Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Staff Sgt. Alexander B. Crackel

31, of Wilstead Bedford, United Kingdom.
Crackel died in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, from injuries sustained from enemy small arms fire. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, Camp Hovey, Korea. Died on February 24, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Staff Sgt. Alexander B. Crackel.

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"Can't believe it's been 12 years Alex, you remain in my thoughts as do your family. Will always remember xxx"
Gemma of Formerly Wilstead, Beds

"So mate, 12 years have gone by since you were taken.....

Still think of you often mate, all the fun times we had back then.....

Still have your dog tag that your mum gave me at your funeral - framed and on the bookcase at home.

Hope you're ok wherever you are, see you soon....."
Steve Anton-Farrow of Southampton, UK

"Will the family please contact me at sean@villetvnetwork.com?"
Sean Burton SAUNDERS of Louisville Kentucky

"Been thinking about you... Especially as the holiday season starts...that Thanksgiving you and some guys came to our dinky apartment in Schweinfurt ... We drank hot tea.. I knew how to make it the right way.. No tea bags lol... And of course Star Wars.. The new movie is coming out soon .. We had those kid light sabers and of course.. You being you... Fought duels in our living room.. Just want you to know .. You are not forgotten.. Your zest for life.. It was not lost upon me... Got my motorcycle license.. Ran 15 mile mud runs.. Gotta honor that sacrifice..."
Jesse and Sharon Hill ( Ret) of Corpus Christi , Texas

"Hey SSG Crackel,
This weekend is for you. Whether you were Batman or just one of my NCOs you are always a hero to me. Over 10 years gone and I still think about you and the rest of Wildbunch we lost that tour. I miss you brothers and I hope and pray for your families to be well. This weekend is to remember your sacrifices and I hope to always bring honor to it and make you brave men proud."
SGT Raul Silva of Riverside, CA

"Alex,
I’m still living life you know, like you would want me to. Things have changed a little in my life now. I had a daughter and her name is Madison. She is awesome and a handful all at the same time. I look forward to the day I can tell her about our adventures and how life is. She will know that brave men have come and gone and they made sacrifices like the one you did. She will be respectful for that cause I promise you. I only wish the world was more respectful, especially on Memorial Day.
Anyways brother life is good now and as we get old, I still think about you! I still laugh at some of our, well let’s just say situations we got into on more than a few occasions. I will and always will have a pint in your honor every year. Cheers mate!!!

76boyd@gmail.com"
Eric Boyd of Corona, CA USA

"Just stopping by to say hello to the family of Alex. He is so missed every year, especially around memorial day. Thank you for your selfless service and it was an honor to serve with you my friend."
Sean Burton Saunders of Louisville Ky. USA

"Animal,
Miss you bro....I know its been a while since I was on here but I have never forgotten you..... Still "Up the Irons" for you all the time....I will see you again...but not yet...not yet"
Josh Rodriguez of Kansas City

"Alex,

You were a great friend. Im honored to have known you and served with you in Iraq. From Kansas to Korea and back to Iraq. You kept people laughing. I still remember that Batman costume! Love you brother. God bless you and your family, you will always be in our hearts."
Kevin Cruz of Chicago, Illinois

"Very sorry to learn of the death of Alex. My family spent a lot of time with his family in Wilstead when they were young. A very sad loss!"
Jackie Harris of Wotton-under-Edge

"Alex, it has been a long time my friend. I just retired after 20 years and not a day goes by I don't think of you and many others. God bless you and your family and know your memories live on."
SFC McMillen of Syracuse NY

"Just cleaning through an old drawer and ran into a CD Alex and his band recorded for me. It only has one song on it: "Love Gone Bad." I haven't listened to this song in years. I was a working flight attendant on one of Alex's deployment flights in March 2003. He was a really great guy. I can't believe he's been gone almost 9 years. Happy belated birthday to you Alex."
Alicia Black Dugan of Plainfield, IL

"Hey Crackel, can't believe that it's already been 8 years that I had to tell Tim that you were killed. I still have very many fond memories of the time I got to spend with you and your family. Merry Christmas to your family and I hope they will have a Happy New Year. Merry Christmas "Animal""
Daniela Deck of Bad Neustadt, Germany

"Alex- Happy birthday brother..! Thanks bro, thanks for all you sacrificed. Thinking of you on your special day, and rest assured you will never be forgotten."
Eric Boyd of Apple Valley, CA USA

"I wanted to thank everyone for their kinds words for my son, Alex. He would have been 40 years old on 22 Dec 13. He is very much missed but still very much loved."
Clinton E. Crackel of North Aurora, IL

"Just stopping by to say hello to the family of "Animal", its times like this that I remember having a few beers and great conversations about drumming. My heart sits heavy with the family. 8 years seems like a long time, but it seems like yesterday that I remember you. What a great spirit you had back then and I am sure you are still rocking in some spirit. I miss you my friend, just wish I had kept in touch! Thank you for the great memories and god bless your family. My production company is doing a webisode and my character's name is Sgt Alex Crackel, just a way to pay tribute to you brother! See you in Drummer heaven, keep the drums set up for me!"
Sean Burton Saunders of louisville Ky, VilleTVLive.com

"On Sunday 10th November 2013 the Wilstead branch of the Royal British Legion are dedicating a new memorial stone to Alex. The stone bears his name and is placed in the existing war memorial area.
The memorial is in Wilstead churchyard. If you are visiting anytime please come and take a look."
Keith Anderson of Wilstead

"Alex,
We miss you brother! You made us laugh and a few of us cry. You helped make the Wildbunch the family that it is still today. We are all thinking of you this memorial day, 2013. You are never far from our thoughts and hearts. You made a huge impact on whomever you came into contact with. It was an honor and privelage to serve in the same Company and call you a brother in arms. We will link up in the next world. Make sure your playing your guitar when I get there."
Red2 SSG Roderigas of Oklahoma

"Hey SSG Crackel,
Wow its coming up on 8 years and I still think about you on a regular basis. I know I was not on your crew or even in the platoon long enough time to really get to know you as well as others did. I did go out in sector with you multiple times and of course you being an NCO in 4th I got to interact with you plenty. The pain I felt that February was one I did not understand at the time, probably because I was young and dumb. Through the years I've come to realize I lost a brother that day, a hero of mine. I think of that tour regularly and of all the brothers that were lost that year. I carry your name on me at all times to be reminded that life should not be wasted, it should be strained to get every last drop of joy out of it, like you did in all the photographs I have of you. I live now not only for me, but for the family lost that tour. I try and make them proud, I try and make you proud. I'm finally transferring to complete my degree. With every step I take forward I look to my past to remind myself of how I got where I am and who helped get me there. You helped get me here SSG. Your sacrifice resonates with me and drives me. Thank you. Well SSG I got to get going, but I will check in on you and one day I will see you resting I mean cmon I have to go visit Batman right?"
SGT Silva of Riverside, CA

"I knew Alex from mother & toddlers group, play school and every school thereafter. From a little boy he always wanted to serve in The Forces. Glad he made it to live his dream. Such a sad loss at such a young age though. He would always clown around & make people laugh even as a nipper! So nice to see tributes on here from so many of his old school friends. Good to see that Alex hasn't been forgotten (not that you ever could!). Can't believe it's been over 7 yrs. Lots of love. Emma"
Emma White of Formerly of Wilstead, UK

"Alex was one of the most talented, funny and uplifting individual I have been blessed to meet. The time in Korea was one of the best, due to his friendship. The time in Iraq was easily passed, with his cutting up to try to get everyone to laugh. Dude, I really miss you!"
Redwolf 7- SFC Stephen Williams of Fort Benning, GA

"For Alex and his family and friends. I was introduced to Alex by a guitarist mate of mine, Billy. Then the three of us rehearsed and played at The Black Hat pub in Wilstead. I instantly knew that Alex was good. I remember after one gig Alex and his family put me up for the nite and made me feel very welcome. I coundn't have met nicer people. I'm very moved at the wonderful tributes here. Rest In Peace Alex."
Pete of Bedford, UK.

"Alex, it's been a while buddy. 7 years ago I thought that there would be a day when the actions of 24 Feb. 2005 dulled and faded away. The memories of that day have not faded nor have the fond memories that I have of the good times that me, Elvis, and you spent together. I miss you man and hope that each day of my life makes you proud. I plan to bring my wife and daughter to see you in England and pay our respects to the man that has shaped my military career and my life. I think about you every day brother and look forward to seeing you at the ORP. Have a cold one waiting on me bro! RLTW"
SSG Josh Braly

"Hey mate; just remembering the good old days in Korea, nothing like a pair of Brits in the US Army drinking like we were back home. See you when I get there."
Geoff Partridge of FT Leonard Wood, MO, USA

"Hey Alex, good news. Bin Laden been killed, meaning that you did not fight & die in vain in the fight against terrorism. A result at last. Again many thanks for all you gave, you are 'the man'. You are still missed by all :-)"
Mark Allen of Bedford, England

"This is an amazing page - I just had to leave a message even though I did not personally know Staff Sgt. Crackel.

Yesterday (2/20/2011) my family and I were out Geocaching in rural Texas and we found a "Fallen Heroes" Geocoin that was placed in honor of Alex. It has traveled around the world in his name/memory, over 24000 miles!! We will continue to move it along so others will learn about him as well! Today I decided to search the web to see if I could find anything about him and that is how I found this page. God Bless those who serve our country - prayers to his family and friends that lost him - seems like he was a good soul!"
Melissa Ballard & Family of North Texas, USA

"Just checking in on you bro, on a day made just for heroes like you..!"
Eric Boyd of Victorville, CA

"Alex,
You were a good friend that I had when we were stationed together in Germany. I know that you are in a better place now and still rocking. I was fortunate to have been in the same company as Alex in A/1-26 IN "Blue Spaders" in Schweinfurt, Germany. I learned of the death of Alex from the Stars and Stripes newspaper. Learning of Alex's death was difficult. I knew Alex as a Specialist during my time in Germany. I knew him as "Animal". Alex was a big strong Infantry guy who was an example for the rest of us. Alex had hilarious sense of humor. We had so many great times together while we were stationed in Schweinfurt Germany, A/1-26 Infantry, I will never ever forget the time when Alex took me, Boyd, and Powers with him to his home in Bedford, England. Powers and Alex both had black eyes on opposite sides from a good night of drinking and partying. Those times were hilarious, with the times we shared in the Army have forever still in my memory. I remember him entertaining us with his English accent or going into his heavy metal act. He sacrificed his life for all of us. I am saddened of the loss of your life! You will always be in my thoughts, memories and prayers until the day I die. You have given the ultimate sacrifice and it will never be forgotten!

SFC Timothy R Mosteller
A/1-22IN, 1 BCT, 4ID
Ft. Carson, Colorado"
Timothy Mosteller of Ft. Carson, Colorado

"As I write this at work I am struggling to hold back the tears because I have spent a lot of time with Sir Crackel aka “Animal”. Wow where do I start honestly, as we had so many great times together while stationed in Schwienfurt Germany, 1/26 Infantry, A.Co. I will never ever forget the time when Alex took me and a few friends with him to his home in Bedford, England. Those times right there mixed in with the times we shared in the Army have forever changed my life. Alex if you can somehow read this, know that I miss the hell out of you and you made a part of my life special. If theres one thing I know about Alex its that he did things his way and from what everyone else has said on here, it looks like you lived your whole life that way. So cheers to you mate and know that I will look for you when my time comes as well. I can be contacted at 76boyd@gmail.com. Some of you might know me as SGT. BOYD, Eric, I now live in California and work at Ft. Irwin."
Eric Boyd of Victorville ,CA /USA

"Hey Alex. Just a short msg to say i still missin ya m8 and you will always be in my thoughts. Theres not a day goes by when i dont see or hear something that reminds me of you. Maybe i will see you again one day and if you should walk into Paul Gray of Slipknot you could have a session together. l8r Geezer."
Phil Carey of Kempston, Beds, England.

"Alex

Just checking in mate

Got another little boy now called Billy,we r working on number 2

Russell getting his own place

RIP HERO

MISS YA BUD"
Dave Edmunds of shefford .beds .uk

"I just got this link from Kelly. I'm really touched by all the great messages about Alex. He was a very good friend of mine for many many years. I had the pleasure of spending many hours with the madman himself. I played in a band with him for quite a while and no-one could play drums like him, he use to nail the drums on Megadeth songs like i've never seen since. I still have a video( now a dvd) when we jammed and recorded the 'Iconoclast' 'Fight back 'demo. And it still makes me laugh now.And remember many many good times, even when he streaked at a show i played at 'the pits' in Milton Keynes. I had the great pleasure of knowing his mum, brother and sister. And they always treated me like one of their own when i was round. I was deeply saddened when i heard the news and see that he never changed over the years. He was a great bloke and it was a great pleasure and honour to have been a friend of his and played some great music with him.. still have rehearsal tapes in the loft too. Rest In Peace myfriend..gone butt never forgotten..."
Alan Clement of Milton Keynes, England/ United Kingdom

"Alex was a great guy, very funny, considerate and genuine. Alex you will never be forgotten. RIP."
Tristan Slessor of Haynes Beds UK

"sorry to read about sgt. crackel but very proud, dint know other crackels / pat t crackel kailua kona hi 96745.ptcrackel@yahoo.com"
pat t crackel of kailua kona hi

"Just thinking about you Alex. Time's not making it any easier. Wish you were here..."
Johnny of Topeka KS

"Dear Alex, you where the craziest guy ive ever known. Your where a great friend of mine and i always looked up to you. When I found out I was going to have a baby i wanted to name her after you. Her name was Alexandra she was still born on 23Feb09 the day before the your 4th year of your passing. I told her you would look after her and to keep you out of trouble in heaven. Wacth over her, keep her close by. Everytime I hear knockin on heavens door I think of you, Ill turn it up, tear up and just remember the good old days of stormchyld in the day room. I love You Brother and I miss you. I would like to send his family a card or even talk to them, my email is tazx6r@yahoo.com im deployed to kosovo till late 2010 thanks. P.S. Alexandra listen to him he is a great guy."
SSG Ben Johnson of Cco 1/41 inf kansas

"To the family of Alex Crackel,
My husband served with Alex in 1-41 at Ft. Riley. He taught my husband how to be an Assistant Gunner, and taught him how to survive. Both my husband and I will always be grateful to Crackel for the lessons he taught and laughter he brought. Our second son's name is Alexander, so that we and everyone else we know will remember. My thoughts, sympathies and prayers have been and always will be with you."
Mrs. H of Michigan

"Mr. Hampson's editors are incorrect about Alex being British born. He was born at March Air Force Base Regional Hospital in California. I should know because I was stationed at March AFB at the time.

I miss you son, but I'm proud of your service to our country, and I'm honored to be the father of such an outstanding NCO. I think of you every day."
Clinton E. Crackel of North Aurora, IL/USA

"For everyone who gets on here as a friend to Alex, much respect. I loved him like a bother and I still sing and play the songs he and I wrote together. But if you see anyone up here wanting to do a story based on Alex, kindly refuse them. I called this guy Rick Hampson and basically he told me the editors weren't interested in Alex because he was British born. In my opinion you don't get more American than a man from another country coming over here fighting and dying for America. Screw those guys. Alex, we still love you."
Johnny Horne of Topeka KS

"Hi Alex,
I will always remember you as Batman after you came out dressed up as Batman in the 3rd Floor balcony from the Barracks.Thats the greatest memory I will keep with me til I day I leave this world .When I first heard of what had happened to you I went and hid somewhere I wouldnt be seen.I had never felt so much pain in my life like I did that moment.We were'nt in the same platoon but from the way I saw you treated your soldiers made want to be the same way the day I became an NCO.I deal with the memories of those comrades we lost everyday one way or another.Brother I know your in a better place and I know your keeping an eye over us every where we go.To your family I would like to say you were a great person in every possible way.Well this is it for now til the day we all meet once again."
Sgt.Briones,Miguel of Ft.Bliss,El Paso,Tx

"It's been a few years since you were killed my friend and i go to your grave as much as i can to have a chat to you. you are still greatly missed my friend and there is not a week that goes by that i don't think about you. maybe we will see each other again one day. l8r geezer."
Phil Carey. of Kempston, Bedford, England.

"It's been a few years since you were killed my friend and i go to your grave as much as i can to have a chat to you. you are still greatly missed my friend and there is not a week that goes by that i don't think about you. maybe we will see each other again one day. l8r geezer."
Phil Carey. of Kempston, Bedford, England.

"”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

"Alex,
We all miss you terribly bro. Not a day goes by... Time has passed but it still feels as if I just found out you had been killed. The pain is always there deep inside, some days more so than others. "The song remains the same" I miss your Jimi Hendrix - Star Spangled Banner version, heck we all miss the way you made a guitar sing like no other could. Only guy I have ever seen to asked to play the drums for a USO band. That was good times. I wear my black memorial wrist band and soldiers will ask me daily, SSG who is that?... is your first name Alex? And so I tell them your story... so your name and memory lives on in the new generation of soldiers in that group that gathers around eager to hear the story of the guy that would jam out on the top of his Brad playing the Star Spangled Banner (jimi version) to help drown out evening prayer noise. I am still working on the PF songs Alex, one song I have comitted to memory is "Wish you were here.." And we all do my friend. We wish you were here with us. I have a daughter now, she is ten months old. By the way, you were right... she is the center of my life. She has my so wrapped around her little fingers it is not funny. I have friends over there across the pond. I never had a chance to tell you goodbye. Someday I will make it over there to pay my respects and tell you goodbye. Until that day my friend, please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers daily. if any family member would like to contact me please use this email, just remove the space between the p and the @. diego11p @yahoo.com"
SSG Rod of US

"who'd have thought that 4 years has passed already and yet we all find our selves at our times of feeling down, remembering the man who made us see a smile in almost everything, i did not serve with Alex but he was still my friend, we fout together, we laughed together and i will never forget, may your memory live on in our hearts"
Julian Satherley of Bedfordshire

"Alex, I was unpacking some things from storage last month and to my surprise....I found the frying pan! Your favorite frying pan! Ha. I had to smile. Just wanting you to know that you are still thought of. I can't remember a better time than Riley and the Fantastic Four. We will ride again, someday!"
Destiny of Ft. Hood, TX

"I’m Rick Hampson, a national reporter for USA TODAY. I recently read the tributes and memories dedicated over the past few years to Staff Sgt. Crackel on the http://www.fallenheroesmemorial.com site. I think they could form the basis for a moving Memorial Day story, because Alex’s life has prompted an unusually articulate and passionate series of reflections. But to conform to USA TODAY’s reporting rules, I need to actually speak or make contact with those who have posted messages on the site just to verify their authenticity. So I’d appreciate it if you could call me (collect is fine) at 212 715 5419 (days) or 201 475 8192 (nights). (Pls leave ur # if I’m in voicemail.) Or reply via email to this address, rhampson@usatoday.com."
rick hampson of new york, NY/USA

"Re: SSG Alexander Crackel

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, MA USA

"alex, its been a while bro. elvis and i talk about you all the time man. i found some pretty hilarious pics of you rocking out on the brad the other day, who would've thought that a coax could make such a great guitar? we are planning a trip to come see your grave in england man. to alex's family. if anybody has contact information i could really use some help. i look forward to meeting and befriending more of alex's family and friends as soon as possible. joshbraly@yahoo.com. you're always in our prayers brother,
josh"
SSG Josh Braly of FT. Benning, GA U.S. Army Sniper School

"Thanks for some great memories Alex.
It's a shame they were so few!
You will always be remembered.Jakob sends his love & Ava too,although you never got to see missy, she knows all about you.
Thanks just for being you."
Mike. of Wilstead,U.K.

"Oct, 2008. Never Forget our fallen brothers and sisters. Animal you make me proud to have served with you. God Bless Your family. October 31st wildliferadio.com will be broadcasting at 9:30 Eastern time. please tune in and hear what I have to say to our fallen comrade"
Sean, Two Pump Chump of louisville Ky

"alex it's been three year's now since i heard the new's of youre untimely departure and i still dont know what to say and for me that's something .
i still havent got the bolxxxxxx to go and see youre mom , i suppose i am spineless something we all know youre not . keep banging them skins !!!!
any one reading this and who want's to contact me send a line to laverockcheyer@googlemail.com
love to all
birty"
andrew birtwistle of st neots

"hello bro,it's rod,i watched a maiden concert from 1985 on tv the other night and was singing along,then i noticed something,you weren't there with me,i remember all our great times together,and when i ironed your bdu's for 5 bucks and did a tossed up job of it,you just laughed.Anyway, when maiden played "the trooper" on that concert i belted it out the best i could in honor of you brother.i miss you STRAIGHT AND STALWART!!!!!"
Spc .Rod from B.co of wichita ks

"Alex,I still can't believe that your gone. When I think of you I smile. I always have a story to tell, like when you nicked Jamies new trainers and hid them in the playground, or when we played football at the priory and jumped in the river to get the ball back. Or setting fire to your leather jacket at clophill church!! I remember you jumping around at Esquires and falling asleep listiening to slayer when we got back to your mums house! You always turned up when I least expected it and I was always glad you did! Hard to think you won't surprise me anymore. I have a son now and I wish he could have met you. You will always be in my heart, so close no matter how far.
Love Sara xxx xxx"
Sara Mcclurg of Ampthill, Beds, UK

"just checkin in bro.still same old sam e old here

god bless"
dave edmunds of flitwick ,bedfordshire

"Bazz, just stopping by mate, not really got the words but you know.....ill bring the jack when i get there brother"
DS SSG Marc Brennan of Fort Jackson, SC

"June 2, 2008
To the family of Staff Sgt. Alexander B. Crackel:
Alexander 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

"My Dearest Alex-
I don’t know how appropriate it is for me to leave a message on a site that has been dedicated to you by your wonderful family and dearest friends. But, I feel compelled to share my thoughts and feelings. It’s been three years since your death and I still find myself thinking and crying about you daily. From the first day that we met I knew that you would be a part of my life until the day that I die. You meant more to me then words can ever express. I know that this sounds silly, but I do feel your watchful eyes on me, and I thank God that he has such a protective warrior with him. I hope you know that a piece of my heart will always belong to you…

To the sweet Cherokee-
Your daddy loved you so much that words can’t describe. I know that I have never had the privilege to meet you, but do know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Michelle
Ivicak79@Hotmail.Com"
Michelle Ivicak of Kansas City, KS (U.S.A.)

"hi alex its coming up to new year 2007 .was in a pub yesterday and some really heavy metal music came on the jukebox it striaght away reminded me of you i'll never forget that heavy jacket you used to wear ...your still in my thoughts.speak to you soon"
david edmunds of flitwick (firmally of wilstead)

"Hey Bro.... Henthorn told me about what happened and I've been walking around with my head down all week. I pulled out my photo album and remembered the good old days. Jamming out to Slayer in your room.... stumbling back from the Rock Fabrik and doing a face plant on the way to the ATM. Juan... remembers this one! SKEETO. I miss ya man! No one can do the Monty Python impressions better than you."
Jake "The Tank Killer Brown" Brown of Danville, Ca/USA

"HI ALEX BEEN A WHILE SINCE I LAST WROTE.BEEN THINKING ABOUT YOU A LOT LATELEY MY FAMILY DOES NOT LIVE IN WILSTEAD ANYMORE SO I DON'T SEE YOUR MUM AS OFTEN AS I USED TO..I'M SURE SHE IS FINE...

YOU ARE STILL IN MINE AND RUSSELL'S THOUGHTS

TALK TO YOU AGAIN SOON BUDDY"
DAVID AND RUSSELL EDMUNDS of FLITWICK

"alex, all the good times we had sneaking around in abbey middle school, and john bunyan. looking for things to keep us amused. you are a legend m8. and an absouloute top top man. you always had a smile and a joke to keep everyone happy.

save a bud for me m8. ;)"
keith lews (liamthedestroyer@hotmail.com of bedford, uk

"I was fortunate to have been the company commander of SSG Crackel in A Company/1-26 "Blue Spaders" in Schweinfurt, Germany. I recently learned of the death of Alexander from my old driver Joe McCormack. Learning of Alex's death was difficult. Alex was a Specialist in the Apaches during my time there. I did not know that his nickname was "Animal" but i'm not suprised. SSG Crackel was a big, tough, strong Infantryman who was an example for the rest of us. He was the consumate Infrantyman. SSG Crackel could have walked off a recruting poster. He was a field-tough Soldier beyond his years. SSG Crackel also had a sense of humour. I remember him entertaining us by dropping into his native English accent or going into his heavy metal act. SSG Crackel loved his adopted country. He sacrificed his life for all of us. I am saddened of the loss of your life! God decided that you should come home early. I will live the rest of my life trying to live upto your sacrifice. You will always be in my thoughts, memories and prayers until the day I die.

I have a photo of you proudly holding the American flag on a hilltop with two other Soldiers at Grafenwoehr, Germany. That is how I will always remember you. That photo will always be on my wall-and when anybody walks in I will tell them about you. You have given the ultimate sacrifice and it will never be forgotten!"
Jim Crawford of Camp Zama, Japan

"Dear Alex,
What can I say bro? Everyone up here says they'll miss you more than anyone else will. You touched a lot of people and I know when I'm gone a lot fewer people will mourn my passing. But who gives a damn about that? Bottom line, since you've been gone my life's just been so empty. I remember when you left for Korea the fear I had that I may never see you again. Then we talked about you coming back and putting Stormchyld back on the road, and I think I was OK after that. But then you're gone for good. And since you're gone Stormchyld is gone too. I kept that name for 15 years hoping to find the right band to attach it to. You guys came along and I knew we had it. I don't even play guitar that much anymore bro. I miss the past way too much I guess. I know you're supposed to reach a point where you move on. I guess I'm not ready for that and it's been two years. You were my brother and it's a loss I've really not been able to deal with too well. I talk to a picture I have of you from time to time just to say I'm sorry I wasn't there so I could watch your back. Things will never be the same without you bro. Two years have passed and it still feels like yesterday I got the news...Time doesn't heal all wounds, despite what they say. You're in my heart bro..."
Johnny Horne of Topeka KS

"I occasionally make it back to this site every now and again. It still makes me feel great to read all of the things people have said, and it just helps me remember all the crazy things that "animal", did as well. I had a blast with him in germany and I truely salute him in his brave efforts, and I have lost contact with his family. If anyone has a chance please go to myspace.com/twopumpchump and listen to cant be bought. if it doesn't remind you a little of Alex, then you did not listen close enough. I think of him every time I play it. Never forget our fallen heros, and always take the time to thank a soilder for his or her sacrafise for this country that i love so much. Two Pump CHump will be making our way over to the great UK comming up soon. I ask everyone who knew Alex to come to the show as my personal guest for the evening. I, as well as all of you, miss him very much. Alex is up there right now rocking out harder every day"
sean of louisville Ky ,Two Pump Chump

"Alexander,
I would 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. After reading all of the reflections left here for you, I wish that I had had the honor to have served with you.

"Manchus-Keep Up The Fire!"
(9th Inf. Motto)"

"Alex,
I miss you man,i have a son now and wish he could have met you,i always tell my wife of the great times we had together,i remember you running out of the dark in kuwait singing the 1st ID song a sloud as hell,and i remember heated discussions with you on the best maiden song....miss you bro,keep watch over us"
rod.. from b.co 1/41 of wichita ks

"Alex
still remember you helping me and my old man pull the cealing down in his house, you and me covered in dust from head to toe, crazey days but such a laugh,(sorry for leaving it so long mate)sure your making them giggle where ever you are, always used to have me rolling around all over the shop,take it easy now bubby, sit back and chill"
Julian satherley of Milton Keynes/GB

"To the family of:Alexander B. Crackel 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"

"i got back from iraq in oct. i am sorry for your loss. i am tho proud of the biggest sacrafise he made for his country and name."
spc james f crackel of kenton tennessee usa

"Alex,
Another year passes and the pain of loosing you hasn’t lessened. I still tell your Irish jokes, and tell stories about you, me and Haus dismounting in a fight at NTC singing ”You Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”. No matter what the situation, you always made me laugh. X-mas was hard this year, but I thought about Stormchyld rehearsing loud as hell in the day room with my 4 month old son sound asleep on the couch next to you. You will never be forgotten. "Ball Sacks""
Walt Cambron of Sacramento, CA

"How can I put into words a feeling? The feeling I always had around Alex was something I have rarely felt around anyone not a blood relation.
Alex always knew how to make you smile and laugh at yourself, even when you were feeling about to pass out from exhaustion. He always knew just what to do when you were glum to get you cracking up. I still remember several times being dragged out of bed in Korea to go biking and discover some river-spanning cafe or other. I remember how excited he was when Jackie said yes, I remember him snapping me out of my funk when my divorce was at it's worst.
I'll never get over the loss of such a good friend, and I am sure that others are definitely of like mind on this. Alex, I know where you are, and I know that the music is sweeter, and the sound is amazing. Let's just hope they don't make you play drums a mile from your room anymore..."
SSG Christopher Greenley of Ft. Carson, CO

"Its been a while since I read all the messages and now I can read them with a smile instead of a tear. It cracks me up, some of the stories I see and it has also been wonderful to talk to people who knew Alex personally on the phone (don't be afraid to call Mum either as well). Alex has left a big hole in our hearts now that he has gone to the great big gig in the sky but look what memories he has left us with as well? I still have my moments when I stop and think about what happened and how much I miss my big bruv and still I shed a tear but then I remember all the memories I have, the good ones and I find myself chuckling to my self, infact to the point when I'm sitting in my car at the traffic lights, people look at me like I'm on something??? ( I'm not, just so you know!!!!!). Life does go on and the pain is still there but time does heal , you never get over a death of anyone but you have to have faith and smile even when your down 'coz' that what Alex would probably want you to do. I have a suggestion? Since most of you guys who served in the army with/or knew Alex are probably as crazy as he was ( and lets pray that some of that craziness hasn't rubbed off onto Cherokee as boy, we will have our hands full!!!)I think we shoud have a Batman day in his honer. I don't advocate drinking as I'm tee-total (yeah and I'm also a super model). We should all dress up as characters of Batman and Robin and go on a crusade around town testing the quality of the beer they sell, perhaps we could also raise money for charity and turn the day/night into something positive. Let me know what you think? you could do this anywhere and anyone can join in as long as they are willing to make complete plonkers of themselves?? Well I hope that all of you who read this message, take care of yourselves and each other ( wow Jerry Springer moment) Annette.
P.s Thank you for all your support xx"
Annette ( Alex's sister) of Maulden, Bedfordshire, UK

"i never knew you but from what i have heard you were a great person i have looads of respect for you for what u have done for your coutry and i really wish i got to meet you"
luke of bedford

"How can you put in a few words about Alex. He would always come in my office in Ramadi and talk to be about possibly leaving the infantry and becoming a helicopter pilot. Or the time we went down to the MWR building and totally got lost playing the guitar and drums. God gave him a gift when it came to him playing that guitar. Remembering the time when he got so mad because of a very close call he had with a sniper and he could not find the guy or watching the video he made for his family. The time in Korea with him in that damn batman costume. You could always turn to Alex and get a laugh. Nothing got him down. Out of all the Manchus lost that year in Iraq, he was the hardest on me. He was my friend and will always be missed and never forgotten. How I could never understand all the talk about the Queen and how I use to give him crap about her. Not a good thing to do with Alex."
SSG McMillen of Ft drum

"I like to read the messages from all of you, I even know some of you that served with Alex at FT Riley. I am his brother James, I was the person who used to pick him up from the barracks on a friday night, to go to JC, and get really drunk; then we would call my wife who 6-7 moths pregnant to come and find us, as we had no idea where we where. I was 1st Maint CO, Ft Riley when Alex was Cco 1-41 INF, so it's nice to hear from the ones you know from times past. I look back from the times we went to NTC together, I even went with other units if I could just so myself and Alex could do things together in the Army. So when I had to PCS to Germany I was stationed in Schweinfurt, and got to speak to some of the soldiers that knew Alex from Aco 1-26 INF (Blue Spaders;) so when the deploymant came for us in Germany I was sad that I was not with my brother, so when I found he had died that tore my world apart,as I was not there for him when he died or even he might have needed me; I hated going to the memorials at 1-4 CAV, CONN Barracks; as that was hard enougth, as I was a mechanic I got to know people that got killed before the deployment; so that was a blow in it's self. But loosing my brother when I could not be there, as I said that tore my world apart. I have my work cut out for me when my family and I move back to England next year, as I want to tell his little girl what kind of a man her daddy was; and tell Daniel just what kind of Dad alex would be, Daniel was not his son but he loved him as if he was; I just want to be there for his children and do my best as Alex would have done for me. He might of had his faults at time to time, but he was and still is one of a kind "the MAN." I hope some of you think the way I do about my brother, I miss him so much and pray to god every day I wish it was me and not him; but we both now the score when we joined the Army, we just thought it would never happen. So Alex, if God lets you read this "God Save the Queen" ( a thing myself and Alex would do when we saw each other.) So Alex, I miss you so much, and wished I was half the man of you! I blame myself so much for his death, I was not there for him and if I had never joined the Army in the first place in 1996 he might not have wanted to do it himself; but I am proud to say that Alex is my brother, and thank you to those of you who where their with him.
I wish to say thank you on behalf of my mother, if any of you wish to contact her from the USA please dial 011441234314859.

I have to stop for now, as it is hard to type whilst crying. Alex my wife and I miss you so much, and Cory wants to play the drums as well as you; so keep the angels awake and God Save the Queen!

If any of you wish to contact me please email: jamescrackel@hotmail.com or james.crackel@us.army.mil"
James Crackel (USA Paralyzed Veteran) of FT Jackson, SC

"To the Crackel family,

I served with then SGT Crackel at Ft.Riley,Ks, C.CO 1/41 INF. I remember some long talks with him in Iraq about some personal issues I was having and he helped me realize a lot of things about what I could and could not change in my life. He was one of many NCO's that made me into the NCO I am today! He was and always will be a great leader.
I remember when we went to Manhatan one day and ended up partieing well into the night. He was there as a friend and mentor after my divorce and always brought a smile to everyone's face. No matter what. You will be missed Animal!!! I am proud to have served with you at Ft.Riley and especially in Iraq.

SGT Sloan, 4-9 INF,2 ID, Ft.Lewis,WA"
SGT Sloan,Kenneth of Ft.Lewis,WA

"This is for for anybody who knew Alex but mostly for his wife and daughter Cherokee. I had the distinct privelege of serving under Alex as his Bradley gunner. I was with him the throughout the majority of the deployment and I was with him when he was killed. There have been about many times when I have tried to write Mrs. Jackie Crackel to tell her what happend that afternoon but I haven't been able to do it. Alex died doing his job, he put the crew's safety before his own and always made sure that Puente and I were taken care of. It was his mantra, that was how he rolled and everybody knew it. Despite having been warned and begged by me and others he continued to risk himself for his soldiers. He was always the first to charge and take the fight to the enemy and the last to pull out of a break contact. He gave his life for Puente and I early in the afternoon of 24 Feb. 2005. His sacrifice saved us and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't thik of him and the conversations we had, the guinnesses we drank, and the firefights we fought together. Jackie if there is anything I can do for you, Cherokee, or Daniel please let me know. I hope people keep writing in to this site. I just learned of it recently but I feel that those of us who loved Alex need to keep his memory alive. Hope to hear from y'all soon,- Josh"
SGT Josh Braly of C TRP 3/61 CAV FT Carson, CO

"Alex, you were the best friend I had when we were stationed together in Germany. I know that you are in a better place now and still rocking and rolling. Sorry to find out so late that you were taken from us, but I know you're still looking down on us and I will see you later brother."
SSG Juan Bautista, 10th SFG of Los Angeles, CA

"ANIMAL!!!!! You crazy guy. I hate the thought of the world without you in it making people smile. You are loved very much. Have some liquor ready for me when I come to visit! Stormchyld in the day room... Priceless. I love you brother."
Dustin McCarley of San Antonio, Texas, USA

"I have just read the last message. I'm sure you all have stories to tell. I'm not sure how many are appropriate for the kids! But I think it would be great for our daughter if she could hear how happy Alex was doing what he did. She asks a lot of questions now but I can always assure her that her daddy was happy when he died. There may be many of you who knew me and I invite anyone to get in touch.

kelly.m75@ntlworld.com

Thanks."
Kelly of England

"Alex was one of the NCO's in the platoon when I was platoon leader, and I have to say, he was my favorite to be around. He made any situation better with his humor, personality and character. We all had the courage to carry on in Iraq, because no matter what, Alex would be eager and ready to take on any fight without fear or hesitation. I will miss you buddy. You better believe that I will be telling stories about your exploits until I die, so others will always know how great of a guy you were. you will NOT be forgotten. I know you are in a better place now, relaxing with a cold one."
CPT Will Shakespeare of Fort Knox, KY

"Alex, What Can i say You were always there for me when i was a new soldier in schweinfurt germany thanks for the memories"
SGT David Pisanelli of Ft Benning Ga U.S.A

"Not a day goes by without me remembering you Alex. Hope you and Tom P have formed a band up there and are busy keeping the angels awake!!"
Steve Farrow of Southampon, UK

"You crazy SOB! The first time I ever met you we were in a fire fight together. I looked at the track behind me and there was this guy cheering and charging toward the enemy. After that I just couldn't get enough of you. Tonight, Joel and I will toast in your honor. Hard to believe its been a year. We miss you brother!"
CPT Boroi

"I am Alex's brother James,I know a couple of you from Ft Riley when I was stationed there with Alex, and some of you even come to my house to trop Alex off or to come visit him. I need the help of the peaple who know Alex from Ft Riley and who still may be there; we are trying to find his personal things that got left behind when he PCS to Korea, like his hand guns and drum kit, etc. If anybody knows where they are please e-mail me at - jamescrackel@hotmail.com or james.crackel@us.army.mil so I can send them to his wife (Jackie) in England. I miss him so much and wish to God I could have taken his place on that tour but I was injured and could not go.
We had a saying "for queen and country" one day we will say it again; I miss you brother."
Mr. James Crackel of Ft Jackson, SC and our home,Wilstead, England

"I am sorry about the message earlier, I am taken back by this, I cannot believe he is gone I only new animal about a year in a half to two years, he was a fantastis musician, and a great friend. he was the first choice I had to replace me. I can remember sitting at a bar and talking about great drummers, he would go and play on my kit, and show me a thing or two about fast feet....lol... I lost touch after I left in 2001 and I now regret it more than anything. He had a way about him that you could only love, I am really sorry that he is gone but he lives on in the hearts of rock and rollers all over the world. he has touched so many people that it is hard to imagine this is happening. please send me any pictures or any updates, 2pcdrummer@twopumpchump.com, and the song "can't be bought is now my song to him. we cannot forget, and I wont. please send me anything to remember him by. you are missed brother and I know you went out in a blaze of glory...we will meet again"
Sean Saunders of louisville KY

"I was stationed with this crazy drummer in germany and he actually took over my job in the band a7v, what an amazing drummer and a good friend, my prayers go out to the family and I hope he is up there rocking out the best of his abality, he is very missed, I hated that I missed his performances, god alex, you were crazy, please visit us a twopumpchump.com and listen to the song can't be bought for all the soliders. rock out brother....we miss you verey much"
sean saunders of louisville KY

"Alex,
I think few will miss you more than I do. From partying in and around Ft.Riley, to our crazy road trips in my car all over the state of Ks. in one weekend. We became the best of friends in no time at all. Stormchyld is gone for me now, but all the memories will forever be in the foremost part of my mind. We played "knocking on heavens door" in front of a tough crowd on the eve of our departure from Kuwait in '02 which brought home the crowd! Don't forget Alex how you used to embarrase me by going into a porta-john and make all kinds of VERY loud "defacating" sounds, all the while literally rocking the porta-john almost over. Alex used to start the drumming sounds of the song "stand up and shout" while a local college band was playing in Fats bar in Manhattan just to get me to sound off with the lyrics louder than the amplified band. We always made the scene didn't we? As Alex's lead singer, brother ("blood brother" and brother in arms) best friend I was there for him in the brightest and the darkest of times. We helped each other through many a hard time. John, I met you in your apt in J.C. and didn't really get the chance to know you. I am sorry for the loss of your brother. Jackie, Alex was so excited when he told me about the wedding, I have the pics and look at them almost every day. I wish I could've met you, you gave Alex a peace of mind that I wasn't sure he would be able to find. Dearest Cherokee, your daddy and I used to talk about you and my daughter from my previous marriage Alexa. The two of you are the same age, know that your dad was one of the finest people that I have ever known. Tears have been rolling, Alex's birthday just passed and should have been 32. I am here in Iraq trying to find peace for a friend that I miss too much. I love you Alex. Rest in peace bro."
Scott Winter of Kansas City

"its nearly christmas now alex..still thinking of you at this specail time of year cos you were a special person

god bless"
david edmunds of wilstead,bedford

"Alex i remember the day i met you and how you always smiled. how you were always the person that wanted to help. i miss you so much brother you are always in my heart. i will never forget the times we had together and cant wait until we can hang out again. thanks for being the friend that only you could be."
SGT Justin Sarbaum of ft riley ks

"Sweet crazy Alex,
I have to say that the world is different without you, somehow not as bright. The Fantastic four is no more but when we do get together, I know you are among us. I miss you terribly but we had some great memories to share. I still sleep with the wooby you gave me that day I left for the war. And how can I forget our Thanksgiving dinner. I still owe your mom that t-shirt from atlanta and I will get it to her someday. I dont worry too much cause now I know heaven has some rock-n-roll. I miss you, Animal. Keep an eye on us and know that we are always thinking of you!!"
Destiny of Ft. Riley, Kansas

"first, we apologize about our english !
Alex was and still a very important person in our lives ! He was kind, fun and patient trying to understand our conversations. Fox, Scott, Destiny and Alex were the 4 fantastics !!!His last celebration for his birthday in USA was here with us, in Kansas City. We had a lot of fun ! and still sweet memories, great pictures and a crazy video with him, dancing with a "sombrero" !
We miss him everyday !! Met him made everything different and better in our lives
Thank you Alex !!!
Love"
Martha Corona, Cindy Stoneking, Claudia Winter and Raquel Cortes of Kansas City, USA

"To the family and friends of Alex Crackel.
I am deeply saddened by the loss of my friend. I have very fond memories of Alex. I knew him as Animal! When I heard of the loss of this fine soldier and friend I was deeply hurt. Animal was my drummer in our band A7V. I grieved the loss of him when he had to PCS and now grieve the loss of his life. I almost can’t help but think that such a man of his stature and character died with pride for his fellow soldiers. I often think of the many shows we played together in Schweinfurt Germany and the many crazy things he used to do for crowd. A truly giving person. If he gave the same amount of time and effort to his soldiers as he did for our band then I am sure his soldiers are as equally proud of him as I am. I remember him most of all for the show we played in the Fiddler’s Green Irish Pub in Schweinfurt when he picked up and threw the drum set into the crowd after the last song of the show. It was a true crowd pleasing experience!!! I will never forget any of the other crazy things he would do on stage either. Too many to write down on this site! I hope you are still ROCKIN on even for the great architect of the universe. Writing this message now is almost putting me in tears. I miss you friend as do the other members of A7V. The band no longer exists but the memory of you being a part of the band will never be forgotten. To the family and friends of Alex “Animal” Crakel, you can see some of the picture of him with our band on the site www.a7v.freeservers.com. I will never forget you Animal! Hopefully the drum set you play in Heaven is too heavy for you to pick up and throw!!! Peace and Love my friend! And Peace and Love to the Family! my email is a7vrocks@yahoo.com"
Larry Newberry of Schweinfurt Germany

"To Alex and his loved ones, I served with you in Germany when we were both still SPC's. You were the first person to make me feel at home there when you knocked on my door wearing a bed sheet and asking me if I wanted to go toga-ing. I take great pride in having known you and knowing that you had made it to SSG. Knowing you,I can say that im sure your sacrafice was not made in vain but was done in the act of taking care of the soldiers in your charge. Im honored to have known you and try to carry myself everyday in that example."
SSG. Joshua Klaczynski of Camp Habinyiah, Iraq

"To the family of Alexander Crackel,
I was stationed with SSG Crackel in A 1-26 IN Schweinfurt, Germany. I am very sorry for your loss Crackel was a good soldier. I knew him then as SPC Crackel with his drum set in the Barracks. He was a good friend and he will be missed. Alex may you rest in peace thank you for your selfless service and I salute you."
(SSG) Cliff Leach of Bamberg, Germany

"To the Family of SSG Alex Crackel

Alex was a good friend and soldier. We were stationed togather in Aco. 1/26 IN in Schweinfurt Germany.on many nights he would come by and a group of us would go out and enjoy life. Alex had a specail light about him. He could always make you laugh even when you did not want to. He was one of the finest soldiers I ever known. Alex loved the Army and what he did. He was liked and respected by all who knew him. He always gave 110% Words can not express the my sorrow for your loss and let it be known that I will contact the members of His platoon that he served wtih here and let them know. Alex will be surly missed. Take Care and God bless. SGT William Coy. 1 ID ROC DET. Bamburg Germany."
SGT. William Coy of Schweinfurt Germany

"My condolences to the Crackel family and the 2ID family. I salute you, SSG Crackel!"
Angela Turman of Fort Worth, Texas

"We are so sorry -
You are in many prayers -"
SandiBEE of MT

"alex,
Maiden rules remember?, i miss you buddy,didnt even know you were going to korea,i thought you were getting out.Anyway,i remember you just walking over to bushmaster land to say hi when you were drunk off of your *,and wondering who stole your underwear from the laundryroom,and then telling some random story of a motor head concert,then trying to wrestle,and passing out,Itrwas all good times and we all miss you friend,i know you probably took a lot of insurgents down too,and didnt give up,everyone misses you and we wish you can keep an eye over every one in heaven for us,say hi to cpt.stubenhofer,and good old odb for us,see you someday friend,we miss you,
"up the irons""
rod 1/41 infantry of manhattan ks

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

"SSG Crackel, you will never be forgotten and your memories will live with us. You brought us laughter thru hard times. I thank you for all that you have done for us. We miss you and may God Bless you! "Wild Bunch!""
SGT Chen Sangmin of Camp Ramadi, Iraq

"May the God of the universe, the Lord Jesus Christ, be with you and comfort you in this terrible loss. My wife, Marilyn and I, will be praying for you and your family. May the Lord grant you peace and health."
Doug Polk of Jackson, TN 38305

"To the family and friends of SSG Alexander Crackel,
Please accept my most heartfelt sympathies for your loss. SSG Crackel was one of many on a list of soldiers whose names were forwarded to me by SPC Josh Braley last December. Each person on the list was added to my church's "Pray for Our Troops" ministry prayer list. From the feelings expressed in the other messages, Alex was a wonderful husband, father and friend who will be missed for all time. You are in our prayers still, that you will find peace of mind and know that the Lord will sustain you."
Karin L. Blankenship of Medina, Tennessee

"Alex, I loved the time we spent together at Ft Riley and the deploments we went on, we may have been in different units but they could not keep us apart. I told you to stay in Germany and me and Angela and Cory would be there soon, but you come to Riley to be with us! We did some crazy stuff at my apartment which Angela will never forget.We miss you so much and hope Cory and Brandon learn how to play the drums like uncle Alex.
Take care Abbott Al, the holy ashtray will be togehter again one day."
James and Angela Crackel (US Army Disabled Veteran) of Richmond Hill, GA and Wilstead, England

"Dear Alex,
Thank you to all of the people who left a kind message.
Alex was a step-dad to me from when I was a few months old. He taught me how to burp loudly.And we always watched Beavis and Butthead together when mum was out. She would come home and tell us off.
I really miss Alex. He was really brave fighting in the war.
Love Joshua.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"
Joshua Macklin of Shefford, Beds. England

"Daddy,
I'm glad that you were my dad because I love you so much. We were so good together. I can't forget you. And I'm very proud of you because you helped a lot of people. I wish we had more time together. I can't stop thinking about you.
Thinking about you makes me sad,
but you will always be my number one dad.
All I can do is think of you,
The way we were and what to do.
Lots and lots and lots of love from Cherokee
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"
Cherokee Crackel of Shefford, Beds. England

"I know of Alex and his energy. He was invited to my home one Thanksgiving (Schweinfurt, Germany). Here is the biggest jokester in the world in a suit and tie. We all were in jeans. Thanks for eating up my food like there was no tomorrow. Thanks for my memories of you and Dillard and your Star Wars impressions. SSG Jesse W. Hill and me Sharon Hill will always remember you. Thank you Alex and all my prayers to you and yours. We won't forget you. Infantry. Father. Fun. Goodbye for now"
SSG Jesse W. , and Sharon Hill of Fort Smith , Arkansas at Fort Chaffee

"A memorial service for Alexander Crackel will be held at Fort Carson, Colorado on Tuesday April 12th, 2005 at 10 a.m."

"Bazz, take care now brother, just know that my life changed cause of you and who you are, i have a tatoo of your name on my right arm so everywhere i go you'll be there, see you on the other side brother"
SGT Marc Brennan of 1st Maint. Co Fort Riley, KS (Newbury England)

"I was probably last to find out about the fate of my best friend in the whole world.

Through out my entire life, Id never think that I would find a friend who I truley connected with. With Alex, I found that.

I first met Alex through an ad on a music store wall. "Stormchyld seeks bass guitarists". The band had the same interests as myself and I thought, "why not? What do I have to loose?"

I remeber alex being the first person to great me to my audition-smile on his face, drum sticks in hand...something that i got accustomed to seeing every day. We played as a group for an hour or so, and finally Alex asked me to join. I accepted immediately.

From that point on Alex and myself were insepereable. Every minute we could we would go out just to do something. I found a brother within eachother, and more so-a musical soul mate.

Alex was the best that Ive worked with. We connected on so many levels and wanted more than anything to make it in the music world. Alex and I stayed up late writting riffs and brain storming ideas back and forth.

Alex used to help me when I was a radio DJ by calling in as Butt-Head and me answering in Beavis'. Truely one of the best nights in radio ever.

We played our first gig December 6,2003 at Big Dawgs Bar in Junction City, KS. I have never seen him so excited before in my life. Finally after a good year of rehearsing, we, Stormchyld, were finally ready to bring out message to an audience. We played for two hours-Johnny, JJ, Alex and myself were exhausted, but there was no way that we were going to show it. We played for an audience on 100+...a night that still today, they talk about.

After that Alex got transfered to Korea. The last day that I physically saw him was December 22, 2003. Sitting there, watching him pack was probably the hardest thing Ive ever had to do. It was all over in the matter of , "JC-take care of yourself-learn your dream theater, and Ill be seeing you soon."

From then on, I hardly heard from him..knew that he had went over to iraq and finally got married. Ive never heard him sound so happy before.

In the middle of January he called me at 8 in the morning. we talked for a good half hour about our lives and what was going on with them, and then soon went on to musical ideas and friendly bragging.

At the end of the conversation he said, "JC, I'm going to be going to Colorado, and Id like you to come up so we can get the band up and running again. I need my other half of the power." We both planned on that happening.

Only memories remain...

Alex changed my life forever. He was my big brother, my friend, my confidant, my brother in rock...I will treasure every moment spent with him for the rest of my life. I am honored to call him family, and cherish the time we spent on stage together...I will never forget that feeling.

My love for Alex is beyond forever, and eternal.

See you soon bro,
JC"
JC Casillas of Junction City, KS

"Alex. I rememeber you form when I was little, how you walked wiht me.. included me in things. You're were my friend, and I will always remember you."
Jonathan Connolly of Union, Missouri, USA

"Alex, We knew you before you were born. We saw you when you were only 1 year old. We have your baby pictures to remember you by. You are sorely missed. You did you mother proud. We are so proud of you. Like me you served you country but you gave your all. This was your war. We will be returning to the UK soon and look forward to meeting your wife and children. All of our love to you Alex. We cherish your memory."
John & Wendy Connolly, TSgt Ret. USAF of Wendell, Idaho, USA

"i knew & loved alex for more years than i dare count but to know a man like alex you could never have enough time in his presence, from crawling down a hill in wilstead woods drunk to him livening the pub up with his favourite trick of running the gauntlet naked. it was my proudest moment to be best man when you wed jackie & that i have the honour of being god father to your daughter. the memories you left me are to numerous to mention, the hole you leave is imense! everyone who left messages was touched by the joy that was to know you, you were one of a kind bloodbrother once met never forgotten! your a hero in everyway always have & will be! till we meet again when we can fly with the eagles best buddy!"
paul newbury of reading england

"never gorget you alex....the last time i saw you, you were still the kind consedearte and friendly guy i had always known...you died protecting and helping other people you were trying to make their lives better and that was you all over alex...you were one in a a million and me and russell will never forget you god bless"
david edmunds of wilstead uk

"I have read all of the messages and all I can say is, Alex was truly a wonderful brother, not just to me but to everyone that knew him. I miss him so much yet when I remember him, a smile appears instead of a frown or tears. Anybody who knew him will remember his amazing sense of humour, his passion for music, his endless energy and his deep love for his family. I would really like to thank everybody who contributed to giving Al a good send off, all the friends and family for being there and being so strong, the Honor Guards who made the day so special and to Sgt McNeece, who has helped us so much (thank you ;-) Al, I love you so much and always will. My children won't have the honor of growing up with you around, but it is up to me to teach them and remind them how great their uncle Alex is and everytime I speak your name, it will be with such pride. Thank you for giving me such a happy childhood, with lots of laughter and through my teenage years, lots of laughter and hangovers(Black hat and the Brotherhood ring any bells???)I will see you again, but not yet my friend, not yet."
Annette Unsworth of Maulden, England

"You couldn't ask to have known a better man. Everyone who ever knew or met Alex will vouch for that. Remember you always Al. As so many others do. You're the best."
Ryan Mullins of Wilstead, UK

"My first memories of Alex was seeing him headbanging and airguitaring to my band as we practiced at school. He was always supportive telling us that we rocked when actually we sucked. Not long afterwards I helped Alex out on his GCSE music exam, Alex sang and belted the drums for all he was worth and I thrashed along on guitar. To this day I'm not sure whether the octogenarian examinar fully appreciated the cover of Black Sabbath's Paranoid but we certainly had fun watching him adjust his hearing aid to minimum setting. A few years after leaving school Alex joined my up with my band, and it's no overexageration to say that for the 5 years he played with us he carried the band. Quite simply he was a born showman, I never saw Alex nervous or worried about performing. At rehearsals he was hilarious always keeping us entertained, his Beavis and Butthead impression being one of many. When he left to join the Army he left a big whole in the band. Alex was such a loveable guy, funny and caring, I'll never forget him.

R(ock)IP mate

Woody"
Darren Woodhall of Milton Keynes, UK

"I only knew Alex from what his brother, my son-in-law and my daughter told me about him. He is a "SOLDIER", so, I know he was doing what he wanted & needed to do. Through his family & friends, he will live forever."
John & Boni Miracle of Richmond Hill, GA, USA

"I grew up with Alex in the village of Wilstead. Back in the day of his long hair and his love for Jack Daniels. I have many memories of him as I grew up being close friends with his sister Annette. My fondest memory is of Alex on his drum kit playing metallica songs with other friends making up the rest of the band. He would always visit my mum when he was on leave, and she adored him. We will miss your visits terribly Alex, but we know you are still here laughing and talking with us, you have inspired me more than you know. Not a day goes by without us all thinking of you. God Bless you x x x x"
Gemma Turnbull of Bedford, England

"alex was one of the first people that I meet when I first moved to wilstead 15 years ago & from day one we have been great friends. alex & his brother jamie always looked out for me over the years & became very close with my family, alex is the type of person that lights up a room when he walked in. You will be grately missed but I know you will be with us all the time. I will see you at the crossroads my friend"
Gareth Turnbull of Bedford, England

"alex was one of the first people that I meet when I first moved to wilstead 15 years ago & from day one we have been great friends. alex & his brother jamie always looked out for me over the years & became very close with my family, alex is the type of person that lights up a room when he walked in. You will be grately missed but I know you will be with us all time. I will see you at the crossroads my friend"
Gareth Turnbull of Bedford, England

"SSG Crackel was one of the best Noncommissioned Officers I've worked with in my 18 years of service. He enjoyed being a leader of soldiers. He also could make anyone laugh. Some of the skits he performed or jokes he told would keep you laughing for hours. I will remember SSG Crackel for his devotion to his job and loyalty to his friends. To his family I pray that you are given strength and you are watched over."
SFC Andrew J. Dickerson Jr of 1-41 In, Fort Riley, Kansas

"I really appreciate how all are remembering Alex, and expressing their kind thoughts and condolences. Alex was a proud soldier and a true man and achieved all he believed in. He gave love and will always be loved.

Thankyou

Mrs.J.Crackel"
Jackie Crackel of Bedford England

"I didn't quite know what to think when I heard about you. I didn't want to belive and still don't want to. Alex you will be greatly missed by all that knew you. Thank's for being a friend and I'll never forget you."
Ben Johnson of Manhattan, Kansas, USA

"Alex,

You will be sorely missed by all who knew you. Thanks for all you did for your friends and family here in the UK and for helping raise my son. I will ensure that he and your daughter do not forget what you did and what was fought for.

Goodbye old friend

Mark"
Mark Allen of Bedford, United Kingdom

"I have not been to sleep since I heared about the loss of a great friend (well over 24 hours). In the world you couldn't seperate us, even after deployment I went to England with him. We accept the burden of freedom and pay the price without a flintch. There is no better man to have in your presence than Alex "Animal" Crackle. My deepest thank you goes out to him for his service and my simpathy for his famliy. Your famlily sleeps well at night because of his dedication to duty."
Doran Fox-Perdue of United Nations Command Honor Guard Company S. Korea

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

"Thank you Alexander Crackel, 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 Staff Sgt. Alexander Crackel:
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 Alexander 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 Staff Sgt. Alexander Crackel:
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 Alexander, 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