Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Cpl. Jose A. Garibay


21, of Costa Mesa, California.
He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

The suburban house where Garibay lived has an American flag in front, as you might expect, and a Mexican one as well, for the country where he was born, two months before he made the trip to the United States with his mother, Simona. Except for speaking Spanish at home—and even that isn't all that unusual—he was a typical Orange County kid, playing football for his high school and listening to Marilyn Manson, before joining the Marines right out of high school in —2000. He didn't want his mother to worry, so he hid the fact that he'd been ordered into combat, but in early March he wrote her from Kuwait, sounding homesick: he asked her to send some of his favorite Mexican candy and a CD of sentimental ranchera music. "That's the first time he was ever interested in Mexican music," said his sister Crystal, 18.

He also sent another letter, tape-recorded, to his uncle, thanking him for everything he'd done for the family and wondering if he'd make it back from Iraq alive. And to a former teacher he wrote: "I want to defend the country I plan to become a citizen of." He never got the chance: on March 23 he was killed in a fire fight near An Nasiriya with Iraqis who had deceived the Americans by feigning surrender. The Marines who went to the front door of the family's ranch house to break the news mentioned that he might be eligible for honorary posthumous citizenship, but, as Crystal says, "it doesn't matter now."

Source: MSNBC/Newsweek

"Hoser" lived with his best friend, Aaron Maher, and Aaron's dad, Richard, in Costa Mesa from the time he was a sophmore at Newport Harbor High School until he joined the Marine's almost three years ago. When he would come home on leave, that is where he would go and where he called home. He was deployed over three months ago now and was not sure if he would return.

He was very close with the Maher's and referred to Aaron as his brother and Richard as his dad. He always sent Father's Day gifts. He wrote often and sent pictures, asking everyone he wrote to send him candy. Wherever he went he had a camera and took many pictures and movies of his friends. He was a pleasure to have around and always appreciative. His smile was infectious.

Hoser wanted to be an American and loved the American way. He dreamed of being an American Citizen and this morning that is how he will be buried.

The Costa Mesa Police Department recently found out that Hoser wanted to become a police officer when he got out. They made him an honorary officer and presented his mother with a plaque and a badge. More than 300 people turned out in front of the mother's home when they made the presentation along with the Chief of Police, the Fire Department Chief and some other noted officials.

Source: Ray Hurtado

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"Jose, we share the same name. Jose we share the same middle initial. Hozer, we share the same nick name and age. Jose, we both grew up in the Costa Mesa area. Our parents are all from neighboring ranchitos in Jalisco. Our families have been friends for years. Lots of similarities, but one big difference. You were brave enough to join the marines and pay the ultimate sacrifice, all while I served out my electrical apprenticeship in our beloved orange county. I remember the day I heard the news, I was instantly devastated. Why, I asked?! I wondered if we every played together as kids at family parties. Every year on the anniversary of 9/11 and on Memorial day, I can't help but remember the guy I feel like I know, the guy who I wish I had meet, the guy who makes life possible for many of us Americans, the guy who I hope to meet one day...still. RIP Brother"
Jose A. Partida of Orange, CA USA

"Hoser, it was pleasure to have known you back at Harbor and to have served with the Corps that you were so proud to be a part of. I will never forget your sacrafice."
Kyle of Newport Beach, Ca

"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHl__o4vyLI"
christian garibay of garden grove, ca

"Thanks for your Service and sacrifice. Not enough can be said for those that serve."
Brandon of Newport Beach, Ca

"Jose Angel Garibay was an inspiration for his cousins and them to me, Danny u and Jose will always be my heros"
Patty Hernandez of costa mesa, CA/USA

"You Well Be Missed Thank You For Your Sacritice For Our Country"
Kimberly Phillips of Toledo,Ohio

"Hoser,"

Writing to let you know that you are remembered, never forgoten. Your friends and family continue to miss you daily."
Denna' Muncy of St. Thomas, USVI

"To the Garibay family: I never knew your son but upon hearing of is death, I made a ceramic vase with his name and rank on the face. The vase is painted with vertical red and white stripes and its throat is blue with white stars. On the back of the vase is fetured the Lord's Prayer. I have displayed it in a prominent location in my home since making it. I truly want you, his family, to have it. Please contact me at hdhar5@aol.com so that I can send it to you. My God bless your family."
David Harris of Oceanside, CA

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

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

"REST IN PEACE MY ANGEL BROTHER. MY HERO I WILL ALWAYS MISS YOU.YOU WILL BE IN MY HEART FOR EVER.I THANK GOD FOR GIVING ME THE CHANCE TO HAVE HAD A HERO AND SOMEONE SO SPECIAL AS A BROTHER.'R.I.P THANKS EVERYONE FOR REMEMBERING MY BROTHER.THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS.GOD BLESS YOU ALL."
CRYSTAL GARIBAY of ORANGE county CA 92707

"RIP My Angel my big brother I miss you every day.till we meet again my fallen Hero."
jessica of chino

"It has been six years since we learned of Jose's passing in Iraq. We think of him often. Sometimes when I am working in the backyard I remember his last visit, and the fun he had in the pool, hanging out with his friends, and catching a BBQ with Rich, Aaron and me. He was quiet the morning I took him back to the depot, to start his journey back to Iraq. Quiet, but happy. He loved what he was doing. He believed in it, and this wonderful country.

Gary Wood 03/23/09
Rich Maher
Aaron Maher"
Gary Wood of Santa Ana, CA

"January 12, 2009
To the family of Cpl. Jose A. Garibay:
Jose gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"To Jose's Family: Your son's sacrifice touched me deeply. Following his death I created a ceramic vase that has his name painted on the face of it. On the back is the Lord's Prayer. We have it on the mantle of our fireplace and look at it daily as a reminder of him and his life. I did not know your son but felt it was important to remember his death."
David of Fallbrook, California

"Jose, we would have been SO proud to call you "fellow citizen"! I have no idea how to thank you for giving your life to protect me and my children. We will never forget, especially because you were not even yet a citizen, the sacrifice you have made or you.

To Jose's Family, Oh how proud you must be. Please know that the people of the United States have suffered a great loss in his passing. God Bless!"
Ronda of Schoolcraft, Michigan, USA

"DEAR GARIBAY FAMILY,
I USED TO LIVE NEXT TO HIS UNCLE IN JALISCO, MEXICO. IT WAS A SAD EXPERINCE KNOWING THAT SOMEONE REALLY CLOSE TO US FAUGHT FOR OUR LAND TO BE FREE... BUT LOOK AT US NOW!!!"
ANA ARROYO of COSTA MESA, CA, ORANGE COUNTRY

"Jose and his family I thank you Jose for giving your life so I and everyone else can live a better one! I would also like to say that I give your family support to keep living strong. Your memorial stands tall outside Ensign Intermediate School were you graduated from in 8th grade. Rest in Peace and god bless you and your family."
Hattie M. of Newport Beach,California

"Thank you Jose for being such an inspiration and I have never met you but if I had I would have understood how nice and kind you were. I wish there were more people in the world like you and I wish I can be more like you. I am thankful that you fought in war but devastated that you are gone now . I was only 5 when you went to war, and again i want to thank you!"
Caroline Johnson

"thanks for doing everything you did
god bless you RIP"
stephanie of costa mesa

"Jose, thank you for fighting for our countries safety. You are a true hero who I look up to. You protected our country. If it were not for you and other soldiers, we would not have the freedom that we have, thank you"
Sara B. of Costa Mesa

"I just want to thank Jose Garibay for be one of those people to fight for our freedom and rest in peace"
Jill of Newport Beach

"Thank you Jose for letting me have the right to be able to live in a society where I am free. May you rest in peace."
Claudia of costa mesa, California

"jose thanks for all you have done i love you so much you came to my school iam in miss wageners class right now bYe"
zach wade of neport

"thanks for serving for our country"
will of newport beach ca

"Joe I miss you so much. You were surpposed to marrey my daughtor. And I loved you so much. Alot has happened since you been gone. it has been really rough. I guess I just needed to talk to you tonight. I would give anything if you were still here with her tonight. I just want you to be with my baby but I know you can't be. I will love you forever"
tasteofparadise97 of clemmons nc

"I have been trying to find this man's family for 5 years. I have something VERY important to tell them. Please, if anyone knows how I can find them, please email me @ shipley_g@yahoo.com. This is very important!"
Cpl. Grant Shipley USMC of Cullman, AL

"To the family of this fallen hero I thank you for your unselfishness and for your strenght. I am too from Costa Mesa and joined the Marine Corps about a year ago and I am truly proud to say that Cpl Garibay is not only one of our city's heroes but also an Anerican hero. Thank You"
LCpl. Torrez, Silvia P of Costa Mesa, CA

"Jose,
i still remember you, i always think about you. My mother and i cried for you. We still see your mother And we are proud of you."
Sonia & Martha Castillo of CM, California

"Remembering with you the life of someone so dear."
Shirley Billingsley of Huntsville, AL

"May 30, 2007
To the family of Jose A. Garibay. Jose gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"We're always thinking of you, missing you and thankful for being so brave. We grew up like brothers and sisters for so many years when we were little, wish we had kept in touch more. Missing u always. Your cousins forever.
Lulu, Erik, Rene, and Ruby"
*Lulu* of Riverside, CA

"http://ersnews.com/9marines.html There is news that this was potentially a cover up by our government and that my friend died from friendly fire by an A-10 Warthog. I'm in the military myself and I'm at a loss of words..."
Jay of San Bernardino, CA

"God bless and keep you, brother Jose."
Robert Lee of Costa Mesa, Calif.

"I remember when you and I went to the Marine Pully function back in 1999. From the recruiting station, we drove to El Torro Marine Base and we did the 3 events. I think our office lost. Anyway, it was a fun experience. I still joined the Army anyway, but you went your seperate ways to the Corps. It hurt to see you at Arlington at 712. To know that it could have been me. To know that life is so short. We were good friends who played football with Chris Rix at Lunch time! Do you remember that at Costa Mesa High? Man, who would have known...God bless you dude. Take care once again."
Jason of Fort Irwin, CA

"Jose, I'm sad we never got a chance to get to know each better like cousins should. We love you and will never forget you."
Bella of Santa Ana, Ca

"Dude, I went to your grave today. F-ing sad man. 712. I cried. I met up with your mom's friends who are LCPL Simpson family. The guy next to you. It was his birthday. Anyway, later dude."
Jason of Fort Irwin, CA, USA

"R.I.P."
DEBO of Costa mesa

"God bless you. A man of honor. An Angel of God forever."
R. J. Garibay of Riverside, CA

"Just want to send my condolences to the Garibay Family. I too was a Marine I was a Sergeant for 3rd LAR Bn. Dont know if somehow we are related, but I just want to thank Corporal Garibay for serving his country"
Sergeant Garibay A. J. of Illinois

"R.I.P MARINE.UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN TO DEFEND OUR KINGDOM OF HEAVEN."
JOEL. M of NY

"God Bless your family. Be strong and remember what a good guy he is."
Richard Garibay of Los Angeles, CA

"Thanks for your courage. God Bless."
of whittier

"Thank you Jose for all and the others have done for us to have fredoom you and your family are in our prayers, may be we're related, again thanks and god bless you gracias Jose por todo y seras siempre recordado como un heroe GRACIAS"
Carlos Garibay of Modesto, CA. USA

"Jose,
I would like to say thank you to you and all the other Marines from 2nd MEB who were killed in An Nasiriyah that day for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"May God bless you and your family"
Karen Garibay Perez of Wyandotte Michigan

"I WENT TO BOOT CAMP WITH HIS COUSIN, THATS HOW WE MEET, TURNED OUT WE WERE BOTH IN INFANTRY AND WENT TO SOI TOGETHER. WE WERE BOTH IN IRAQ AT THE SAME TIME, DIFFERENT UNITS. HE WAS A GOOD FRIEND."
THOMAS G. of INGLEWOOD,CA

"I love you and miss you bro"
Raul Vidaurri Jr of Baghdad iraq

"I just found out today, October 6, 2005 that Hozer died. He was my online buddy who always made me smile. I met Hozer through a pen pal subscription I paid and he wrote to me daily and sent me pictures and gifts all of which I still have. I still can't believe he is gone! We used to go on Yahoo Messenger and draw little pictures and chat all the time. Wow, I still don't believe it. My condolences to his family the Maher family who he talked about all the time. My heart and prayers are with you. Like I always told him....R.I.P My Guardian Angel..."
Jessica of Passaic, New Jersey

"Rest in piece, Jose. You served your country well. We need more brave young men like you!"
Edgar of Phoenix, AZ

"My deepest sympathy to Jose's family, I have been unsuccessful in locating you in Costa Mesa. I paint portraits for Heroes so that Jose will not be forgotten and always remembered as an American Hero. Oil paintings last for hundreds of years and can be passed on through the generations. Please look me up on "www.heropaintings.com" or Google. My address and phone number is on the web sight. I work with Kaziah Hancock and my work can be found on page 3. The painting is free of charge. I've lived in Costa Mesa for many years and this is very special to me. God bless you!"
Clancy De Vries of Newport Beach, CA

"We have chose Jose and Jose's family to pray for this holiday season. Our family is praying very hard each day that pain caused by Jose's sacrifice may be eased in some small way. You are in our thougths and in our hearts. God Bless You!"
Mike, Khris, Kyle & Katrice of Eagan, MN

"We have chose Brandon and Brandon's family to pray for this holiday season. Our family is praying very hard each day that pain caused by Brandon's sacrifice may be eased in some small way. You are in our thougths and in our hearts. God Bless You!"
Mike, Khris, Kyle & Katrice of Eagan, MN

"I have read this touching story, and I have always had the soldiers in my prayers, and from now on I will also pray for Jose Angel Garibay everynight."
Vanessa of Whittier, CA

"To the friends and family of Jose A. Garibay:
I greatly appreciate your loved ones sacrifice. He was strong and brave and from what I've read of him, a great person and wonderful soldier. He served our country and that made him a true American! Know that you are not alone, I grieve with you. I too lost a loved one to the war in Iraq. My husband Spc Justin W. Linden was KIA on June 4, 2004. These soldiers will never be forgotten!"
Sarah Linden of Portland, OR USA

"Thanks to Jose and family, you are all in our prayers"
Jorge Garibay of Los Angeles, CA USA

"Thank you so much for your selfless sacrifice! It will be forever remembered amongst those who served side by side with you, family members and those who were lucky enough to have known you. You are a pure example of what courage really is. Your memory will forever live as an example of undying pride. May God continue to bless all of those left behind, and may our future be filled with happiness and uplifted by your undying memory. May God Bless American, and everywhere else. Stay Blessed!"
T.D.S of Marietta, GA

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

"Proud of you... man you almost lived the american dream..."
Brian McFarlane of Tustin, CA

"I am very proud of your Soldier. It is because of his bravery that so many other soldiers keep fighting. He is forever in the prayers of those in Midland and San Antonio, Texas."
Erica Garibay Carrasco of San Antono, TX/Bexar

"As a native of the Philippines I know of many immigrants who take their American citizenship for granted. That is why Jose"Hoser" Garibay is the ultimate hero for laying down his life for a nation for whom he wanted dearly to be a part of. Semper Fidelis!"
Jason Garibay of Little Rock, Arkansas

"God Bless this family...another war another good person killed. What a brave person this man was...to go there and fight and not run. An honor to Mexico, and America.
From a Viet Nam Vet"
Gary King of Irvine, ca.

"To Remember Them..In loving Memory..Its been a year..

At the rising of the sun and at its going down, We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of Winter, We remember them.
At the opening of buds and in the rebirth of Spring, We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of Summer, We remember them.
At the rustling of leaves and the beauty of Autumn, We remember them.

As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
Rest in Peace Dear Soldier! We will NEVER FORGET!"
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN

"We Will NEVER FORGET !" As the first anniversary of the death of your loved one arrives;
Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering all your family and loved ones in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Jose, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

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

"To ALL of Jose's family (including Aaron and Richard Maher),
I just wanted to say that I am sorry for your loss. I attended high school with Jose and Aaron and knew of Jose as a wonderful guy. Thank you Jose for fighting for our country. You will NEVER be forgotten..."
Lauren Fisher of Newport Beach, CA

"Thank you Jose Garibay, 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

"i knew jose back when we both went to SOI together. one hell of a guy. i read of his loss when the la times published a story of what happened to task force tarawa that day/night. my battalion was supposed to roll in that night out to nassiriya but they held us off for the next day instead. my condolences goes out to the garibay family but the spirit of jose lives on. he was a clown back at SOI as i had known him. He will not be forgotten."
jeff of monterey park. ca.

"To the loved ones that he left behind....my deepest sorrow goes out to you. I know that from the streets heaven Jose looks upon you and is protecting you like he did in the marine corps.I want to thank you for being brave and for the service Jose did in defending the country. Que dios los bendiga hoy y siempre."
Erika Diaz of Stanton, Ca USA

"MY NAME IS CYNTHIA GARIBAY I WAS JOSES CLOSE COUSIN THANK YOU FOR TAKING YOUR TIME TO POST THIS INFORMATION. WE HAVE JUST RECENTLY FOUND OUT HOW JOSE REALY DIED. THE BATTLE AT AN NASIRIAH WAS PRACTICALY OVER BUT THIER WAS MANY WOUNDED SOLDIERS THE PERSON ABOVE ANGEL IN COMAND ORDERD HIM TO GET THE WOUNDED OUT OF THIER AS FAST AS HE COULD ANGEL WAS HAD A WOUNDED ARM, HE PICKED UP AND CARRIED THE SOLDIERS TO A TRUCK HE TOOK OFF FOLLOWING ORDERS. THE PERSON THAT ORDERED ANGEL THOUGHT THAT ANGEL AND THE WOUNDED WERE NOW SAFE THAT WAS UNTIL HE SAW A EXPLOSION A MISSILE HAD HITT THE VEHICLE THAT ANGEL WAS IN HE HE DIDINT DIE SLEEPING HE DIED FIGHTING HE DIED TRYING TO SAVE HIS BROTHERS HIS FELLOW MARINES....HE TRULY DIED A HERO THATS HOW MY COUSIN MY BROTHER MY PRIDE REALY DIED...THANK YOU FOR THIS SITE AND FOR YOUR TIME"
CYNTHIA GARIBAY of ANAHEIM CALIFORNIA

"My name is Nicole Garibay, I dont know if we are related. but im around the same age as Jose and I would just like to say that i am truley sorry for your loss and your family is in my prayers."
Nicole M. Garibay of SunnyVale California, USA

"To the Family and Friends of Cpl. Jose A. Garibay,

May the wonderful memories you have of Jose be a source of strength and comfort to you at this time. What a wonderful young man he must have been. Thank you for sharing about him and what his future dreams entailed, he will be dearly missed, but NEVER FORGOTTEN! May the PEACE that passeth all understanding be with you now and forever.

Respectfully Yours,
Proud Military in Southern California"
Sibert Family of Redondo Beach, California

"Our prayers are with your family during this difficult time. Thank you brave soldier, your courage and sacrifice will nerver be forgotten."
Ken and Maritza Holley of Pembroke Pines, Florida

"To the family and friends of Cpl. Jose Garibay:
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 Jose 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 Cpl. Jose Garibay:
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 Jose, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera, of Powder Springs, Georgia

"I have no idea if we're related but I hope we are so I can be able to say that Jose Garibay was part of my family. I'm a proud Mexican-American. You are in my prayers every night."
Jessica Garibay of Illinois

"Dear Garibay Family,
I did not know your son but from the moment I heard of his death I have felt very sad. My heart goes out to his mother and his family. I am deeply grateful for the sacrifice he has made for my freedom. I can't help but to cry when such a brave young man dies for his country. I am also a proud Mexican American and I want to thank Jose for what he stood for. May God bless the Garibay family."
Rose Stolo of Fullerton, CA

"Thank you Marine for your sacrifice. So many broken hearts due to your loss. May God help them see that you are gone from this life but always with us. Thank you brave warrior for your gift our of never ending freedom."
The Taylors, USMC of North Carolina

"Dear Rich and Aaron,
I know what a big part of your life "Hoser" was. He touched everyone who knew him and we are so proud of who he became and what he did for our/his country. I will miss hearing his voice on the phone and the funny things he had to say. He will always remembered. He was a great kid and someone to be admired."
"Aaron's Mom" of Las Vegas, NV

"JOSE ANGEL GARIBAY BECAME A HERO SINCE THE FIRST MOMENT HE JOINED THE MARINES, ACTUALLY HE WAS BORN A HERO. GOD BLESS HIS MOM AND HIS FAMILY, AND GIVE THEM THE SUPPORT AND STRENGHT THEY NEED IN ORDER TO OVERCOME THIS SITUATION. PLEASE, IF SOMEONE WHO KNOWS THE GARIBAY FAMILY READS THIS MESSAGE, TELL THEM THAT I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER JOSE ANGEL. I NEVER MET HIM, BUT AS MEXICAN I FEEL VERY IDENTIFY WITH HIM AND HE HAS BECOME MY INSPIRATION TO BE A BETTER PERSON, LIKE HE WAS, AND WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR HEARTS.

GOD BLESS JOSE ANGEL GARIBAY AND HIS MOM (SIMONA)AND FAMILY."
Lizbeth of Los Angeles, CA.

"I am sorry for the loss of Jose A. Garibay. He is an ultimate hero in my eyes. I pray that God will give you peace and understanding during this difficult time."
Butch Pash of Placentia, Ca

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