Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Sgt. Thomas E. Houser

22, of Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Houser died as result of enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Died on January 3, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Sgt. Thomas E. Houser.

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"2017. As always, I would love guidance on the new year. Thus far, it has been a challenge. Please watch over us as closely as ever. Give strength... miss you"
J of D.C.

"Never gets easier. Miss ya, bro."
Larg of Oklahoma

"Always in my heart brother"
Azuara of Austin tx

"10 years... My Brothers best friend. My newphews middle name is after you. Keep watching over us - you're missed everyday."
M

"You and Larr are probably playing basketball without Jerry and Joe and I are just wondering how everything is up there. Take care of Larr for me as I no longer am able to. Only my prayers are with him and my heart aches for Larr. Hope someday his four older children will appreciate all their father and I did for them to grow up as their two younger sons. So many of your friends miss you. We get together every year to celebrate your life. you are something special as your brother is, too. You would be proud of him, Tom and you are a great uncle to watch over your niece Hannah, and nephews Thomas and Jac. You would have had a blast with them. Probably get them into some trouble or mischief. Jac is a lot like you. God bless you and keep me in your prayers and I do for you. Love you, Muz, that's what the gran's call me. See you on the other side."
M

"Larry is now in heaven with you. Please ensure he laughs a lot and knows that things are taken care of on this end. His send off was appropriate and there was even an unexpected harmonica solo at the end. It was very fitting. Be sure he does relax and enjoy the new digs. We remain here, waiting to get back home to you all. Fair winds and following seas."
J of DC

"Ten years. Your departure represents almost a third of my life. Whereas, the same duration serves as nearly half of time you were with us. Pop culture is often categorized by a decade; the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and so on. Likely music, movies, world events, scientific discovery, literature and art define the culture of any giving ten year span of time. Since you shuffled off this mortal coil in 2005, I’m reminded of the events of not only my life, but how the world has changed since your eyes last laid upon it. How would you view all the changes in the world since you left a cultural era ago? Would you approve? Be disheartened? Be amazed and impressed? It would be a snapshot for you, if provided a moment to see it as we do. Yet, for us it has been a progression that we only notice in retrospect. My day to day life sees the daily evolution of, for instance, my children. I have to pause and reflect of when they were a younger age, which reminds me that time goes fast. For others not able to see the kids’ regular changes, their growth is exponential. Gray hair presents another example. I’m aware that it never existed on my head or face, but I see it every day now. I don’t notice the new ones on a day to day basis, although they certainly sneak in. We become so busy with life that we don’t stop to realize how quickly it passes us by. We focus on tomorrow, next month or year. I woke up recently and it was 2015; 2014 had flown by in the blink of an eye. I asked more of gray bearded gentleman then I am, if as one grew older the clock went faster. The reply was that it did. So, I will make the most of the time that I have. I will remember that a decade, year, month or even a day can define an era. My time will not be wasted; it will be cherished in honor of you."
J of DC

"I heard a song today that reminded me of you. I took it as a little sign from you and my PaPa. I can not believe it's been ten years...my children hear about you frequently and we visit your grave often. You are always in our hearts and in our minds."
Cassy of Council Bluffs

"I still can't believe you're gone. It seems like just yesterday my parents were sitting me down to tell me what happened and asking if I had any questions. My heart aches when I think about why you're not here. I'm in college now, believe it or not. Second year, next year I'll be transferring to the University of Minnesota to get my degree in education. I know that you watch over me, sometimes its like I can feel you with me, and I just wanted to say thank you. Christmas is always hard for me because I always remember the time you dressed up as Santa Claus and came to Uncle Sean's. Do me a favor and watch over Larry, he could really use it right now. Not a day goes by that I don't think about you. I love you."
Mariah Nath

"Thank you for your kind thoughts, Kristen. A noble profession is one that couples your desires to serve with the needs of the community. It appears that you have mixed both into the same intention. I applaud your desire to serve because it is noblest of jobs: one that provides service to your fellow man. We all have a communal obligation to each other. Some spend a lifetime trying to figure that out and discovering their purpose. Your maturity precedes you in years. I wish you fair winds and following seas towards your goal. Remember to stay the course even when the seas are not in your favor. Nothing is impossible. Thank you for your message."
J of DC

"Kristen Houser
Winfield City High School
11/5/2014
12th grade

My name is Kristen Houser. I go to Winfield City High School. I am on the danceline at my high school. I love to dance. Math and science are my favorite subjects. I am a huge Alabama fan! I want to be a doctor when I grow up becuase I want to change and help people. I want to make a difference in peoples lives. I am able to enjoy and do the things I love because of the people who fight to keep our freedom. They go out there and truely make a difference in the way people live. Everyday they get to lay their head down at night and say, "I'm doing something good". That's what I want to be able to do. I want to thank Marine Sgt. Thomas E. Houser for giving his life to protect the freedom of our country. He had alot of bravery to do that and I wanna give my thanks and respects to him and his family.
Thank you, Kristen Houser.
Contact Information:jwilson@winfield.k12.al.us"
Kristen Houser of Winfield , Alabama

"THB"
-AXE/D4 of NY

"It's been 9 yrs since I've heard your voice alot of things have happened in those 9 yrs. I got out of the marines shortly after you had died and I'm married with 2 wonderful boys and living in nebraska now. My oldest Sean just turned 2 yesterday and he's a handful he loves to climb and then there is Ryan who is just a little over 2 months old and he's just the sweetest baby. My husband has actually seen you. You guys were deployed at the same time at the same camp and I was telling him the story of you finding the hip gun holster and he said he saw you in the cafeteria wearing it. I think about you everyday and I will forever love you."
Kelley aka toots of Alliance, NE

"Happy 32nd Birthday, brother. Whenever it is your birthday, I pause and think where I was two years previously in my life and where you would be."
J

"Nine years. You are not forgotten, never forgotten, brother. Semper Fi."
J

"Hey there Marine, you have never left my mind. I remember the first day I met you back in June of 2000. You and I spent many nights together talking about our hometowns and what we wanted to do in the Corps. You effected people with your kindness, and I will never forget running around Camp Matilda, and running into you in 2003. I hadn't seen you since boot camp, and I was thrilled to run into you. I enjoyed the Alcohol free beer that we shared, and listening to you talk about becoming a Recon Marine. Its Sept of 2013 now, and you were really on my mind. I tried finding you on FB, not there, so I tried google. This is not what I was expecting to see. You will never be forgotten, and I will visit you soon. God Bless Your Soul Brother"
Cody Trahern of Granbury, TX

"Hey kid, the Houser Hustle race in your name is appoaching, and keep watch over everyone this day. 8 years have gone by, and I see you, in your niece and nephews. Your spunk, is in all of them. I pray you are watching over your brother as I have asked so many times. I have so asked for your continued help on many occasions especially when I have lost something and at that particuler time, is needed and you very much find it. I love you always, you know that."
MOM

"Today was memorial day. We watched the bikes from their starting point rather than in the heart of things. It was actually kind of nicer that way. The boys enjoyed it. I wish that more people knew about this venue to say hello, but I guess it's hard to keep up with everything. Well, know that you were thought of and remembered on this day. Brother, you are never forgotten and always remembered in the hearts that love you...even those that have never heard you voice."
J

"31. You would have been 31 this week. It doesn't seem like that is even possible. You were just here recently, yet so long ago. You are still in daily thoughts and your council is still sought and missed. You are not forgotten and still serve as a reminder and motivator to endeavor for what we dream to accomplish. There is not a holiday or moment of daily life that you are not a part of. Brother you still serve as a reminder of what it is to sacrafice and live. We are ever humbled by your continued existance in our hearts, thoughts and memory. Forever may your light shine upon those who remember what it is to be free and never forget those provide it."
J

"8 years and you are not forgotten, brother. I've returned from another adventure and am no worst for wear. Thank you for looking over everyone and know that you are thought of daily. You are the motivation and drive that keep many going (even when we don't want to). A fork in the round is in the near term, so please guide me on the right path."
J

"To the family of:Thomas E. Houser
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""

"7 years. Now, once more we go. Keep with me while I'm gone to return as a father and husband should to his family. Look over them while I'm away as though I were here to do so myself."
J

"Brother, we are coming up on another holiday season and subsequently another extended time away from the family. I ask that you continue to look upon your niece and nephews while I'm away. Know that you are their eternal Godfather and guardian angel. I also ask that you watch over me while I'm gone to ensure I return to raise three children you would be proud of, and be the husband the that their mother deserves. Please let this deployment be worth the time...a commodity that can't be replaced. You'll be ever in my thoughts while I'm there...please let the family be in your watchful eye while I'm away. You are ever in our thoughts."
J

"Its been 6 weeks since you blessed us with another angel that you looked after for 9 months. The young lad was born with my name but I had to call him Jack vice his given first or middle name. It would have been funny to eventually scold a Joe and Tom...I would have sounded too much like Mom. Thank you for ever lookin over us and continually smiling down. I've tried to stay in touch the best I can with the guys...but life does sometimes get in the way. An excuse I'm sure would be well countered by your argument. My office boasts of reminders of you. Not a day passes that you are not thought of and missed, especially when I look at the kids playing. Thye get along very weel together and have embraced the "FNG" well. Everyday I fly the flag at the house it is flown in your honor. I have another rodeo next year, please continue your grace and overwatch. You are never forgotten brother."
J

"I`m late with my message, but don`t think you`re forgotten, or that I didn`t mull over your life and sacrifice on Memorial Day. Not that, that`a the only time. I pray for you, I pray for your parents, I pray for Joe & his family & regret losing touch with him. As my children get older, I teach them that freedom isn`t free, and the sacrifice & pain that goes into our being able to have the freedoms we have. Hope you`re having as much of a blast in heaven as you always did on earth. Miss you & thank you always."
Brittany of Omaha, Nebraska

"I drive by you everyday on my way to work always giving a nod in your direction. I miss you like hell - we all do - nothing happens in my life where I don't wish you were here to experience it with me. My wife never got the chance to meet you but rest assured I've chewed her ear off with stories and telling her how much she would have enjoyed your company. I am very proud of you and your passing changed my lifestyle for the better and I've tried to live better ever since in your honor. Much love always buddy."
Phil of CB, IA

"Lunch, its been a while but I was telling your story to my son about you and why we remember you and your family on Memorial Day and he asked if he could pray for you. Brought a tear to my eye, brother. If my son turns out even half the man you are, he'll be in good shape. I miss you, my brother. You will always be remembered in our house."
Cpl. Kyle Larney of Moore, OK

"Happy Memorial Day Tommy! Miss you and love you. (ps- have been talking to you a lot lately... wondering if you heard me.)"
M

"It's been 6 exact years now and this has been the one of the toughest years. Maybe because it falling on the exact same day. You would be proud of your brother as he has always been proud of you. His children are pretty much like you and him. I've been looking at pictures of you and Joe during this last week and been laughing and crying. People say time heals, but not this time. You are forever in my heart and you need to watch over your brother and his family. I can't be there as much I would like. Give a hug to your Grandpa for me and you behave up there, or I'll have God after you."
Mom

"Today we honor your courage and commitment, along with all those who have served in the armed forces. It's been awhile since you left the Earth, but your memory lives on. I didn't know you too well, but I still feel the impact you had on the community during and after your life. Happy Veteran's Day, Tom. We're always thinking of you."
B

"the kids are getting ready for Halloween. I can't there but I hope what I am doing will be worth it. Again, need you need you to look out for everyone b/c I'm not there. Its getting tougher to be away...not ever easy, but nonetheless harder. Give me your endurance to get rhough the last bit of it. Give them the patience to know that I'll make this worth the time. Keep smiling down bro; we're smiling up. Help me to keep the faith and stay the course. Let Grandpa know I'm trying to just hit the ball up the fareway. Take it easy."
J

"There was a race in your honor a couple days ago. I saw the highlights and it looked like it was a great turn out. It's humbling that it was put together and that some guys from the unit were able to be there. I did my rememberance distance in little different way, but was thinking of you during. I hope the effort is not for nothing, it better be worth it. Please watch over us with the most recent aspect going on. Give the endurance and over watch. thinking of you everyday brother. where would you be now? Keep watching over the family and smiling down..."
J

"Your name has been carried on for a year now and let me tell you the lad is strong. He has a laugh that would rival yours. It is contagsous. His big sister just had her first ballet recital and it was the cutest thing I have ever seen. Anyone would have had a smile on their face seeing that. I know you were there because there was so much happiness that day. You should be here. We were looking at houses and i thought how nice it would have been if you were able to live in the giant basement of one of the houses. I guess we'll have to wait for the next life."
J

"Easter - why "hot lunch"

joe3400e@hotmail.com"

""Lunch" I was cleaning my office up today and found my smokey bear you gave me the day I got out. Was remembering my last week in and the crazy antics we pulled off in this thing. Been over 5 years now brother still think of you all the time and the times we could have had. Will never forget you or the dynamic trio."
Sgt. David Easter of Owasso, Oklahoma

"Thinking of you Tommy--Losing Rob brought back so many memories--Keeping both your families in my thoughts and prayers this Memorial Day. Miss you"
Rebecca

"I have a choice. Please advise."

"Thinking of you Tommy"
Rebecca of OFallon MO

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Its been five years and it gets tougher not easier. The kids are doing great. We would love to see you with them - there would have been a lot of laughs. You would have been 28 today. With each of your birthdays I think of where I was two years prior in my life and wonder where you would be - still the Corps, a father, a husband. There is one thing that I do know: you would be an uncle, a damn fine one at that. Nonetheless, we take comfort in knowing that you are ever with us and protecting us as a guardian angel. I am sitting with (2) Guinesses toasting your life on a quiet snowy night. One for you; one for me. Happy Birthday little brother. God Bless. You are not forgotten."
J

"Tom,
Remembering you as always. Just looked at some Christmas pictures of the year you played Santa....the holidays are not the same without you. Miss you so much. Love you always...you will NEVER be forgotten. RIP my brother!!!!! Kim"
Kim Ward Nath of Omaha, NE/USA

"STILL IN OUR HEARTS"
D of C.B IOWA

"Tom,
First off I have to tell you how much I miss you, I think of you everyday. I also have a plant at home that I got from your service and I have named it after you...it is all the way to ceiling. I sometimes wonder if its trying to grow to heaven to see you. It is my reminder of you in my home...you are always in my heart. Still hard for me to believe you are gone. I also have a picture that rides in my truck with me. I know you are my guardian angel and watch over me and all you love.
I got to meet your name sake a week or so ago when he was here for his baptism, he is truly amazing. He is beautiful and his smile makes you feel warm all over. You would be so proud. He has a wonderful family...you would love Shannon, she is beautiful and smart and an amazing wife and mother, I know you would approve. Hannah, oh Hannah...she is a princess in every sense of the word and she looks like Joe, she has his eyes and she is funny and bright and beautiful.
Mariah is in high school now...can you believe that. She is going to Roncalli Catholic in Omaha. She loves it..thanks for watching over her she is a teenager now and needs alot of watching over. Do your best to keep her safe and maybe if you see where she might need help making the right choice you could help her out. She misses you terribly, as do all of us.
Tom, I wish you would have gotten the chance to live your life to its fullest but thank you for the sacrifice you made for us. I will never forget you.
I will talk to you soon.
Love Kim"
Kim Ward Nath of Omaha NE

"tom, i miss you.
i just thought i would throw that out there. ive been good moved back to omaha, i love it im very happy. i wish i could show you. i dnt know how good posting a message on this thing will satisfy my wanting to tlk to you but im doin it. your always in my heart and i stilll think about you constantly.
i love you,"
Ryn

"I miss you brother. Things are just not quite as nice as they were. Easter and I still continue to remember you and will always continue to do so.

I like to think that you keep an eye on my little boy every now and then because sometimes he pulls some crazy manuever that reminds me of you.

You have made a lasting impression in my life and I will forever be thankful to have been your friend."
Kyle T. Larney of Broken Arrow, OK

"Its been a little over a week that your name sake has been gracing us with his presence. His big sister has seamlessly adjusted and is a great helper. Thank you for watching down on us as you have, we are blessed. Also, thank you for the other good news today. Thomas will grow into being his own man with his own name; however, I trust that you will guide him and big sister along the way. Nonetheless, it is nice to her the name Tom in my life again. Please say hi to grandpa and know you are in our daily thoughts. As always, we miss you..."
J

"I miss ya so much buddy, i know your looking over all ofus. No one could ever make me laugh like you. you were one of a kind and i love ya big guy"
Patrick Barber of Ankeny, iowa

"Thinking of you today...you must be busy watching over all of us and catching up with grandpa...you never got to meet my husband down here but I'm sure you two are great friends now...Love and Miss you all!"
Mary Ane of West Des Moines, IA

"You were an inspiration to so many, myself included. I remember you every day, and every time I am in need of a reminder of just what a Marine is supposed to be. You sure did love your poundcake."
Sgt. Lavelle from A Co 3rd of Quantico, Va

"Four year and it still stings late at night when I think about everything we have missed. I wish I could see you seeing me (us) now. Please continue to watch over all of us and send the next little one with as good a sense of humor and vigor for life as the first. See you on the dark side. Keep smiling down, we are smiling up..."
J

"Please say hello to Grandpa. I know that you are all up there catching up right now. We miss you both and know that you are thought of often. Please continue to watch over us, especially the little ones...take care"
J

"If your note had come sooner I would played Dark Side of the Moon -- Brain Damage/Eclipse for you (per your wishes). I'm listening to it now, and let tell you, its fitting. At least I said something cool, at least I tried to. I feel like I'm on the DSOM, big transition coming up, guide me through it brother. You're still here everyday."
J

"Happy Birthday little brother, 27th. You will be toasted and remembered. You are missed and NEVER forgotten. We'll talk later."
J

"10 years and one whole day since I stepped on the yellow foot prints. Its funny, I remember when you were there on my boot camp graduation day, you were so proud AND couldn't wait for your turn. Another New Year is about to begin and the thoughts of you are heavy. Continue to watch over us as you do. Know that you are always "uncle" and your life and memory will be carried on by your family. You were a brother before we shared a uniform and will always be a brother who is missed with every day that passes. Tom, please know that we wish you were here. Our hearts are heavy with your absence, but enlightened with the thought of you. Keep smiling down and we shall keep the faith."
J

"December 29, 2008
To the family of Sgt. Thomas E. Houser:
Thomas 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

"... ON OUR 233RD BIRTHDAY, FIRST REMEMBER THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED AND THOSE "ANGELS" WHO HAVE FALLEN - OUR REPUTATION WAS BUILT ON THEIR SACRIFICES. REMEMBER OUR FAMILIES; THEY ARE THE UNSUNG HEROES WHOSE SUPPORT AND DEDICATION ALLOW US TO ANSWER OUR NATION'S CALL. FINALLY, TO ALL MARINES AND SAILORS, KNOW THAT I AM PROUD OF YOU AND WHAT YOU DO. YOUR SUCCESSES ON THE BATTLEFIELD HAVE ONLY ADDED TO OUR ILLUSTRIOUS HISTORY. GENERAL VICTOR H. "BRUTE" KRULAK SAID IT BEST WHEN HE WROTE, "... THE UNITED STATES DOES NOT NEED A MARINE CORPS ... THE UNITED STATES WANTS A MARINE CORPS." YOUR ACTIONS, IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN, AND ACROSS THE GLOBE, ARE AT THE CORE OF WHY AMERICA LOVES HER MARINES.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARINES AND SEMPER FIDELIS! JAMES T. CONWAY, GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS, COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS

"

"Tom, you are the world's busiest angel, watching over us all. You are never forgotten. From your ratty old Yankees hat to your incredible spirit - still putting smiles my face. I'll come see you again soon my friend. Miss you."
M

"Well you have another to train, keep safe and send to us. You did a great job with your niece; please do the same for the new little person, uncle Tom. Not a day passes where you are not thought of, remembered and missed. We are here and think of you everyday. Take care bro..."
J.

"It has been a few years now, but you are still in my thoughts brother. Some people will never understand what it is like to form a bond under fire. The Larg comes over quite often and there is never a time when we don't talk about the good times we had. Just know that I'll never forget you, or the reason we did what we did. God speed and Semper Fi"
Sgt David Easter of Owasso, Ok

"It was exactly a 4yrs ago today I said my last good-byes to you. We had the best weekend I could ever remember. You did not sleep the whole weekend on account of saying your good byes. I relive that weekend daily. What would I have changed? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I hear so many wonderful things about you and and your brother, Joe. My stomache aches for you. But mostly for Joe, now. Because you see, he won't have you here to bounce things off on. Or just hanging out. Your sister in law and niece are perfect. You would be proud of your big bro. He is doing well, with your wings watching over him. I will never forget the words you said at the hotel room when I opened the door, and you said where's my MOM. I said Tom who do you think you're looking at. You said I looked terrific and would not mind going out with me. I look at your pictures in my office everyday and only wish I could have one more day with you. Just you and me. You see I had to share you with the world. and that was pretty hard on me. I raised you and your bro to be honest responsible men. Little did I know that this would happen. Ryn, Kim, Kara, Larry, Molly, Sean, and Martha miss you too. I have tried to be brave and think there is a reason. Now I know why. Maybe to appreciate you and your life and who you are. Maybe its for us to appreciate each other and what each of us can do. Thank you for all you have do for me. Finding things that are impossible to find. I just call your name and you respond to me. Hey, just wished you would've done that when you were growing up. I have received numerous letters and calls about you and your bravery. I know you were brave but this is something,big. Bigger than I could have ever known. You have touched so many lives. I just want to says THanks, son."
MOM of COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA

""The streets of heaven are peaceful and serene,gaurded by another U.S.Marine" My son serves with the 2nd Force Recon unitout of Camp LeJuene NC and was there the day Tom died. He relives it daily in his memory and grieves for the loss of a friend and a brother in arms. He tells me what a great person Tom was and what a great Marine he was. My prayers have been with his family since that day and although I did not know Tom, as a mother of a Marine I just wanted to say Thank You and God Speed. I also have some pictures that my son sent me that have Tom in them and would be more than happy to send them if you would like. (contact dbecker90@yahoo.com)"
Denise Becker of Lansing Iowa

"all gave some, some gave all. SEMPER FI.. SSGT CARR 2ND RECON BN 97- 04"

"I miss the good ol' days. Hanging at Andy & Sara's, drinking capt. morgan, philosophizing on pink floyd.
Then the music died.
You're missed Tommy, but NEVER forgotten."
friend of Jville, NC

"Tom, Another Memorial Day in which you were remembered. We flew the flag and thought of you. We will not forget and I will not quit. I think of you daily, many times during the day. You are always in my thoughts and I miss you with every event we have or everytime I pick up the phone to call you. You are not and will never be forgotten. Keep smiling down and throw advise my way if you can."
J

"Tom, I knew of this message board for awhile, but couldn't seem to put my feelings into words. I really still can't. I look over at my children, and I think of your sacrifice. For them, for all of us. It reminds me that freedom is not free. I always knew you and Joe would be great men, you are both just so special. I will never forget you. I pray for you, and for Joe's safety too. I pray for all of our soldiers, both fallen and alive. Your sacrifice does not surprise me, because that was your nature. I never saw you without a smile on your face, and you were so damn funny. You cared so much about other people, you had such a big heart. Working with you and Joe made work so much more fun, and I have a lot of memories of the two of you that I hold dear. I hope you are there to open the gates for me my friend. Love always, Brittany."
Brittany Andrysik (Tolen) of Omaha, NE

"I first deployed with Tom in 2003. He was a leader from the get go, a good NCO for a junior Marine to look up to. He was also never without a sense of humor, as even his picture with his nickname "Hot Lunch" written on it was hanging on the Company Walls. I just want to say thanks Tom, for all that you have done. Semper Fi!"
Sgt Daniel J. English of Jacksonville, NC

"Aside from correcting misspellings, I forgot something in the last message...Happy Birthday!"
J

"On the day that celebrates your birth and reminds us of your sacrafise, you are remembered. Fittingly, this year it falls on Ash Wednesday, a day thar reminds of a life sacrafised for others."
J

"Rest in peace brother. You will never be forgotten."
1LT Ryan Vogel of Omaha, NE

"Tom,
Its been 3 years since that night. Time hasn't made it any easier, but I know that you are watching over us. Your niece is growing up so fast, thank you for being her guardian angel. Its hard to type here becuase there are so many things that I want to tell you; however, I know that you listen to me everyday (cause I talk to you everyday). I wish I could see you with my girls, and for you to see how happy I am. There are many here who keep your memory alive, you are not forgotten nor will you ever be. I miss you bro, take care...we'll talk soon. Let me know you're ok..."
J

"Tom, It's been almost 3 years since that night. I relive it often and wonder if I could have done anything different, anything to change things. I miss you bro, everyday. I feel blessed to have known you, from our time in RIP, to Coronado to Brunswick. You were a true brother. We'll get together at Duck's and pay tribute again in a month, but things don't get any easier. I love you brother."
K

"Tom,
It has been several years and I've known this message board was here. I just did not know what to say and it has just been hard, but I'm ready to talk to you here.
I did not get to meet you. Joe and I made plans for you to visit when you came home, but that didn't happen and I only know what I've heard about you and seen in pictures. I didn't know you, but you are my little brother and I love you as such. Strange enough I talk to you and hope you hear. I hope you see me and approve of Joe's choice. I thank you for watching over your niece before sending her to us. I know that you were there with her preparing her for her journey here and you did a great job. She's wonderful and I wish you could hold her and see how funny she is. From what I've heard, you probably armed her with all the humor she could handle to start off in this world. I know that you watch over her and I know that you watch over Joe when he's gone from us, and it eases my soul to know that they are safe with your overwatching them. I have been fortunate to be brought into your family and I look forward to meeting you when the time is right.
I met one of your brothers of your unit and I know that you are loved now as you were when you were with him. You probably know that Jason's Hannah's godfather and I know you will approve of that decision as well.
Time passed does not make it easier, as you are remembered on every holiday and happy occasion.
Tom, I was jipped from knowing you personally, but with Joe and all of those who have memories of you, I feel that you are close. I love you as my brother and am greatful to have you for my Hannah's uncle. She will know you and you are never forgotten."
Shannon Houser of VA

"what can i say? you left out of know where. you disappeared forever on me. you completely abandond the ones who love you. you hurt your family and friends so much, it was a mistake from the get go. but you also, risked it all and lost it all for what you beleived in. no matter how much i may hate the fact your gone, you did what was right. you were a true hero when you had a choice. you are an amazing person. you were my friend man. you made me laugh, you made every one laugh. there was never a dull moment. you came through even when offered not to. you dealed with alot. you showed every one you loved them. you dressed up as santa claus to try to fool me, and totally fooled mariah. you saved others while completly killing yourself. i try so hard not to think of what happened and your juss gone for a really long time. but its hard tom, its devistatingly hard. i think about how your juss on another deployment. but then my heart starts to wonder why the hell i havent seen you in so long.

you looked out for me when i was young. i saw you much, then you left for the marine core. i was to young to understand that it could actually hurt you. but i soon relized what could happen, the consequences were not even remotly fair to you making a faulty move. but thats just it, you didnt make a fualty move. you willing went out and saved the others and thats whats throws me off. i completely understand that you did what was right and you did what you had to do. TOM! i cant understand why you though. why were you the one who had to go and leave, you could have survived, there is and was always a way for every one to live. since you have left i try my hardest not to cry, i try my hardest not to let my feelings get the best of me. i dont want people to know what im feeling. they wont understand like you and you left, now i cant even ask for help any more. we may not have been as close as we once were, but i knew i could rely on you. i regret not talking to you as much then and i try my hardest to talk to joe. i love you with a great majoraty of my heart. i wish i could look at your living face and tell you that. i wish i could have talked to you those last few months. i wish i could have thought about a last good bye before i had said my first. i heard of your leaving and was speechless. i could not talk for a long time. i couldnt even think straight. couldnt eat, it was hard to sleep. it was hard for me to pray to God it wasnt true. i want to beleive it never happened. but as hard as i try something reminds me of you. i think about you every day, im sure im not the only one, but i litterrally can not go 1 *in day with out thinkg of you.

Tom you should be here now. you have a beautiful niece. and a lovely sister now. you know how much joe misses you. if i think about you every day i can not even beguin to know how much he thinks baout you. or your mom. people who love you man. you know that, and if you dont your crazy. people say things happen for a reason tom but why the hell did this happen? it did NO good whats so ever there is nothing brilliantly new in our lives and youve been gone for a little while now, if it happened for a reason what the hell was that reason? you were taken away from us and i want you back. i want you back more than i want my own life. i hate to here people talk about you, even if it is in a good way. i dont know how to respond. i dont want to think haha yeah good old tom, because it *ing hurts! i hate it the one thing i hate is this feeling that i will never see you again. its not even anger its just a hate i dont get mad and i dont get angry i feel just terrible and regretful and empty. i have no reason to feel that way if you were still here."
Ryn of Kansas City, Ks

"To friends and family of Sgt. Houser I served with him in Fast Company Yorktown Virginia. I Will never forget him, we talked daily about everything, he was my roommate. I learned alot from him he is the most dedicated marine I ever meet. I apologize for not attending his services but he will understand. Ill be there with you standing tall gaurding the gates of heaven when we see each other again."
Cpl Azuara of Austin, Tx.

"I served with Houser in 2nd Lar Bn During OIF 1. He was without a doubt one of the best Marines I have ever met, he was the epitamy of what it meant to be a leader, his dedication to corps and country were instrumental in shaping my views of what it truly meant to be a Marine. Everyday I have an oppurtunity to do something that fear would normally keep me from doing I think of Houser and Engel and how they will never get a chance to experience this and I do it for them. I wish they were here to live it too. also to freinds and family of Houser I have video tape footage of him as well as Mark Engel from OIF contact me through Bluewaterdiver007@yahoo.com"
Robert Hollandsworth of Kona HI

"I went to high-school with Tom, but 2 years younger. I now do volunteer work with marines and soldiers on their way to and from Iraq. Everytime a tall, good-looking, blonde marine passes my way, I immediately think of Tom.

I thought of Tom often yesterday, Memorial Day, and decided to google his name today. (which is how I found this site). Even though he was not a close friend of mine his absense is noticed and he is missed. I remember how outgoing Tom was, and how he was always so kind and warm. He went above and beyond to make people feel welcome, whether it was through a joke or kind words.

2 years ago I may not have appreciated Tom's sacrifice as much as I do today. I just wanted you to know, that he touched the lives of so many. Whether it is through directly knowing him, or through inspiring someone like me to go and support our troops. He is still making a difference in this world, and his life and courage is still impacting people. Hopefully this all makes a bit of sense.

He is in my thoughts and prayers, and so are the rest of the troops fighting to protect us. Thank you."
2002 S.A. Alum. of Dallas, Texas

"On this memorial day, you were remembered. We all miss you, and wish you could be here. You are not forgotten. Keep smiling down."
J

"Thomas,
I would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"To Tom's Family,
My brother Patrick Barber was a really close freind of Tom's. I met him once his last time home in Iowa. He was a great person and I know how much he meant to my brother. God Bless your family."
Allie of Ankeny

"Tom - We love you, miss you, and think about you everyday! Your smiling face never leaves our thoughts. Keep watching over us all!"
Jamie Richards-McMillan of Kirksville, MO

"The second anniversary isn't any easier. I am watching your video that Brian made...the pain won't go, but niether will my resolve... I won't quit. I know you look down on your niece, but I'd like to see you with her, and you would love her mother. I miss your laugh and smile bro. See you on the dark side..."
J

"Houser was in Alpha Company LAR while I was over there. Every time I came to hang out, I talked to all the guys about coming over to 2D Recon, especially Tom. he was gung ho about getting over there. We went off to OIF 1 and I saw him when I got back. He had finally made it through ARS and I was very proud of him. He was very happy. Just before they shipped out, I talked to Tom and wished him good luck. He was in Gunny MacDermotts PLT in Force Co. When I heard he was killed I was ashamed at first, for pushing him to come over (still am a bit). I feel a like I let him down, but he died doing what he loved. See you on the other side Brother."
SSGT Erv Felker 0321 of D Co 4TH Ranger Tng Bn Ft Benning Ga

"I miss you. I will never forget. Keep smiling down. I'll keep smiling up. Thanks for everything little brother."
J.

"Dear Tom,

We thought of you with Love today,
But that is nothing new.
We thought about you yesterday
And days before that too.

We think of you in silence,
We often speak your name.
Now all we have are memories,
And your picture in a frame.

Your memory is our keepsake,
With which we'll never part.
God has you in His keeping,
We have you in our Heart.

We miss you friend, Love and Blessings Always"
Ron, Carolyn, and Charlie Vanfossan of Council Bluffs, Iowa

"Tom "Hot Lunch" Houser was a good man. He was one of my best friends and one man that I knew I could count on for anything. It seemed it was always Houser, Easter, Barber and I hanging out together and I will truly miss those times. Serving with him was a great honor."
Cpl. Larney of Ada, OK

"I SERVED WITH THOMAS "HOT LUNCH" HOUSER AT 2D LAR BN A CO HE WAS ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS WE HAD PICKED UP SGT THE SAME DAY HE'D COME OVER TO MY HOUSE AND PARTY A BIT NOT MUCH AND HOOTERS HE LOVED THAT PLACE WHEN I HEARD HE HAD FALLEN IT WAS LIKE A PUNCH IN THE STOMACH I TRIED TO TALK HIM OUT OF RECON BUT HE WOULD HEAR NOTHING OF IT THERE WERE FEW I SERVED WITH THAT I COMPLETELY TRUSTED WITH MY LIFE HE WAS ONE OF THOSE MARINES THAT YOU DIDNT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT HAVING YOUR BACK IN HOSTILE TIMES I WEAR A REMEMBERANCE BRACELET OF HIM AND WILL NEVER FORBGET HIM"
SGT DAVID EASTER 2D LAR A CO of OWASSO OKLAHOMA

"Thankyou Tom Houser! We are living safely because of brave men like you (and women). My girls are laughing and playing as I speak BECAUSE of you!!! I'm sure your smiling down just knowing. God bless your family and friends, I'm sure they are so proud!"
Carlo, Alyssa, Ashley & Alexandra of Columbus, NJ

"i will never forget houser, he was the life of the party, he would always talked about my grey hair, telling me stay grey. i have a braclet with his name on it i wear everyday. i will never forget him."
Dial of camp lejeune nc

"Tom, I have never forgot the conversations I had with you and your brother about the Corps way back in your High School days. Your sacrifice hit me like a blow to the stomach, However I am comforted with the fact I knew you were doing something you always wanted to do for as long as I knew you.

My best wishes for your family, friends, and comrades. I will continue to honor your memory every Nov. 10th.

The streets of Heaven became safer with your arrival and look foward to relieving you when it becomes my turn."
Deron Anderson(CPL USMC 1993-1997) of Council Bluffs, Iowa

"Tom i will never forget our times together, fleeting as they were you were a inspiration to your fellow marines. Your light heartedness and comic relief were allways a joy to us, Rest in piece buddy and we will all see you later."
D

"Tom, I think about you every day. Thank you for everything you taught me."
rocco

"Feb 6
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMMY. I miss you everyday."
Rebecca of St. Louis, MO

"I know all of the Marine in his Platoon watched Thomas back and would do anything for this Marine. I do not intend to offend anyone by my comment before about me watching his back. I know the Marines in his Plt did a hell of a job out there and feel the same way I do about tragic loss of one of our brothers. Semper Fi Marines"
Sgt Bateman, Johnny of Smithfield, VA

"Thomas was a dear friend of mine and the news of his death was shocking to me. I would love to get in contact with his family, my e mail is cqb_marine@yahoo.com. Sgt Houser you are the true HERO, Semper Fi brother till we meet again, Wish I could of been there with you on that day, so WE could watch each others back and came home. Your memorie will all ways live on."
Sgt Bateman, Johnny of Smithfield,Va

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

"To the family of Thomas E. Houser:

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"

"I just recieved a KIA bracelet with Thomas E Housers' name on it. From this point forward I will wear it with pride every day until I die. I have learned a lot about the man behind the name today. His parent should be very proud, I know I am. God's speed to Joe in his return back."
Anthony Martinelli (former Air Force member) of Littleton, Colorado

"To all of sgt's housers family and friends, i had the privlage of serving with thomas in 2f2. while we weren't the best of friends, he was always there for a lending hand and in my opinion is "the best marine i had ever worked with" failure was never an option for thomas and we who served with him are lucky to have known him. our prayers go out to you."
cpl fernandez of worcester,ma

"To the Housers,
My son, Lcpl "Old Man" Josh Dial was friends with Thomas when he was still in 2nd LAR BN. Josh is serving with Apache Co. 2nd LAR in Fallujah. He is deeply touched and saddened by the loss of his fine friend and Marine Brother. I am sure I speak for him in saying that we keep your family in our thoughts and hearts through this trying time.
Apache Company definitely had more than one friend to Thomas. Please know that we are praying for your family and appreciate the work that your Fallen Hero accomplished during his lifetime."
Patricia (Dial) Smith of Bennettsville, SC, USA

"i never got to met Thomas. i wish i did. my demo team started a project in January 2004 and ended September 2004. We didnt get to honor him but would like to next year. If you have any information on him or his family could you please email me at: queenie_20035@yahoo.com. God bless thomas and his family!"
Ashley Farrier of Washington, Iowa, USA

"Tom.. you touched everyones lives and were someone we all looked up to, especially at St. Albert. We wish we could have known you better, but thank you for all you have done for us, and will continue to do for us. We send our love and prayers. God Bless! And we have always got your back!"
Cara Cool, Jen Anderson, Andrea Powers, Colleen McClellan, and everyone at St. Albert! of Council Bluffs, IA, the great USA!

"To all of you who have gotten to know Tom as well as I have. I wish there is something that I could say or do to take the pain away or just be able to make the next day better than today. Tom was a great person and the only regrets that i have that people didn't get to know him like i did. Tom was my heart and soul and i will always love him. The only thing that i can say to his family is that im sorry."
Kelley O'Dell of Camp Lejeune, NC

"Sgt. Thomas E. Houser remained true to his God. True to his nativeland. True to his family. True to himself. There is no greater love than this that a man would lay down his life for a friend. Such a man was he so full of life to have left so much so soon for so many. We will remember you, with thanks to God, through your brother, Sgt. Joe Houser, a friend to Capt. Shannon D., our child. God's richest peace, comfort, and love to the family and friends now and in the days to come. God bless."
Rev. Lainie Dowell & Mr. Dorian Dowell & Fam. of Columbia, MD. 21045

"My son just talked to me on AOL instant messenger and said he had lost a good friend. He had just found out about it today. Derek is a mechanic for 2nd LAR in Fallujah Iraq. He said Thomas was also a very close friend of Patrick Barber's also of 2nd LAR. They are all brothers and I know this touches them deeply. Please also know that I am so sorry for your loss as I fear the same every day. And we will remember SGT Thomas E Houser USMC and all he did for us."
Laurie Webber of Spruce Head, ME

"Tom, you touched so many lives. You are like a son and brother to us all. We will never forget your smile and the way you made us all laugh. You are truly our hero and we love and miss you dearly. Until we meet again."
The Eppersons of Council Bluffs, IA

"Tom, We love you and miss you. Like Joe said, Take Care, God Bless and We Will See You Later!"
Matt & Dani Michels of Council Bluffs, IA

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

"Tom, Semper Fidelis. I know you made a difference."
Gy K of Quantico, VA

"To the family and friends of Thomas E. Houser
Although I did not know Thomas personally, I would like to thank him most sincerely for his brave sacrifice. May you find comfort in the times ahead, knowing that Thomas gave his life for the freedom of others, the most noble cause of all.
Respectully yours"
A grateful New Zealander of Auckland, New Zealand

"To the family and friends of Thomas E. Houser,
I just found the fallen soldiers website this morning. I listen to the news everyday and hear of another soldier that we have lost. I longed to know his name and have the means of letting his loved ones know that we are mourning with them. I want you to know how very sorry I am for your loss. I wish that I could help carry the heavy burden that has been placed upon your heart. Please know that our thoughts, tears and prayers are with your family."
Shawndell of Lexington, SC

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Thomas E. Houser,

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, Ca USA

"I have a grandson serving in the Marines in/near Fallujah. He is from Council Bluffs, Iowa. My heart goes out to you in your time of grief. God bless."
Charlotte R. Aten of Council Bluffs, IA

"To the family and friends of Thomas, May God be with you durring your time of sorrow. Thomas was a true hero, and will never be forgotten. Our family shares in your loss , we lost my brother SPC Shawn Davies in July. God will keep him for you to meet again."
Toni Peters (toniannp@sbcglobal.net) of Concord, OH

"To Thomas' 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

"God be with you and your family. I cry with you and for your family wishing you didnt have to go through this pain and praying it wouldnt happen again. Your son was a true hero and I thank God that we have so many brave men and woman willing to protect our country. Thank you for raising such a caring man to do such a thing..Thank you and God bless your family.God rest Thomas's soul."
Betty of Chesapeake, Va

"Words cannot express the sorrow my family feels for the loss of this brave Marine! Thank you Sgt. Houser for taking the fight to those cowards who wish to destroy us all. We will remember you each day we raise our flag in the front yard. From a very grateful American family. Semper Fi, God Bless you and may He comfort your loved ones at this time."
The Shaw family of Pasadena, Maryland

"Thank you Thomas Houser, 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. Thomas Houser:
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 Thomas 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 Sgt. Thomas Houser:
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 Thomas, 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