Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Ervin Caradine, Jr.

33, of Memphis, Tennessee.
Caradine died in Baghdad, Iraq, when his convoy vehicle hit an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to 91st Engineer Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Died on May 2, 2004.

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"Ervin you cross my mind all the time. You were such a dear friend of my mine. From elementary school all the way to high school. You turn out to be a HERION of MEMPHIS TN!! And I am so proud to have known you. :)"
Veronica Greene of Memphis, TN

"Today is anniversary of your death. Best believe you have been gone, but not forgotten. My prayers goes out the Caradine family."
David Bellfield of Greenwood, Indiana

"Let me wipe my eyes first", it's been 8 years and my heart still hearts for you brotha. Since 1997 we were both drivers in Charlie Company 11th Engineers BN at Fort Stewart in the same platoon. All the way til your passing in 2004. For the 7 years we were together I've enjoyed meeting your beautiful wife and kids. Even when our BDE pushed to Fort Knox for CALFEX and while we were there we stayed over your sister's house and I met her and your nephew. You met my family as well and you would leave your car in my driveway when we went to the field. And we became good friends and close and had many laughes. I can stil hear you say "look here man" and that gold tooth just shinning. I took it heard brotha, really really hard. I was never the same and still piece of me left with you. Not having u around on patrols left for some long long days. I'll always miss you brotha, and not a day goes by that I don't think of you.

To the family I cannot express my deepest sympethy. Ervin was my friend, my partner and my battle buddy. And I thank God for sending us a true Soldier that always jumped in the foxhole and always leaned forward no matter what was asked of him. If there is ANYTHING i can provide or do please notify me at (202) 6784845 or marcelweaver202@live.com"
Marcel Weaver of Ghazni City, Afghanistan

"Mr. Caradine, Wow, where do I start, out of all the casualties that we took on that rotation yours hit home for me....I had just been out on a mission 2 nights prior to your death and you were the gunner for our vehicle....I saw in your eyes the uneasiness yet you did what you were trained to do. 2 days later when they knocked on my door and told me I had to rush in because we had taken some casualties all I could do was freeze especially when they told me that you were one of them. To this day I remember the mission that I went on with you and your crew. To my Sapper Brother I Salute You Ervin Caradine Jr. RIP!!!!"
1SG Hill, T of Killeen, TX

"Caradine was a good person. I served with him in Iraq. He was a great person. He will never be forgotten"
Carl Jackson of New Jersey

"To the family of:Ervin Caradine, Jr. 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"

"May 24, 2008
To the family of Spc. Ervin Caradine, Jr.:
Ervin 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

"Ervin Smith I'll never forget when we met in Lee we thought the opposite one was following the other it was so funny then we went on to high school and became so close that people thought we were brother and sister LOL you are still missed so much if you ever read this email me @ Kncrumer@aol.com"
Kiara of Copperas Cove,Tx

"To the family of SPC. Caradine -
I,too,wear a bracelet with your warrior's name on it. My son is a combat medic who is in training at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio who will no doubt be deployed to Iraq soon. He helped me pick this bracelet out to honor our fallen. You and your family are in my prayers and my words of thanks are inadequate. God bless you -
Samantha
samanthaross@msn.com"
Samantha Ross of Bastrop,Texas,USA

"Ervin...although I never knew you I want to thank you for the sacrifice that you made for us all. I came across your final resting place today while paying my respects of another fallen comrade Marine Captain Brent Morel who is buried close to you. I will look in on you from time to time and make sure there is a American flag over you as often as I can. Its the least I can do for you! Rest in Peace my friend. Your never forgotten!"
A J Lindberg of Collierville, TN

"Ervin,
You were taken from us too soon, I miss you brother, Ill see you in heaven."
Devin Gates of St Louis, Mo

"To the family of Ervin Caradine, I had the pleasure of working with him while stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany. We worked together in the community mailroom for several months. He and I became good friends. He always spoke highly of you, his family. And he was never at a loss for words. He was a good friend, a great man, and I will never forget having had the pleasure of meeting him. Today being Memmorial Day, 2006, I will be thinking about Ervin, and you his family. I will never forget the sacrifice that my friend Ervin, and you his family have given in order for the people of this great country to live the way we do. If ever you would like to contact me my email address is adk123@hotmail.com, and you may have known me a Sgt Gary Adkins."
Gary Adkins of Jackson,Michigan

"ERVIN THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO ,OUR COUNTRY. MORE SO YOU BROTHERHOOD TO OUR SON AS HE FELT OF YOU. TWO SOLDIERS THAT DIDN'T KNOW ONE ANOTHER. PROTECTING ONE ANOTHER! NOW YOU TOGETHER IN A BETTER PLACE! HEALING IS A SLOW PROCESS. ALWAYS BE SUPPORTIVE TOWARD ONE ANOTHER AND WITH UNDERSTANDING. ERVIN KNEW YOU ALL LOVED HIM AS HE DID OF YOU. ONE ONLY NEEDS TO REFLECT ON THE VERY PRECIOUS MEMORIES YOU EACH SHARED WITH ERVIN. THEN YOU REALIZE HE IS STILL VERY MUCH IN YOUR HEART. HE IA AN AMERICAN HERO. REMEMBERED TODAY, TOMORROW AND ALWAYS NEVER EVER TO BE FORGOTTEN!**************FOURTH OF JULY IN GATLINBURG TENNESSEE WILL BE A MIDNIGHT CELEBRATION PARADE AND FIREWORKS. I ALONG WITH OTHER FALLEN FAMILIES WILL BE ATTENDING. TO ENTER A FLOAT TO HONOUR OUR FALLEN AND TO SUPPORT OUR TROOPS. FATHER OF FALLEN SOLDIER US ARMY SGT GREGORY L. WAHL KIA BALAD, IRAQ 05-03-04"
leonard_wahl@hotmail.com of Spring Texas

"As a veteran who has lost dear friends over the years, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I wear Ervin's name on my bracelet so that I, and hopefully all of us, never forget his bravery and sacrifice to this great Nation. May god be beside you and your family.

daveatc1234@yahoo.com"
Dave of Richmond, VA

"To Montessia/Renee' and the children. This would be your dear friend and neighbor from Ft Stewart Ga 1996-2000. With many blessings and prayers will you to be rained down on by a warrior angel. You are always loved and never forgotten. Take care and always remember you still have your Colquitt Street family in your paryers. Take Care. Alisia Williams...Those jokes and racking those leaves in the back of housing will always be a humurous memory of Ervin."
ALISIA WILLIAMS of COLLEGE PARK,GA

"Renee'
this is jerrika weston.we were friends From ft.Stewart in the mid to late 90's. it has been along time and I was sadden to hear of Ervins death!!!He was a loud man!!! always making jokes,having people laughing!! he loved to play with my son when he was a newborn!! He was great with his own kids also he was a great man and loved by you and others alike!!! you are in my prayers and thoughts should you ever need anything just contact me!!!"
jerrika weston of ft.Leonardwood, Mo

"I would like to let you know that every day I wear a bracelet with you husbands name engraved on it so as to let everyone remember and not to forget the heroes that have paid the ultimate price for there country, and how honered I am to wear it. if you would like to contact me my e-mail is pilla0499@verizon.net"
Peter J Pilla of Milton Vermont USA

"On behave of the entire Caradine family, I would like to express my extreme gratitude to all of you who have had us in your prayers since that grim day on May 2, 2004. My father was a great man and your messages of encoragement have not fell on deaf ears. We thankyou and love you all, for your kind messages in a time when we as a family need it the most."
Ervin Smith of Cordova, Tennessee

"I feel sad every time i see or hear the news these days, i hope your family feels some relief from this incredible pain soon as this is all too unfair."
adrian van heuven of adelaide, south australia.

"To the family of SPC ERVIN Caradine Jr. I am honored, but sadned to have had to bring my fallen comrad home to Memphis, to his family. I had the honor to serve with him in the 91st Engineer Battalion. His smile will be missed, his sense of humor will be missed, the conversations about his love for cars will be missed, but most of all.....he will be missed. But not forgotten! May god bless, and keep you."
SSG Timiroff L. McCain of FT Hood Texas

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

"For the family, please know that your sacrifice was not for nothing. True Americans are grateful for the valor of your family member."
Bill K of Massapequa NY

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

"i served with caradine 3/00 to 11/22 in kossovo with the 9th eng bn. he was an honest man and great solider. i was suprise to see him kia in iraq. i will miss his and so will the rest of us in c co 9th eng bn, 1st id."
juan jesus martinez of springfield, mo

"Ervin (Smith) you're my best friend. Thanks for being there for me. I remember the first time we met in summer band. I knew we would be friends right away. You have helped me so much throughout the year. Even though I never got to meet your dad, I can just tell he was a great man because he had you as son. I'm going to miss you so much when you move to Tennessee next week. Just keep in touch, ok?! I'll see if I can get Mrs. Smith to where your "favorite shirt" again before you leave. You'll be greatly missed by everyone."
Jessica Butler of Copperas Cove, TX

"To Ervin's Family and Friends:

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

Sincerely,

The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne, KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.

Gloria Caldas (his mom) of San Antonio, TX"

"ON BEHALF OF MY HUSBAND SGT.LUKE.A.THOMAS OF THE A-CO 91ST ENGINEER, I SEND MY DEEPEST CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY. I M VERY SORRY TO HEAR OF YOUR LOSS BUT JUST KNOW THAT HE WAS AN OUTSTANDING SOLDIER AND LOVED HIS JOB. I KNOW THAT HE WAS A VERY BRAVE PERSON AND I RESPECT HIM FOR ALL HE GAVE TO HIS COUNTRY, HIS UNIT, HIS FELLOW TROOPS AND MOST IMPORTANT HIS FAMILY. THANK YOU."
BARBARA THOMAS of FORT HOOD

"We are so sorry for your loss and know how you are feeling, we lost our son AJ Vandayburg April 9th in Barez. Our prayers are with you in the loss of your Hero."
Allen and Chantil Vandayburg of Mansfield Ohio

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

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

"Thank you Ervin Caradine, Jr., 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. Ervin Caradine, Jr.:
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 Ervin 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. Ervin Caradine, Jr.:
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 Ervin, 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