Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Capt. Travis A. Ford


30, of Oceanside, California.
Killed in action when his AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter crashed during combat operations near Ali-Ariziyal, Iraq. Assigned to the Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) - 267, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Camp Pendleton, California. Died on April 4, 2003.

Ford leaves behind his wife, Deon, and two-year-old daughter, Ashley, who is shown in the photo.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Capt. Travis A. Ford.

Links:

Daily Nebraskan - UNL graduate dies in Iraq in helicopter crash
Contributions to the Families of the Fallen

Messages:

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

Please report inappropriate messages

"On April 4, 2003, I was tasked to divert my mission to a Combat Search and Rescue for your crash site. Very few days pass that I do not think of that mission. To your family, rest assured we did everything possible to ascertain that both pilots did not survive the crash. We so badly wanted to establish radio contact with you, and to help get you out. My youngest son is the same age as your daughter, and it breaks my heart to think of Ashley not knowing her father, Semper Fi, Marine. This A-10 pilot salutes you."
Michael Cousins of Westfield, MA

"Rest In Peace, Captain. Your tour of duty is complete. We'll see you again. God Bless your wife and daughter."
Lance Corporal J. Carter of Carlsbad, Ca.

"Travis, I will toast to your memory at our Marine Corps birthday dinner tomorrow night. You will not be forgotten. Semper Fi 10Nov2015 // Echo Company, Officer Candidate School, Quantico, VA, Summer 1995"
Jason Ormsby of Houston, Texas

"thanks Travis for all you did. love ya"
cowboy of O G

"WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!

KING. What’s he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.”
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say “These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.”
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day."
Matt Ford of 2/10

"Miss you much Travis. Anne and I think of you, Deon, and Ashley pretty much daily still after all of these years. Forever sorry that I missed that email you sent."
Ralph of FL

"Captain Ford,
You are still so very missed. Continued blessings your family and friends until they see you again. I am honored to have served with you briefly as you learned to fly. Semper Fi."
LtCol John Neville of Patuxent River, MD

"Capt. Ford,
On today, the 10th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you to you and your pilot for your service and sacrifice for our Country and to your fellow Marines on the ground. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"I will never forget my time working with and for Capt Travis Ford. I was a helicopter crew chief at Hmla-267. When I was pregnant I had the priveledge of working in the S-5 department with him. He was such a special motivated man. I will never forget the day he told me he was scared to go to Iraq because he was leaving behind his precious little two year old daughter Ashley. She was sleeping in the corner of the office that day because she was sick and he had to come in for just a little while, then he was going home with her. He said that he was scared he would not come back to her. This was the first moment I saw Capt Ford as more than a Marine, but a father and husband to someone as well. He was a special Marine and someone I am proud to have known. I hope that Deon and Ashley are doing well with their own personal angel watching over them as he guards the streets of heaven."
Sgt. Valerie Riesberg of Iowa

"Every day I remember you sir. I have kids now and I bet that is something you might've been surprised about. Semper Fi buddy."
C.Barrett of Colorado

"Hey Buddy, I can't sleep, for obvious reasons. Just wanted to drop by and give you a shout out. I miss you man! We all miss you. I have so much to tell you. Someday...GBR!!!"
Romeo Rivas of South Carolina

"I had launched Captains Ford and Sammis out the night they were killed. Although I was much more familiar with Capt. Sammis, I had the opportunity to converse with Capt. Ford for a few hours before the launch, we had been doing an engine wash together. I remember the conversation we had. I was telling him how insignificant I felt in the war being that I was a helicopter mechanic and was confined mainly to the airfield away from most of the action. I had felt that there was more I should've been doing than just fixing aircraft while others were really in the thick of it. Anyway, Capt. Ford said some things to me that made me realize how important the job was that I and the other mechanics were doing, how many lives we had helped save and enemy we had helped kill by keeping the birds in the air, we all worked very hard and very long. From that point on I felt good about the job I was doing and to this day I am grateful to have had that conversation with him. Capt. Travis Ford and Capt. Benjamin Sammis are true heroes who did so much for this country and the people living in it. I am certain their sacrifice will not be forgotten. Thank you gentlemen."
Daniel Conner, Sgt USMC 2000-2005 of Pittsburgh, PA

""Travis/Captain Ford/Insert (Call Sign),

There is not a single day that I don't think of you and Ben and how you guys made a point to get me out of the bag to say hello. Looking back, you guys were so cool. You were both just even tempered and so nice. I looked like a hobo for allowing myself to get a bit nasty for a marine. Neither you, nor Ben said anything. You just talked to the whole group at the FARP and hung out for a bit. I never saw you again.

I didn't get the chance to tell you that day - you and the other pilots shaped my life. Your constant and easy professional presence with that effortless 'on to the next threat' mission focused drive...your calling to keep others safe...changed how I define what being a man is all about. I now have a child, a son "Patrick MacMaster Blount", of my own.

I hope you think I am doing a good job these days. I've devoted my life to protecting our uniformed men at the tactical level taking only contracts that have an impact on saving lives - it's been a long war.

You should know that when we got back I had some trouble adjusting. I didn't expect the loss to hit me as hard as it did. Eight years later and not a day has gone by that I don't regret doing a better job for you with the TACMANs and the study the CO gave me to do - neither job was done well enough. I am sorry my friend. I wish so much that you could know how many men you saved and how you touched us all. Heck, you only just joined and you were a part of us.

A friend of mine was with 3rd LAR during the push and you guys saved his life and the lives of his men many times. The squadron did so much in that time. The CO pushed you guys hard because it was clear to me he know how awesome all of you pilots handed everything.

I am sorry to ramble on like this. I just wanted to say that I often think about how well you just naturally made everyone around you feel at ease. I think about your speech at the ball, talking to you about the 'old corps', going over platform specs as if I could possibly understand the depths that you guys mastered regarding your airframe, you lovely wife and how terrific a couple you made together and I think of the amazing impact you made on all of us in such a short time. You are simply a hero of mine.

Try not to cause too much trouble in heaven, devil dog. Yup, I "DD’d" you. :)

I miss you and I will always be there for your family and friends if they ever need anything. I promise that as one mustang to another.

Please have some grog for me and get with my pal MD - you guys will hit it off up there.

To the family and friends: If you would like to speak to me, my email is below. Travis was an amazing man and a good friend.

I would like to close with a quote from you, "Here's to the... (Inaudible phrases I couldn't get because it was the ball and we had been overserved)...AND THAT IS WHAT MAKES US ALL MARINES... (more words and colorful stories)...SEMPER FI!" That remains my favorite ball - bar none.

You are always in my thoughts and your family is always in my prayers.

Thank you for teaching me about real sacrifice. You loved your family more than anyone else I know. I also know that you loved the corp. But, spending even one minute away from your wife and child was painful for you. I feel the same way about my wife and child. I then think of you and I think of Ben and I realize that you made a choice fully aware of the risk in order to make sure that lesser men like me could live in a safer world. You gave us so much.

I pray every night that you are not bored and I pray that your family is healthy, happy and safe.

Semper Fi, my friend."


Charles Ward Blount
Former Capt, and S2 (Intel)
HMLA-267 (2002-2003)
Call Signs: "Profit, Kramer, Hard Corps and SPOOL”
SPOOL – I messed up (acted the fool) and my call sign was made ‘SPOOL’
I earned it just like you and everyone else earned your call signs. You would have totally thought that was funny.
Current Job: JIEDDO Site Lead
Sotera Defense Systems
Herndon, VA, USA
charleswardblount@gmail.com"
Charles Ward Blount, Former Capt, and S2 (Intel), HMLA-267 (2002-2003) "Profit, Kramer, Spool, Hard Corps" of Herndon, VA, USA

"Thinking about you today, Travis. May you and Ben Sammis always rest in peace."
Scott Dohmann of Tampa, FL

"Hi Daddy. I am now in 4th grade. I miss you so much. I am going to turn 10 in a few months. I am very proud of you. We know where we're going to move. We're moving to Rhode island. I guess we'll see each other someday. Until then, RIP."
Ashley Ford of Oklahoma

"Hi. I miss you so much. I just got back from snowball express. I love you daddy."
Ashley Ford

"Sir,
Thank you for your words of advice when you were my Platoon Sergeant at EMC. I just hope I can live up to the expectations you set for me. Semper Fi."
Sgt Bird of 5th Bn, 14th Mar Seal Beach, Ca

"I had the opportunity to serve with Captain Ford, although, I knew him when he served as a Cpl with the Marine Corps. He was, and always will be, a great man. Semper Fi Sir!"
Cpl J. Duff - USMC 1995 - 2003 of Beatrice, Ne / USA

"Hey Travis, this is Clint Knoepfels wife, Cynthia. Just wanted you to know we named our son after you, his name is Travis Matthew, and he is now 3 and a half. I think we may have a future Marine on our hands! Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice, you are gone but certainly not forgotten! OORAH! Go Huskers!!!"
Cynthia Knoepfel of Portsmouth, VA

"Remembering you and the sacrifices you made after spending the weekend with Deon in DC to attend the ribbon cutting of the new Intrepid facility. Gone, but never forgotten my dear friend!"
Elodie Jones of Hays, KS

"Another memorial day passes and your memory is still strong. I met up with Major Mike Weber the other day and we remembered you fondly. 5-31-10"
Cass Barrett of Colorado

"Sir just wanted to let you know you arent forgotten we will always be tip of the spear iron echo see you at fiddlers green"
Raymond Serna of Hobbs NM

"Remembeing your sacrafice that terrible day. Thanks from one of the guys you were protecting on the ground."
BJ of Arlington, VA

"Memories or Travis stay alive in us everyday. Ralph still holds on to their friendship. I teach of sacrifice and honor, every year in my 6th grade history class and tell of his story to remember him and make it real for kids who don't understand the impact of loosing someone like Travis."
Ralph and Anne Hershfelt of Hagerstown, MD

"Hey
You would be proud of your little brother today. He just got married and I know you were watching and smiling."
TJ

"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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEjz-wAQLSA&feature=PlayList&p=477CB1585D5551F3"
Scott Steiner of Worthington, OH USA

"Happy Birthday Sir! You will never be forgotten! markcontreras77@hotmail.com"
Mark Contreras of Chino, CA

"You and your family are in my thoughts Brother. The last time I saw you was at Pendleton and you were days away from shipping out to flight school. As always you were motivated and had a smile on your face. You're truly missed.

Wardman and Douglas send their regards, PLC-Seniors 96."
Mike Ferritto of Arlington, VA

"I went through flight school with Travis. Several Marines lost their lives this past week, and it brought back memories of Travis. You're not forgotten brother!"
Alan Baker of Detroit, MI

"Hi,daddy
I miss you"
Ashley morgan ford

"Travis, almost forgot, you would be so proud of your brother. He checked into the Stingers a few years back, and now is in the BOOST program to become an Officer. He will be a good one thank's to you."
CASH of Camp Pen

"To Travis and your family. Every day I walk into a room with your name on it, and I'm reminded of what we do for our country and what we are willing to give up. I also have a a wife, child and fly for the Stingers. Your not forgotten brother."
CASH of Camp Pen

"this goes to all the marines both past and present. SEMPERFI hoora"
scott stearns of pocatello idaho

"Today April 4, 2009, you are missed. We Love You Travis."
Karen of USA

"There are no words to express my family's thank you to you and your family for all that you sacrificed"
Jody Reutzel of Ogallala NE USA

"When I heard about Travis's death, I got down on my knees and prayed. I felt a peace from God, peace that Travis was with Him.

Thank you, Travis, for giving your life for a cause greater than yourself. Thank you for showing us all what it means to be a true hero.

Thank you, Mom, Wife, Daughter, Brother for your great sacrifice. May our Father who lives in Heaven supply all of your needs and comfort your hearts in the loss of this great man."
Shauna (Queen) Perez, OHS Class of '90 of Vicksburg, MS

"Travis,
You where always a true freind. You will never be forgotten or lost. You will always be thought of and missed. It was an honor wrestling and playing baseball with you when we were kids. We will meet up once again someday and reconnect just like old times brother! Miss ya, Bro."
Chris Mullen of Belle Fourche, SD

"April,2008, Travis, Just wanted all to know that your bright smile will never be forgotten. I think of you often the many hours you spent in our home, the food, laughter,and fun that you and David shared. All the sleepovers after a night out on the town in big "O". David has a son and he is your namesake Travis Eugene Kelley, you would think with Davids big brown eyes he would have had them also, but he has you big blue eyes Travis,and when he looks at you sometimes I know that you are their because I see you in his eyes. He is tough like you also.I miss you and know David and Dale(DAD)miss you as they talk of you often. You will never be forgotten Trav. The Kelleys' will always think of you as one of their boys. Love (Mom) Paula Kelley"
Paula Kelley of Fort Collins, CO

"My heart is always heavy with pain for the ones left behind. I was a SEAL 69-76 and when in harms way, worried about leaving my family alone, and dying alone. I understand the meaning of life and the loss of it also. My heart goes out to this "Hero" who made the ultimate sacrifice. God's Blessings on all connected with this Marine!!! Semper Fi"
Jake of Kansas City, MO, USA

"hey buddy. its me Romeo. wanted to leave a message. you will never be forgotten. my children will always know who CPT. Travis A. Ford is. You will always be my Best Friend!"
Romeo Rivas, 4/3/2008 of Darlington,SC

"Mrs. Ford and Ashley

I send my deepest condolences to your loss. Although I never knew Travis, I believe he was a good man nonetheless. I recently learned that he proposed to you over a megaphone at Lincoln's Memorial Station; I can picture it in my head right now. I'm sure that must've been a happy moment for both of you. Well, in less than two weeks, it'll be April 4th.
I do hope that Travis is honored in the way that he should be: a hero who died in the service of his country. I've forgotten how long it will be before Will comes back from Iraq. When I see you at school, please remind me when he'll be shipped home. Hopefully, it won't be long. Well, I guess that's enough. Have the best of luck in Oklahoma, tell Ashley I said "hi", and tell Will I said "hi" too. God bless Travis and let's hope we'll be out of Iraq soon.

Love,
Jason"
Jason Roeder of Laguna Niguel, California

"December 30, 2007
To the family of Capt. Travis A. Ford:
Travis 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

"Happy Birthday (232nd) Sir. It is a pleasure to have served with you and to currently serve with your brother Matt.
Semper Fi
HMLA 267 "STINGERS""
Sgt McNeill of Currently deployed ISO OIF (still)

"Travis

Thankyou from the bottom of my heart and my families heart for the ultamate sacrafice. Our son also Travis was named after you, he will be told of your bravery when he reaches an understanding age. You will never be forgotten and may God bless your family!"
Clint Knoepfel of Eastport, ME

"what up brother, friend. i just wanted to say hi. i miss you. we had great times did't we. i always think of you and that dorky laugh, funny how little things stick. your my dogg and will always be my dogg. i saw matt in june and he looks good. take care and stay close.

love,
rome"
Romeo Rivas of Darlington,SC

"Capt. Ford was my forward observer Lieutenant for over a year and a half. we lived, ate, slept, and did pretty much everything together for that time including overseas deployment etc.etc. just so many memories that I will never forget......you were and still are a huge influence in my life....I remember how kept me from getting NJP for having a tongue ring, and then how not more than a month later you pinned on my Corporal chevrons, and handed me my bood stripe saying "never look back". Well I haven't, and though I'm not in the Corps and longer I am still a Marine. Semper Fi sir. Go easy."
cass barrett of Colorado

"5/16/07-Semper Fi Sir! I will never forget you or the times we spent together in the field. Thank you for all you taught me!
markcontreras77@hotmail.com"
Mark Contreras of Chino, Ca

"See you on Fiddler's Green Brother

"Echo" Battery, 2d Battalion, 11th Marines"
Staff Sergeant Henry "Chevy" Echeverria of Wasilla, AK, USA

"Capt. Ford,
I would like to say thank you to you and your co-pilot 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 the reflections left here for you, all I can I say is that I wish that I had had a chance to have served with you. You first served as an enlisted Marine and then later as a Mustang.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"Thank you for all you have done and we will never forget you. SEMPER FI"
Jarhead

"When I first saw you, I was in Love….
Your wispy blonde hair, your deep blue eyes were my first impression of your outer beauty they paled in comparison to your inner you. You shook my hand and hugged me unwillingly; it would be our first embrace. From that moment on I loved you. Your joyful view on life, your willingness to share almost anything funny molded you into the man you became. The child to a man, I loved you. As a man you had character, integrity and honesty. You humbled anyone who had none of these qualities. Not by your voice, but mannerisms and living your life. So, you lived a life, not long as most, but you filled others. On this day I remember you… and am always happy to be called your sister. Thank you for your courage."
Karen of Kansas, USA

"Every day I stair at your pictures on the wall and on the mantle. Many days have past since the call that brought our family to there knees that you had perished. Our family will never be the same with out your smile, your joy of life. Your love of Holidays, good times, friends and family.

When I am around your daughter it sends chills down my spine just looking at her and seeing her personality her movements, her eyes. I see you standing just feet away. She probably thinks I am her wierd uncle when I stair at her like I do. But I just see you and want to reach out and touch you. She gave me a strong hug when she left this last time. And it reminded me of the last time we gave eachother a hug before you left for deployment. You hugged me so tight I think I gasped for air. As grown men do, we patted eachother on the back and tried to suck it up and be men! Little emotion, just " good luck and see ya on the flip side!" Well brother I can't wait to be with you again some day on the flip side, talking about old times. So often I think of all the things we could be doing together or would be doing together if you were here.

Days will pass and I walk by your photos and give them a glance and then some days as you know, I stop in my tracks and give you a little grin and a pat and tell you how much I miss you and our family misses you.

I promise I will look after Ashley from time to time. When she gets a little older I plan to tell her just what kind of a man her dad was. Every day I only hope that at the end of my life I have half as much respect as I have seen from people who knew you for your short time with us.

Hopefully some day Ashley can move a little closer so she can be with more of her family. I still remember your wishes in your letter that you left for Jeremy and I. I feel bad that not every thing has gone as you had wished. But no matter what, Jeremy and I will watch over Ashley and Deon and be there when the time comes and they are in need.

I wrote you email after email about keeping your head down and just coming home no matter what. You promised me you would, but I realize you were just doing your job. Always 100% never anything less for your Job your Country. That was just the kind of guy you were, don't hold back- living every day to the fullest. Your smile and enthusiasm had total strangers asking, " who is that guy?". It was truly amazing! I will always cherish every moment we had. From fishing off the pier in Pensicola and talking about life. To the goose hunting in the bitter cold in Kansas, watching you chase geese up and down the fence line. What ever it was we were doing you made it fun, rememberable, and always a lasting memory! I feel your presence from time to time and I know you are with me. Keep in touch...

And I will catch you on the Flip Side...

Love Always,
Your Brother Mike"
Michael W. Tipton of Omaha, NE/ USA

"thanks to all the soilders who have given there life to this country and for the freedom of this country"
travis allen of staunton, VA, USA

"Hey Buddy, it's 4-8-06. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. I know that right now this is a very short time for you up there in heaven... seemes like down here it is forever. I know you are watching over your family and friends... We miss you. It will seem like a long time for me... but a short time to you, so see you soon..."
Kent Robb of Phoenix, AZ

"Today, 5 April, 2006, 3 years,,, yet it is still, a wound not healed. Of Travis, I only new what others have said,,, like about his sense of humor. From my son, Ben it was; "He's a good troop, former ground-pounder,with good instincts". That was Ben's way of letting me know His "WO" was the best there was. And that, I do recall, from a conversation of 24 December, 2002,the night he let us know he was going to Kuwait. I guess they were met to be together, Travis- with his sense of humor, and Ben- with his mischevous smile (and attitude).
There exists among Those "few good men" a bond which few can understand. There exist among the rest of us a bond to "never forget those few good men." I shall not, nor shall I forget the families who also bear a simaler wound. My God grant you all peace, and that with each passing day, allow the tears which fall from your eyes be the sustanance that nurtures a smile.
To the Ford family, Beth & I still hold you in our prayers, more so, with Matt's deployment.
And, Matt you have much for which to be proud. Not only of your Brother's service but for your own courage and convictions to follow with your tour with the Corps. Stinger 77 will be flying "close cover". Semper FI, Marine."
Steve Sammis of Rehoboth, MA

"Today, 5 April, 2006, 3 years,,, yet it is still, a wound not healed. Of Travis, I only new what others have said,,, like about his sense of humor. From my son, Ben it was; "He's a good troop, former ground-pounder,with good instincts". That was Ben's way of letting me know His "WO" was the best there was. And that, I do recall, from a conversation of 24 December, 2002,the night he let us know he was going to Kuwait. I guess they were met to be together, Travis- with his sense of humor, and Ben- with his mischevous smile (and attitude).
There exists among Those "few good men" a bond which few can understand. There exist among the rest of us a bond to "never forget those few good men." I shall not, nor shall I forget the families who also bear a simaler wound. My God grant you all peace, and that with each passing day, allow the tears which fall from your eyes be the sustanance that nurtures a smile.
To the Ford family, Beth & I still hold you in our prayers, more so, with Matt's deployment.
And, Matt you have much for which to be proud. Not only of your Brother's service but for your own courage and convictions to follow with your tour with the Corps. Stinger 77 will be flying "close cover". Semper FI, Marine."
Steve Sammis of Rehoboth, MA

"Today, 5 April, 2006, 3 years,,, yet it is still a wound, not healed. Of Travis, I only new what others have said,,, like about his sense of humor. Ben was very brief; "He's a good troop, former ground-pounder,with good instincts". That was Ben's way of letting me know his "WO" was the best there was. And that, I do recall, from a conversation of 24 December, 2002,the night he let us know he was going to Kuwait.
I guess they were met to be together, Travis- with his sense of humor, and Ben- with his mischevous smile (and attitude).
There exists among Those "few good men" a bond which few can understand. There exists among the rest of us a duty, therefore, a bond, to "never forget those few good men." I shall not, nor shall I forget the families who also bear a simaler wound. My God grant you all peace and, with each passing day, allow the tears which fall from your eyes be the sustanance that nurtures a smile.
To the Ford family, Beth & I still hold you in our prayers, more so, with Matt's deployment.
And, Matt you have much for which to be proud. Not only of your brother's service, but for your own courage and conviction to follow with your tour with the Corps.
Stinger 77 will be flying "close cover". Semper FI, Marine."
Steve Sammis of Rehoboth, MA

"Well brother here it is, 3 years since it happend. I sit here with some dewers under my belt and finally the nerver to write you. You know I never knew how much your death would effect me, but it proved to be the most influential moment of my life, I can't describe. Since your death I have gone from college to nothing to the Marine Corps where I now call home to your own HMLA-267 Stingers....you may have heard of us. Brother, you have done so much for me I can't explain.....at a young age you taught me to be a man, through your death you taught me to overcome adversity, and now as a Marine I'am trying to learn to become what you were! As I look at what your comrades have wrote, hear what kind of leader you were, and see what you have done to my life....I only hope and pray that I can be half of what you became. Travis you are my Hero! With your inspiration I will become what I desire to be. It is obvious that what I'm doing is right through signs that you have given me. Please be with me on this deployment that I'm about to embark on and let me show the world that Ford's fight honorably. I love you brother and I thank you for everything. Travis I hope that when your not busy being with Ashley, guarding the streets of heaven, and with mom, you will guide me to where I belong! I love you brother.
God speed, and Semper Fidelis!"
Lcpl Matt G Ford of Camp Pendleton, Ca HMLA-267 "Stingers"

"I served with Capt. Ford from 1998-2001 when i was in Echo 2/11. I'll never forget all the good times we had in Okinawa, Camp Pendleton and 29 palms. He was a great PLT CMDR, FDO, and XO for the battery."
SSGT Zellers of Laguna Niguel, CA

"I remember making sure your plane was ready to go. Seeing you and Sammis take off, I just figured you 2 would be back in a couple days. Sittin outside the tent smokin that cigar. I went home early that night and was awoke with the info. I relieve that day everyday, along with many others but that one is always there and always the same. See ya later......."
Jimmy of Nevada

"In your honor and with gratitude to you, Travis Allen Ford, I’ve planted a daffodil in your name, as have others across the country as part of Project LIVE ON, a not-for-profit program founded to memorialize each U. S. military who has died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thousands of beautiful daffodils will come up each Spring, and, like your spirit, will LIVE ON...and ON. Blessings to you, the family, as you grieve, and heal. For details, contact projectliveon@aol.com. Jan. 22, 2006."
Gretchen Forbes of the northcentral mountains of Pennsylvania

"i understand the pain that the family is going through cuz my friend says this is her brother god bless you"
haley howard of belton mo

"I have planted a daffodil for you Travis, along with 50 more bulbs to represent other soldiers who have been killed in Iraq. Your flower will be seen every year and your sacrifice remembered. Projectliveon@aol.com"
Ruth Anderson of Mountain View, California

"Deon, Ashley-
I offer my deepest and most humble condolences. I should have written this a long time ago....
I was in a FARP on the way to Baghdad when I heard about Travis... I didn't want to think about it, I had my Marines to worry about. I have tried to suppress thinking about it since then, but the time has come...
Travis was the first person outside of K 3/12 that I met in the battalion. We were both forward observers together with 2/11. He was with Echo, I was with Kilo. I remember meeting him in 29 Palms the first day we were there. He walked straight up to me, stuck out his hand and said "Hi- my name is Travis". Not two seconds later, he gave me one of his cigars. I saved it and he and I smoked them that night at about 1 o'clock in the morning with the regimental commander watching a regimental TOT. I will remember that night forever.
When I came back from Okinawa, I went to Echo to take over from Travis as the battery XO. Working with him was truly an honor, and his sense of humor was one of the best I have ever seen. The last time I saw he and Deon was at a going away dinner with the officers from the battery. I laughed so hard...he was hilarious. Travis was so happy that he was headed off to flight school. When I asked him what he wanted to fly, he said "Anything with a trigger".
As with all of the friends I have known over the years, time slips away, and losing touch becomes the norm. I am so sorry that I didn’t make more of an effort…..
Travis, God bless you. May you rest in peace. Please know that you will be missed and that your memory will never fade.
Deon, Ashley-
I am so truly sorry for your loss.
Respectfully,
Michael Yeargan"
Capt Michael Randall Yeargan of Folsom, Ca

"Travis,
We will never forget you and you will always be flying with us, watching our "six" from above"
Capt. Henry Dolberry, HMLA-367. Cobra Pilot of Oceanside, Ca

""In appreciation for Travis' ultimate sacrifice, there is an education fund that I started for Ashley Ford, his daughter, with UBS. If you want to contribute contact Dick Wilson @ 502-420-7680 for info how to make sure we take care of a fallen hero's daughter.""
Mike Mirgeaux of Louisville, KY 40207

"Deon and Ashely

HE DIED A HERO. GOD BLESS"
MATT CHRISTIANCY AND FAMILY of KEARNEY NE USE

"Hey buddy, It is Memorial Day 05. I know your up there watching out for your friends and family. This is your day, and I hope your family finds some comfort knowing your in a better place. Oh, by the way, the HUSKERS will be much better this year, although you may need to help them out a little, here and there.. I will never forget you. You were a great friend. My son is almost two now. His dad will tell him about you, and I'm sure it will be special when we can all meet together up there some day. May God keep your family safe. I'll see you later buddy."
Kent Robb of Phoenix AZ USA

"Well, I guess where do I start? How do you put down in words of the emotion of a friend who has past? Today is April 22, 2005. I still have a hard time with knowing your gone. I always thought that later on I would call your mom, get your number and we would meet up. My dad told me you got married,but I never knew until the day my dad called that you were in the Marines, and I'm sure you never knew I was in the Navy after one year playing baseball in college. The times that we spent together on the road games, in the dugout before practice with the guy's was something I will never forget. There were about 6 of us getting there early shoting the crap, talking about anything and everything we could think of. I remember the curve ball in the dirt that you took in the groin at Lexington, you were taken out of the game, you were pissed cause they came back and won. So was I cause the inning before I hit a grand slam to put us up by 3. Travis, I have a son now, almost 2, and a daughter on the way. I will tell my son of what this country means to Nebraskans. I will tell him of how his grandfather fought in Vietnam, How one of his dad's best friend's in high school died for his country in Iraq.I will tell him that I sold a home to a former Husker that plays with the Arizona Cardinals that played with Pat Tillman. I will make sure he knows what this nation beleives is a HERO. It has taken me a long time to really talk to my wife about you, and our friendship. I guess it's because I always liked to be around other people who were full of life. You were. I remember how your little brother was our batboy one year..... and he alway's said " I'm Matt Ford, Travis Ford's my brother. I remember how proud you were of him. I know you watched him for your mom a lot back the. Now that I have a son, I understand how much time you must have spent with him. You will always be in my heart Travis, you know that. I have to say a few words to your family. If they ever see this, I hope I do it justice... Well, here goes. Ashley, your father was a person who cared about other people, your father was a person who cared about this Country that you grow up in. I knew your father pretty well and I bet that all he ever thought about was you and your mom. You are apart of him, and he will always be with you. He will be there when you fall, he will be there when you do well. He will be there, he will be there, he will be there in your heart every beat that your heart takes, he will be there. He wanted nothing more than to grow old with your mom and be a granpa to your children, but he is there. When you do finally meet him up above, you will realize that it was a long wait, but a wait worth it, and you will have a lot to catch up on. Deon. Your husbarnd was a great friend of mine. We spent hours and hours at the baseball field talking about life, dreams, etc. You must be an incredibale woman. I know all of this has been tough. Sometimes I think he knew... Sometimes I think he had to live every day like it was his last. I think a lot of us would wish we did. I wish the last time I seen Travis when we lost the state baseball tourney, I wished I huged him, and told him he was like a brother to me. I figured I would see him soon. Hopefully our family's will meet one day. I know Travis would want that. I will never forget Travis, and April 4th, from know on I am not going to be down, from know one I will be thankfull to have been his friend. God speed Travis."
Kent Robb of Phoenix, AZ

"Travis you are truly a hero. Our years of friendship will be with me always. Though you are gone your memory lives on with me and the son who I named after you. Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice, for your strong sense of duty, for your laughter, your heart and friendship. Rest in Peace my friend."
Earl Schenck, Jr. of Plattsmouth, NE

"I remember serving with you in the 4th Maintenance & Engineers in Omaha, NE in '96-'97. Thank you and God bless you and yours Sir."
Cpl W. Koh, USMCR of Sacramento, CA

"I know your nephew Todd and neice Celeste. They love u and miss u very much! Your mother Josie is a great lady. We are all SO proud of u and we will always remember u"
of travis's home town

"To Travis A Ford
I was going through our boot camp book and saw your photo and remembered how many pushups you could do, After 8 years in the Corps I transferred to the Navy as an Officer. I was on the USS Vandegrift when we escorted you into the Persian Gulf on Jan 29th last year. You were my squad leader in boot camp, 1st Battalion Delta Company Platoon 1083 (Garth h. Gimmestad) Funny story, when I went to Officer Candidate School in Pensacola Florida I had the same Drill Instructor again, 10 years later (Sgt. Jones, now a GySgt), he was a pain in the *. Anyway, Wherever you are my prayers are with you and I will keep on fighting the good fight.
LTJG Garth H Gimmestad
gimmestad@hotmail.com
garth.gimmestad@navy.mil"
garth gimmestad of chicago illinois

"To Travis A Ford
I was going through our boot camp book and saw your photo and remembered how many pushups you could do, After 8 years in the Corps I transferred to the Navy as an Officer. I was on the USS Vandegrift when we escorted you into the Persian Gulf on Jan 29th last year. You were my squad leader in boot camp, 1st Battalion Delta Company Platoon 1083 (Garth h. Gimmestad) Funny story, when I went to Officer Candidate School in Pensacola Florida I had the same Drill Instructor again, 10 years later (Sgt. Jones, now a GySgt), he was a pain in the *. Anyway, Wherever you are my prayers are with you and I will keep on fighting the good fight.
LTJG Garth H Gimmestad
gimmestad@hotmail.com
garth.gimmestad@navy.mil"
garth gimmestad of chicago illinois

"RIP Sir"
Petty Officer Cawthon of RTC Great Lakes, IL

"Deon and Ashley, I am so sorry about Travis. I didn't know until I spoke to you on the phone. I have fond memories of you and Travis in Quantico. God Bless."
Ann Toone of Quantico, VA

"You don't know me, but my name is Amanda and I'm from Wisconsin. You never meet me, but still you risked your life to save mine. I want to thank you for believing in something so stongly that you died for it. You risked your life to save millions of people that you did not know. You are an honorable man who had the courage and the strength to do what most people only talk about. You went to war to protect the freedoms of your loved ones. I wish that I could only of meet you to say thank you even though I never deserved it. You are an honorable and couragous man and you will always be missed. And thanks again for giving your life to make my freedoms and rights protected. So thanks, and God Bless."
Amanda of Wisconsin

"Deon and Ashley, my name is Kelsey ,I am a seventh grader in New York doing a social studies project and I have picked Travis to write about. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of you husband and daddy. I am sorry that Ashley didn't get to see how wounderful her father was. He will always be in you're hearts watching over you. It brings tears to my eyes knowing that you will never be able to see him again and that Ashley will never grow up to know how great her father was. He will always be with you in your heart and above watching you. I am so sorry to hear about this and wish I was with the both of you to share my pain and be with you to remember this brave man. I had learned that he was known for his humor and his big bright smile. Everyone wanted to be around him. He will always be with you every second of that day. Do not forget that! I hope god and Travis continue to watch over you and bless the both of you. My thoughts are always with you."
7th grade student of Barker Middle School

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

"I was catching some sleep off the side of the road when we were attacked. Like any good Marine would do, you came to support other Marines in need and began to roll in to engage. That night is burned into my memory forever, and I am eternally thankful for you dedication and service..."
A fellow Marine

"In Loving Memory..Its been a year..

At the rising of the sun and at its going down, We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of Winter, We remember them.
At the opening of buds and in the rebirth of Spring, We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of Summer, We remember them.
At the rustling of leaves and the beauty of Autumn, We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends, We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
Rest in Peace Dear Soldier!! We will NEVER FORGET!"
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN (4/4/04)

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

"Thank you Travis Ford, 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

"Travis,

Here it is Veterans Day, and we as a nation pause to remember our fallen heroes. You were first person who came to mind for me. My mind drifted back to the "good ol' days" aboard the (MEU SOC)U.S.S. Frederick and U.S.S. Ft. McHenry, and liberty in Austrailia and Japan with BLT 1/5 in '99. I will never forget looking out my window at night on Okinawa and seeing you surfing on the roof of Terrible Terry Norris' van! How will I ever forget the back-flips at Tori Station during our 1stLt. wet down and promotion. You were so well liked, easy to get along with, and loved your family and country dearly. I often ask myself, why did this happen to such a nice guy? And I always come back to....that only God can answer that question. You make me proud to be a Marine, and to serve and have served with men like you, no different than the men who went ashore at Iwo Jima, or the men who waded chest deep into the wheatfield at Belleau Wood. Men willing to give up everything when their country called. Your name is now with the hundreds of thousands of other Americans who have paid the ultimate price for freedom. Deon and Ashley, may God bless you and keep you, you will always be in my thoughts and prayers. And Travis....I know that we will meet again. For if I ever look on Heaven's scene I will find you on the streets, that are guarded by... United States Marines."
Capt Brian Manifor (USMC) of San Diego, CA

"It struck me how familiar you are since you look just like my brother who was a former Cobra pilot and is a Major in the USMC stationed in Virginia Beach. Your Co-Pilot, Ben Sammis, is an alumnae from The Citadel where my Brother and I both graduated. May God bless you and Ben and all the men and women protecting our freedom from the evil in this world. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten."
Allen Ford of Portland, Maine, USA

"In memory of Capt. Travis Ford and for Deon and Ashley...I only had the pleasure
of knowing you in person for a few short months, but you made a great impression on me and you will always be in my heart. You, Deon and Ashley were not only great neighbors but fantastic friends. I will always treasure the thought of being able to have Ashley's first birthday at our house here in Milton. Deon, Ashley and you will always be in my thoughts and prayers and you will forever be a hero to us all for giving your life for your country. May you smile down upon us one and all, you will never be forgotten!"
Dottie of Milton, Fl...Runi46@aol.com

"Travis:
I think of all the good memories that our family had together. You were there for the good, the bad, and the in between. You were the one with the gasping laugh, great white smile and firey blue eyes. I will never forget all the family get-togethers, discussions about why Deon and I are only 12 days apart, Memorial Day at the beach, paintball wars, a trip to the movies with your magnified glasses, and one night at the Martini Ranch before your first float trip. If someone said, "In what special way did this amazing person touch your life, I would tell them...."I will always remember the first time I came to CA to visit Travis and Deon on base, Travis introduced me as "his cousin", not Deon's cousin! That just tells you what kind of loving, big-hearted person he was." You ARE my cousin, our hero, and may you always have the wings to fly and soar over our grateful nation. You would never let us say it, but you are a true hero in every sense of the word! I will love and support Deon and Ashley every God willing day. Just like you said, "Family is the most important thing we've got!" Until we meet again!
Your cousin,
Elodie"
elodiejones@hotmail.com of Kansas

"Words cannot express the sadness I feel to see such a young husband and father missing from the lives of his family. Such a sacrifice only proves what extraordinary men and women we have as our fellow Americans. The respect I have for the military and their families is overwhelming. My thoughts and prayers are with this young family. May God comfort you in your times of need. Thank you from a grateful American."
Terri Curtis of Green Forest, AR

"Our prayers are with your family during this difficult time. Thank you Travis, for your courage and sacrifice. May God bless you and keep you in His care."
Ken and Maritza Holley of Pembroke Pines, Florida

"To the family and friends of Capt. Travis Ford:
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 Travis 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 Capt. Travis Ford:
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 Travis, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera, of Powder Springs, Georgia

"Thank you for being loyal and serving our country! May God be with your precious little girl and may she know you look over her night and day!"
Seneca High School of Seneca Missouri

"Capt. Travis Ford, What a man you were!! I am so honored to have grown up with such a awesome, heroic, young man!! I am very thankful for what you did to serve our country and let us here at home live freely!! I know the Iraq people are also thankful for what you have given them!! Everyone who ever knew you was touched by you in some way!! We will never forget you!! I will never forget your smile and "Huge" heart!! You were always ready for a battle; whether on the football field or in Iraq!! You were always a great friend and great guy to be around! I love you buddy!!! God bless you!! May God be with Deon and Ashley!! You will not be forgotten!!

Jason Christensen
Ogallala High School 1989"
Jason Christensen of Lincoln, NE

"Travis,
You taught us a great deal about loyalty, integrity, and leadership. You were special and we are all better for having known you."
Jamie Boling of Iowa City, Iowa

"Travis, your love of your family, your country and God will remain with us and we shall never forget your sacrafice.

Your cousin, Michelle Shook"
Michelle Shook-Wallar of Pittsburg, California

"Deon and Ashley, you are both in my thoughts and prayers. May God bless and keep you always."
Cynthia Padilla of Camp Pendleton, CA

"Words are not enough for such a sacrifice. May God bless you and give you peace. THANK YOU! JOHN 14:27"
Shannon of Conway, SC

"Thank you Capt Ford. May you rest in peace and may God Bless your family. We will never forget you"
The Taylors, USMC of NC

"Travis, your sacrafice will not be forgotten by your family. Those of us who grew up with you and your brothers will not let our children forget what a hero you are! Our thoughts and prayers will continue to follow your family.

Your cousin Jeff Christensen"
Jeff D. Christensen of Haviland, Kansas

"CAPT FORD, THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING THAT YOU HAVE DONE. DEON WAS SO PROUD OF YOU.GOD BLESS AMERICA AND THE TROOPS THAT DEFEND HER"
RACHEL of DANA POINT, CA/ USA

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on