Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Staff Sgt. Bryant A. Herlem

37, of Copperas Cove, Texas.
Herlem died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV during combat operations. He was assigned to the 10th Cavalry, 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Died on April 28, 2006.

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"I recently got the operatunity to run in the Hempstead Watermelon 5K run in support of our fallen soilders. I was given SSg. Bryant A. Herlems name and picture to carry in his honor as I ran. I looked up this website to find out about this selfish & awesome hero...and then I thought about his family! I just wanted to express my condolences and to Thank You! Best Wishes & May God Bless You All! Sonya Floyd"
Sonya Floyd of Navasota, TX 77868

"I recently got the operatunity to run in the Hempstead Watermelon 5K run in support of our fallen soilders. I was given SSg. Bryant A. Herlems name and picture to carry in his honor as I ran. I looked up this website to find out about this selfish & awesome hero...and then I thought about his family! I just wanted to express my condolences and to Thank You! Best Wishes & May God Bless You All! Sonya Floyd"
Sonya Floyd of Navasota, TX 77868

"I have visited this page many times before today but this is the first time I have posted a message. I was a soldier that was under Staff Sgt. Herlem's care when I was in Korea. He was a mentor and very serious role model for me. He was one of the best men I ever met and I actually have a plaque that he gave me when I left Korea. My mother has it in her home and I occasionally remind her about the man that gave it to me (Sgt. Herlem) that he is not alive now and that I care about that plaque. I hope his family lives in peace just as I would hope my family would live in peace if I would have died in Iraq. I would like to express more because He meant a lot to me even though my memory from that era is worn but I do have memories that still exist. I am not sure if immediate families are paying attention but here is an email and if you email me I would like to talk even for just a minute to connect with the family of the man that inspired me luis.keep@yahoo.com"
Luis Miranda of Marietta, GA/US

"SFC Herlem,
You have inspired many young soldiers and to this day will forever inspire me you are a true hero and many NCOs want to be like you. You have inspired me to always do and accomplish me dreams. I will always be a "Rough Rider" until i see you again. then i will be your Soldier.

SSG Bosley"

"To the family and friends of SSG Bryant Herlem. SSG Herlem was more than an outstanding NCO, he was a remarkable person and I respected him and his passion for training Soldiers. I was in HQ platoon and he was in 1st Platoon which meant that our platoons competed hard against each other...especially during PT. SSG Herlem was the most energetic person I ever knew who loved to do PT. We...all the NCO's were dedicated to standing up our newley formed 8th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment under the command of LTC Gentile and the awesome guidance of CSM Rodriguez. It was a bit of a challenge since there were a few seasoned NCO's, who had previously been deployed to Iraq. About 80 percent of our unit were strait out of AIT or brand new officers. This was actually good for us since we could mold our Soldiers to be the best Soldiers ever created in the United States Army.
Needless to say we stood up 8-10 CAV and within a year and were deployed to Iraq for the second year. SSG Herlem was true to his word as a man and as a Soldier. All of us, SSG Albrect, SGT Gomez, SGT Flores, SSG Sample and many others dedicated ourselves to the unit completely and it showed in the amount of respect and the level of readiness that our Soldiers were also committed to. I remember the last words I said to SSG Herlem...I was going to the helo pad to check on my flight to go on R&R and on my way there I ran into him and told him, "you better stay safe" and just like everything else he did he smiled and told me not to worry. That he would see me when I got back. I was at home on my second day of R&R when a friend had called and informed me that SSG Herlem and SGT Gomez had passed away. It felt like a stone had sunk into the pit of my stomache when I heard the news. The remainder of the day seemed surreal. Both of these NCO's were extremely dedicated to their Soldiers. I know that as NCO's we tell our Soldiers that no matter what happens on the battlefield, that we would make sure that they go back to their loved one's. It's probably the only lie that we can tell our Soldiers so that they can focus on the mission. But SSG Herlem would never thell that kind of lie. In his sacrifice, he indeed brought his Soldiers home back...alive.
SSG Herlem you have always been missed but never forgotten, even after so many years later. Right now it is 15 July 2012 and I remember your company as it was yesterday. I continue to tell the story of your courageousness and the stories of the Soldiers of the 8th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment."
SFC Garcia, Joseph of Kandahar, Afghanistan

"SFC Herlem you'll never be forgotten. Your a great NCO. I enjoyed working with you in the S shop we had a good time. The day you had fallen was a sad day. We lost one of our best NCO's that day and your always in my thoughts. I'm hoping your in peace and are looking down at your children and wife looking after them. SCouts Out."
SSG (RET) Wayne Bunnell of Kentucky

"Mrs. Herlem
My names is SSg.Ret. Fernandez. I was Bryants squad leader in Germany. He was the squads APC driver. He was a hard charging solider as I remember him. Whenever I talk about my service, I always remember him. I'm truly sorry for your loss."
SSG.(RET) Patrick C. Fernandez of Harker Heights, Tx

"Mrs. Herlem
My names is SSg.Ret. Fernandez. I was Bryants squad leader in Germany. He was the squads APC driver. He was a hard charging solider as I remember him. Whenever I talk about my service, I always remember him. I'm truly sorry for your lose."
SSG.(RET) Patrick C. Fernandez of Harker Heights, Tx

"I HAVE NEVER FORGOTTEN BRYANT HE ALWAYS WAS HARD BUT FAIR AND I STILL TO DAY CAN'T BELIEVE BRYANT HERLEM HAS PASSED IT WAS A TRUE TRAGEDY A 14th engr Planet Ord, Ca"
Michael Garcia of Corpus christi Texas

"I HAVE NEVER FORGOTTEN BRYANT HE ALWAYS WAS HARD BUT FAIR AND I STILL TO DAY CAN'T BELIEVE BRYANT HERLEM HAS PASSED IT WAS A TRUE TRAGEDY a 14th engr Planet Ord, Ca"
Michael Garcia of Corpus christi Texas

"BTW, dude, why were you there?"
Maj. Variola (ret) of Irvine, Ca

"He was my first NCO. We were a brand new unit and he was put in charge of the first platoon of 8-10CAV. Even though we all had different MOS's, this great leader strived to ensure we all understood our jobs as new privates straight out of Basic Training. He taught us well. His position in the ranks could never be replaced. I am on my third tour now, I am a Staff Sergeant myself. I will never forget this man's dedication to his soldiers. My thoughts are with him and his family even to this day. There were others that were closer to him, but I had a level of respect I was never able to convey due to him being taken from us too soon. Thanks sergeant."
SSG Spencer of Farah, Afghanistan

"Mrs. Herlem,

I would like you to know that your husband's name and sacrifice and those of all the fallen heroes from Afghanistan and Iraq have been remembered every year at the Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial in Irvine, CA. I came to this site as part of our research to make sure we spell every name properly when they are engraved into granite in our permanent memorial.

Rest assured that other Americans revere and respect the service and sacrifice of your husband. God Bless Him and you."
Dale Jelinek of Irvine, CA

"Dear Bryant,
4 1/2 years after you die and I find this page. I still can't believe it has been so long. So long without you, your smile, your laughter and your love... only the need to make you proud keeps me going. I Love you so MUCH! And I always will...

I want to thank everyone for the thoughts and prayers, especially to the men who served with Bryant. Knowing you remember and you care is the brightest spot in what has surely been the darkest hole.

And to the family who gave their son a dollar with Bryant's name, Bryant was in Iraq and believed he was doing good. While I appreciate the sentiment, I know Bryant would not want his name associated with anyone's political opinion. Bryant died because he needed to be a part of something bigger than himself and because he was helping others, whether it be the many soldiers he trained or an Iraqi child like the ones killed with him...not because he believed Pres. Bush lied. Again, I know you mean well, but using my husband's name to push a political belief, especially onto a child... well I can think of a zillion other ways to honor a soldier. Sorry to be harsh, but this is my husband's memory and legacy. Protecting his name is the ONLY thing I can still do for him.

Again, thank you for the condolences and love. I hope Bryant feels it all the way too Heaven."
Mrs. L. Herlem of North Carolina

"April 15, 2009
To the family of Staff Sgt. Bryant A. Herlem:
Bryant 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

"My husband rewarded our 4 year old son yesterday for picking up his toys..he recieved a dollar bill with the message: "Staff Sgt. Bryant Herlem Copperus, TX Bush Lied He Died. 4/28/06"

We will be replacing his dollar as to keep this one in circulation reminding us of Sgt Herlem sacrifice and all of the men and women who have lost their lives and those who continue to serve this great country. Today is 6-25-2008

We are truly sorry for your loss and our prayers and support are with you."
The Kolpin Family Portia, Chuck, Mackenzie and Hayden of Maricopa, AZ USA

"To the family of:Bryant A. Herlem I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief. He died a hero defending freedom and we are so grateful for anyone defending our freedom.
Know that I am praying for the peace of God that surpasses all understanding for you and that one day we will all meet in Heaven where we will rest in the arms of Jesus.
If you need someone to talk to or someone to pray with please call my Pastor at Gateway Community Church, Reverand John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd Covington Ga. 30016 Phone 770- 787- 1015 (fax)770-787-8215.Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew"

"I knew Bryant for about 2 years while in the Engineers in 1st Cav-he was my squad leader. It's hard to believe that it has been a full year without you, now. I miss you Brother! Thanks for all you did, as a Leader and a Friend. God Bless you! "THEN I HEARD THE VOICE OF THE LORD SAYING, WHOM SHALL I SEND? AND WHOM WILL GO FOR US? AND I SAID "HERE I AM. SEND ME" ISAIAH 6:8"
Christopher Aguirre of Houston, TX

"Sargeant,
Thanks for all the knowledge you gave me as a young platoon leader, may you rest in peace brother, we'll take the fight from here"
Captain Chris Smith of Killeen TX

"SSG Herlem,

It was an honor and a privilege to serve with you, Sarn't. You will be missed immensely. Thank you for all that you have taught me and the laughs we shared. You will be remembered always."
Mac of Newport, RI

"My prayers and love go to his family and friends and we will all get through this. Him and Jose Gomez will never be forgotten. They fought for a reason and pride for ones country God Bless the Herlem family"
Maria C. Canario (Jose Gomez's GF) of Long Island, NY, U.S.

"SSG Herlem,
Thanks for all the good times in the 14th EN BN while stationed at Fort Ord. You are a great man, soldier and friend and you will be truely missed. See you on the other side bro!"
B. Keller of Oregon

"I am truly sorry for your loss. May you find strength in God to face the road ahead.

Michele Carter
Sister of CPL Gary Walters
KIA in Baghdad on April 24, 2005"

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

"Thank you Bryant Herlem, 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 Staff Sgt. Bryant Herlem:
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 Bryant 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 Staff Sgt. Bryant Herlem:
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 Bryant, 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