Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. James J. Holmes

28, of East Grand Forks, Minnesota.
Holmes died in Landstuhl, Germany, from injuries sustained in Iraq on May 3, 2004 when an improvised explosive device detonated near the driver side of his military vehicle. He was assigned to C Company, 141st Engineer Combat Battalion, North Dakota National Guard, Hettinger, North Dakota. Died on May 8, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. James J. Holmes.

Links:

Contributions to the Families of the Fallen

Messages:

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

Please report inappropriate messages

"What can I say but very sorry for your loss! I was researching my grandfather James Joseph Holmes death during the first world war while serving in the Machine Gun Corp. It feels like history repeating itself."
Ian Whisker of Whitby United Kingdom

"On this memorial day I'm thinking of you Holmes! You are very missed, brother!
Your sister in arms from C Co 141 ECB"
Jessica Carroll (Fisher) of Fayetteville, NC

"I'm thinking of you today Jay. That's no different than any other day though. I love you."
Amber Reynolds of Huntsville, AL

"I think about you often James. Your memory lives through all the people's hearts you touched. Thank you for your service to God and Country!"
Jim Cronin of West Fargo, ND

"To the family of:James J. Holmes
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"1-18-11"

"We miss you James! Semper Fi brother"
C Co 141 ECB of Bismarck, ND

"Hey Aunt Rhonda, I was just thinking about you guys and wanted to leave you a message. I saw the album you had online of Jay, Randy, Mike and me. It made me cry! That is one of my favorite childhood memories. Every memory I have of Jay is a happy one. I think about you guys often. I love you all so much.
P.S., mom said hey"
Amber Reynolds of Huntsville, AL

"The pain never goes dull and the tears never stop we miss and love you son.
your 35 birthday is tommorrow Oct 3 wish I could share some birthday cake with you."
mom of peoria ,Az

"To the family of James Holmes, I would first like to thank you for raising such a wonderful, caring, and patriotic man. My brother, Keith Smette, was also killed in Iraq. My current job is as an instructor for units that are doing premobilization training in North Dakota. I take is seriously. One way for soldiers to get a good understanding of the importance of the training is by remembering those who have given the ultimate sacrafice. I would like for you to email me some stories about James. I did not have the privledge to meet him but would love to share bits and pieces about him so that those who deploy in the future will have his memory in their heads and remember why, and who, we are fighting for. My email address is robert.smette@us.army.mil Thank you so much and God Bless!"
CW2 Robert Smette of Bismarck, ND

"Often it is said that time heals all wounds and althouh time may heal the wound it does not fill the void, the space left when you lose a friend a family member, or a loved one. When I walk in the woods, or see a wonderful sight, how I wish James were here to see it, or atleast some place I could call and tell him about it. I miss his words, his ways and his humor. Time will never fill that void. Until we meet again my friend, your in my thoughts and in my heart"
Tim Davis of Madison Wisconsin formerly Grand ForksND

"I can't believe it has been 6 years since we lost a true American Soldier that wanted to fight for us, so we could be safe in the US. He volunteered to help, and was very excited to go and fight for our country. All of his family and friends miss him dearly. He had a great personality and a smile that could cheer you up any day. I love you and miss you dearly James."
Sarah Anton of Thief River Falls, MN

"I was deployed with James in Iraq and I am preparing to go on another deployment. I often think of James and I am so sorry for your loss. He was a great guy and has been missed by many people. Many of us have not spoken about him for a long time but this new deployment is bringing up a lot of stories of the last one and we all fondly remember him. It is my hope that time has healed some wounds. I am sure that James will never be forgotten."
SGT Michael James Smith of Valley City, ND/U.S. (soon Kosovo)

"To the family of Spc James Holmes:

What is it that we admire about the soldier? It is certainly not that he goes into battle; what we admire about the soldier is that he has the power of losing his own life for the life of a larger cause; that he holds his personal suffering of no account; that he flings down on the gage of battle his all, and says, "I will stand or fight with this cause."

On behalf of all of us at the TRIBUTE TO THE TROOPS, we will never forget your loss."
TTTT of Lindstrom, MN

"May 2, 2009
To the family of Spc. James J. Holmes:
James 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

"James i just want to wish you a happy birthday. We miss you and your humor dearly. My wife and i go over pictures of our wedding and remember those trifile times getting you and everyone else together for the wedding. We all remember the gorilla suit on holloween of 99. It was fun. Any way we are winning this war except it took you from us. My family and i pray for you as often as we can. Hey well see you soon and share eachothers company. But not yet. Semper Fi Holmes and dont forget your general orders at the gate."
Garcia of Goodyear

"THANK YOU OFFICER HOLMES FOR TAKING TIME TO WRITE YOUR COMMENT. MY SONS BEST FRIENDS ARE POLICE OFFICALS AND JAMES TALKED ABOUT COMING HOME AND BECOMING AN POLICE OFFICER HIMSELF.WE THANK YOU AND ALL THE OFFICERS FOR YOUR SERVICE YOU DO DAILY. THANK YOU"
RHONDA JAMES HOLLMES MOTHER

"I was actually searching my own name, and came across your site. I feel compelled to leave a message.

My heart goes out to you and the family left behind, thank you for your sacrifice so that my family could continue to live free from the evil you faced. I am a police officer, I know what I face on the homefront will hopefully never compare to what you fought Mr. Holmes. I thank you my, family thanks you. To the family of Mr. Holmes, I respect the sacrifice you have made and the son, brother, husband, friend you have lost. my prayers are for you tonight."
James C. Holmes of Concord,Ga. United States

"TO ANYONE THAT IS INTERESTED GO TO THE FOLLOWING WEB PAGE AND HELP SUPPORT THE MEMORY OF JAMES
WWW.officerpratt.org/Tyebandcom/holmes_james.html
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT FOR ALL MILITARY AND OFFICERS INJURIED OR DIED FOR THE CAUSE"
RHONDA of PEORIA, AZ

"I remember well the sadness I felt when I heard that James had passed away. I worked with James at Sawyer Aviation in Phoenix, Arizona as an aircraft refueler. James was a great guy and always had interesting stories and experiences to share. James is truly a hero and selfless individual. Thank you James."
Travis Smith of Phoenix, AZ

"I JUST WANTED TO WRITE TO ALL ONCE AGAIN AND LET YOU KNOW HOW MUCH IT MEANS THAT YOU HAVE ALL TAKEN TIME TO READ AND WRITE IN JAMES DIFFERENT WEB SITES. THE DAYS FOR ME AS HIS MOTHER DOES NOT SEEM TO GET ANY EASIER BUT NIGHTLY IT DOES HELP ME TO TAKE A MIN. OF MY TIME TO READ WHAT YOU ALL HAVE WROTE. JAMES WAS ALWAYS MY STRENGTH, MY HERO AND MY GENTLE GAINT AND IT TRULY HELPS ME TO KNOW HE IS NOT FORGOTTEN FOR JAMES LOVEED THIS COUNTRY SO MUCH HE CHOOSE HIS COUNTRY OVER HIS FAMILY. I TRY TO REMEMBER THE THINGS JAMES SAID ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT IT WAS FOR HIM TO GO SO WE CAN FIGHT TERRIOIST THERE AND NOT HERE WHERE OUR CHILDREN CAN BE HURT BUT AS HIS MOM I STILL CAN NOT EXCEPT THAT. I KNOW AS HIS MOM I LOVED HIM I MISS HIM AND I WILL NEVER GET OVER SUCH A HORRIABLE THING. JAMES MADE MY LIFE WORTH LIVING. SO THANKS AGAIN FOR NOT FORGETTING HIM AND WHAT HE FELT HE HAD TO DO. I HAVE FOUND THROUGH THIS EXPERICENCE THAT THE AMERICANS TRULY CARE AND WILL NOT FORGET BUT THE U.S GOVERMENT LOOKS AT MY SON AND ANY OTHER SOILDERS AS JUST A BODY AND A NUMBER I WOULD LOVE FOR A GOVERMENT OFFICAL TO WALK IN MY SHOES AND THE SHOES OF OTHERS THAT HAVE FOUGHT FOR THIS COUNTRY OR DIED FOR THIS COUNTRY JUST ONE DAY MAYBE THEN THEY WOULD CHANGE THINGS. ONCE AGAIN THANKS FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT AND TO MY GOVERMNENT THANKS FOR NO SUPPORT AND THE HUMVEE THAT WAS NOT UP ARMORED TO PROTECT MY SON FROM BEING KILLED."
RHONDA (JAMES MOTHER) of PEORIA, AZ

"May 8 will never be the same. We will never forget. We will always remember our fellow Trailblazer, James Holmes, a true hero and defender of freedom. Our hearts go out to the Holmes family.

Chaplain (CPT) Maury Millican, US Army
141st Engineer Combat Battalion, NDARNG"
Maury Millican of Bismarck, ND

"I have had the pleasure of knowing this Man. He was the best and a pleasure to be around. I will miss him....."
Robert of Goodyear,AZ,USA

"I never knew James. I found out about him only because of looking at a website set up by one of his fellow soldiers, that had a story about the day he was hit. I was and am moved to tears. I want you to know that I think of our people over there on a daily basis, and I have seen so many names that I would burn into memory in order to never forget. James is one of those names, now. He was a hero, and he went to God like a soldier. May the Lord bless and keep you."
Bill Conner of Eustis FL

"Tugboat you will never be forgotten and I have the tattoo on my arm to prove it."
Sgt Maurice Jasmann of Co C 141 ECB Bismarck ND

"I know James from him coming into Simonsons where I was a cashier. He always was encouraging me to do something with my life, and I'll never forget all of his advice. I will always remember when he invited me for a plane ride. I had never been on a plane before and he knew I was terrified. It was the most incredible experience that I'ver ever had. He flew me over my parents farm and also helped me with my fear of planes. I will always remeber him and his kindness towards others. I know that he is watching over all of us and smiling."
Amanda Wagner of Grand Forks

"To the family of James J. Holmes:I am so sorry for your loss.
I served with Holmes in the Marine Corps Reserve when we were Lance Corporals in Phoenix, and I have a picture of James Holmes when we were in 29 palms back in 1995 on active duty training. I would like to mail this picture to you If I could. Please contact me at my e-mail address RichRomo@cox.net.
Semper Fidelis
SSgt Romo"
Rich Romo of Mesa Arizona

"To the family of James J. Holmes:

The Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation will be honoring your loved one at the non-denominational Memorial Day Sunday worship service at 11:00 a.m. on 29 May. We will remember the casualties of the Global War on Terrorism from Minnesota … and the neighboring states of Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Outside of the historic Fort Snelling Veterans Memorial Chapel will be a “Memorial Garden” filled with white crosses bearing the names of the war dead … including your loved one.

I would like to extend to your family an invitation to honor us with your presence at worship as we pay tribute to the sacrifice made by your service member and family. Our pastor, U.S. Army Chaplain, LTC Kenneth L. Beale, Jr. will preach a message entitled “Remembering Our Freedom.” A former Soldier and country music songwriter and performer “Rockie” will pay a special musical tribute. At the conclusion of the worship hour, all of the congregation will be invited to silently pay their respects at the garden and place poppies at each of the crosses. An honor guard squad will be on hand to fire vollies as the US flag is lowered to half-staff and Taps is played.

As this Christian worship service has traditionally been well attended, we would be happy to reserve seating for you and yours. To do so, kindly call (612/970-7866) and leave a voice message indicating your veterans’ name and the number of persons attending. If you are not able to attend, we pray that you would find comfort in knowing that our prayers are with you and all of the fallen heroes.

Respectfully,
Leila Campbell
Administrative Assistant
Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation
email:info@fortsnellingmcf.org
web site:www.fortsnellingmcf.org"

"Rhonda, George and Randy: I was a childhood friend of Rhonda's from grade school. I remember James still as the last time I saw him, Randy and Rhonda. One of the cutiest little 6 years old there ever was. Years go by so fast that to realize James is one of our bravest Heroes a wonderful young man. Having my own sons it becomes even a bigger reality. It is hard to believe it has been a year since his death, but I think of him and my friend Rhonda and her family everyday when I read the paper of more of our fallen. God bless them all for their huge hearts to keep us all safe."
Donna (Green) Wolin of Deerfield, IL

"George, Rhonda, and Randy,

I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you. We miss you guys and talk about you often. You are in our thought and prayers.

Sincerely,
CPT Nancy McLaughlin &
SSG Mario Rodas"
of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center

"To the Holmes family: You are in my thoughts and prayers everyday. I was one of the liaison’s in Germany, the crazy driver. I know if James came from a family like yours, he was truly an amazing person. I think of all 3 of you, all the time. I hope you are coping better. I am sorry we had to meet under those circumstances, but you guys definitely touched my life and I will never forget you. Your son and brother is a hero and he will never be forgotten."
PFC Altamura, Christina of Germany

"Our son served with James in Iraq and we know the heavy grief that Tom felt over the loss of James. Our prayers are with you and our thoughts continue to remember James. Even though we live many miles from you we are praying that God will sustain you in your deepest loss. His life counted for something, truly, trying to free other human beings living in bondage and fear. What could be a nobler calling?"
Shirley W. Caldwell of Albany, Texas

"MY NAME IS ROBERT SELTENRICH AND I WORK AT LANDSTUHL REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER WHERE JAMES DIED: IT WAS A SATURDAY AND I WAS IN THE ICU AT THE TIME. YOUR SON IS A HERO WHO GAVE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE. WE LOVE HIM AND HIS FAMILY: bobseltenrich@hotmail.com"
Robert Seltenrich of Landstuhl, Germany

"James,
All the trailblazers miss you here in Iraq. You were dedicated to the mission and it was an honor to serve with you. Miss ya buddy.
"The Tugboat lives on in our hearts""
Tom of Iraq

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

"THANKS TO ALL OF THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE SIGNED THIS PAGE. KEEP PRAYING FOR THE SOILDERS LEFT BEHIND. JAMES LOVED HIS COUNTRY AND AS HIS MOTHER I KNOW HE DIED PROUD TO SERVE HIS COUNTRY, BUT WOULD WANT ALL OF THE OTHER SOILDERS AND FRIENDS TO HAVE A SAFE RETURN HOME. THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL OF YOUR SUPPORT THERE ARE SO MANY ANGELS HERE ON EARTH HELPING US THROUGH, SO THANK YOU FOR YOUR THOUGHTS AND BLESSINGS AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL."
RHONDA, GEORGE AND RANDY (MOTHER, FATHER AND BROTHER of PEORIA, AZ

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

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

"Dear Holmes Family:
I will be praying for your family in this time of need. I went to High School at Centennial with your son. I remember in school he always made sure he said hello when you walked by even if he didn't know your name. He cared so much about other people and was always there to help. Your son is a hero and was a hero even before he went to war. God blessed your family with James."
Gina Hamblen of Peoria, AZ

"To the Holmes Family - my deepest regrets and condolences for your loss. I knew James as a Marine and will always remember him in my heart as good man and good Marine."
GySgt Smyer of Phoenix, AZ

"To the Holmes Family--May the Lord heal your hearts and strengthen you spiritually during this time of grief. It should give you great pride in knowing that James is a brave and couragous true American hero and will be remembered forever for the sacrafices he made for us and our country."
First Sergeant Michael Tellez of Phoenix, Arizona

"My heart is saddened by your loss. My prayers are with you. God bless and keep you in His tender love and care."
Connie Sylvester of Cynthiana, KY

"To James' 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 James' 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 (his mom) of San Antonio, TX"

"To the James J. Holmes family- It takes a very brave and strong person to be an American solider. I am very proud of James and hold him in the highest respect. I am keeping you in my prayers, like I do every day and night. I also have a loved one in the 141st. May peace be with you, your friends, and family during this difficult time. God Bless you!"
Jody Miller of St. Paul, MN USA

"Thank you James Holmes, 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. James Holmes:
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 James 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. James Holmes:
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 James, 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