Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Jessica M. Housby

23, of Rock Island, Illinois.
Housby died in Route Golden, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near her convoy. She was assigned to the Army National Guard's 1644th Transportation Company, Rock Falls, Illinois. Died on February 9, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Sgt. Jessica M. Housby.

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

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"To the family of Jessica Housby,
I was in a unit serving along side Jessica. On Memorial day I felt it was the least I could do to write a note and tell you I often think of your daughter. She was a sweet girl always ready with a smile! After deployment by total chance I found a picture of her in our local paper- I cut it out and laminated it, it will forever be on my refrierator ;)Iuse it to teach my children what sacrafices soldiers make, I am reminded how lucky I am to have returned home safe, and for the family I now have. Thank you does not cover the sentiment of this greatful nation! Thank you for Jessics have she is a true hero- she is not forotten!"
AL of Brookville OH

"Thinking of you Jess... We ALL miss you!!"
Dana Hall of Clinton Iowa

"I just have to say this really moves me. What a beautiful thing to do.
Im wondering how you put this together and if maybe I could also do this for my state. I also do portraits."
Mickey of Indiana

"I am LTC Jim Brady; I was the Operations Officer of the 106th Transportation Battalion which SGT Housby's unit served under. I have been wearing a wrist KIA bracelet in honor of SGT Housby since the day of her death and dedicated a place for here at the USS Arizona Memorial, http://www.arizonamemorial.org/memorial_registry.php ,. I think about her sacrifice every day.

I will be in Rock Island, Illinois from 26 June to 2 July 2011.

Jbrady6@hot.rr.com"
LTC Jim Brady of Fort Hood TX

"Jessica...i miss you so much...you were my best-friend and sister....we met at the age of 4 and were trouble from then on....i will remember all the great times we had....i am very proud of you...you were brave and loyal...love you always and forever sister."
Becky Eberts of milan, ill

"Hi again many people in mine and jessie's family[its the same family] have served in the war and its sad to see the first one in the family to die and to die young beautiful brave and full of courage love you cuz! :("
shawn p housby of washington,IA

"Hi, Sis !

You are most certainly NOT Forgotten !

Semper Fi,
"Major Pain""
Maj M B Parlor of Los Angeles, CA

"i am her young step cousin and i love her alot."
shawn p. housby of rock island,il,usa

"I didn't know SGT Housby, but i am currently deployed with a SSG who was there when that terrible incident happened. To hear the story made me want to look you up. It always hurts to lose a young Soldier if you knew them or not. My thoughts and prayers go out to all her family and friends and SGT Housby, you are a hero. people who dont even know you still speak of you.......RIP SGT"
SSG CRANMER,M of COPPERAS COVE TX

"09FEB10

It's been a long five years. Keep watching over all of us. Thank you for the memories."
SFC Chris Williams, 1644th forever of Springfield, IL

"HEY JESS,
When we meet again I hope we can go on that date we were suppose to go on when you came back. I miss you and I hope your watching over your family and friends."
Kent of Silvis, illinois

"August 5, 2009

Freedom's Call

They are called to be in uniform
To serve both day and night
Protecting our great country
To fight the valiant fight

To rescue us from danger
At home-across the sea
Brave and special people
Who keep our nation free

And together on a mission
Our heroes, they are there
Every color-every creed
With freedom's light to share

And day by day-step by step
All for one and one for all
Our heroes stand together strong
To answer freedom's call

It has been 4 1/2 years since god has taken you from us. Even thou the pain will never go away, we know god had a mission for you. There is not a day that goes by that we do not think about you and miss you so dearly, but the memories of your laughter and warmth that you have given people still remains in our minds and hearts that is what pulls me thru the days. Every where I go, who ever I meet, are always sharing stories of you to me. You will not be forgotten and I thank god every day for this. Until we meet again you will always be with your brother and me. Miss you and love you.

Mom and Matthew"
Deborah McWilliams of Milan, Illinois

"Freedom's Call

They are called to be in uniform
To serve both day and night
Protecting our great country
To fight the valiant fight

To rescue us from danger
At home-across the sea
Brave and special people
Who keep our nation free

And together on a mission
Our heroes, they are there
Every color-every creed
With freedom's light to share

And day by day-step by step
All for one and one for all
Our heroes stand together strong
To answer freedom's call

It has been 4 1/2 years since god has taken you from us. Even thou the pain will never go away, we know god had a mission for you. There is not a day that goes by that we do not think about you and miss you so dearly, but the memories of your laughter and warmth that you have given people still remains in our minds and hearts, that is what pulls me thru the days. Every where I go, who ever I meet, are always sharing stories of you to me. You will not be forgotten and I thank god every day for this. Until we meet again you will always be with your brother and me. Miss you and love you.

Mom and Matthew"
Deborah McWilliams of Milan, Illinois

"Its been 4 years and I still think of you often. Jessie, I will never forget you! I wish I could tell you in person but this is the next best thing. I'm having a baby! I wish you were here. I miss you every day!"
Melissa Hirst of Rock Island, IL

"February 2, 2009
To the family of Sgt. Jessica M. Housby:
Jessica 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

"Thanks to everyone who has left a message. I was her cousin, and she will be severly missed.Thank!"
Kraig Liddell of Davenport IA

"Jessica, we still miss you everyday. We were lucky to have you for the short time that we did. Rest in Peace and know that you were and are loved."
Tom Ridley (TJ's Dad) of Omaha, NE

"To the Family of Jessica i am so sorry for your loss and for you that did not have the honor of knowing her she was a real special person i remember one summer back in i think it was 98 or 99 we were in East Moline and i threw somthing on the ground and she told me to pick it up i responded with i defend this state and i will litter when i want she shot back with i defend this state to and i said pick it up needless to say i picked it up after that day we got along great. the day that they told us of your death i was crushed all i can say is that we all miss you and cant wait to see you in heaven RIP SGT HOUSBY!!!!!!!!"
Spc John Gosney of Milan IL

"I SERVED IN IRAQ AND WOULD LIKE TO WISH MY DEEPEST CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY OF JESSICA HOUSBY. SHE WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN."
MIKE TANNER of POB 389 ROCKY POINT, NY 11778

"May the Lord grant you hope and peace. This is a great sacrifice for a parent"
David Housby of Haysville, Kansas/USA

"I want to start off by thanking everyone who has left a message on this site. It's been two years since she passed, but it still hurts like it did then. I have just today found this site and it means alot to me to see all of your messages. Jessie was a very vibrant and outgoing lady, she was always the life of the party and its not the same without her. Thank you everyone. Jess I miss you so much, I love you and will see you again some day. Love always, Tiffany"
Tiffany M. Roberts (Jessica's Cousin) of Moline, IL

"I thought of today, as I lay in my bed at Camp Robinson. It has been over a year since we came home from over there. I don't have a poem or any educated quotes. Just look over your mother and brother. You are a remarkable woman. God Bless you and your family."
Spc Tarah Scott, 1st Platoon, 1644th Transportation Company of Lombard, IL

"To the family of:Jessica M. Housby 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. She 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"

"My name is Cameron Schilling and I have started “Portrait of a Soldier” which donates a portrait sketch of every Illinois soldier who has fallen in Iraq or Afghanistan. All 122 sketches will be on display for a Memorial Day Presentation in Chicago, Illinois on May 26-31 at the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. After the ceremony the sketches will be given to the immediate families of the Illinois soldiers. I would invite any friends or family members to come and honor these men and women from Illinois who have given their lives to our country. For more information please contact OperationHomeFront.org at 866-417-8889 which is an organization headed by the Lt. Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois who is in charge of the Memorial Day Presentation. Thank You.

Please check out www.portraitofasoldier.org
To contact Cameron email cameronschilling84@hotmail.com
To contact Operation Home Front call 866-417-8889"
Cameron Schilling of Charleston, Illinois

""Thank you Jessica Housby, you will not be forgotten." I did not know you, but was websurfing on all those who have died over there. I was U.S. Air Force sargeant for 5 1/2 yrs. Was even shot at in Turkey @night. But your service was beyond compare. May you rest in peace, and your family have fond memories. My eyes are just watering. If you say a person's name, sometime during your walk in life, I believe they continue on. I will remember to say your name, Jessica M. Housby as I live. Live on! January, 2006."
Ricardo Sawyer of Rancho Cucamonga, Ca., USA

"My name is Cameron Schilling. I am a college student from central Illinois. I am the first generation of my family not to serve his country. I am extremely grateful for the sacrifice you and your loved one has given for the United States. I am disappointed by the way the news media has covered this war and the deaths of our youth. The media as stopped listing the names of the soldiers killed in Iraq and people only talk about the soldiers when we reach a specific milestone in deaths. If you just started watching the news today you would not even know there is a war going on. Partisan politics have replaced coverage of our young generation who have traveled to a foreign land in the name of the United States. Whether you believe the war in Iraq is wrong, right, justified or not everyone should pay even just a little more attention to what these young men and women are sacrificing. This is what I would like to do. I want to do my part in honoring these soldiers and their memories. Along with being a college student I am also a budding artist. I draw pencil portraits of local people in my community. I want to offer a pencil portrait sketch to the immediate family of every Illinois soldier killed in Iraq. Please contact me at cameronschilling84@hotmail.com."
Cameron Schilling of Illinois

"To the Family of SGT Housby:
We have constructed a memorial to the service men and women from Wisconsin and Illinois who have died in Iraq which includes, as of 7/12/05, 112 crosses and Stars of David. We would like your permission to put Jessica's name on one of them.
We have called our display "Arlington Midwest" and it is located in Wisconsin Dells, WI.
It is our expression of mourning for the indescribable loss you have suffered for our country.

If you would like us to do this, please email me at ArlingtonMidwest@yahoo.com.

We invite you to visit Arlington Midwest. I can send you directions and some pictures by email.

"As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us,
as we remember them."
Marty Preston of Wisconsin Dells, WI

"The Memories
I sit by myself on the bench,
trying to fathom life.
As I grow solemn I see them,
the friends who have gone away.
They smile at me, waving and laughing,
they have reached their eternal bliss.
As they see my sadness they grow still,
one pantomines the question, why?
I tell them I miss them, badly,
as a group they glide forward.
I nod my head in appreciation of their efforts,
I let the tears roll down my cheeks.
They bow their heads in silence, knowing how I feel,
for they to have lost friends near and dear to them.
One by one they fade, fade away, until there is only one,
he raises his hand in pride, showing me the greatest honor.
Slowly I rise to stand at attention, tears flowing freely,
I return his salute, knowing it wont be forgotten.
As he fades away I smile for I know the truth,
they will be with me forever no matter what I may do.........

This was written when I lost a very near and dear friend to this unhappiness. He was always upbeat about things even when it seemed that we were never going to get out of some situations, this young lady sounds much the same way. I offer my words in token knowing that they are only words and cannot bring back the person only bring images of her maybe as her loved ones are sitting in that very bench I describe in my writing. With this I close wishing her family and friends good health and maybe a measure of peace within."
Dammon of Kentucky

"The Family Army Spc. JESSICA M. HOUSBY
I didn't know JESSICA M. HOUSBY Yon a personal level. I never met her in my life.God bless You JESSICA M. HOUSBY. My heart goes out to you at your loss. The world will be less because of your and our loss. I send you all my love and embrace you warmly. Family JESSICA M. HOUSBY, I can't imagine the loss you are feeling right now. May God's love bring peace to you and your family through these hard times. Killed JESSICA M. HOUSBY, who has gone help Iraq people, but huns have gotten back life. JESSICA M. HOUSBY remain in my memory. Dear Family JESSICA M. HOUSBY
She is a true hero at world."
Dariusz Chorak of Elbl¹g - Poland - Europe

"Jessie I know you are watching down on all of us just know I will always miss and love you. You were a great friend and co- worker You will always be my hero."
Kandi Ciesinski of Colona,IL

"Thank you.
God Bless you.
Carry on Sergeant.

SGT Paul Dayes
Operation Iraqi Freedom 1 & 2"

"Thank You for your bravery Jessica. May you now know the peace you so rightly deserve. God will now keep you safe, at last. My heart aches with your family. God bless all of you."
Melissa Macchi, cousin of PFC Mark Barbret, killed 10/14/04, of Roseville, MI

"Life will never be the same without you Jessie. You are loved and will be missed be so many people. Signs all over town bearing your name and even the visitations and the funeral still dosen't make it seem real that your gone. Thank you for the sacrifice you made for your country and for all of us. God bless your family. You are always in my thoughts and prayers."
Alicia of Milan, Illinois

"jessica your a hero in all ways, we send our deepest sympathy's to all of the family. you will always be in our hearts."
brenda&bob alteri of lasalle, il.

"Dear Friends,
I want to tell you how sorry I am because of Jessica's death. May the God of peace put his arms around you. I was in the service during the Vietnam war. My deepest sympathies to you."
Dennis Nickel of Moscow, Idaho

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

"My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Jessica Housby. I lost my son on January 26, 2005 in a helicopter crash in Iraq. Those that have lost their lives are true heroes. May God comfort you in your time of need."
Helen Gilbert of Dayton, Ohio

"Please accept my deepest sympathy on the loss of yourloved one. I know she will be deeply missed by all that knew her.
Sam Veer
Vice Pres. Freeport Chptr. VietNow
Board Chrmn. Operation Home Front NWI"
of Freeport, Il

"Thank you Jessica Housby, 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 Sgt. Jessica Housby:
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 Jessica for the sacrifice she has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Jessica Housby:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. She 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 Jessica, 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