Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army CWO Dennis P. Hay

32, of Valdosta, Georgia.
Hay died in Tal Afar, Iraq, when his OH-58D Kiowa helicopter came under attack by enemy forces using small arms fire. He was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colorado. Died on August 29, 2005.

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"i remember chasing you on our two mile pt runs at Ft Stewart. RIP Dennis, you were one of the best of the best."
Spencer Albin of Bellingham, Wa.

"Ten years have passed since I lost my friend. I’m sorry it took so long to write this message. Dennis and I met in Warrant Officer Candidate School. He was the charismatic one with more badges than the cadre. He had already done more in the military than most would do in an entire career; he was confident yet humble. I was the guy with no badges wondering what he got himself into. We ran into each other in the Commissary one day after graduation and Dennis invited me to his house to share a meal with his family. Rebecca was sweet, kind, and was without a doubt, Dennis’ soul mate. Jacob was around three and already smashing the ball. I told Dennis he’d play first base for the Red Sox one day but Dennis said it would have to be the Braves. I met the family dog, Deogy and when I asked how they came up with Deogy, Dennis said, “Spell dog”. We ended up as “stick buddies” during the instrument phase of flight school and as we went along, Dennis became like a big brother, someone I looked up to. As Thanksgiving approached, Dennis inquired about my plans. When I told him I was staying at Ft. Rucker, he insisted I join him, Rebecca, and Jacob in Georgia to have dinner with his parents and siblings. That was Dennis; always thinking of others. When it came time for graduation, it was obvious who would receive the Leadership Award - Dennis. Our paths crossed again on deployment and back at Ft. Rucker. Dennis talked of his new baby girl Abigail. The saddest news came one summer day when Rebecca called me to tell me of Dennis’ passing. I flew to Colorado to say goodbye and reunited with the strongest people I know. Ten years have now passed and Saturday morning my wife and I visited Arlington where we saw his name on a stone in a field with others who selflessly gave their lives. Thank you to whoever got there before us and put flowers on his grave. I had no idea when I first visited those hallowed grounds twenty-one years ago that I would return to pay respect to someone that I knew, the man with the biggest heart and the infectious laugh. Everyone who knew Dennis knows he was a hero. That is without question. He was a God fearing man who loved Jesus, loved his family, and gave his life for people he didn’t know. I am honored to have called him my friend."
Todd of Maine

"Dennis and I used to cycle together in Saint Marys’ GA he was a gifted athlete and a fierce competitor. I have fond memories of him. I want you to know how much he impacted lives the short time he was here."
Ted Shoaf of Titusville, FL

"I met Dennis at FOB Sykes where I was assigned as a Lieutenant on an Engine Company for the base fire department. I was directed to Dennis because we wanted someone to give us a familiarization class on the helicopters. Dennis was more than happy to assist us to become familiar with the helicopters of the 3rd ACR. Several times we had meals with him at the DFAC. He was always friendly, down to earth and had a smile on his face.

I demobilized from Iraq on August 22, and returned home. I was reading the Washngton Post one day in October of 2005, and read about the funeral service for Dennis at Arlington National Cemetery. Needless to say I was shocked and saddened by the loss of this exceptional soldier/aviator.

Over the past several years I have paid my respects to Dennis on a regular basis. I have been to his grave site on Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Dennis' birthday. Today, 9 years after Dennis gave his last full measure of devotion to our great country, I paid my respects and placed some flowers on his grave. My condolences go out to the family on this somber occasion."
Dennis Donehoo of Alexandria, VA

"JD was just telling me all about Dennis, and has so much respect for him. Just know he is remembered by many."
Mindy of Texas

"I can remember Mr. Hay always saying " I can't believe they pay me to fly " he truly loved what he did. I think about him often, truly missed !"
Steve McCarthy of Hagerstown, Maryland

"Dennis, you are not forgotten! So many memories. Almost 2 years of seeing you almost everyday, knowing you, your sister, brother and parents. I truly miss you and the great times we had brother."
Lt. Trevor Hollimon of San Antonio Fire Dept

"FOUR

Asked for a picture the other day , two of us here and two gone. I remember seeing Dennis under a hot morning sun because the air conditioning had gone again. I remember him sitting in one of the portable folding lawn chairs and an over-sized pair of Oakleys. He was different because he didn't cuss- and that was the standard lingo of soldiers with no air conditioning back then. I didn't know him well, but I had been shot down the night before and felt it necessary to make sure he understood what it was like in the city. I wanted to make sure that "doctrine" did not get in the way of reality of Air Cav- to make it understood that those who "knew tactics" were in fact contractors and "educated" folks who never really understood what it took to fight out there- they were full of *. He knew. He was like the other two we had lost. Understood that those who wrote doctrine hand invented it. These guys ignored what the egg-heads saw and flew in audacious support of our brothers on the ground. They were men of an older caliber who's creed served others and were expected to hang they're asses out for those who needed it- it is what made them different, what made them audacious, what made them heroic. Thank you Dennis and Aaron, and Matt. Your are men of example, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." Air Cav.

G."
ejg of colorado springs, co

"Rebecca:

I miss my teammate, my friend, the man he was; but no more than you do, I'm sure. Your continuous courage is extraordinary. You have given me strength when I was weak. I marvel at your exceptional charater and strength of heart as you carry on through difficult times. Remember we are all here for you and the kids. Love you all

Spike"
spike gentile of salt lake city

"Rebecca:

I miss my teammate, my friend, the man he was; but no more than you do, I'm sure. Your continuous courage is extraordinary. You have given me strength when I was weak. I marvel at your exceptional charater and strength of heart as you carry on through difficult times. Remember we are all here for you and the kids. Love you all

Spike"
spike gentile of salt lake city

"Jacob, Rebecca, and Abigail,
Your dad is a fine man and I remember briefly meeting him at T-ball, how he was so proud of you, Often think of you all, and pray for you in your loss. He is a true Hero and our thoughts are always with you. Chris, Pam, and Henry"
CW4 Chris Elicker of Fort Rucker, Al

"Still thinking of you Dennis. Miss you brother."
Swartz of Akron, Ohio

"Dear Brother. I have been thinking about you alot lately. If you were here I know that you would be very proud of me. I finished paramedic school last year, married a wonderful woman, and we are moving the kids from Georgia to Texas where I start a new firefighter/ paramedic job in the Texas hills. I miss you and I will see you one day. All my love bro. Shawn Harvey"
Shawn Harvey of Canyon Lake, Texas

"July 3, 2008
To the family of CWO Dennis P. Hay:
Dennis 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

"Dennis, I remenber when I met you shortly after you arrived at Ft Carson. You spent a lot of time hanging at the BAS and then we went to Iraq. You were so motivated and excited to be flying."
Jeff Peck SSG RET of Florissant, CO

"To the family of:Dennis P. Hay 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"

"Though I never met Dennis - I share his last name, and come from a family that has a history of serving this great country. May Dennis live forever in God's restful arms and peace and loving memories to those he left behind."
Lauren Hay of Chicago, IL

"This memorial day I had the great honor & privilege of carrying the American flag with the name of Dennis P. Hay attached. I carried the flag from the sanctuary of my church to an open field along a main road in Orlando, Florida. I walked through the parking lot with thousands of other church members.
We each were given a flag with the name of each soldier who has given his/her life in this war. We placed them in the field in rows of wood drilled specifically for these flags. 2 bagpipers played "Amazing Grace" during this walk. There was a large sign above the flags simply stating "Never forget". I didn't know anything about Dennis P. Hay prior to this day, but I could not forget his name. Today I did a search online and learned quite about about this man I prayed for. Although I did not know you in this life, I am so happy to know that I will meet you in the next. I look forward to meeting you and I am encouraged by your story. I am proud to live in a country where people like you exist. You are my definition of "hero". I will never forget your name or your story. I know in my heart that God used you in many, many ways during your lifetime. And continues to do so even in death. To the wife, daughter, son, mom, dad, sister, brother, friends, fellow soldiers..I will remember your sacrifice and I will be praying for you all. Thank you for this opportunity to express my great gratitude to you. Please know that Dennis P. Hay is still remembered and honored and always will be."
Stephanie of Orlando, Florida

"On Memorial Day, I thank you, my dear friend, for giving the ultimate gift. It is not forgotten."
Misty of Georgia

"I will remember the picture."
Mookie

"peace and prayers to the dennis hay family.i lost a nephew to the first golf war.his name is jason mcfarland.jason was from nazareth,pa. he was a wonderful young man. we share your sorrow and feel your pain. now we celebrate their lives and the liberty the fought for."
dennis hoadley of windgap pa 18091

"To honor the Georgia soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families, the professional portrait artists of the Atlanta Fine Arts League are offering to paint a portrait of the individual soldier for his family. These 16 X 20” original portraits are being offered completely free of charge in recognition of the sacrifices made by these brave soldiers and in condolence for their families’ loss. Please visit our website www.atlantafineartsleague.org or email us at AtlantaFineArtsLeague@Yahoo.com for further information. –The Atlanta Fine Arts League"
Atlanta Fine Arts League

"Dennis was more than just a friend he was someone you wanted to be like. Dennis would go out of his way for a friend and never ask for anything in return. I am so sorry Rebecca for your loss. I will never forget Dennis and will do everything I can to help you and the kids out. If you ever need to talk to somebody Steph and I are just an email away. michael.david.morton@us.army.mil
We will keep you and yours in our prayers always.
God bless CW2 Mike Morton"
Mike Morton of Fort Hood Tx

"Hey Rebecca,
You know how much I loved Dennis and every day I fly here I'm reminded of him. I wish I could have been there, maybe my skills would have made the difference. Regardless, I am a better man for knowing him and I will always remember his smile, easy-going personality and getting seasick on the mission we did in Bermuda. Give the kids a hug from the team here. Rhonda and I will always be there for you."
Chris of Balad AB, Iraq

"Jacob, Abagail,
Your Daddy was my friend. I knew him even before he met your Mommy. I saw him fall in love with her. I was one of your Dads Groomsmen at their wedding. The night before, he told me he was nervous but it didn’t matter, he loved your Mom with all his heart and wanted to marry her and be with her forever.
I worked with your Dad Dennis for about 3 years. We used to have fun at work and go play a bunch afterwards. We would go running and swimming and ride bikes a lot.
When work was really hard, I always wanted your Dad Dennis there. If I was tired or worn out and thought I had to stop, your Dad would help me keep going. Your Daddy never quit, he was strong. He will never leave you or your Mommy. He will always be with you watching over you. His love for you is so strong. Do you remember his hugs and kisses? His big smile?
Your Daddy was one of my best friends, And I am very, very sad and sorry that he got hurt and died. I will try to be more like your Daddy. He was what a good man should be.
I am so sorry Rebecca. All of my love."
Jim Shortill of north berwick maine

"Dennis,
On this Thanksgiving, I salute you and pay my respects to your family. I have our team photo posted in my study of our first trip to Kuwait all those years ago...I was there at the RCC when you gave all...living by the motto "that Others May live" I wish we could have done more...

Your jokes and cartoons live on in my fond memories...I will never forget.
48 RQS, Tucson, AZ"
Lt. "J" Harmon of Destin, Florida

"Green Feet,
You are missed terribly every day. I wonder always how our future would have been. You were a true warrior and are held in the hands of God now and forever. I will meet you again and then I will know how it all turns out. Never compete with anyone, let them compete with you...."
Ghost

"Happy Birthday big brother!"
Bridgette Hay of Destin, FL

"My deepest sympathy and prayers to the family of Dennis. I knew Dennis as a young girl and will never forget his love for life and his love of his Savior Jesus Christ. When I knew Dennis he always held such a passion for life. Ten years has gone by since I last spoke with him and I am not surprised to learn of what he had chosen as his life work. My prayers are with the Hay family as your mourn his passing and miss his presence in your lives. God Bless you!"
Lisa Hoadley Gonzales of Melbourne, Florida

"Dennis, you will be missed by your other brothers!!! That others may live!!"

"I love you Dennis! You will always be so missed! Thanks for being an AWESOME brother!"
Bridgette Hay of Destin, FL

"The Gideon Camp in Fort Walton Beach, Florida salute the life and work of Dennis P Hay. His father Barry spoke often of his son and the work his was doing in the defense of our nation. He also spoke of Dennis' dedication to Jesus Christ, his Savior and Lord. Our sincere and heart felt condolences, prayers and wishes are offered on behalf of his family and friends who are left behind. Dennis has won the prize. Now it is up to us."
Ron Boulet - Camp President of Fort Walton Beach, FL, USA

"Dennis,

Rest easy my brother. I'll surely remember the good times...your friend, Jeff"
Jeff...Romad Hawk 34 of C Springs

"Our deepest sympathys to the family and friends of Dennis Hay. We will forever remember his courage and commitment he gave for he sake of our freedom and freedom abroad. With sincere gratitude and deepest repects we will NEVER forget."
Vigil Family of Wheatridge CO

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

"TO THE HAY FAMILY FROM THE WAHL FAMILY. WE ARE DEEPLY SADDEN FOR THE LOST OF DENNIS. AN OUR HEART AND PRAYS ARE WITH DENNIS AND YOUR FAMILY. DENNIS FOREMOST THANK YOU FOR SERVING ALONG SIDE OUR SON! DENNIS AND GREGORY, HAD NOT KNOWN ONE ANOTHER. STILL BOTH MILITARY BROTHER'S WATCHING OVER ONE ANOTHER AND ALL THOSE SERVING IN IRAQ. DENNIS YOU HAVE NOT GIVEN YOUR LIFE IN VAIN!! THANK YOU FOR SERVING OUR GREAT COUNTRY. NOT FOR MEN LIKE YOU PROTECTING US ALL. WE NEVER HAD GOTTEN PAST 911!!! DENNIS YOU HAVE TOUCHED THE HEARTS OF SO MANY. ALL THOSE YOU HAVE TOUCHED. HOLD VERY SPECIAL FOND MEMORIES OF YOU. YOU ARE MORE THEN A SOLDIER AND A HERO! YOU ARE SOMEONE'S SOMEONE AND SOMEONE TO OUR FAMILY!!! TO YOUR FAMILY WE ALL DEAL WITH OUR LOST VERY DIFFERENTLY. AN ALL THOSE THAT CARED FOR DENNIS, FRIENDS, NEIGHBOR'S, THOSE IN HIS COMMUNITY, HIS MILITARY FAMILY, AND YOUR'S. WILL HEAL IN TIME. IN THE PROCESS OF HEALING. WAR MEMORIAL'S TO HONOR OUR FALLEN TAKE'S YEAR'S LONG AFTER THE CONFLICT. SO I URGE YOU TO DO SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL TO HONOR DENNIS. GOD BLESS!"
leonard wahl of valley stream ny

"Thank you Dennis Hay, 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 Chief Warrant Officer Dennis Hay:
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 Dennis 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 Chief Warrant Officer Dennis Hay:
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 Dennis, 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