Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Lance Cpl. Erik R. Heldt

26, of Hermann, Missouri.
Heldt died when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations near Ar Ramadi, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. During Operation Iraqi Freedom their unit was attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). Died on June 16, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Lance Cpl. Erik R. Heldt.

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Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

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"Erik, hardly a day passes that I don't think of you. I miss our talks and laughs we had together. I just wanted to say that I miss you and am always thinking of you bro. Until ValHalla."
Sgt. Michael Robertson of Ann Arbor, Michigan

"to the family of Erik Heldt, I wear a black band with your Marines (my brother's) information. I have kept it with me since 2005 and will until the Marines fold a flag over my casket and it is passed to another US Marine.your marine will never be forgotten and will always be a source of courage for Marines to come as he was for me"
Lcpl Consoli of Methuen Massachusetts

"Memorial Day 2014- Honor and Remember."
Mark and Carla Myers of Memphis Mo

"I was best friends with Loren and used to reside in Hermann and I want to offer my condolensces to you and your family and to thank Eric for his service to this great country. You will never be forgotten!!! SEMPER FI!!!"
Jason of Villa Ridge, Missouri 63089

"Heldt,

Man I miss you bud. Its been a while since I've last seen you in my dreams, but it feels so real when I do. Thanks for being a great friend and I think of you often brother. I'm very fortunate to have known you since School of Infantry where we first met. Rest assured being a family man myself now to a beautiful step daughter, that your name is well known in our family. We miss and love you bud.
Semper Fi"
Lcpl. Valdes, J 0331 of Houston, TX

"August 20, 2011. Today we had the Run for the Fallen at the Lake of the Ozarks. Me and my wife Anita ran 15 miles in honor of Erik. Semper Fi bro"
Pete Leyva of Osage Beach, Mo

"It has been 6 years now. Our families are forever together with the loss of your son. My brother was a great judge of character and those he trusted and kept company with. I can only imagine how great of a Marine and overall person Erik was. God bless your family always."
Capt J. Maloney of VA

"Erik was attached to my platoon in 2004 while operating out of Abu Ghraib prison. He was a great guy; he was older than I was at the time by about 5 years so I always called him Grandpa. Always there to watch your back when you needed him. We were in the same Company but different platoons in 2005 in Ramadi. Still got to see him and still called him Grandpa. He was a fantastic Marine and a good friend. He is remembered by all of those who got the chance to serve with him"
Cpl. James Kohler Jr. 0311 of Grand Terrace, Ca

"Erik was one of the best Marines to serve with. He always lightened the mood with a joke when the times were dull, he would offer you a hand when the times got hard and he had your back through it all. I had the pleasure of serving with him, from the beginning to the end. In boot camp, to S.O.I., to Fallujah and Ramadii. There was never a time when I couldn't rely on him, a true Marine and an even better friend. I will never forget you."
Cpl. Derek Hildman 0331 of Kenosha, WI

"Erik Heldt was an outstanding Marine. He was always setting the example for junior marines. He is and will be missed by many. Thank you for your sacrifice Erik, it was a very deep pleasure to have the honor to fight alongside of you. Rest in peace my brother."
Cpl. Mason Bell of Oklahoma City, OK

"Erik, you are not forgotten. We miss you so much. Semper Fi"
Dave Denial of San Mateo

"Remembering the sacrifice made and with prayers for Erik's family, June 16, 2009."
Mark and Carla Myers of Memphis MO

"June 12, 2008
To the family of Lance Cpl. Erik R. Heldt:
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"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"Dear Family of Erik Heldt:

To honor the Missouri soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families, the professional portrait artists of the Grateful hearts project are offering to paint a portrait of the individual soldier for his family.

These 16'x20" original portraits are being offered completely free of charge in recognition of the sacrificies made by these brave soldiers and in condolence for their families loss.

For more information, please email us at gratefulheartsproj@sbcglobal.net

Sincerely;
The Artists of Grateful Hearts"
J.Gragg of Lee's Summit, Mo.

"Two days ago, I met an Adam Padavic who the story of your son and what a wonderful and strong person he was. It is ironic that I came across this site today. Adam spoke highly of the corporal and he would only use his full name and title. The respect was nothing like I had seen before."
Debbie of Oceanside, CA

"To Erik's Family,
I am just writing to let you know that I have not and will not forget Erik's sacrifice. My brother, John, is being honored May 27 in his hometown by naming the new athletic field in his honor. On that day my thoughts will be of my brother, and his brother Erik, for as I have always said they are brothers. They are always in my thoughts together, as you are always in my prayers. May God please keep bringing you peace.
Always,
Melissa"
Melissa of Chicopee, MA

"To Eric's family,
Time has passed, but nothing else. The peace I have received is in knowing what I had already known the day John left. I said to everyone, "He would put no one anywhere he wouldn't go first." And his gunner, Lance, was at his side. The only man my brother lost that day. Lance's CO, Cpt. Maloney. May time bring us peace and comfort knowing their together.
melissa"
melissa of chicopee, ma

"To the Heldt Family:

I did not know Erik Heldt, but Capt John Maloney was my bestfriend. We served in the first gulf war together. I want to send my deepest sympathy's to yall. In knowing Capt Maloney, I know he would only have the best marine, gentleman in the unit by his side. It has been a year since that dreadful day but a day has never gone by that I dont think about Erik and John. I just want to thank you for raising a son like Erik and yall should be proud for the things he accomplished. I will continue to pray for yall to stay strong. I wish there was something more I could say to make things easier on your family, but I know their are not any words to express my thoughts on your loss. Please take care and may life bring you happiness."
Kevin Kay of Arlington, TX

"To my family -

Months may have passed but our sadness still remains. I think of Erik daily - he is my HERO. I love and miss you all."
Angela Carr and Family of Bolivar, Missouri

"Dear Family and Friends fo LCPL Erik Heldt:
On 8 September, my wife and I visited the very nice riverfront town of Hermann. I stopped dead in my tracks at the German Beer Hall, where the fundraising flyer was posted. As a German Immigrant and grateful Vietnam Veteran, formerly of the 1st Marine Division, I want to express my condolences and pain to all the family members.
Semper Fi,"
MGySgt (Ret) Johnny (Klaus) Herrmann, and wife, Donna of Lusby, MD

"To the family of Erik Heldt,
God bless you and give you strength. So sorry for your loss. Thank you, Erik, for being so brave and keeping us free. In Erik's honor, we should never take life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for granted."
I Gunter of McKinney, TX /USA

"Dear Erik's Family, I wish to extend my sincere condolences to you. Erik is a true Amerian Hero who will always be remembered and honored. May God Bless you all."
Mary Ghaney of Brooklyn, New York

"Erik Heldt was my step brother-in-law and he's my hero"
Taylor Bruckerhoff of Hermann, Missouri

"From one Marine family to another, we, too, mourn the loss of Erik. Although we didn't know him, he was part of our family simply because he was a Marine. He will be forever remembered as a hero who had the courage to stand up and fight for this great land of ours and for the freedom that we so value and strive to bring to others. Your family will be in our thoughts and prayers."
LouAnn Stark of Springfield, MO

"DEAR FAMILY AND FRIENDS, I AM SO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS. MY SON JACOB HAGAN IS A NAVY SEABEE AND WENT TO MACHINE GUN SCHOOL WITH YOUR SON AND GOT TO KNOW HIM QUITE WELL. MY SON CALLED ME LAST NIGHT SO HEARTBROKEN OVER YOUR LOSS. I PRAY THAT GOD WILL EASE YOUR PAIN AND WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT HE DID NOT DIE IN VAIN. WE, THE AMERICAN AND IRAQI PEOPLE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR YOUR SON. OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH ALL OF YOU."
PATRICIA BROWN of HENDERSON, NEVADA

"Dear Family and Friends of LCPL Eric Heldt, Hi my name is Dena L. Lane and I am in the army. I'm also out here in Ramadi Iraq where Eric was at and I'm also from Hermann. I just wanted to let you know how sorry I am for your loss and that everybody here is praying for the familys of all the brothers and sisters we have lost. I'm really sorry."
Dena of Ramadi, Iraq

"Dear family and friends of Erik Heldt. You don't know me but I feel like I know you, because you have been in my prayers and thoughts since the castrophe in Iraq. My son, Adam Padavic was one of your sons closest buddies, and he has spoken of getting together with Erik to chat when they had down time. Anyway you can be sure he is a hero to all the marines over there, and to all here in the USA that he was fighting for. Thank you so much and may God strengthen you in your grieving."
Dona Padavic of Quincy, IL USA

"Heldt Family,
You don't know me but Erik knew my Fiance, Adam Padavic. They served together the night he was taken from us. Adam talked of Heldt all the time and told us so much about him. I am so sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine how hard this must be for you. Just remember that your son, your Hero, is just that a hero. He was doing something that would make a difference to many people. That is something we must be very proud of. You all have been in my prayers and will continue to be.You have all my support, love, and prayers always. Thank you for giving us such a wonderful man. He will not ever be forgotten."
Laura Xamis of Quincy, IL

"To the family and friends of Lance Corporal Erik R. Heldt,

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 use our link and register so we can send you our "Love Stitched Together."

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

"To the family of Lance Cpl. Erik Heldt,
I too want to express my gratitude for the sacrifice of Erik's life. To me that is the finest thing anyone can do for another. Thank you, Erik, you are greatly appreciated and your family is being lifted up in prayer, with thanksgiving, to God for His mercy and healing."
Charles and Mabel Knuth of Frederick, Illinois

"To the family of Lance Cpl. Erik Heldt,
In my darkest moment, I take the time to share your heartache, during this time. My brother is Captain John W. Maloney, and I miss him more that I can express. God blessed our family with seeing him two weeks before he shipped out and he told me he was taking 200 of his best men with him. I asked him to bring 201 back, although that is not possible now, please know how proud he was of his men. Now your son and my brother stand beside each other forever. Again, my condolences and never ending tears are with you also."
Melissa M. Hamre of Holyoke, MA U.S.A.

"To Erik's family: I had the pleasure of knowing Erik very well. He was such a courageous man - through playing football in high school/college and now through defending our country. He has given us our freedom and to him I am grateful. I am very sorry for your loss and wish I could have been home for the services. Please know that you guys are in my thoughts and prayers. The war is now over for Erik and he no longer has to fight for us. He is in a safe place now - no fighting left for him to do. His memory will never be forgotten. Much sympathy to Patty, Crystal, Taylor, Chris, Matt, Gary, Missy, and Hannah."
Karrie Heberle of Orlando, FL

"Erik is in my prayers. His fighting is done and the battle is won. A place of honor was waiting for him in the heavenly kingdom of our Creator! You have my condolences."
Hattie Lance of Collinsville,Ill.

"We are so sorry for your loss. Naming a football field for Erik will forever cement him in the minds and hearts of the community. He was a brave so;dier and we all owe a debt of gratitude"
Tom & Jane Deters of Quincy Illinois

"Mrs. Heldt & Daughter, Parents, Siblings and Family,
I cannot truly imagine the grief that you now feel after your and our hero Erik was called home to his loving Savior so early in his life. Losing a loved one is never easy, but especially difficult when they are here on this earth so short a time.
Words cannot express my gratitude and the gratitude of this entire nation for the ultimate sacrifice Erik and you, his family, made for each one of us. We owe a great debt to Erik and his comrades, and all their families, that keep us a free and great nation.
Trust that you will remain in my prayers for peace and comfort in these most trying days.
May He give you solace in His loving arms!"
Dave Ferrill of Mt. Sterling, IL

"Please know and feel the love and concern of many people throughout the US who are "holding you in their loving arms." God has sent these people to be there for you. I cannot comprehend your pain, but as a mother of two sons near your son's age, my heart aches for you.
I pray that the football field be named in his honor and that every football player feels Eric's brave spirit with them. That school will have a special angel with them forever."
Mary Jo Seiz of Springfield, IL

"To the Erik R. Heldt family, my deepest condolences and may the Lord comfort you in many ways in this time of grief. Your loss is great and Erik's sacrifice is even more, but I can't imagine what the consequences would be if we did not have such courageous young men and women like Erik to defend our great nation and give aid to those who are in the bondage of others. Even though I did not know Erik, he's still my HERO...Thank you Erik. Blessings to Erik's family...you are in my prayers daily."
C Hill of Beardstown, IL

"Our heartfelt prayers and thoughts are with all of Erik's family and friends We did not know him but can only imagine him as a son that his family is proud of and a friend who was loyal and who cared enough to fight for all of us...those he knew and those he didn't...with honor and a caring heart. Take care."
Dennis & Connie Hoyt of Quincy, IL

"My prayers to the family of Erik R Heldt and my thanks for giving up so much so we can be free and safe. May you find comfort in these words from many and in the loving arms of Jesus."
Patti Harke of Troy, Mo

"May Erik Heldt, the martyr of freedom now be forever in the arms of his Loving Father. And may the Heldt family rest in the peace and understanding that he is not fallen but now forever glorified and not deceased but forever risen. The honor in which he has bestowed on his family is more than can be written in such a short paragraph and the debt in which I personally owe as I drink from the cup of freedom daily, can only be repaid in my passing on the story of what Erik has done to the generations that come after me. What Erik and his colleagues have done is move the war on terror from our own borders to the borders of the terrorists themselves. Much like moving a honeypot to keep the bees away. I will never forget what Erik has done for me and my family. Thank you Mrs. Eric Heldt and to the child of Eric Heldt, and to His parents, brothers and sister-in-law, who I have great respect and love for. God's blessings on you now and forever."
BJ Menne of Troy, MO

"DEAR FAMILY OF ERIK, AS A MOTHER OF A FORMER MARINE,MY HEART BREAKS FOR YOUR LOSS.I CAN ONLY IMAGAINE YOUR PAIN.HE IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE A HERO IN EVERYONES EYES AND HEARTS.KNOW THAT GOD WILL BE WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AND HELP YOU ALL THRU THIS HARD TIME.THANK YOU ERIK FOR GIVING YOUR ALL!SEMPER FI!"
PAM DOWNING of WILTON,IOWA

"To the family and loved ones of Lance Cpl. Erik Heldt. My heart aches for the loss of your beloved Eric, and for all of our fallen soldiers. I know this has to be a very difficult time in your life, and trying to understnd, accept and sustain the pain of his loss. Know that God is always near, and learn to draw your strength from him to get you through this difficult time. Grieve, but be proud of Erik. He gave his life for his country a brave young soul. My heartfelt prayers will continue to be with you. Erik has gone on before you, and will be looking down upon you he is sitting at the feet of Jesus. May that give you peace. God Bless"
Betty Jamison of Colorado Springs, Co. USA

"Dear family,
We can not imagin the hurt of this loss, and most dying moment that has occured in your lives. We are deeply sadened by your tremendous loss. So young, so brave! The hurt flows through our hearts for our fallen heroes,and all their family and friends. We want you to know how we hurt for you all, and our prayers are with you always. May your memories of Eric take over the hurts in your hearts. Got Bless you all."
Dave,Vicky, and Kayla of Frederick, Il. USA

"To Erik's dear family and friends, our family hold you up in prayer. We are deeply saddened, feeling your broken hearts in our own hearts. Few words can we speak that even come near to comforting you. We trust, through our faith, that you can feel the love from within our country, pouring out to you who loved Erik and Erik loved. Love never fails, it is everlasting, eternal. You will hold one another once again in Heaven. Erik will pray for you and be a strong supporter as you live your lives. Take courage and persevere through the God given gift of grace to do so. Love in Christ,"
Jon & Mary Jane Davis of Frederick, Il

"erik you are more then a hero! you are so much more. an those that knew you know that better, thenus that don't. i know you had to be much more. certainly, not an easy profession for one to take upon himself or herself. this was your calling in life. an you erik have done a fanastic job. america alot safer since 911. an it's special trained soldiers like you that protect us all here in america. so thankful you served along side our son. neither of you knew one another. still you both brother's in the miltary family. protecting one another and each other's units. an i appreciated that as a father. now both of you are together once again. all this is very diffuclt on our families. an my tears for my son; are tears that remain for all our fallen and especially, you erik. my prays are with you erik and your family."
leonardwahl of VALLEY STREAM NY

"Thank You for your Bravery and Dedication to our country. My prayers go out to all family and friends of this fallen HERO. You will be missed, but not forgotten!"
Jay Whitehead of St. Louis, Missouri

"We are deeply sorry for your loss. America will forever honor your Hero.
The Courage, Honor, and Valor that your Hero showed will always be remembered.
We are grateful for the sacrifice that was made and we will NEVER FORGET.
God Bless your family and please know that you are not alone.
All of our prayers are with you."
Jennifer and SSGT Larry Mays of Massillon, Ohio

"We will never forget!"
Former 1/1 Wife of Ohio

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

"Thank you Erik Heldt, 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. Erik Heldt:
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 Lance Cpl. Erik Heldt:
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