Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Sgt. Aaron N. Cepeda, Sr.

22, of San Antonio, Texas.
Cepeda died from explosions as a result of enemy action while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to Marine Force Reserve’s 3rd Battalion, 25th Regiment, 4th Division, San Antonio, Texas. As part of Operation Iraqi Freedom his unit was attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). Died on May 7, 2005.

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"I miss you bro so much"
Danny Encinia of Mathis texas

"Aaron-

Thank you for your service. Your ultimate sacrifice will not be forgotten.

To your beloved parents, please know that the entire nation mourns your loss and grieves with you."
Stuart Gray of Baton Rouge, LA

"”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to you. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Over 1,600 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com or go to www.heropaintings.com . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Kenna"
Kenna - Project Compassion of Manti, Utah USA

"To the Wife, Children, Parents & Family of Sgt. Cepeda,

It was an honor for my Wife and I to be present at the dedication ceremony at Sinclair Elementary in honor of Aaron. As a fellow United States Marine, please know that your Husband, Father and Son is my brother and he is my HERO and he will never be forgotten.

It was quoted by one of the greatest Presidents of this great nation – Ronald Regan:

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."

Sgt Aaron N. Cepeda, Sr. has made the ultimate difference and he will forever continue to show us that NO…Freedom is not free. Every night when we kiss our children and lay them to sleep, my Wife and I will always think of Aaron and be forever grateful for the ultimate sacrifice that he has made so that we are allowed to do so.

It is well known that The United States Marines guard this great nation with their lives, we stand guard on the White House for The President of the United States, we stand guard at every US embassy throughout the world…when our time comes, similar to our hymn; “if you look on Heaven’s scenes; you will find the streets of Heaven are guarded by United States Marines.

Thank you Aaron...

Semper Fidelis,
Sgt. Roger Caballero, Jr. & Family
(USMC 1998-2006)"
Roger & Roxann Caballero of San Antonio, TX / USA

"Sgt. Cepeda! OOHRAH MARINE!!! OOHRAH

SSgt Johnson 4th Recon Food Service SNCOIC 2002-2005


I will never forget..."
Fred Johnson of Houston, Texas

"Memorial Day, 2008
To the family of Sgt. Aaron N. Cepeda, Sr.:
Aaron 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

"To the family of:Aaron N.Cepeda,Sr. I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief. He died a hero defending freedom and we are so grateful for anyone defending our freedom.
Know that I am praying for the peace of God that surpasses all understanding for you and that one day we will all meet in Heaven where we will rest in the arms of Jesus.
If you need someone to talk to or someone to pray with please call my Pastor at Gateway Community Church, Reverand John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd Covington Ga. 30016 Phone 770- 787- 1015 (fax)770-787-8215.Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew"

"To the family & friends of Aaron Nathaniel Cepeda, Sr.:

Today, June 17, 2006, I particapted in the Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run to support our troops. I received a dog tag with Marine Sgt. Cepeda's name on it and wanted to express my appreciation and admoration for this young man. It was an honor to ride in his rememberance. He will forever be remembered."
Keith Gress of Channahon, Illinois

"Senor y Senora Cepeda,

I have never met you however, I wanted to thank your family for having raised such a Brave and good son. The Corral family in Denver, CO thanks your son for making the Ultimate Sacrifice! --- God Bless you and God Bless Aaron Cepeda, Sr throughout all of eternity!


Respectfully,

Roberto Corral Y Familia."
Roberto Corral JR of Denver, Colorado

"To my sis and Mr.&Mrs.Cepeda,
Everyday does not go by and that I don't think about Aaron as much this has been a lost to all three of you it has been a great lost to me in the most personal way!!! Don't you ever lose the spirit of Aaron he is our new angel and his is in the hands of the lord no more suffering but now in good spirit!!! Just know that he will never be forgotten!!!! Love you guys!!!"
Crystal Rodriguez of San Antonio, TX

"To my sis and Mr.&Mrs.Cepeda,
Everyday does not go by and that I don't think about Aaron as much this has been a lost to all three of you it has been a great lost to me in the most personal way!!! Don't you ever lose the spirit of Aaron he is our new angel and his is in the hands of the lord no more suffering but now in good spirit!!! Just know that he will never be forgotten!!!! Love you guys!!!"
Crystal Rodriguez of San Antonio, TX

"My heart and prayers go out to the family.From one Marine Sgt to another< Most people go through life wondering if they made a difference, US Marines don't have that problem. Semper Fi.
Sgt Mendiola/ USMC"
Sgt Mendiola, James of Nixon-Smiley, TX

"My heart and prayers go out to my friend Aaron's wife, kids and family. I met Aaron in October of 2004 when I joined 4th Recon in San Antonio. We got to know each other during training and became good friends; I miss him. My memories of him and our conversations I will always hold in high regard. I thank God for having known him, though for a short while, during our service in the Marines. I look forward to one day seeing him again in heaven. May God bless and be with his loved ones always."
Samuel Martinez (Sgt. USMC) of Austin, TX (prsnt. Iraq)

"I will never forget the late nights of studing for finals together and laughing at corney science jokes that were said. He was a friend and motivator and I know he is in God's presence for he was a good man. I send my prayers and tears to his family and friends."
Therese (Whitehead) and Eric Ryniker of Corpus Christi, TX/USA

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

"To The Cepeda Family,
Our Family, Our City, Our Country grieves with you. We are so saddened by your loss. Your Soldier is OUR HERO! We will never forget him or the others who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless You and your Brave Marine..Semper Fi!!"
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN

"Aaron, you will always be remembered as brave, kind, sincere and so much more than I can say. You are truly missed. Thank you for allowing me the chance to know you and for touching my heart as you have with so many others."
Amber of Little Rock, AR

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; Love leaves a memory no one can steal. We are deeply sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
From the family of LCpl Branden P. Ramey, KIA 11/8/04"
Sandy of CA

"Thank you Hero! You will never be forgotten. God Bless."
3/25 Sister of Massillon, Ohio

"I worked very closely with Sgt Cepeda at the Marine Corps Reserve Center. My wife and I had the honor of knowing Aaron. He has left a lasting impression in our thoughts and hearts. Precious moments that are now cherished memories. I am proud to call him a FRIEND and fellow Marine. We are blessed to have crossed paths with him. He will be sadly missed.
To his family, we wish to extend our most sincere condolences. We pray that Aaron has Eternal Rest and Peace. We pray that the Lord continue to bless his family and give them strength to continue this journey with he and his brothers and all that have passed as their Guardian Angels.
We will see you again one day Aaron and pick up right where we left off in this world.
GOD BLESS YOU and keep you safely in his care.
SEMPER FI!"
SSGT Daniel Mathis and Melissa of San Antonio, TX USA

"Mike and Diana,
I was vey shocked and saddened to hear of your loss. You always made me feel like family and when I heard the news I felt like I lost a member of mine. When Zenata and I drove to San Diego for Aaron's graduation, I was extremely proud of him. He was always quiet and soft spoken but he proved himself through actions not words. For him to go back to his unit when he was given an out, showed how much honor and integrity he had. He is a true hero in my book and I know your family feels the same.
Semper Fi Aaron"
Chester Meyers of Spring, Tx

"To the Family, Friends, and Loved ones of Aaron: I am deeply touched every time America Looses another soldier. Especially when they are ones we know personally. I met Aaron once or twice many years ago, while visiting San Antonio with his cousin Zenata Perez. I know how much he means to his family, like the Perez family they are all very close, loving, and protective. I didn't know him well but I know he serves a higher purpose so please celebrate his life and the light he brought to your lives and know he still loves and protects you all. Blessed Be to his children, Your father is truly blessed as are you. Take care of your mother, she needs you now more than ever."
Erin C. (O'Daniel) Thomas of Grove, Oklahoma

"To Aaron's Family

We are deeply saddened for your loss. Your hero will be forever remembered and honored. Please know that our prayers are with you."
Elvira Balderas of Charlotte,Texas

"To Aaron's Family

We are deeply saddened for your loss. Your hero will be forever remembered and honored. Please know that our prayers are with you."
Elvira Balderas of Charlotte,Texas

"We are deeply sorry for your loss. America will forever honor your Hero.
The Courage, Honor, and Valor that your Hero showed will always be remembered.
We are grateful for the sacrifice that was made and we will NEVER FORGET.
God Bless your family and please know that you are not alone.
All of our prayers are with you."
Jennifer and SSGT Larry Mays of Massillon, Ohio

"Aaron,
It's me,Trina. I just want to say thank you for fighting for our freedom and that you will always have a special place in everyones hearts.
I'm going to miss the times you always used to pick on me. But now that your in heaven I can now only cherish those memories. And also you will be looking down watching over your family. God Bless
Love your cousin Trina"
Trina Guerrero of San Antonio

"Aaron,
I will always have a place in my heart were I will hold the memories of you. One day we will be together again, and you can tease me like before. You were always an insperation to me, because you were able to accomplish so many wonderful things in your life time. I don't understand why it had to be you, but maybe you can explain it to me when I see you again. You gave your life so that we may live the rest of ours in FREEDOM, and you will always be remembered for your bravery. I look at A.J. and Journee and I see so many great things in their future, and know you'll help them every step of the way. So till I see you again, I love you and know you'll never be to far.

Love always,
Your cousin Kim"
Kimberly Mata of San Antonio, Tx. / USA

"To Aaron's Family:
I had the pleasure of having Aaron as a student in a confirmation class at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Elmendorf Texas. Aaron was a bright young man with a bright future. He accomplished so much in such a short period of time. I remember when Aaron and Ella met, it was on a church retreat in the hill country. I remember Aaron telling me how much he liked Ella and that she was so beautiful. I feel so blessed to have known Aaron, he was a fine young man. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Peace,
Joseph A. Liedecke Jr.,MA
San Antonio College
Catholic Campus Minister"
Joseph Liedecke of 312 W. Courtland Pl. San Antonio TX 78212

"In memory of my Nino" I LOVE YOU. I'm only two years old
and you have been a very important part of my life.
You will be greatly missed. To the best padrino (godfather) in the world.
You were loving, kind and always willing to treat me as one of your own.
I LOVE YOU (Nina) Ella Cepeda.

Love your goddaughter, Amby"
Amberly Rachelle Mendiola of San Antonio, Texas USA

"Aaron, In the short time I've known you and your family, you have been a wonderful son, husband and father to A.J. & Journee. This has left a major emptiness in my heart. Words can not express, what I feel right now.
Aaron you are truly my HERO because, you gave up your life for our FREEDOM for the future of this country and the future for your children and my granddaughter Serena. Thank you isn't enough for the ultimate sacrifice you made. Aaron you could have come home, but instead you chose to stay and fight for our Freedom. You are truly my HERO and you will be missed. I will carry on your memory with pride. My Prayers and thoughts are with your family during this difficult time.

Love, Dalia Susan Leal and Family"
Dalia Susan Leal of San Antonio, Texas USA

"We will keep your family in our thoughts and prayers! God Bless you."
A 3/25 Wife of Ohio

"AARON OUR FAMILY WILL NEVER BE THE SAME, OUR HEARTS ARE TRULY BROKEN.
Despite the loss of your two brothers, Kevin Ryan And Bryan Christopher, you knew that you were your mom's only remaining son. You did the Right thing and continued to fight for our FREEDOM. WE ARE SADDEN BY OUR LOST AND GOD'S GAIN. Our family will continue to keep your memory alive for your children Aaron & Journee, as they grow. WE WERE BLESSED TO HAVE KNOWN YOU.

OUR HERO" Sgt. Aaron Nathaniel Cepeda


Love, Grandma Grace Mata, Aunt Debra Mata and Family"
Grace Mata, Debra Mata and family of SanAntonio/ Texas/ USA

"Mom and Dad:

Aaron was my baby brother and no matter the distance between us he was always in my thoughts. I love him the way I love my children and I will miss him for the rest of my life as also Bryan and Kevin. I was very proud of all he accomplished and admired all he did for my sister-n-law and their beautiful children AJ and Journee. You know you gave life to three very special boys and there was nothing in the world you would'nt have done for them. "You are their hero's"

Love,
Your daughter

Aaron, one day we will all be together again

I love you brother,
Your Sister"
Dolores of San Antonio, TX/Bexar

"To the family of Aaron Cepeda:

I am saddened to hear of the loss of another soldier. We are going through the same thing with the loss of my brother Cpl. Gary Walters (04/24/05). My prayers and thoughts are with your family. If you need anything please feel free to contact me heather564@hotmail.com. Aaron will always be a Hero! Thank you sir for fighting for our freedom."
Heather Walters- Brown of Victoria, Texas

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Aaron N. Cepeda, Sr.,

Those we hold most dear, never truly leave us. May you find comfort in love's everlasting connection.

In the Support section of this web site you will find links to many groups that support you at this crucial time. The Marine Comfort Quilt group would be honored to send a quilt to the next of kin. There are many, loving and caring Americans from all over the United States that will never forget the sacrifice that your loved one has made for our Freedom. Please use our link and register so we can send you our "Love Stitched Together."

Proud Marine Mom and Proud Member of Marine Comfort Quilts "
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca USA

"Marine Sgt. Aaron N. Cepeda,Sr., "thank you" isn't enough for the ultimate sacrifice you gave to each of us. Our prayers and thoughts are with your family during this difficult time."
Jerry & Toni Longville of Akron, Ohio

"To Aaron's Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your soldier's bravery and sacrifice as we mourn the loss of yet another of Texas' children. Our sons are truly heroes!

By His Grace,

Gloria Caldas
Proud Mother of Fallen Hero
Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas
"The Big Ern", 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
San Antonio, Texas
gcaldas48@aol.com"

"My heart goes out to Aaron's family and friends."
Marine MOM 3/25/4th of western NY

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

"Thank you Aaron Cepeda, Sr., 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 Sgt. Aaron Cepeda, Sr.:
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 Aaron 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 Sgt. Aaron Cepeda, Sr.:
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 Aaron, 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