Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Pfc. Juan Guadalupe Garza, Jr.


20, of Temperance, Michigan.
Killed in action in central Iraq. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California. Died on April 8, 2003.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Pfc. Juan Guadalupe Garza, Jr..

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"Happy Birthday Primo I hope you got our balloon we let go in your honor the kids was happy to do it for you..i hope grandma made you a cake lol..love you primo miss you like crazy..i started School already finally after ten years Iam going to college I bet your proud of me huh. for English class we have to write a narrative essay about something that has happened to us..guess what I'm writing about you I titled it A Beautiful Goodbye..ill be sure to send a copy to uncle Michael so he can leave it at your grave so you can read it..love you miss you can't wait for us to all be together again..love you"
Laura cortez of Weslaco tx

""hi boy it's been a while since I wrote.. another holiday is just around the corner it just isn't the same with out you and our grandparents.i swear it's still hard as I sit here and read the notes ppl write to you it makes me proud so many people love you. I can't wait till were all together again like when we were kids .love you to the moon and back million and one times..Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year New Year..love you primo"
Laura cortez of Weslaco tx

"Miss you bro! Seems like only yesterday that we were on ship headed to Iraq. Thank you for doing something that we all wanted to do but were not allowed to do after are returned home (hitting Burn's lying self in his face). See you again when we meet at the gate to continue our duty to protecting those we love. For now I continue my duty here protecting those who cannot protect themselves."
Hugo Andrade of Pearland, TX

"Thinking of you this Memorial Day weekend."
Zachary Lott of Long Beach, CA (562.822.1860)

"Hey little brother, As you may know another Veterans Day is fast approaching. Just got done making our posters for Natalie's school program, she will be singing this year. Hope you enjoy the show, I know you will be right there front and center.Not a day goes by that I dont think about you, I miss you so much. I know people say when you loss someone that you love, over time it hurts less, thats a lie. LOVE AND MISS YOU LIL BROTHER, BIG HUGS AND KISSES TO YOU IN HEAVEN , VETERANS DAY 2015"
Vanessa Garza of La Feria, Teaxs

"Just was thinking about you miss u I wish you where here - my hero"
Andrew of Mi

"I thought about you to day boy I'm was driveing home and you just poped into my mind and I started telling my buddy about you. Man I miss you so much boy even tho I didn't get to spend as much time with you as others did I still miss you just as much!. I became a fire fighter ya I know crazy but I love it. Boy I know your watching over me right now I just want to tell you that I love you. You will always be my hero and ill be sure to tell my kids about what you did foe your country!"
baby roy

"Semper Fidelis Marine. You are missed always but especially on this day."
Zachary David Lott of Seal Beach, CA

"Hey little brother,as you know Veterans Day is around the corner. The girls are getting ready,taking pictures and writting a little something to go with your picture. Even though its been 10 years that you have been gone, these days don't get any easier. I wish you could be there in person to receive this honor. I know you will be there sitting right next to them, holding their hand. You would be so proud of my 2 girls,even though you have never met my Natalie, she has so much love to give and always puts there's first, and my Gabby well she will always be Gabby,lol. WE LOVE AND MISS YOU LITTLE BROTHER, YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. YOU HOLD A SPECIAL PLACE IN OUR HEARTS. LOVE YOU BIG SISTER!"
Vanessa Garza of La Feria, Texas USA

"i never met you, but my family and i are friends to your sister and mom. i honor your sacrifice in my video on, you tube. for all who wish to see it go to casas, fallen soldier close your eyes. i am a vet myself. your nieces gabby and nat think of you always as does your sister vanesa. thank you for your service. semper fi.
video by giny drawe"
bob casas of la feria, tx

"Juan,
On today, the 10th annivesary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"Ten years to this day, while serving as a Rifleman for 2nd squad, 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion of the 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Private First Class Juan G. Garza was killed in action on April 8, 2003 while engaged in offensive combat operations against Iraqi enemy forces in the city of Hasan al Hamzah, Iraq while on a mission to secure the near side of a bridge in order to allow follow-on forces from the 5th Marine Regiment to enter into Baghdad.

While fighting from an entrenched position in a small enemy stronghold which had just been secured by 2nd squad, PFC Garza moved from a covered position, exposing himself to enemy machine gun and sniper fire, in order to gain a vantage point from which to engage the enemy. While acquiring targets, PFC Garza was struck from behind and fatally wounded by a bullet from an unknown location.

You are gone my Brother, but not forgotten.

Semper Fidelis
Your Squad Leader,

Sergeant Lott, Zachary D.
USMC/0311
EAS 20040917

(562) 822-3501"
Zachary Lott of Long Beach, CA

"Rest in Peace Juan"
Sheila Slavens of Dayton, Ohio

"i live in lambertville and rode my bike through the cemetary today.a breezy day-good for all the flags waving on pfc garzas grave.i remember the local news when it happened.i didnt know him or his family i do know 20 years is a short life but long enough to be a hero.your sacrifice is not forgotten.god bless your family and all who serve."
john m. of lambertville mi

"Hey boy it's been awhile since the last time I wrote u or even went to see u..sry about that I promise I'll go see u before I go home...I had my lil girl I Banerjee Jizelle renea if only u could see her boy and Rj getting so big I can't believe it..I miss u primo I sum times find my self thinking about u and out of the blue I'll start talk img out loud to u I no u can hear me so I don't care...dang boy I miss u so much it's not the same with out u but I no Ur not alone up there u have gma as gpa together hugs and kisses from all of us Down here...well boy ok let I go luv you and miss u primo..."
laura cortez of Fremont ohio

"Juan,
My heart still breaks when people talk about you, but it also brings a smile to my face. I know that you are in a better place and are watching over us. I am very proud of what you accomplished in your short time on earth. You have no idea how much you are loved and missed."
Aunt JoJo of Petersburg, MI

"Juan, I refuse to let my memories of you fade. Miss you buddy. Oorah!"
Pat Hogan of Joshua Tree California

"Semper Fi, Juan."
LtCol Paul Gomez of Sterling, VA

"Happy Birthday Juan!! I love and miss you like crazy. I hope you're proud of me. I will never forget you, you are my hero,and my best friend. Lately I've been missing you like crazy. I hope you're having fun up there:)

"God knows how I miss you,
All the hell that I've been through,
Just knowin' no-one could take your place.""
Ashleigh of Michigan

"Hey little brother, well as you know the holidays r fast apporaching and they r not the same without u with us. I miss u so very much! wish u were here with us. I LOVE U AND MISS U SO VERY MUCH!!!"
vanessa garza of la feria .texas

"I MISS YOU!!!!! Thinking about you a lot today. It's Sept. 11th, and though on this day 10 years ago I didn't know you, this day changed our lives and our futures. This day took us to war...we both joined, we both served, you will forever be a hero, and I will forever miss your smile. I will always love you, will always be so proud of you, will alway miss you, and will never forget you!"
Casey Cole-Garza

"Eight years...seems like a lifetime ago, and at the same time, it feels like it just happened. It is so hard to keep focused on the great things in life and the great people that are in it. You got in my heart bro, and I don't know that I will ever let you go. You were and are my inspiration. You were just as freaked out as the rest of us but you always knew how to hide it instead of adding to the anxiety. You were really a great Marine. I feel like no one will ever comprehend the bond that we have. It has been a hard eight years, and I don't know that the next eighty will be much easier. But its ok. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about you, and what you could be today. A father, husband, loving cousin and nephew, big and little brother....but mainly, a friend.

Semper fi devil, all the way to the end. I love you and miss you, always. Give God a big hug for me and continue being my guardian angel."
Charles King of Winston-Salem, NC

"Hey lol its April 8,2011 I just wanted to say HAPPY ANIVERSARY BOY I LOVE YOU!!!! and to also leave my poem here for you :)

Day by day I think of you,
How can all of this be true?
I can't believe you're really gone,
I still can't accept it,
Even after so long.
Just the thought of you makes me cry,
I never even got the chance to say goodbye.
Every picture, every letter,
I don't know if it will ever get better.
I always smell your familiar scent,
It makes me think of all of the times we've spent.
I know we didn't always get along,
And every time we talked, it would always go wrong.
So many things I never got to say,
I never imagined you'd ever be so far away.
You were my brother,
And I loved you like no other.
In my heart you'll always be,
You’ll be my guide and help me see.
I'll never forget your soothing voice,
I would take your place if I had a choice.
But now I have to let you rest,
Although without you my world's a mess.
I miss you with all of my heart,
I wish we never had to part.
I know you're always by my side,
So now I guess this is my goodbye..."
Valerie Garza (his little sister) of San Benito, Texas

"Hey Boy, miss you so danm much mom misses you chingos, Im breakdancing now, but you already know, Miss you man shedding tears at my dorm it aint the same magget lol, April 1st fack lol it seems like it was yesterdy when you showed me how to ride a bike and pop fire works, you told me not to be afriad and not to be a pussy be a man when you we use to fight, Your my only Brother I have and no one can Replace you even though i try but I love you Big Bro Fkin love you Watch over me in everything i do Miss you chingos"
Micahel Arron Garza Juans Little Brother of San Benito Txs

"Hey Little Brother,its me,your big sister!I just found out about this site and u have touched alot of people in the short time u were with us!I miss u so very much ,not one day goes by that i dont think about u.I think about all the hospital runs we had to do cuz we were horsing around,lol!I still have the scare when i got stiches.After all these years i still think u will call me a tell me to pick u up,then i see pictures and newspaper clipping and know that u are really gone.What gets me through life is knowing you r in a better place "HEAVEN".I miss your smile,u had one of those smiles that would light up a room!I also remember how mom would always dress us up the same,and how we hated that and people always would say how cute we looked,lol!I miss our long talks.The day u past, i lost my best friend.I havent been able to go see your grave,but i am planning on going up there soon.Mom,Valerie and Stephanie went up there. We r still getting through it together.We have our good days and our not so good days.I know you went to Iraq on a mission but u were need in Heaven for a much BIGGER MISSION! I LOVE U SO MUCH LITTLE BROTHER AND WE MISS U!!!!!!!!!You are Our Hero and we r so proud of u!I just wish i was by your side,but i know u were not alone you had your other brothers and sisters.LOVE AND MISS U!!!"
Vanessa Garza of La Feria,Texas

"man the holidays just arnt the same with out you here boy. i miss you man your my hero boy i love you the only thing the makes me happy is knowing that i will get to see you again one day i love you PFC. Juan G Graza"
baby Roy of Elmore Ohio

"hey boy just wanted to let you know that we love and miss you down here man"

"I love you Juan. I miss you so much, I would give anything to bring you home for Christmas."
Ashleigh

"To the family of PFC Juan Garza,
My name is Dr. Sean Breen. I was the Medical Officer for 1/4 in Iraq and was with Juan when he passed in my arms. I think of him just about every day and I feel very connected to him still to this day. I wrote a long memo in my journal about the specifics of that day and have been meaning to get a hold of any of you to maybe answer any questions you have. My prayers are always with you. The exact time when he died was 0836 Iraq time. My Corpsman and I prayed for him at that time and asked God to take him into heaven. Please feel free to contact me at drbreen@me.com. Very respectfully."
Sean Breen of Orange, CA

"Yesterday was the 235th Birthday of the US Marine Corps, and today is Veterans Day. I am so proud and so lucky to have known you, to have loved you, to have been your wife. I miss you and I love you forever and always."
Casey

"Today is Veterans Day 2010 and we wanted to thank you for protecting us. We miss you a lot. We are taking your picture to Bedford today so they can hang it up in the case. They will be honoring you today. You made everyone proud. Thanks again Juan!!! We love you!!!"
Rob, Tammy, Hope & Meagan (Shaffer & Walker) of Temperance, MI

"As Veterans Day is apporaching the only thing that comes to mind is you. I cant believe how the years fly by it seems just like yesterday as were talking about you getting deployed to Iraq and you telling me how scared you were. I told you that everything would be fine as you were taking out your truck stero and tellling me to hold it for you until you returned back. Wow... That was 8 years ago how times fly by. I have three kids now. Your marine picture is up in our living room and if you ask my boys who you are they will say its "Boy". As you know I recently had a little girl and as they all grows up I will continue to tell them all stories about us growing up. Im sure they will get a kick of all them. I miss you so..much but I know one day we will see eachother but until then you will always be in our hearts and our minds. Love You Boy"
Nora (Bucher) Coronado of Texas

"We are the ones who step to the Call and defend her and protect her this land our beloved land of freedom and respect MEMORIAL DAY IS NEAR NEVER FORGET NEVER FORGOTTEN (USMC)Charlie Co. Lt.Garza"
SNIPES of Harlingen, TX

"Hey boy, its me bro, just had you on my mind and wanted to leave you a short message. Veterans day is close and you as well as friends I lost in Afghanistan come to mind. I am glad to have had you as family and you will continue to inspire people from all over, I will be deploying again before my committment is up but I know I will be as safe as I was the first time with you watching over me"
Rodney Garza of Fort Drum, NY US ARMY

"I am Juan's little cousins that he lived with when he came to Michigan from Texas. He was liek a brother to me, because he was always there for me when I needed him most.

These years have gone by so fast! I miss you so much, and I think about you all of the time! I love you so much, and I wish you were still here. You always knew how to make me laugh when i wanted to cry. Everyday in school i walk by the trophy cas and look at your glod cleats and the picture of you and I smile, because I know that you're watching over and smiling. I would give anything just to have you back here in Michigan I am going to rty have 24 as my number this year for sports. It feels just like yesterday that we burried you. Buddy, Mae Mae, Mom, and Dad are doing okay, they miss, and love you soo much. You are my hero and I hope that you will watch over me, and guide me to the right path.

I love you so very much, and you will always be in my heart<3"
Swashwie<3 (Ashleigh) of Petersburg, Michigan

"hey boy its ma again i just wanted to tell you thank you for protecting this country your my hero boy i love you and i miss you"
baby roy of Elmore OH

"I cannot believe it has been 7 years since we lost you. This week Charles King came to visit us for a few days from North Carolina. He is married now and has a baby girl. She is beautiful! Having him with us brought back a flood of memories. We miss you and would give anything for one more day with you. Casey has 2 beautiful girls and seems to be doing well. Recently, she moved closer. I hope this will allow us to stay in contact more often.
As for the rest of the family, life goes on, but it is not the same without you.

Love you!
Aunt JoJo"

"no farewell words were spoken ,no time to say good-bye you were gone before we knew it,and only god knows why"
Valerie Garza of San Bentio,TX

"boy i miss you sooooooooooooo much i miss you so much my heart aches i love you and so does mom,michael,and vanessa
we have not forgoten you and we never will -you're lil sis valerie"
Valerie of San Benito ,TX

"Hey Brother i m thischnt for you he you andour other commrades like it here i goes, Hey MARINE Corp. my Beloved Corp.
Men who died sacrificed to our Beloved Corp. LATHER NECK oh yea come on now Get Some more DEVIL DOGGS hey Army come on keep with THEE cuz we are MARINES Corp. Strong as it ever be We are JARHEADS BLOODHOUNDS DEVIL DOGGS LEATHER NECKS SEMPER FI. CARRIE ONN"
MICHAEL ARRON GARZA of SAN BENITO,Tx, USA

"Hey Brother I miss you so much you probably know that i want t meet all yor friends so they can tell me storys about you I relly miss u kicking my * and ma she's dong ok it just been so hard for her be with her Boy love you always"
MICHAEL ARRON GARZA of SAN BENITO,Tx, USA

"hey boy its me again i was thinking about to you today just two more years till i can join. i found a great girl boy i really think she might be the one. i really really miss you boy i love you juan i got a tattoo for you:) i talk to you later:)"
baby roy of elmore ohio

"Juan, 7yrs have gone by and still when I think of you or see your pictures I get chills down my back. You bring smiles to my face at the thought of our memories we shared. You were one of the only friends I could rely on and call a "true friend". Many people have come and gone in my life with no second thought but you and the moments we shared have been saved in a special spot in my heart and I promise to never forget them. I know you'd still be a part of my life if you were with us! I have a wonderful boyfriend, you guys would've gotten along. I know you would've agreed that he was perfect for me. You are missed so very much. Even till this day you are in my thoughts and prayers. One day we'll meet again and we'll have alot to talk about. I like to think you are watching over us all and enjoying the show.. you always found humor in everyday life!"
MICHELLE LIMON of HARLINGEN, TX

"Memorial Day Weekend is upon us. I just want to say I remember PFC Garza and all of the Marines and or Service members that answered the call and gave it their all."
Former Sgt Shaun DeWaters of Florence Kentucky USA

"I love you Boy and I always will -your little sis Valerie"
Valerie Garza of San Benito,Texas

"hey cuz its my again its around that time again. i just wanted to tell you that grandpa isnt doing to good well you probly aready new that. and i just wanted to tell you that i'm going out for football this year i'm gonna try runing back number 24. i reaaly miss you boy i was thinking about how much fun we had when we were werstling in the liveing room. tell grandma i love and miss her and my grandpa cortez i love and miss him and tell my friend corey that i really miss him and its just havent been the same without you guys here i love you all"
baby roy of elmore OH

"Hey guedo, i've missed ya a ton here. It's been so long but it feels like it was just yesterday when we were hangin out at your place messin with your truck! Haha good times man. I miss having you as a friend. Every year around this time I talk to my dad about you. He misses you too. I remember the last time we spoke, and I only hope you know how much you were loved in our home and church! I know I'll see you again someday, and you'll probably run over and tackle me haha. You're a hero man. My friend forever! Miss you and love you,"
Craig Hogan of Temperance, Michigan

"”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 the hero’s Mother, Father and/or spouse. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Almost 2,000 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!
This is a gift! We have wonderful sponsors who help with the costs, and want you know that everyone here at Project Compassion does and will always CARE.
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,
Kenna
Projectcompassion@manti.com"
Project Compassion - Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"Hey bro its no nos I'am inlisting as you already know looking down on me from heaven I'am going to become a Marine as an Mp and go into S.R.T all i ask from you big bro is give me guiedence for my sucess and I love you and miss you for ever and always your little brother Michael Arron GArza"
Michael of San Benito

"well boy its me again i was thinking about you and a tear came to my eye. just two more years boy till i can join the marines the cowboys didnt make it the super bowl this year but they will next year boy. i really miss you juan i miss the way we use to wrestle with each other. am going down to texas in a few weeks to see your brother. AM PROUD OF YOU PFC. JUAN G GARZA YOU ARE FOREVER IN MY HEART YOUR MY HERO BOY I LOVE YOU!!!!!!"
BABY ROY of Elmore OH

"well boy its me again i was thinking about you and a tear came to my eye. just two more years boy till i can join the marines the cowboys didnt make it the super bowl this year but they will next year boy. i really miss you juan i miss the way we use to wrestle with each other. am going down to texas in a few weeks to see your brother. AM PROUD OF YOU PFC. JUAN G GARZA YOU ARE FOREVER IN MY HEART YOUR MY HERO BOY I LOVE YOU!!!!!!"
BABY ROY of Elmore OH

"I miss you!! What a year 2009 was for me, it seemed like everything I did reminded me of you, or made me think about that day the Marines knocked on my door. I have never fully dealt with losing you, I just kept telling myself I was OK. I just went to a training course in October and got a class on foriegn weapons - got to see a sniper rifle - probably the exact model that SOB used. My instructor was part of the invasion with 3rd ID - he told a lot of stories - and all I could do the whole 2 weeks was think about you. We would have celebrated our 7 year anniversary a month ago, and your 27th birthday over a week ago. I still look up to the stars at night and talk to you and I hope you can hear me. I love you Juan and I miss you so much! Please watch over me and my family. You will always be in my heart!"
Casey

"hey boy its baby roy just wanted to let you know that am still think about you all the time i didnt make it in football this year but am gonna try next year am going out for runing back number 24 love you boy"
baby roy of elmore ohio

"Hey Juan its sep 11th and I was just thinking of what a courageous man you were and still are. You payed the ultimate sacrafice to keep all of us safe that is the greatest gift anyone could ever give. You are greatly missed and always will be, I know you are looking down on everyone with that smile that lights up a room you were always smiling no matter what. God bless you Juan you are a very brave young man thank you for helping keep my son safe in this crazy world. Love you boy! Sempter Fi and a HOOAH from me!"
Erin Rowe of Petersburg, MI

"Juan, you are not forgotten. As young as you were, you left a lasting impression on those around you. We will always remember you.

Semper Fidelis,"
Major Paul Gomez of Virginia

"Hey boy its me lala...i went to see u the other day after six years it still bring tears to my eyes not a day goes by that i dont think of youand what you have done for u,you givin us something only a marine can give you gave us freedom i could never thank you enough...the day we laid you down to rest replays in my mind and dreams all the time it was like it was just yesterday.aunt judy and i were talking bout you the other and all the crazy * things youve did when we were growing up lol it just brings a big smile on my face...I look up at the sky sometimes thinking bout you i wounder wut ur doing.it kills me everyday to know that your gone but then i remember that one day we will be together again...i love you boy take care of grandma and dont worry about us were all doing great cause we have our hero watching over us...love you boy"
laura cortez aka lala of fremont oh

"PFC GARZA, I REMEMBER WHEN WE MET AT MEPS AND THAT PLANE RIDE TO PARRIS ISLAND MAN YOU WERE SCARED TO FLY. THEN THE 3 LONG MONTHS OF BOOT CAMP PLT 1074 1ST BAT. MAN THE GOOD TIMES WE SHARED. WISH I WOULD HAVE BEEN THERE TO HAVE YOUR BACK. THAT DAY I HEARD YOUR NAME AND SAW YOUR PICTURE ON THE NEWS CRUSHED ME THE FIRST PERSON I KNEW GONE FROM THIS DAMN WAR. REST IN PEACE DEVIL YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN BY ME OR ANY ONE ELSE THAT GOT THE CHANCE TO MEET YOU. SEMPER FIDELIS. CANT WAIT TO GET TO SEE YOU AGAIN."
FORMER SGT SHAUN DEWATERS of FLORENCE KY

"Boy,
well 6 years have gone by and you arent forgotten! you are an inspiration to everyone in the military, and i hope to serve my country with as much heart as you did! when i joined, you came to mind and you always are on my mind! look over all of us, we miss you and ,love you"
Rodney Garza of US Army- Fort Drum, NY (21B)

"hey bro,
rodney here again, i find myself thinkin about the good times we had growing up. just wanted to let you know i love you bro and miss you! ur not forgotten. HOOAH..."
Rodney Garza of FT DRUM, NY US ARMY

"HEY BRO ITS ME RODNEY, I HAVENT HAD A CHANCE TO GET AT YOU, BEEN TRAINING IN CALI TO HEAD OUT TO IRAQ. ILL BE THERE IN JUNE! I KNOW ILL BE OKAY... I HAVE U AND GRANDPA WATCHING OVER ME! I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU AND HAPPY BELATED BRO!"
RODNEY GARZA of FT. DRUM, NY US ARMY

"I am a fellow Marine of Pfc Garza. I was the Warehouse Chief at 1/4. I am out of the Marines now but not a day goes by he doesnt cross my mine. Friends I run into always talk about him. He was apart our family then and even thou some of us went our separate was you are still apart of our family you will never be forgotten. You are miss and you are loved. Semper Fi Brother"
Staff Sergeant Bobby Sherman of Spring Lake NC

"11 Jan 2009
Happy 26th Birthday. I miss you and love you more than you'll ever know."

"Happy 26th Birthday. I miss you and love you more than you'll ever know."

"January 12, 2009
To the family of Pfc. Juan Guadalupe Garza, Jr.:
Juan 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

"hey cus its me baby roy i just wanted to tell you i love you and i wanted to thank you for fighting for my freedom
i really miss you ur smile and the way we us to play around with each other i miss you love you"
baby roy of elmore ohio

"boy,
hey man, i came across this page and decided to show you some love. i enlisted earlier this year and i head 2 iraq in june '09. man bro, i think about the fun times we had growing up, you and i were cousins but we are and always will be brothers. you will never be forgotten bro and i know that when im down range, i have you watching over me! you and papa, i can see you guys fighting and picking at eachother up there... papa's prolly cutting some grass! lol well now that i know where to get at you bro, ima be dropping by more often. talk to you later bro..."
Rodney Garza of Fort Drum, NY

"hey cuz its me baby roy i just got finshed with football i kown u saw all my plays my hits and my touchdown i made man the look on my dads face when i did it. it was fun i just wunt u to know i will always love u cuz and i will never for get u much love cuz"
baby roy of elmore Ohio

"You came to live with us when I was 2 months old. You made me laugh all of the time. When you told me you were leaving for boot camp, I told you not to go. I remember when you called when you were on your way to Iraq. I sang American Soldier by the Dixie Chicks to you on the phone. Next thing I knew I found out that you died. I was only five so I did not understand the meaning of death. Now I am ten. I loved you soooo much and I still do. My thoughts of you will never end. I miss you so much! Love your little cousin, Ashleigh"
Ashleigh B. of Petersburg, MI

"hey Boy
I Just wanted to tell that i really miss u so much and i've praying for u every night...well u been gone for like 5years and i've been thinking about u a lot.... thats all i have to say so bye Boy i love u lots....

Love Leeanna A.K.A Pinky"
Leeanna Cortez of Elmore Ohio

"Hey brother. Celebrated your life, heroism, commitment to your fellow Marines and family this evening with many Marines that were in the platoon. It's been 5 years and not a day has gone by that I haven't thanked God for having the opportunity to get to know and serve with you. We laughed tonight about the day that we sent you down to Commando to call home and you came back like Santa Claus with bags and bags of candy for everyone. As we all got back from training in the desert all day, the skittles, snickers and everything else brought lots of smiles. Just this simple act speaks volumes about you and what you were all about. Selfless. You could have done many other things in Commando instead of taking care of the platoon. Not you though brother. Friends, brothers, Marines, TEAM always before self. I could go on talking about you and your heroism after we crossed the border. Truly an honor and privilege to fight and serve with you. An American hero in every sense of the word. Semper Fi!"

"I am a corpsman who served in a fleet hospital in iraq. this fallen hero came through our facility and I helped carry him to the morgue, to hand him over to god. i just want his family to know and those of his unit, that he lives on, i have a dogtag tattoed on me in his memory, though i never knew him, i remember his name and will for the rest of my life, he has forever touched my life and i can only imagine the impact of those who had the priveledge of sharing his life with, doc"
chris of des moines, ia

"I had the privilige to work with Juan at Wendys for quite a long time. We had some of the best times together closing down the store and being crazy. Shadow boxing, lockin people in the freezer, food fights after we closed, going to big boys after we finally got done cleaning at 4am. The memories are endless. Such a basic job, but when you have people like Juan, the most tedious things in life can be the best and most cherishable.
We all still think about you and talk about you whenever a couple of us get together and catch up. It's always laughs about the goodtimes followed by sadness. You were a great kid and I still remember to this day when you came home from basic and how proud you were to have made it and really turned your life around. It's been almost five years now and it still destroys me that it had to happen to you. I will soon be leaving for deployment to Iraq this summer so please watch over all of us. It's our job, it's our lives, it's what we do in the military and you gave the ultimate sacrifice for every single person in this country. Your a hero Juan...one that will never be forgotten. You touched so many people in the short time you were with us and your example will continue to touch your friends and family lives now that you are gone. We all love you and will see you someday in heaven. You made it boy! You became the man you strived for and i'm so proud to call you my friend. Love you man.

RIP Juan"
A1C Phil Roe, USAF of Ida, MI/ Tyndall AFB, FL

"January 6, 2008
To the family of Pfc. Juan Guadalupe Garza, Jr.:
Juan gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"Happy Birthday brother! At the Birthday Ball last night, we spoke about you, your heroism, and how grateful we are for all that you've done for us. Semper Fidelis! Capt Scott Cuomo"

"IT'S ME AGAIN AND I KNOW IT'S ALREADY BEEN OVER 4 YRS THAT YOU LEFT US BUT IT FEELS LIKE YESTERDAY. I AM SURE YOU ARE WATCHING OVER EVERYONE BUT I REALLY WISH YOU WERE HERE SO YOU CAN SEE MY CHILDREN. I KNOW YOU'D LOVE THEM. YOU WERE GREAT WITH KIDS. I REMEMBER ALOT OF THINGS WE DID AND SOMETIMES I'LL BE DRIVING AND SEE A CAR LIKE YOURS AND A SMILE SUDDENLY APPEARS. I WISH I COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND SPEND MORE TIME WITH YOU. I REMEMBER ONE TIME WE WERE GOING OUT IT WAS YOU,ME AND IRMA AND WE LEFT YOUR APARTMENT IN A HURRY. WE TURNED ON TO SUNSHINE STRIP AND SAW YOUR MOM'S TRUCK GOING THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION SO YOU DID A U TURN AND WENT BACK TO THE APARMENTS. I REMEMBER YOUR MOM GOT UPSET BECAUSE SHE SAW WHAT YOU HAD DONE BUT THE REASON SHE GOT UPSET WAS BECAUSE WE WERE WITH YOU. SHE ALWAYS TAUGHT YOU TO HOLD LADIES HIGH AND HAVE UPMOST RESPECT FOR THEM.I CAN JUST CLOSE MY EYES AND SEE YOUR FACE. I WISH I COULD REMEMBER YOUR VOICE AS MUCH AS I REMEMBER YOUR SMILE. WE HAD ALOT OF LAUGHS TOGETHER. YOU ALWAYS MADE EVERYONE LAUGH. THANK YOU FOR THAT. I HOLD YOU CLOSE TO MY HEART AND THE DAY I SEE YOU AGAIN I WILL MAKE SURE TO THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU DID AND ARE STILL DOING! YOU MAY NOT BE PHYSICALY HERE BUT YOU CAN STILL MAKE MY HEART SMILE WITH OUR MEMORIES! GOD BLESS YOU!"
MICHELLE LIMON of HARLINGEN,TEXAS

"Juan,
I would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"God bless this Soldiers family and may God reap the rewards of this Brave young mans company.. I am an American, I cherish our Soldiers who keep me free. My prayers and unconditional thanks goes to you and yours"
Ron DeMill of Sandy, Utah U.S.A.

"I was with Juan the moment he died at 0830 on April 8, 2003 in the back of my ambulance. I just want to let the family and friends of Juan know that he died in peace and did not suffer. Myself along with two corpsman worked on him briefly but realized he was in God's hands after a short period of time. I want to let you know that we prayed over his body in silence in the back of our amublance and thanked him for sacrificing his life for our Country. We placed an American Flag over his body before transporting him to the awaiting casevac helicopter. I will never forget that morning and want you to know that I think of him just about everyday. His death constantly reinforces how grateful I am for the freedoms he died fighting for. I love him for that. I want his wife and family to know that I think and pray for them often and hope they can find peace after such a tremendous loss. God bless you all."
LT Sean Breen, DO USNR of Irvine, California

"Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave. --Thucydides--

Juan, you are not forgotten! God Bless and Semper Fi."
Major Paul Gomez of Virginia

"Guedo.. I miss you all the time. When i heard about you getting shot, i just couldnt beleive it. I couldnt beleive it because you were so good at what you did, because you had the heart and desire to be the best, and because you were one of my best friends. I stop by and visit you sometimes, and its good to know that you are with God today. I am so proud to say that we were friends, and that you are a hero. I know that you have given the most, but rest assured it is for the best, and hasn;t been forgotten. I miss ya buddy,I remember when you first came to our church, and how crazy you were! haha i remember watching you grow into a mature christian man, i remember the last time i talked to you, and you were in bootcamp still. you made a phone call and talked to me and my dad. We both miss you man. I wish you were here.
Forever your brother,"
Craig Hogan of Temperance , Michigan

"boy..

hey boy i miss u and love u...we went to see u on ur birthday i hope u liked ur balloons me and aunt judy got u..man i cant believe it is going on 4 years i just cant wait to see u again..i hope u and grandma are doing good plz watch over her boy..grandma passing away didnt hurt me as much as i thought it would because i knew she was gunna be with u...well love you so much boy see you soon..

love your cousin
laura"
laura cortez of fremont ohio

"It is going on 4 years now since my world was twisted upside down. You would have been 24 this year, in just a couple days. I still think about you often, and remember your wonderfull smile. I felt lost for so long after you left. I like to believe God has a purpose for all of us. You mission here was complete and He needed you home and I'm comforted by that now. I know you are with Him and living in His glory. I still miss you and love you for you will always hold a place in my heart. I want you to know that I am OK. I have found love again, and comfort and I can honestly say that I am very very happy. It took some time to get my life back in order but I have and with the help of God I have acomplished many things. I know you would be proud of me, and I know you would be happy for me. Thank you for serving and for your ultimate sacrifice. Thank you for your love, laughter, and smile. I will always cherish our memories!"
love your wife

"It doesnt seem that long ago when you, me, and the other little mexican used to sing Garden Grove getting into the track. We had a few good times and one of the worst experiences of my life. I wouldnt take it back and would do it again in a heartbeat if it meant meeting another person of your quality. You were a brother to those that didnt even deserve your love. I ask God for understanding to help me see that you are gone for a reason. I guess it is really not my place to question, but accept. I yearn to see you again brother; but not yet. I know that I am still here for a reason. I promise you that I will seek it out, and attack it full force, because you would want no less for me.

I will always love you and keep you in my heart my brother, from now until the end of my days.

Semper Fi and God speed comfort to your family!

Love always,"
Charles King of Winston Salem, NC

"I'm your father's cousin out of Brownsville, Texas. He went by my dad's house the other day and I just happened to be there when he drove up. Grief stricken, we hugged and I told him how sorry I felt for not to have gotten to know you better. Needless to say I'm damn proud to be related to you Juan. My dad tells me that your father goes by the house quite often. I took my two boys to the new Memorial Park just finished here in Brownsville and made mention of you Juan. Their first words out of their mouths were "He's a Hero Papi". I keep you and your family in my prayers."
Ruben Garza of Brownsville, Texas

"Hey Juan!! I know you can read this. You never like to see anyone with a frown on their face. And if they had one you would be the first to fix that problem. Everyone loved you in high school, how could we not. Always making everyone laugh never excluding anyone. You worked very hard to get where you were and we are all VERY proud of you. We will never forget you and what you did for our country to keep all of us safe. As for all of the family, your wife and all of your friends out there. God bless each and every one of you, you are all in my prayers and Juan loved to smile so the best thing for everyone to do is stay strong and smile for him, he loved to see people smile. He was a very strong young man and a very good friend. And I know he is looking over each and every family member of his (including Marines) and keeping them as safe as he can. I just hope I am lucky enough to have him help my husband (who is reenlisting in the USMC) through all of his trials and bumps in the road to, and to be there to put a smile on his face at the times he thinks he can't smile anymore. We love you Juan god bless, I'm honored to have known suck a wonderful and loving young man."
Erin Rowe of Petersburg, MI

"Juan, It's been three years, and I still think and talk about you all the time. I sing your praise on an almost daily basis when I instruct our nation's next generation of Marine officers. You are a true hero in every sense of the word. I was truly blessed to have the opportunity to serve with you and will be forever grateful for all that you did for the platoon, Corps and country. Miss you brother. Semper Fi, Capt Cuomo"

"boy man i cant believe its been 3 years today i still miss and luv you just as much and even more...
words cannot express the love and pride we feel for you. you have touched our hearts in so many ways,the perious memories we have all shared with you will be entched in out hearts for eternity

love you always juan"
laura of fremont ohio

"Juan i know u dont know me but u knew my sister and my mom but i know the song that i am doing called " i belive" is the song they played for u and me and my sister desided that it would be a good idea to show everyone that u are still with us and i am going to try to show that through dancing and i hope u like what u see and even tho i didnt know you i feel like when i dance to that song that i am dancing with you and every time that i hear it i just want to cry becuase of the pain that i saw on everyones faces when we first got the new but i hope when u look down when i dance this u will like it! I miss you!"
Elissa Lawrence of toledo, ohio

"Juan I miss you so much and it was so hard for me to deal with the fact that I would never see you in person ever again. It has taken me a long time but I have learn to deal with it and I relized that I will see you again in heaven some day. My sister is doing a dance solo for her dance compettion and we are dedacating it to you! I hope that you like it. I want you to know that I love you so much and I will see you in heaven. God bless
p.s I do believe that you are here with me during the hard times and also the good ones."
Desiree Lawrence of Toledo OH

"Juan, this is the third time since you've been gone that your face and your name has crossed my path. I saw the article regarding your death in our local newspaper, and to see your face, a young man gone so soon in life was so hard for me to take and yet I never knew you.

An organization did a display of boots on our county courthouse lawn of all the fallen heroes, and of all the many pairs of boots there I found myself standing in front of a pair with your name on them. I cried, was so dumbfounded of all the boots representing how many soldiers, I see yours.

And again today I see your face, and it still hurts my heart for you, your family and friends.

You and your family are in my prayers, as well as all the others. Thank you, Juan."
D. Stanley of Toledo, Ohio

"Hey brother, It's me Richard. This past Memorial Day you know that we had a drink together. Every time I hear about the war, I remember you. You were an awesome friend, and me and the guys(Harvey, Michael, Bobby, Steve, David) always have a drink to and for you. May you always rest in peace brother. SEMPER FIDELIS and thank you from the bottom of my heart."
Richard Hernandez of Harlingen, TX

"HEY JUAN IT'S ME AGAIN! I MISS YOU AND I CAN'T BELEIVE THAT YOU'VE BEEN GONE FOR TWO YRS ALREADY. I KNOW YOUR IN HEAVEN AND I KNOW ONE DAY I WILL SEE YOU AGAIN. WORDS REALLY CAN'T EXPRESS WHAT I FEEL FOR YOU. LIKE IRMA SAID YOU WERE LIKE A BROTHER TO US. WE HAVE VERY GOOD MEMORIES OF YOU AND I DON'T CARE WHAT ANYONE SAYS YOU WERE A GREAT GUY. WE ALWAYS HAD AN ADVENTURE WHEN THE THREE OF US WERE TOGETHER. THESE ARE THE MEMORIES THAT WILL KEEP YOU ALIVE IN MY HEART ALWAYS. TILL WE MEET AGAIN, PEACE AND LOVE.

AS FOR MOM, KEEP YOUR SPIRITS HIGH. I KNOW YOUR PROUD OF YOUR SON. YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARE ALWAYS IN MY PRAYERS."
MICHELLE LIMON of HARLINGEN,TX

"Hey bud, my thoughts go out to you, your family, and your wife on a daily basis. You are truly missed and your warrior spirit will never die. I will never forget the long days on ship and the cold nights on the way to Baghdad, whenever things would get stressful or everyone was losing motivation, you were always there to say something or do something to bring us all back up, even if it was hit Burns in the nose...you know I had your back on that one...he got what he had coming. You were a real fighter Garza, there are not a lot of Marines like you. You will never be forgotten brother.
God Speed
Semper Fidelis
Your Squad Leader"
Former Sgt Zachary D. Lott of Mission Viejo, CA

"I met PFC Garza my senior year through his sister venessa while working at CICI's pizza in Harlingen TX. He was a very nice guy and hard worker. Even though we were just co workers at the time, we now share a deeper bond, we served our country! I just want to thank GOD because I got to meet this hero. To his family, you will all be in my prayers."
SGT Sanchez of FT Huachuca, AZ

"From a former member of 1/4 WPNS Co Dragons Plt, May you be resting in the arms of the lord Juan. Your sacrifice was not in vain. I am grateful for your service and sacrifice. To the family of this marine, Your loss is shared. You are not alone. Your son will be in my prayers."
Ramon Camuy of Los Angeles, Ca

"I didn't know Juan at all. My brother worked with him at Wendy's. But, I know him a different way. I was in the office the day we got the news. And, all the arrangements, there were so many. I luckily wasn't the one to deliver the news to his aunt. I don't think I could have handled it. But, I did drive by her house just before Gunny K and Cpl K showed up. I live a mile and a half from there. Juan's death really shook me up for awhile. I still think about him at least twice a month. I was one of the Marines in his funeral on Good Friday. After the funeral, a bunch of us Marines went for a drink to salute Juan. He will definately be remembered, and missed.

Also, to the family. I have driven by his grave a few times. The headstone is the most beautiful one I have ever seen."
Sgt. Callie M. Orten-Ortega of Temperance, MI

"Juan was married to my best friend Casey. When i met Juan I instantly fell in love with him. He was a great guy. I love you Juan! You are my Hangel."
Ann Miller of LaSalle, Michigan

"I knew Juan but I knew him more as Boy. I can remember when we were picking cherries on some farm in rural Ohio, when suddenly we were caught in a thunder storm. I can remember Boy running under the trees with his cherry pints towards the cherry stand. I also remember locking him up in restroom in Ohio, and never once did I ever think that this young thin boy would become a HERO for our country. He gave his life so that others can have one, he lost his youth so that others may have one, he gave it all for our country. LONG LIVE JUAN GARZA JR. I will never forget you Boy. Im sure you are with Jesus in Heaven hope to see you soon Boy.

Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me

Psa 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever."
FIRE FIGHTER FOR CHRIST of Ohio

"I proudly wear the name of Juan Guadalupe Garza Jr on my honor bracelet may his honor live forever"
Emogene of Texarkana,Texas

"I am one of Juan cousin. I still remember when we went to Texas for christmas see are family. Juan was so happy to see his big sister and his little borther there was happy to see him for christmas.we always have lots of fun together in texas we play a lots of games. but when we left from Texas we were sad to leaving from there every boby was cryign because we were leaving.
But i really remember when my dad was stoping for gas and we left Juan there so we have to go back and get him it was funny he think's it was funny to. Juan i really miss you and love you 4
ever and always i'll always remember you in my heart. i love you Juan G.Garza"
Pinky Coretz of fremont Ohio

"I am one of Juan cousin. I still remember when we went to Texas for christmas see are family. Juan was so happy to see his big sister and his little borther there was happy to see him for christmas.we always have lots of fun together in texas we play a lots of games. but when we left from Texas we were sad to leaving from there every boby was cryign because we were leaving.
But i really remember when my dad was sotping for gas and we left Juan there so we have to go back and get him it was funny he think's it was funny to. Juan i really miss you and love you 4
ever and always i'll always remember you in my heart. i love you Juan G.Garza"
Pinky Coretz of fremont Ohio

"I still remember the days when we younger. When we use to play together, go to school together and get in trouble together. Those are the days i will never forget. Growing up with you was so much fun. I thank you for begin there for me. There is not a day that goes by that i dont think about you. You always put a smile on our faces with the funny things you would say! I miss you Boy!"
Cousin Nora of Fremont, Ohio

"Ill never forget that night, cold and shivering underneth a poncho liner with juan...and the time on ship when PFC Burns said a little more than he should have. My heart is with you, your wife and family juan. RIP my brother"
LCpl Jesse Campbell Bravo Co 1st PLT of Camp Pendleton CA

"To the Family or Pfc Juan G. Garza, Jr. and Juan himself,

I am very much like Juan. I had the dream to become a Marine ever since i was a little boy. I never knew Juan, though i am sure i saw him before at Wendy's. I had the same dream, i was 140 lbs. over weight, i had to make the commitment to my self to lose that weight to be a United States Marine so i did in six months, some people say that is honorable, courageous, motivating, whatever. What you did brother is more honorable and courageous than anything i could ever do. Juan even though i never knew you, you are in my heart and prayers every single day. I salute you every night before i go to sleep, i feel you are with me sometimes, i hope so. You are one damn fine Marine. I am sorry for your families loss for no loss of the stature of a man like you can be just, for any reason. You made this world a better place, and i feel you still do! Juan, I hope i get to meet you one day and Semper Fi, you understand the meaning to the fullest Devil Dog.

Semper fi,
Poolee McKinney
USMC"
John McKinney of temperance,mi/USA

"It was a regular night, watching the Nightline at the end of April. Your son's face... So young... With so many other young faces... Maybe because your family lives in MI I remembered your child. My heart ached. I thought of you so many times. I just found this website and I just had to write you a message. I feel so dumb. I don't know what to say now. I am really sorry for your loss. I wish there was something I could do, something I could say that will make all this go away. I am a mother of a soldier myself. My son is getting ready for his second deployment to Iraq. Please keep him in your prayers. My heart goes out to you. Your son is now with God. I'm sure there is a special place in heaven for people like your son. He will always be a hero for all of us.
Sincere condolences, Adriana Juhasz."
adriana juhasz of grosse pointe woods/MI

"To the family of Juan,
Your son was a part of one of the closest families there will ever be, The United States Marine Corps. Thank you for giving us such a son, one that would be so courageous as to fight for the freedom of my children and my family that he nor you will ever meet or know.
Semper Fi and God Bless"
Kelley of Haslett Michigan

"I HAD THE PRIVELAGE OF KNOWING JUAN FOR ALONG TIME , ALL HIS LIFE TO BE EXACT .HE WAS THE MOST LOVEING CAREING PERSON IVE KNOWN AN THERE ISINT A DAY GOES BY THAT I DONT THINK OF HIM , THERE WAS NO QUIT IN HIM, HE GAVE ME AND MY FAMILY WONDERFUL MEMORYS . MY KIDS STILL THINK OF HIM EVERY DAY. THEY WERE DEVASTATED WHEN THEY FOUND OUT ABOUT HIS DEATH. YOU SEE WHEN JUAN WAS AROUND ME AND MY CHILDREN HE ALWAYS MADE THEM LAUGH AN WOULD SPEND HOURS PLAYING MY CHIDREN MOSTLY GIVEN THEM CHICKEN WINGS. JUAN WAS THE KIND OF PERSON YOU WANT TO BRING HOME, AN MEET YOUR PARENTS.DONT GET ME WRONG ,JUAN HAD HIS FALTS BUT WOULD ALWAYS OVERCOME THEM.IWAS THERE WHEN HE GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL AN I WAS THERE WHEN HE BECAME A US MARINE ... HE WAS SO PROUD OF HIS ACOMPLESHMENTS , WE WERE TO PICK HIM UP FROM BOOT CAMP ON SEPT 27 IT WAS AN HONER TO BE THERE I WAS SO PROUD OF THAT YOUNG MAN. JUAN DIDNT ASK MUCH IN LIFE . ONLY A CHANCE TO PROVE HIMSELF AN HE DID. SOME PEOPLE SPEND A LIFETIME WANDERING IF THEY WOULD MAKE A DIFFERANCE ,JUAN DIDNT HAVE THAT PROBLEM . HE OVERCAME A TROUBLED CHIDHOOD AN BECAME A US MARINE . SOMETHING THAT ME MYSELF ALWAYS WANTED TO BE BUT WASENT MAN ENOUGH TO DO SO.IN AWAY HE LIVED MY DREAM.I STILL GO TOTHE CEMETARY AN SEE HIM. ITS HARD LETTING GO . IKNOW HES WATCHING OVER ME AN MY FAMILY. THANK YOU JUAN; YOU MADE A DIFFERANCE. SEMPER FI"
MGB of TEMPERANCE MI

"It was April 2003, and I was supposed to go on a routine mail run. Delivering mail from a Kuwaiti Base to an Iraqi base aboard a helicopter. When a sand storm delayed our progress, our mission changed. When it was clear for take off, we were instructed to detour and perform a casualty evacuation. The details are veg as far as our exact location in Iraq, but the moment for me is unforgetable. As my fellow Marines carried this fallen hero's body into our helo, and placed him at my feet,I became uneasy. I tried to maintain composure, for it was typical for a woman to become freakish in a situation like this. I kept my poker face but still feeling a bit frightened. I then began to rationalize and remind myself that this is my fellow Marine...my brother. He fought for our country made the final sacrafice, and is going home for his burial. So many things crossed my mind as I stared at him. I wondered who he was, how he died, do his parents know, what was he like, where was he from, how old is he. I knew nothing of this Marine, I questioned whether it was my own husband under that black bag. I then asked a Marine who had his information, what his name was. He said "PFC Garza." We dropped PFC Garza off at another base while our aircraft was being maintenanced. From there he was transported somewhere else...home I hope. When I got back to Kuwait, I did a little research to find out who he was, when I learned how young he was, my heart sank even more. What a shame, what a loss. I still think about PFC Garza often and wonder what happened to his family and how I wish I could tell them that I wanted to help him, but it was too late. He had been gone for some time before my encounter. I pray for him and his family often and I still wonder what he was like. When I hear about more Marines and soldiers dying out there, all I can think of is my personal experience with a PFC Garza. And it sure does hit home. May God be with him now and always. His death has had a huge impact on my life, more than I can express. Thank you,
Sgt Gonzales
USMC
jessica.gonzales@att.net"
Jessica M. Gonzales of Artesia, CA

"Mary when I heard of your son's tragedy I thought about you all the time. I can't imagine the way you felt when you got the news. I pray that God will give the strength to go on in life. You are always in my prayers. I see your son's picture all the time at Wal-Mart in San Benito, Texas. God bless you and your family."
Leo Garcia of Los Fresnos, TX/USA

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

"PURPLE HEART

Only the strong in this world survive...
But sometimes strong just isn't enough.
There are those precious few in esteemed company
Who can call just about any man's bluff.

When war tries to steal the definition
Of what exactly it means to survive,
There are some who are stronger than most -
With more than their share of drive.

We all have our crises to solve each day;
Many stumble at the first prick of pain.
But others possess a disrespect for fear;
To them it's all the same.

There are some so brave that we would question
Their motive in facing their fate.
Catapulting their bodies into high suspense,
Attracting hostile fire as the bait.

Just think of the soldiers out in the field
Knowing hope is all but gone,
Yet fighting straight up, head-to-head
While the war gruesomely rages on.

Or the mercenary who steps up front in line
Just to save his comrade-in-arms;
Never yielding his uncommon valor
To the onslaught of bullets-in-storm.

Or he may have weathered the nasty attack,
And, in honor, tell all his story.
Crippled in body and a warrior in spirit,
He may receive his due in glory.

He is of a different breed, this man;
He's a cheerful soul, I'm positive.
In bravery he may indeed know how to die,
But he also knows how to live!

THANK YOU, JUAN, FOR THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE!"
HAILE NKRUMAH GAULT of Port Jefferson Station, NY

"It brought a tear to my eye to see all of the well wishes to Juan's, or as his friends knew him "Guido", family. I was fortunate enough to have gone to high school with Juan, as well as play sports with him. Never did you see a frown on his face. For that matter you never saw a frown on anyone's face that was around him. He made sure of that. Without fail everytime that Juan saw me, "How's it going big guy, is there anything that I can do for you big guy," would be asked. He was always a brave person, never afraid to try anything. He loved his friends and his country. He will be missed. Thank you Juan and the unfortunate too many like you for your sacrifices."
Dale Bagby of Petersburg, MI

"We Will NEVER FORGET !"
Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Juan, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

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

At the rising of the sun and at its going down, We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of Winter, We remember them.
At the opening of buds and in the rebirth of Spring, We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of Summer, We remember them.
At the rustling of leaves and the beauty of Autumn, We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends, We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
Rest in Peace Dear Soldier!! We will NEVER FORGET!"
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN (4/8/04)

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

"I had THE HONOR of sewing the quilt for Juan...I am just 1 of many who contributed to the quilt sending our LOVE & Prayers & trying to bring some comfort to those who Juan left behind.Our Love will always be with Juan & his Loved ones.Home of the free because of Juan"s bravery & sacrifice! He's everybody's ANGEL now;-)"
Maryann Henning of Zilwaukee Michigan

"Juan was a very good friend of mine while we attended school together at Harlingen High School. We were both in ROTC and I am very good friends with his common law wife. He was a very sweet guy and I grew to care for him and respect him in only a few months. No wonder my friend loved him so much. It's sad to know that such a good person was lost at war, he was a great friend and I see him as a brother and it is hard to let him go. You will always be in my heart Boy and thank you for all you have done for us."
Irma Saldana of Harlingen, Texas

"Juan was a very good friend of mine while we attended school together at Harlingen High School. We were both in ROTC and I am very good friends with his common law wife. He was a very sweet guy and I grew to care for him and respect him in only a few months. No wonder my friend loved him so much. It's sad to know that such a good person was lost at war, he was a great friend and I see him as a brother and it is hard to let him go."
Irma Saldana of Harlingen, Texas

"Although I didn't know him, I drove over an hour to attend his funeral.

He and his wife's ages are the same as my mom and dad's during his tour in Vietnam. So young."
Stephen of Deaborn, MI

"How truly awesome it was to be at Juan's memorial. What a great way to remember such a great person. Juan, I think about you all the time and that infectious smile. You always did put a smile on my face. I am so glad you got to live your dream and help make sure I can live mine. God Bless!"

"Thank you for your courage and sacrifice, for being there for us."
LT Eduardo Gomez of Sicily, Italy

"Thank you Juan Garza, Jr., 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

"As a Lieutenant who had the privelage of serving with PFC Garza, I would like to express my sorrow upon behalf of the entire 1st Battalion 4th Marines. The day he died was a sad one for all of us."
of Carlsbad, CA

"Juan was a great person even tho I didnt know him that well or that long! I met him by his cousin. Everytime I seen him he was always smiling! R.I.P Juan!"
ashley of Fremont,Ohio

"I didn't know juan all that well but he was a great person and always smiling! Juan you are a hero! Thanks a lot for fighting for all them people you don't even know! R.I.P!"

"Juan... I've known you since you came to visit Judy and I was there. You were always the kind and generous person and I surely won't forget that in you. You know I thought of you as family. I miss you deeply. R.I.P Boy!"
Jessica Reyes of Fremont, OH

"I'm another cousin of juan. Juan was a good kid to around with he was always nice to people and had a great smile he always knew how to make people happy every one loved him. Juan i miss you so much and love you very much."
marissa of McComb Oh USA

"I'am the cousin of Pfc Juan Graza. Juan i will never forget those times we shared some where bad and some where good. i think about you every day hoping that i get to see again. we love you and miss you alot boy. love your cuzin lala"
laura cortez of deshler Oh U.S

"I'am the cosuin of Pfc Juan Graza. Juan i will never forget those times we shared some where bad and some where good. i think about you every day hoping that i get to see again. we love you and miss you alot boy. love your cuzin lala"
laura cortez of deshler Oh U.S

"I was a friend of Juan and he will always be in my heart. I will never forget the way he made me laugh when I was down or needed a shoulder to cry on. I remember the days he would pick me up to go see a movie or to take me to school. He was a great guy I will never forget and when I see him in heaven I'll tell him I love him with all my heart for defending our country!!"
Michelle Limon of Harlingen, Texas

"The bravery and courage with which Juan fought for this country is a testiment of the kind of influence his loved ones (friends, family,teachers, mentors, etc) have had on his life. Thank you for raising a young man who was willing. Though your sorrow and grief will be long, I know it will not be forever and through it all you will not be alone."
Kim L of Wixom, MI USA

"We thank you for the sacrafice Juan made for us. Our hearts and prayers are with you during this time. Thank you Juan, May God keep you in His care."
Ken and Maritza Holley of Pembroke Pines, Florida

"To the family and friends of Pfc. Juan Garza, Jr.:
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 Juan 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 Pfc. Juan Garza, Jr.:
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 Juan, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera, of Powder Springs, Georgia

""For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." 1 Philippians 3:21
Thank you "BOY" for giving your life for our freedom. We will see you in heaven."
Raquel Guzmán of Bowling Green, Ohio

"RIP Brave One.."
The Taylors, USMC of NC

"To Juan Garza Jr. - I was sad to hear of this. I recall playing with him while in Ohio he was always happy and willing to help other people. You will be missed! "May The Lord be With His Loved Ones"."
Candelario Guzmán Jr. of Bowling Green, OH

"Thanks Juan, you are a true hero to us in Brownsville."
Michelle Sandoval of Brownsville, Texas

"For those who are rejoicing now, you have made the ultimate sacrifice. You will be remembered forever, and our appreciation will never cease to exist. Thank you Juan."
Jeff Honse of Petersburg, MI

"May God hold Juan in His loving arms where he finds peace. Thank you for your sacrifice."
Nancy of Ocala Fl

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