Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Maj. Richard J. Gannon II

31, of Escondido, California.
Gannon died due to injuries received from enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, California. Died on April 17, 2004.

Gannon was posthumously promoted to Major.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Maj. Richard J. Gannon II.


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

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""To the family of Richard J. Gannon II: We honor his service and sacrifice. Our son served with him in Iraq and was wounded there. We continue to pray for the Gannon family.""
Richard Ruggiero of Granada Hills. CA

"Thinking of you sir, hope all is well up there... today is the anniversary of that fateful day and it feels like it was just yesterday. Time sometimes just stands still. Was able to share your story with someone new this week. I believe this way your legacy lives on. Until next time, ...."
Lupe of Southern California

"Dear Family of Major Gannon, I was on my walk and decided to walk up Del Gado - where I came upon the memorial to Maj. Gannon. I was somewhat dishevelled, so I took the liberty of cutting back some of the bushes, and adding some new flowers. I will get him a new flag, and take the old ones to be retired properly by the VFW. If anyone sees this and would like to contact me: linneahannigan@gmail.com - as I am concerned that the association I live in (Sea Scape) is tearing out the hill and fencing - and the memorial may go with it? Idk if anyone is tending to the memorial any longer? Semper Fi Maj. Gannon. May peace be with you and your family."
Linnea Hannigan of San Clemente, CA

"“The man with the walk”

I attended Escondido high school with Rich back in 1989. We had science class together. We weren’t just classmates, we were friends. He was a special young man even in his early teens. No matter the weather, he always wore shorts and his Asic running shoes... and the walk. Who could forget the walk ? His unique stride step in which Rich would take with one leg while walking. The man was clearly going places I tell you. With his braces on, Rich was always still smiling and very sure of himself, Rich was a genuine and mature young man. When he was talking with you, he made you feel like you were the only person in the room. He was very sharp, both academically and street smart. Rich was simply the kind of person you just knew was going somewhere. I graduated in 1989 and unfortunately never spoke with him again.

Now, I know it’s December 2020, but I’ve always wanted to say my piece. Rich was an awesome dude and I miss him. We had a lot of laughs together as teenage friends always do.
I still think about him from time to time. He left an impression on me that I can’t forget. I want his family to know that I’m sorry for their loss.

Thank you for your service Rich. Thank you for the memories that I will cherish forever.

Friends forever, I love you man.


Roman Saldivar"
Roman Saldivar of Escondido,Ca

"Thinking of you today Rick, as always."
Rob of Tampa Florida

""We have not forgotten. We will never forget and continue to pray for the family of Richard J. Gannon II on this Memorial Day, 2020.""
Richard Ruggiero of Granada Hills, CA

"Sir, you took a couple hours out of your day at USNA 18 years ago to teach this midshipman a little bit about honor and leadership and I haven’t forgotten. May God bless your family and everyone else you reached this Memorial Day."
Will of Washington, DC

"Ricky, I will never forget you, and I will always remember how much joy you have given me. 13 years have passed since God took you home to rest in peace with him, but I still think of you and miss you every single day. Time will pass but you will never be forgotten by me and all your loving family. As long as I live your memory will burn strong and bright in my heart and mind. Please keep watch over all of us that love you so much. The world is just not as good a place without you! 12-12-2017"

"We have not forgotten. We will never forget and continue to pray for the family of Richard J. Gannon II on this Memorial Day, 2016."
Richard Ruggiero of Granada Hills, CA

"May Jesus Bless you with joy once again as you remember your loved one's good memories. Thank You Semper Fidelis brother USMC Vet iraw2003-2004"
Matthew of CORONA,CA

"I have a bracelet from hero bracelets.com with Maj. Gannon's name on it. I was wondering if a family member would like to have it? Thank you for your sacrifice and semper fi! (Pink-fuzzy@hotmail.com)"
Cori Miller of Jefferson, Ga

"Sir, thinking about you this memorial day. I flew the colors in your honor. I wish your family the best, The sacrifice they made is one that no one will ever understand, Wishing the entire family nothing but the best,"
Lupe of Southern California

"Thinking of you on this Memorial Day. You are always remembered and proudly at that. Damn proud."
Peter Harwood of Chicago, IL

"Rick, Thinking of your family today and the sacrifice they have endured since you were called home. To the Gannon Family, your husband and father was a man who loved his family and his country. Although it may mean little, I thank you for your sacrifice. I will not forget it. The significance of Rick's passing has nothing to do with a dusty town in the middle of a desert in a land that has been the center of conflict since the beginning of time. It has everything to do with Rick's heart...

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

Thinking of the Gannon Family always. (The Dunning Family)"
LtCol Pete Dunning of 29 Palms, CA

"Just thinking about you this memorial day, hope your doing well up there..."
Lupe of Southern California

"Hello Sir, I hope your doing great and just wanted to let you know that I was thinking of you. Just as others have mentioned, April 17th was a dark day in my life. What I have began to see is that April has lately been a celebration of your life. It has begun to be the month that I remember you and everything you have done for all of us. As I recall the 17th of April I cant help but think that your courage and dedication to us during that faithful day showed how brave you were. You showed us that you loved us. You showed us that no matter what you would lead by example. Your dedication and legacy lives among the greatest and fearless warriors who have come to call themselves United States Marines. I will forever miss you. I thank you for everything and pray for your family."
Lupe of Southern California

"April has arrived and the memory of loosing you increases as the 17th gets closer. You're never forgotten and always missed, but my memories of you get stronger during this month. When you died we used to say that April is the cruelest month, but I don't feel that way anymore because I know your your spirit is always close to me, even in April. I only wish I could see you one more time and we could spend the day together again. Nothing in the world would bring more joy to your mother's heart!
Rest in Peace mijo......"
of Lazy G Ranch, Escondido, Calif

"Hey there sir, just thinking of you. I know your doing good. I miss you. As I scour the internet I have noticed the volume of lives that you have touched. Your family feels proud that you were apart of their lives for the period of time you were there. I am honored to of known you and served beside you. I always think about that unforgiving day and it just hurts so much. Well sir, I am in class and must go. Until next time, take care of yourself. You are a wonderful person!

Lupe of Southern California

"Happy Birthday Ricky <3
You will never be forgotten"

"Ricky, Today the poet Maya Angelou passed passed on to be with the Lord. You probably already know. I mention this because she wrote " People will not remember what you say, or what you have done but will remember how you made them feel". For some that maybe true, but it has been 10 years and I still hear your voice in my head the way you would say "hi Nina" always made me smile. I still can see (even if in my mind)the boy with that quick wit full of mischief who became the man full love for his family, life and leader of men. That has made me feel blessed to have heard you laugh,seen your big genuine smile and to have had you in my life.For me your voice, the things you have done and the way you made me feel will never be forgotten. I love you and miss you."
of Menifee

"Thinking about you as this memorial day has come and gone the memory of a friend who believed so much in protecting our freedom was on my mind yesterday. Wish you were here enjoying your family and celebrating what you do/have done for this country. Thinking about you. Thinking about your beautiful family knowing they miss you so much."
Misty of Texas

"Rick, another Memorial Day and you and your family are on my mind. Flowers and a poster again at the Central Command Memorial. Peace be with you friend."
Rob of Tampa

"Sir, we miss you and you are not forgotten. Semper Fi! E co. 2/1 WPNS Plt."
Nessel Gonzales of San Diego

thinking back 10 years ago, it still seems like yesterday. You are loved and missed and that will never change!"

You came into my life at the United States Naval Academy in the summer of 2000. As a New company officer, Midshipmen are loath to get a USMC officer because of the stigma of marines adding a new level of strict discipline on an already high bar set by the Academy. I was coming out of the lowest point in my life, digging myself out of the crater I found myself in both academically and emotionally. I felt betrayed by the staff at USNA who I had entrusted with having my back, and I knew you would have the legacy of those failed leaders.
You came in and did the unexpected by giving me a chance to prove that I was both able and willing to advance as a leader and an officer. You showed me that compassion in the ranks is not a sign of weakness, and that encouragement is a far better motivator than punishment. You completely changed both my outlook of what a Marine officer should be and helped me turn around a temporary episode in my life and allow me to not only graduate but prosper in my career in the military. Your encouragement helped me go from near dismissal from the USNA to successful and on time graduation.
I had already returned from my first tour of duty in the war, and I was in flight school when I got the call you had fallen in combat. I had been scanning the casualty reports praying that I would not see a familiar name. When 60 minutes showed a collage of the ‘faces of the fallen’ there was your photograph streaming past in a collection of too many faces. All I could think about was the night when I was a midshipmen when you invited several of us first class to dine with you and your beautiful family. The world needs more men like you, and your passing has made it less bright. Whenever the names of the fallen come up in conversation you are the first person who’s life I recount.
I am a father myself now, many years later. I know that you loved your family very much, but answered the call of your country and the need to lead your men. Someday when my daughter is curious about history and she wants to know about the war I will tell her about your life, the good you did for me and all those around you and your passing. In some small way I hope this keeps you alive in the memories of those whose life you enriched like mine.
Thank you to your mother and father for raising a good son, and thank your wife and children for sharing you with us midshipmen."
Daniel P. Bille of San Diego, California

"On my mind today, as always. We miss you brother."
J. Kennedy of Portland, ME

"Sir, You taught me lessons in life that I still hold close to today. I will always remember the times we got to spend together good or bad you were the example of what a Marine should do. To your family I would like to say that Capt. is an American Hero and his sacrifice will never be forgotten. I will always remember your leadership and cool demeanor no matter the situation. I was blessed to serve under you and wish I could take your place. I hope we see each other one day again. Semper Fi."
Lally of Waterford, Ct

"Remembering you this Memorial Day, Rick."
Quentin of Bethesda, MD

"Rick, I visited the Central Command memorial today. I left you a message and flowers on the wall. My family went with me, and my three boys asked questions about you. You continue to inspire me. I think about the emotion you put into every effort - the way you led Marines with your heart. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers each week. Peace be with you."
Rob of Tampa, Florida

"You are not forgotten Rick. Thinking of you today on Memorial day."
Jack Rebolledo of Indianapolis, In

"MAJ Gannon was an Intrepid Warrior who helped defend and further our nation's interests. We could say "thank you" until the end of time and it would never be enough to express our deepest gratitude. I did not have the honor of knowing MAJ Gannon but I am sitting here in the Army Navy Library in Wash DC and there is a plaque on the wall that says this room is dedicated to MAJ Gannon and it is from a friend who donated the furnishings and this computer which I am using to type this note. MAJ Gannon had so many people who admired and respected him as I read a lot of these condolences. My Husband had his life stolen from him by the enemy and he was Special Forces - but when he first went into the military right out of high school - he joined the Marines and was a Scout Sniper. He was sent to Beirut and fought there. Valhalla is where MAJ Gannon is right now - the heaven for Valorous Warriors like him and my (late) Husband, SSG Christopher Piper."
Connie Piper of Fort Bragg, NC

"Mrs. Gannon I still think of your husband every day I was the Weapons Plt. Sergeant (L4P) Sgt William E Champion, now GySgt and will never be more thankful for serving under such a outstanding example of a Marine Officer I miss him with all my heart and to this day. I can not and will not get over his contribution and the loss felt by everyone who ever had the priveldge of meeting him. I truly have so much more to say after 8 years now and will never forget Maj Richard J. Gannon II. Sir Semper Fidelis God Speed and i will see you again! I miss you so much and will contiue to serve in your grace.... forgive me Sir but I miss you so much as I am absoultely postive everyone who knew you does, and your family whole heartly does. To the Gannons God Bless you I hope to see you again, I can'nt help but cry as I right this.
William of 29 Palms, Ca

"To the family of Richard J. Gannon II: We honor his service and sacrifice. Our son served with him in Iraq and was wounded there. We continue to pray for the Gannon family."
Richard Ruggiero of Granada Hills, CA

"God Bless Rick Gannon and his loved ones."

"Thank you for your wisdom and soft word. We miss you."

"Son, I miss you! You were with me today on my lonely 13 mile training run. I felt you every moment as I ran through Camp Pendelton along the beach road. A Marine copter scared me when it flew over - 25' above my head. I knew you were close by and watching over me then, and it gave me comfort. I'm training for my 8th Marine Corps Marathon (running for "you" son). I'm having a hard time this year and I need some inspiration. Please send me wings and lots of love. I never stop thinking about you, and your memory will never fade as long as I live.
I love you, Mom"
of Lazy G Ranch, Escondido, Calif

"Rick - Think and pray for you always. God bless you and semper Fi!"
John Hardng of Kabul

"You were my first introduction to what a Marine Officer was supposed to be. In 2001 I was a plebe at Annapolis in your 13th Company. I've thought about you quite a bit over the years.. as I became a Marine myself.. as I deployed in command of my own Marines... and as I left the service and tried to make sense of my time. I'm thinking about you today as I was back at Pendleton and read your name on the new I MEF memorial. I remember staying in that fire house with you and your boy on the way to the Army Navy game! I remember helping you and your wife move the last things out of your office in 7th wing and into your truck as you headed back to the fleet. It seems strange that you were so young when at the time you seemed so perfectly intimidating! You were an amazing example to me and everyone of us from that class of plebes holds you in the absolute highest regard. You are remembered, sir."
Kyle Turner of Encinitas, California

"Memorial Day 2012
I am taking this moment to send my thoughts and prayers to Sally and the children, because this is the reason Americans pause to remember our Heros. Our family will forever be touched by the strength and courage of a Marine and his family. Thank you Sally for being my example of a dedicated and supportive Marine wife. You changed my life forever when you looked me in the eyes and told me "he wouldn't want it any other way.""
Mattrice W. of Camp Pendleton, CA

"i miss you today and everyday"

"Rick, I haven't been here in awhile..I can't say I have a really great excuse. Life happens but the memory of you will never go away. Your wife is such a great lady and your children are beautiful. Sally keeps your memory alive so beautifully and your kids are very aware of how special and wonderful their daddy was. I see you in the faces of your kids too, it is pretty great. Rick Jr...OMG looks very much like you. I lost my brother to cancer 2 years 2 months ago and although the pain is very deep I am blessed to see his face in his children every day. I go back to saying that you and I knew eachother as kids in High School and I am so proud of what a great MAN you became. You picked an amazing best friend & wife when you met Sally and you both made beautiful children....you did a lot. I am so grateful to have known you . You are so missed.. lots of love Rick..lots of respect and thanks for being a fantastic marine and defending our country."
Misty of Escondido

Just thinking of you today and thinking about everyone else. Just remembering us getting off the bird and driving through Iraq for almost four days. I hope your doing good up there. Its hard down here because we feel that we are missing someone, however I know your here with us. Tell everyone else that we are thinking about them as well. Talk to you later,............."
Sal a.k.a. "Lupe" of California

"thank you for serving in the war"
jackson c. of san diego

"I love you dad this is your durter Maria Gannon I miss you I am doing a report on you in school I know every one will like it"
Maria of San Diego California USA

"Always thinking about you."
Misty of California

"Happy Marine Corps Birthday Son.
I miss you today and everyday!
Sempre Fi
of Escondido CA USA

Many talked for years about what kind of guts it took to lead Marines in combat, you simply showed the whole world that actions speak louder than words. You showed me that there is always something out there worth dying for. And that is the hopes and dreams of every red blooded American out there. Even years later there is no better example of a true warrior than that which you displayed. Your family will forever speak of you with great pride. I'll be seeing you soon sir, just not today."
LCPL Villegas of Sidney Montana

"Hola Rick.
I was a high school classmate of your dad and am finally returning to San Diego on 21 Oct.
I arrive early from Mexico City, so will spend most of Friday AM at Ft Rosecrans.
Hope you don't mind if we "chat" for a while.
fmr LCDR, MC, USNR (for 4.5 years)and head of Nuclear Medicine @ Balboa NH (NRMC, San Diego) '75 - '78). Just X the bay."
Alfred L Moniot MD of San Miguel de Allende, MX

"Hola Rick.
I was a high school classmate of your dad and am finally returning to San Diego on 21 Oct.
I arrive early from Mexico City, so will spend most of Friday AM at Ft Rosecrans.
Hope you don't mind if we "chat" for a while.
fmr LCDR, MC, USNR (for 4.5 years)and head of Nuclear Medicine @ Balboa NH (NRMC, San Diego) '75 - '78). Just X the bay."
Alfred L Moniot MD of San Miguel de Allende, MX

"I served with Skippy when he was Weapons Plt. Commander, Echo Co. 2/1. He was an outstanding Marine and a great man."
Sgt. Alfaro of Dallas, Texas

"Maj Gannon was the best company commander I ever had. I was very lucky to have him as company commander twice. I am still in the Corps going on 15 years, and not a day goes by that I don't think about Major Gannon. He was a Marines Marine. He loved every Marine like they were his brother. I was lucky to serve two combat tours with him. Sometime i wish we could switch places. Major Gannon spread joy of being a Marine to every Marine he ran across. I truly miss him, and every officer I run into I wish they were like you. Thank you for everything you have done for me"
Brian Cassidy of Camp Pendelton ca

"dad i would give anything to spend one more day with you.. happy fathers day you are the best dad and friend a person could ask for . love you more then anything."
Rj of san diego

"It's your birthday today and as always your right there on my mind, in my heart and prayers. Thank you Lord for letting Rick stay close to watch over the kids and Tess."

"Thinking about you Rick and the sacrifice that you made for all of us."

"Gannon family
Rick won't be forgotten. I tell my children how we met when I first checked in to Pendelton and he was there to teach me how to be a good Marine Officer. On this memorial day please know that he is in the hearts and minds of many."
Joe Mahoney of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

"What an honor to have known such a great man. Now, your memory is alive each and every day through Scott. You are sorely missed. We will never forget all you have done for us and how your inspiration changed our lives for the better. Semper Fi."
Elena of Camp Lejeune, NC

"we will never forget your dad RJ. we miss him everyday and that will never end!
so many years have passed but his memory still burns bright in our hearts and that will never change."

"Dad I loveyou and miss you so much. Warms my heart to see so many people who love you and still think about you"
rj of cali

"I will never forget the day (April 18) that I got a call that said you were gone. How my heart ached for Sally and the kids. You left your mark on so many people and your memory still remains strong. Not a year goes by that I don't think of you and your family and pray for them."
of Cherry Point, NC

"I will never forget the day (April 18) that I got a call that said you were gone. How my heart ached for Sally and the kids. You left your mark on so many people and your memory still remains strong. Semper Fi."
Amy of Cherry Point, NC

It has been almost seven years and not a day passes that I don’t think about you and your family. You are the most motivating and courageous Marine that I have ever served with. Through the conversations that we had leading up to the day I that I will never forget as long as I live, you gave me the courage to make it back. You gave me the courage to make it through. Even though I stayed behind an additional 5 months, I always thought of you when the going got tuff. (and it got tuff). I know that you are aware of how amazing your family is, but I want you to hear it from me. THEY ARE AMAZING. I want them to know how much you, your wife, children and parents touched my heart and many Marines that served with you. Even though I have never met them, they are my family forever. Sir I miss you a lot. I am proud to of served with you in combat. I know that you are in heaven watching over us because I feel it. We all miss you so much. Keep giving us the strength to be who we are. We love you, sir. -------CPL A."

i miss you"

"To the family of:Richard J. Gannon
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" 1-1-11"

"November 29, 2010
Years pass and yet your memory still burns strong in my heart. It's been like a dream that never ends. I just want to wake up and see you again, hear your voice, and spend time with you. That would make things all better for me.. I miss you so much."

"Nov 15, 2010 Just came back to this site to read the messages from friends and family. I attended a Marine Corps Birthday luncheon here in Boston and Rick and Ray were on my mind the whole time. I was a fellow officer with Rick on the 13th MEU in 98-99. You enhanced the lives off all people whom you touched. By reading all of these messages, your memory still burns brightly.
Semper Fi"
Bill Madden of Windham, NH

"Ricky. I think about you all the time and wish you were still here with us. Life will never be as good as when we were all together. I miss you so much."

"Faith , Love , Dedication and Determination. Your Mom and Tia Rita, this weekend completed the Marine Corps Marathon in honor of your memory. The 6th strait year for Tess. We always new where you got your tenacity from; we will never forget you Ricky. I love you."

"Hey Rich - The Army took me to active duty as an infantry officer...tomorrow I run my 1st APFT here at Bragg - I will run it in your honor. God bless you and Semper Fi Buddy.... John"
John Harding of Ft. Bragg

"i miss u soo much!! its my birthday on wednesday and it feels like im missing some one there for my 21st i miss u ricky! but then i remember ur going to be right there in my heart and in all of us there some how! ill have one for u i love u ricky very much so and miss u even more!"
Muffin of Menifee ca

"Miss you Rick (Deputy Dog).

I'll see you again when I get my orders.....don't know which is better to avoid, Guard duty in heaven or Recruiting Duty here. You tell me. Until then, if I can avoid those assignments, I'll be happy with whatever I get. I will also try to keep on the good side of our Monitor. Once I know I am getting assigned to Guard duty, I'll be looking you up for some inside scoop. Keep in touch.

Someone will ask, "How can the dead be raised to life? What kind of body will they have?" I Cor 15:35-58"
Mario Solis USMC (Ret) of Oceanside, Ca.

"Thinking of you today... and everyday. Forever in my heart."
Tia Ali of Capistrano Beach, CA

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.
Missing You."

"This Sunday 5/30/2010 you would have been 38 years old. I pray that from my finger tips to Gods ears; our Lord passes on the this message to you. We love you, we miss you and are blessed to have had you in our lives for the time we were given. We will always remember you and hold you dear to our hearts. I wish you a Happy Birthday because your birth did bring so very much happiness to our family. You always made me smile and still do, every time I think of you. Love Nina"

"Ricky-Thinking of you and missing you. Love you always. You will never be forgotten!"

"APRIL 18, 2004 - Rick, you left us that day totaly unprepared to say goodbye to you forever. The years have passed but your memory never fades. Surely we will be together again someday, but until that day comes - stay close and keep watch on us. We will never forget you. Never!"
APRIL 18, 2010

"love you and miss you...always!"

"I miss you and always will."
Nina Moggy

"It has been 6 years since you have been gone, but I have never forgot everything that you taught me along the way when we had our talks from time to time. Its always hard for me this time of year as I remember you and the others who fell that day. But I have started college now and my determination is dedicated to you. You were the best Captain I ever served under. You are truly missed. Semper Fidelis."
Craig Carp of Chandler, Arizona

"April is forever a memory of your sacrifice and we Thank you for all you did for your men, your family and your country! I pray that you know you will never be forgotten!"
Carolyn Burgin of Okinawa, Japan

"APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain"
T.S. Eliot - The Wasteland

"Son, I miss you so much."

"love you dad"

"sir, we miss you. we are bound to see you again, semper fi! till the next formation sir."
nessel gonzales ( 2/1 fmf 92-98) of san diego ca.

"thinking of you and missing you a lot"

"I miss you."

"1/1/2010 Rick, Another year begins without you. I miss you more than ever. You're always on my mind...."

"i miss you and i always will"

"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 Worthington, OH USA

"On Veterans Day, and Every day, we remember you Rick. Thank you for serving our country, with everything you had."

"”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to you. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Over 1,800 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com or go to www.heropaintings.com . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Project Compassion - Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"Ricky, you are heavy on my mind today. I feel your presence everywhere. It's a good feeling..
I miss you so much."

"As my son works towards his Eagle Scout rank, I remind him often of Cub Scout Master Rick Gannon in Annapolis and all the great times we had in the Pinewood Derby, Raingutter Regatta and more. Rick was a leader there too. We miss you and will incorporate your memory into the Eagle Ceremony somehow!"
CDR Bill Spann, USN (ret) of Tallahassee, FL USA

"Ricky- Your always in my heart and on the tip of every thought and memory. I speak of you often to your new little cousins who didnt have the pleasure of you fisical company, so they too will know you. You will never be forgotten! You will always be missed and loved!"

"..it’s late and I’m thinking about Rick..

There are still so many of us who have not forgotten him, and who never will!

His memory still burns brightly in my heart, and his spirit trickles through every part of my life, reminding me to live better, to try harder, and to be happy.

No - Rick is not someone that I will ever forget! As long as I live I will miss him!"

"thinking of you tonight....be our guide and our strength tomorrow as we set off on a long training run. soon it will be time for the MCM. we run for you Rick!"

"I'm sitting at my desk looking at your picture. You always make me smile...my thoughts are happy ones, but ny heart sill hurts. I love you,miss you and will never forget you."
of Menifee

"Ricky- I'm hanging in Escondido and can't stop thinking of you bro. Too many good memories to mention. Sally- see you soon.

-kent / xo"
Kent Martin of Ny

"You will be forever young, and I will miss you forever!
I sign off with 'Bravo Zulu'. for those who don't know BZ is a naval signal meaning "well done". Everything you did Rick you did well!

Its your birthday today. I miss you and that big smile of yours with that spark of mischive in your eyes that went with it."
Nina Moggy of Menifee

"Another Memorial Day came and went but your memory is with me every day. I am so greatful for you and the men you served with. Your family lives in freedom because of you and those men. Love ya...and you are always close to my heart."
Misty Dobson of Escondido

"Another year, another Memorial Day, another Birthday... it doesn't matter how much time goes by or what Holiday it is, I won't stop missing you or thinking of you. you are a treasure that lives in my heart and no one can take that away."

"Ricky - You and God know how much we will always love you and miss you. You will never be forgotten! I pray God puts a burden on the hearts of everyone who picks up a Bub or soda or a stick of red licorise this Memorial Day weekend, with graditude for our service men and women. So they to even if for only that moment, feel love like your family will always have for you. Amen."
of Menifee, CA

"Rick - I love you, miss you and will mever forget you!"

"Ricky~ There isn’t a day I don’t think of u! You had that effect on people you can just ask anyone you have ever met… it cause of u that I have my nick name the reason t6he whole family calls me muffin and every time I hear it just brings a smile to my face cause the first thing that pops into my head it you! I love you! You were like a big brother to me and I miss you soo much but I know that day will come that I will see you again! And I want to thank all of his marine core brothers and sister who served with him and still serves today and god bless you guys and stay safe! Cause I know Ricky up there watching over us all..
Love Sarah (Muffin)"
Sarah Teran of Menifee, CA

"A little more than 5 years now and it seems like yesterday that so many people gathered in the church to say goodbye. I pass the high school everyday and think of you when I see that track or when I see the kids out running . You would look at that track and I am sure you would be proud to say you went there and ran for that school. Your wife is a sweet lady. Your kids are beautiful. Without you here of course it is hard and you should know that in some way your family is finding some peace. You left memories in pictures and in the minds of your wife and kids so that you are here when they need you and they can reflect on you and what you would have said or done in life. Always thinking of you..how can I not....I see that Flag flying everywhere. All my love. All my support for your family. All my strength because you had so much."
Misty Dobson of Escondido,ca

"To Rick's Family,
Sorry it took so long to post a message. The right words are hard to come by. As a member of Rick's TBS platoon I remember the young 2nd Lt who took his job seriously, loved being a Marine but loved his family more! Like Rick I have a few children...they will all know your husband/father as a hero who LOVES his family, gave all for his Marines and served his country with honor. Thank you for allowing your husband/father to serve for us...we will not forget!"
Maj Peter C. Dunning of Cherry Hill, NJ/USA

"my memories of you are a treasure that I keep in my heart. I bring them out and they make me happy...they are all shinny, bright and happy, and then I wash them with my tears, they will never tarnish. I love you and miss you deeply."

"Rick - Just thinking about all the good times I shared with you at 2/1 when we were Lieutenants. It was always great laughing with you and enjoying some Copenhagen together. I often think about you, Ray and Doug and of course your families. You have given everything to make this world a better place – we will always be in your debt. You are a real hero Rick – God Bless you and your family. Semper Fi."
Major Damian Spooner of Leesburg, VA

"I am thinking of Rick today. Having not spoken much with him since college, I only recently learned that he is no longer with us. I spend today--the anniversary of his death-- thinking of all the good times we shared at school, his care for his friends, his sense of humor, his vibrant mind, and how glad I felt then to know him. I shared the news of his passing with my family; and my father, who is a former Marine, was saddened to hear of the great personal cost of Rick's service to the country. I offer my condolences and the condolences of my family to all his loved ones."
Laura Garrity of Brooklyn, NY

"Thinking of you this Easter Sunday. missing you always."

"Sir, time passes but your memory never fades and I can't say how proud I am to say I served with you. Gods peace be with you and your family."
Capt. Addae Andrews of Jacksonville, Florida

"We are coming up on that day again. Five years yet so fresh is the memory and tears. You will never be forgotten and forever be in our heart and thoughts and most of all ALWAYS LOVED. Miss you always."

"I had the pleasure of serving under Major Gannon when he was XO of Weapons Company 2/1, Camp Pendleton. He gave the ultimate sacrifice and will never be forgotten. Semper Fi."
Lee M. Stevens of St. Cloud, MN

"Rick, I was at Escondido High School last night for Orientation. My daughter is going to be a freshman next year and I wish she would have been there to see all the different tributes to the athletes that came through the school. I want to explain to her how active you were in Cross Country and how your face should be up there. I have learned even more about you through the posts that I have read. I still hold you high. You did so much Rick!!! Your wife Sally is an amazing person and your kids are beautiful...those are among the great things in your life that you held high. Missing you all the time!! I always think about you and I won't forget...I will be back soon."
Misty Dobson of Escondido,ca

"Thinking of you makes me happy even thru the tears. Love always and you are never forgottem."


"Good Morning Sir,

It's been some time now since you passed but I still think about some of the things you shared with me.

You visited me last night in my dreams and I woke up thankful that I got to meet you. It wasn't anything real significant but it reminded me those life lessons you tought us all.

Thanks again Sir."
Bryan Whipple of San Jose CA

"Ricky-On the way home today there were military planes comming in to land at March Air Base. As always I'm reminded of the day Sarah and Lil Gus helped me put up the welcome home banners and ballons for you and the 3/7. As always my heart breaks anew and I pray that each and everyone of the guys on those planes have families and friends waiting that love and missed them; as much as we will ALWAYS miss and love you!"

"January 11, 2009
To the family of Maj. Richard J. Gannon, II:
Richard 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

"Sir, I wanted you to know that I felt very honored and blessed to serve with you as your Company First Sergeant. We spent many evenings "dipping and spitting" as we talked and "shot the breeze" about life and all the issues that the Marines were experiencing and how to resolved them. God only knows how much I miss those times. To the Gannon Family, I offer you my condolences to all of you's. Maj. Gannon, Semper Fi"
1st Sgt Martin Berns (ret) of Cedar Rapids , Ia

"DECEMBER 24, 2008
Rick, Please stay close to all of us tonight. We miss you so much! Merry Christmas... You are never forgoten!"

"Here I am again. A reminder of you today. It is that time of year again when we are all supposed to be happy and think about the people we love that are in our lives, you are still a part of my life, I always have you in my thoughts. I think about you and your family alot. When I hear stories about families that have lost someone they love in Iraq I think about you and your family. I see that day at your service and all of the people that were there. I see Sally and your kids and their courage.
I pass Escondido High School and I see all of those Cross Country runners taking off down the street and I think about you.
I know you are up there in heaven watching over your family, guarding your family as I believe you did when you were alive.
I am so proud to have known you for the time I did. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to share my thoughts with other people who remember you every day too."
Misty Dobson of Escondido,Ca

"Rick, It's Christmas time again and I'm missing you more than ever.
December 15, 2008"

"Oct. 28, 2008
We all made it Rick, all of us! each and every step for you, each and every pain, each and every tear, it was all for you. We won't forget you, not ever!
We all love you, and miss you, and that will never stop....not ever!

"Oct. 20, 2008
Here we go again Rick! We are preparing to leave for DC. In a few days we will run the Marine Corps Marathon in your honor. This year your dad will join your mom and the rest of our "Camp Gannon" running team. We hope to do you proud! If your watching I could really use some help making it to the end! I miss you today and every day. Love you always."

"I think about you all the time. I only hope your family is well . You died being a leader and a friend. You are not here to see your babies grow and I know that a quality person like you, a great man , a real man SHOULD be here because those things are hard to find in a person. God took you and took you too soon. I will never understand why these things happen to great people..I know that you died doing what you loved we all just miss the man we loved. You were incredible alive and you are still incredible to me since you have passed. I will always think of you , especially when I think of the words great , strong, real, wise, friend. Love ya."
Misty of Escondido

"I have you on my heart today. Sent a prayer up for you, love you and will always miss you."

"You were my LT. while I was stationed in Hawaii. Semper Fi Sir..."
G.Perez of Los Angeles, CA

"I am in a new room in the Army and Navy Club dedicated to the memory of Maj Gannon. God Bless him and what he did. Thanks for your service Richard."
Col J W DAVIS of Washington, DC

"Just thinking about you today. Semper Fi."
Maj Ladd W. Shepard of RS Portland Oregon


"Its your Birthday today. It is so appropriate to also be Memorial Day.
I saw a young Marine at a Storms baseball game wearing a Lima Co t-shirt and I asked if he knew you. But he was a new Marine and did'nt.He asked who you were and I told him about you and he said he was going to ask others at 29 Palms, because you are someone he would have liked to have known. I hope he did ask.Because even though you are no longer here with us you touch our lives for the better.
We miss you and will always love you."
Nina Moggy

"May 30, 2008 Today is your birthday and we will never forget. Miss you today and very day."

On this memorial day, and also throughout the year, your service and your sacrifice are remembered. I am proud to have served under you. Semper Fi."
Former 3/7 Marine of Lancaster, OH.

"On this 4 year anniversary the sadness of living life without you is still as fresh and painful as day 1 was. we all miss you so very much, that will never ever change....not in a million years!"


Spoke about you, your leadership, example, and heroism with our Corps' next generation of infantry lieutenants multiple times over the past few days (and many other days). Thank you for everything. Semper Fidelis!"

"You'll always be a part of me. I miss you today and everyday."

"On my way to Point Loma this morning I realized a change;that the year is now measured from April to April.But its a beautifull morning and I have so many great menories . My favorite is of you on that pogo stick and laugh! But time continues to roll by, its April again,our hearts still ache and the tears are still here asif you were taken just yesterday. You are alway fresh in our heart and mind never to be forgotten. Love you always."
of Menifee, CA.

"I am in Washington DC for the first time and I have been to some beautiful memorials. I can't help but think about what a beautiful person Rick was when I knew him and that he went on to marry his wife whom he truly loved and have such beautiful children. When I was looking at the memorials I was thinking about Rick and how much he loved being a marine and that he did so much for his men and this country. I also thought about the conditions that he served in and the danger that ultimately took his life and others. I have an ache in my heart when I think about the empty space left when Rick was killed. I hope for Ricks wife and children that they find peace in Ricks outlook on the future and what a strong wife he had because if something should happen to him his children would have her strength too.
What a beautiful Family Rick. Your wife was standing there by the doors the day of your service and I just got choked up trying to explain who I was and how I knew you and she knew who I was and stood there so strong and gave me a hug. Your children were brave as they walked towards the front of the church with your wife, your love for them and their love for you so present.
I miss you Rick and had you not passed so tragically I probably would have never known what a strong man you became and about the family you had....I wouldn't know...BUT I do and I have so much love in my heart for you all."
Misty Dobson of Escondido, CA

"I never met Major Gannon and before yesteday (3/29/08) I had no idea who he was. I was at a autograph siging in Baltimore on Towson Unversity. I'm a big time Baltimore Ravens football fan. I was walking along ran into this young guy who served in the Marines for a couple of years. He was telling me how he regret getting out after 4 years. I'm retired Navy so the conversation was mostly about how much we miss the service and the the people we served with. We also talked about the sacrifices we would gladly make and would do it over again. We also talked about things that people who never served would never understand. We started trading stories. He had a metal braclet on his arm in memory of Major Gannon. He took it off and gave it to me. He said that I was somebody that would understand the "ultimate" sacrific that Major Gannon made. I asked him was he sure because I knew how much the braclet ment to him. I'm sorry to say I never got his name but I think he was station with Maj Gannon at some period. I will proudly wear it to honor Major Gannon and other service men and women who serve."
Wes Henson of Waldorf, Maryland

"Major Gannon its SSGT Cassidy. You were a great person and loved your Marines and i will never forget what you did for me and the Marines
God Bless"
Cassidy of Camp Hansen

"How sad to lose someone so young with so much to offer. What a great lose to all of us. My heart bleeds and breaks for family."
Mary Hinton of El Cajon, Ca usa

I love you, and still missing you."
Nina Moggy of Menifee

"Ricky, Missing you today - more than ever. 2-2-08"

"Sir, it was an honor serving with you. Thanks for the excellent leadership. To your family, my heart is with you. Thanks as well"
doc bennett of hesperia, ca

"I have waited all this time to send a message about Rick or to Rick. It has been 3 long years and I think about him so often. I knew when Rick first passed that there would be an overwhelming amount of calls,mail and messages coming from everywhere because of the great person he was. It is no surprise to me that he touched so many peoples lives. Rick and I went to Escondido High School at the same time. I met Rick when I was a freshman in High School and attended one dance with him. I had been injured badly at school and had color matched bandages on my face from where I had cuts so when I found out that Rick wanted to take me to a dance I was greatful that someone could see past those bandages and see me for me. Knowing even more about Rick after reading all the messages in his honor ...it is no wonder to me anymore as to why he seemed so caring then when he asked me to that dance and took a chance on me. When I attended the service for Rick at his church and I met Sally I couldn't help but look at her and their children and think about the obvious pain that they were going through, I also thought about how lucky they all were to have the time together that they did because it is obvious that he loved his family more than anything. I wish I could have learned more about Rick and his life after school but I find that through the messages on sites like this. My name is Misty and I have a family of my own now, I have a 10 year old son and a 12 year old daughter and I will always remind them of him and what he gave his life for. I will tell them that Rick is the definition of what a "hero" is. I am so so so proud to have known Rick.
If anyone should see or talk to Sally I hope one day I could speak to her and that would be so great...my email is mistydobson@gmail.com. I love and miss you Rick. I will never forget you..NEVER. All my love to your family."
Misty Dobson of Temecula , California

I never had the pleasure of meeting you but I am proud to share the same family name as yourself. You truly proved you deserved the title of Marine. Thank you for being a inspiration to young marines such as myself. My thoughts and prayers are with your family."
Lance Corporal Christopher Gannon of Hamburg, NY

"Happy Birthday Sir! You're always in our thoughts and prayers. Semper Fi!"



The Marine Corp Marathon was an amazing experience!!

We left our homes Wednesday night Oct. 25, 2007 and flew to DC. We were concerned with the fires burning all around us in Southern CA. Tess had been evacuated from her home in Escondido and we had fires burring in Irvine and Camp Pendleton, even the 5 fwy was shut down! But we were on a mission and nothing could stop us.

We arrived in DC Thursday morning and were greeted by rain…we worried because we had never trained in the rain. Tess assured us that every year it rains and then on race day it is clear and beautiful. We trusted her and sure enough that was how it happened. Finally, we woke to sunny skies on Saturday morning and worries of running in the rain turned to simple thoughts of running. I had a lot of anxiety and at times thought about just doing the 10K. My knee had continued to give me trouble and I was worried that it wouldn’t hold up throughout the 26.2 miles…. needless to say I was a nervous wreck!

By race day (Sunday Oct. 28 2007) most of the nerves had turned to excitement. The hotel was filled with runners that morning. We all made our way to the start line, the air was cool and crisp…it was a perfect day to run. We lined up behind the 5:30 finish time; it took us about 20 minutes or so to actually cross the start line after the start shot. The crowds were amazing cheering us all along the route. The young Marines encouraged me every step of the way, they offered water, power aid, oranges, GU, and encouraging words like “keep up the good work Mam,” “Your looking strong Mam," the whole experience was amazing. We ran through all the beautiful areas of DC…Rosslyn, George Town, Watergate, Capitol Mall, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Smithsonian, Pentagon, Arlington, and finished where it all began at the Iwo Jima Memorial. I can see why you loved to run in the Marine Marathon!

I know that you were pround of us that day, Rick, and I was proud and honored to represent you.

I remain always Faithful to your memory.
I love you and I miss you deeply.

Finishing times for Camp Gannon Runners
Staci Gannon Kail 4:03:48
Rita McKinney 5:09:35
Bob Pate 5:13:25
Tess Gannon 6:10
Norma Pate 6:31:48
Mia LaLonde 6:31:48"

"Rick, I miss you so much. I'll never forget you. Never ever!"


"Rickey was a loving father and will be remembered and missed by many this Father's Day and everyday."

"May 30, 2007
RIck, we love you and will never, ever forget you.
Happy Birthday"

"To the Gannon family,
Rick may be gone but never forgotten. We love and miss you all and thank you for our freedom. Art, Sandy, Ashley, Alex, Nicky and Mikey
P.S. Sally e-mail me when you have time and also Ashley would love to hear from Rick Jr."
Ret CWO4 and Sandy Doherty and Family of Milton-Freewater, Oregon

"Missing you today...like everyday.
Memorial Day 2007"
"Always Faithful"

"Rick -

You are especially in my thoughts today and most other days. Semper Fi Rick. Semper Fi."
Maj John Harding, USMCR of Springfield, VA

"What a coincidence it was for me to run across this site on memorial day weekend. I found myself searching for members of 3/7, thinking about the closest friends I have ever known. Major Gannon was a Captain when I encountered him in 29 stumps, he is most deserving of the honors bestowed upon him. Major Gannon was a great American, we should all strive to walk the path he did. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. SEMPER FI!"
CPL. Austin Cammack of Holland TX

"Major (then Captain) Gannon was my company officer during my senior year at the Naval Academy. He was a great role model and good friend to us seniors. Right after 9/11 happened, he pulled all 130 or so of us midshipmen in 13th company together and talked about how he knew these attacks were going to have a profound impact on all of our lives, especially for those of us about to graduate, and how we needed to prepare ourselves. It was really a frank and eye opening discussion that I will never forget, and when I heard the tragic news, it was the first thing I remembered him saying. His sacrifice will always be remembered, and I will always hold him in the highest of regards. My condolences to all of his family for your loss. RIP, sir."
Mary Beth Foley of Arlington, VA

It is hard to believe that three years have passed. I miss you and think about our conversations all of the time."
Grant Gardner of San Diego

"4-18-07 I miss you!"

"Major Gannon-

I never knew you, but witnessing your memorial tile in the Royal Palms at Cornell moved me to tears. God bless your family, and all families that must endure the unbearable loss of those who sacrificed their lives fighting to protect the people they loved."
Jake Pultorak, Cornell '92 of Pittsburgh, PA

""....tell them how they are missed. But say not to fear. It's going to be alright with us down here..."
- Prayer to Saint Peter

I sang this for you tonight to a room of listeners... I told them about you and Gibby, Vanluden, and the others... What survives a man is his character and you live in my heart and mind always. Every life you touched is a living monument to you. Semper Fi"
Michael Yugo of Washington D.C.


It's been 3 year today and not a day passes that I don't think about and reflect on something that I learned from you.

Elena gave birth to our son on 11 April 2007. We named him Benedetto Richard, after Elena's grandfather and you.

Thank you for everything.

Semper Fidelis!"
Scott Cuomo of Quantico

you left behind a great example of how to be a great man we thank you for looking out for your troops from above this year in the tireless effort of keeping those of us down here out of trouble we will meet again when the time comes"
cpl komora of too far from my best friends

Almost 3 years and the tears are still flowing. I visited a traveling memorial to you and other fallen service men the other day, it is so nice that people are not forgetting. I, personally, can never forget. I will miss you as long as I live."
Tia Ali

"It pained me deeply to hear that Major Gannon died in Iraq some time ago. Of all the students I taught at Cornell University when I was a graduate student, he was the only one I remembered. He was a lively, bright ROTC midshipman, and I understand from his obituaries now that there was much I did not know about him. He truly was one of the best and brightest of his generation and would have made a fine future leader of the Corps. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends."
Amy Phelan of Falls Church, VA

"Almost 3 years have passed since that fateful day. There is not a day that goes by that you do not cross my mind in some way. Every year, the Veterans of Echo Co 2/1, toast you at our Marine Corps Birthday celebration. Everyone has a story to tell or a favorite memory. You are remembered fondly by those of us who served with you, learned from you, looked up to and respected you. In Santa Barbara there is a display of white crosses on the beach every Sunday. They call it Arlington West. I've been there. I've located yours and Major Mendoza's crosses. A fellow Devil Dog has decorated your cross with your picture, an EGA and a Combat Action Ribbon. Everyday someone remembers you and honors your sacrifice for our freedom. You are immortal through the lives of those of us who remember you and carry your spirit with us every where we go.

Semper Fi, Sir. Rest in Peace.

Rob Hetrick 3rd Plt Echo 2/1 of Corona, CA

"I would like to convey to the Gannon family that, like you, I remember. I served with Rick on the 13th MEU. He was one of those officers whose wit and competence made him stand out among a group of very solid officers. I admired him then, and I still do. You and he are in my prayers."
Jim Tierney of Los Angeles, CA

You were my first Executive Officer when I came to the fleet in 98. I still remember (and complain) how you would run us into the dirt... now I wish you would. Years later, I was blessed to run into and support your company at Husaybah. We had dinner together two days before we lost you and I told you your men spoke so highly of you, they would follow you down the barrel of a cannon. Please know now, years later, I still think of you and Gibson and the others. I'm still waiting to get my sleep back but I guess that will come in time.. I miss you and I wish I could have done something that day. It was my job to protect you and your men and I carry this with me every day and night. Your family and friends don't need to hear this from me because I'm sure they already know, but Rick was one of the most respected leaders I knew in the Corps and those last four and a half months in Iraq were so much longer without him. I would have traded places with you if I could (or any of your men) because its hard to sit here and reconcile you're loss. I write and play music now and still honor you with "Prayer for Saint Peter" and a new one I wrote called "Reckoning". As much as I'm disappointed in the politics of the war, I have never been more honored in my life than the time I served under you, first as a junior Marine and later as an attached element to Lima. You are in my prayers EVERY Sunday and most nights before I go to bed... I'm glad I found this site tonight on a Friday night when I'm getting ready to go out and play a show... please know you are never away from my thoughts... I pray I can live my life good enough to get to see you up there Captain... I'd like to serve under you again... put a good word in for me...

God bless you and your family..."
Michael Yugo of Washington D.C.


"Son, I miss you so much. Today is Jan 1, 2007 and another year without you awaits me. I don't know how life keeps going on without my boy, but it does, and it seems so unfair. I'm sure you're resting well in God's loving arms, but I still miss you so much and look forward to the day I will see you again in Heaven. Please keep watch over all of us that loved you and are left here to find our way without you. God knows, I'd love to turnback time so I could see you one more day. I would tell you how very proud I am of you, and how you gave me the greatest joys of my life. I would laugh with you, and talk to you and sit close to you with your head on my shoulder and everything would be better again, if only for one more day. Son, I love you more than life itself and I miss you today more than ever. I will never forget you . Never Ever!"

"To the Gannon Family,
I came across this website on Rick and wanted to let you know that the years have not faded the memory of Rick and his sacrifice for our country. I was a Naval ROTC Classmate of Rick's at Cornell and he was always a great role model for the other future Navy and Marine Officers there. His legacy carried on into the Corps. I'm proud to have known him and will continue to remember his contribution to the United States of America. I hope that these messages can comfort you during the holiday season."
Anne Nguyen of San Diego, CA

"December 29, 2006~Another Christmas has come and gone and we are about to begin a new year. You are always on my mind and I will never forget you..."

"Thanksgiving Day 2006
Ricky, We Miss You So Much"

"Dear Gannon Family: I still think of Rick often. We served together for three years at USNA and though we never grew particularly close, we really enjoyed each other's company. We were instructors together, we taught USMC the Capstone class to mids who were selected for the Corps. We both PT'd often with the midshipmen eager to become Marines. Rick assisted with the Semper Fi Club, and we would work together then as well. I respected him very much and I am glad that I got to spend the time with him that I did. He had a huge impact on those who knew him and also those who didn't. Even more than two years later, I think of him all the time.

Semper Fi"
Tony Heideman, Major, USMC, Retired of Centennial, Colorado

"Veterans Day 2006
I will never stop missing you!"

"Sally and Family,
Not a day goes by that we do not think of you all and Rick. Such a great privilege and pleasure to have met you in 29 Palms. Miss you Gannon's- whether we are far away in Japan or up the street. You will always be an inspiration to me Sally- I will always be there if you need me. Please know you will always be in our thoughts and prayers."
Gary, Diane and Bailey Liddell of Okinawa Japan

"Oct 29, 2006~
Today was the marine marathon and your mom, staci & shawna all ran in your honor. they will never forget you and what you loved! we all miss you."

"To the Gannon Family,

I served with Rick at 2nd Battalion 1st Marines as a fellow platoon commander. The greatest compliment someone could leave me is the one I will leave him: Every time I think of him I smile. To this day he has a very infectious personality. God bless you all."
Todd Boeding of Dallas, TX

"To the family of Major Gannon: I remember when then 2nd Lt. Gannon first checked into 2/1 Echo Co. Wpns Plt. I served with him when he first picked up his Platoon as a Platoon Commander. He was a born leader i looked up to him for everything he did for his Platoon and for me he saved my carrer and put me on the right track. I remember talking to him through the e-mail system before he went back to OIF II and he said to me that he still talks about his first Platoon that he had and he said that it was his best, and the only reason why it was the best because he made it the best. He also said to me that he will see me out there in Iraq because we were going to be in the same area but i never got the chance, I will never forget Major Gannon for the leadership he instilled in me as a CPL and a Sgt. He gave me the ball when i was in his Platoon and i ran with it; i was not going to fail Major Gannon thank you for everything you done for the Marine Corps and families out there. You will be missed God Bless and Semper Fi
Gunnery Sergeant Vince Peralta USMC of Pomona, Ca USA

"29 Sept.2006
I read of Major Gannon's death on the internet shortly after it was announced. The title was Marine dies...
and then like a bolt of lightning it hit me: GANNON . Here I was in the comfort of home and men are sacrificing so we can be free. My father always said, "son, Gannon's are special. I really didn't think much about that until one day I asked a man from California if he needed references as to my character. The man replied,"no sir, you name is Gannon isn't it? As I walked off I thought of what my father had said so many times...now I believed.
Hardly a day goes by that I don't think of Maj.Gannon, thats why I am writing now. I never knew him...but I know he was special! What he stood for, believed in , how he acted.
Clair Gannon 3rd
(son of Capt.Clair Gannon Jr.
U.S.S. Whitehurst)"
of Dallas, Texas

Today is Labor Day 2006, and my thoughts have been on Rick all day long. No one I've ever known worked harder than him. He poured his heart and soul into every task he was ever given. I've been told that he labored to the last moments of his life, and I'm sure he is busy in Heaven looking after all of us he left behind. Not a day passes that I don't feel his spirit closely watching over me trying to push me in the good directions, and that comforts me. I am thankful to Rick for giving us so much through his hard work and dedication. His sacrifice will never be forgotten and his memory will live on forever in my heart. He was a true AMERICAN HERO in every way and I honor him today - Labor Day - and every day of my life."


"Maj Gannon, you bring tears to a grown mans eyes every time i see your picture, you wouldnt want that though and i admire that and compose myself with honor and pride knowing that i served under your command.We didnt always see eye to eye but you were more inteligent than me so i wont complain. you were couragous, calm, cool, and collective under stressful times. i wish i were there on April 17 to help you,all of us from 3/7 would've died for you. ten miles away i felt helpless, know that your marines were victorious that day and the enemy was defeated. your children have a hero to live up to now. Your wife will never find half the man you are, but i wish her luck and know you would be inteligent enough to understand. Your memory lives on. Sgt Anthony Antista"
Sgt Antista of Atlanta, Ga. USA

"Sally: Please contact me at craig@craiggottlieb.com. I have lost your email. Also, please know that we will never forget Rick and the sacrifice he made for the cause of freedom."
Craig Gottlieb of San Diego, CA

"MY husband served with Major Gannon at camp pendelton with 2nd Bn 1st Marines E Co. Wpns. Plt. I was very sad to see that Major Gannon had passed. I had the honor a few times to meet with him. He was a wonderful man and excellent marine. My husband is that man he is today due to Major Gannon's influence. My familys thought's and prayers are with the Gannon family. God Bless."
Leon and Deborah Carroll of fairbanks, alaska

"We miss you brother!"

"July 5th, 2006

Mr. Gannon,
You were an amazing influence on my life. By being a Cub Scout Master in Pack 366 you taught me many good morals. I achieved the rank of Eagle Scout back on December 28th, 2005. During my Eagle Ceremony we had a picture of you and another soilder from Troop 422, the troop which I am now a part of.The other fallen soilder was an Eagle Scout. We had candles lit in his an your name and memory. God be with you and your family. May you never be forgotten."
Eagle Scout Robert A. Morris of Annapolis, Maryland U.S.

It is an honor to have known a man and Marine like you. You have helped to mold me into the Corpsman i am today and for that I thank you. To the Gannon family i hope that time has eased your sorrow cause i know Maj. Gannon is still looking down on us from above he still keeps me in check from time to time. Just remember that the gates of heaven are gaurded by US Marines they just needed a great CO to lead them. Semper Fi"
Doc Purviance of Twentynine Palms California

"May 30th 2006,
This weekend we will celebrate Memorial Day and your Birthday. This will be the second one since we lost you. They say time heals all wounds...but not this one, it never will. I miss you"

"To the Gannon Family, We at Cub Scout Pack 366 in Annapolis, Maryland are very proud to sponsor an annual scouting award in honor of Major Rick Gannon. As Cubmaster of Pack 366 Rick was an inspiration to all scouts and a leader that we will always follow. This year at the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Baltimore Area Council (BAC) Capitol District June Dinner we are honoring Rick with this new award. It will be awarded by the Capitol District Executive as an annual award to the Cub Scout Pack that demonstrates and conveys outstanding scout spirit, character, and leadership in the Pack, District, and community. A silver cup trophy will be awarded (cycled annually) as well as a silver platter (stays with the Pack permanently). We are so very proud of all that this means to scouting as Rick would so very much appreciate!


Dan Shearer
Cubmaster Pack 366 Annapolis, MD"
Daniel Shearer of Annapolis, MD

"Sir.. two years to the day and your memory has not faded a bit. i saw a new map of iraq on the board the other day and it had camp Gannon on there in big bold letters i was proud to have have served with such an honorable marine and be under your command even when we had our differences your memory will live on forever and i feel that the non fraternization rule can be set aside in these extenuating circumstances and i will be pouring you a drink to share with me and the boys tonight semper fi"
CPL Kyle Komora

"To the Gannon Family, Rick is always in my thoughts and I will say my prayers tonight and let him know that he will never be forgotten. He will always be in my heart and soul until we both meet again in the heavens. I miss him dearly!"
Gunner Montoya of Menifee, CA.

"April, 10 2006
In a week it will be 2 years without you, but a lot of the time it still seems like yesterday. Time stands still and I miss your face, your smile, your voice and a big hug from you. Things will never be the same. I miss you."

"To the Gannons:

I havent seen you in a while since I moved away from Annapolis to New York and you moved away to California. I hope all is well. Major Gannon was a wonderful neighbor and he will be missed.
Casey McCarthy
Casey McCarthy of Rochester, NY

"Major Gannon;
You lived in my home town of Escondido, California. It really hits hard when someone that close has to pay the ultimate sacrifice. Thanks for your service to a noble cause. Semper Fi, buddy. Rest in peace."
James of California

"October 30 2005
my thoughts are of you today as your mom and staci run the marine corps marathon in your honor. I know you will be looking down at them with pride. I think of you always & I miss you a lot!"

"I'm in Iraq continuing where Rick left off. Today my cousin's company wanted to give my family $500.00 to "help out" I instantley thought of Rick's children. We were TBS classmates, and deployed on the USS Boxer together. I remember Rick well although we were never close friends. I am glad I was able to pay my final respects last year."
CPT Jack Rebolledo of Iraq

"They shall not grow old as we who are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

Not my words, but certainly my emotions.

Semper Fi my brother"
Major Matt Sasse of Camp Lejeune, NC

"I join Craig, Quentin, Lee and John, as well as all the other members of 2ndPlt "C" Co from TBS when I say that, although most of us have not been together since Sept of 95, we will never forget the drive, sheer determination and motivation of Rick. A true leader regardless of size, he was an inspiration to all who knew him. God Bless you and your family, Rick. Semper Fi from Chi Chi's gang."
Maj Scott R. Davidson, USMC of Iwakuni, Japan

"Happy Birthday Brother. I miss you."

"On this Memorial Day, my thoughts are of Ricky and his family."
Steven Johnston of Oceanside, CA, USA

"May 30 2005
We Miss You, We Remember You, We wish you were still with us.
Isn't it ironic that you were born on Memorial Day, the day that the whole nation stops to remember our Hero's."

"Dear Rick and Your Family:

Thank you for your courageous sacrifice. As a former TBS classmate of yours I will always remember your good nature. God bless you and my prayers are with you always. I pray that I have your courage when my time comes to act and I continue to serve in your honor.

Semper Fidelis,
Maj John Harding, USMCR"
John Harding of Quantico, VA

"Sally - I'm so proud to have known Rick. I am pleased that his sacrifice and bravery was recognized with the award of the Silver Star. Call me any time you need anything, or if you need company visiting rick at his gravesite. Craig Gottlieb."
Craig Gottlieb of San Diego, CA

"Sir, Thanks for watching over us while in Husaybah/AQ. Made sure to have the "Combat Copenhagen" in before every mission, as I know you would expect me too! Miss you and the good times. YATYAS"
1st Lt Bud Colby of CLNC

I can't believe a year has passed since your all to early passing. Cheryl and I miss you, but we know you are in a better place. I will never forget the honor I had of being your Senior Enlisted Leader for 13th Company. We trained alot of Midshipmen that are making significant contributions to the Navy and the Marine Corps because of those efforts. I know you passed doing the job you couldn't wait to get back to. I loved your passion, your dedication, and your commitment to all that you believed in. I thank you for believing in me, for without your recommendation I never would have been selected for Chief Warrant Officer. A job I cherish! I use the tools you gave me to become a better officer everyday. We love you, miss you, and know in our hearts that some day we will meet again. God Bless you Brother! May the lord shine his light upon you and give you peace."
CWO2 Mark W. & Cheryl Fortune of Naples, Italy

We can't believe that a year has gone by since your passing.

Last Friday's Silver Star ceremony was a beautiful tribute to YOU- you would have loved it! We thank the Marines for honoring your life and your service to the Marines. They also paid homage to Sally and the kids and to your parents. All of us were very touched and very proud, like we always have been.

There was a very good turn-out, lots of Marines, as well as other friends and family! It was so nice to see so many of your friends and colleagues (from near and far) at the ceremony. We love to talk to them and hear their stories, it helps us to know that your life impacted so many others.

Nothing has changed in the last year, we still love you and miss you... we always will."
Your loving (extended) family- The Reyes, LaLonde, Pate and McKinney Families of Capo Beach, CA

"Thank you"
CDK of Florida

Today 4-15-05 your family was presented with the Silver Star. We are all so pround of you and the life that you lived, and we are greatful to the Marines for acknowledging your act of bravery. It's almost 1 year since we lost you and it's still hard to believe that you will never come back to us. We miss you deeply and we will never get over loosing you. We love you and we will keep you in hearts forever."
Norma Pate of Capistrano Beach, CA USA

"To Rick's family,
I met Rick in November 1997 when I checked into Weapons Company 2/1. Instantly, he impressed me with his intelligence, leadership and ability to calmly solve any problem. Rick and I formed a great friendship over the three years we were stationed together. I ran into Rick while waiting to fly home from Iraq in September 2003. It had been almost four years since I had seen him but upon our reunion, it felt as though nothing had changed. Please accept my sincerest condolences on his death; Words cannot express how sorry I am. He is truly missed by all who had the honor of meeting him. God Bless your family and God Bless Rick."
Captain Trey Willett of Arlington, VA

"To the Family of Capt. Richard Gannon,
I met Capt. Gannon in Bridgeport, CA in June/July of 1993. I was a Corporal with weapons company BLT 1/4 at the time and Richard was a Midshipman performing his required training. I knew he had what it took to lead Marines. He never complained, or failed a task. He had a desire to learn all he could from our experiences. He wrote a letter to me a few weeks after he returned to Cornell,and I to Pendleton. I am only now replying.
Captain Gannon,
I can not express certain things that happen in life. I usually forget the names and faces of those I encounter in life.It's not that these people are not important, but we are usually wrapped up in the day to day grind of selfishness. For this I am guilty. For some reason you never left my memory.I remembered your name. I remembered your face. I remembered your questions, and your smile.I remember you helping Privates up the mountain.The Privates I do not see any more,even in my memory;and this I can't explain. There is something special in you that caused this. I was blessed to have walked by your side.You will not be forgotten. My sons will know your name.My sons will know your accomplishments. My sons will know your Sacrifice. We will meet again some day,and I will ask the questions, and I will be smiling.
Semper Fi,
Sgt.Moffitt USMC"
Jeremy Moffitt of Taft, Texas

"Rick and I were at TBS together, and although I haven't seen him since graduation day in Sep '95, the news of his sacrifice hit me hard. I pray for Rick's wife, children and fellow Marines and Sailors that are left to carry his memory forward. Happy trails, old friend."
Maj L. A. Cracknell USMC of Iwakuni, Japan

"To the Gannon Family:

Always be proud of the guidance and leadership your father provided. I was a midshipman in 13th Company at the U.S. Naval Academy when Capt. Gannon was our company officer. He was always a great example of an admirable Marine Corps Officer. Not only did he provide an example of how to lead others, but he also exemplified how to be a good father. I remember him bringing the boys to events at the Academy and how Capt. Gannon supported activities such as the Scouting program. I will always remember and respect his contribution and want you to know he is missed by his military family too. Someday we will see him again, but until then, let us remember him and live as how he would want us to.

Very respectfully,
John Kadz
John Kadz of Annapolis, MD

"To the Family of Captain Richard Gannon, I was a fellow officer who served with Captain Gannon on the 13th MEU from December 1998-June 1999. I can remember the confidence he had in himself and his leadership ability. It came across as a type of serenity. We had a few late night discussions in the ward room. You could tell just from speaking with him that he had a sense of spirituality that is not common. That being said, he was also tough as nails. We are all better people because we knew him. Semper Fi"
Bill Madden of Riverdale, NJ

"To all whom Love the Gannon Family,

On Oct. 31st, 2004 Our "Marine Band of Sisters" will honor Rick by running the Marine Corps Marathon. His wife Sally and his sister Shawna are both "sisters" in our group. Please consider showing support to both of them by sponsoring them $1 per mile (26.2 miles). Please go to www.MarineBandOfSisters.org which has been approved by Sally for sponsorship details. All funds to support Sally and Shawna go to childrens' scholarship fund.

Please say an extra prayer for Sally and Shawna on Sunday.

With much love and dedication. We love you Rick and the entire Gannon family."
www.MarineBandOfSisters.org of Oceanside, CA


We will be running the Marine Corps Marathon in your honor on October 31, 2004. We will be running for the children's scholarship fund and for a show of support for Sally. Through this all, Sally has been rock steady. The model military spouse. I think you will be proud of her on Oct. 31st and all of the Marine wives running the marathon... and your sister too! Shawna is so motivated, she wants to do this for you, her big brother. Most of us have never run a marathon before... but we have a great cause... the kids... A great motivator... you... And a great sister to support... Sally. Capt. Brent Morel's (KIA OIF II) wife, Amy, will also be running. So, on October 31st I think that you will get a good chuckle out of seeing our group of Marine wives bonding together for your family. Each and every mile will be painful, but it pales in comparison to the pain your entire family lives with each day without you. You completed your first marathon at the tender age of 9, amazing. You never accepted failure as an option even back then. We love you, Sally, the kids, and the entire Gannon family dearly. We recognize that you gave the "ultimate sacrifice" for our freedom... and Sally is living EVERY day with the "ultimate sacrifice". We will NEVER forget about Sally and we will continue to cherish her as a Marine Wife. One of our sisters.

Rich, Tess, Stacey and Shawna, we will think of you all every step of the way.

If anyone is interested in donating to the Gannon children's scholarship fund, please consider sponsoring the Band of Sisters $1 per mile. Email us at marinebandofsisters@yahoo.com for info. Please wish us luck, send lots of prayers our way. If you're going to the marathon... please cheer for our band of sisters!"
Band of Sisters of Oceanside, CA

"Marathon runners to honor Marine

By Linda Stahl
The Courier-Journal
Three years ago, a young Marine Corps lieutenant assigned to duty at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., made a deep, lasting impression on his young charges.
His name was Richard J. Gannon II, and he was a mentor and taught leadership to midshipmen, including a number from Kentucky.

When Capt. Richard J. Gannon died in Iraq, he left behind a wife and four children.
Now a group of Kentucky men and women and their friends and family will run as a group on Oct. 31 in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., to honor the memory of Gannon.
On April 18, during a second tour of duty in Iraq, Gannon, who had risen to the rank of captain, was killed while assisting a wounded Marine during a battle.
Gannon, 31, died in combat near the Anbar province of Iraq.
Gannon left behind his wife and four children, ages 2 to 12, who live in California. Gannon grew up in Escondido, the son of a Marine veteran.
The U.S. Naval Academy Parents' Club of Kentucky has secured a special group status for 30 runners that will include midshipmen, their parents and friends who will each participate in the 26.2-mile race. Also helping with the memorial run is the Shelbyville, Ky., Road Runners, a running club.
The two clubs also are working together to gain pledges for miles run for a fund to help Gannon's family.
Gannon was promoted posthumously to major, which will help his wife, Sally, and their children financially. But Bob Rigney, a banker, said they will need more help. So far, the local runners have raised about $10,000 for the Gannon fund.
Rigney of Shelbyville, whose daughter Abby is a third-class midshipman, plans to run in the marathon. Gannon himself loved to run marathons and ran his first one at age 9.
The Kentucky runners are from Louisville, Simpsonville, Finchville, Shelbyville and Bagdad. They include a real estate agent, nurse, fitness trainer, farmer, stay-at-home mother, architect, technology professional and bankers. Three will be first-time marathoners and others, like Rigney, are distance runners who have done marathons before.
One first-class midshipman, Adrian V. Martin, remembered Gannon as a man with "an incredible gift for explaining things."
"There is only one way to describe Captain Gannon and that is unique," wrote Addison Tafel of Louisville, another first-class midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy. "I had never met someone like him before I entered into the military and have never met someone since. ... He has served as a powerful influence for my classmates and myself since we came to the Academy."
Gannon was small in stature but big in talent, according to Tafel.
"Even though he was smaller than us, he made up for it with his ... personality and presence. Whenever he entered a room or spoke to us, his energy and intensity rubbed off on us and left everyone a better, more focused individual."
Tafel's mother, Nan Tafel of Louisville, is not a runner, but she plans to walk the 26.2-mile course on Oct. 31.
Bob Rigney never met Rick Gannon. "But I'm very appreciative for the difference he made in the lives of our sons and daughters at the Academy," he said.
All those in the Kentucky group will wear runners' jerseys with a message honoring Gannon on the front. All are covering the costs of their shirts, lodging and travel expenses so that all funds raised will go to Gannon's family.
Anyone who would like to contribute money to the Capt. Richard Gannon Fund can make checks payable to "USNAPCKY Capt. Richard Gannon Fund" and send them to: Bob Rigney, 706 Hollow Trace, Shelbyville, KY 40065.
Linda Stahl's column runs Thursdays in Features. Call her at (502) 582-4666 or fax her at 582-4665."

"To the family of Maj Rick Gannon:
It was truly an honor to have known and served alongside Rick in Husaybah, Iraq in 2004. I was constantly in awe of his intelligence, talent, calmness under extreme pressure, and most of all, his love of, and care for, the incredible Marines of Lima Co., 3/7. I will never forget his courage and positive attitude in the face of adversity. He will always be a hero of mine. You should be extremely proud of this great man."
Capt Jeff Moore of 1st Force Reconnaissance Company, Camp Pendleton, CA

"It isn't possible here to sum up what Rick was so let me simply say I cannot picture him without a smile on his face, especially when he spoke of his family, when he was enjoying his friends as we enjoyed him, when he first showed me, beaming with pride, a picture of his son. Time with Gannon was a gift; nobody laughed more completely, nobody savored good times more deeply, and nobody was better at poking fun at himself. I miss him dearly. I am a better person for having been able to count myself his friend."
Alex Bogel of Greenfield, MA

"To the Family and friends of Rick Gannon,
I am shocked and deeply saddened by the news. I thought I was staying up to speed with what was going on in Iraq with my marine brothers. I found out yesterday morning from the San Jose Mercury Newspaper and it absolutely floored me. I was with 2/1, Echo Company serving under then, Lt.Gannon.
Although he was not a very big guy, I had great respect for him. It could be seen right away he was born leader. Not just that he was a great man. I discharged in 97 and still tell some of the stories about that guy. I'll never forget the stories he and I shared at (CAX) 29 palms, over a cold beer at one of the beer gardens. He left a great impact on my life and will not be forgotten.."
Bryan Whipple of San Jose, Ca

"To the Family and friends of Rick Gannon,
I am shocked and deeply saddened by the news. I thought I was staying up to speed with what was going on in Iraq with my marine brothers. I found out yesterday morning from the San Jose Mercury Newspaper and it absolutely floored me. I was with 2/1, Echo Company serving under then, Lt.Gannon.
Although he was not a very big guy, I had great respect for him. It could be seen right away he was born leader. Not just that he was a great man. I discharged in 97 and still tell some of the stories about that guy. I'll never forget the stories he and I shared at (CAX) 29 palms, over a cold beer at one of the beer gardens. He left a great impact on my life and will not be forgotten.."
Bryan Whipple of San Jose, Ca

"I attended The Basic School and Infantry Officer Course with Rick in 1995. He was tough as nails and never one to back down from any challenge. I have since gotten out of the Marine Corps, but my thoughts and prayers are with those who are still in. I am deeply sorry for the loss of such a wonderful person. My condolences go out to all of Rick's friends and family."
Maj. Shane A. Tarter of Louisville, Ky

today our beloved aunt "tia midge" left this earth and has now joined you and tata in heaven.
our family is once again broken hearted.
we miss you all so very much"
your family of Capistrano Beach,CA USA

"I'll always remember him as Capt. Gannon. From the liberty briefs to his neverending will to teach us pride, honor and self-sacrifice, Capt. Gannon led by example in more ways than most people. I will miss him greatly and will ensure that my life will emulate the life he led. God Bless you sir."
Christian Micah Byers of Corpus Christi, Tx . USNA '03


"My deepest sympathies to your family. I myself am a Marine that deployed to Iraq last year. I attend the Evangelical free church up the street from your house. I saw the banner that you had placed. I cannot express how sorry I am that you had to lose a loved one durring the war. All I can say is Thank You."
Hernando Quandt of Twentynine Palms, CA

"To the family of Major Gannon,

Our hearts are so sad with you in your loss. Yet, we're so grateful for the service of Major Gannon. We are so grateful for our freedom and privileges as Americans. We're working hard to pass that gratitude on to our children. We want them to know that freedom is not free, but it's worth the cost. However, we can't even begin to imagine what it has cost your family. Our hearts break for you. We are so thankful to Major Gannon, and those serving with him, and for you who shared him with our country. We go to the church up the street from his Aunt in Capo Beach, and we'll keep praying for your family each time we pass the memorial.
God bless you,"
Ian & Kristina, Travis, Heidi, Noah, Lily, George & Gabriel Dyer of San Clemente, CA

"July 27, 2004
Dear Brothers and Friends,
It has been three months since we learned of the tragic death of our brother Rick Gannon in action in the Al-Anbar province of Iraq on April 19, 2004. Rick’s life was exemplary in every aspect - a life of quiet but significant achievement, willing sacrifice, and unlimited potential. His death, though untimely and unfathomable, was nothing less than heroic, personifying the values of leadership and brotherhood that he shared with us as a brother in Phi Sig. Many of us have never known a loss as great nor pain so deep as that which we have suffered with Rick’s passing.
Rick was a mentor to an entire generation of Phi Sig ROTC misfits, men completely ill-suited to the requirements of playing soldier in Barton Hall but who have since proved themselves worthy in important service during times of conflict. Rick himself was such a person, possessed of extraordinary mental and physical toughness coupled with a mischievous spirit. He loved Richard Nixon, Steven Segal movies, and trashing the kitchen, but mostly he loved good company and the closeness of brotherhood that transcended his other numerous friendships. He was a study in contrasts: thrifty to a fault and yet exceedingly generous, inflexibly conservative in his worldview yet accepting and empathetic in friendship; “tough as a two-dollar steak” in his professional demeanor yet extremely good-natured and fun-loving . Rick was easy to get mad at but impossible to stay mad at. He was a great brother and a great friend.
At the time of his death, Rick was serving his second tour as a company commander in Iraq. Though his company had survived the major combat operations phase of the war with no fatalities, Rick knew that his mission and operating climate would be much more unpredictable and dynamic during their second tour. During a well-attended send-off in Las Vegas in late January, he was openly positive yet privately cautious about his expectations for the challenging times ahead. Though the details are unclear and may not be available for some time, reports indicate that Rick died while coming to the aid of wounded Marines under his command during intense fighting with insurgents in and around the city of Husaybah. Though he was in command of almost two hundred Marines and would generally be expected to remain in the secure confines of the command center and coordinate the movements of his company, those of us who knew Rick understand that he would not have been content to sit back while his men engaged the enemy. For his efforts, Rick was posthumously promoted to the rank of Major, received the Purple Heart, and is expected to receive the Silver Star, one of our country’s top-echelon awards for bravery and gallantry in battle.
The outpouring of sympathy, remembrance, and celebration in the wake of Rick’s death was an inspiration and consummately fitting of a true hero and beloved friend. However, there is important work yet to be done. Rick’s family was known and beloved by our brotherhood. In many ways, we got the best of Rick during his time at Cornell. His family often had to share him generously with the Marine Corps, a demanding and decidedly ungenerous master. When he could be home, Rick lavished his three sons R.J., Patrick, and Connor, and his daughter Maria with love and tenderness. Just as our brotherhood was everything to Rick during his time at Cornell, so was his family in the years after.
Now that Rick has made the ultimate sacrifice, it’s up to us to honor his memory and acknowledge the obligations of brotherhood. Although through Rick’s responsible foresight and the entitlements he earned upon death Rick’s family will receive the modest necessities of life, it seems apparent that Rick’s contributions to our lives and to our country entitle his family to the benefits of a life fully and richly lived. To this end, we established the Brother Rick Gannon Memorial Fund to assist Sally in providing for their children and for herself the experiences and things that make life extraordinary and fulfilling as Rick would have desired.
In hopes of establishing an enduring source of contributions as well as an opportunity to gather in remembrance and celebration of Rick’s life and of our brotherhood, we are pleased to announce the First Annual Rick Gannon Memorial Golf Tournament, the details of which can be found in the enclosed flier. With your help, we hope to make this year’s tournament a huge success in its first year and lay the groundwork for an event that we can look forward to each year.
So please join us in Ithaca this October if you can. Friends and family are welcome and encouraged to attend. If you are unable to attend, please consider sending a contribution to the Brother Rick Gannon Memorial Fund at the address below. Best wishes to all and hope to see you on the links!

Brian Drumm ’96

Andy Fox ’95
Send contributions to:
Brother Rick Gannon Memorial Fund
c/o Brian Drumm, President
10 Thacher St. Apt 301
Boston, MA 02113"

"The 1st Annual Rick Gannon Memorial Golf Tournament
and BBQ Benefit
Saturday, October 9, 2004
Cornell University, Robert Trent Jones Golf Course, Ithaca, NY

Golf/ BBQ Registration






Golf Reservations, Scramble format, 1pm shotgun
(Indicate Names Below)

Single Twosome Threesome Foursome





______Golf + BBQ $150/person

______BBQ only $75/person (Golf Course, 6:00 PM)


Return this form with a check payable to:
The Brother Rick Gannon Memorial Fund

C/O Brian Drumm
10 Thacher St. Apt 301
Boston, MA 02113

Payments can also be made via paypal to rickgannonfund@hotmail.com
If paying via paypal, please email the completed registration form to rickgannonfund@hotmail.com

Call or e-mail Bob Hoy or Brian Drumm with questions.
bob@medicine-lodge.com , 435-770-3474
BrianD@shakercom.com , 617-470-9612

Saturday, October 9th, Columbus Day Weekend

Golf Tournament

• Brothers, Family, and Friends welcome
• Four person scramble format 1pm shotgun start
• Each player’s drive must be used at least twice
• Mulligans can be purchased for $5 (limit two per player)
• Cost includes
o Greens fees and cart
o Prizes for low foursome, longest drive and closest to pin
o Donation to Brother Rick Gannon Memorial Fund


• 6 PM At the golf course
• Catered by Franco’s
• Cash Bar

Blocks of rooms have been reserved at:

Hillside Inn
518 Stewart Ave.
Ithaca, NY 14850
(rooms will be held until September 1st)

Comfort Inn
356 Elmira Rd
Ithaca, NY 14850
(rooms will be held until September 1st)

Holiday Inn
222 South Cayuga Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
(rooms will be held until September 8th)"

"The glittering lights of Broadway cannot eclipse the prayers and faith of the parishioners of Nativity Church, for the Gannon family. The faithful flock of our parish await the return of your uncle and god-father the Reverend Donald Gannon; whose deep admiration for his nephew Captain Richard J. Gannon II, soared beyond where only fallen heros dare fly."
Andrea Diaz, Parishioner of New York, N.Y.

"To the family of Captain Rick Gannon,
It is so, so hard to find the words of comfort for you all! Your family gave the ultimate sacrifice of losing your son, your father, your brother, your uncle, your grandson for the priviledge (for all of us) to be an American - and no! Fredom is not free! Your hearts and all of our hearts are broken - your precious Rick is a man to be honored, to be always remembered for his extreme sacrifice! If we had none (no one) like him - I shudder to think how America would be today. I hold your son, Rick, in high esteem for his stand for America and democracy - I know millions of Americans feel as I do! Please know how much you are loved and prayed for even though we've never met.
Love In Jesus,"
Wendy K of San Clemente

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

"JULY 4th 2004
A very grateful American of The United States of Americia

"To my roomate at TBS and Cornell, and to my friend with whom we shared many funny moments, I salute you. Your marathon-runner spirit paid you great dividends, and the men you lead were in no more capable hands than yours. Semper Fi, Rick! God Bless, Sally and family."
Craig Gottlieb of San Diego CA

"Dear Family of Major Rick Gannon:
As members of San Clemente Community Church, we have been so touched by the beautiful signs Norma has placed on the fence along the street on our way to church in honor of your precious Rick. It was our privilege to write individual notes on Father's Day (with pictures drawn by our children) to tell you of our appreciation for this priceless life given for us. Our Lord Jesus has told us, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends," (John 15:13) and that is truly what Rick has done, following in the footsteps of our loving Lord.
It was a privilege to meet you, Anne and Rita, and to pray with you with our Associate Pastor, Mike Wood. Thank you, Norma, for your sweet phone call telling us of this wonderful website and of your amazing love for Rick. Though we haven't met him yet, we look forward to that miraculous day when we are all united in heaven. In the meantime, please know we will continue to pray for you and trust our Lord to carry you through this difficult time as only He can, with extra prayers for you, Sally, and your children, and for you, Tess and Richard.
With a heart full of our Lord's love and compassion for you,
Sharon Simonian"
Sharon Simonian of Laguna Niguel, CA

""To the famliy and friends of Major Gannon II. I had the honor of having then, Lt. Gannon as my direct superior officer while serving in 2nd Bn 1st Marines E Co. Wpns. Plt. I had the pleasure of serving under your son, for almost 2 years as a section leader. He was a proud parent, a husband and a leader of Marines'. He had a way about him that I cannot fully put into words. Marines would follow him anywhere into any situation. He was well respected by the Marines he led and also by his superiors. I know that my offer of condololences cannot make up for your family's loss. We all keep you in our thoughts and prayers. God Bless and Semper Fi!!!"
Cpl. David Jablonsky of Dickinson, ND USA

"EVERY MESSAGE left here is appreciated... In an effort to heal ourselves we regularly search the internet for stories about Rick and all the other Marines still in Iraq, we read the paper, we watch the news. And EVERYDAY we come to this site, we read and re-read these messages, everyday. It helps us, it brings some comfort to know how other people felt about Rick, about all the lives he touched. We thank all of you for your sympathetic and loving words of support- they help us to carry on. Please continue to leave your thoughts and prayers."
Rick's loving family of Capistrano Beach, CA

"DEAR DEVOTED AND LOVING FATHER: On this Fathers Day June 20, 2004 You will not be forgotten. We will talk to your children about you, we will show them pictures, and play them tapes so they can hear your voice, we will tell them stories about your life, and we will tell them of your great love and devotation to them and their mother. We promise to keep you alive in their hearts and memories for as long as we are here on this earth YOU WIll NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!
We miss you and think of you every minute of every day."
Your Family of Capistrano Beach, CA USA

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

"Our heart aches with your family as we lost our son on the same day, same time, and the same place. We are Cpl. Chris Gibson's parents. I found a picture of the Marine Ball which was a few months back with my Grandfather who was invited to the ball by Chris, who served in the Marines in World War II, Chris, and Richard. I have thought often of your family, especially when I heard how unusual it is for a Captain to lose his life with his men. He very obviously cared deeply for his men and I thank the Lord he was there with Chris on that day, although it is so hard on our families. It gives me peace to know as his Mom, that at the moment his earthly body was gone, Jesus took him by the hand and took him hom to heaven, to the place he prepared for him. He let us have him and short time, but he needed him back with Him. May the Lord Jesus give you peace, strength, and courage through each day. I had written to the Chaplain at Twenty Nine Palms and told him not a day has gone by that I haven't shed tears since April 17th and he told me, cry as much as you want, tears are a gift from God to help us get through very difficult times. Never be ashamed of your tears, because he was your son and you loved him, and I say the same to your family. God Bless all of you."
Terri Bowman, Cpl Chris Gibson's Mom of Las Vegas, NV USA

We REMEMBER you on the day of your birth May 30, 1972 we will never ever forget you.
WE HONOR YOU on this Memorial Day and every other day.
We Love you and we Miss you every day."
Norma Pate of Capistrano Beach, CA USA

"Dear Major Gannon's Family,
I am honored to have known Major Gannon. He was one of my company officers at the Naval Academy. Of all the leadership there, I learned the most from him and respect him the most. The Naval Service is permanently enriched by his contributions. Thank you for sharing him with us. Your loss is the world's loss."
Timothy J. Avery of Pensacola, FL/ USNA 2003

"Sleep easy, friend. Semper Fi. 2nd Platoon, Charlie Company, TBS."
Quentin Finney of Columbia, MD

"Semper Fi sir ; my deepest and most sinsere condolence to the Gannon family . I had the honor of serving with Capt.Gannon when he was a 2nd Lt. with the 2nd Bn 1st Marines , E co , now that you are immortalized in the halls of legends , I shall remember those talks we had on those so very longs walks ."
Cpl.Peter Arsenault of Listuguj , Quebec Canada

"The Naval Academy was lucky enough to have, as a Company Officer in Annapolis and a SPC in Quantico, the most motivated Marine Captain we ever knew. We'll never forget when he sent out an email after his youngest was born - "My fireteam is complete."
Captain Gannon was the sole reason that many of us worked so hard one summer to become Marines."
- USNA Class of 2002

"This evening May 18th, our Pastor the Reverend Donald Gannon will lead his parishioners at Nativity Church in New York City, in a special mass in honor of his nephew and godson Captain Richard Gannon II. We are a small Catholic Church on the Lower Eastside of Manhattan; this evening we will be strong in spirit and prayers for the Gannon Family and all our Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom."
Andrea Diaz of New York, N.Y.

"We are the rememberers,
the people left behind
to keep the one who's gone from us
alive in heart and mind,
the people left to cherish
and preserve a legacy...
Yes, we are the rememberers,
and we will always be.

Ricky, my heart is broken and I don't think I've ever been this sad and cried this many tears ever before. You always
were such an amazing kid and we have been pround of you since the day you were born. You are the apple of your mom's eye and we are the proud aunts. It makes me even prouder to know that so many people (out-side the family) loved and admired you too. You will always be our hero.
I will remember you forever.
your aunt loves you always."
Norma Pate (proud aunt of Marine Capt. Richard J. Gannon ll) of Capistrano Beach, CA

"My heartfelt sympathies to Sally,the children and family of Captain Gannon. I feel your pain and cry the same tears. May God bring you comfort in the days ahead. Thank you for your sacrifice. Chris spoke of Captain Gannon often. He was proud to serve alongside of such a great Marine. A true hero. Semper Fidelis."
C. Brady (mother in law of Cpl. Christopher Gibson KIA w/ Cpt. Gannon 4-17-04) of Simi Valley, CA

"Our son, a Marine for 13 years, was KIA March 21, 2003. We are truely sorry to hear of your loss."
Joe and Judy Childers of Powell, Wyoming

"Rich and Tess,
Thank you for sharing Rick with us. My deepest condolences to you, Sally, and kids. I'm so very proud Rick's accomplishments both as a soldier and as a Man. I've known Rick for 23 years, and I can honestly say he was one of my favorite people to share life with. We were life long friends... best friends, and the pain is deep. There are no words to describe the scope of this great sacrifice laid down by Rick and the Gannon family for this country, and our way of life. My prayers go out to all of you. My prayers go out to all who have maid the ultimate sacrifice."
Grant Gardner of Valley Center, Ca, USA

"Please accept my deepest sympathy and condolensences for your loss. I had the honor of serving with Capt. Gannon when he was a new 2nd Lt. with Echo Company 2nd Battalion / 1st Marines. He was a fine officer, a good man and an example for all others to follow. He will never be forgotten by those who knew him, and through this, we will make him immortal.

Semper Fidelis, Sir.

Sgt. Robert Hetrick 3rd Plt - Echo 2/1."
of Corona, Ca.

"Captain (major Select) Gannon touched the lives of many in a very positive way. He died doing he something he strongly believed in and his loss will affect many. Please pray for his family and keep them in your thoughts. Also pray for his Marines whom he loved and cared for."
Nick Hentges of California

"To Richard Gannon II and family: I send my condolences and deepest sympathies for this man. He was my Commanding Officer in OIF I and I had not had the chance to fight beside him for the second round. He was a great man and a greater marine. I would have followed him anywhere, even the heavens. God Bless him and his family."
SGT Joshua Piccoli of Quantico, VA/ USA

"I can't tell you how much this loss hurt us, but I can only imagine the loss you feel. Rich was someone who made men want to be better men. He made officers want to be better officers. He was one of a kind: real, honest, caring. The Janke family mourns with you and your loss."
Kurt Janke of Thessaloniki, Greece

""To The Gannon Family my prayers and sympanthy go out to you on these days of grief and sarrow. I to had the pleasure of serving with Capt.Gannon in the corps. Echo co.2/1 2nd.Plt. he was the platoon commander when i checked in to the unit OOOH RAHH SIR. SEMP FI"
Louis Gallardo of Los Angeles,ca

"Our hearts are with the Gannon Family during this difficult time. Our son also had the honor of receiving leadership from Rick in his years as a Cub Scout in Annapolis, MD. His dedication to these young boys will always be remembered. Thank you, Rick, for your service to this great country and for the sacrificies you & your family have so graciously made. God Bless Sally and your children, and God Bless America!"
The Boyle Family of Annapolis, MD, USA

"The parishioners of Nativity Church in NYC, wish to express our condolences to the Gannon family. Capt. Gannon's bravery will never be forgotten, and our prayers will always be with you."
Andrea Diaz of New York, N.Y.

"Capt. Gannon was my company officer at the Naval Academy. As a 2nd Class Mid, I sat in his office asking his advice on which direction to take as service selection and senior year approached. He said that the best thing about the Marine Corps was the chance to impact so many people's lives (your troops, citizens of other nations) and be at the heart of change. That's the way he was and will be remembered-- touching the lives of others, selflessly. My pryers go out to his loved ones. Thank you for your sacrifice."
Erica McElroy-Guy of Chula Vista, CA

"Our family is very saddened by this incredible loss. He was a kind and generous man. Our son Connor was lucky to have shared time with he and his family when he was his Cub Scout leader in Annapolis, MD. Our hearts go out to the family. Especially to his lovely wife and four beautiful children. May God watch over you all."
The Burns Family of Annapolis, MD

"To Richard's Family and Friends:

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

From the family of Capt. Ernesto Blanco-Caldas, KIA Iraq 12/28/2003"
Gloria Caldas (his mom) of San Antonio, TX

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

"To Richard'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

"Rest in Peace Tufelhunden. Semper Fi Marine. God bless your family/friends. The Taylors USMC,NC"

"To the family and friends of Captain Richard J. Gannon II,

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 register so we can send you our "Love Stitched Together."

Proud Marine Mom and Proud Member of Marine Comfort Quilts"
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca USA

"Thank you Richard Gannon II, 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 Capt. Richard Gannon II:
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 Richard 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. Richard Gannon II:
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 Richard, 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