Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Jonathan R. Kephart

21, of Oil City, Pennsylvania.
Kephart died in Baghdad, Iraq, from injuries sustained when his patrol was ambushed near Baghdad on April 8, 2004. He was assigned to the 230th Military Police Company, from Kaiserslautern, Germany. Died on April 9, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. Jonathan R. Kephart.

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

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"Merry Christmas brother! Still miss you terribly, and can't wait to see you again someday!!! Love you!!!"
Anna of Burns harbor in

"I have added a new page to our American Legion Post 32 Oil City, PA in memory of all that died in action. My first is in Honor of Jonathan R. Kephart
you can find the site at;
http://users.usachoice.net/~americanlegionpost32pa/
or contact me at oilcitypost32@aol.com"
LARRY BOWERS of Oil City, PA

"Would love to hear from those of you that knew Jonathan. Feel free to email me at annajrose@icloud.com"
Anna of Chesterton in

"I can't believe it has been 11 years either. In some ways it seems like forever and some ways just like yesterday ! I know my heart misses you just as much every day! It makes me sad tht you don't know my kids! There are many times they do something and it reminds me of you! I don't know how I could get through this if I didn't know I will see you again someday! Love you and am so proud of you! Can't wait to see you again! We have a lot of catching up to do!!!
Anna ( sister)"
Anna of Chesterton, in

"It has been eleven years, and still the wound is fresh. Today tears filled my eyes. But telling stories of our time together to others has made my spirits brighten. You will always be with me in my thoughts and memories. Till we meet again Jon Roy.
Mr. and Mrs. Kephart,
I thank you for lending him to us and pray for your family often."
Joseph LeBlanc of Abilene, Texas

"Still not forgotten brother ! No matter how many years will pass"
Sascha Boussonville of Germany

"RIP...."

"August 31st, 2014
Jonathan, not a day goes by that I do not think of you. You are still very much missed and hope that I too get to see you again when I have served my purpose here in this life. I miss you and love you dear friend."
Sarah Jo Wise of Corvallis Oregon

"Kephart has stayed on my mind since He left this world. I served with him overseas and remember our last conversation vividly. I can still picture the scene in Kuwait, the light, the surroundings, everything. I remember it, and think of it often because it was the night before we flew into Baghdad. We had taken a break from playing cards in the tent to come out and burn at the smoke pit. I had really didn't know him, just met him a few weeks prior. My platoon was attached to the 230th from Stuttgart and we were all getting acquainted still. I won't bore you with the nuances of our conversation, consider this more a vignette. I had been reading reports coming from Baghdad and was none too thrilled with the picture being painted. To be honest, I was fearful of the situation we were heading into. Nobody wants to die prematurely, especially in a violent and terrifying way. He and I talked about this for awhile when I finally asked the question. "Are you afraid?" His reply was quick. "No." We talked about this a little more and finally he said to me; "We're going to do a job, a dangerous job. But we've been trained as best we can for that job, and we're going to be good. I have no control over what's going to happen and neither do you, all we can do is perform our duties as best we can and leave the rest to God." His calmness and the way in which he said this made an impression on me, and I have never forgotten it. Shortly after that conversation he was no longer here, but I heard his words throughout the rest of that year. Thank you for being who you were Kep, and thank you for the example you set for us. Yours in Brotherhood, Pereyda."
Ricardo Pereyda of Tucson, Arizona

"on this sacred day I would like to give my condolences to the Kephart family for your loss and just want you to know that Jonathan will never leave or minds and hearts.I pray that Jonathan is is the presence of our Lord for eternity."
Buddy Richards of Westminster Ca.

"Jonathan. It has been awhile since I have been on here as well! Not sure why but thinking of you and missing you today! Its the holiday season and there will always be a big hole that cannot be filled. But im still comforted by the fact that we WILL see you again someday! Time is moving on and the world is changing! The kiddos are growing up. Makes me so sad that they did not know you. They ask questions about you often and still they are sometimes hard to answer! I love you and miss you! It seems like a lifetime ago since I last saw you! So glad for the promise of Heaven someday! Im sure it must be wonderful to be celebrating Christmas in the very presence of Christ Himself!
With love,
your sis"
Anna of Burns Harbor, iN

"Jonathan, It has been a long time since I visited this cite. I am reminded of all the lives that you touched in your short life and are still touching in your death. I miss you so very much. There isn't a day goes by that I don't think of you. I have so many wonderful memories. I am so glad God allowed you to be part of our lives if even for a few short years. Thank you for all that you were.
With all my love, MOM"
Jon's Mom of Franklin. PA

"Its almost memorial day. My thoughts an prayers. Go to the families at this time. An the soldiers. An all service members past an present that are KIA, forgotten, POW's, MIA's. An my friend."
R. Drew of FL

"Dear family, I just now ran across this site. I knew Spc. Kephart at the 230th. God bless him he is on my mind daily. He is a true patriot an hero. An was a good listener an friend. You all have been in my prayers an on my mind."
Ryan Drew of 32609, florida

"I havent left a message for quite a while but I must write today, the day following the death of Osama bin Laden. I cannot help but think of you, and know that ultimately his evil caused your death as well as so many others. While it cannot bring you back, I feel that some justice has been served. I know that evil will never be overcome, but I pray that this could be a small step towards proving that good will prevail!"
Anna

"Wow I was online an bored an googles my name minits ago an my message to the Kepharts came up an the tears were rolling reading the rest of the others. Then the date popped up wow Its the 8th of April. I have a son on the way in May . I just want to say again sorry for your lose. We will not forget his great sacrifice. Thanks John say hi to my father John. An we will all meet up down the road. RIP crazy my moms names Donna we had a lot in common thanks so very much"
Richard D Kephart of Aldan Pa

"To the family of:Jonathan R. Kephart
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" 1-3-11"

"Jonathan, I cannot help but shed some tears on this day, another veterans day to honor those who serve, who have served, and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. We still think of you often, and miss you. We look forward to a glorious reunion in Heaven someday! We have not forgotten, nor will we ever!"
Anna

"23 OCT 10
It has been over 6 years since that fateful day that I lost you my friend. Please remember that you are lost but not forgotten. On 11 NOV 10 when me and my team start our march I know you will be looking on with our 3 other brethen that are in heaven with you. There is not a day that goes by that you are not missed Jonathan. TILL WE MEET AGAIN"
GM2 Jason Cashwell formerly SPC Cashwell 230th MP CO of Ali Al Salem, Kuwait

"Hello brother,
it is now about six years ago when it was announced during the Guard Mount. We were all petrified. None of us wanted to believe it. Even now, years later, after I expressed my last greet at your funeral ceremony at the Theater on our base in K-town, I think almost every day in our common service we had. Was it together at the gate or on patrol. If we had time for it, we had our fun. The most I liked was how you tried to learn German and you always had your tongue tied. We booth laught a lot about these "new created words". This time, that we had together, I will certainly never forget. Not because of the fun we had, but because of you, my good friend ..."
ZP-4 Juergen Britt, Patrolman 569th US Forces Police Sq, USAF of Rodalben, Rhineland-Palatinate/Germany

"Jonathan,
I can't help but think about you often. As I coach basketball for the second year in a row, I am starting to understand the influence that you had on my life. Everything I know about the Sport I somehow managed to learn from you. I really miss the times we used to spend playing basketball at the YMCA, on the same team together for Faith, and every night after church! I learned everything i know from you, and often I teach my boys the same things that you taught me. I know I will see you again, but until then, know that I think about you often and that I will always miss you!"
David Kephart (Brother) of Ohio

"Brother and Mrs. Kephart,
It has only been recently that I learned of Jonathon's death. Please know that I am praying for the family."
Amie Puckett of Heber Springs AR USA

"WOW BEEN THREE YEARS SINCE I LEFT A MESSAGE AND STILL DID NOT FORGET YOUR SACRAFICE I ONLY HOPE YOUR FAMILY IS AT PEACE AND KNOWS YOUR ARE WITH GOD
GODBLESS"
RICHARD D KEPHART 30 of PHILADELPHIA PA USA

"Dear Mr. and Mrs. Kephart,

I never knew Jonathon but I look forward to shaking his hand in Heaven some day. As Jonathan paid the Altimate Sacrifice for the freedom's we enjoy today; I wanted to say thank you for your sacrifice as well. No parent should ever have to bury their child and yet the example you set for others going through the same grief of the loss of a child can only go to the Glory of God and His "Peace that Passes All Understaning".

Eric Ramos gave me your book (Proven In Battle) a couple of years ago and since that time I have given out several copies to our Veterans across the country. It is my prayer that God will continue to use you and the book "Proven In Battle" to reach others with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In His Service; Reaching, Teaching & Sending Our Men & Women of the Armed Forces with the Gospel of Jesus Christ,


Missionary to the Armed Forces
Barksdale Air Force Base, LA
http://webmissions.com/mahaney
Philippians 1:3; 6"
Rick Mahaney TSgt, USAF (Retired) of Bossier City, LA

"I just want to say thank you to all that continue to visit and leave posts to this site! It is good to know that you still remember... We still miss Jonathan every day, and look forward to the day we will all be reunited. Many already have joined him, grandpa, grandma and aunt debbie, and I am sure they are having a blessed reunion. Hope they are not causing too much trouble! I would love to hear from you all. Jamesandanna@aol.com
Love and Prayers!"
Anna of Burns Harbor,IN

"Jonathan,
Not a single day goes by that I do not think about you. You have no idea how much you are still missed. I will always remember the good times that we had, and can not wait to see you agian. I will never forget when we got in from patrol the next day and the words out of the commanders mouth were the worst things I have ever heard "Last night at midnight SPC Kephart was pronounced dead" I will never forget that moment. I wish everyday that I was there to help you, but I know the people who were there did there best it was just your time. I hope that you are having fun up there, I will see you agian"
Karen Coleman of Kaiserslautern, Germany

"May 31, 2009

I'm CEO of a Dayton-based company. I was in Louisville, KY the past three days for client meetings ~ and to assist our church denomination with an international 'Business as Missions' exhibit. I stumbled across the book, "Proven in Battle" by Burton Kephart ~ offered by another exhibitor (Point Man Ministry; Murrysville Alliance Church).

It's difficult to express myself upon reading this book. I am a fellow Christ-follower and I am awed by Jonathan's story and agree with the eternal purpose of Burton's book.

Although I have not met the family, I would like to express my gratitude for Jonathan's life and for what he sacrificed. I would like to express my appreciation to Burton for the courage to share his son's story. When you read the account of Jonathan's commitment and bravery in the face of this terrible ambush, you can't help but be totally humbled, honored, inspired, and grateful."
Jay Schindler of Dayton, Ohio/USA

"Dear Kephart Family:
Today I say thank you for your sacrifice and your continued commitment to the Lord and our country. Thank you Burt, for your book. It allows me to remember Jonathan and all of you often, especially on this Memorial Day. I am thankful for the heroic actions of your son and brother - not only saving lives in Iraq - but allowing us to continue to live in freedom here. I prayed for you all today. You must be so proud through your tears."
Laura Aldrich of Oil City, PA

"29 April 2009
Dear Kephart Family,
Many years have passed since my friend died. I still miss him like the first day when I was standing at my car shedding tears, hearing that my friend was killed.
So many years passed, and Jonathan is still with me, never forgotten. I still remember it like it was yesterday, that I gave all of my friends in the company, including Jonathan a farewell, a big hug and some tears. I still hear him telling me not to worry. "We'll be back bro'" he said. Why they took you away brother ?
I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE NOT HERE ANYMORE !"
Sascha Boussonville of VK, Germany

"April 1, 2009
To the family of Spc. Jonathan R. Kephart:
Jonathan 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

"I just found the courage (after 5 years)to read the book written by your Father. I tried so many times I just could not hold back the tears long enough to finish it. I pray to God that you are given a peaceful place to wait for your family to join you and spend eternity with you in the grace of our Lord. I hope to see you one day and thank you. God bless you and you wonderful family."
Buddy Richards of Westminster Ca.

"Hey Kephart Family. Recently I was asked to write a short story about an event in my life that made an impact on me or changed me in some way. A lot of kids chose 9/11 or a family move, but I chose to write about the Kephart family. It was awesome to see how all of you pulled together after Jonathan was gone and let the world know that we could all see him again someday. I really have admired that courage and I also am looking forward to seeing him again, even if I was closer friends with Deborah...LOL"
Hannah Rembold of Franklin, PA

"Still in my Heart Kep Miss ya Tons. always thinking of ya."
Boyajean of hawaii, schofield

"Happy Birthday Jonathan! We still miss you every day, especially on special days like this! Cant wait to see you again someday, we have a lot of catching up to do!
Love You!"
Anna of Burns Harbor, IN

"Donna, Burt...I just found out about your Son. He is a hero, but my heart breaks for the loss that you must feel. I remember this little boy....was that a hundred years ago....I am so thankful that he was a Christian and that some day I will be able to meet this Hero in heaven, shake his hand and tell him stories about his Mom."
Dawn Hendrickson of Carthage, IN

"Dear Kephart family, My thoughts and prayers go to you in the loss of your son Jonathan, although it has been several years, I am certain the pain is indescribable. Prior to this deployment to Iraq, Jonathan volunteered to help me get all the combat drivers license ready for his platoon, he appeared real quiet and focused, even though I worked directly with him only a few days, I just want to say it was an honor and priviledge to have done that, he was a fine young man, he left a positive and memorable legacy that impacted alot of people, God Bless you all."
AWH of Tennessee

"Another Anniversary....and it doesn't get easier...still think back to that day like yesterday....still wish I could have gotten there faster..."
SSG Williams, M. H. of Ft Jackson,SC

"I can't believe it's been 4 years. I still think of you every day, Jonathan. I miss you more than words can express."
Mindy

"Thank you for your sacrafice i pray will you be rewarded in Heaven. If it was not for you my son Sgt Michael Richards 230th MP Co. Iraq 04-05 might not be here with me today thank you for for him i pray to all mighty God in heaven to let you exist in our hearts for ever. I ware a Heroe's bracelet on my wrist with your name and sacrafice on it i am in debt to you Jonathan may God smile upon your soul for ever and ever"
Buddy Richards of Westminster Ca. U.S.

"Jonathan, I am thinking of you on this veterans day, there is still not a day that goes by that I dont think of you and of how much I miss you. With Love,"
Anna

"I recently saw on the Bob Jones University website that there is an upcoming Vespers program dedicated to the story of Jonathan Kephart. I am proud to know his name now, and his story. I am proud to be a fellow BJU alum, a fellow U.S. Army soldier, a fellow American, and a brother in Christ. I will see him for the first time one day in the future, and look forward to him greeting me as I arrive at a much better destination than where I currently am.

I honor Jonathan's service and sacrifice through my own, although what I am doing seems to pale mightily in comparison. Thank you, Jonathan.

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." - Thomas Paine

“There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says ‘True gold doesn't fear the refiner's fire’. For soldiers who are prepared, by their training and their mental resolve and their heart's emotion, moving forward to war is viewed as an opportunity to refine and validate the genuine nature of their duty and who they are as a soldier. Wise soldiers don't wish to place themselves or to be placed in harm's way, because really bad things can happen there. However, when the time comes to move forward to war and all that it brings, courage overcomes fear and the soldier is refined to produce the true gold that was always there.” - SGT Morris Franklin

“It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly...who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt"
SGT Morris Franklin of Baghdad, Iraq

"Happy Birthday Jonathan,
I love you and still miss you more than I can say. As always, I am thinking of you a lot today on your birthday. As time goes on, I think I realize more and more that I really will never see you again on this earth. There are so many things I would love to share with you and it saddens me that you are not here. I look forward to seeing you again when we all get to Heaven. With Much Love, Anna"
Anna of Burns Harbor, IN

"Thanks for laying down your life for all of us. My husband was in you company ,and you guys were going to save him and others in the ambush when you were fatally wounded. If it weren't for guys like you ;then he probably wouldn't be here today. God bless you. I hope I can ,finally, meet you one day in heaven."
Army Wife of United States

"What an incredible story of faith and courage. We as a nation shall always be indebted to your son and to your family for the great sacrifice. My heart hurts for you but I also know the Lord will be there with you. Time passes so quickly but I know the pain and loss lingers. I pray for your family along with all the others that are sacrificing so much for this War On Terror. One day at a gas station, Jonathan’s father gave me a copy of “Proven in Battle”. What an inspiration to read. The love and strength of our Heavenly Father to stand by us in our times of need is incredible. I was wondering where I can obtain/purchase additional copies of “Proven in Battle”? This is a story that needs told and retold, what a great testimony. Thanks in advance on pointing me in the right direction in obtaining more copies of “Proven in Battle”. So until we too meet in heaven Jonathan, rest in peace, sing praises to the Lord for a job well done.
Almost forget, my email address is jim@davis.name. Thanks again."
Jim Davis of Butler, PA

"Today, May 22, 2007, our family read together the book "Proven in Battle." I was so moved at times that I had to give the book to my 13 year old son to read aloud to the rest of the children. We are thankful for Jonathan's life, his service and dedication,and for this booklet that has reminded us to be faithful parents and faithful children of our Heavenly Father. May God richly bless you, Jonathan's earthly family. Thank you for allowing us to share a glimpse into the life and passing of this brave and exemplary young man. We look forward to thanking him when we meet him in Heaven."
Brian and Lisa Smith and family of Sunbury, PA USA

"to the family & relatives of jonathan.may god comfort & give you peace & love. i too have lost a cousin from penna. in philadelphia, about a year ago marine lance corporal adam conboy also only 21. im an air force veteran of the vietnam era, & i saw it all, many of my classmates died in that senseless cold war in the 60s. may god bless & take care of each & everyone of yous. pray that this evil war will end soon & all our troops will return home. in christ jesus our lord, glenn kephart"
glenn kephart of dallas, texas

"Jonathan, Three years has now gone by. It seems so unreal to think that you have been gone that long. It is kind of different this year with your anniversary being on Easter Sunday. I have been thinking of you a lot over the past few days and weeks. I thought about you a lot on "Good Friday" because that is the day you died. I am sure Easter in Heaven is incredible, celebrating Christs resurection! It is interesting, this month Soldiers Fortune magazine is doing an article on your story. It is a great article. I am looking forward to actually seeing the magazine! I still miss you and am sad when I hear or read the story of how you died. I look forward to the day we can all be together again, in Heaven, where there will be no pain or death or seperation ever again!
With all my love brother,
Anna"
Anna of Burns Harbor, IN

"Jonathon, I just finished reading your dad's book, "proven in Battle" and was very deeply touched by it. You should have recieved a silver star instead of the bronze star mentioned. Words cannot express my feelings for the courage you displayed in your last battle before going to heaven. Rest in peace!!!"
J A Marucci of Youngstown, Ohioi

"Merry Christmas Jonathan!
With All My Love!"
Anna

"I am sorry to report that yet another member of the 230th has fallen in the line of duty. My uncle, SSG. Michael Shank, died tuesday, Nov.28th, 2006 in Afghanistan. His humvee ran over a mine on a mountain road, and he and his driver were killed instantly. His gunner lost both of her legs. To all the men and women of the 230th, whether past, present, or future, thank you. And to their loved ones, God Bless!!!"
Richie Hubbard of Colbert, OK, USA

"Happy Thanksgiving Jonathan! I am sure you are celebrating every day that you have been in Heaven. I miss you! Dont worry, I ate enough for both of us!
Lots of Love!"
Anna

"I was assigned to the 230th from 1991 - 1994. While assigned there I was deployed with 2nd platoon to Mogadishu and Mombassa Kenya. Just having been part of that unit makes me feel like I knew John. My heart goes out to your family. "No greater love hath no man have, than he lay down his life for others." Sleep well John. We'll all see you soon."
Jeff Persinger of Prattville, Al

"Jonathan, I have been thinking of you a lot this Veterans Day weekend. Especially when I learned of the death of your friend and fellow soldier on Thursday, SGT Mccoy. How my heart breaks to learn of another death of someone from your original squad. I am trying to find contact info for the family so I can try to be of a help to them. We love and miss you, and will never forget the ultimate sacrifice that must be paid for our freedom!
Love Always, Your sis, Anna"

"HAPPY VETERAN'S DAY Kep!!!!! Still Miss you buddy, see you when I get there, save a place at the table for me."
SSG Williams, Mike H. of Ft.Jackson,SC

"Today, in my school the Bob Jones University drama team told me about Mr. Jonathan's story, and how he was so willing to die for his platoon just like Jesus was willing to die on the cross for our sins. My Grandpa, Mom and Dad, and great, great grandpa (by marriage) Gen, George Patton were in the army and hearing this story made me think about carrying on that tradition. Even though I didn't know him personally, I wish that I would have and also if I was old enough, I wish that I could have been there right by his side fighting with him, so that America could keep her freedom. If I could describe him in one word, from what I know about him, I would say courageous or dedicated. And I know that I will one day get to see Mr. Jonathan Kephart in Heaven. May Mr. Jonathan R.I.P."
With love Peyton of The country he died for

"Happy Birthday Jonathan!!! I hope you had a big celebration in heaven. I love you and miss you more each day, and cant wait until we are all together again someday!! All My Love!"
Anna(sister) of B.H. IN JamesandAnna@aol.com

"How do you put into words the impact that one young man had on so many people? I never knew him more than a quick hand shake or a hello at church, but the more I read about Jonathan, the more I am made aware of not him, but the God he served. Jonathan died so that others may live just as our Saviour gave his life for all. Thank you to the Kephart family for making such a ministry out of a pain that I cannot even imagine. God is using this to change lives, just as I am sure Jonathan would want. God bless you! You are in our prayers."
Dan Douglas of Hornell, NY

"Thankyou for raising a son like Jonathan, I saw the BJ play and was very touched, even though he is with our Lord I can only imagine the stabbing pain in a father and mother's heart missing him until that wonderful day!!
I bought your book to give to my nephew, also a gunner on a humvee who ran over a mine and blew out his leg.I'm hoping Jon's story will awaken him spiritualy..God Bless,"
Steve Spangenberg of Quakertown Pa Bucks County

"I first met Kep January 2003 when I first came over to K-town since my husband, SPC Josh Friedman, was already there. I met Karen Colman and Kep and went downtown to the A6. Kep was quite but I got him to smile. My husband was in basic with Kep and also came over to Germany together. They roomed together for 6 months at the 230th while I was finishing college in NJ. They took walks to Popeyes alot from what I heard. Josh always said he was his little brother and when we got news of his passing we both cried. Such a young man doing what he pledged to do...protect us. He is missed greatly and is still very much a part of our thoughts. I have a picture of him and some fellow 230th soliders on my refrigerator here at Ft. Drum, NY."
Melanie Friedman of Fort Drum, NY

"To the kepharts
My Heart go out to your family I was on line and just couris to any Other Kepharts out there
and found Johns Meomorial. I hope this war end soon so were do not have to have other story such as Johns, God Bless and my condolences to each of you he is in a better place so dont be sad he is with god now stories like his are getting all to common young lives being taken for a cause witch some of cannot comprehend thank you for you sacafice John you will not be for gotten

Richard Dylan Kephart 27
Cheang14@aol.com"
Richard D Kephart of Phila Pa USA

"Dear Johnathan and Uncle Burt and family, I wish I knew Johnathan alot better than I did but I also know that his passing has had a great impact upon my life and with my relationship with the LORD! I think about him everyday and shed a tear! I know his story will bring alot of people to the LORD! I know it has brought me closer to HIM! LOVE KEPPY"
Keppy(his cousin) of Bellwood , Pa

"Jonathan,
On this memorial day I can't help but think of you and your sacrifice for our freedom. Memorial Day means so much more now, and I will never take for granted the sacrifices so many have made. Again, Gods hand of blessing remains so evident, and we are so thankful for all He has done. I love you and miss you, and look forward to seeing you again someday. Much love and appreciation!
Anna"
Anna

"I saw the Bob Jones University Drama Team do a play about his life and how he died,and it really made me realize how many people have died.I was amazed at the bravery and courage that he showed.I thank you Jonathan for showing me that I need to support those who have died.
To the family:I pray for you every daay as well as for other families that have lost loved ones.I hope that God will bless you and take care of you."
McKenzie Bender of McDonough,GA

"Dear Kephart family,
I'm a Chrisitan high school teacher who saw the BJU drama based on your son's story in chapel. It had a profound impact on some of my students who were challenged to be courageous and stand for the Lord wherever they are. Jonathan's boots had a huge effect on the students as well. Thank you for sharing your son and his boots with all of us. I saw God use Jonathan's story to turn hearts toward Him. May God richly bless each of you."
Marsha Johnson of Oxford, AL

"Jonathan's Parents,

I just saw the Bob Jones University drama team in our High School chapel.They did their drama about Jonathan. It was a real encouragement to our students to courageously live for Christ. I'm sure your really proud of him.

Jerry Johnston
Oxford, AL"
Jerry Johnston of Oxford, AL

"Mom and dad,
Just wanted to leave a message here for you on this 2 year anniversary. I cannot believe it has been 2 years since you called and told me the news. I still remember that night like it was yesterday. I know how hard it has been on you to lose a son, and I am proud of your strength through this. I know there have been good times and bad since his death, but I know God is working through it all, even through our weak times. I pray that through his death, we will remember the importance of each other, and that we will grow closer and closer as a family, and to the Lord. God is so good, and has done so much! All my love and prayers!
Anna"
Anna of Burns Harbor, IN

"Jonathan, I cannot believe it has been 2 years. It seems like yesterday that mom called and told me you had been killed. I fell to the floor crying, and did not sleep at all that night, or for several nights after. I miss you more each day, and sometimes still think you will be coming home someday. But, I guess we will have to meet again, when we all come to your home in Heaven. I know how wonderful it must be for you, and I am sure you wouldnt come back to this world of you could, but we just miss you so much! David is doing so good in college, you would be so proud of him! Deborah is finishing her schoolwork this year and will be heading for college this year. My James is two now, and Jonathan (after you of course) is one. He looks a lot like his "Uncle Jonathan". We all love you, and miss you terribly, but, we are so encouraged by all thet God has done through your death. I am sure you know, but I couldnt begin to tell you all the stories of Gods blessing since your death. I love you Jonathan, and cant wait to see you again someday. I think of our last phone conversation all the time, (the phone bill was $80) when I just told you to be careful, and that I loved you, and that if anything happened, we would be together again in heaven someday, well, I cant wait to meet you there!
All my love! I am so proud of you!
Anna"
Anna of Burns Harbor

"To the parents of Jonathan Kephart
I am sorry for your loss. I heard about your sons death in a play done by Bob Jones Univerisity. As I was wacthing it, I cried. Your sons story touched me deep down. I am 15 and go to a christian school, I am a strong beliver in Christ Jesus just like your son. His story touched most of my 9th grade class. On behalf of Calvary Christian School, God Bless."
William Wright of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

"Our school, Temple Baptist High School, Asheville, N.C. just heard the drama by the Bob Jones University drama team. Thank you for the testimony of Jonathan. I trust that our family will have the spiritual courage that Jonathan demonstrated. Philip Buck and Robin Buck - teachers at Temple Son - Timothy, 8th grade. We have three children at BJU as well. My mother, Florence Hill was born in Oil City."
Philip Buck of Asheville, N.C.

"Our school, Temple Baptist High School, Asheville, N.C. just heard the drama by the Bob Jones University drama team. Thank you for the testimony of Jonathan. I trust that our family will have the spiritual courage that Jonathan demonstrated. Philip Buck and Robin Buck - teachers at Temple Son- Timothy, 8th grade. We have three children at BJU as well."
Philip Buck of Asheville, N.C.

"Kephart's,
I was out on patrol the day Jonathan was hit. I was also in the lead truck that went out to help his squad. I remember that day like it was yesterday, I constintly think about it often; I have 11 years in service and have been training for a time such as the time we spent in Iraq; but even with all the training one can not express the feelings you have after going through something like this. The squad I was with had returned to Camp Liberty to repair a tire of one of our trucks from earlier that morning. A few of us had been talking about how this trip to Iraq was almost like us going to Kosovo. While we waited for SGT Martin's truck to come back up on line I was listening to the radio; I then started hearing traffic from Jonathan's squad and how they started recieving fire. I could hear the voices of SGT Grant and some of the other NCO's that were with the squad. I can remember yelling at SSG Deleon and telling him that we had to get out there to help; he then got the word that we had a green light to go join the fight. My truck took off first, driven by SPC McTague and SPC Dudzik in the turrent. The whole way there I heard everything over the radio and kept thinking that we had to get there in a hurry because those guys out there were our friends. We sped down MSR Tampa and then went down against the flow of traffic on MSR Sword. I then saw the three trucks from 4th platoon heading our way in bad shape, they were smoking, tires flat and seemed like they just drove through hell. I then told SPC McTague to drive past there patrol and get between them and the two old white pick-up trucks that seemed to be chasing the damaged squad. My truck then turned sideways to block anyone else from coming down the road; SSG Deleon and SGT Martin then positioned their trucks to take up front and rear security for Jonathan's squad and began escorting them out of the area. My truck began taking small arms fire, and my gunner was having a little trouble; I then ordered my gunner down inside the truck, I had to pull him down inside; I then climbed up ontop of my truck and saw that our weapon was having some difficulties. I then corrected the problem and returned fire on the two pick-up trucks that were shooting at us; after the two trucks had been taken out I had my driver catch up and take up rear security behind the other elements. On the way back down MSR Sword towards Tampa, we had people shooting at us from windows; it was like a scene from the movie "Blackhawk Down." I could remember the whole time thinking to myself that I wish we could have arrived there earlier to help. It made it worse when we arrived at the intersection of Sword and Tampa that we learned we had one down and that was SPC Jonathan R. Kephart; as soon as I heard that I started thinking of all the times that I had enaged in conversations with Jonathan, from the times back in Germany to the time we sat outside at the smoking pit in Kuwait. Jonathan will always be missed....and I still wish that we would have gotten there a little sooner..."
SSG Williams, Mike H. of 1st PLT 2nd SQD 230th MP Co. now Ft.Jackson,SC Desk SGT

"I was not I the 230th long before the deployment. unfortunatly I was not prepared the assist the company and not sent. I however grew a respect for kep as a drinking buddy and a dweller of the hannen fass. even though i was a new guy he was not "too good" to be nice and include me in a few rounds. I will always remember where I could find him at any bar crawl in the back of the hannen fass at the round barrel table with a meter board, his girl friend, a smile and a hand shake.
He always seemed to enjoy himself and try to defuse "drama". Among rowdy "light weights" or "hot heads"

In the rear det. when we heard of his passing we all became very depressed we partied, mourned and celebrated in his honor for weeks. we all felt guilty it wasn't us. Le Blanc, Tapia, Hiegel,Crawford,Taylor,Thatcher and I. so many reading this may not think of us or me as a very savory characters.We did truly care and mourn his loss with all our hearts though. To this day every time I toast I tap my glass with others and on the table before I drink in KEPS memory. GOD BLESS true heroes like Kep the type of soldier who was not about all this A$$ kissing boyscout soldiering. A mans man."
Lee Henderson of Clarksville, TN

"Jonathan. I didn't know you well, but when I came back from my mission on 8 APR 04 and heard you were fighting for your life, all I could think of was the spades card game we played together in Kuwait only 2 weeks prior. I remember how quiet and reserved you were, but a damn good spades player. The next day we were told you had passed on. Your Platoon Seargent was in the Humvee behind yours when you all were ambushed with automatic weapons, RPGs, and IEDs. He told us how you warriored up and stayed behind that .50 cal and took out all those pieces of sh@!. Even when an RPG hit your back shield, you took your hit, fell in the turret, but you got back up, and had enough strength to get off a few more shots until you had to rest. SSG Di Virgilio being the great medic she is, helped keep you alive for 16 hours until God called you home. SGT Kovac was probably hit the hardest when you passed. She loved you a lot. I've seen her recently and she's gearing up to go to Afghanistan soon. I heard you had a great funeral back in Penn. They had a 21 gun salute with full military honors. Hope they buried you in the front leaning rest, because that's how hardcore you are. Just know that we gave that Mahdi Army hell after they took you away from us. They hit us everyday for a month after you left, but we eventually took them out to the point the remaining insurgents had to join other cells. Well brother. Watch over us up there in heaven, because there is still a lot of battle to be done until this thing is over. Let our other fallen brothers know that we will never foget them either. When it's my time, I'll be there locked and loaded with you. See you man."
Joshua Manuel of Germany

"I heard Spc. Kephart's story from one of his fellow servicemen on the Dennis Prager radio show. Thank you for your sacrifice, Jonathan--you are a hero who died in the service of a great cause. God give solace to your family."
Stephen Wein of Los Angeles, CA

"I was with your son Jonathan on 8 April 04 as one of the Team Leaders on that patrol, and until just recently I have not written or had the courage to even really talk about how I have felt about all of this. I went to see his memorial amongst the other American Soldiers that are represented over in Arlington for the Faces of the Fallen memorial and saw how proud I was to have known such a great and wonderful Man who served his country so honorably. I miss him a lot and miss the quiet funny guy who could make us laugh just by being himself. And I’m sorry that it has taken this long to even hear from me. I was just scared of not being able to have the right things to say, until I realized that there is no wrong thing to say about Jonathan but how much of a hero he is to all of us. Lastly I want to thank you the family of Jonathan for all the wonderful support you gave us while we were still there. It was hard losing anybody that early on in the deployment and still having the motivation and power to carrying on. Mr. and Mrs. Kephart the rest of the supporting family and Jonathan’s spirit made this happen for me."
SGT Grant, Michael (230th MP Co)now INSCOM of Washington,DC

"Jonathan, you would be so proud of all the peoples lives you had an impact on. We are still hearing every day of more people who knew you and were impacted by thi life that you lived. You know even more than us all the people that have heard the Gospel through your death and I dont think we will truly know until we are in Heaven. Thank you for what you did, you are a hero, and I am so proud of you. I was just reading the play written by a Bob Jones guy about your life. I think it will impact so many more lives, it is so exciting. I love and miss you, and cant wait to see you in Heaven some day, and hear your side of the story! Until then,
Anna(sister)"
Anna of Burns Harbor,IN

"Kephart was the kind of person that made an impact on everyone that he met. He made a profound impact on me. Even though sometimes you didn't know that he was in the room. He was a quite warrior, an expert at his craft. I do miss him. I choose to remember all the great things that he had done for me and everyone he had came across."
SSG Charles T. Jones of 230th MP CO, Kaiserslautern, GE

"I know that this may not be much but Kephart was a real good guy. I knew him not as someone i just worked with but as a friend. To his family, your son was a very brave young man."
Spc. Rodriguez, Carmon of K-Town, Germany

"I just wanted to leave a note to say how very thankful I am and how much it means to me that you all have taken time to write to us regarding Jonathan. It means so much to us to hear from you all. While we continue to miss "keps" terribly, we know that God has chosen to take him home to a better place, and look forward to the day that we will see him again. If any of you would like to contact me personally, you con do so at JamesandAnna@aol.com. I would love to hear from you that knew Jonathan , it means so much! Again, thank you all for your kind words and encouraging notes! We continue to pray for those of you who are still serving!
Love and prayers!
Anna Rose
JamesandAnna@aol.com"
Anna (Keps sister) of Burns Harbor, IN

"To the person who wrote the last note, Signed RRF, if you could please contact me at JamesandAnna@aol.com. I am Kepharts sister, Anna, and would love to get in contact with you! PLEASE contact me!"
Anna of Burns Harbor, IN

"To the Kephart's,

I live everyday with the events of the afternoon of April 8th, 2004. I gave the order to them to go to the road where Jon lost his life. Jon fought hard that day, he did what he was told to do and did it well. I want you to know that I will never forget Jon's sacrifice and I would do anything to change what happened on April 8th. He was a great kid and I knew him well. God Bless."
RRF

"Jonathan,
It's hard to believe it's been over a year since we lost you. Please know that you will always be more to me than just a high school sweetheart. I loved you very much and always will."
Melinda Minerd of Las Vegas, Nevada

"Your son is a very brave indiviual to give his life for peoples freedom and for the love of his family and country. I served 20 years US Army in which 3 years were in Vietnam. I'm sure God is looking after him now. God Bless You"
Bill Kephart of Portland Oregon

"Hey Kepharts,
This is Greg. Jon and I were inseparable. In my heart he stills lives on. I remember him often, and it is always good things. I remember the first time we ever met, on a trip to Cedar Point. I didn't know then the impact that he would have on my life. Thank you for all the kindness you have shown me, and I always pray for peace in your hearts. See you later."
Greg of Columbus, OH

"Dear Mr and Mrs Kephart,
Your son was my friend. We served in 230th MP co. together for two years before we lost him. I just want you to know that Jonathan was an outstanding young man and an excellent soldier. I will never forget him and the good times we had. I proud to say he was my friend.
take care."
SGT Sevilla, Joel of Kaiserslautern, Germany

"Dear Kephart Family, Though I didnt know your son, I wear his war Bracelet very proudly on my wrist, I looked up information on him today, and I began to cry. He was like most soldiers, just a baby. I pray this war ends very soon, may God be with Jonathan, and with all of you, and particularly all the men and women still over in Iraq and yet to go. Once again, I wear his war bracelet very proudly. Enatyler@aol.com"
Joanne of Waldwick, NJ

"Dear Kephart family,
I feel very sorry about the death of your son and one of my best friends in the 230th MP CO here in K-Town, Germany. Always enjoyed his company when we had many laughs and many beers together in the Canteen, right here in Rhein Ordnance Barracks. I never thought It can happen to a friend of mine. Take care brother, I see you when I get there my friend."
ZP-4 BOUSSONVILLE, Sascha of K-Town, Germany

"Dear Kephart Family
I served along side of your son in Iraq. I am also in the 230 mp co, He was a great soldier and a true friend. Always had a smile we pray for him while we know he is watching over us, for our safe journey home. I'm deeply sorry for you loss."
PFC SHERMAN, Anna of Iraq

"Being the Mailroom Supervisor at CMR 422, and a Reservist with the 569th, I knew Jonathan. He is loved and missed.
Prayers are said for your family and all other families that have had to deal with the loss of a loved one."
Erin K. McAuliffe-Brown of Fort Campbell

"I am an Air Force nurse who took care of Jonathan when the Army medics brought him to my small 447th Expeditionary Medical Hospital at the Baghdad Airport. He recieved life continuing care for the condition he arrived in before being aerovaced to the Army's much larger 31st Combat Support Hospital in the Green Zone of Baghdad. At the initial time, I did not know his name, only of the grave state he was in; I held his hand and lovingly stroked his face. Jonathan received absolute quality care at our facility from the Emergency Room doctor and Air Force "Nurse Anesthetist of the Year" (whom I work with at my active duty hospital) to the National Guard medics I would proudly serve with again. I am sorry for the loss of your son and I want this family to know Jonathan was treated with expert care and tenderness. I am proud of our military for their bravery, placing their lives in harm's way for the freedom of others. Thank you Jonathan for that sacrifice. You will always live in my memories."
Capt Catherine Kephart of Elmendorf Air Force Base, Anchorage, Alaska

"We are so sorry for your loss. We lost Army Spc.Joshua Justice Henry on 9-20-04. This was the hardest day of our lives. We honor these guys as our Heroes and hope no one else has to go through with what we are all dealing with. Rest in peace Jonathan, and thank you for serving your country to the fullest"
Henry family of Vandergrift , PA

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

"To Jonathan Kephart,
You will never know the impact you left on me, as my battle buddy in basic training, my pen pal while I was in Korea, and of course the phone call you made to me just before you left for war. I'll never forget sitting by you in church, eating MRE's under the tree, sleeping at the ranges and of course the movies and candy on passes. You were more than a friend to me and I don't think I'll ever have a similar bond with anyone else. I love you and hope you're still somewhere looking out for me like you always did. You'll always be in my heart, and you'll never ever be just a name and picture in a newspaper to me and the rest of the lives you've touched."
SPC Sarah M Kelsey of Frederick, MD

"Dear Kephart Family,
My sister-in-law, Army SPC Joy Topping, is currently serving in the same unit as Jonathan. Joy called home to tell us about Jonathan and she sang at his memorial service over in Iraq. As we continue to pray for Joy's safety, please know that Jonathan is always in our prayers. Joy referred to Jonathan as a "lost brother" and I think that that alone testifies to the honor and valor that your son, your brother, your friend represented. Joy also told us that your son is a guardian angel watching over her unit and with that we are comforted knowing that we have such a wonderful soul watching over her. We have the utmost respect for Jonathan, the man you raised him to be, and we will remember him always."
Stephanie Gawlak of Norwood, MA/USA

"To The Family of Jonathan Kephart: I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your loved one. He is a hero, whose bravery and sacrifice will never be forgotten. A salute to a fallen soldier- THANK YOU, JONATHAN! May you rest peacefully in Heaven."
Tina Rexroad, sister-in-law of Peter Enos, who was KIA on 4/09/04 of WV

"Dear Kephart Family,

I hope you liked the poem that I worte for you in memory of Jonathan, I tried my best to make it the best poem that I ever worte for anyone cause God knows Jonathan desvries the best."
Elisabeth Neely of Oil City,Pa

"Dear Kephart Family,

I hope you liked the poem that I worte for you in memory of Jonathan, I tried my best to make it the best pome that I ever worte for anyone cause God knows Jonathan desvries the best."
Elisabeth Neely of Oil City,Pa

"To Jonathon's Family:
There are no words to describe how sorry we are for your loss. May God bless you all during this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"Dear Jonathan,
Rest In Peace Dear Jonathan !!!
Good Night Sweet Hero to us all !!!"
Elisabeth Neely of Oil City, Pa

"Dear Kephart Family,
I want to let you know that I was at the Memorial Service & at the Committal Service for your Son Jonathan. I was there with Ona Knight because I'm her stepdaughter. I remember seeing him at the church when I went to church with her and my Father and I thought Jonathan was cute and my father bumped me on the arm and said settle down your in church and all I said was he was cute. God be with you and your loved ones. Remember Jonathan's not gone he will always be with you in your hearts forever God Bless you all."
Elisabeth Neely of Oil City, Pa

"Dear Donna and Burton Kephart

Please accept our most heartfelt condolences for the loss of your brave and honorable son, Jonathan. May your grief be tempered by the knowledge that Jonathan gave his life protecting his fellow soldiers and all of us here in this great land. His sacrifice shall never be forgotten. We are saddened by his loss, proud of his life, and calmed with the knowledge that God now has another fine Military Policeman at his side.

May the grace of God comfort you during this terrible time and may we all thank God for giving us such brave and valiant soldiers as Jonathan."
1SG (Ret) Robert Baker of Boston, MA

"To Jonathan's Family

Dear Family Kephart,
words can not tell how I feel with you. I worked with your son in the 569th US Forces Police, Kaiserslautern, GE. (MP/SP Unit) He was a good soldier and policeman. He always did the right thing. I will always remember Jonathan and there is nothing to say something bad about him, he was a very good friend and kamrad.
The best wishes to you the Mum and Father of Jonathan.
WEBER, MARCO ZP-5 Civilian Security Police
569th US Forces Police SQ, Kaiserslautern, Germany"
Marco Weber

"To Johnathan's family. My deepest and heartfelt sympathies go out to you and your family. The sacrifice that Johnathan has made for me and the rest of America is unforgetable. We are free because of people like your son. He paid the ultimate price and deserves the utmost respect. Our town grieves with you. Oil City needed more people like Johnathan, and instead we lost one. I'm so sorry about your loss. Your loss is the whole towns loss. You now have your own guardian angel in heaven watching you. I Hope that God comforts you in your time or sorrow. Your son will never be forgotten. I would love to take some of the pain and bear it for you so that you know you aren't alone. You did a wonderful job as parents. You have every reason to be so proud. Thank you Johnathan for your sacrifice. "There is not greater love than this, to lay down ones life for a friend". Thank you, and God bless."
Allison Exley of Oil City, Pa

"Thank you, Jonathan, for your sacrifice. Words can never suffice to state how grateful America must be to young men like you. You are truly a hero. May God bless you, Kephart family, and give you strength and peace in this trying time. My thoughts and prayers are with you."
Faith Hartzell of Venus, PA

"Rest in Peace Jonathan. Thank you for your courage and protecting our country."
The Taylors USMC of NC

"To Jonathan's Family:

My daughters fiance served next to your son in his unit. Family members of the 230th MP are there with you in spirit and we pray that you will find comfort in the fact that he was not alone."
Shaunna McNeal of Columbus Ohio

"To Jonathan's Family:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincere condolences to you. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you and we thank you for his bravery and sacrifice.

From the family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, KIA Iraq 12/28/2003"
Gloria Caldas (his mom) of San Antonio, TX

"Dear Jonathan,
I am deeply thankful to you for serving the USA by fighting in Iraq. You did the brave thing to stand up to an evil and cowardous enemy and are now a hero for doing so. You will never be forgotten because of this brave act. Thank you from me and the rest of America."
mark reif of winchester, VA

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

"Thank you Jonathan Kephart, 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. Jonathan Kephart:
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 Jonathan 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. Jonathan Kephart:
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 Jonathan, 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