Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Cari A. Gasiewicz

28, of Depew, New York.
Gasiewicz died in Baqubah, Iraq, when two improvised explosive devices detonated near her convoy. She was assigned to the 202nd Military Intelligence Battalion, 513th Military Intelligence Brigade, Fort Gordon, Georgia. Died on December 4, 2004.

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""Thank you for your service and sacrafice. My condolences to your family and friends. Rest in Peace.""
Jeffrey K. Heck USAF 82-86 of Columbus, Ohio

"Cari,
I was lucky enough to meet you and be your roommate at Canisius College. One of the many things I learned from you is how to make a bunny cake! Every Easter I try to make a bunny cake in honor of you. Your bright smile and positive spirit will never be forgotten! Thank you for your service to our country. Rest in peace my friend..."
Nicole of Raleigh, NC

"To the family of:Cari A. Gasiewicz
I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief and you have my thoughts and prayers. SHe died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015.
Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga""

"Cari,

We got Osama Bin Laden today. I am so proud of our soldiers and proud of you for the service you gave our country. I wish you could be here to see the celebrations in the streets. Although we lost touch after high school, our childhood friendship has always been with me. In fact, I talk about you every year to my students. You are a hero of mine. R.I.P."
Michael Mazgajewski of Lancaster, NY

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Lest we forget."
David of London UK

"To Mrs. Gasiewicz

I will never forget."
Cheryl M. of Asheville, NC

"Never far from my mind, I owe my life to Cari. Never will I forget the sacrifice she made."
Elizabeth of Benson, AZ

"SGT Cari Gasiewicz
(Forever a Friend, Forever a Soldier)

Today we pay tribute to another fallen comrade, a bright and determined young sergeant, a friend to some, a companion to others, SGT Cari Gasiewicz. To me Cari was the epitome of soldering. She endured through the bad times and laughed through the good times. She carried her duties to fruition and labored to endure the same challenges as we. Cari took her job serious, displayed professional conduct daily and never failed to help when asked. I for one am dismayed and saddened at her loss. Cari stood for the good people of Iraq and helped the coalition and the Iraqi people to cleanup the insurgent activity around our FOB and throughout our AO. Cari’s responsibilities placed her in danger while performing her duties but she never waivered; she kept to the task until complete. She moved about our AO with certainty and determination and made each move count towards mission success. Cari was a leader and a follower. She was committed, determined, and decisive.
I knew Cari as a close friend but I first knew her as a soldier. Cari was a doer and a shaker while at the same time sympathetic to the freedom of the Iraqi people. Cari was determined to show others how this job must be done and she did just that. Her inner thoughts were her own but I can bet they were about the safety and future of her fellow soldiers and friends. Cari laid her life on the alter of her nation’s need, not by choice but by duty. By doing this Cari has become the noblest development of mankind, she is now forever in the image of her creator, “Jesus Christ”. It is truly sad to lose a friend and comrade on the battlefield and we have. Even though we will not see your smiling face each day Cari we know you look down from the heavenly father each day and whisper a prayer for those of us who remain.
Cari’s trial by fire has come and gone. Cari now abides with the angels of heaven and I am sure she waits for each of us. No greater love has any man than to lay down one’s life for their friends. Each of us here today can smile and say “what a soldier”. I will remember Cari Gasiewicz as a bright, energetic, happy young soldier who loved life, loved her friends, and her job. I weep for her family but not for her for she is in eternal glory. She has completed her final mission on earth and left a legacy for all of us. The cost of human freedom is worthy of such loss, but the loss of such life without human freedom is worthless. Cari’s gift to the freedom of Iraq was her life. Our gift to Cari is to complete the mission. Thank you, Cari, for your gift and your sacrifice on the alter of our nations need!
COL Robert F. Thomas
FOB Abu Ghraib, IZ
Commanding"
Robert F. Thomas of Jackson, MS

"November 30, 2008
To the family of Sgt. Cari A. Gasiewicz:
Cari 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

"Hi Cari,
Just thinking about you.... especially today since it is 9/11..., although I am always thinking about you... I know you are in heaven looking down on us.. We miss you so much!"
Joelle Reinheimer of Cheektowaga, New York

"I'll never forget the last time 1st Platoon, Fco 425th INF (ABR)(LRS) saw Cari. For three nights in a row she helped us move all of our gear and personal items to the LZ at Abu Ghraib so we could board Chinook's and finish our tour out doing missions up north. Three nights in a row she helped us load trucks that she acquired for us; two of those nights when the aircraft were diverted for a higher priority mission or due to weather, at well past midnight, she also helped us load our gear back up in the truck and return it to our quarters. She was more than happy to help us; this is Cari Gasiewcz. Several times a week she brought us fresh bread the Iraqi cooks at the prison made, she passed along vital intelligence that made our mission so much easier, it seemed as though she spent more time being an amazing friend to the men of 1st Platoon than she spent with her own company. Any given evening she wasn't working, you could find her in the Platoon HQ's, either assisting with intel or just relaxing, chatting and watching DVD's.

The men of 1st Platoon took the loss of Cari very hard; she was a great friend and is deeply missed."
1st Platoon, Fco 425th INF of Michigan

"I have started a profile for our fallen hero. It is viewable at http://army.togetherweserved.com/profile/11791. Cari worked for me Korea in 1999 and will not be forgotten."
Wendall Lawrence, CW3 (Ret) of Maryland

"Cari,

I still have one of the dog tags you wore your last day with us. I have carried it with me for almost four years, through several more deployments. I carry it in your honor. You sacrificed all, for your friends, there is no higher honor. You are missed by all who knew you. It was a pleasure serving with you and I will never forget the last thing you said to me before you rolled out on 04 December 2004. The image is with me and my children will know of your and your family's sacrifice."
David

"I miss you Cari, more then words could ever express. Thank you for the hot meal you had ready for us when we returned from a long and stressful convoy. Thank you for cheering me up when I was down. Thank you for going out of your way to ensure your fellow Soldiers were taken care of. Thank you for listening to me when I needed someone to confide in and making me feel as if I had a family. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of you and you will always be my heroine and my role model. God bless you and your family."
Rhonda of Martinez, GA USA

"SGT GAZIEWICZ helped the men of the 425 with fresh intel dumps given to us on a daily basis. She went way out of her way to give us life saving information. Information that we could not get from the normal channels. We worked for an Intell BN and a buck sgt had the 411 on what was going on. I wish there was some way to repay that which she had done. She will be missed and may those that she saved live on and honor her memory always."
1st SGT TERRENCE POPP COF 425 INF of DETROIT MICHIGAN

"Gasiewicz family,

Like several others, I met Cari(or "Gasz" as she was often called) at DLI. She was a singularly wonderful young woman who had a great sense of humor and smile for everyone. Everyone she met was better for it and she will be greatly missed. God Bless You All!"
MSG Matt O'Keefe of Tampa FL

"I was stationed with SGT Gasiewicz in the 202nd MI BN 513th Mi Bde.I enjoyed working with SGT Gasiewicz. SGT Gasiewicz always had a smile on face. I don't think she ever realized the effect she had on us all. She was always ready to give a helping hand. I will miss her dearly. I send my deepest regrets to her family for their loss.

SSG James Martin (Ret)"
James Martin of Tampa, Fl/USA

"Mr. & Mrs. Gasiewicz,

I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Kathleen Gasiewicz the day her daugher Cari graduated from the 97B10 Course at Fort Huachuca, AZ. Ma'am, I must tell you that I was deeply saddened when; as I sat in my office in the 501st MI Brigade, Seoul, South Korea and saw on television the scroll that had your daughters name on it. I was one of her instructors at Ft. Huachuca, and I was also the NCO who helped her through her Report Writing phase of the course. I remember Mrs. Gasiewicz thanking me for helping her daughter and it hurts me very deeply when I think of your sacrifice. I recently retuned to the US and encountered another former soldier who knew Cari and we talked about her. She will be missed by many, but by me especially, for I feel too often that even though I was doing my duty and preparing a soldier for her job as a CI Agent, I was failing the two of you by also preparing her for the type of combat missions that would one day claim her life. If not for me and other instructors, perhaps she would have left the military; returned back to you and taught English at a local college or high school. I am truly sorry for your loss and I needed to let you know that I grieved with you then and now! Something about losing a soldier just does something to you. She was at the school house and will always be a good soldier...it's just now she is soldiering for the Lord.

God Bless the both of you for giving the US Army your daughter to support and defend this nation!"
Derek L. Stalling, SFC(R), USA of Alexandria, VA, USA

"I knew Cari at Abu Ghraib and later at Camp Slayer. An absolutely wonderful young woman. That was clear to everybody. She made friends so easily and I'm proud to count myself as one. She was an adopted member of Co F (ABN)(LRS) 425 INF and losing her struck us hard. I have a very fond memory of several of us swimming at the pool at Slayer, just a relaxing lazy day full of small talk and laughter. God bless you and keep you, Cari."
Jeff "Doc" Johnson of Michigan

"I was Cari's roomate for 6 months in Iraq. She was a great friend and an inspiration to people, she was always smiling and laughing, even through the bad times. I miss her very much and think of her everyday. She was a great friend to many and touched all our lives. Cari, we miss you and love you very much! To Cari's family, I am very sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for raising such a beautiful and kind person. We will all be with her again someday. Watch over us Cari, we love you!"
Tara Duke of Fort Gordon, GA

"Your loved one was remembered on 27 May 2005 in Bicentennial Memorial Chapel General Protestant Worship Service in Fort Gordon, GA. His life and your sacrifice are not forgotten. Thank you. We are praying for you.
Chaplain (Major) Alva Ray Bennett"

"To the Family and Friends of Cari;
I, like many, got to meet Cari at DLI. It was my true privelage and she was always a good soldier and person. In this conflict, I have known a few to fall. I know that each person whose life she touched will feel a sense of loss. My prayers go out to her family."
Major Scott Ford of Waldorf Maryland

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

"I knew Cari in Iraq, and we got to be very good friends there. We spent as much time together as we could in our off time. I do really miss her, and I wear the bracelet she gave me every day. I hope, when I die, I go to the same place she is, so we can meet again."
Tony of Michigan

"Like Josh i met Cari at DLI, we two were like twins we were there so long and shared so many similar frustrations and dissappointments one of which being sharing an apartment. Cari and I had a long history of ups and downs, I am sorry to say we had been in a down period lately. I would share with you this quote that has helped me through so many losses of so many once and future friends. "There is no more noble fate that a man can endure then to put his own mortal body between his beloved home and war's desolation." Cari and I felt the same about our Army. My respects to you for your loss."
Luciana Spencer *Spence* of Wurzburg, Germany

"I also attended DLI with Cari. She was the quintessential optimist, both hoarding and distributing the minute joys of life whilst being dealt a raw hand. She was the one person with whom I could share a disappointment and come away with a personal story of unequaled disappointment and embarrassment that paled my situation. She truly was my friend in need. When I knew her, unfortunately, some situation existed in which she was unable to go to language classes. Instead she was placed in the thankless company orderly room. Instead of taking her frustration out on us poor soldiers, she turned that company’s orderly room into a Jiffy-Lube… a well oiled machine. She accompanied Pat, Scott, and me on a trip to see KISS during which she, Pat, and I took turns keeping Scott from engaging in any illicit activity. On another occasion she went with myself, Mark, Jon, Pat, Scott and Rebecca (forgive me if I forgot anyone) up to Lake Tahoe for Labor Day Weekend. I’ll never forget Cari and Rebecca imploring Scott to throw back the 2½ inch fish he had caught after our morning of futility. Finally Scott succumbed to the pressure but, unfortunately, the fish perished due to lack of underwater oxygen. Many more stories could be told and should be told, however none currently come to my recollection. I truly believe the best of times amongst friends occur during a semi-conscious state in which the pleasant memories are stored in safe keeping, only to be released during and after times like these.

She is the first sister (brother) that I personally knew to fall in this war against evil. It was a veritable shock to me. As a student of history and the history of warfare in particular, her sacrifice, though not the equivalency (nor given the opportunity of) Audie Murphy, Randy Shughart, or Gary Gordon, will most definitively not be forgotten. I know this will not be a comfort to her parents or her brother. But it helps the rest of us that simply said the words “So help me God”, during our oath, in that we have also pledged our lives in this great 200-plus year experiment we call America.

Paul… Kathleen… I don’t honestly know what to say to you in your time of sorrow and loss. This tragedy has taken the most ardent supporter of this great, ambitious endeavor by surprise and horror. As I related your precious daughter’s passing to my father, he related acquaintances’ experiences from growing up during the Viet-Nam War. I assured him as well as I assure you know that NO American Blood spilt by an American Soldier in any war was ever spilt in vain. There has never been no sacrifice too insignificant, no sacrifice too mundane, no sacrifice that could not move the most stoic man to tears for this wonderful land. Today, after a week upon hearing the ill tidings, was the first time I let my emotions pour out. I cried like a new-born: Damn those Idolatrous bastards!!! Damn those heretical fools!!! I cried like I had when God took my best friend from me when I was fourteen.

To summarize: Paul, Kathleen, your daughter did not die in vain. I know it probably seems insignificant and nothing I can say will change it, however, your daughter provided such a cause, an irresistible hope in the future, to more than provide for her absence. It was as if she taught us that “You must learn to be happy… content… for I will not always be with you” like Christ of old. May God bless you and keep you. May God cause His face to shine upon you. May God lift up His countenance upon you… and give you peace. Shalom"
Joshua D. Hall of Fayetteville, NC

"YOU WILL BE ALWAYS REMEMBERED CARI, always for your charisma, intelligence and your warm heart. You are more than a friend to me, you are my little sister. I was always able to talk to you about everything; from Arabic at DLI to problems with family and friends. You helped to make me a better soldier and a better human being. THANK YOU....."
FREDERICK CONNER of NEW ORLEANS, LA

"There are no words to express the sorrow we feel for your loss. May God bless you and help you through this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

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

"To the family of Cari Gasiewicz,
I knew Cari while at DLI. She was a friend to many. She was also a great troop who believed in serving her country. She will not be forgotten."
SSG Johnny Matherne of Fort Bragg

"Thank you Cari Gasiewicz, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Cari Gasiewicz:
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 Cari for the sacrifice she has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Cari Gasiewicz:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. She 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 Cari, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

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