Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Lance Cpl. Benjamin R. Gonzalez

23, of Los Angeles, California.
Gonzalez died due to hostile action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. Died on May 29, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Lance Cpl. Benjamin R. Gonzalez.

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"Missing you Benny! I will always remember and cherished the wonderful memories you left behind. Always in our hearts and never forgotten. Until we meet again. P.S. I know that you are watching over us, and I want you to know that your mom Anna loved you very much. We miss you!"
Martha A Flores of Arvin, CA

"May Jesus fill your homes with love and laughter once more. I pray that Jesus will restore your good memories of him and be able to endure the holiday season's that are approaching. Semper Fidelis USMC Vet"
Matthew of CORONA,CA

"Bro thank you for not letting me go ua
when we were with 3/5 lima co i still remember you talking me out of it and us eating on the pier at rubys in Oceanside and you talking me out of it and to this day i will never forget what you did for me again thank you bro"
of ohio

"my baby boy I miss u so much. you made me laugh when I was sad.You were part of me,even though your not here with you'll always be in my heart."
mother. Ana luisa vargas of Quartz Hill,Ca

"Wow it's been 9yrs my good friend Ben my las time I remember u last time we last met was when u came back from ur first tour u went to go see ms Serrano at Monterey hs I remember u usto tell me leave the army join the marines lol n we. See each other on the MONTEBELLO MALL by the raiders store u where with ur battle buddie n I was with mine all four with our uniforms proud n u approached us trying to look to see who was the army guys I guess to talk smak but when u seen who it was u gave me ur hand smiled n gave me a abrazo after that day u where telling me u couldn't sleep everyday cause the things u where gointhru after that u said good bye to me when I heard u got killed in action my hole world went in a stand still I was devastated me and others from school from Monterey HS and till this day every Memorial Day and Veterans Day mean a lot to me no matter what no one can take my love my memories that I have from u I wish sometimes ill trade places with u anytime I miss you brother in arms in GOD ur are in his hands and my heart goes to ur family never got the honor to meet but my heart goes to them again GOD SPEED "SIMPER FI""
David Diaz of East Los Angeles, CA/ U.S

"I could tell that you were special the first time we met. You made military service pleasant when it wasnt so much. You showed me how to fire a rocket then laughed at me how I did it. I own the Count of Monte Cristo DVD because you said it was good. It really is good! I will miss you forever Benny. I call you Benny cause thats what I heard you tell the girls what to call you."
HM3 Hudnall Derek "Doc Snoop" of Oakley, CA USA

"there are some overlooked poems that speak well and need to be brought forth for us all to enjoy , if i could reach lance Cpl Phillip Scoggins for permission to display 2 of his named "my dying brother" and "follow me"they are really up there with flanders fields and the gittelsohn poem of iwo jima, and i still cry sometimes when i read them ,please show them mr scoggins here or write me @ drummerblpmech@yahoo.com and i will submit them w/ your permission"
b powers of oklahoma city

"To the family of:Benjamin R. Gonzales
I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief and you have my thoughts and prayers. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015.
Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga"1-11-11"

"I love you brother and you are always in my heart you are my hero and my special guardian angel"
Your sis Liz of El Monte

"Its been almost 6 years and I think about the tragedy, and it fills me with emotions. I was one of the Marines that carried the casket to and from the funeral site. Even though i didn't know you personally, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE MY BROTHER!!!"
Sergeant Alfredo Guerra, USMC of Corona,California

"Gonzo my brother thank you for all you did for our country and The Marine Corps. Not a day goes by I don't think about you and take at least 30 seconds to thank you for what you did for our country. I was just looking at old pictures from the Marines and remember Blanco, Richards and you all coming off the 1st deployment man. I remember being your bunky and sharing our different walks of lives, driving around in the Neon. Brother thank you for what you've done for us and the country you'll never be forgotten. Semper Fi"
Christopher Lane of Ohio & California USA

"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

"Miss you Benny
You will always be in my heart, Love sharing my childhood with you, those wounderful and fun memories are forever in my heart.
Te Ama: Your Nanis!!!!!"
Nadey of Anaheim Ca.

"Miss you Benny
You will always be in my heart, Love sharing my chilhood with you, those wounderful and fun memories are forever in my heart.
Te Ama: Your Nanis!!!!!"
Nadey of Anaheim Ca.

"Benny, it's been 5 years since you passed away and I still think about you everyday! I wish you were here to see where I am in life now. You would be proud of me! I love you so much! And I know your watching over us!

Tu Prima Consentida,
Lupita"
Maria of Riverside

"I was part of CRC 1 with Gonzalez. He volunteered to go to Echo 2/4 with us. He knew Echo co. had suffered the most casualties in the battalion, and he still went. All he could tak about was the girl back home that he was going to marry as soon as he got back. He might be the most stand up man I have ever met. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about him. GOD Bless him."
Phillip Scoggins of Oklahoma City OK

"We want to say thank you to all the people who love and remember my son. Me and my family still miss benny so much, but we are very proud of what he has done for us and his country. Thank you for all your support in these 5 long years. Also for all the messages and consoling words."
Socorro Gonzalez Vega of Dallas Texas

"WELL BIG BROTHER I DONT UNDERSTAND STILL WHY GOD TAKES THE PEOPLE WE CARE FOR MORE I HONESTLY STILL REMEMBER THE TIME YOU WOULD COME TO TIJUANA AND WE WOULD GO TO THE BEACH ,AND ALL THE OTHER YOU WOULD TELL ME THAT YOU LOVED US SO MUCH .I MISS YOU SO MUCH THAT THERE THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPEND SENSE YOUR GONE ALL I NOW IS THET YOUR IN A BETTER PLACE AND THAT YOUR WATCHING OVER US. YOUR SISTER LA PELO DE ELOTE"
Stephanie M.Sanchez of Tijuana ,BC.MEXICO

"2/28/09

IT'S ALSO FIVE YEARS SINCE MY SON PASSED AWAY and i till can believe that i lost one of my angels.i think of the beautiful memories that we all had together. every time i hear cumbia i remember you and you making laugh ,but when you left the music stopped.
always missing you your mom"
ana luisa vargas of tijuana ,bc.MEXICO

"January 17, 2009
To the family of Lance Cpl. Benjamin R. Gonzalez:
Benjamin 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

"Gonzo...I remember the good times we had with Lima WPNS PLT of 3/5, times on the ship, times overseas, and the time in Iraq, we remember you always..."
HM2 "Doc" Reyes of El Paso, TX

"Thank you for protecting us."
Chris Maldonado of Austin, Texas

"To the family of Lcpl Benjamin "Gonzo" Gonzalez. I want you to know that there is not a day that goes by that i dont think about Gonzo. I served with him from the time he got to 3/5 until he left 3/5. He was one of the kindest and most giving young men I had ever meet and he will be missed greatly."
Cpl Swords, Johnny L of Ogdensburg NJ

"I HAVE THE GREATEST RESPECT 4 YOU...CUZ I KNOW U FOUGHT 4 ME....IT HURTS THAT YOUR GONE....THAX TO THE PEOPLE THAT BEEN POSITIVE TOWARDS MY COUSIN BENNY.....I DEARLY MISS HIM BUT WE KNOW HE'S IN A BETTER PLACE.....I LOVE YOU COUSIN AND YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.....WHEN I FALL UR GOING WITH ME BECAUSE I'M GOING TO HAVE YOU TATTED ON ME....I LOVE YOU COUSIN...."
CRYSTAL of EL MONTE, CA

"Benny, I still cry when I think of you. I'm sorry that I haven't gone to your grave, but I just can't bring myself to really face your death. I'm still waiting for you to call me. I still find it hard, even two and a half years after your premature death, to believe that you are gone. I don't think I'll ever really come to accept that you are gone and that you are never coming back. Just writing those words are hard for me. It's nearly impossible for me to think that we'll never again stroll through the Citadel, chatting and laughing. I am grateful for the beautiful memories of you that I hold deep in my heart. I still remember meeting you in leadership class back at Griffith. I think I still owe you five bucks for a USC vs. UCLA bet I lost to you. :) I love you Benny. Like many who have posted here, you touched my life in ways that no other has or ever will."
Alejandra M. of Chino, Ca. U.S.A.

"To the Gonzalez family, our prayers are with you. Benjamin Gonzalez you are a true hero!! Please watch over your brothers down here. you and all the Marines who have gave there life will never be forgotten."
SSGT. GUERRERO of Miramar

"Hey Ben,
I thank you for being the brave one in our family!!!! You have given us all a great gift (freedom). I thank the Lord for you and I ask him that he give all our family peace in our hearts. Your death has been very hard on us, but through God, we will overcome it. We love you sooooooo much and you will be in our hearts forever!!!!! WE MISS YOU VERY MUCH!!!!!!!
love ya,
Espy"
Espy Gonzalez-Alvarado of Mesquite, Tx.

"The Mt.Soledad Memorial Association, in coordinated efforts with American Legion Post 275 of La Jolla, California, is conducting a Honor Ceremony on August 26th,2006 to recognize the dedicated service of LCpl Benjamin Gonzalez and the other 20 Marines that paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Post 275 has sponsored the manufacture of 2 granite plaques to be placed at the Mt.Soledad Veterans Memorial in La Jolla, CA.

We are very saddened by this tragedy; our Memorial will honor these brave Marines and the memory of Echo Co.2/4.
For additional information and photos of our memorial please log onto www.soledadmemorial.com
We would be deeply appreciative if ALL interested in attending the ceremony could call Joanie at 858-459-2314 (e-mail:Joaniem7225@soledadmemorial.com) or Steve Marrietti at 858-705-2214.
THANK YOU and GOD BLESS!"
Joanie Miyashiro-Brennan of San Diego,CA/USA

"I received a memorial hero bracelet (purchased from http://www.herobracelets.org) bearing the name of Lance Cpl. Gonzalez. My condolences go out to his family, as well as my gratitude to Benjamin himself for serving his country dutifully in these confusing and trying times. From what I've read on this page, he was a great man, and it's always a terrible thing to lose a great man; however, it is because of people like him that we are able to continue living the lives that we do each and every day. Thank you, Mr. Gonzalez, for your service to the country, and more importantly, for touching the lives of those who knew you in what seems to have been a very beautiful way."
Lane Stroud of Little Rock, Arkansas

"I didn,t know you sir but thank you for being a soldier.
Although you died for America you also died for the people of England, and our soldiers die for the people of America in a war that was forced upon us by religius fanatics. We have a bond in life and death thank you America for being our alies god bless you sir and god bless your family because they have to live with a great loss.
Thanks to all you soldiers sailers and airman for your sacrifices."
Arthur Sipthorpe of GRAYS ESSEX UK

"Benny,
I miss you so much, you were really a great cousin, just know that the legacy you left behind will never be forgotten."
marleni of La Puente

"America thanks you for your sacrifice and continues to honor the name of Benjamin Gonzalez. America is better, because Gonzo served, fought, and died. "We fight them here (Iraq), so that you don't have to fear them there(USA).""
1Lt. Ray Orr of San Angelo, Texas (Goodfellow, AFB)

"Benny! You are being missed soo much! i miss you callin me and telling me that your coming over! im iss you soo much! i love you!

Tu Prima Consentida...
Maria"
Maria of Riverside

"I am sorry for your loss. I just wanted to say the El Monte Police Department and a fellow Marine wants to say, stay strong and GOD Bless. Believe in GOD and all things happen. He might not be here in person, but he is in soul. He will never be forgoten. With love, from the El Monte Police Department."
El Monte Police Department of El Monte, Ca. USA

"I Love you and miss you to me your not gone your in my heart. Your Sis"
Elizabeth Lopez of El Monte Ca

"my brother benjamin was and allways will be a hero in my heart"
stephanie his lil sister of temecula ,ca, u.s.a.

"This goes to the friends and Family of "Ganzo",

I met him through a phone call I received, he was calling me to set up an appointment so I can get some information on The Marine Corps, he was the first to take me to the office in Montebello, I was more than 22 lbs. over weighing in, I asked him if he could help me lose the weight so I could enlist, he said,"You can do it on your own" those words i will never forget...he has inspired me to make all my dreams come true...he was an incredibly wonderful person. I will always remember him, he will always be in my heart.

Para la familia de Banjamin,

Senora y familia, yo soy una amiga de "Ganzo", asi es como le decian a el en la oficina de los Marines, el fue el primero que me llevo a la oficina, el me inspiro a que yo pudiera alcanzar todos mis suenos...simpre estara en nuestros corazones...Gracias por haber traido a este Angel al mundo..."
Elena Bernal of Hesperia,Ca. U.S

"Dear Gonzales Family,
My Name is Paul H. Kim. I'm a SGT in the Marine Corps. I went to Boot camp with Benjamin. We also went to School of infantry together, and we were sent to the same Battalion after graduation. I don't know if you remember me but at boot camp gradutation I met you guys. I took a picture with Benjamin on that day. I was deployed to Iraq with Benjamin but sent to a different area. I'm sorry I couldn't make it to his funeral, I didn't get back from Iraq until a few weeks ago. We heard about his death from the news and we were very saddened. I know many people in the news say that marines are dying in Iraq for no reason. I don't believe that. Benjamin died so that other marines could go home. To your son, and my friend for 4 years, I want to extend my thanks. Because if it wasn't for your son, and the other Marines who Died, I wouldn't have made it back home. So thank you, your son did not die in vain.

"We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body." --2nd Corinthians 4:10

P.S. if you want that picture please e-mail me sgtpaulkim@hotmail.com"
Paul of San Dimas CA

"hay bro i served with u in 3/5lima and i was there at ur funeral u are missed a lot not only as a teacher but u broought me the courage to go the distance mam i know nothing will bring ur son back but he is truly missed alot"
unknown of camp pendleton ca usa

"Thank you brave soldier for sacrificing your today for my children's safer tomorrow. You have our utmost respect and gratitude. May God provide your family with comfort in their time of sorrow. May you forever rest in Heavenly peace. Neither you nor your sacrifice will be forgotten. For the family/friends: May time provide happy loving memories in place of present sorrows. Look to the sky for in the infinite meadows of Heaven the bright shining stars bloom...the forget-me-nots of angels. God bless you and thank you."
a grateful family in Phoenix, Az

"I met Benny through his brother Daniel. I became very close to both of them and Benny promised to be my big brother and for the short amount of time that I knew him, he was. He was a good person and he was always trying to help people. My condolenses go out to the family. We miss Benny very much and he'll always be in our hearts."
Brenda of Rosemead, CA/USA

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

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

"Benny u will seriously be miss by many! You were always meeting people, that was just how u were. I've known Benny my whole life. We attended Iglesia de Cristo in East L.A. He was my Big brother, and I believe he still is. I know he is still watching over me. I love him and will miss him alot."
Ruth Mendez of Commerce, Ca.

"Thank you to all the persons who wrote good things about my son. Benny, you are my angel. You'll always be in my heart.I know you're watching over all of us.
Always Love,
Mom"
Ana Luisa Vargas of El Monte, CA

""Benny, was my big brother. Two days before we found-out that he died ,I wrote an essay about my hero. In one part of my essay, I wrote that he is an educated marine. He gained metals that no one has earned since World War I.Benny was and still is my big brother."
stephanie s. of El Monte,CA

""Bennie, we miss you so much. We were not related by blood, but by heart, and you always considered me and my family part of yours. I love you and you are my #1 hero. You will never be forgotten. I love you."
April K, of Glendora, CA

"Benny:
You are truly my hero. You left me many memories to cherish and i truly will. My children will know of your valor and your kindess, and they will always know that because of you, they have one more day of freedom. Thank you so much, I love and miss you very much. You are resting now, and i know i will one day see you again, when i see your beautiful smile, i will then know that i am in heaven and will just like you, enjoy of everlasting peace. You'll forever be in my heart.......
Your cousin,
Beckers"
Rebecca Medina of Los Angeles, Ca

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

"To the Gonzalez Family- I want to tell you how sorry I am about your loved one. My husband was with him in Iraq while he was with 3/5 and I will never forget the morning we received the phone call at 1:40 in the morning. Your loved one is a true hero and everyones friend and will be truly missed. My husband is very saddened by the news and will be attending his viewing today and funeral tomorrow to pay his respects. Your loved one will forever be in our hearts and will never be forgotten for the sacrifice he made. God Bless You All!!!!"
The Cazee Family of Camp Pendleton, Ca

"To Ben's family, Im really sorry about what happen, he was a really brave man, there are no words to explain how great he was.Ben you will be missed, you were a true hero. You will always be in my heart no matter what. Love."
Cynthia of Pico Rivera,California

"To Ben's family, I am so sorry for your tragic loss. Please know that many of us appreciate his service and sacrifice for our country."
F.Smith of Pennsylvania

"Dear Gonzalez Family, No words are right at this time. Please know your family is in our prayers and thank you for raising a son so brave and willing to serve his country. God Bless. Aunt of Pfc Bradley Kritzer, killed May 5,2004 in Baghdad, Iraq."
Laurie Miles of Coalport, PA

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

"To the family and friends of Lance Corporal Benjamin R. Gonzalez,

Those we hold most dear, never truly leave us. May you find comfort in love's everlasting connection.

In the Support section of this web site you will find links to many groups that support you at this crucial time. The Marine Comfort Quilt group would be honored to send a quilt to the next of kin. There are many, loving and caring Americans from all over the United States that will never forget the sacrifice that your loved one has made for our Freedom. Please register so we can send you our "Love Stitched Together."

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

"TO THE GONZALEZ FAMILY FROM THE WAHL FAMILY. BENJAMIN WILL BE MISSED MY ALL THOSE THAT LOVE HIM. AN YES, HE IS A HERO! NOT EASY LOSTING YOU SON IN ANY SITUATION. MY PRAYS ARE WITH YOUR FAMILY!"
leonard wahl of VALLEY STREAM NY

"To Benjamin's Family and Friends:

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

Sincerely,
The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne, KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.

Gloria Caldas (Ernie's mom) of San Antonio, TX
gloria.caldas@banksterling.com"

"Thank you Benjamin Gonzalez, 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 Lance Cpl. Benjamin Gonzalez:
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 Benjamin 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 Lance Cpl. Benjamin Gonzalez:
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 Benjamin, 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