Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. 1st Class Matthew R. Kading

32, of Madison, Wisconsin.
Kading died at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas of injuries sustained near Tikrit, Iraq, on October 19, 2005 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his convoy vehicle. Kading was assigned to the Army Reserve's 983rd Engineer Battalion, Monclova, Ohio. Died on October 31, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Sgt. 1st Class Matthew R. Kading.

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"To the family of SFC Matt Kading and to Lindsay Sayles: We served together in Iraq, and I will never forget the impression that SFC Kading made on me, with his intelligence, maturity, and pleasant demeanor. He was a true leader respected by his Soldiers and he gave the ultimate sacrifice. I remember many conversations I had in Iraq with SGT Sayles, his fiancée, when she spoke about what a good man he was. I am so genuinely sorry for his family and for SGT Sayles. Please accept my deepest condolences this Memorial Day.

"All gave some; some gave all.""
SGT (then SPC) Bialkowski, Marta of Weehawken, NJ

"To the loved ones of Matthew R. Kading:
It would be my honor to thank Matthew, as well as his loved ones for the sacrifice and dedication to our great country that have come at such a cost. Thank you for what you do and for who you are....
Sincerely,
Zachary A. Kading
(Possible long lost relative)
P.S.
E-Mail: sharkadi@aol.com"
zachary kading of Dayton, OH USA

"love ya miss u more than words can say. remember bowling and drinking beer at essen house.all the good times. love u soo much!"
Todd kading of Wisc dells wi

"Every time I go bowling, I'll always bowl one extra frame for you. You are a true American Hero."
Jamie of Middleton, WI

"I am the sister of Matt Kading. I have finally been able to sit down and read all of these lovely memories after nearly 4 years have passed. Thank you all for helping us remember that Matt was loved by many! It helps to know that he will not be forgotten by many others. For those of you that may have some guilt toward what occured....PLEASE DON'T!!!! Matt was there doing what needed to be done. He was there by choice. We feel that that was Matt's time to leave us. If it hadn't happened there it would have happened somewhere else. I would love to hear from anyone that has memories or pictures of him. He was more than a great soldier...he was a great person who will forever be missed. I hope that my son (named after Matt)will be like his uncle in many ways (not all 'cause we know how conceited he could be). If anyone has pics or memories to share please send them to me at melissa.umhoefer@yahoo.com."
Missie Umhoefer (nee Kading) of Madison, WI

"Re: SFC Matthew R Kading

Hello,
I represent PRAYER SHAWLS 4 FALLEN SOLDIERS (PS4FS), an organization that since October 2007 has sent over 2,800 prayer shawls to military families who have lost a loved one. We are an organization of over 240 groups from all over the country. We make every effort to reach families even when post cards are returned after they have moved. Would you kindly send me a contact email/address so that we may send a loving hand-made prayer shawl to the family? Thank you!

Cozette Haggerty, Prayer Shawls 4 Fallen Soldiers
Email: ps4fs@charter.net
Website Address: http://webpages.charter.net/ps4fs/shawls"
Cozette Haggerty of Wilbraham, Mass.

"SFC Kading was a great leader. I was in his platoon and always appreciated his involvement in any projects that we did. He was vary round minded and fair. I remember a construction project that I did with him at Camp Speicher. It was nice to work with him because he was such a nice guy. My thoughts and prayers are with him, his friends and family...god bless"
Nicholls, Zachary of Dallas,Oregon

"To the family of SFC Kading I was with him when it happend. I blame myself everyday. Was in the convoy that was heading south as they were heading north. I made the call to have them to go before us. I so sorry, live with that bad call everyday should have been my truck please forgive me SSG Bradley Indina E TAB 139th FA"
Jeff Bradley of Franklin, In 46131

"To all that visit this site and know Matt! I ask a small favor of you. I would like to continue to honor and remember Matt. I had a computer with many pictures of him and me together in Iraq. Sadly, my computer crashed and I lost all of my pictures. If you have pictures of Matt (especial of him in Iraq during OIF III) please forward them to me at:
Strunk2000@netzero.net
Thank you and may God bless Matt’s family and ease their sorrow!"
CPT. TIMOTHY J. STRUNK of Buffalo, New York

"September 30, 2008
To the family of Sgt. 1st Class Matthew R. Kading:
Matthew 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

"Hey you, I would like you to know that I have always kept you in my safe thoughts, knowing how dedicated you are
to our country!! I send you and your family my blessing's and best wishes!!
Although it's been many years, I hope
that you have been safe!!!!! I will understand if wish not to reply. My
genuine intentions are to know that you
are ok."
Carla Rodriguez of New York City, NY

"Hey you, I would like you to know that I have always kept you in my safe thoughts, knowing how dedicated you are
to our country!! I send you and your family my blessing's and best wishes!!
Although it's been many years, I hope
that you have been safe!!!!! I will understand if wish not to reply. My
genuine intentions are to know that you
are ok."
Carla Rodriguez of New York City, NY

"Matt,
I miss you more than words can say. You knew how to have such a great time in life. You live on in my heart, words, thoughts and prayers"
Zachary Pape of Alexandria, VA

"To the family and friends of SFC Kading: it is with a heavy heart that I write my feelings and thoughts about your son, a great friend of mine and a great soldier. Your son worked for me in Iraq during OIF-3. He and I worked together on many projects through out our tour in Iraq, but we truly bonded like brothers during our 9 week operation at FOB O’Ryan in August and September of 2005. It was at that time that he touched my heart with his passion for nature and his love for life. He had a sense of humor that seized you with his smile…Matt always had a smile to offer no matter how dark our things got…On one such mission - as we traveled through the war torn streets of the City of Samarra in an open truck with no real protection for us – I remember looking over toward Matt to find his signature smile. He and I faced so many fears together - he always demonstrated his true warrior ethos by remaining courageous and strong…Your son was always leading even as he himself faced his own fears. He represented the true essence of selfless sacrifice. On another occasion as we went to see the damages to a hummer hit by an IED. He and I stood in utter horror at what was once a hummer and now was nothing more than pieces. I still feel the shock of that moment when I think about it today. As we looked at each other…we both knew this wasn’t good. We looked to each other in that universal bond, as brothers in arms so often do in war…reassuring ourselves that this too will pass. That as we sit prepared to meet our enemies on the battlefield we too know in our hearts that we will return to a world that is safe and free of all this horror - a place where love and happiness prevails. That our purpose was to fight for what is good in this world and that should such horror befall one of us…we will know that our efforts will not die with us, but that they will become the symbol for those who follow in our foot steps. Those who follow will know our supreme sacrifice was so others not as fortunate as us can live in a world free from the fears of oppression and subjugation. Your son died a noble man…he was taken from us in a most horrible way, but know that his memory is not in how he died, but that he gave of him self so others may live in peace. THERE IS NO GREATER GLORY THAN THAT. On behalf of my children, who sleep safe each night, I want you to know that your son’s loss was a heavy cost, but my children and those of millions of other Americans sleep quietly each night because of an honorable man, your son Sergeant First Class Matthew Kading! I look forward to seeing your son's smiling face once again as I enter heaven as I know he is there waiting for my arrival. God give you the strength to see the purpose and true meaning of this tragic and painful loss to you and your family. I know I was bless by the hand of God when I met Matt…I only regret it was so short.

CAPTAIN TIMOTHY J. STRUNK"
CPT. Timothy J. Strunk of Buffalo, New York

"SFC Kading was a fine leader and soldier. He showed honest concern for his fellow soldiers, and ensured the well-being of his squad. He will always be in my memories, and though I am deeply saddened by the loss of such a model leader, and fellow man, I am thankful for having the opportunity to serve alongside him."
SPC Timothy A. Champagne of Detroit, MI

"Matt was my room mate in Cuba and all I can say is, "What a guy!" Always did what was right. Always proud of his service. Always worked really hard He was a model soldier! (Even if he did like Mustangs) Not a day goes by I don't think of him but I know he died doing what he loved to do and is probably in heaven telling anybody that'll listen about his whole Army career right now. Matt didn't pay the supreme sacrifice... He gave the supreme gift... A sacrifice is something you give up unwillingly a gift is something you are happy to give someone.

To Matt's family: I'm sorry for your loss but your son was a roll model and changed the lives of everybody he met with his smile and that Wisconsin accent. He had the perfect life that I'm sure he would be proud of! You should be also!"
SSG Carder of Continental, Ohio

"SFC Kading- Matt, was one of the finest soldiers, the finest Americans, the finest people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. He made a tremendous impression on me, and on every life he touched. You will be missed."
SGT Stephen Goulding of Toledo, OH

"To the family of: Matthew R. Kading 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"

"Matt, you were another brother to me. We sure fought like we were siblings! Over time, we matured and became friends instead of you beating me up with Ray. I love you, and I am forever indebted to you for protecting me, my family and our country. I think about you all the time, and I know we will meet again someday. Maybe I can kick your butt instead! Ron, Karla and Missie: if you should ever find yourselves in need, I am here. Missie, I am so happy for you, it is a shame that your son will never know his wonderful Uncle Matt, but I am proud of you for honoring your brother. Love and memories. XOXO"
Jenny Nelson of Waunakee, WI USA

"To ron carla and missy. I am sorry for for your loss. Matt is a hero! there are many times I rember playing grave yard out side with matt,missy,ray,mandi and jen. i will forever rember my friend matt and the times we shared playing aorund the block. from pickle down at ray's to little leauge baseball at east madison. god belss you and your family. and missy congrats. matt we love you and miss you!! and see you again some day!!!!!!"
John W Quamme Jr of Beaver Dam Wi

"To the Family of SFC Matthew Kading:
We have constructed a memorial to the service men and women from Wisconsin and Illinois who have died in Iraq. Our memorial includes, as of 8/28/06, 162 crosses and Stars of David. We would like your permission to put Matthew's name on one of them. We have called our display "Arlington MidWest." 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 come to visit Arlington MidWest if you can. A friend has put us up on his website so you can see the memorial here:
www.williamgbecker.com/ArlingtonMidwest.html.

"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

"I am sorry to have taken so long to leave a message here, but to Matt's family, I am sorry for your loss. I served with Matt in Dodgeville, and knew I had found a great friend that I would always remember. I was deeply saddened by his passing. Matt, you are a great hero who paid the ultimate price to keep so many free."
SSG Nicholas Grob of RC, WI USA

"To Matthew's Family, I am so sorry for your loss. You are in our prayers. Matthew, thank you for all you have done in your life for us. You sir, are a true American Hero. God bless you Matthew, and God bless your family."
Mary Ghaney of Brooklyn, New York

"When I was a little girl I lived next to the Kadings. While visiting madison over Christmas, my family and I were driving through a christmas light display. At the end of the light display , there were 2 lighted soilders, with the words " in memory of our fallen brother" Matt Kading. I couldn't believe what I had just read. I will never forget Matt. To me, he will always be the boy who lived next door who loved to collect baseball cards and play nintendo. Very nice guy. Ronnie, Karla and Missie, your in my thoughts and prayers."
Kimberly Parker (Clausius) of Nashville, TN/USA

"Remembering Matt
Everything stops when you hear that a good friend has fallen, serving his country as many of us do. Matt I will also remember the good talks we had on the back porch, the times we spent talking about family and how the day went. Matt you were dedicated to the end and to your family and friends I say Matt was an Honorable Soldier who never quit and was always there. You will not be forgotten.
Duty Honor Country"
Jim of Indiana

"You are not forgotten. You will always be in our minds."
MSG Eckart C Co 983rd Engr Bn of Tikrit, Iraq

"Lindsey and the Kading family

All the words I heard from my son was Mom.........my friend and you all had my heart and sympathies. Please know that you are all forever in our prayers

The family of Spc Matthew B Missler
983rd En Bn Heavy
Alpha Co"
Missler Family of South Milford IN

"Matt we love you and will have you in our hearts forever. We will never forget that smile and laugh of yours. It will get us through many days."
of Madison, Wisconsin

"MATT YOU ARE SOMEONE'S SOMEONE AND YOU ARE SOMEONE TO OUR FAMILY! MY TEARS NEVER STOP FLOWING FOR MY SON. AN TODAY MATT: MY TEARS FLOW FOR YOU. FOR YOU ARE GREGORY'S MILITARY BROTHER! YOU HAVE NOT DIED IN VAIN! YOU ARE A HERO! AN YOU HAVE TOUCHED THE HEARTS OF SO MANY. THOSE YOU HAVE SHARED VERY FOND MEMORIES WITH YOU. THANK YOU FOR FIGHTING OFF TERRORISM AND FOR GIVEN THOSE IN IRAQ HOPE! PLEASE: REACH OUT TO YOUR COMMUNITY AND POLTICAL LEADERS. REQUEST A STREET BE NAMED IN MATT'S HONOR. WE THE FALLEN FAMILIES MUCH SEE OUR SON'S AND DAUGHTER'S ARE ALWAYS REMEBERED. NEVER EVER TO BE FORGOTTEN. WE OWE THAT TO OUR FALLEN SOLDIER'S! MY HEART AND PRAYS ARE WITH MATT AND HIS FAMILY. GOD BLESS!"
LEONARD WAHL of VALLEY STREAM NY

"We Will NEVER FORGET !"
Please KNOW so many people share your sadness,
and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief.
Our nations HERO, Matthew will be remembered by name.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
God Bless you ALWAYS.
Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"You have fought your final battle brave soldier. Your reward is splendid rapture. Blessings to your family, may God's comfort be with them."
Candy of Poynette, WI

"Thank you Matthew Kading, 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. 1st Class Matthew Kading:
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 Matthew 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. 1st Class Matthew Kading:
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 Matthew, 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