Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Erik W. Hayes

24, of Cascade, Maryland.
Hayes died in Al Miqdadiyah, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his military vehicle. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, Vilseck, Germany. Died on November 29, 2004.

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"To the family of:Erik W.Hayes
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""

"It's been a while man, thinking back to the time we spent in the towers in kosovo bullshitting and all the time leading up to iraq, it's still hard for me to put it all to rest. I'm sure you would probably of been able to deal with it better than I have. Still missing ya man."
Ben Treherne of garland, texas

"My name is TSgt Jason Branch and I am in the Air Force. I was stationed at Balad Iraq after Eric fell (Sep 04 – Jan 05). I helped respectfully pass his body onto an aircraft in a ceremony at Balad. I have always remembered his name...that day...and how I felt through the whole event. I feel sad to this day for his family and all those that share this loss. To his parents I want to say...your son’s death effected even a total stranger. You have my deepest sympathies for the loss of your son. Bless all of you…"
Jason Branch of Penn Valley CA

"hard to beleive its been this long since you passed man. the last time i saw you was in a guard tower and you told me to be safe and i said the same back to you. it would be just a day or so later that i found out you had died. i know your up there doing your thing with the main man and i look foward to our paths crossing again. america lost one hell of a soldier and one that will never be forgotten. thanks for what you did.
RIP brother"
doug rinker of georgia

"Erik there is not a day that I do not pray for your family. You commanded respect and earned it.You once told me you would never let me down and you never did.I relive that night almost every day but I have found peace in giving you the homage and respect that you deserve instead of constant grief. you are a hero of mine and left us all with the knowledge you passed on both professionally and how to live better personnaly. You were quiet and only spoke when it was necessary to speak.You taught me how to sit back and listen and to not always being the one doing all the talking. I miss you and have a picture of you in my living room to pay my daily respects. I will never forget you and will always pray for the welfare of your brother and the welfare of your family. Brothers in Arms Forever Hopson"
Hopson of U.S.A.

"Its been almost 5 years. I still think of this young man frequently. He was without question a remarkable person, my heart goes out to all his Family and Friends. I truly will always see his face every time the stars and strips comes into my view. He will always be my hero, rest well my friend we will see you soon."
SFC Oliver of Vermont

"”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 you. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Over 1,750 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!
Mothers of our heroes, please be aware that the Project Compassion sponsors will now help cover the costs of the portraits for you to have one - regardless if the spouse of the hero has one or not!
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 bless you.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Project Compassion
P.O. Box 153
Manti, Utah 84642"
Project Compassion - Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"erik i will never forget you man. i did not know you how many knew you but i thought of you as a friend and one hell of a soldier. ill see you again one day and we can remember the times."
one who served with erik in iraq of ga

"November 12, 2008
To the family of Spc. Erik W. Hayes:
Erik 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"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"I was Eriks medic before we went to Iraq.I had fun joking around with him around the barracks and out on the ranges while providing medical coverage. I got to know him while attatched to his platoon as a medic and we became good friends. He always used to sneak up on me and scream "hey" just to make me jump. It really hurt me when I found out he had passed. Erik you were a good friend and I miss you man, may you Rest In Peace. "HEY""
Doc Thompson of Ft. Campbell KY

"We will never forget this very special young man, and the sacrifice he made on our behalf. The nation lost one of her best that day in November 2004.
We will see him again, and rejoice in that knowledge"
Joe & Virginia Saavedra of Thurmont, Md

"we are finshch up are homer work for this porjet to be done are home work you did meg finsche are home work porjet done on next thursday to be done are home work.
be meg boy gril friends."
caralena rem of wa

"I served with Spc. Hayes, watched him turn into a soldier, as a young Mortar Plt Sqd Leader I observed lead and learned from Spc Hayes. Much LOVE TO YOU FELLOW SOLDIER AND FREIND."
Mickey Keeney basegun2@yahoo.com of Hinesville Ga

"My husband's name is Erik Hayes, and reading these messages has left me chilled in my heart.

I hope the memory of your fallen hero fills your hearts with pride. He made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and although I never met him, I appreciate him deeply. I'll be going to Arlington Cemetary soon to visit my father....I'll stop in and say a prayer with Erik, too."
Gina Hayes of Virginia

"This is Erik's cousin, I never really got to know him, but there's not a day that goes by that I don't think of him. He truly is a hero and I thank him for serving our country. God Bless."
Charlene of Jacksonville, FL

"To Erik's family, I was there when he died and I wish I could have done more to save him. I deeply regret your loss."
Douglas Adams of Cedar City, Ut

"Erik, I remember since I was a little girl that you were my hero and everybody knew it. I didn't remember the reason why but I just knew. I have continued to look up to you even when you played Agent Mulder in the Christmas play. Even though you are no longer here with us I will never forget what you have done for us. I'm sorry for not telling you one last chance that I love you and you are my HERO. Love Becky"
Rebecca Horner of Thurmont, Maryland

"happy birthday erik w. hayes 11/14/80

"My son is named Erik B. Hayes. I was thinking of incouraging him to go into the service, I think this is an omen. One Erik missing is too many!"
Marci of Ventura, Ca

"You're gone but not forgotten. Thank you so much Erik. I will forever be grateful."
of Pa,USA

"Erik, you are greatly missed. You are in our thoughts and prayers everyday. You made us proud Erik. We Love you."
Danielle and Billy Koons of PA

"Dear Erik, my nephew, lil brother/son. You are gone but not forgotten, there isnt a day that goes by that I dont think of you. Our family misses you dearly, you were our rock, our hero and we will never forget your sacrifice for our freedom and our family. Its hard to believe its been almost a year without you already. You were the love of our lives and we will never forget you. Freedom isnt free, and we thank you for your dedication and sacrifice for our country. We love You ! Love Aunt Karen, Uncle Wayne, Danielle, Isaiah"
Karen Thurley of Waynesboro, Pa US

"gone but not forgotten man rest in peace"

"u my boy hayes. RIP"
BOLO of albq. nm

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

"god bless you erik, you will always be in our hearts. thank you for your sacrifice as an american soldier and kind and loving son and brother. those who knew you will agree what a loss this is for us, your family and friends.
we will miss you so much. love your (aunt linda and uncle mike )"

"To Erik's family, friends, and fellow soldiers. I am sorry to hear of the loss of your son and friend. I had the privelage of serving with Hayes when I was assigned to his unit. It's a great loss for all, and I hope that no more have to make that sacrifice. May God bless his family and the rest of the soldiers currently deployed and on thier way."
Lawrence Henning of Fort Irwin, CA

"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

Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Erik, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you ALWAYS. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"my prayers go out to the family of eric. i have known him for a little while. he was a good friend of my boyfriend...."
susanna of vilseck/germany

"Thank you Erik Hayes, 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 Spc. Erik Hayes:
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 Erik 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 Spc. Erik Hayes:
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 Erik, 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