Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Lance Cpl. Jonathan E. Etterling

22, of Wheelersburg, Ohio.
Etterling died when the CH-53E helicopter he was in crashed near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Died on January 26, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Lance Cpl. Jonathan E. Etterling.


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Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

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"Since the death of Lance Cpl. Jonathan E. Etterling in 2005 we have had an Annual Christmas Banquet for veterans and their families in his memory. www.veteranshelping2005.com"
John Foster of Ironton, OH - USA

"Your family has been on my mind alot lately and also in my prayers. Thinking of you especially today as we take time to honor the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country and our freedom. Thank you for loving your country with all your life. I look forward to meeting you in Heaven someday and thanking you personally."
Janet Yoho of West Liberty, OH

"Jonathan is being honored and remembered through the work of Veterans Helping Veterans & Others. As a child he loved to play Army. His dream was to one day join the Marines and defend his country. Even as a young man he was all about helping others. He was brought up in a good, kind, Christian, loving home that stood by him until his death in 05. If anyone would like to help keep his memory alive by helping needy veterans and their families, they can make a donation to V.H.V.O. - 1525 Harrisonville Ave. - Portsmouth, OH 45662 www.veteranshelping.org The organization has a 501c3 states which means any donations can be used for tax purposes. On behalf of Jonathan's parents, family & V.H.V.O. thank you for honoring and keeping his memory alive."
John D. Foster / Commander of V.H.V.O. - Portsmouth, OH / USA

"Veterans Helping Veterans & Others will never forget Lance Cpl. Jonathan Etterling and what he did for his country. He was a true hero in every sense of the word. We are remembering him by helping homeless, needy veterans and others. V.H.V.O. has dedicated our food pantry, thrift store, care packages to Iraq and other outreaches to him. Jonathan's life in pictures can be seen at www.veteranshelping.org and the good work going on in his honor. He may be gone from among us, but we have a hope of seeing him again some day over home."
John Foster of Wheelersburg, Ohio - USA

"I never want to forget the sacrifices of so many young men and women. I am so proud it makes me cry. I understand in theory only that war is a part of human nature but so is love and caring. I wish I could take the families pain away but I can't. I am committed to loving ALL people, myself and our environment. I am committed to working on my happiness everyday because so many have died for my freedom to live my life. Thank you is not enough but it is all I have. All my love and respect. ogersteiner@yahoo.com"
Scott Steiner of Gahanna, OH

"i will never forget the night i returned from a bike show in columbus ohio to hear the meassage on my answering machine from mom,you was gone,i watched you grow from a small lil boy into a man,a hero,someone to look up to,you gave your all and i am forever in debt to you for that,i think of you all the time,i will never forget you john i am proud to have known you and to have you as my cousin,i miss you cuz,your gone,but never forgotten,gods speed cuz,i will see you again,some sweet day........."
danny vansickle of portsmouth,ohio

"June 3, 2008
To the family of Lance Cpl. Jonathan E. Etterling:
Jonathan 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"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"God bless you brother. You will always be remembered. Semper Fidelis"
Sgt. Matthew Turner of Richmond, KY

"Stay low soft dark and dreamless for beneath my nightmares and loneliness i hate me for breathing without you- grieving for you nothing real love cant undo and though i have lost my way all paths lead straight to you - lyrics from evanescence- i miss you Jonathan- love Anna"
Anna of Pearl Harbor, HI

"I went to school with jon. he was a year behind me but we were close friends the whole time i knew him. i can remember playin back yard football together. that is one of the things i'll always remember about him. he was liked by everyone who knew him and i don't know anyone who disliked him. he will be forever missed by everyone who knew him. i know i miss him"
Adam Payton of Wheelersburg Oh

"jon was truelly a wonderful person. I knew him and shared many laughs with him (skipping science to go hang out with him in art class). Jon also went to the prom with me on his senior year (my junior) we had a blast. he will always have a special place in my heart and i know he's looking down on his family and friends. i wish he could have met my son, but someday he will. to jon's family my heart goes out to them and they are in my prayers. i love you jon and thanks for being a wonderful friend!!!"
Krista Stiltner (Vicars) of marysville, ohio

"My deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Jon Etterling. I grew up in Wheelersburg and though I do not know you, I know people who do know you and I know Jon touched many lives. We are a Navy family and there is no greater calling than to serve in the United States military and defend this great country of ours from tyranny and to protect those who can not protect theirselves.

"Soldier rest! thy warfare o'er, Sleep the sleep thast knows not breaking, Dream of battled fields no more, Days of danger, nights of waking." ~~ Sir Walter Scott"
Paula (Justice) Saintours of Corcoran, California

"you died a hero and the rest of 30 fallen soldiers were also heroes. May you be with god..and sleep with eternal rest. You all died with honor...we will never forget you.."
joey centofanti of tucson az

"Although I didn't know this Marine, I am saddened by the news of such a tragic loss. I attended Wheelersburg High School in 1978, and after graduating I meet my lovely wife Jacqueline. After getting married I joined the United States Marine Corps from 1983 to 2003 as an Aircraft Mechanic/Gunner/Admin Chief. I know Jonathon is with the Lord and looking down upon all of us and keeping his family safe. Jonathon is a true hero and should always be remember in this manor.

Semper Fidelis,
William Freelon Hall USMC (ret)

"Although I didn't know this Marine, I am saddening by the news of such a tragic lose. I attended Wheelersburg High School in 1978, and after graduating I meet my lovely wife Jacqueline and after getting married I joined the United States Marine Corps from 1983 to 2003 as an Aircraft Mechanic/Gunner/Admin Chief. I know Jonathon is with the Lord and looking down upon all of us and keeping his family safe. Jonathon is a true hero and should always be remember in this manor. God Bless

Semper Fidelis,
William Freelon Hall USMC (ret)

you where my favorite cousin. I proud to say your my cousin.
I miss you"
Sarah Etterling of Wheelersburg, Oh

"Jon was such a great guy...he and I graduated together and were close friends...he was always upbeat and always ready to lend a hand to anyone who needed it...he was a great guy, and a true American soldier...ever since I met him all he could talk about was being a Marine...he truely was and is a hero..."
Cassie Euton of Huntington, WV

"I lived by Jon growing up as a kid. He was the nicest guy I knew. He even played Barbies with me! My heart pounded when I found out he died."
Nicole of Wheelersburg

"" I never new Jon, but he sounds like a good kid. Right now I am doing a newsletter on the war in Iraq.....And Jon is my subject. His story is very touching, you should find out more about him!"

Corey Turner, Wheelersburg"
Corey of Wheelersburg

"Jon was truely a pleasure to be around. Jon and I were friends through high school and he was the one that could always put you in a good mood. God blessed us with a great person and he is continuing to make people happy in a higher place. I love you and miss you and I will see your smiling face once again."
Shannon Holsonback of Wheelersburg, oh usa

"I am so sorry for your loss for I am feeling it also. I am the father of Lcpl Brian Hopper, who was on the helicopter with Jonathan. May our memories never fade."
Rob Hopper, rob.hopper@pbsgc.com of Wynne, AR

"My son Sgt. Michael Finke, Jr. was on the helicopter with Jonathan. We are forever united through our sons' sacrifices. God Bless!"
Sally Rapp of Westlake, Ohio

"My thoughts and prayers are with the family of LCpl. Etterling. He, along with 29 others, perished with my son, Cpl. Richard A. Gilbert, Jr. They will forever be brothers in arms."
Helen Gilbert of Dayton, Ohio

"My brother Cpl. Richard Gilbert, Jr. was with Jon on that tragic day. My condolences to his family. God Bless"
Melissa Rader of Dayton,Ohio

"I did not have the chance to get to know Jon but I'm sure I'll get the chance on the other side. Thanks alot Jon for what you did. Our Land is much safer now because of Your Actions In Iraq. You sure had faith in what you did in this afar land. I can't never be thankful enough for that. You'll always be on my mind. Rest In Peace now that you're home."
Christine of somewhere

""Jon was a great guy. I went to school with him all my life and also church when we were little.He was always upbeat about things and was never negative. He was always doing the right thing and never once the wrong thing. Everyone could count on Jon and no-one questioned his loyalty. He believed in what the United States was doing against terror. All of us that knew Jon will never forget him; we will always remember him being a great guy. My payers are with you and I
believe God received a special angel when Jon came to him. My thoughts and prayers are with Jon and his family. He gave his all and that will never be forgotten. I love you like a brother Jon and will never forget you. I thank you and your wonderful family for the times we had."
Semper Fi Devil Dog! You WILL NOT be forgotten.
Lcpl (levi) Hunter"
Lcpl (levi) Hunter of Wheelersburg, Ohio/USA

"Thank you John your a true hero."
M.R. of New Jersey

Thank you Jonathan, your brave service has made America safer from those who wish to destroy it. We will remember what you did for us and keep you in our prayers. To your loved ones, take comfort in knowing that one day you will again embrace your Jonathan in the warm light of the Lord. Semper Fi Marine. From a very grateful American family."
The Shaw family of Pasadena, Maryland

"Jon: I will never forget that sweet little boy that picked me the bouquet of wildflowers the first time you met me. Thank you for being so brave you will be missed always....."
Kim Etterling of Roanoke, Va

"To the family and friends of Lance Corporal Jonathan E. Etterling,

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

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

"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

"Jon, you will forever be in our minds and our hearts. Thanks for looking over Sarah and Brandi Etterling when they entered High School. You were a fine young man and will never be forgotten. God Be With You, Jon!!!!!!!"
Lisa Hettel of Wheelersburg, Ohio

Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Jonathan, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you ALWAYS. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"To the family of Jonathan, I'am so sorry to hear of your loss.He was a very brave Soldier,MySon,is also in Iraq,My prayers are with you. God Bless"
Diane of Spokane wa.

"I went to school with him.. well we were 3 years apart but its just so strange when it hits home.. you just dont ever think that it can happen here but I believe his parents raised a wonderful son."
whitney of wheelersburg

"Thank you Jonathan Etterling, 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 Lance Cpl. Jonathan Etterling:
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 Jonathan 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 Lance Cpl. Jonathan Etterling:
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 Jonathan, 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