Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Chad H. Drake

23, of Garland, Texas.
Drake died in Baghdad, Iraq, when his patrol vehicle came under attack by enemy forces using small arms fire. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Died on September 7, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. Chad H. Drake.

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"Chad,
We never knew each other. I am friends with Jennifer. She is an amazing person. I just wanted to tell you I
appreciate your service. Your sacrifice has not gone unnoticed. It is because of people like you who step up to defend our country that I can sit here today with my family. Thank you for your service sir."
Kristi Q of Forney, Texas

"Chad , you will always be in my heart, I will never forget the night you spent at Baylor Hospital with me , watching over my girl.I know you are in Glory with our Heavenly Father and I will see you one day soon. Thank You and your family for everything you are remember Love In Christ"
Laura Harrison of Mesquite , Tx

"It is 2013 and we just learned of Chad's sacrifice, his stature as a son, husband and father. Our grief, though delayed, is no less heart felt and genuine. We miss you Ginger as well."
John & Cindy Dixon of Caledonia, IL. USA

"After receiving an email today (10-19-11) honoring the fallen of the war's it sure brought back tears and memories of our fallen hero, Chad.
My heart breaks for you, Jennifer and the Family of Chad. I know it has not been easy for any of you even tho it has been several years sence your loss I am sure it seems like only yesterday to you. Just know that I still think of him often and also think often of the emptiness you must feel in your life without him with you today. I know you, little Kaylee, as time goes by as you grow into a young woman you will find comfort in all these wonderful things that has been written for you to read in honor of your Father. I am so very sorry that you were robbed of the joy of knowing him. May God bless and keep each of you as you live your lives without your precious Son, Father, Husband and Brother.
My knowing him was brief, sadly. He was my Step Grandson-in-law.
"THANK YOU, CHAD, FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART FOR YOUR SACRIFICE"
Nita Rogers of Gilmer, TX

"To the family of:Chad H.Drake
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""

"Remembering you and the sacrifice you made....I know you are with Justin again but you are both missed very much here..."
Jan Johnson of Lyerly, Ga

"Bubba,

Itís almost been 6 years. I can tell you that there is not a day that goes by that I do not think of you. The world sometimes pauses and in the busy day to day life there are times I think I see you in a crowd or the phone will ring and it says unknown caller and when I answer there is no one on the other line. Then for a crazy split second I think to myself "I love you Bubba" I tell myself that itís you calling and that you heard my words and that you can see my thoughts. I miss you so much. I miss that strong outer coating that you wore so well. I always let you think that you were MR. BAD I CAN HANDAL ALL... but really you are just my baby brother and when you were little I loved carrying you around on my hip and bossing you around. Most of all we were always there for each other. I was the protector and in the end you became the protector. Thank you for watching over us and protecting us even now in spirit. Tell dad I love him and miss him too. I am sure you guys are watching together. I would love to hear that conversation (LOL)... I love you!!! Call me soon.
Jenn"
Jennifer Ott of Forney Texas

"Chad: I can't believe you have been gone for this amount of years. You held such a special place in Karen and my hearts for the love you showed us. I remember you taking our daughter to her prom when she broke up with her boyfriend. You didn't want to see her go alone, and you didn't even go to the same school. Then you defended her honor with a bunch of jerks making wise comments. It is courage and honor such as this that endeared yourself to us, not to mention that big boyish smile you always had on your face. You are missed Chad, and I thank you for being a part of our lives for so long, and for the ultimate sacrifice you paid for our country. Like all of the families of fallen soldiers, my pride in you runs through to my soul. To Ginger and Jennifer, we think of all of you constantly and we love all of you so much. May God in His infinite wisdom and love, shine brightly within your heart and ease the pain you must endure."
Jack Palmore of Irving, TX

"Chad i hear your name and i think of all the fun we had in school at North Mesquite. I just heard the news today Jan,7,2010. I can still see your face and that smile you always had. Thanks for taking care of us till we meet again"
Gary Stilwell of Grand Saline,Texas.USA

"Jenifer and Ginger,

It's coming up on 5 years and I cannot believe it. I still think of Chad often and going to the races with John, Chad, Sammy & Justin. My prayers are with you and my love as well.

I hope you all the best and may God heal your wounds."
Steve Norcross of Texas

"Chad, I often think about how much I miss you. It seemed too brief the time that we knew each other, yet you have impoacted the most important aspect of my life. I just became a new father, and I remember all the advice you gave me. I wish I could have introduced you to my son. I wish I could tell you how right you were when at the time I may have only scoffed at your remarks."
Nate Chase of Westerville, OH

"Hey man,its been over 5 years since we first got to Iraq...Really five years. Man, nobody said it would still be like this five years later. Rest easy man, talk to you soon. Luke"
Luke of Wisconsin

"hey bud, i still remember that last talk that we had in the "Cowboy" room before you went out, all you wanted was to nake it home and see you girls. Well rest a sured tney are doing great. Never easy.....Never easy, no matter how many time this can be said its never easier."
Luke of Wisconcin

"Chad,
I got to say good bye, but I didnt know that it would be meant. I had left for home and few hours later you were gone. Its been 4 and a half years now and I still cant believe it. You know like I know I wouldnt be in the Army today if it wasnt for you rushing to get me out of jail because you knew if I didnt get out I was going to be kick out. I truely appreciate that. I miss you and you are a hero one of my heros. God Bless you and your family."
SGT Cantu, Esauro of Formerly Ft. Hood, Tx

"To you Chad,

I remember the good times we used to have in school at North Mesquite bro.The football practices the cutting up in class....I was in the Air Force while you were in the Army. It hit me hard when I heard one of my buddies had passed. I thank you and all your comrades for the sacrifice you all have made. You are missed."
Charles Briscoe of Bologna Italy

"August 2, 2008
To the family of Spc. Chad H. Drake:
Chad 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

"Hey Aunt Ginger and Jennifer. I am not sure if you two still check in on this, but I thought I would let you know that I still think about Chad and you guys all of the time. He is such an example of greatness and I only pray that the two of you will be willing to discuss some of his hardships and triumphs with my boys to help them grow into a man such as your son, your brother, my cousin. And to Chad, if you can hear us, I hope that you understand that time may heal the pain, but it will never erase the memories of joy (and irritation, haha) that you brought us. We love you and I thank you for providing us with a name for our youngest--Hayden Drake Bishop! Take care...all of you and feel free to get into contact if you ever need or want to talk."
Julie Bishop of Marion Iowa

"I will be singing "God Bless the USA" today, October 6, 2007 for Chad Drake's grandparents, Hugh & Nita, in remembrance of Chad, our Fallen Hero!
Thank you Chad for giving us your ultimate price and God Bless the USA, home of the brave, BECAUSE of the brave!"
Sharon McKeever of Idabel, McCurtain County, OK

"We Love You Chad!!!"
Chad's Family of The World

"A Young Man.23 Me A Young Girl.10.Chad H. Drake,My Step Cousin."
Jordan Banta of (not saying)

"CHAD WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR HEARTS. WE LOVE YOU GINGER AND JENIFER. CALL THE FAMILY, I AM TRULY SORRY FOR WHAT HAPPENED BUT GOD HAS A PLAN FOR EVERYONE. I LOVE YOU GUYS,AND WOULD LOVE TO SEE PICS OF THE KIDS, WITH LOVE
YOUR COUSIN,
JESSICA"
JESSICA BANTA of LOUISIANA

"It has now been two years that Chad has been gone. I lived with him, I trained with him, and I fought beside him. I was with him, that day, two years ago. Chad was truly one of my closest friends there. We would spend alot of time talking about our families, our children, our goals when we got home, and made plans a lot of plans together. Dealing with his loss has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with. Not a moment goes by that I can't see his face, or hear his voice. Often times, I find myself looking skyward just to tell him I miss him. He was a soldier, a father, a husband, a brother to me, and he will always be a hero in my eyes.
To Chad's family I say, you are all in my prayers, and I know that his memories will always be kept alive with you. To Kaylee, I would say, your father was a great man, a great soldier, he gave his life to try to make this world a safer place for you to live in. To those of you who pay homage that didnt know Chad Drake, let me tell you, you missed out. Chad was the one guy you wanted beside you when the chips were down. He did his job better than most, and more than once did he put himself in harms way to help a fallen comrade. Chad Drake is the example of what a soldier should be.
Chad, brother, I miss you man. I know you are in a better place looking down on your family and friends. You will never be forgotten.
Posted Sept 7, 2006"
almc21tsr@hotmail.com of Fort Hood, Tx

"I am humbled. My name is Chad A. Drake. I also served my country for 8 years in the Air Force overseas in Italy starting in 1992. I bow to the bravery of my brother that has fallen. We share the same name and the same country that we fought to protect. This Man gave me the privlege of having my own family raised the way myself and God deem fit. Chad, my fine sir, you are not forgoten. and for your family, you son is NOT forgotten. He is a symbol for people like me to honor, cherish and aspire to be like. I live my life the way i do with thanks to men like your son. When i read the trash i have about the hate and resentment shown to your family .. when your son paid the ulitmate price, it repulses me. I bow before men like your son. I thank you. My FAMILY thanks you for the price you have paid for the life we live. You dont not know me or my family, but we love you. thank you. / salute. I weep for your loss. i can only hope that i can do so much for my country."
Chad of Springfield, Mo.

"Soon you will be gone 2 years. I want you to know we will never forget your sacrifice. Our lives are forever changed and there are days when your mom does'nt seem to be able to get by. There are other day's she seems to be stronger and of course there are the days we are all numb! We miss you. We love you and think of you every single day, many times a day. Today I am feeling angry and extremely sad. I came to this blog to see what has been written. There are a lot of wonderful people out there. They are in many ways so lucky. Time will heal the pain they are feeling and for us time only serves as a reminder that you are still not here! I love you Chad. I miss you and would give my life if I thought it would bring you back. Love, Aunt Dixie"
Dixie of Rowlett Texas

"My deepest sympathy for your loss. I know these words in themself cannot soften this sadness you feel.
William Carmack Dallas,texas
Co D 1/506 Infantry 101st Airborne division VietNam 68/69."
william carmack of dallas,texas

"SPC. Chad Drake will always have our deepest respect and gratitude. His family and young daughter should know he was a hero, and will never be forgotten."
A local family of Dallas, TX

"Good morning "Son". I love you and miss you so so much. I remember when you were born and how I was filled with such joy and excitement to have a wonderful, beautiful, precious baby boy "Chad". You are so loved. I think of you daily. I remember the funny, silly, humerous things you did. You were constantly demanding my attention in some way. When you would look into your eyes and see your smile on your face you always knew that you were sincere in your affection and love for those around you. You always had a caring spirit for others. I am so proud you were my son. You have always been my "Hero", in all that you were and all that you have done. I talk to you and Daddy constantly in my day. At times I feel your sweet presence all around me. I have the faith and am greatful and hopeful to see you and Dad again. I know you both are in a better place. I love you so so much. Thank you son for honoring us and providing a safer better place for us to live in "Freedom" and Hope. Thank you for my precious granddaughter "Kaylee". She is such a wonderful loving child and has such a reflection of you. She now feels my life with joy as also your nieces do. Maddison, Brooklyn and Savannah. They talk about you too when we are together. Something is always said about "Uncle Chad"; and of course "Granddaddy" too. Life for us is so very different and without you and daddy life seems at times so empty and then my faith in Jesus begins to let me know that Jesus had a bigger plan for you. Thank you son for your ultimate sacrifice. I am so very proud to be your mom and to know when I speak of you I can say you are truely a "Hero".

I love you son!"
Ginger, Chad's mother of Garland, Texas

"To give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition...to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"My condolences to the family of Chad H. Drake on the one year anniversary of his death. On this day, my 33rd birthday I honor him in remembrance. May his soul dance with the angels."
Jane Stein of Columbus, Ohio

"When I saw Chad's face on a list of soldiers who have died in Iraq, I was shocked. Chad was in my class in the fourth grade, and once you moved away to Texas, I never knew what happened to him. I remember playing baseball together at recess. I remember my friend Kelly had a crush on him. My little brother is over there in Iraq now, as well as at least one other boy from our fourth grade class. I'm so sorry that this happened. Please know that even out here, he will be remembered."
Kat Sanford, berkeleykatpoet@yahoo.com of Oakland, CA

"To Ginger,

Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Your son Chad will always be our hero. He died defending our freedoms and values. Please let us know if there's anything we can do to lessen your pain. May God bless you and your family. michaelsolares@msn.com"
Michael & Raquel Solares of Irving, TX

"To the family of SPC Chad H.Drake.My heart and prayers go out to you. You have my deepest condolences.Chad was a real hero and will never be forgotten. I also have a son in 1/82 FA he is still in Iraq. I just hope for his save return. Rest in peace Chad!!!!!!"
Angie Welch of Lawton,Oklahoma

"I went to school with Chad, and I feel soo blessed to have known him. I will have his family in my prayers always. God bless all of you!!!"
Jill Phillips-New of Garland, Texas/USA

"To Chad's Family:
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

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

"To Chad's Family and Friends:

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

Sincerely,

The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
Gloria Caldas (The Big Ern's Mom) of San Antonio, TX
gloria.caldas@banksterling.com"

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

"To the family of Chad,
Our sincerest condolences for your loss. Our family has also suffered the loss of a precious life in this battle for freedom. Chad is a true American hero and will always be remembered for his bravery and sacrifice he gave to our country. May God bless you during this difficult time."
The McClain family--azquail@att.net of Tucson, AZ

"Thank you brave soldier for sacrificing your today for my children's safer tomorrow. You have our utmost respect and gratitude. May God provide your family with comfort in their time of sorrow. May you forever rest in Heavenly peace. Neither you nor your sacrifice will be forgotten. May time provide family and friends with happy loving memories in place of present sorrows. In the infinite meadows of Heaven the bright shining stars bloom....the forget-me-nots of angels. God bless you and thank you."
a grateful family in Phoenix, AZ

"To the Drake family, we feel the same emptyness you are feeling. Spec. Justin Johnson was our son. I know he and Drake were friends. Our prayer was that noone else from the Colts would fall but it didn't help. Just remember you are in our thoughts and prayers in this time of unbelieving sorrow. It was 5 months ago we heard our news and it is still very hard everyday. Just believe they are all in a better place, it will help some. If you ever need to talk, just give us a call, we will be there for you. Carla Anthony knows how to reach us. God bless you."
Joe and Jan Johnson of Lyerly, Ga.

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

"To the family and friends of Spc. Chad Drake:
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 Chad for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Spc. Chad Drake:
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 Chad, 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