Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Andrew J. Derrick

25, of Columbia, South Carolina.
Derrick died near Baghdad, Iraq when his dismounted team came under attack by enemy forces using small arms fire. He was assigned to the 411th Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas. Died on September 23, 2005.

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"SGT Derrick,
You are always remembered on this anniversary. You were a friend and a mentor. I have told many people that I did everything on my own in my Military career which simply is not true. It started with you helping and preparing me for my promotion board taking time out of your life even though I wasn't your Soldier. I thank God I knew you and forever you are remembered. Not just a name on my wrist, I have seen your name on a tomb and on a wall but forever in my heart you will be a brother who has fallen. Everyday I am grateful and thank you."
DS Michael Vargas of Chicago, Illinois

"SGT D,

I know itís been a long time and Iím sorry for not writing. As I sit in Iraq again for the 4th time I canít help but think of you, itís now 2014 ya back in Iraq who would have thought that, where has the time gone? I donít want to be in this country anymore but here I am thinking of having this same conversation with you 9 years ago and you would tell me Livesey itís not about you, itís about everyone else. I never did understand how you could think like that and donít think I ever will, but that is what made you, you. I still wear the bracelet with your name on it, itís looking pretty bad after all these years but I never take it off. I hope you have the internet in heaven so you can write back LOL I miss joking with you buddy. Well Iím just starting to ramble now but to any other 411th MP brothers of mine who run across this while sending their letters to SGT Derrick I lost touch with most of you and I know he wouldnít have liked it so Iím still in the Army. Well I love you Andrew and always will."
SSG Livesey of Elgin, SC

"With this Memorial Day coming up, I am thinking about you. You were the best friend I had while we were stationed in Korea together. You were a truly inspirational soldier and I tried my best to live up to your example. It was, and still is, an honor to call you my friend. I miss you "Hoss". I hope we meet again."
Michael M. Mather of Kirkland, WA

"I know that everyone lost a big part of themselves when you were taken. You are missed and loved by many. Just know that we gave them hell for yah! It was an honor to serve with you brother."
Alex Torres of Afghanistan

"Hey buddy, its been awhile and I miss our days of muddin and having a blast! You will never be forgotten. You gave the ultimate sacrifice and there are no words to express my gratitude for what you gave up for all of us, and the sadness that you are gone. Love ya - Whit"
Whitney Miracle of Columbia, SC

"miss you joseph, make sure u maintain the family up there.. u r my hero, and will always be sought after as great... make sure u say hey to lindsay for me, knowing ur with her right now.. ur memorie burns over my heart forever.. ps. its in ink for u and lindsay.. love you."
Kale (cousin) of kernersville, nc

"I am part of an organization called Prayer Shawls 4 Fallen Soldiers. Since 2007, 2900 prayer shawls have been sent to families of fallen soldiers. This group of 236 knitting groups hopes to contact all families of fallen soldiers. If you would like for me to knit a shawl for Andrew please let me know and I will do so. Hopefully this shawl will be of comfort to you. Thanks you for son's service to this country. I can be reached at barbconway@comcast.net or 774 487-8618.
Sincerely, Barbara"
Barbara Conway of Cape Cod MA

"You are not forgotten, and you never will be. I know you are in a better place, and i know you can witness what goes on below. Your sacrifice was not in vain, and there are many of us who will make sure that it never is...my deepest regards to your family who have endured such a great loss...we will all meet again, until then, keep us all safe brother"
SGT Angel Villegas of Ft. Hood, TX

"August 2, 2008
To the family of Sgt. Andrew J. Derrick:
Andrew 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

"SGT Derrick-

It is hard to find the words to say to express the way I think of you not only as a leader, but more importantly, as a man. You are, without a doubt, the most caring, and loving person I have ever met in my life. I feel honored to have known you, and shared a friendship with you. I will never forget the first time we met, or the last time we spoke, nor will I ever forget you. Thank you for teaching me show much, and showing me how to be a better person."
Patrick Weber of Torrington, CT

"Sgt Derrick,
When I first got to Korea you took me under your wing. You showed me around post and guided me to become a better soldier. I remember those long days working with you in the motor pool, and the nights drinking some JD in the day room. I remember how happy you were when you got your CPL stripes, and you made an exelent NCO! You were one of the best NCO's I ever worked for, and when I got my stripes I lead my soldiers how you lead me. I have a few pictures of you in the barracks and when I look at them I cant believe that you are gone. when I first heard the news I didn't believe it. I still cant. I'm going to D.C. this month and I told my wife that I want to find your name on the wall. I was there when I was a kid and it took my breath away, after serving I'm sure it will be much harder this time. I know when i see your name there it will be a very emotional time! Thank you for being such a great NCO, a great friend, and a true american! God bless you and you will all ways be remembered!!!
2nd military police co
Cpl DEMEO"
Eric Demeo of Estero, Fl, U.S.A.

"SGT Derick, I dont know what to say really but other then you were loved by so many people. I can remember when you pinned on your CPL stripes, you were so proud. I can remember saying to a fellow soldier in 2ND MP that you needed to just be a SGT, that you were to good of a leader to be a CPL. You will always be remembered."
SGT Adam Smith of Alexandria, VA

"When I was a new Platoon Leader in 2MP, Andrew was a Corporal. Although in different platoons, I loved to work the road with him as Duty Officer. He inspired me, motivated me, and taught me. In the field, he was the Soldier every leader wanted in their unit. You could always depend on SGT Derrick.

God bless you SGT Derrick! Thank you for making me a better leader, a better officer, a better Soldier, and a better human being. Your contributions to the Army, to your country and to the free world cannot be measured! I will never forget you."
CPT Jordon T. Ewers of Jackson, Michigan, USA

"Son,
It took me 3 day's to get you stop calling me SIR that first and last Christmas you were with us in Arizona . It has taken me a long time to get past the fact you are gone although I probably never will , but, in the few day's you were with us I aquired a respect and love for you .Also, I realized your devotion to my daughter Shaunna and I have done all that is possible to help her through her heartbreaking loss ,but, she probably will never mend completely . I have told her to carry on as you would wish . I have told her that you wouldn't want her to be sad , and she agreed . I'll alway's remember you what you said about the Iraqi people,"All I want for them is the ability to vote and be free." You are a true American to the core. That is something that doesn't appear in too many people nowaday's .
Anyway,I hope some day that we meet again at the big cookout in the sky ,have a couple burgers , a couple beer's and a cigar , Ha .
To your Parents,man you guy's did a good job raising that guy , He sure impressed alot of people the short time he was here , Not to forget, the 40 Iraqi people trapped by fire he helped to safety. I know they will alway's remember him . Joseph , everything will be O.K. I'll keep an eye on everyone for ya .
Till we meet again son ."
Shaun Miller of Phoenix, Arizona USA

"To the Loving Family of SGT Derrick Andrew Joseph,

On June 17, 2006 I will be volunteering for over 24 hours in memory of Derrick Andrew. He will forever be remembered by so many of you, and will never be forgotten by so many of us. His name will now be added on the "Freedom Wall", located 30 miles south of Chicago, which honors soldiers who have given their lives for our country. There are thousands of people that work throughout the year to remember our fallen soldiers. I personally have be blessed to honor SGT Joseph. God Bless You Always!"
Kari Lynn Fickes of Chicago, Illinois USA

"We have been deeply blessed by your service and your sacrifice.
Thank you."
RCS of Greenville, SC

"JOSEPH- YOU AND WILLIAM ARE THE BEST BIG BROTHERS A SISTER COULD ASK FOR. I ADMIRE YOU SO MUCH AND YOU ALWAYS HAD MY UTMOST RESPECT. I MISS YOU SO MUCH THIS IS SO HARD. I KNOW THAT YOU ARE IN HEAVEN AND WOULD NOT COME BACK IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE. BUT I MISS THOSE BIG BEAR HUGS AND I MISS THAT GOOFY LAUGH OF YOURS-I KNOW THAT I WILL BE WITH YOU FOR ETERNITY AND I CANNOT WAIT. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND THINK OF YOU EVERYDAY. THANK YOU FOR BEING THE BIG BROTHER EVERY LITTLE SISTER WANTS!!"
ELIZABETH SHEALY (sister) of cola. sc

"To a man never to be forgotten. I will never forget such a man, soldier, leader, brother. He was a leader that no one can top in my heart. I loved Sgt Derrick like family. I'm getting married soon and Sgt. Derrick wanted to be there. Well he will be. If it is ok with his family i want to put a picture of a hero in the front row. Please let me know if i can. You can email me at garryhodges20@yahoo.com Sgt. Derrick remains in the hearts of many and shall never be forgotten. For his courage, bravery, and will to teach those who were lost. I will always miss my brother and always drive on from his laughter and his slight stutter. Goodbye my dear friend we will meet someday."
Garry Hodges of Fort Hood Texas

"To Joseph's family, I was his roomate at military school, and I feel his best friend throughout MMI. I can't believe he is gone, but I truly know if anyone is in heaven on this day it is Joseph. Please accept my regrets, and know that he will always be loved by everyone he has ever met. He was a great friend, and like a brother to me throughout our time at school. If there is anything I can ever do, please contact me."
Lt. Lee Stuckey, U.S.M.C. of Quantico, VA

": To the family of:Andrew J Derrick I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. 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 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga"

"Derrick always knew how to connect with soldiers,they listened to him because they liked and respected him.He was a born leader.But above all he was the nicest, most forgiving, person I think I'll ever know."
SSG Quick of Miami FL

"Joseph, you come from a long line of men who always answered when their country called. They would be so proud, as are all of us who mourn your loss. You will always be my pal, and my hero. Love you so much, Aunt Jo"
Jo Quatannens of Campobello, SC, USA

"In August of 1999 I had a special person walk into my office ready to serve their country. On 30 September of 1999 you became a soldier and a leader and have never let anyone down. Jason you always brought light to the room and I still laugh at the thought of all the practical jokes you got me on. I challenged you to be the best soldier you could be and to always do the right thing. You were always up to the challenge and met it head on. I could not face my fears and come to your funeral. For that I am sorry. I want to remember your big smile and your favorite saying to me " everything will be alright Sgt Terrapin". I know everything is alright. That is how I want you to greet me when we meet again friend. Thank God For Sgt Derrick. See you again knucklehead!!!! Psalm 27:1"
SFC John Terrapin of Columbia, SC

"SGT Derrick, I have had respect ever since the first time I meet you. You meant alot to me and this unit. I am proud to call you friend and was honored you though the same. Your loss will be forever missed. I know you woudl not want us to dwell too long on it. My most heart felt sympathies fro your family. "To never forget those who have come before us and have made the ultimate sacrifice so that others may live in a world safe adn secure from those who woudl do us harm and wrong""
SGT McGee, Gary of FT. Hood, Tx

"Joseph will always be remembered by me as someone who taught me what it meant to really live life. he will always be in my heart. i am forever grateful for the ways he blessed me. my prayers go out The Shealy's, and their family. Joseph had such a passion for Christ, family and friends. i always told Joseph he never did anything half-way. i know the day he lost his life, he was being Joseph and giving his all. it has been very hard, but i choose to celebrate his life every chance i get. you will always be remembered Joseph....i love you."
stacie of Ft. Hood, TX

"joseph was one of my best friends he always spoke about how much he loved south carolina and how much he loved his job wich was looking after soldiers. everytime i needed good advise he would give it to me. i'll mis ya brother. we would always joke about stuff and he always had a smile on his face. sgt derrick i know why you held it down"
spc martin of baghdad iraq

"I was Joesphs roommate in Korea for about a year. He was the most compasionate and loving man I ever met in the Army. I feel blessed to have just met Joesph let alone be his friend. You were a role model as a Noncommisioned Officer and man to all of us. I love you and miss you. I wish we could have had another chance to walk and talk. I love you Joe, America is a safer place because of you. YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!!"
SGT BOLDRA of Glenwood, IA

"SGT.Derrick was more than a friend to me he was my brother we had a great time,weather we were in Hood or Iraq he never let me down,when I needed a place to stay before we deployed he took me and my wife and daughter in even though he did'nt have dishes or silverware....we made it work because he cared about me and I'd do anything for him. I would have taken that bullet for him at the drop of a hat.To his parents,Thank you for raising Joseph to be a great man if there's anything I can do just let me know he was my sqaud leader....Im so sorry...I miss my brother"
Kelly Womack of Iraq

"To Andrew's Family,
My heart has ached for you since the day I first heard of Andrew's death. Andrew represented that which is right in a world that has so much that is wrong. That is to say, someone that served others and not just self.
I have often wanted to call or even call upon you at your home/s. I just want to reach out to you and in some small way, bring some comfort to hearts that hurt so deeply.
So many will offer to help saying "I know how you feel" but in reality they have no idea. They haven't lived twenty four hours a day praying, hoping that their son/daughter will make it through that day alive and unhurt. They haven't watched the calender day after day watching for the elusive date when their loved one will come home. The date when sleepless nights and worrisome days will finally end. They haven't lived through days when the sound of a distant car bring your nerves on edge because, in the back of your mind you know that, It could be a vehicle with a military chaplin and a DOD person bringing official word of a nightmarish event that you never seem to wake up from. Word that the soldier that died in battle today, was your soldier boy.
Their lives are governed by a calendar and a clock. Suddenly, your life is measured in how many days, weeks, months etc. since your soldier boy died in battle. I KNOW how you FEEL.
My son, Sgt. Anthony G. Jones was killed June 14, 2005. Feel free to contact me if you wish."
Glenn M Jones of Hartsville, SC

"Sgt. Joseph Derrick was a brave soldier and I will never forget him."
M. H.

"Joseph, what a sacrifice to make. You will never be forgotten in my heart. From me and all your friends back home, LOVE YOU JOSEPH. I'll see you again someday."
Christian Smith of columbia, sc

"Joseph-

I wish that I had gotten a chance to see you again...I often thought of you. Though you were only my step-cousin, you were still family to me. Thank you so much for what you did in Iraq for me, for us, for everyone. I love you...RIP"
Lauren of Columbia, SC

"Rest is Peace Brave Soldier. May your family and friends find some peace in knowing you are with Jesus in beautiful heaven. At night when the brightest stars are out, may they see your love shining down on them from heaven.

Thank you for what you did for this country..

J and T USMC
North Carolina
Sister of a Fallen Marine"

"TO THE DERRICK FAMILY FROM THE WAHL FAMILY. ANDREW IS A HERO! A PERSON THAT GAVE THE ULITMATE SCARFICE FOR US ALL. ANDREW IS SOMEONE'S SOMEONE AND SOMEONE TO OUR FALLEN. AN HE IS A PERSON THAT IS AMAZING. OF THE HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS. IT WAS ANDREW THAT WILLING WANTED TO SERVE HIS COUNTRY. AN HE DID IT WITH HONOR. FAR CRY FOR ALL THE AMERICANS THAT HAVE AN EXCUSE NOT TO SERVE. ANDREW THANK YOU FOR BING APART OF THE BANDS OF BROTHERS. FOR BEING OUR SON'S MILITARY BROTHER. I WILL NOT FORGET YOU. GOD BLESS!"
leonard t. wahl of VALLEY STREAM 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.
Our nations HERO, Andrew will be remembered by name.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
God Bless you ALWAYS.
Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"Thank you Andrew Derrick, 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. Andrew Derrick:
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 Andrew 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. Andrew Derrick:
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 Andrew, 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