you know your Dad had a stroke Monday morning. Grandma Judy got him to the hospital quickly and that's a blessing. He is doing much better and I have faith everything is going to be fine. I'ts really been hard on Mom and Koda but they will get through it okay. We had Thanksgiving dinner at Stephanies Everyone was there except Koda and Rick. We had a great time and I ate a helping of home made noodles for you. On my birthday the kids had a surprise party for me and was it ever a surprise. EVERYONE was there, even Rick & Nikki and Koda and his girlfriend. Did you see my cake? Half Chiefs and half Mizzou. It was awesome. Going to get ready to go to the hospital now. Your Dad thinks he's going home today but I think it will probably be tomorrow. Love and Miss you so much. Grandma Barb"
Barbara Martin of Independence Mo.USA

Thank you for all the great memories, and the ultimate sacrafice You are forever in our hearts. Miss you."
Dana Moore of Independence, Mo

"Hi Honey, It's me again. Just wanted to let you know I've had Jesse today. We just got back from the swimming pool. Right now he is making cards for his Mom and Grandma Debi. He has been so good. Love and miss you, Grandma Barb P.S. i love you dad from jesse"
Grandma Barb and Jesse of Independence Mo.

"Grandson, it's been a while again. Just wanted you to know not a day goes by that I don't miss you. So much. But whenever Jesse is around it's like having you still here (several years ago) He and Erin came over a couple of days ago and brought his school picture. What do you think of his haircut? I guess it's okay but I like it long much better. Erin said since he has to take care of it himself now it's easier if it's short. He's coming over next Friday to spend the day with me. Of course we'll be at the pool most of the day. I'm really looking forward to it. Hey, what's wrong with the Cowboys??? They sure could use some help don't you think? I know Uncle Pat is just beside himself. Maybe you could give them a little push! A big one would be better. All of the family seems to be doing fairly good. Guess I'll start cleaning house now. Ugh. Tell Grammy I love and miss her too. Until next time, Grandma Barb"
Barbara Martin of Independence, Mo.

"Well i guess you and grandpa adrian are together now...love you mom"

"well it is 12:36am and I am sad that Written Rulz did not make it to play Freakers Ball. They should be very proud but disappointment can get in the way of seeing what they have accomplished. I felt your spirit with us tonight, I always do because I know you would be there with us screaming them on...lol...wish you could talk to pat and let him know how proud he should be...i hope he knows that..... everyone here is tucked into their beds and I am just wanting to play some more rock n roll. yey, even at my age i still love to rock n roll. well i wanted someone to talk to so this is where i came. so i guess you can tell that i still miss you so much and i know now that no matter what any says the pain will never go away and that space in my heart that was blown away the day you were killed can never be pieced back together. love you so much"
debi bertoldie

"Well Jesse's party was awesome..with the obvious exception that you weren't physically there, but i felt you in spirit as i so often do. I had to stop and shed a few tears when Jesse told his friends to gather up balloons so they could send them up to his dad He truly is an amazing child. I would think so even if he was not my grandson.'
love and miss so
debi bertoldie

"Well your babyboy is going to be 8 on Friday Grandma Barb and I went shopping today and I told her that I couldn't believe Jesse is going to be 8 because it still feels like yesterday that we lost you. I know you are sooo proud of him and how Erin is raising him. He has such a great heart. He sticks up of his friends and picks family birthday party's over his friends. Erin is working so hard on his Carnival Party. She has been amazing and I know you are extremely proud of her too. He loves school and he is, of course, VERY smart. He seems to really like math, huh, I guess he comes by that honestly. He also makes friends everywhere he goes, just like you did. He has a lot of Erin in him too and the combination is one great, charismatic little boy.I've learned over the years that you and her had alot of the same personality.
Grandpa Adrian is in the struggle of his life and we send prayers up for him everyday.
As always love and miss you as much yesterday and the same as tomorrow.

"Hey Joel....your Uncle (brother) here!! 7 yrs. ago yesterday you were taken from us. You'd think that after this long, it would start to become a little easier....NOPE! It still sucks and always will. It is weird for me...sometimes I just think you are still over there fighting the war, although I know that is not true. Anyway, we had a small BBQ for you at your house yesterday. Koda grilled some burgers/dogs, and they were really good!! Saw Dallas. Played with Jesse....anyways, it would have been way better if you'd have been there!!! Missing you as always!"
Patrick Garrett of KCMO

"Hey Bert it's been a while and I am very sorry for contacting you sooner, but I still feel the pain of the da that you were ripped out of my life. We were downstairs in the trainstation, on the computer burnin music cd's, and talking about the trouble we'd get into when we got home. We planned on being roommates in the barracks and just kickin it. I couldn't wait for that day tocome, but it never did. Instead I got robbed of my bestfriend, my brother, and my road-dog, not to mention my battle buddy. That day was just a weird feeling that I got, and I started to go with you but you said no I'll be right back. That right back never came and I've been mad as hell ever since. That single action of losing you my brother on top of everything els caused me to have PTSD. My reaction to losing you made me want to jump on the .50 cal and just lay everybody down because they took something from me that hurt, so I wanted to return the favor 50 fold. I've had a long list of emotions from anger, to surreal, to survivors guilt just to name a few.I don't think that memorial was enough for me because you weren't there. If I could have said good bye one last time I think I could have dealt with the loss a little better. We were so close and almost exactly alike. Our birthdays were a couple of days apart so we really got each other. We were always playing pranks, and practical jokes on people, and we just agreed on everything except cars.You were stuck on that Mitsubishi 3000 for some aparrent reason.Which actually lookin back on it now, wasn't too bad of a choice. I know how you wanted to be a better father for your son and I would try to impart as much knowledge on you as much as possible. It was a learning process and you couldn't get it all at one time. You would have learn as you go, but you would be alright. I miss everyday man, I love you and I still expect to see you comin through the door. I had an episode at work one day at Niketown. A guy came into the store one day and he looked just like you. First for the longet time I thought it was you, then I finally realized that it wasn't you and I was shaken up for a while. That just really threw me. I miss brother, you will never be forgotten and will always be in my heart. My heart goes out to you and your family I have much love for you and yur family.My name is (415)756-8072, and my email is gerard_dessman@yahoo.com if you guys ever want to talkabout anything."
Gerard Dessman of 117 Hahn Street, CA.94134

"Well Jesse made you a card and we bought red white and blue balloons and he sent them up to you yesterday for father's day...it still tears my heart out that you are not in this boy's life...other than photos and stories, we will never let him forget that you were his father and you loved him, and wanted nothing more than to come home and raise him with Erin...he is very special in so many ways....please help grandpa adrian and grandma judy through this painful time....help to give them strength.....and please do the same for kelly, mark and Christie...they lost their mom just a few years ago and now have to deal with grandpa's illness.

love ya and miss ya as always
debi bertoldie

"We miss you Joel!

Aunt Christie"

"Joel and your precious family,
It seems like yesterday we were in school together and then we lost you and my brother within weeks of each other in Iraq. I cannot thank you enough for being so brave and selfless. The release of ballons Waylon and I did for you and Jeremiah at the memorial at the square was great. We honor you, and to your family.. THANK YOU FOR JOEL. He is never forgotten a true American hero.
If you ever need anything .. please contact me anytime.

LeeAnn Dowdell
Sister of PFC Jeremiah Smith"
LeeAnn of Overland Park, KS, PROUD USA

"What a birthday celebration....all those balloons were pretty awesome, don't ya think? Jesse told me he wished he was so tiny so he could ride one up to see you. roses roses of all colors, everyone knows the rose petal story. Our yard has not been so full since the last time we got together for you. You have some awesome friends. and how about all the babies your girl friends have....jordan broke down...jesse gave her a big hug...she truly misses you. After 7 years it still seems like yesterday our world was shattered and forever changed....i hope you are proud of the way we are living our lives without you here beside us...your still touch my life everyday and so many other peoples. you and erin's little man is just amazing and is so much like you...i love him so much sometimes it hurts i could never put into words what he means to me. Koda as well. I still wish I could put them in a bubble so nothing could hurt them..lol that would be like corralling a couple of stallions....heehee love you so very much
ps please ask jesus to look over Grandpa Adrian and Nikki...they need his special touch"

"ok,,,,27 years ago I was still loving you before i actually met you...you where your mothers son...emotional, carrying and loving.(yey, we do love flowers) you are why our family is growing so strong i love seeing jordan and jesse together. I was so proud of you>u where charismatic i guess when you put mom and dad dna together you get Joel, oh Joel koda's sweetling just showed up...I so wish u where there to take care of these beautiful girls....HELP YOUR BRO..these are the times he misses u i use to dream about u as brother's I WANT MY SON BACK..for Jesse and Koda...and yes his Mom...I would b so happy being their confidant,,, Koda and Jesse...lease pray for nikki she should be getting ALL of the family support"

"I know you see me cryin' like a baby!!! I try to do it alone, so when we are all together I can be strong for others. Today you would have been 27 years old!!! Old man!!! I can't wait to eat Jesse's cake he is making....I'm hoping it is edible..LOL!!!
I think of you and miss you every day!! Lisa and Jordan are doing great, and they miss you as well. The band is going strong. We won the Cover Wars in March and now we are competing to open up Freakers Ball in October! Exciting stuff, just wish you were here to witness and be a part of it!!! We are going into the studio around mid-June to record "Broken Hero".....the song we wrote for you!! I gotta tell ya, we get the biggest applause for that one, because we dedicate it to you each time...and always will.
Anyway, love ya bro!!!"
Patrick Garrett of KCMO

"Happy Birthday my son....27 years ago I was the happiest mom alive....when I finally got to hold you...you changed my life for I knew I was so very blessed to have this adorable, dark haired baby boy. A love I have been blessed with two more times with my awesome, blessings in Koda and Jesse
seven years ago you changed my life forever again... loosing you was and is unbearable... however, with my other two blessings I keep my heart alive and happy knowing they are both a part of you and I see it everyday in both of them. The pain of loosing you will always be with me, I am at peace knowing that I will be with you again when I am called home. I know you watch over Jesse and Koda...They have missed so much not having you in their lives. We were blessed for 20 years having you as a son....you gave me so much joy and laughter I will feel it in my heart forever. Grandma Barb told you all the other news.....we will be celebrating your birthday and your life tonight Love and miss more than anyone will ever know.....mom"
debi bertoldie

"Happy Birthday Joel !!! We'll never forget you."
Gordon Thorpe of Liberty, MO

"Happy Birthday Grandson! 27 years ago you made me a Grandma for the first time. How proud I was. I just can't believe it was that long ago. How the years have flown by and still do. Lots of happy memories though. We're going to your house for ice cream and cake this evening to celebrate your birthday. Jesse is making a cake. Wish I could be there to see that. He wanted to put enough balloons on it to send it up to you! How sweet is that? Now I'm going to take some flowers out to you, so I'll talk to you then. Love and Miss you so so much. Grandma Barb"
Barbara Martin of Independence Mo USA

"Grandson,I talk to your pictures a lot but haven't got on this site for quite awhile. Thought it was time. Still enjoying retirement but sometimes I think I did it too soon. Should have saved more money. Your Mom and I still get together often and that's great. Jesse, Jordan, Megan and Kayla finally go to come over and go swimming. It's really hard to get them all together. Jesse got me a plant that he picked out himself and a book "Poems for Grandmothers" for Mothers Day. Every time I see him I think he looks more like you. I went to Uncle Linns in Nevada in February and stayed over two weeks. Had a good time. We went to Mexico one day to shop. Took your Mom out for lunch for her birthday. Koda cleaned the kitchen for her since he couldn't get her a gift. Not working again. But that was sweet of him. He is also growing a flower garden!!! Can you believe that? Won't be long till your birthday. 27. Hard to believe. Still wonder what you would be doing. Guess I've rattled on long enough this time. Love and Miss you so much more than I can say. Grandma Barb P.S. Uncle Pat and his band are doing awesome. They won the Border Wars at Harrahs a few weeks ago and they're going to be in another one in June. I know you can see and hear them. Great, aren't they?"
Barb Martin of Independence,Mo. USA

"Thinking about you today and everyday. Wish you were here with Jes."
Erin Alexander of Independence, MO

"I love this site!! x0000"
zgrabbotx0000 of France

"i thank you for keeping all kinds of people in the world couting me safe."
lexi lively of pryor

"Hey man this is Escobar again. Just stopping by to let you know that we are still thinking about you here"
Joe of Dallas, TX

"What's going on...Oh yey you are in HEAVEN..I can only IMAGINE..."
Joel's MOM of Independence

"Hey Joel, was thinking about ya so I thought I would drop a line or two. Got to see Uncle Pat and Rick on New Years Eve and it was good to see Rick and Nikki as I know they are going through some tough times. I know you will watch over them. Everytime I go to Pat's house I see your picture in several places and it reminds me how grateful I am to you. Your uncle Pat and I got together this past Sat night during his gig but by the time he had to perform the Cowboys were already putting it to the Eagles. Maybe this will be our year. I hope and pray the war is over soon so other families don't have to endure the pain of losing their loved ones. Again, thank you for being there for us all."
Gordon Thorpe of Liberty, MO

"My Precious Grandson, I'm trying to type this through the tears. I think that's why I don't do this much. I break down so easy. Anyway, a lot has happened. I retired and moved to Independence,very close to one of your hangouts in your younger days, The Center! I really enjoy being close to my girls, Jesse, Megan and Kayla. But I do miss being close to your Uncle Pat, Jordan and Uncle Rick. I've spent a lot of time with your Mom and Koda even took me out for lunch. Sure wish you could talk to him. We're having some crazy weather. Cold, Cold, Cold!!! And lots of snow. I have been out once in the last ll days. But I'm going to be glad to stay in Saturday night and watch the Cowboys beat the Eagles in their first playoff game.(I mean this year of course.) Uncle Pat has to play with his band that night so he is not a happy camper. Joel, I still miss you so much. I kiss your picture EVERY morning and talk to you. It's a ritual. We all thank God for Jesse. I'll try to not wait so long next time. Love and miss you more than I can say. Grandma Barb"
Barbara Martin of Independence,Mo USA

"where are all your supporters...this is what makes me sad....people forget...the war is still going on and our soldiers are still dying....I pray for each and every family touched by the present wars...and for those of you that do not think about this every day
GOD FORGIVE YOU...These are our family!!!!
Joel, I honor you everyday as a soldier...I miss you, cry for you, laugh for you, everyday as the son, father that Jesse does not get the fortune to know his father and we did not get the honor to know....love you

"Hello Sonshine
Going to Jesse's christmas program tonight. They are always good for a laugh or two. I was looking at old photos of you and kodas christmas programs and remembering some very happy times....I know you will be watching tonight...love you so much.
Your Mom"
debi bertoldie

"Hey Joel, I was thinking about you this past week and today is Veterans Day. I want to thank you and your fellow hero's that served and/or is serving our country. I am truly grateful. God bless you Joel and god bless Joel's family. God please guide Joel's loved ones through the difficult times until they are united with both of you in heaven."
Gordon Thorpe of KCMO

""To the family of Joel L.Bertoldie ,I am so sorry for the loss of your love one.He died a hero.May you know the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Hopefully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need someone to pray with you or talk to 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""

"Hello My Joel,
Well another holiday season is upon us...All the kids are growing up so fast.Our Jesse is such a little man and sooo smart. Reminds us of you everyday. Koda is officially an adult. He missed you sooo much when he turned 21. Grandma Barb is retired and living in a really nice apartment complex next to the center. Grandpa Adrian is getting better. Life is good except for the empty spot you left.


"Hey Joel. Wish you were here, the girls are growing up so fast. Adrianna is in 6th grade now and Baylee is in 5th. Brock is in college too. I have a 9 month old grandson who is the light of my life.
Time marches on...........
We miss you.

Aunt Christie"

"My Son My Hero I MISS you sooooo mch"
debi bertoldie

"Remembering and missing you today.

Aunt Christie"

"Hey Babyboy
Took Grandma Barb and Jesse to Savannah, Tybee Isalnd and Ft Stewart They had a ceremony the children of fallen soldiers and gave them a special medal...i know you were so proud of Jesse,,he was such a little man and introduced himself to other children....he is a true leader like his father...my heart still breaks when i come to this site...i love you so very much...i can still see your smile. feel those great hugs you gave....i love you...Mom"
debi bertoldie

"Hey Joel, I finally got to your memorial site at Ft Stewart. It was just good to see your name. It def brought back memories and a few tears to my eyes. I brought my wife with me, yea thats right, I'm married. I went by 4-64 and the unit has been change to another unit. Oh well army's always changing right. Well pal, I'll never forget what you gave for us. Oh Yea I work for the national guard fulltime now in Groton Ct. It's going great. Yea I went from blowing sh*t up to working on helicopters. Anyways man you take care where your at. I'll see you someday."
Michael P LaFountain of Hopkinton, RI

"Hey Joel, I haven't sent you a message lately but have thought of you often and and when I do I visit this website. I don't always know what to say so I look at your picture and read the notes from everyone who loves you and I'm sure you know how I feel. I especially thought of you and your family during the Memorial Day weekend. I went to Corpus Christie TX on Tuesday the day after Memorial Day and saw the USS Lexington Aircraft Carrier. It was amazing not to mention it was huge. We are very blessed that heroes like yourself protect us and I will never forget you. Everytime I think of Memorial Day or July 4th your the person I remember. As you know by now I'm not the singer of the band we started and your uncle Pat is the drummer. One of the things I miss doing the most is remembering you and singing our song in your honor. I sometimes find myself singing it in my head at the end of each gig, even if you're the only one that can hear me. Thank you so much and god bless you and your family."
Gordon Thorpe of KCMO

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Haven't been here for a while now. Anyway, we miss you so much everyday!! Lisa, Jordan, and I went to your grave yesterday on Memorial Day. Hope you like the Dallas Cowboys hat!!! Fox 4 showed your name as they ended the evening news, which was cool. Shows that they don't forget.
Jordan had her 11th birthday this month!!! Very hard to believe! We had a party on Sunday and most of the family was there, including Jesse...he is so fun to be around. He swam in our pool in his undies!!! Good times!! Wish you were here."
Uncle P of KC MO

"Went to the cematary today. I have not been for several months. It is not where you are. It is where we said our last good bye and for that it holds memories of the saddest day in so many lives. I think of you everyday and the memories are here at home, in Koda, jesse, your dad, my heart, the pictures, your things. Home is where I feel you most, where I can actually smile when I think of you. You brought me soo many smiles (some tears too) Your mama will be 50 in a few days...as always I wish you were here. I know you would have some great fun with it. Love you
Debi Bertoldie"
Mama to Joel Bertoldie

"god bless your soul"
ed of nj

"Hello Joel,

Jesse and I have been taking turns hiding Easter eggs. He is such a bright spot in our lives. I will never understand why you cannot be here to see the joy he brings to everyone. He is a pistol, just like you were. There is so much of you that I see in him, however, your brother is also there. Of course, his Mama also. He calls her
mama just like you did with me. Thank you, Erin and God for him everyday. He is beating me with an egg so I guess I'll go for now. LOVE YOU"
debi of independence

"Hello Son
It is going on six years since we lost you. I was driving home from work last night and that dark day just came rushing back in floods of emotion. The call from Koda, the calls we had to make, the hearts that were broken in a way will never mend completely. The devastation to our hearts and souls that would never completely heal. The emotion was so raw and like it had happened yesterday. I think of you and miss you every single day. Everytime Jesse, Koda or Erin have something happen in their lives that I want you here to experience with them. Everytime I want to hug you, to have you smile at me, to have you write me a letter and the list just goes on. I've come to terms with the pain, however, last night it was just there. I'm not even sure why I am saying this, I have not been here for awhile, maybe I just needed to share. I LOVE YOU SO VERY MUCH and you and God know how much I miss you
Forever Joel Bertoldie's Proud Mom
Debi Bertoldie of Independence

"Hey Joel,
I have my own baby boy now. His name is lincoln jam blakemore. Yeah i said jam!! I have been living in Jacksonville Beach, Fl for the last year and a half but in july my family and I will be moving back home. I always mean to stop by your mom and dads house but im not sure if they will even remember me. i miss hanging out and I miss just barely getting away with stuff. When I get back in july im gonna go see your mom. Its funny how much has changed since i last saw you. Anyways, I just wanted to say hi."
Brett Blakemore of Jax Beach, FL

"I MISS U 4_EVER...nothing makes it better...it feels like yesterday that u were gone i remember every single moment after i heard koda's voice ....why did he have 2 suffer such pain...u were his hero...u r all of ours heros we love Josh..he feels more like a family member more than any of the others...Why can't u b here 4 jessie & koda and probably for so many others we all LOVED U SOOOO MUCH... the sunshine you radiated was one of a kind....I KNOW WE ALL MISS THE SUNSHINE THAT WAS YOU SMILE have i mentioned how mch Jesse reminds me of you... how can that b....it's all in the genes...Erin is amazing..I thank God 4 her daily...I WILL NEVER STOP MISSINGU>>>THE PAIN WILL NEVER GO AWAY"

"Wow, I don't come back here much...missing you is such a personel thnig....my feelings ar all over the place even after 6 years...I can see you so right here....I can see u becoming a man and a Great father.. we all know that Jesse was everything to u.. how do we explain to him much u loved him....?????????????!!!!!!!!111"
mom of independence

"-- Joel, I went down the wrong road and Im lost as ever please help me because I need. Im so scared of pushing Hunter away. I talk to you at night all the time and have for along time I dont know if you can hear me, So I thought I would try to put it into words for you..
My life completely changed when I shut you out but you promised you would never leave me so could you please come find me.. you will never Know of the impact to have had on my life and how much I miss you .. xoxoxox"
Becky of Independence

It's been six years and I can now Tell you why because I have hurt and left, walked away every person who has cared or loved. I got lost about a year be for you died and walked away from my life everything and everybody . I did come to your funeral services, other than that Know one saw me up in tell two years ago when I had to come back home. It was not just me any more my son is 18 months his name is Hunter and he is so innocent and happy and he loves me so much."
Becky of Independence

"Hey you... I miss you so much, We made so many of memories together you always knew just what to say and do.. You had me from hello, one of the biggest regret's I have is the way I left things between us,how It's my fault that I pushed you out of my life . You tried for months to fix things I remember your Mom even called me on night trying to talk some since into me. You were my first love.. and I know without a doubt you had so much love for me you promised you would never give up on us, you slowly became a diffrent person. And then one day the phone calls just stopped and I knew you had let me go. Lots of things started to change in your life.. I was not a part of the last three years you were still here, and I know lot's of things were going on I your world Im sure.. you went to the army things were starting to get better for you I remember Kandy saying Joel is home this weekend And she would be so happy .. You were her rock I think you might have taken my place as her best friend even.. You got her threw one of the most hardest times she may face in her life, She cared so much about you Joel. I have seen your son once and Joel let me tell you he is so handsome .. I could just see you shining threw him.. I don't know for sure what the plan for me is, I feel so much gilt and my heart hurts so much for causing you all the things I put you threw, It's to late to pick up the phone and I never got to say goodbye and I did not know why I changed so could not ever tell you why."
Becky Pellham of Independence

"Joel, Brett Blakemore here!! I thought Id let you know that I had a dream the other night and you and i were hanging out again. I miss you as do all of your other old but good friends."
Brett BLakmore

"Merry Christmas Sweetheart, Been thinking about you so much today, wishing you could be at Uncle Pats Saturday. Of course that's everytime we get together. It really isn't often anymore. At least not like we used to. Jesse will be there and he is the spitting image of you so it really helps all of us. I know you are so proud of him. Now, about those Cowboys!!! They need help bad. Uncle Pat is beside himself. He gets so angry. Do what you can to help them, okay? Love and miss you so much."
Grandma Barb

"Hey bud...
Just checking in. Our Cowboys need another win this week, so hopefully they can pull through.
Lisa and I went to her company Christmas party last Saturday. It was at Harrahs Casino in a ballroom. We were walking in the casino to the ballroom and I got pretty choked up because we went right where.......well, it reminded me of that horrific day when I had to go there to tell my Mom (your Grandma) about your passing. She was working that day, and I can still see it all. I'm getting choked up now thinking about it. Things like that will unfortunately be with me for the rest of my life. I remember earlier that day when I got the call at work, driving frantically over to your house, opening the door, and your Mom running to me screaming and falling into my arms, and we both fell to the floor....screaming, crying, wondering why. I still have that rage in my heart....WHY. I always will.
I just had to get that off of my chest.
Anyway, miss you and love you just as much as always. Christmas is coming and your pic is on the mantle of you opening up your pizza oven!!!

Uncle Patrick of KCMO

"Hey Joel!
Me and Aunt Kelly are on our way to see Dad in St. Louis. Uncle Mark is coming out on Wednesday so the whole family will be there then. We know you are watching over him too. Hope you know how much we miss you.

Love Aunt Christie and Aunt Kelly"
of Polo Missouri

"On this day I have been thinking of you a ton (Vets Day)......not just this day, but every day. The band played at Centerfield Pub in Excelsior Springs last Saturday.....The entire family was there with the exception of Steph and Trent. We had a blast!!!! I wish you would have been there with us. Anyway, just wanted to tell you I'm thinking of you like I always do!!!
Love ya!"
Uncle P of KCMO

"Well another Halloween. WOW we use to have so much fun on this day. I have pics from your very 1st halloween...You were a HOBo that is really funny when I think about how
picky you were about your looks. Little did you know that your smile alone would melt hearts. And make your Mama give in
Love and miss you always
bertoldie of indep

"Hey My Son,
WOW you would be sooo proud of the BAND...
I was blown away. I felt you standing beside us....you were there and that smile
was like the best sunshine I have ever seen.
Your Uncle Pat and Gordon have done so much in you honor, We haven't spoken much face to face about you...I believe that maybe it is just to painful...HOWEVER, I have so many thanks that you were our son. What a blessing, I am still learning things from you...your smile, making the best of whatever life throws at you, total dedication to our children. You are still touching us all every day.
Debi Bertoldie of Independence

"Hey Joel, its Gordon. We had a great weekend gig out in Buckner. I got to see your Mom and Dad. I believe they haven't seen us play since the walk for our hero's. We've come a long way since then and I believe your parents liked what they heard. It was extra special to sing our tribute song about our heros. I know you were with us as we hugged, cried and remembered you. It was very moving. Thanks Debi and Scott for coming out to see us play. It was a night we'll never forget. Keep a watch over us Joel and its great to hear your son is doing well. I'll talk to ya later.
Gordon of KCMO

"J to the lo hello! Ha, Still puts a smile on my face. I was so beyond touched and filled with Joy when you were in my dreams two weeks back. As you know I have ever letter , rose petal , and picture till this day, and always will. I miss you more and more everyday. Think about you often. And dream about one day seeing you again."
Ashley Nesbit of Independence, Mo

"My Dear Joel,
Your beautiful, wonderful, happy, intelligent son is now 6 and is happy in
school. I soooooooooooooo wish you were
here to share in all these wonderful times and were making memories with us.
I know it can never be, however, it does
not keep me from dreaming about it.
I know you would be soooo unbelieveable proud of your son.
Will never stop missing you
debi bertoldie

"Hello My Joel,
WOW can you believe your son started school. These are the times I miss you the most. I MISS YOU AL THE TIME. However, t-ball, school, just him becoming his own very strong willed personality makes me so deeply sad that you can't be here for him. ERIN is doing a great job, I thank God for her everyday. She could make things miserable for us, but she doesn't. She is truly one of our kids. We disagree like any other family member.
Jesse is our family and her family's top priority. I pray that we do the right thing with him, and then I realize that God has him in his hands and you are his gardian angel. Love and miss you always.
So Very Thankful you were our son,
Debi Bertoldie"

"Hello My Joel,
WOW can you believe your son started school. These are the times I miss you the most. I MISS YOU AL THE TIME. However, t-ball, school, just him becoming his own very strong willed personality makes me so deeply sad that you can't be here for him. ERIN is doing a great job, I thank God for her everyday. She could make things miserable for us, but she doesn't. She is truly one of our kids. We disagree like any other family member.
Jesse is our family and her family's top priority. I pray that we do the right thing with him, and then I realize that God has him in his hands and you are his gardian angel. Love and miss you always.
So Very Thankful you were our son,
Debi Bertoldie"

Kenny Chesney is in the top 5 for songs written for Joel.
The One Thing we all agree on....You would be an amazing FATHER to Jess Michael Alexander Bertoldie....in my place of wonder...you and Erin would be, at the least, bestfriends! I will end this now...and let each person that visits, WONDER, and share those thoughts.
Always thanking each and everyone of you
Debra Bertoldie"
JOEL'S MOM of Independence

"Dear Wendy,
This is Joel's Mom....I would LOVE to have a copy of those photos...we don't care what they are... if it is Joel we would like to have them...we want to remember his younger days, WOW, he was only 20 when he was killed. Not alot of younger days. Thank you so much for leaving your message after 5 years! God Bless
Debra Bertoldie
Proud Mother of Spc. Joel Lin Bertoldie"
Debi Bertoldie of Independence

"Hey Joel its been forever since I saw you when I found out that you had passed it was a shock and I am truley sorry for your family. I had some really old film laying around and got it developed and it was pretty crazy because I have a picture of you and me during I high school days. I will never forget you and you are always in my mind"
wendy manser formelly wendy todd of kc missouri

"Joel, I will never forget what happened 5 years ago.That day is forever etched in my mind. An incredible young man with unlimited potential was taken from us too soon. We will always miss you and though our lives go on around us you stand still in our hearts.
Aunt Christie and I got to meet Senator McCain yeaterday and we were able to give him a pendant wth your picture on it. Being military and a POW he was very moved. We also got to meet a local representative that was injured in battle in Iraq and telling him about you brought him to tears. I guess that is the brotherhood you all have.Some sacrifice, some sacrifice all.

We miss Jesse and haven't got to see him in quite some time. Baylee really misses him as they had gotten really close. Grandma tells us he is starting Kindergarten this year. I am sure he will be a hoot.The bittersweet moments. Ones so special but ones that should include you here.
Mark Brock, Baylee and I visit your memorial at the square the most as we feel such a connection there.

We all Love and Miss You,

The Marlboroughs"

"5 years ago today a piece of my heart was ripped away. You are missed more and more every day. We love you so much!!!"
Uncle P of KCMO

"My Dearest Joel
What can I possibly say after 5 yesrs...I spent the 4th of July with Jesse at Worlds of Fun. It was a wonderful time. I kept thinking back to the 4th in 2003 and how I promised Jesse you would be back soon. I guess he doesn't remember that promise. He misses his Daddy more and more as time goes by. I pray that we are able to give him all the support and love he needs to cope with this type of loss. I feel all the other families that are in the same place we are. I know God has a plan and I will never waiver from that.
I still miss you, cry for you and very often laugh at a memory or a photo.
I love you so very very much and miss you.
I'll see you again when it is my time to go home.
debi bertoldie

"Hi there,
I saw you,about a week before you past. You came to see me in Fallujah.We made plans to get together when we got home. I didn't learn of what happened to you until January of the following year. One of your friends told me about while at NTC. I'm sorry I wasn't there to say goodbye."
Carmen of Mckinney Tx USA

"Hey bud.
I'm sitting here working (11:30pm) and I'm listening to music like I always do. This new band (Saving Abel) has this song called "18 Days". It just came on and I got teary eyed (once again). A few weeks ago at Rockfest they dedicated it to the Troops. Anyway, just wanted to tell you I miss you and love you always."
Uncle Patrick of KCMO

"To my shining star
I talk to you everyday so I don't come to this site as often as I use to...we have a memorial in the front yard and you are everywhere, everyday. We had a big 25th birthday breakfast planned, however, Jess got sick. It was such a hard weekend. Jesse is getting more aware of what he is missing not having his Daddy to teach him how to throw a ball, ride a bike, wrestle with. Oh I could go on and on. He has his grandpas and uncles, however, he is a very sensitve and smart little boy. He is surrounded by sooo much love, except that of his father. So many little ones are growing up just like him. It is a sadness that just knots in your chest.
You know how much I miss you and love you.
I want to thank each and every soldier that is in or has been in the military.
You are an amazing group of people. My wish is that you all find peace in your minds and heart. No reason for guilt.
We appreciate each and every one of you.
I wish we could meet each and everyone of you. Our home and arms are always open.
Pat and Gordon your words are amazing and the sincerity of them make my eyes well up with tears. Gordon, thank you for your amazing support to our soldier and to my baby brother.
So many empty words can be said, however, most of words written here touch my heart and soul."
Debi Bertoldie of Independence

"Happy late birthday my man!
I had my computer crash last week and just got up and running, so I wasn't able to send anything on your day. We all miss you so much! We all wonder what you would be doing now if you were here with us......I do know one thing you'd be doing.....being the best Father you could be to Jesse. He is so great, I just wish we all could see him more. This "few times a year" stuff sucks!!!
Anyway, miss you more every day.
Love you so much!!!
Jordan and Lisa said to tell you Happy B-day too!!!"
Uncle P of KCMO

"Happy Birthday Grandson! I wonder so often what you would be doing now. Where you would be living. I know you didn't like Independence but I'd like to think you would have stayed close. There are so many things I think about. Someday we'll have a long talk and you can tell me. I haven't seen Jesse in quite a while. Wish he lived closer. Of course, if I had my way we would all live in a cul de sac. Wouldn't they love that??? Not really. It's 3:30 a.m. I tried to go back to sleep but kept thinking about today being your 25th birthday. It will be a hard day for all of us. Sweetheart, I love and miss you so much. Till next time. Grandma Barb"

"Hey Bert...thanks brother...I dunno what you got goin on right now but I'm so glad you find time to cover my #$% I dunno what I'd do without ya"
SSG John Durst of COP Norris ,Baghdad,Iraq

"I also want to thank those of you who have expressed their feelings of guilt and ditto those comments of Uncle Patrick to not feel this way. I myself never had a chance to met Joel. I have been blessed to know his Uncles and meet his family and I want you other soliders know that Joel's family is incredible. This family loves America and their hearts are full of pride, proud to be American and certainly proud of Joel and his comrades. That forgettable day touched many of us who never knew Joel personally, but knows the family such as myself. Let me tell you, they have arms wide open for everyone. They are such a loving and caring family. I know they would love meeting each and every one of you. Your our hero's and we pray all of you come home soon."
Gordon Thorpe of KCMO

"To Joe Escobar......I am Joel's Uncle. I would like to tell you on behalf of our entire family, thank you for the services you provide this country. Do NOT feel guilty in any way regarding Joel, in any way. Do not feel ashamed. We are proud of you too, every soldier, for all they (you) do. Do we wish we could bring him back, of course we do. But his memory will live on forever. His spirit is with all of us everyday. We love and miss him so much.

Since I'm here.....hey Joel buddy. Miss you and love you. Our Cowboys had a decent draft, so maybe we can get back on top where we belong this year!
The band is doing well, we play 3 gigs in the next 2 weeks, so we are busy.
Jordan and Lisa love and miss you too. We talk about you alot, and always will. I think I may take Gordon by to see your statue this weekend, at least try to. Anyway, I'm out.
GO 'BOYS!!!"
Uncle P of KCMO

"Its been a while again, and i am always thinking of you brother!! i am sorry i never had the guts to meet your family yet, gut i swear i will before i fall.. i promise i keep passing on your legacy in a bracelet, the only way i know how, i miss you you are my reason i am what i am today, today i am a green beret to keep your soul safe i will see you very soon i am sure!!"
SFC Klossner, Christopher J. of Ft Lewis, WA

"My name is Joe Escobar. I was there that day and I don't know what I want to say. I come to this site most every day and Google Joel's name every night when I can't sleep (which is just about every night these days)just to look for an answer. I was there that day in the front Humvee with Lt. Reynnells and one of our E5 supply SGT's. I cannot say I was a good friend of Joel's but we joked around as I do with most people. But he was a good kid and never seemed to roll with my jokes even at times bringing guys by who had not heard a tease I had just made about him that he thought was hilarious. He was a good kid.

Every day since I have thought about that day. And the day I did not see his family when they came to our BN to meet the unit after it we returned. Then CPT Reynells asked if I wanted to go in and meet his family, I said no. I had or have no Idea what to say. The guilt runs deep for both of these events. I know that there is nothing I could have done to stop it and none of it was my fault, but it does not erase the guilt. I often think of the child he left behind or the life he would have led. I did not know him well but what I did know of he was what you all already probably know. He was a good boy and a great young man. It is great to see that the more I Google his name or come back to this site he is still remembered. I wish I would have known him better and made him laugh a few more times. Joe Escobar aka: Tusker9E"
(former Spc) Joe Escobar of Dallas ,TX

"April 23, 2008
To the family of Spc. Joel L. Bertoldie:
Joel gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"Hey Joel, it's been a long winter and we all can't wait until spring so we can get outside. The band has been doing better and better and I can't wait until May 17 for Kevfest 08. Being apart of this group which includes your family has been a blessing to me. I've haven't had as much fun being alive since I was a kid. Of course knowing them has led me to knowing you, even though we've never met, I think of you often and I'm reminded how grateful I am to you. Knowing your family and Uncle Pat and Rick as I do, I wish we could have met because I know you were a good man. God bless you and your family and I'll always remember you. You truly are touching people even today. Talk to ya later and Go Cowboys !"
Gordon of KCMO

"Hey Joel,
I never knew you but I wrote previously about my father who held you as you died. I regret to say that my dad was killed in action not too long ago, June 20, 2007. I just want you to know that you are in my prayers."
Marina Hubbell of Sumner, Georgia

"Hey buddy!
Missing you. Haven't said anything in a while so I thought I'd write.
Football is over, and our 'Boys just didn't have it in them this year, but they'll be back, I'm positive. Thank Goodness for the Racing season!!!
Lisa and Jordan are doing well. Jordan is growing up way, way too fast. She still talks about you all of the time. It sucks we don't get to see Jesse much, but whadda ya do.
My band is playing a "Welcome Home" party this Saturday for a friend of mine that just got back from over there. I only wish it was for you. But don't you worry, you are always on my mind when we play. Last month we played at a bar in Buckner, Mo. Gordon said some of the nicest things about the military and you in particular right before we played "Thank You". Every time we play that song I have to hold it in. The crowd response was incredible for you, and it made me feel extremely proud, as it always does.
You are a hero to many, many people out there, young and old.
Love you!!!"
Uncle P of USA! USA!! USA!!!

"Hey Joel,
Tomorrow is the Super Bowl.
Adrianna just turned 10 years old and Baylee will be 9 pretty soon.
Brandon really misses you, he has a daughter now, Katie and she is 2 years old.
Uncle Mark and Aunt Gayla spoil her rotten :) !
Just wanted to tell you I miss you.

Aunt Christie

PS. To those of you who would like to sign Joels guest book, here is the link:


All thoughts are appreciated"

"SO!it has been so, so long since we last wrote. Time passes, we get busy, but we NEVER forget to stop and think about you. Duffy is gone again on another Iraq rotation! We sent a care package to him this week. The kids are all great. Katherine is in KC going to college! yeah! COLLEGE. Your parents being there sure comforts me, I know she hasn't taken advantage of them being so close, but I know that I could depend on your family. Koda and Kat went to the movies a couple times while we were visiting. Your Mom is so good with the boys! Your son is so very handsome! Jesse and the boys play good together. Your Mom keeps us up to date with him and sends pictures, we put them next to large framed print your Aunt got us. It is on the mantle in our living room. It is always a great time when we visit. I have been trying to get your parents to come and visit us, but you know your Dad, not much of a roadtripper...Bruce is teaching now, I finished my Master's and now I don't know what to do... Lindsey joined the Army! I know.. I was so UPSET, but what can you do? She is 42A, she is trying to get stationed here. KristieLynn is as active as ever. Bruce has been coaching BBall, soccer and this year they will attempt football against my will! Joel, I need to stop by more often, there is so much to tell you. I need you & Deckard and Thor to watch over Duffy. Battle Buddies for life? HOOAH... Rock of the Marne"
Nathalie & Bruce of Ft Leonard Wood, MO

"Dear Family of Joel Bertoldie:

To honor the Missouri soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families, the professional portrait artists of the "Grateful Hearts Project" are offering to paint a portrait of the individual soldier for his family.

These 16"x20" original portraits are being offered completely free of charge in recognition of the sacrificies made by these brave soldiers and in condolence for their famillies loss.

For more information, please email us at gratefulheartsproj@sbcglobal.net.

The artists of Grateful Hearts"
J.Gragg of Lee's Summit,Mo

"Hey Joel,
Just wanted to drop you a line and tell you I miss u. Had a New Years party. Had a couple of beers for ya. It was about 5 minutes till midnight and everyone was going around saying what they are thankful for and toasting different things. Big man Gordon threw your name in there and I almost started crying, but I hung in. He always talks about you and how proud he is of you. Anyway, Love ya and Go Cowboys!!! They need to get it together before the next game on Jan. 13th. I'm hoping they will.
Until then...."
Uncle P of USA

"Hey Joel,
Thought about you on Christmas. We miss you as always. Wish you were here. Haven't seen Jesse in awhile, I am sure he had a lot of fun at Christmas, hope he liked what we got him :)
It's so sad that you aren't around to know Adrianna and Baylee. They would love to pick on you like they do Uncle Mark and Uncle Dave!
My friend Brandi made me a Christmas ornament with your picture on it, it hangs on the front of my tree.
I will always miss you.

Aunt Christie"

"My darling son,
Another Christmas comes and goes. Had a big snow and ice storm the day we celebrated at Pat's. We all made it thru ok. The picture Pat has of you on the mantel is great. You are smiling and looking very handsome and happy. Watching over us. We had Christmas with Erin and Jesse Sunday morning. I made a big breakfast. Jesse is something else. wow. he reminds me of you. I love him so very much and a day does not go by that I don't thank God for him. (and you and erin) I miss you so darn much. That empty spot never gets smaller. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, I WANT TO HUG YOU AND TELL YOU THAT, I WANT TO SEE YOUR BEAUTIFUL SMILE....someday.
love Mom"
Debi Bertoldie of Independence

"Hey..my man!!
Haven't talked to you in a while. Had X-mas at our house, and almost everyone was there. Got to see the "little man" for a few seconds....he was busy playin' the entire time. Missed you of course, but had your pic up so you'd be there with all of us. Our 'Boys are doing really great this year. Hopefully they can keep it up in the playoffs and get another chance against the Patriots. I'd love to see them be unbeaten going into the Bowl and then we beat 'em!!!! That would be saaaweeet!!! Anyway, I know your looking down on all of us. Just know we love and miss u!!!!"
Uncle P of USA

"Merry Christmas Sweetheart. Unbelievable, this is our 5th one without you. We all went to Uncle Pats again this year. Your Mom and Dad brought Jesse. I was so glad because I hadn't seem him for awhile. Joel, sometimes I get chills when he turns his head a certain way. The spitting image of his Daddy. I thank God we will always have a part of you. Koda didn't make it because he was working. I haven't seem him for a long time either. Hey, how about those Boys??? I sure hope they go all the way. Give them a little boost will you? They're my team this year and probably for a few years to come. Uncle Pat sure is happy. Time for dinner. I love and miss you so very much."
Grandma Barb of Gladstone Mo.

"Hey Joel, Thanksgiving just passed us by and I was thinking about you so I wanted to send a line. We are all thankful to live in this country and I want to thank you for everything you've done to keep us safe. Go Cowboys!

Talk to ya later"
Gordon Thorpe of Kansas City, MO

"Hey Joel just wanted to tell you Happy Thanksgiving!
I miss you.

Aunt Christie"

"My Darling Son, They (whoever they are) said time heals all wounds...I am sorry to say that is not true. My heart breaks everyday you are not here. Something magical happens everyday, that is what life is all about. We are all good. However, our happiness is never complete, because you arenot here, Be with Grandma Barb and Aunt Linda tonight. they will be seeing Garth Brooks. Oh Yey look out for Aunt Steph, she will be their guide. WHY did they not ask your Mama....well I don't know for sure...ask one of them...heeheee you know how much I love them all. They all deserve a great time....I miss you and love you so much...there is not a day goes by that i would ;not change anything to have you back."
D Bertoldie of Independence, Mo

Thank you for your service. I knew you from school, and I know you are with my brother right now, PFC Jeremiah Smith, having fun watching football. (Don't know about Dallas though... lol.) I am proud to know you, and I want to thank your family. You will never be forgoten!!!"
LeeAnn (Annie) Dowdell of Ormond Beach, Fl, PROUD USA

"Hey bud.
Well, our 'Boys are 5-0. They are playing pretty good. They scratched out the win last night though. But, a win is a win. Big game this week vs. the Patriots. I know you'll be rootin' them on!!!
GO 'BOYS!!!!"
Uncle P of KCMO

I was reading a story in the newspaper about IED's in Iraq and it mentioned how you were the first American Soldier to be killed by one and I found this website. I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

"We Pierce"(64th Armor Motto)"

"Hey buddy.
Man I miss you. Especially around this time because the Football Season is here. Our 'Boys should do pretty well this year. I just wish you were here to enjoy it with me. I know you'll be watching with The Man upstairs. That is the reason there is a hole in the roof at Texas Stadium!!! Going to be celebrating Jesse's b-day on Saturday. I got him something from us, of course. I'm sure he'll play with it. Anyway, this never gets easier. Jordan and Lisa both miss you so much. Jordan still talks about you alot.
Talk to you soon!

Uncle Patrick of America's Team, USA

"Hey Bert....I know...4 years and not a word on this page....I'm never at a loss for words..but what do I say?...your tree is huge man I don't go as often as I should...The first couple of years I was so worried it would die from the amount of alcohol we dumped on the roots janie swore up and down that it would but its the biggest one on the field....the memorial got put up at battalion a while back...I often see random strangers looking at it and wonder if they are just curious or paying respects to a lost friend...only about 60 days left till this next trip...lets hope third time is a charm...I really need to call your folks it been a long time since I talked to them...but after Thor, Then that damn Deckard...it's just hard you'd think it would be easier after more than 4 years but I imagine it never will. I really miss ya brother I'll stop by and have a few with ya before I leave....I havn't "watered" the tree in a while...I know you got my 6."
SGT(p) John Durst of C co 4-64AR FS GA

"Hey Joel, was thinking about you and wanted to send a line. I've been meaning to get over to Independence and see the monument dedicated to you. Time as been really flying by with all of the activities going on. I'll get over there soon. There are never enough words any can say for what you have done for us and our country. Just want you to know, we will never forget. We are all excited about NFL football starting soon and your Uncles, Patrick and Rick will again lose to my team, but I'm sure they're getting used to it... HA HA. I know you're a Cowboys fan like us three knuckleheads so pull some strings so they will win the Superbowl. When they do; Patrick, Rick and me will give you a big Miller Lite toast. I'll be talkin to you later"
Gordon A. Thorpe of KCMO

"Hey Bert. I haven't written you since you left us. Writing to you is bringing tears to my eyes. It's strange to know that you're not here with us on this earth. When I'd be at the staff duty desk, I would look at the front doors everytime they opened hoping to see you walk through them like it wasn't true that you were gone. I have a picture of you and Sgt. Deckard on my picture shelf. I miss you guys so much. We had great times at Fort Stewart and Savannah. I placed a Missouri Sate flag at your memorial before I left Fort Stewart. I send my thoughts and prayers to your family, friends, and your son. Say hello to Matthew up in heaven for me. I'll see you soon Hero."
Tony MagaŮa (4-64 Battalion Communications) tonytigerarmy@yahoo.com of Anaheim, Ca.

"Hey Hole,it's uncle Rick,remember?
I'm realy sorry I haven't e-mailed you anything, I'm just not much on typing. It takes way to long.
Anyway , just wanted to let you know we love and miss you very much, same to you Mom and Dad.
This message took 3hrs to type. Go Cowboys!
See ya later, Rick"
Rick of Smithville, mo

"Hey nephew. Well, this is the worst anniversary I deal with every year. I hope you understand how proud I was of you, and how much you meant to me. I don't think this will ever get easier. I do my best to stay strong, but damn it is so hard sometimes. I love you and miss you every day.

Uncle Patrick of US of A

"Joel, well here we are again. Seems impossible that four years have passed, that our son is four years old. I think of you often and I appreciate your visit last week in my dream. It means alot to me. Reality seems to have set in this year, no if ands or buts, you are with God forever. I know you are watching down on Jesse and I know you would be so proud. We had our first hospital visit as you know. You were in my mind that night, it would have been nice to have you with us. Ashley was great though and stayed with us. Jesse is in Bible school this week, with the hopes that forming a closer relationship with God, will help him understands as he grows, why you had to be taken from him. Hell, I say that like I understand. We sure do miss you. I will be coming to see you tomorrow. Stay with Jesse. He will need you more, the older he gets. We love you."
Erin Alexander of Independence, MO

"Hi Son.
Well, Another year and my mind cannot seem to wrap the thought that its been 4 yrs. I see Jesse growing up so fast and it still seems like yesterday was July 18, 2003. Koda has graduated with straight A's It is almost like my emotions are stuck on that day. We live life and keep going, laughing, making memories, however, you are still so very very much missed with every laugh and memory made. I am still trying to learn to live without your love, smile, charisma, and your insational love for life. Jesse has so many of your gualities and your head strong personality. Erin and I have talked about that. He gets that from her too.
He just such an amazing source of happiness. Joel, we love and miss you soooooooo very much. MOM"
debi bertoldie

"hey joel man its t-bone. just wanted to say that i still miss hanging out with you and just be young punks. my friend ryan lives by your resting place so i always give you a salute when i drive by. you are definetely a hero in my book you can bet your * thats the truth. I still feel bad though that i was not at the funeral. i just could not handle the whole process . in a way i feel like i disrespected you and i am sorry. but that was not the case. i did run into jonas the other day man has he grown up it seems like he knows where his priorities are. im sure youd be just the same. as for me i still need to grow up . but ive got better. you had a good family and parents like mine that are actually still together. theyd hook us up with food and stuff ill never forget all that .ill never forget you either joel as long as im alive.peace"
t-bone of Indep. MO

"Hello Son
Well another 4th of July gone. I thought back to Jesse's first 4th. We took him to the square in Independence and was so excited because you were due home. Little did we know that his first would be your last. It seems like it was yesterday not 4 yrs ago.
Jesse us officially a big boy as he fell watching fireworks last night and now has five stitches. He was such a big boy about it. Well with the exception of the shot....like his Daddy he did not like that part. As always we miss u soooo much, everyday. My love for you will always be in my heart.
debi bertoldie

"Scott & Debi...I think of you often. I know it has been very tough. My heart goes out to you every day. Sounds like Jesse is a real joy. Thank you Joel for sacrificing your life for the freedom of this country. You are a HERO!!!!"
Julie Robinson of Blue Springs, MO

My husband and I just read this and are both shocked and extremely saddened by Darren's death. The tears will not stop.
We will pray for you and his family. It is very devastating and difficult time.
Please see my e-mail in my last message and email me anytime.
I know Joel and Darren are together.
In our hearts always
debi bertoldie
mother of Spc. Joel Bertoldie"

"Dearest Jan
God Bless you and your family. It is a deep pain that will be with us the rest of our lives here on earth. Please feel free to contact me at my e-mail address
I would like very much to talk more with you.
All My Prayers
Joel Bertoldie's Mother"

"To Joel's family, I know how you are feeling...how you long to have him back here with you everyday. I found his site through searching info on Darren. See, I'm part of the Patriot Guard Riders and we are hoping to be able to honor him this week or next here in Ga. I also am a Gold Star Mom. Today would have been my son, Justin's 26th birthday. We lost him in Baghdad to an IED Easter weekend of 2004. If you ever need anything or just need to talk, I'm here for you...Thank you for your son's service and for yours. May God be with you."
Jan Johnson of Lyerly, Ga.

"Nathan I cannot tell you how shocked I was when Darren's wife emailed me about him. He was a very special man. I am so sorry that this had to happen.
I kept in touch with Darren over the years and was so impressed with him. He will truly be missed.


"Joel, I served with Darren Hubbell, the medic who held you as you died. I regret to inform the family that my best friend Darren joined you in Heaven on Jun 20th, 2007 when he was killed by an IED attack in western Baghdad with other 1/64 soldiers. Hopefully, you can now be reunited and talk all your old war stories together, joke around, and enjoy your peace. Many of us who barely knew you were touched by your death through Darren, who kept your memory alive within our unit and the 1/64 medical platoon. You are both missed."
Nathan Bitner of Chapel Hill, NC

"Hey nephew - haven't talked to you in a while. Things are good here. I really wish you were here to hang out with sometimes. Jordan is growing up so darn fast. She still talks about you all of the time. Every time we see any kind of soldier she points them out, and of course that is because of you. Lisa is good also. We were at the dedication ceremony and it was great. Even 2 members of my band showed up for it, which was great. That meant alot. The band is going good, we have a few dates lined up this summer. And I know we are loud enough for you to hear us!! We have our annual float trip this weekend and Jordan is going to stay with Aunt Steph and Uncle Trent and the girls. She is so excited to be with Megan and Mookayla for a couple days. It will be football season before you know it. Our 'Boys should be tough this year, but you never know. We will definately be better than the Chiefs!!! But you already knew that!!
Talk to you soon.
Patrick of KC,MO

"Hey Joel your memorial is awesome.
Just wish it wasn't needed.
Adrianna will be in fourth grade now. She talks about you sometimes. So sorry you couldn't be here to know her.
I miss all the good times you and I had!

Aunt Christie"

"My Dear Son,
The Battlefield Cross Memorial is in place at the Memorial Building in Independence. They have been so amazing and helpful. Brad and Lisa from Speaks have been wonderful beyond words. Your very loyal and supportive family and friends were there. There are so many people that never met you that have been with us since we lost you. Words could never express what there constant support has met to us.
Some people think I should be more OVER IT by now, however, I met a lady at work yesterday that told me she lost her son 10 years ago and the pain is like it happened yesterday. I guess unless you have actually been there, you don't have a clue. So today my pain is as real as it was almost 4years ago and I am no longer going to apologize or try to make people understand. You know how much I loved you and You & God know how real it still is. That is all that matters to me.
Jesse and Erin are amazing. He is soooo very smart. He would have you in stitches constantly. We have been so blessed with our relationship with Erin and her family.
Loving you as much today as yesterday.
your Mom"
Debi of Independence

"Hey Joel, just thinking about you today. I found a picture yesterday of you and Koda and Laci when you were little and thought I'd leave you a message. Hard to believe how time flies, Laci graduated this month!! You're always in my prayers Joel, God bless you and your family!!"
amy of memphis

"Joel, I will never forget the great times we had together. I miss you!!! You were a great friend!!!"
Brett Blakemore of Independence, MO/US

"Hey Joel,
Just wanted you to know how very much we miss you.
Aunt Christie"

"Well, today is Jordan's 9th B-day. Really wish you were here with us. We are going out to the Royals game tonight. She is very excited. Your B-day is coming up in just a few days.
Miss you much!!!"
Uncle P of KC, MO

"Hey Joel, the time is here to celebrate your birthday and your life. I'm sadden that I won't be able to attend the ceremony of the statue in your honor. I will be thinking about you and my heart will be there with you and your family. I'm going to see my mother in Texas so when I get back I will make sure to pay a visit. We are all very excited and proud of you and all of the other soldiers who served our country and it's freedom. Thank you Joel and the Bertoldie family. To me you're are all heros."
Gordon Thorpe of KCMO

"Joel, I can't believe it has been almost 4 years since you left us, and then I look at Kayla and feel sad because I feel like you just missed seeing her. Even though she never knew you, she knows all about you. And her favorite book is a photo album of you. She asks all the time if she can look at it and she will just sit quietly and look through your pictures. Megan, also talks about you often, she doesn't sit quietly and do anything. Ha! Ha! They love Jesse so much and want to see him all the time. I am so glad that they are so close. Erin is doing an amazing job raising him; I know you would be so proud of both of them. I love you so much and miss you everyday! Please watch over your Mom, Dad and brother. Love ya, Aunt Stephanie

Everyone please remember to pray for all the families who have lost loved ones and also for all the men and women still fighting for our freedom."
Stephanie Borland of Oak Grove, MO

"Hello my shining star.
KODA DID IT...He is so proud of himself as well as the whole family...the past years have been hard for him....so much future lost....You would be so very proud of him....not that all his choices have been good ones...but how many of us have not made bad decisions....He is a good young man and I pray that he has a happy, healthy, love fulled future.
always and forever missing you

I lost your Dad's email address. Could you ask him to get in touch with me if he gets a chance? I would like to see how he is doing.

"Hey bud.
I haven't written to you in a while (sorry). Just know you are on my mind every day. Things are going pretty good. The entire family misses you so much. Please help your Mom get through this weekend. Many things coming up this month. Koda is graduating, Lacy is graduating, your Memorial statue dedication, and of course, your B-day!!
The big 2-4!!! I'll toast ya.
The kids all went and had pics taken again. Jesse is so incredible. Of course we thank God for him every day. I don't get to see him as much as I would like, but just knowing he is here with us is so special.
Our Cowboys had a good draft a couple of weeks ago. It is almost football time again!!!
Anyway, I could ramble forever.
Love you and miss you more everyday!!!"
Uncle P of KC, MO

"To Marina - Thank you for the kind words. Please tell your Father thank you also."
Uncle P of KC, MO

"My father was the medic that couldn't save you, Darren Hubbell. I'm so sorry."
Marina Hubbell of GA

"My Son, My Hero
4 years since you left for Bagdad,,,the news has been showing the statue toppling over. I remember the first time I saw it and I thought Thank God, it will be over soon....now when I see my heart just breaks in a million pieces...now in a short amount of time we will have to live thru the day you were killed....God Bless you and We all miss you...love mom"

"I love you! You are my hero. I hope you are having a good time with Grammy. I miss you!"
Jordan Garrett of KC, MO

I just found this site and wanted to reach out to you. Our son is 4 and 1/2 years old and amazes me everyday. I wish so many things differently, but mostly I wish God had granted you more time with Jesse. He is a beautiful, healthy, clever boy who is well adjusted and happy. But I know he misses you. Sometimes at night he will start crying and asking why he can't have a daddy. He knows you are in heaven and what a hero you are but I know it doesn't make it easier on him. Or anyone. Your family is amazing and I don't know what I would do without all of them. Your whole extended family has welcomed us with open arms. They cherish Jesse as much as I know you would. Both of our families are great supporters and make everything as easy as they can for Jesse and myself, but somedays, it feels like it's not enough. I wish so badly that you were hear to expierence this miracle with me. Everyone loves hearing about Jesse and his stories, but I just wish I got to share them with his father. I wish I had the partnership that other parents have, the bond that only they understand when it comes to there child. I know you are watching over Jesse and you see what an amazement he is. We all miss you so very much and you will never ever be forgotten. I think about you every day and I know Jesse does too. He looks just like you, and although he can be a handful, I have never met another child so empathetic and genuinely caring as he is. He is a blessed soul and I know you are his guardian angel. We all love you and miss you terribly."
Erin Alexander of Independence, MO

"Joel you are not gonna believe it but the Chiefs made the playoffs!! I wish you were here so I could give you a hard time about it.
Aunt Christie"

"Merry Christmas Joel!
I miss you.
Aunt Christie"

"Hey Man, it is Uncle P.
Boy do we all miss you so much. Lisa and I had Thanksgiving at our new house. It was great, Jesse didn't want to leave, he was having so much fun running around playing. It was just missing one huge thing....YOU!
Now it is X-mas time, and we are having it again at the house. SOOOO wish you were here to celebrate with us. You will be there in spirit, I know. It is really hard during the Holidays. But we make it through with the love of this entire family.
How 'Bout Them Cowboys!!! Looks like we may have a keeper in Tony Romo. Before every game, when I sit down to watch them, I think about you and wish you could be hanging out with me watching the game. I'm keeping up my tradition of getting Jesse "something Cowboys" every year. We both know he can go one way or the other - Cowboys or Chiefs. I'm trying to save him alot of heartache from watching his team fail, but who knows....ha ha ha!!!
As always, miss you and love you so much!!!!"
Patrick G. of KCMO, US of A

"Joel- It's been a long time! Everytime I try to post comments here for you- I get this HUGE lump in the throat and my eyes well-up. Bruce and I took the kids to GA to see the new memorial they put up in your honor and it was huge and beautiful. I took pictures to send to your mom and dad. Your tree has grown so much. Duffy and Bruce were arguing about how big it had gotten. Deckard's tree is almost exactly across from you. Angie and the kids have decorated it very nicely. They leave something for you once in awhile. Pinto came here for school and he came over once. Bruce tried hard to get him to talk, but he won't open up. It has been a long hard road for your battle buddies. Bruce was medically retired this week. We are thankful to have him home and to know that he will never have to deploy again. Duffy is in rotation AGAIN! don't get me started. So here's some "Crown" for you and the guys, I'll stick to the "coke", a little "bud" and cheers to the holiday! Thanks again for your friendship, we miss you and our other friends that have gone to heaven for our country!"
Brech Army Brats- of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, USA!!! (formerly Ft. Stewart)

"Joel, I knew your family several years ago and met you a few times, you were just a little boy! God bless you and your family and thank you for what you've done."
amy of memphis, usa

"oh my boy....thank you for all the wonderful memories...wouldn't change a thing....holidays are here again...i will never stop missing you...love love love you
debi bertoldie

"Joelio the Daddio! :) I miss you.. and that's all that needs to be said. Every time I stand with my hand over my heart, looking at our flag and singing the National Anthem, I think of you and pray for you and your family. Tell God I said whats up! :)
Seriously.. I miss you!! And love you!!"
Jana of Independence, Mo

"Hey man, it is Uncle P.
Wanted you to know Lisa, Jordan, and I went to see Jesse play soccer last weekend. Hilarious!!! He is just starting out, so he hasn't grasped the concept yet, but he will. He is such a riot. We love him so much, and man does he remind me of you. It is crazy.
We just moved into a new house a couple of weeks ago. We love it. Jordan still talks about all of the time. Every time we see a soldier she talks about you.
Well, that is all I have right now.
Missing you more every day.
P.S. Could ya put in a word for our Cowboys?? We need a win this week!!!

Love ya and miss ya"
Patrick Garrett of KC, USA

"Hello my son,
Well the walk was a success and we did raise enough for your memorial and hopefully enough to add to the bank for more soldiers family's. The out pouring of love and gratitude was awesome. Your family was the best, however, you already know that. We will NEVER stop missing you and loving you. It was somewhat surreal for me. I really haven't been able to really, deep in my heart say goodbye to you. As a mom, it is the unimagineable. With the walk came some sort of closure for me. I realize no matter how much my mind and heart fight it, you are gone to us in this life, however, I will see you when God calls me home.
debi bertoldie of missouri

"Hello my son,
Well the walk was a success and we did raise enough for your memorial and hopefully enough to add to the bank for more soldiers family's. The out pouring of love and gratitude was awesome. Your family was the best, however, you already know that. We will NEVER stop missing you and loving you. It was somewhat surreal for me. I really haven't been able to really, deep in my heart say goodbye to you. As a mom, it is the unimagineable. With the walk came some sort of closure for me. I realize no matter how much my mind and heart fight it, you are gone to us in this life, however, I will see you when God calls me home.
debi bertoldie of missouri

"Hey Joel, it's Gordon. When I woke up Saturday morning, I was worried we weren't going to be able to perform at the walk, but somehow, it quit raining. Thanks!!! We had a wonderful time playing music for everyone. We were all moved in so many ways, from your parents speaking about you, to the American Legion playing taps in your honor. Lori Betts sang the National Anthem and singing Simple Man to Jesse. We all had tears in our eyes and our hearts ached not having you there in person, but they were tears of family and friends who love you and are so proud of you that it some how made them tears of joy. I can't wait to see the memorial honoring you and your comrades and we all can come to the park and visit with you and celebrate your life. It will be a place where Jesse can go to be with you as he grows up. I hope that everyone goes to the next walk to support another hero and this grows and grows so all the families get a memorial for their loved ones too. Again, I want to thank your family allowing us to perform at the walk, you have all made me feel apart of your family."
Gordon Thorpe of Kansas City, MO

"Like your Aunt Christie said, you were with us yesterday. It was a good day. I especially know you were with me as my band played "Simple Man" after I dedicated it from you to Jesse. I broke down almost as soon as we started the song and I didn't know if I would be able to make it through it, but somehow I did. It was a very special honor for us to play at the walk. I love and miss you so much.
By the way - I let everyone there know that you are a Cowboys fan!!"
Uncle P of KC MO

I know you were with us today. You would have been proud of your parents, they are a lot stronger than anyone ever knew. Maybe because they have to be, but I like to believe its because you give them a little help without them knowing it. I miss you.

Aunt Christie"

"Dear family of Spc. Bertoldie,

My name is SGT Kirmse and I would like to extend my condolences to the family and friends of Spc. Joel Bertoldie. My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends that have lost loved ones in the war on terror. I came across a "Walk to remember" flyer in support of Spc. Bertoldie and all of the brave service members who have lost their lives. I was honored as I entered the American Legion post 21 and made my contribution to the battlefield memorial. As I read some of the messages left by others, I am greatful and thankful for those in support of our military soldiers and their families. These soldiers and their families have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Thank you for your support and rememberance of these fallen hero's. I did not personally know Spc. Bertoldie but I know from reading, that he is very special to many and will never be forgotten!"
SGT Rusty Kirmse of Grain Valley, Missouri

"I just wanted to let you know that I love you Debi. I'm so proud of you!"
Mandy of Proud to be in the USA

"Hey man.
Just wanted to remind you that Troy goes in the Hall of Fame this weekend. Two Cowboys go in this weekend (Rayfield Wright is the other)!!!
Patrick Garrett of KC MO


I stood in front of the cross at Ground Zero last weekend and I prayed a prayer of thanks for you. Thank you for your courage, Joel. You can not imagine the impact you have had on so many. Rest now in the arms of The Lord."

"It is Jordan again.
I wanted to tell you I am going in to the 3rd grade. I can't wait for the Cowboys to start playing again, I wish you were here to watch the games with me and Daddy.
Love and miss you"
Jordan of KC, MO

"Cousin Joel,
I love you soooo much. I miss you and am so glad Jesse is here with us. I don't know what else to say."
Jordan of KC, MO

It's so hard to believe three years has gone by. Koda and I had lunch last week and he is doing so well in school and looking forward to his vo-tech training. What an amazing turn-around. Baylee and I hung out with your mom and Jesse today. The first thing Jesse said to us was"My Uncle Koda got a tattoo with my daddy's name on it!" It was so cute. Your mom's was awesome. What a special time the two of them had remembering you yesterday.
We left some things by your tree ( Iam sure your Uncle Pat will love the license plate.
Love and Miss You,
Aunt Kelly"
Kelly Marlborough of Blue Springs, Mo

"Hey man, it is Uncle P. Memories of this day haunt all of us and always will. We do remember the great times and soooo wish you were here for the future. We miss you each and every day. It is almost Dallas Cowboys season, and I wish so much you were here to enjoy it with me. I looked at the odds and we are 6 to 1 for winning the Super Bowl!!! We'll see, they have a ton of work to do. I'm trying my hardest to get Jesse to be a fan. I don't want him to go through the disappointment in his life of being a Chiefs fan (ha ha ha!!!). You and I always had so much fun bagging on those Chiefs, making everyone mad. I miss those times, as well as so many others. Playing ball in the driveway too, there are so many. Just know we love you and miss you."
Patrick Garrett of KC, MO. USA

"Hello Joel, Well another year gone, another year without you. We are so blessed to have had those 20 years with you. The memories are priceless and always bring a smile to my face and skip in my heart. You were an amazing spirit so full of fun and life. You will always be remembered and that spirit will always be felt. The regrets are all about the future that was cut short.
I love and miss you sooooo very much.
Debi of Independence

"Hey Joel, it's Gordon. I was thinking about you again and wanted to say Hi. Your uncle Patrick and I are playing in a band. We play really loud so I know you heard us, Ha-Ha. We played at Rick and Nicki's wedding. I got to see some of your family there and we all missed you, but I know you were there in spirit. Anyway, it's been fun and I remember Patrick saying once that you liked music. I know he wishes you were with us to enjoy doing that kind of stuff. Perhaps you were with him in spirit when he came up with some words to a new song. We have only tried it a couple of times, you know how hard it is to get everyone on the same page, but it sounded really cool. Listen for us practicing it and help us with our message because when we work on it again, I will be thinking about you. Oh, and before I forget, when we played at Rick and Nicki's wedding, Rick and Patrick's mother was just beaming with a big smile seeing uncle Patrick playing drums. She told me that it's been along time since she got to see him play. I felt allot of pride that I was a part of that. It will always be a wonderful memory for me. Well, I wanted to send my thoughts and prayers to you and your family, so Debi hang in there, I know nothing will ever remove the pain within your heart, but we won't forget Joel and I hope that will help some.

Take care Bertoldie family, I'll talk to ya later."
Gordon Thorpe of Kansas City

"Dear Joel,
It's MOM and I have a very special request....I pray to Jesus that you can send any type of sign to Koda on his 18th birthday. He does not know that I understand his pain and I don't want him to know....he is tough as nails on the outside, however, you and I know that he is mush on the inside...
Missed u sooo much on Father's Day....of course you already know it was Dad's first without you and Grandpa Gary. I am happy that you two are together....I really do not believe that he ever came to terms with your not being on earth with us..I know without a doubt that he is happy....PLEASE help Grandma Bertoldie....she has seen so much loss...love and miss every minute
Debi Bertoldie of Independence

"Sonja, We will pray for your son as we do daily for all of our children in the military. God bless you and your family.
Thank you for your kind words. We are in this together.
Joel, it is a beautiful sunny day and you are everywhere. I see your smile in the sun and your spirit in everything life has to offer.
Took Jesse to Worlds of Fun yesterday with Megan and Kayla. They had a great time. It is a great place to relive awesome memories and make new ones with our next generation. Especially spending time and making memories with you and Erin's son. I see so much of you in him and what a gift from God.
Love you baby...please watch over Koda his 18th birthday will be hard for him because he wont be able to live the dream he had of you and him celebrating.
Father's Day will be extra hard on Dad because not only will he be without you, he will be without Grandpa Gary.
love and miss you terribly

"My son has been at Camp Anacanda for some time now and I have finally had the courage to look it up on the internet to find out more about it. He is actually a Navy Sailor due to get out in November and has now volunteered for this assignment to this Army base. I just stumbled upon this site. I am crying while I type as I have just read all the memories of Joel. To his mom I am deeply thankful for your courage in supporting him in Iraq and hurt with you in your loss......he is a hero and you raised him to be just that! Nothing will take away your pain I know but please know that it was not for nothing, regardless of how people protest. He is indeed a hero! Please know many prayers will go up for you tonight and I'd appreciate your praying for my son Robert who is at Camp Anacanda right now........God Bless!"
sonja of tampa, florida

"Gordon thank you so much for your heart warming words.
Dear Joel, We all miss you so very much and I know we say that everytime we get on here but it is so hard and the pain unbearable sometimes. The kids get such a kick out of letting balloons go on your birthday,,,Jesse led us all in singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you....it was soooo sweet. I am glad to see Uncle Pat writing to you. Him and I have not really sat and talked about it. It is just too painful..we would both just cry. Him, Lisa and Jordon bought me a BEAUTIFUl bouquet of purple and white roses on your birthday....it meant sooo much to me,,,it reminded of something you would have done. Almost three years have gone by...it seems like life has kept moving but the memories are like it happened yesterday....we had ALOT of good times as a family and our pictures prove that. They mean the world to me and I am trying scrapbook them.
Jesse, Koda and Erin keep me going. I know you are proud of them.
Jordan told me that when she has a little boy of her own she will name him "JOEL", my heart just burst with joy and sorrow at the same time...what an impression you made on her and everyone else you came in contact with. I miss your spirit and love for life. Your smile and hugs and I could go on and on.
I LOVE YOU and thank God for the time we had and the memories we made everyday.
We are planning a walk for you in Septemeber so we can raise money to have a battlefield memorial put in Independence for you...we are hoping to put it at Glendale Park...any help you can send would be great...
love your MOM"
debi bertoldie of independence, mo

"Hello, Joel

I never had the opportunity to meet you, but I have become close to some of your family, especially your uncle Patrick Garrett. Patrick and I do everything together and he talks of you often. How proud he is of you, as we all are. He wears a t-shirt with your name, followed with the words, "My Hero". You are a hero.

I went to a Chiefs game a couple of years ago with your other uncle Rick Beebe. They had a fly over the stadium. I still fight back tears as I remember hugging him as he cried in my arms.

Everyday I fall asleep and wake up without fear because of our country's freedom. Sometimes I take it for granted. The very freedom you fought for and provided to all of us. I want to thank you for your courage, dedication and the sacrafice you gave for me and my family. Every time I see something that reminds me of military, country, freedom, I think of you. I will never forget the son, brother, newphew, man and soldier that I never knew. Go Cowboys!"
Gordon Thorpe of Kansas City, MO

"My nephew, my hero, my brother Joel.

Today is the 1st day I found out about this site. Thank you, Gordon Thorpe. I MISS YOU SOOO MUCH. You and I were like brothers, even though I was "technically" you Uncle. I don't even know what to say to you. Other than thank you and I love you. It hurts soooo very bad. I just want you to come over and play some Playstation or some basketball again. I miss those times so much. Of course everyone has told you about your b-day last Friday. I had to get blue/silver baloons for our Cowboys. We are going all the way this year!!! I give you updates after every game, but I'm sure you know that. They are getting back to being the team they were when we had so much fun winning Super Bowls and making fun of the Chiefs! I'm trying my hardest to make Jesse into a Cowboys fan. I buy him something Cowboys each X-mas. Thank you and Erin for him. He is amazing. Jordan misses you sooo much too. She has pics of you in her room on the wall. Some days she will just out of the blue start crying because she misses you so much. She turned 8 this month. Jesse was at the party (of course) and he picked a picture up of you and went around to everyone and showed them, saying "this is my Daddy". He was so excited. He reminds me of you so much it is crazy. Lisa misses you too. She cries often about the hurt we all have.
Well, now that I know about this I'll email you often. I've read each message from everyone (took 2 boxes of Kleenex) and thank you all for the support.
LOVE YOU, Uncle Pat"
Patrick Garrett of KC, MO

"my son,
i have lived the last month in a haze, i don't understand, however, everyone that loves you have tried to be so supportive.
your birthday was great all the kids love sending you balloons. especially you and erin's beautiful son...my grandson....thank you for him...no one will ever really know what we all went thru when that special baby was born...you, erin, her family, our family how ironic it is how it all turned out. i believe with all my heart that God knows what he is doing...and i find comfort knowing you are with his son...i don't know if i can ever come to terms with it while i live on this earth, i know without a doubt i will understand all of it when i am called home.
PLEASE watch over Koda, JEsse and Erin they all miss you more than they even know.
Debi Bertoldie of Independence

Yesterday we all gathered at your grave to send you balloons for your birthday and as I was looking around, it may sound strange but I was noticing all the nice cars everyone drives. Then I got to thinking, here we all are, everyone with good jobs, good lives, a bunch of healthy kids running around playing and it occured to me that if it weren't for men like you.....all these things would be gone. And I hope you understand that I don't mean the material things, I just mean our lives and our freedoms. A secure Country = Good jobs = good healthcare = our kids being heathly. A safe Country = Good economy = food on our tables. I know you understand what I am trying to say. We owe you so much for your sacrifice but just so you know, I'd give it all up to have you back again.

Aunt Christie
PS. I was thinking the other day about us digging in your backyard for "Indian" treasures. It really touched me that you believed that your aunt could really find those kind of treasures."

"Joel, It is the morning after your Birthday & I was reading some of the entries to Baylee and she wanted to leave you a message. Although she was so young when you left us she feels such a connection to you from being close to your mom and especially Jesse. She absolutely adores him and cherishes any time she gets to spend with him. She feels such saddness knowing how much we all miss you. It is so hard to believe that almost 3 years has passed. It breaks my heart to see your family in such pain. Your mom has been having a terrible time this past month, I only wish I could make it better. Unfortunately the only thing that will make it better is when we meet with you in heaven. Of course Jesse and Koda ease the pain a bit. I know you must be proud of your brother. He is doing so good in School. And Jesse, well he keeps everyone putting one foot in front of the other. We love and miss you so much, Until we meet again, Love,Aunt Kelly"
Kelly Marlborough of Blue Springs, Mo

"dear joel, I had a fun time with Jesse at your birthday. he had the funest time letting the balloons go up to you and playing with his bear and running in the grass. I asked him what his daddys name was and he said angel.I love Jesse so much and I miss you so much. Love, Baylee"
Baylee Marlborough of Blue Springs,Mo

"hello my son.. mom is really not having a good time. however,it is up to ne to keep everyone up....i am such a blessed mom and grandma...i pray that jesus will make me a better mom and grandma...i miss u so much...please watch over Erin...she is doing her best,however, she will need your guidance... i leave that to u."
debi bertoldie of indep


Just wanted you to know that the soldier I adopted made it home safely last month. It has been a real comfort to me that I was able to see someone safely through their deployment. I only wish it could have been you.

Aunt Christie"

"Dear Cpt. Monica Casmaer, this is Joel's mom. I don't know where to start and probably will run out of room. YOU have no idea how very very hard it has been not knowing how Joel was doing when he got killed. I know my son and i know he was making the best of every day, however, to be able to actually read and visualize that day is a gift only you could have given me. Thank you, thank you and God Bless you. I pray that your life is returning to some type of normalacy. If there is ever anything I can do for you, please e-mail me. ddbis24fan@yahoo.com. We went to Ft Stewart and had a sit down with Joel's platoon and they told us wonderful stories. No one can understand what your memories of Joel mean to his family. Thank you all for still writing Jamy, Toni, Aunt Steph and Aunt Kelly
Joel, you know how each day is for your Mom. I thank God for you and every little memory, the love I feel for you and knowing I will never loose those feelings and will have them when I come home.
Love Mom"
Debi Bertoldie of independene,mo USA

"To Captain Monica Casmaer, thank you so much for letting Joel's family know about the day you spent with him, July 17, 2003. It is so comforting knowing he spent his last day on earth doing two of the things he loved most. Spending time with children and being in the water. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Joel, I love you and miss you so much. Jesse is such a doll and we love to spend time with him. He has quite the personality.We know where that came from! Until we meet again, Love Aunt Kelly"
Kelly Marlborough of Blue Springs, Mo

"I would just like to thank everyone for the wonderful messages you have left about Joel, especially CPT Monica Casmaer for letting us know how Joel spent that day and that he was smiling. It means a lot to me to know that. Joel, I love and miss you very much."
Aunt Stephanie of Oak Grove, MO

"Dear family of Joel Bertoldie,

I am so relieved to finally have found this web site. I wanted you to know how he spent the day before he was killed.

Joel drove me to an orphanage in Baghdad on July 17th 2003. I am a PA and was attached to 4-64 Armor Battalion. I had been engaged in humanitarian operations while we were in Baghdad and continued even after we were sent to Fallujah. Joel often was my driver from Fallujah to Baghdad. On July 17th, 2003 we went to an orphanage in Baghdad. Joel played with the children there. They were laughing and joking and hanging all over him. He put his hat on one of their heads. They loved him and he took to them naturally. We spent the better part of 3 hours there and then traveled to the Green Zone to collect supplies. Joel was able to have a few hours of relaxation in the pool there in the green zone. He was laughing at poolside about the kids he encountered at the orphanage."
CPT Monica Casmaer of Fort Sam Houston, Texas

"Dear Family of Joel,
I found this website and I'm so happy that I did. I am the mother of Amy Walton she was a friend of Joels, they went to Truman High School together. I remember Joel well he was a very nice young man. I used to take Amy over to Joels house they would hang out together with friends. I was saddend when I heard about your loved one. I found out about it when I moved here to PA. I called my daughter Amy and told her, it broke her heart to hear what had happen. I had a nephew, Jimmy Workman that was over in Iraq and he left on an honorable discharge. I know Joel knew Jimmy, and Joel also knew Jason Workman, who we lost just this year. I know what it feels like to lose a young man who is loved so much. I miss my nephew terribley and I know and understand how much you miss Joel. Two wonderful young men. One who died for our freedom and another a friend from school in a car accident. I pray that God will comfort your family from your loss. He is with our Gloreous Father in Heaven, his creator. God Bless your family always.
Amy Waltons Mother"
Dianna of Gettysburg PA.

"I just read the kind words and im sure Joel's family is very appreciative of everyones outpouring of love and admiration of what Joel did for his country and the type of person he was. He is a hero in my eyes and i thank him for his sacrifice for my freedom and for his country."
David Waswo of KC Mo

Hey, it's the second half of the Fartin Sisters!! Well just like Toni said, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about you. I was cleaning a couple of weeks ago and found your letters. So I started reading them, then that night I had a dream about you!I saw your mom and Jesse at the Mall a few months ago, man he is big and looks just like you, he is a handsome boy! I just wanted to write and let you know how much I miss you, and one day I will see your smiling face again!
Love you!
Jamy Martin of Independence, MO

I know I haven't been there very much through all of this. It is just too hard for me. I was pregnate with Logan when you passed, I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown when I heard the news. I miss you sooo very much and not one day goes by that I dont stop and think about you. I have a baby girl now, her name is Rylee. Jamy talked to Koda yesterday and when she got off the phone with him turned to me and said "gosh it is crazy how they have the exact same voice" then she told me about this web site. Im not trying to make excuses but as I sit here balling like a baby as I'm writing I hope you know how much I love you and that this kind of stuff is real hard for me. Anyway I'll see you soon buddy!!! Love Ya!"
Toni of Independence, MO


Hey man, i know its been a while since i have wrote up here, just had to gather the right thoughts is all... as i go through my training up here in NC, alot of soldiers see my bracelet and ask about you, so i tell them what happened and how much of a great man you were, and still are, your name is being spread and will be remembered for all eternity, others see the sticker on my car about you that your parents so lovingly sent me, and i owe them so much for that, cuz it meant so much... so just wanted to say that i still miss you everday, and am stilll fighting the big fight for all of us, see you soon brother!"
SSG Klossner, Christopher J. of Ft. Bragg, NC

"To all that miss Joel so much
Thank you all for taking time to keep writing on this site. It gives me comfort to know how much he was truly loved and that he is still remembered. I speak to Joel everyday and still cry everyday that he is not here. Jesse (his son) is soooo much like his daddy and such an amazing gift from God. Please say a pray everyday for all our military still at war and one for all the families that are mourning a loved one.
Joel, you know how very very much Mom loves you. Koda is going to Independence Acadamy this year. We got him out of Truman and I know you would be happy about that. He misses you so much it breaks my heart. He is still wearing your clothes and sometimes it takes my breath away how much he looks like you.
My heart and soul will never be the same, however, I live with the peace of knowing I will see you again.
Love ya babyboy
MOM If anyone would like to contact me at ddb24fan@hotmail.com please feel free"
debi bertoldie of independence

"Joel, I knew you a Long time ago (nearly 7 years ago). We meet because you were a friend of Tara's. God bless you and your family for all you have done for this counrty and others around the world."
Ashlee of Lee's Summit, MO

"Joel- I only met your once or twice, but my heart goes out to your family."
Danielle Sanders Alicea of Hinesville GA, USA

It's late Saturday night and I was thinking about you. I have decided to adopt a soldier through one of the websites that offer this. You send letters and packages to guys who don't receive any to show your support. I am doing this in your memory so in a way you are still helping your "battle buddies". Our lives just aren't the same without you. Love you.
Aunt Christie"

"To the Bertoldie Family: Bert was a great soldier and a proud father. I don't know why I clicked on this site today (the 2nd anniversary of Bert's death), as I had honestly forgotten the dates that he and CPT Ed Korn were killed in Iraq. Learning of Joel's death is one of the moments I remember most clearly from the war. Joel used to drive me through Fallujah 2-4 times daily while I was in the S-3 shop with 4-64. As I have been strongly recontemplating rejoining the Army, this is just a strong reminder of why soldiers are who they are and why they serve. His sacrifice and that of other soldiers will be an inspiration for generations to come. I truly hope and pray that you are all adapting to Joel's absence. Bert did a great job and obviously held you all close to his heart. God bless you."
CPT Scott Thomson of Huntsville, AL

"Joel, I talked to your mom this morning and how fitting that today she got up, made your favorite, chicken & noodles then she was going to spend the day with Jesse and Koda. Your little man and your little brother. Brock & I stopped by your tree today and said a prayer for your family, I'm sure you heard it. We left you some stuff to look at & to hear - Hope you enjoy them. We miss you and not a day goes by that we don't think about you, but especially today.
Love, Aunt Kelly"
Kelly Marlborough of Lees Summit, Mo


It's July 18 and I went to your grave today. I can't believe that 2 years have gone by. They say that time heals the pain, but it doesn't, thats just a lie. I hope you know that I would give anything I have or will ever have to have you back with us. Love you more than you know."
Aunt Christie

It's July 4th and I am thinking about you. Love you more than you know.
Aunt Christie"

"Hey Joel,
I wanted to tell you happy Fathers Day. I wish so much that you could be here today. Only you know how much I miss you.

Aunt Christie"

"Hey Bert, Happy birthday man. I still have your "fake" ID. Your mom told me something the other day and it reminded me of it. So Duffy is headed back to Iraq. I know that you will watch over him. Bruce has decided to get out of the ARMY. I can't bare to bury another soldier and I know I can't live without Bruce. We are probably going to stay here in MO until the girls graduate. Besides you loaning your parents and family to us has been a blessing. We love and miss you. Happy Birthday!"
Bruce, Nathalie & Brats of Fort Leonard Wood, MO

Miss you more than words can say. I love you.
Aunt Christie"

"Joel, Today is your birthday, of course you know that don't you.I had lunch with your mom today and it is so obvious how painful this day is for her. We let balloons go at your cemetary and Baylee sent you a card she made. Hope you enjoy it. Aunt Christie had this awesome quilt made for your Dad and he was truly touched by it. We played some songs, cried some and laughed some too. Jesse was so cute. He kept wanting to let the balloons go before everyone got there. Baylee was sure that he knew why we were there and that he seemed sad tonight, which of course he never is. I was taking care of him a couple of weeks ago and I said to him"Jesse you are such and angel" and he said" I not an angel, my daddy an angel" I had to try really hard to keep from breaking down right in front of him. Joel, I know you know this but he is so smart and sweet and loving. Just like you.He truly is a special child and I am so grateful I get to be with him as much as I do. Baylee is crazy about him too and Uncle Mark and Brock think he is too cool. Joel, please watch out for your mom and dad andErin and Jesse and send them some peace and strength from up above and especially look out for Koda. He is at an age where he could really use his older brother. I just know you are his guardian angel. Well, Happy Birthday, I am sure you are having a party and "dancin with the angels".
Until we meet again save a dance for me.
Love, Aunt Kelly"
Kelly Marlborough of Lees Summit, Mo

"Hey bert....i got an e-mail from nat and bruce about this site. Everyone misses you so much! I know you are in a better place right now, but it would be great to have you back man! Well, I guess I'll end this here. Talk to you later!"
Sgt Stephen Johnson of Savannah, ga ( Baghdad at the moment)

"Hey Bert, Been talking about some good 'ol memories with your mom and dad. For some reason the stories I told weren't very shocking to your mother... HMMM i wonder why? We miss you more than words could ever express. Bert, also thank you for your family. They are special to us and have adopted us into their hearts. We will never forget you or them no matter where the Army takes us. brecharmybrats@yahoo.com (Duffy is still taking things pretty hard, Thor died on 5/8/05. please watch over Duffy as he returns to Iraq. I tried to convince him that you and Thor would be partying pretty hard together. I got a giggle!)"
Bruce & Nathalie Brech of Ft Stewart,GA now Ft Leonard Wood, MO

""In Loving Memory
We thought of you with love today
but that is nothing new,We thought
about you yesterday,and the day before
that too.We think of you in silence
we often speak your name.All we have
now are memories and your picture
in a frame.You memory is our keepsake
with which we will never part.God
has you in his keeping,We have you
in our hearts.We shed a tear for
what might have been,a million
times we've cried if love alone could
have saved you.You never would
have died.in life we loved you
dearly.In death we love you still.
in our hearts you hold a place.
no one could ever fill.It broke our
hearts to lose you but you didn't
go alone for a part of us went with
you the day god took you home .

Donna W Fuller""

We just saw the Fallen Heroes on CBS evening news and wanted to let you know that our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with your family. Thank you so much for your service to us all. We will see you in Heaven in the future, and drinks are on me!
Gregory K. Simmons
Hickory, NC"
Gregory K. Simmons of Hickory, NC

I miss you as always. Received a nice email from a lady who read about you on this website. She saw the memorial ribbon on a car in Oak Grove. Your buddy Chris had been a real friend to us and to others who have lost a loved one. Chris please contact me!
Joels Aunt

"To Josh and Mike,

Thank you for caring about my nephew and thank you for protecting this country.

Joels Aunt Christie
Christie Hampshire

"Well Bert, I guess I made it to Iraq after all this time. I still think about you. You will always be my battle buddy. Im here serving you and your family and all the usa. I miss you man. Too all of 4/64 I heard your here again visit me sometime at Anacanda Good Luck stay safe. We Pierce"
Mike LaFountain of Camp Anacanda HHC 1/126 AVN Anacanda (LSA) APO AE 09391

"Bert, Well brother, we are at it again. We are back in the country that took you away from us. I miss you man and i wish everyday you were back with us. We need more soldiers like you. I hope to be half the soldier you were. I love ya man and i think about you everytime before i go out. To your family thank you for letting us be involved with such a wonderful person. Also i have not been able to find his bracelet anywhere please e-mail me and let me know where to get one. Thank you. Rock on and High Angle Hell jschichtl@yahoo.com"
SPC Joshua C. Schichtl of Baghdad, Iraq

"St. Charles Democratic Alliance held a Tribute & Memorial to the 20 fallen soldiers from Missouri on 3/19/2005, the 2nd anniversary of the War in Iraq. Four families of the fallen attended the event, and nine families shared messages that were read during the tribute by Connie Greene, sister of fallen soldier Jamie Huggins. The event aired on all four local newscasts (Fox KTVI, KPLR, KSDK, KMOV.) Biographies of each of the fallen soldiers were read while photos of the soldiers were displayed. The event also included Bible readings, songs, keynotes speeches by Rev. Jason Samuel and Viet Nam Veteran Ken Peters, and a fellowship in the church hall immediately following the tribute. Our organization was sensitive to the fact that even though information on Missouriís fallen soldiers is a matter of open record, we had to go beyond the name, rank and serial number Ė we needed to share information on the fallen soldiers from the familyís perspective and present a tribute that each of the soldiers would have approved of. This was a day for honoring Missouriís finest, as well as the sacrifice the families made, and continue to make every day. Special thanks to the Burkhardt, Gottfried, Huggins and Spink families for traveling long distances to Transfiguration Church in Lake St. Louis to participate in this community tribute. (anngastler@charter.net)"
Ann Gastler, St. Charles Democratic Alliance of St. Peters, MO

"Thank you and your family so much for defending our freedom and helping bring freedom to a new world."
Jerry Salzman of Golden City, MO

"I am organizing a 3/19/2005 Tribute & Memorial Service Honoring Missouri's Fallen Soldiers, hosted by St. Charles Democratic Alliance. We plan to have a spiritual memorial tribute planned to honor the 18 fallen Missouri soldiers who died in Iraq. We wanted to let you know your beloved isn't forgotten and invite you to this tribute. If you're not able to be in Lake St. Louis on 3/19/05 but would like to send a message or letter that we could read on behalf of your family, again, we'd be honored. Again, my deepest sympathy and please know that Joel is in my prayers."
Ann Gastler (anngastler@charter.net) of St. Peters, MO

"Hey buddy, its been a while again.. but am still thinking of you. I always am, and the days never seem to get easier at all, am about to hit a new point in my career and know you will look after me, and know that i serve to honor you and your family forever, as a soldier.. I am their protector since you have protected me, and still do...Joel, I'll see you soon until then, get my music ready, even though i know you hate it!!"
SSG Klossner, Christopher J. of Special Operations Command (SOCOM, Macdill AFB, FL

"Hello my hero....channel 9 news thought about you yesterday and came by to interview us and hear our thoughts on the elections in Iraq. I can only pray that what we said would make you happy. We always do it for you,,,,we will never let you be forgotten. Jesse is absolutely amazing...everything you knew he would be and he knows your face, he knows your face is DADDY....I still cry for you everyday and I think I always will because everyday I want to share something in life with you....now I will wait until we can share heaven together.
your mom"
debi bertoldie of indepencence, mo

"Hey Joel. Tomorrow marks a historic day that you were so much a part of, the FREE ELECTIONS in Iraq! I am so proud of what you accomplished and I miss you more than words can say. I only hope you know how much I love you.
Aunt Christie"
Christie Hampshire of Polo, Missouri

"Hey Joel it is Mom...we had a candlelighting in the front yard last night in your memory and for the 1,000 other soldiers that are now part of God's Army. Brock and Aunt Kelly made a wonderful CD in your memory and we played it. Lots and lots of tears, however there was a few laughs as we all remembered the charisma that just naturally came from you. You touched so very many lives in your short life. God blessed us so very much on May 26, 1983. You were of course, the most beautiful baby I have ever laid eyes on. My heart was so full of an unconditional love that I had never know before I thought it would pop. For twenty years my heart felt that way and that is truly a blessing from GOD....Thank you God for those 20 years...I don't understand your ways, but if I did the pain would be the same....I trust in God's plan and I can only imagine that day he calls me home...Joel you know all the answers now and I know you are waiting for us all....loving and missing you always
your mom"
debi bertoldie of independence, mo

I miss you.
Aunt Christie"

"Although I did not know you, I am thinking about you too. He came and went so quickly that it is impossible for life itself to have bequeathed such bravery and courage upon him in such a short time. Therefore, I believe that the Most High (from where these things come) must have loaned a part of himself to you. And if he did, I know that he holds your memory near and will not forget you on the day when we all shall rise again. Blessed be his memory. Blessed be his family. Blessed be the day when we shall see him again in his fatherís kingdom. Until then, sweet dreams young man."
Lee Pinson of Huntsville, Alabama

It is Thanksgiving Day and I am thinking of you more today than usual. I got to spend some time with your Mom, Dad & Koda today. they miss you more than words can say. But of course you know that, don't you. We ate some chicken and noodles for you and I am watching the Dallas Cowboys as they are on their way to beating the Bears. I think they are winning for you! I read this often but have never left a message since I can talk to you any time I like, but today felt different. We all love and miss you so much. I know you had an awesome Thanksgiving though with the biggest feast ever. I only wish we could all be together. I know we will be together again though, where I'll get to lay eyes on that handsome face !"
Love, Aunt Kelly

"Joel, it is Thanksgiving Day and I am thinking about you, just like I do everyday. I just thank God today for the time we had with you. You will always be missed and will be in our hearts forever. Until I see you again.
Love Aunt Stephanie"
Stephanie Borland of Oak Grove, MO

"I never knew Joel, but yesterday at my highschool, a group of kids were handing out wrist bands; one for each soldier who has died in Iraq. Each wrist band had a picture of the soldier and their name on it. Mine has Joel on it. I would just like to thank Joel and his family for his ultimate sacrifice, as well as all of the other brave men and women fighting to protect out great nation. I hope that I will someday be able to walk in their shoes and serve my beloved country."
Chris Leewright of Plano, Texas

"Thank you Joel for your sacrifices. You are a young hero. May god be with your family and help them through."
Alicia Bilby of Nevada,Missouri

"never really got a chance to express how much i missed bertie.. he was my lunch buddie for many months in fallujah, and habbaniyah..and made fun of the music i listened tooo...not that ghetto ones he liked hehe... its been over a year and i figured i could move on, but no.... he was the only soldier to ever tell me he wanted to be an NCO like me.. his family should know that he was a damn good soldier., and a hell of a man.. me and him were gonna go home, since i was his gunner, and see who could get the most attention the gunner or driver, he thought the driver could, well joel i asked around..damn they liked the driver better,,,you still got me :) i have his bracelet and it helps, even with my drinking.,..but any one that wants to carry his name forever email me.. see below... but damnit i miss you bertie so much!! never forget you.. and to the friends and family.. what a great guy kudos to you all.. keep your heads up.. grey skies turn blue again..i promise.. but its always raining in my head,,,,"
SSG Klossner, Christopher J. of formerly of Ft. Stewart, GA now at SOCOM, Macdill AFB, FL

"JOEL, I miss you sooo much!!!! Theres a huge empty feeling inside and there always will be but reading your letters and seeing all the crazy pictures you would draw and most of all the rose petals from Bagdad puts the bigggest smile on my face and fills the gap in my heart. I will never foget. Your my motovation and my sterengh, with all my love "sweeetie pie"."
Ashley Nesbit of Indep,MO.USA

"JOEL, I miss you sooo much!!!! Theres a huge empty feeling inside and there always will be but reading your letters and seeing all the crazy pictures you would draw and most of the rose petals from Bagdad puts the bigggest smile on my faceand fills the gap in my heart. I will never foget. Your my motovation and my sterengh, with all my love "sweeetie pie"."
Ashley Nesbit of Indep,MO.USA

"I live in Blue Springs, MO and my heart goes out to this brave young man's family and the hero who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Your family is in my prayers, and I hope you have found peace. Know that he will be waiting for you at the gates, and watching over you until then. I never met Joel, but I wanted you to know that your son is not just name on a list. He will never be forgotten. I am deeply sorry for your loss."
Elizabeth, Sister of a Soldier of Blue Springs, MO

"To the parents of Joel. I had Joel in my 9th grade science class at Truman high school. I always remember him sitting in the front row. What a great kid. I am deeply sorrowed for your loss. I too was a solider, and served my country overseas in an M1-A1 tank. I fully understand the power of sacrifice. Joel paid the ultimated price. He dared go where others didn't, and lived times that some would say would be best forgotten. He's a solider, and always will be. I think of him often. May the lord be with you."
Dave Sharp of Independence Missouri

"In Loving Memory..Its been a year..

At the rising of the sun and at its going down, We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of Winter, We remember them.
At the opening of buds and in the rebirth of Spring, We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of Summer, We remember them.
At the rustling of leaves and the beauty of Autumn, We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends, We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
Rest in Peace Dear Soldier!!! We will NEVER FORGET!"
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN

I was in charge of then private Bertoldie when he first came to Fort Stewart as a young soldier. He was one of the best soldiers that I ever had the chance to work with. I was in Fallujah myself at the time of his death. It struck a great blow to me, and I will never forget him. He is dearly missed, by not only his family, but all of those that he touched in some way. I remember teaching him how to play spades out in the desert of the National Training Center. "Wackum!" To his family, you did a great job raising a great young man, and I am truly sorry for your loss."
Casey J McGeorge of Formerly of Fort Stewart, GA, now Fort Irwin, Ca.

You would have been 21 years old yesterday. Your parents had a bar-b-q and we released 21 balloons at your grave. Somehow I feel that you could see us. I miss you so much! Little Jesse is a hoot, he is into no, no, no now hahaha. A special thank you to those who have emailed me, your thoughts have helped so much! It is nice to know that Joel was loved by so many! Love you buddy, Your Aunt Christie
Christie Hampshire of Polo, Missouri

"THey say time heals all wounds, but i belive this statement was made not knowing what wounds could never be healed... any fact i was with Joel the day and prior to his fateful day...as i stated earlier... and its one memory that will haunt me forever but at the same time to know and work with someone as fun and great as Joel..well it was an honor..anyways they make Killed In Action (KIA) Bracelets after every war for the military, normally you send away for one and get a random picked one, however i have made, from what i believe, the first one from OIF and it has Joel's info on it, and i wear it every day, its a military way to carry his name and honor him forever.. however i would like to order them and pay for them for whoever family member or friend would like one, just email me and let me know at ckalreadyinuse@yahoo.com and it will be no problem at all... i feel its a great way to honor the fallen.... god bless the Bertoldie Family..."
SSG Klossner, Christopher J. of St. Petersburg, FL (formerly of FT Stewart, GA)

"Happy Birthday Joel.I miss you, and I love you always.
Love your lil-sis,"
Kandy Wever of Independence, MO

"I am a seventh grade student that attends Barker Middle School. I believe that anyone who serves in the army, navy, or the marines are the most courageous,true Americans that ever lived. Infact
in my opinion the the best Americans are those
that defend their country for what they and others believe in."
David of Gasport, New York, United States

"It's been almost 1 year since that dark day that 3 Army soldiers came to our door. I still feel it like it was yesterday. Thank you so much to all of you for taking the time to leave these wonderful messages. God Bless you all, JOEL'S MOM"
Debi Bertoldie of Independence

"Joel, It's been a long time since I posted here but I haven't forgotten for one second. I still miss you everyday. I still look up your street every time I drive by. I love you so much hon."
Sarah Driver of Independence, MO

"Bert, We miss you brother. There isn't a day the men of the Tusker battalion don't think of you. We miss you and the people of the U.S. miss you. You gave the ultimate sacrifice and everyone thanks you. You are the model soldier and everyone should strife to achieve the standard that you upheld everyday. You will always be remembered brother. Rock On High Angle Hell"
Spc Joshua C. Schichtl of HHC 4-64 AR Mortars Ft. Stewart, GA

"Rest in Peace Soldier
The Taylors USMC NC"

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

"To all who have left messages for Joel, I thank you. He was my nephew and very special to me. I would like to hear from anyone who served with Joel, especially SPC Darren Hubbell. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of him and wish he could have come home to us. Please feel free to contact me at champshi@greenhills.net"
Christie Hampshire of Polo, Missouri

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

"I had the honor of serving with SPC Bertoldie, or Bertie as i called him, he was a soldier who i could depend on, we had lunch together every day and went on countless missions, he was my driver, i was his gunner when i was assigned to 4-64 AR BN over in Fallujah and Habbniyah in Iraq, he was a great soldier and a man...i'll never forget you bertie, you are the only soldier i have lost, and i miss you so much, and regret it every day, i would swap places with you if i could!!! To the friends and family, he died a noble soldier and took the ultimate sacrafice for his country, feel honored in his name, i was behind his vehicle when it blew up, fate put me out of the way for some reason, to me, it means to carry on his name and honor him every day...NEVER FORGET BERTIE... never, and i will fight every day of the rest of my days to ensure americas freedom, bless the Bertoldie family.. your in my thoughts now and forever!!!"
SSG Klossner, Christopher J. of Ft. Stewart, GA

"To the friends and family of Joel Bertoldie,
Ive been in the army for almost four years and i just wanted to tell you that it was the biggest honor of my life being apart of the military service that was giving for Joel. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family"

Hey hun thanks for what you did for our country. We will miss you so much everyday. Thank you for being their for me every time i needed you i will always remember that. If it was day or night you would be their to support me in every way. To his family, sorry for your loss, we know he is with us every day and every night. Love You Much Joel and i will miss you."
Savannah Bradley of Independence, Missouri USA

To The Family of Spc. Bertoldie:
In September 2003, we sent you a card to Headquarters Company at Fort Stewart, GA. Today we received the card back, return to sender. Here is what it said:

Though we are strangers, we wanted you to know how sorry we are your Joel was taken from you. His is a brave hero. There is no doubt his thoughts were of you, as he served our country in Iraq. We will never forget. You are in our hearts."
With Love....Carol & Larry Miller of Tampa, Florida


"Joel, You were always their for me when I needed you, And I never got the chance to thank you. I will never forget how you said you would like to try and be my big brother. That ment the world to me. You were and will always be by bestfriend. Joel I love You so much. I will always keep you close in my heart. To me you will always be my hero in many different ways, But the one most of all is to have lost your life for our freedom. I LOVE YOU Always, Your Lil-Sis"
Kandy Wever of Independence, MO

"Joel, roommate, battlebuddy, friend, I'll always remember the times that we spent together. When I first meet you, you were a young cowboy. When I left, you were a man. You gave the greatest sacrifice that anyone could give. You are my true hero. I will never forget you. My heart is with you always. Thanks for everything. "tuskers" 4-64 ARMOR 99-02"
SPC Michael P LaFountain of 21 west st Ashaway RI 02804

"Thank you Joel Bertoldie, 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

"Bert we miss you man. You were a great soldier and friend. Rock on brother. To your family, I am very sorry for your loss and your son was somebody you can be very proud of."
Spc Joshua Schichtl of HHC 4/64 AR Ft Stewart, GA

"My thoughts & prayers go out to all the Military men and women who are at war and especially those who have lost their lives. May God bless you forever. Thank you for everything, you are my hero! Rest in peace."
Amanda K Casas of San Diego, Tx

"Specialist Bertoldie, though I did not know you, I feel the pain of your loss..I was the medic who came to you... There was nothing I could do but I still feel like I didn't do enough. I sat with you outside of that humvee and said how sorry I was that I could not save you.
I think about the whole thing every day and will the rest of my life.
Your war is over....Godspeed brother!"
SPC Darren Hubbell of Fort Stewart, GA

"Your son and his memory will never be forgotten in the hearts of TRUE AMERICANS! For your son to sacrifice his life this way is the example of the ultimate TRUE AMERICAN! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!"
Sarah of Arkansas

"To the Family you are in my prayers...May God bless you. I do want to say it was a honor to have him in our military Thanks for serving our country"
Stacey (Proud Army Wife) of Zephyrhills,Florida

"Joel I wish I could have seen you make it home with the rest of your division on this August 9th 2003. I miss you alot and you will always be in my heart, and prayers. I have been thinking of you alot lately, and man I really miss you buddy. Your friend Bobby Layson"
Bobby Layson of Independence MO

"To Joel's family, I am extremely sorry for your loss. Joel was an amazing person and I too will miss him greatly. To Joel, who I know is still with us, I want to thank you for being such a wonderful friend and I'm sorry we drifted apart. You are forever in my heart, I love you."
Sarah Driver of Independence, MO/ USA

"May God bless your family, our prayers are with you."
The Hopson Family of Lithonia, Georgia

"To the family and friends of Spc. Joel Bertoldie:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Joel for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Spc. Joel Bertoldie:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Joel, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on