Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Maj. Gregory J. Fester

41, of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Fester died in Iskandariyah, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his dismounted patrol. He was a reservist assigned to the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Died on August 30, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Maj. Gregory J. Fester.

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

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"Thinking of you today and everyday. You are my favorite hero and I love you so much."
Jenni Fester of Arizona

"While you have been gone now for over seven years, I just learned of your passing and it brought back memories. Memories of Hails and Farewells with you and Julie in Wertheim, of late night poker games with Pat and Stan. Rest in peace my friend."
David Brundage 4-27 FA of Lock Haven, PA

"Dear Major Fester:

I never had the honor of meeting you but I just wanted to tell you what a wonderful daughter you have and you would be so very proud of her. Jenni is a beautiful peson inside and out. She has worked so hard in college and I know she will continue to strive to do her very best. May God continue to care for and bless the Fester family and may your love and memories always be a bright shining light in their lives. <3"
Robin of Tampa

"Greg,
I know you are in heaven. When my family visited Washington D.C. I took my three sons to Arlington to honor you and your sacrifice. You were a great friend. Watch over and continue to protect your family. Thinking of you on this vetererans day."
Stan Vajdic, Desert Storm & Germany fellow Officer of Deerfield IL

"Happy Birthday Daddy!
I love you so much, sorry this is a few days late, but I know you're with me all the time.
Miss you, and I can't wait for you to see me graduate soon :)"
Jenni of Tampa

"To the family of:Gregory J. Fester
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""

"Hey Dad,
It has been a while since I wrote on this page. I miss you everyday, still. I finally graduate this May, I hope I make you proud. I am going to stay in Florida, the weather is awesome. I will be 23 this summer, it is amazing to me that I am no longer in my teens. I miss you so very much. I often wonder how you're doing up there. I cant wait to see you again some day. You are probably so proud of meg and peyt with all that they do. Mom is doing wonderful, she keeps us all in line and is still her amazing self.
Today is my dog scrappys birthday. I got a bunch of cupcakes for him today.
Just wanted to say hi and I miss you tons. I love you always.
Love,
Jenni"
jenni of tampa fl

"Greg, I miss having you around at family vacations. I Love you with every part of my heart and soul!"
Doug of St Louis MO

"Daddy,
I miss you so much. I really wish you could be here still, to see me almost graduated from college. Thank you for teaching me how to be an honest person and above all a servant for God. You made me such an amazing person, I love you with all my heart. Happy fourth of July weekend, you deserve it all...its definitely not the same without you.
Love Your Oldest (German baby),
Jennifer"
Jenni Fester of Tampa FL

"Prayers for Maj. Fester, his wife and children from a grateful family."
The Cusicks of Schererville, IN

"I miss you dad..really wish you could be here"
megan of tempe, az

"Greg,

Great to see you when I was at Arlington recently. While also visiting the others who served with us in Iraq, who also are resting on the hallowed grounds, I continually drifted to those few weeks of memories in which we toiled in the sand trying to make things better for the Iraqi children and people while leading our comrades in arms into the unknown. I salute your sacrifice and service above self."
Lloyd Navarro of Fort Bragg, NC

"On this Memorial Day (5/25/2009), I think of Greg, my Uncle and my Grandfather who all served and are gone.

I especially think of Greg who was so young and was taken from his wife and children. His ultimate sacrifice will not be forgotten nor taken for granted. I thank God every day for my freedom and for those who serve and protect that freedom. Greg was such an awesome person and I'm so happy we were friends in high school. He was a true HERO.

Julie and kids, I hope you are comforted in knowing that so many still think of and pray for you. May God be with all of you today and always,"
Renee Fister-Lee of Burlington, NC (formerly Westerville, Ohio)

"To Julie,Eric and the entire Fester family. My deepest regrets on your loss. Julie you and Greg stand out in my memories from Westerville I had no idea that you two were married (thats great!). I served 5 years in the US Navy submarine force and I feel a greater loss knowing that someone I knew has been lost. I shed a tear today when I saw the news. My prayers go out to you Julie and your kids too. God bless you all and you will be reunited in heaven."
David Sincebaugh of Atlanta,GA

"Even tho i didnt know you personally sir, i just wanted to say thank you. i hope my time in service and the time i have left in my life is as comendable and as honorable as yours. i lived just down the street from you for almost five years and never had a word. but if we did i have no doubt that it would have been remarkable. You and your familly are in my heart and in my mind. god be with you battle."
PFC Michael A. Schipani of lansing, Michigan

"July 1, 2008
To the family of Maj. Gregory J. Fester:
Gregory 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

"Greg,

You are always in my thoughts and prayers. Reading through the many letters posted on this site, some from past acquaintances from Ohio State, friends and family, brings smiles and tears at the same time. I miss you, and I fondly remember the times we shared together as friends,brother in arms, as well as our family outings with both our "Julies". I only know that someday when I pass from this world, you're one of the first people I want to meet in heaven. Can't wait to see that smile again! Miss you bro!"
LTC Kenny D Harper of Ft. Knox, KY USA

"daddy,
i am writing to tell you that i really miss you. and i wish you could see how happy i am, even though i miss you alot. im so happy that you are in heaven.
love,
jenni"
Jenni Fester

"I am so thankful to have the opportunity to know Greg and Julie Fester. We spent some wonderful times together at FT Sill, the Pictionary battles were legendary with Rudy always chiming in his 2 cents. Wonderful memories of a good friend who was family. Julie, I pray for you and your family, there is no easy way but the Lord is always able. Take Care and God Bless Always, Byron"
LTC Byron Lafield of Shreveport, LA

"I love you Daddy"
Jenni Fester of Saint Leo University

"To the family and friends of Greg Fester....Greg was not only my friend but the most honorable, selfless person I ever met. His love and admiration for his wife Julie and his children were unfathomable.

To Greg....my friend there is not a day that goes by that I dont think of you. Serving with you was a true honor, you were not only a brother in arms but a true friend....you will always be remembered...."
LTC Robert D. Greer of Green Bay, WI

"June 12, 2007...20 years ago today Greg Fester was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. I was there with him. We were all so proud in our new Army Class A uniforms with the black officer stripes on them, with our silver dollar in our pocket ready to give them to then MSG Dodson after returning that first salute. After all the hard work we were finally officers. It was a great day. I remember that day like it was yesterday, with my 3 week old son in tow, and new adventures ahead. Now 20 years later and still serving, I remember Greg's quiet grin and easy demeanor. Like with many soldiers in the military, relationships come and go, and are often based on geography, mission, and shared sacrifices. I was deeply saddened when I received word of Greg's death. As I get older, my memories have become a more important part of my life. Thanks, Greg. Your service and your sacrifice will never be forgotten by your ROTC classmates from THE Ohio State University. As one old General used to say, "I'll meet you on the high ground." May God bless your family."
Charles and Lisa Febus of Dublin, Ohio

"You are a true hero."
Alan Druckemiller

"You are a true hero."
Alan Druckemiller

"You are a true hero."
Alan Druckemiller

"You are a true heroe."
Alan Druckemiller

"With love and prayers one year later."
A Friend in Michigan

"Mr. fester was an amazing man and he is a true hero. he will never be forgotten and everyday so many people are praying for the Festers. RIP Mr.Fester, you will for always be in all of our hearts."
Emily Potts of Grand Rapids Michigan, United States

"To Mommy, Megan, and Peyton,
You all have so much to bed proud of, Dad lives through all of us. I see his smiling face in each of you every day. Dad you are my ture hero and I will never ever forget the amazing sixteen years you gave me, you were always there, and I cant wait to see you again some day.
Jenni"
Jenni Fester of Ada, Michigan, USA

"Mr. Gregory Fester is a true hero. He was an amazing man, father and husband and will be missed.
RIP Mr. Fester.
We all miss you very much"
Sara Levering of Grand Rapids, Michigan, US

"As Memorial Day approaches, we will forever remember our heroes like you, MAJ Fester. My husband served with you in Iraq with the 155th Infantry Battalion. I know several soldiers who served with you in Iskandariyah as well and say nothing but honorable things. I know one CPT in particular that wears your name on a black memorial bracelet every single day. We all remember...and we will never forget. I know there is a special place in heaven for soldiers. My husband's best friend died also in Iskandariyah Feb.16,2005. It has been a year, but we remember him everyday. We wear a black memorial bracelet with his name on it. Everyday brings some small amount of peace in our hearts...but we will never stop wishing we could turn back the hands of time and change what happened. However, we constantly remind ourselves that God's timing is perfect. We may never understand why God took our loved ones home when He did...but we will forever hold tight to the promise of our reunion with them one day in heaven...when we too will go home. Until then, we will remember you...we will tell your heroic stories to our children...and we will never forget. To your wife and children...someone in Mississippi is praying for you still. Please keep holding on to Jesus...because He is holding on to you...right along with your hero. God Bless You and your family....and God Bless MAJ Fester!"
Kandice Rowe of Jackson, MS

"My Beloved Gregory How I miss you every minute of the day. You were my soul mate and I thankyou for the best 18 years of marriage that could be. I see you in our three loving children and I can't wait to run to you in heaven and talk with you. You were my "Lory" and I was your "Jo." I so wanted to have a reunion with you after this war , just like after Desert Storm. You are forever our Hero in everything you did here on earth for us as a loving husband, father, soldier, friend, and businessman. You always went above and beyond and put others first. You never faltered in your faith and left behind a great legacy for all of us to strive for. I always wanted to be just like you, and in your kind way you told me the same. How I miss you so. I wonder what your doing now? Love, Julie xoxoxoxo"
Beloved Wife Julie Fester of Ada, Michigan

"to the family of greg fester and to him. You touched me in ways unknown to you and your heroism has strengthened me as a person"
millers of michigan

"To the loved ones of MAJ Greg Fester: Greg was a great soldier and at the same time a very caring and compasionate person. He was my friend and I will never forget him or his legacy. Greg was one of the best comrades and persons I have ever served with. God Bless him and your family."
MAJ William Biondolillo of Hamburg, NY

"We are deeply sorry for your loss. The Courage, Honor, and Valor that your
Hero showed will always be remembered.
We are grateful for the loyal service and sacrifice that was made and
WE WILL NEVER FORGET.
Our cousin LCPL Michael Smith Jr. gave his life on 4-17-04 fighting for freedom.
Please know that this was not in vain and these American Heros will FOREVER be honored.
God Bless your family and please know that you are not alone.
All of our prayers are with you."
Jennifer and SSGT Larry Mays of Massillon, Ohio

"Our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Gregory Fester. We will forever remember his courage and commitment to defend freedom. Our highest respects to Gregory and for his service to this Nation..we will never forgot."
Vigil Family of Wheatridge CO

"Thank You Gregory Fester for you HEROISM!! May you now know the peace you so rightly deserve. You are safe at last. My heart aches with your family for their loss."
Melissa Macchi (cousin of PFC Mark Barbret from Shelby Twp., MI, killed in Iraq on 10/14/04) of Roseville, MI

"For the family of Gregory Fester, a brave and good soul, this poem to give you comfort I hope.

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

Tennyson"
Jim Revkin of New London, CT

"TO THE FESTER FAMILY FROM THE WAHL FAMILY. OUR HEART AND PRAYS ARE WITH GREGORY. WE LOST OUR SON GREGORY LAST YEAR IN BALAD, IRAQ. SO THANKFUL OUR SON SERVED WITH A MAN SUCH AS YOUR GREGORY! HE HAS NOT GIVEN HIS LIFE IN VAIN. HE IS APART OF IRAQI, AMERICAN AND WORLD HISTORY. ONE THAT WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN! AS HE IS REMEMBERED TODAY, TOMORROW AND ALWAYS! HE HAS TOUCHED THE H3EARTS OF SO MANY. TO ALL THOSE HE TOUCHED. ALL SHARE MANY FOND MEMORIES HE SHARED WITH THEM. YOUR GREGORY ANSWERED A CALLING VERY FEW AMERICANS DO! YOUR GREGORY CERTAINLY; IS SOMEONE'S SOMEONE AND SOMEONE TO OUR FAMILY. WAR MEMORIAL RARELY HAPPEN UNTIL YEARS AFTER A CONFLICT. REACH OUT TO YOUR COMMUNITY. TO GET A STREET NAME AFTER HIM! IF NOT, DO SOMETHING IN HIS HONOR THATN HE BE PLEASED ABOUT. I DID THAT FOR OUR GREGORY. CHILDREN OF THE FALLEN LONG ISLAND RASING MONEY FOR THE CHILDREN OF A FALLEN SOLDIER! WE MUST KEEP SOLDIER LIKE YOUR GREGORY AWARE IN THE COMMUNITY. FOR HE TRUELY, EACH DAY RISK ALL FOR US ALL. GOD BLESS!"
LEONARD WAHL of valley stream ny usa

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

"Thank you Gregory Fester, 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 Maj. Gregory Fester:
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 Gregory 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 Maj. Gregory Fester:
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 Gregory, 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