Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Thomas H. Byrd

21, of Cochise, Arizona.
Byrd died in Ar Ramadi, Iraq when an improvised explosive device detonated near his M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle during combat operations. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Georgia. Died on October 15, 2005.

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"I miss you Byrdman! I will never forget you"
Scott Ray of Bamberg Germany

"This memorial day made me think of you Tommy. I remember when i found out anything had happened to you. I myself was in basic training when I had gotten the news a month later. It made me think of the great memories in high school during wrestling season and all the fun times the team had together. You had done so many great things in your life and your sacrifce has been the greatest. Your service showed me what I was doing by going into the army and what sacrifice I too was making for our country. Tommy, you truely are a hero and you did make an impact on everyones lives. Happy memorial day to you and all the other fallen soldiers out there. You are definitely missed but not forgotten."
Sarah McLaughlin of Tucson, AZ

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

"Re: SPC Thomas Harold Byrd

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

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

"You came a long way from our days in high school and I was proud of you for you service and impressed by your devotion to duty. Thank you for making the ultimate sacrafice Tommy."
Sgt Meza, Lewis P USMC of Okinawa, Japan

"May 11, 2008
To the family of Spc. Thomas H. Byrd:
Thomas gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"There are so many reasons to miss you that I can't even write them all down. Happy memories of you keep my heart from completely breaking; there were so many good times. I can see your face with the lopsided grin and it brings a smile. I can see you as a baby, as a young boy and finally the outstanding man you became. Even though your time here with us was short I treasure every moment spent with you. In my heart you shall remain. I love you Tommy."
Aunt Beth of Marana, AZ

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

"Mike, Julia, Mikey and Family.
I love you and I grieve with you. Tommy was the truest of American Heroes. I will always be here for you no matter time or date. God Bless our beautiful Angels. Nathan Myers and Thomas Byrd
Love ya guys
Mary"
Mary of Benson, AZ USA

"Mike, Julia, and Mikey,
Our beloved friends,
Every day you are in our prayers and thoughts.
Watching you go through the grief of losing Tommy has been a huge awakening for us.
You have so much pride, as you should have, and yet there is such a huge void that can never be filled. The hard part is that there is not a thing we can do to take your pain away.
Watching you try to live life without Tommy is tearing at our hearts.
The laughs we've shared from your memories, and the tears, are emotions that a family should never have to endure from one so young.
You are all heros in our eyes.
We are so proud to know you, and so glad to have you as our close friends.
We just wish we could do more for you to ease your pain.
Tommy is a hero, and we all will remember him that way.
You did a wonderful job raising him, and helped him to become the person that is remembered and loved.
You have been through so
much my friends.
Alot of things have not been fair to you, as his parents.
But, hold your heads high, because Tommy is a part of you and will always be remembered as a kind and caring person, with a beautiful smile.
Tommy will always be with you, as we see his light in your eyes.
God Bless You.
We love you our cherished friends.
You have an Angel watching over you.
Dawn"
Dawn of Vail

"I miss you will all my heart. I think about you everyday and my heartaches to hold you. I have many memories of you, but I this is so unfair. You are missed by many. I love you my Son."
Mom of Tucson, Arizona - by5235 @aol.com

"Tommy,
I know your watching over all of us, but I miss you. We all Miss you! Life just isnt the same without you. I bet you never realized what a strong impact you had on everyone that knew you. But we are thankful and blessed by knowing you as a friend and as family. I think of you everyday and I always see you smiling at me! Your a great man, Tommy! I miss you more than words can say! Love You Lots!
Love, Lexi"
Alexis Foreman of Tucson, AZ, USA

"For those of you who were not at the funeral this is the eulogy that was said to represent his family. I regret that I had to jump up and interrupt the service to say it but I don't regret saying it. For all of you that were there and thanked me for doing it, your thanks is not needed as I didn't do it for myself, I did it for Tommy. That day was about Tommy, and nobody else. I want to thank those that supported me in doing it and say to those that didn't think it was right, I am not going to apologize for doing it and no family member should ever have to interrupt a funeral service to speak their eulogy. Anyways, with that said, here is my eulogy, representing the family of Thomas H Byrd, who was dearly loved and is sorely missed.

Tommy was one of the best nephew’s an Aunt could have. He was so loving and
lovable. His smile could light up a room and he was usually smiling when he was talking
to you. I still remember holding him as an infant and having him fall asleep on my chest.
That feeling of pure joy and unconditional love can never be surpassed. As an infant he
liked to have his Grandma rock him and pat his butt so he could fall asleep. If she
stopped than he would tell her Do Butts Grandma.. He also loved to have his head
scratched…which did not stop after he became a man. He had no compunction in
plopping down on the couch, laying his head in your lap and asking you to scratch his
head. His cousins are the same way…I guess that comes from the relaxation technique
Grandma started with us kids and used with all her grandkids.
As Tommy was the first grandchild for our family he got a lot of attention and love and in
return so did all of us. He was the only grandchild fortunate enough to be spoiled by his
Great-Grandma and Great Grandpa not to mention the rest of the family. Tommy is the
One who gave Great Grandpa the name Poppy that stuck with him until he passed away
This year. Great-grandma used to let him play with the window button in the car,
rolling it up and down, up and down. When asked why she let him do it and did not use
the window lock she stated “Because he liked to play with it.” Poppy used to take him
for a walk and let him take his little motorcycle with him and soon my Mom would see
them walking home…with Poppy carrying the motorcycle. When Poppy was asked why
he let him take it he stated “because he wanted to.” After he was up in the morning and
Great Grandma, Poppy and Grandma were all dressed he didn’t like waiting around.
He used to throw Great Grandma her sweater and Grandma her purse so they could go off
To breakfast together. He even had a waitress he used to call Tobasco because every-time
she walked by Poppy would call out Tobasco so that she would bring him some so
Tommy thought that was her name.
Tommy was also a very friendly and open child. At about 10 months old Aunt Kim
got married and he was the ring bearer. He had to be in a walker as he wasn’t walking on
his own yet. He took his own sweet time coming up the aisle as he had to stop and say Hi
to everybody he passed. Nobody seemed to mind the wait though. Stubborn as he was,
he walked on his own a couple days after her wedding. He could really be a stinker when
he wanted to. The first Christmas he was old enough to really know what was going on
there were numerous gifts around the tree for him, including a big Tonka truck bought by
his Grandma and Grandpa. Instead of being excited about the gifts Tommy was more
entranced by the two buckets of cookies he had come walking out of the bedroom with.
It was a sight to behold as the buckets were almost as big as him!
Tommy was an adventurous and fearless child. When my Dad and I took him up
to the mountains he was riding on his little motorcycle and all of a sudden he was
zooming down the mountain and headed straight for a tree. With our hearts in our throats
and unable to get to him before he hit the tree, he came to a dead stop not 6 inches from
the tree. We rushed down to make sure he was okay and I think he stated something to
the effect that he wanted to do it again. Tommy also jumped into the pool one time and
his floatie came off. My mom jumped in after him with all her clothes on as he sank
down. When she got him out of the pool he asked her why she had done that because he
wanted to see the bottom off the pool. Believe me, his guardian angel was kept very, very
busy keeping up with him.
remember as a toddler he would tire you out just watching him as he had so much
Energy and his sense of humor could not be denied. He seemed to know
that my Dad liked his paper to be in the exact order it came in, even after he read it,
and would do his best to make sure it was not in order. There were many times his
Grandma chased him down the hallway because he had the paper. He would be laughing
hard and throwing the paper behind him every step he took. He would always warn you
that he was about to do something he wasn’t supposed to with this mischievous twinkle
in his eye but sometimes you were just too distracted by his smile to notice that mischief
was brewing.
Tommy was always very caring and considerate of other people’s feelings in all he said
and did. He always greeted everybody with a hug, regardless of who was with him. He
loved his family very much and his actions always showed that. I remember him telling
me once that he was so upset by my getting married and moving out of state that he had
wanted to kidnap me or beat up Mike so that I wouldn’t leave, even though he knew I
would be back in six months when Mike went on cruise.
I also remember him as the man he became coming up to me and asking me if his
Grandpa would be proud if he joined the Army instead of the Navy, as my Dad was
retired Navy. My answer was a resounding yes. He also requested I put his
picture up on my mantle with all my other military family pictures and that is where it
has been ever since I received it from him. We are all so proud of him for going in,
especially during wartime. I just wish he had come back to us…we never wanted a
Fallen Hero in the family. I say Hero as in our eyes as he was and always will be a
hero.
I loved Tommy very much and will always remember him as the mischievous toddler
with the purple Nini and the grown man who still had his Nini but would share it with
you if you asked. I know that he is sitting back at this time talking to his grandpas, great-
grandma and Poppy having a good time. And I know sometimes as my son gets that
mischievous look in his eye and causes mischief that Tommy is right there egging him
on. The Lord must have really needed a good laugh and a wonderful smiling face and
that is why he took Tommy up to Heaven with him. This is the hardest thing our family
has ever had to go through but Tommy will hold us up when the going gets too tough.
He was always there for us when we needed him and in our hearts he will always be
there. The memories we carry with us will keep our Young Brave American Hero
always with us.
I love you oodles Tommy and miss you bunches!!

Tommy we all loved you so much and you will always be remembered in our hearts and minds.
Watch over us and help us through this as we need all the help we can get"
Aunt Sue of Tucson, Arizona

"Dear Tommy,
I just want you to know that I loved you before you were born and I will always love you. You are so missed. Sometimes I feel like this is just a nightmare and I am sure to wake up soon and it will be over and you will still be with us. Although I know that won't happen. I can't even explain how I feel as this is by far the most painful thing I have ever had to deal with. When I lost Grandpa I thought I had hit the worst thing that could even happen to me but now I know what is even worse, losing a grandchild. The pain is indescribable. But I am so grateful for all the years of beautiful memories which started in the delivery room. You were a beautiful baby and you grew into a beautiful man. You brought such joy to all of us. You and I had some really great times together and I cherish every minute of them. I am so very proud of you, as is the whole family, but that does not ease the pain. Maybe someday it will become tolerable. All I know for sure is that you will always be in my heart. And maybe someday all the wonderful memories will help to ease the pain but right now they can't. I am so overwhelmed with grief right now. I know in my heart that you are okay, I guess it is all of us that I am worried about, as it is a tough go for all of us left behind, who watched you grow into a fine young man with a smile that could light up a room. And in spite of your growth, you were and will always be our "little Tommy"
I love you Tommy,
Grandma"
Sandra Webber of Tucson, Arizona

"My Son, My Hero. I miss you so much my heart aches. You were a wonderful Son and my heart is bursting with Pride. I think about you often and how you have let me with so many special memories that no one can overshadow or take away. In November, I received the picture, from the photographer, of you in your uniform and I look at you everyday. How distinguished you are with all your metals and braids. I thank God for your smile as it carries me through my day. I remember your sense of humor and it makes me laugh. You are very much missed and this world will never be the same without you. I will always love you for you are in my heart.

Thanks to all that have honored my Son for you have recognized and honored his ultimate sacrafice."
Julia Byrd, Mother of Thomas H. Byrd of Tucson, Arizona - by5235 @aol.com

"Tommy,
We sure are proud of you but would rather have you back here with us. You have left a hole in our hearts that can never be filled. You better watch over your cousin David now and be his guardian angel. You know how much mischief he tends to get into!!! We will always love you and our hearts are broken and may never mend.
I will remember you as the mischievous little boy you always were and the young man I was so proud of. Your picture is on the mantel as promised and will stay there forever!
I love you bunches and miss you oodles!!
Now who is going to move my pillow?"
Aunt Sue of Tucson, Arizona

"Baby I love you forever and always,as long as I am living, my favorite soldier you will be....endless hugs and endless kisses."
Mykel Byrd of Tucson arizona

"From One Blue 2 Crew member to another "We Few, We Happy Few, We Band Of Brothers" Always missed, and forever friends and a Brother, and a memeber of the infamous blue 2 crew,"
Pink of Ft Benning

"My heart goes out to the Webbers and the Byrds. Tommy was a fine young man and one who brought joy into many hearts. I can not imagine your pain, but I can imagine how proud you must be to have called Tommy your son, brother, grandson. Thank you for sharing your gift (Tommy) with my parents, they spoke very highly of him and I know they were touched by him being a part of their lives. God Bless you !"
Jerry D. Gallimore II of Lewisville, Tx.

"Tommy was a product of his environment. One of Tommy's greatest characteristics was his ability to glean the best attributes of the people around him.
He developed into a great individual because he respected his Great grandparents, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, coaches and friends. In turn he received the love and respect of anyone he came in contact with.
Anyone who knew Tommy found him having high standards, ethics, and humility.
We shall miss him and remember him.
Love,
Uncle Bob"
Robert D. Mandarino of Mesa, Az.

"Our sincerest condolences to you for your loss. Thomas is a true American hero and will never be forgotten. Our family has also suffered the loss of a family member in this battle for freedom. May God bless you during this difficult time."
Tammy McClain--azquail6@msn.com of Tucson, Az.

"Our sincerest condolences to you for your loss. Thomas is a true American hero and will never be forgotten. Our family has also suffered the loss of a family member in this battle for freedom. May God bless you during this difficult time."
Tammy McClain--azquail6@msn.com of Tucson, Az.

"Don't forget the pudding."
Nestor's wife of Fort Benning, GA

"Tommy, You are our hometown hero. You gave the ultimate mortal scarifice for all of us and the many whom you do not know. I will always remember what you told me just a few short weeks ago and how you enjoyed giving to the children of Iraq. You are now our Byrd in heaven to watch over us and we will always be grateful. Your spirit will continue to keep giving. We all love and miss you very much.
Mike, Julia and Mikey, We share your sadness and grief. Know that you can be so very proud of your son/brother he is a hero. We love you all and we will be here forever to help you heal from this sadness. Time does not heal all the grief it just gets a little easier to deal with the emotions. The hole in our hearts is huge right now and will remain for a very long time. We are here for you in every way and Tommmy will never be forgotten for bravery and scarifice. We love you all."
Janice Darnell of Vail, Arizona/ US

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

"Thank you Thomas Byrd, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"To the family and friends of Spc. Thomas Byrd:
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 Thomas 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. Thomas Byrd:
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 Thomas, 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