Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Staff Sgt. Ricky A. Kieffer

36, of Ovid, Michigan.
Kieffer died in Baghdad, Iraq, when enemy forces using small arms fire attacked his unit. He was assigned to the Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 182nd Field Artillery Regiment (Multiple Launch Rocket System), Detroit, Michigan. Died on March 15, 2005.

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"On this Memorial Day, I happened upon this tribute to my friend.... I grew up with this awesome guy. We were childhood friends. He lived one block away, and we spent tons of time together. From our crazy comics (The Kools and The Gang) to riding shotgun in the 'Mav-Dick', to enlisting in the Army together on the same day, we took the journey together my friend and wow did we laugh and have a good time. Rick, I will never forget the fight where you whipped the kid's * even after he had cracked your ribs with a ball bat! You were the toughest dude I ever knew, and a loyal friend. I consider it a great honor to have enlisted alongside you, and an even greater honor to call you my friend. You really are a hero, in every sense of the word...."
Your 82nd Airborne brother

"SSG all I can remember is I needed earplugs and was losing my mind because no one had any, and you found me in the hallway and gave me yours, due to the kink in the supply chain. And only you, myself, and Matthews could remember the thing we had about who was the better gunner. I was also out that day, Casevac with Cpt. Myers, escorting the Nomad platoon kid back to Rusty. We tried to get them to let us leave that area earlier, but it was out of our Company's control. I wiah they had, then maybe I could have known the person a little more, that I loved as a soldier. You are a great man, you will be missed.
The one and only Fields"
Rayvonne Fields of Detroit, MI

"As we come to a sad and hard day for the deuce family. To one of my truest friends that I came to know through my career in the Michigan National Guard. SSG Kiefer you represent what a true NCO should always be. I never got the chance to say good bye to a very good NCO. There are times if we could have been there quickier you still might be here. I will always have you in my thoughts and prayers. I hope to meet again when my time is called. I will always remember Mar 15th 2005. God speed Ricky"
SGT William Hatfield Michigan National Guard Retired of Montrose Mi

"As we come to a sad and hard day for the deuce family. To one of my truest friends that I came to know through my career in the Michigan National Guard. SSG Kiefer you represent what a true NCO should always be. I never got the chance to say good bye to a very good NCO. There are times if we could have been there quickier you still might be here. I will always have you in my thoughts and prayers. I hope to meet again when my time is called. I will always remember Mar 15th 2005. God speed Ricky"
SGT William Hatfield Michigan National Guard Retired of Montrose Mi

"Kieffer, cant believe that it has been this long! You are thought about everyday and you are grealty missed. It will be just a few short weeks when the guys will get together at your grave side and laugh and joke and cry, have a beer with you, then head down to the pub for something to eat. It always a great time reflect on you and your life. Was a pleasure to serve with you! Give Lowe R, and Johnson D,a hug from the guys from the "DUCE" You all went to early! till we meet again - God Speed Brother"
DJK

"Hey Kieff, I just found this and wanted to leave you a note. I wanted to thank you and Scotty P. again for showing me the hog slayin spot. I had such a great time with you guys. I was browsing througj the messages and came across a note from Scotty P., braught a tear to my eyes. I hope hes with you on one of gods great hoggin lakes some where in heaven. I think about the both of you just about every day. I still have both of your guys,s cell numbers on my phone. Kind of dumb but im sentamental. I moved to Oregon, my home abot 5 years ago. I miss you and Scotty alot. You take care and ill think of you and scotty often."
Jason Hyder, SGT(RET) MIARNG of LEBANON, OREGON

"I was there the day SSG Keiffer gave the ultimate sacrifice. He and his squad came to our aid after we already took a wounded casualty. RIcky was a impressive leader and lead his guys from the front. I and it showed. He trained one hell of squad.
It could have been anyone of us that day. I'll never forget!"
SFC Nathan Sartorius of Ft Bliss TX

"To the family of:Ricky A.Kieffer
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""

"Still thinking about you Rick. Now that I've become a father, I can only think more and more how hard your death was on your family.
We have a new March 15th tradition. We visit your final resting spot and then the little bar in town. Something funny happens every year (normally involving our CDR!)
You are still the favorite, as far as you know."
Jason Rogers of Lansing MI

"To the family of SSG. Kieffer - I have found a hero's bracelet with SSG Ricky A. Kieffer's name on it. I would be PROUD to wear it but if you want it, I will be happy to send it to you. Please contact CorbyJFMM@aol.com."
Michele Corby of Port Huron, MI - USA

"To the COWARD who talked * about SFC Allen, and said the many of you blame him for SSG Kieffer's death, I pray for you, that I never find out who you are! SFC Allen is probably THE BEST NCO I know of. He had nothing to do with that day he trained us to the fullest and it was Rick's time to go. It could have been anyone of us that day and it was sure not ANYBODYS fault. Rick ranked up there with the BEST, side-by-side with SFC Allen. And I know that if Rick knew about your feelings with SFC Allen he would say the same. Will NEVER forget about you Rick, and will defend you to the fullest. Rest In Peace my Brother!"
SGT Allen Dickie of Grayling, MI

"Re: SSG Ricky A Kieffer

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.

"February 22, 2009
To the family of Staff Sgt. Ricky A. Kieffer:
Ricky 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

"Rick, I know many of us blame SFC Allen for what had happen and know he didn't worry about anything but himself when we were over there. I hope the Army will stop and think about who they promote an know rank is only something you wear on your uniform and a real soldier and man is with his guys everyday and fighting along side them and for them. I getting out soon and thought this needed to be said. God bless you."
The truth about what happen of U.S. Army

"Thanks Ricky for watching over us this last time-you really could tell someone was keeping an eye on us. Could have used you-you were a great NCO.

Never got to go fishing with ya, something I'll have on my mind forever-save a place in the boat, would you?
you and your family were brought up often, and my prayers included all of you.

out here "ALLEN'S HEROES!!""
Pete of Farmington Hills

"Ricky,
You were one of the greatest. Your leadership helped me finish the tour. I am proud to say I served under you. You were for the troops. Something I believed in my whole military career. Your example helped me finish our tour, and I could feel your presents even after that day. I was with you til that last breath and that will be with me the rest of my life. That day plays over and over and I am sorry I couldn't do more. What could I have done different is the question I am and will live with me the rest of my life. To Your family, I am sorry. Someday I would like to meet you all in person. I just can't hold my head up yet.
Ricky, I am sorry for letting you down, and not being able to do more for you. What could I have done different will haunt me forever."
SSG Rob Summersett of Caro, Mi.

"I only met SSG Kieffer once but I know he ment a lot to some friends of mine and he will be missed."
Spc. Marc Kiefer of Fort Bragg, NC

"SSG Kieffer, I am in Germany now but you are still in my memories and prayers as well as your family. You would always speak to me and address me by name when you saw me, I can't tell you enough how much that meant to me, you showed me brotherhood, camaraderie, leadership, and honor with those few words alone, rest in peace SSG Kieffer, I will never forget you. I am honored to have served with a real American Hero."
SPC Jerome Richardson of Heidelberg Germany

"The day has come and is almost gone again "MARCH 15" this day will forever be bitter/sweet for me. I have all the great thoughts of the time we served together and the thoughts of your death still fresh in my mind. I still haven't found peace in my life yet about this day. I pray for you and your family everyday and hope they have found peace in their life. I hope that someday we all meet again and can laugh and talk about all the old times. Rest in Peace my friend and know your family and friends are well and safe till we all see you again

God Bless you Rick"
Your brother from the duce of 1/182 FA (MLRS) of Michigan

"Ricky A. Kieffer, your commitment, bravery and ultimate sacrifice amount to more than we could ever imagine. God Bless."
Robert Bell of Mpls, MN

"SSG Ricky A. Kieffer, you are for sure MY Hero, THE PACKAGE, and a self proclaimed Genious. The thoughts and memories of you were the only thing that kept me going in Iraq to do what we did. That day of March 15 still haunts me to this day, but I just think of you and the good times we had. I pray for you and your family every day. Let God and you fish his great lakes in peace MY BROTHER. But make sure you are there at the gates when its my time, say hi to SPC Robert Lowe for us. And for the rest of us let you watch over us all and the new unit thats headed over again. Rest in Peace
SGT Allen Dickie
1/182 FA"
SGT Allen Dickie of Grayling

"Dear Sgt. Ricky, I've seen the pictures of the 3000 dead and I chose yours randomly . I'd like to espress all of my deep sorrow for all the american heroes fallen . I am Italian, living in Rome.
Thanks , Sgt. Ricky."
Inkursore

"SSG Kieffer,
You are greatly missed and I can only hope there is a river with you name on it packed with fish. You are in the thoughts of all that have served with you and I hope when my day comes you will be waiting at the gates to greet me. I hope you can watch over all of us in the hard times to come."
Sgt. Bryan Jacobs II

"To the family of SSgt Ricky A. Kieffer I'm sending you a quilt to honor your husband and two more for your children. I hope it gets to you for this is truly a labor of love that we make these quilt to honor the families of great soldiers that server their country. I know words can never take the pain away but I hope you know how very proud we are of your husband for giving it his all for his family and country. If you do not receive your quilt then please contact me at debeniel@ncn.net and we will make sure you get your quilt. Some time by the time we get the quilts all done family have moved. The quilt was made in order to honor your husband and honor you his wife a woman of honor and courage that we American respect and only wish that God would give you the strength you need to take one day at time. Freedom Quilts is always trying to find our heroes families to make sure and send them a quilt to honor them so if you know of others please let me know. Email me again my email is debeniel@ncn.net"
Betty Nielsen of Fonda, IA

"Rick we are home now and there hasn't been a day that has past that your not in my thoughts. There are times I ask myself why you and not me. I know we are coming up on a year now and it seems like yesterday this happen. I still pray for your family and hope your children and wife find peace in there lives. I know I will never forget you but will try to move on with my life and smile every time you come to mind. Rick with all you brought into this world and the lives of others you are truly the "Package" and thanks for all you gave and the great memories you have given me. Till we meet again my brother."
1/182 FA (MLRS) of Michigan

"Rick the time has come for us to leave Iraq. I know you have been with us in thoughts and sprit since that dark day on march 15th. The reason I know this is that our unit has been through allot since that day and our guys keep coming out of it alive. I hope you will look over us all for the rest of our lives and know that our time here was well spent and you didn't die for a lost cause. I miss the things you brought to this deployment and there will never be another Ricky Kieffer, you were one of a kind. Your guys have recoved well since the 15th and would have made you proud of there actions here. As for the unit back home well I know the maint. section will never be as high speed as it was when you were there. We all love you brother and miss you.

The Men of the Duce"
C-Co 1/182nd of Iraq

"SSG Kieffer, I was so sorry to learn what had happened to you. As 3rd SQD LDR, 1st PLT, you were "MY" replacement, my counterpart. I did my best to pass on the knowladge and informortion to you that would help keep you and your men alive, but apparently it wasn't enough. I am devestated by that fact. Your time there was short, but know that it did make a difference. You were in my opinion, the best SQD leader of your group. Your men benefitted from this. You men and your family must be very proud of you. I am sorry you will not get a chance to see the fruits of your efforts. May you rest in peace my friend."
SSG Joseph Drinkhouse, NJARNG of Atlantic City, NJ USA

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

"Ricky, you are missed everyday we are here. I still wonder everyday why you? There is so much you haven't completed in your life and now you will never get the chance to. I feel the pain of your family your kids and your friends every time I think of that day, and I can't get over your gone. I know you’re in a better place now but as selfish as it sounds I wish you were still here with us. That day will never go away in my thoughts and I am glad to have known you for the time I did. Rest in peace and know that your family is taken care of. Till the next time we meet again take care my friend"
of Iraq

"I was on my way to the airport to catch a plane on the morning on 3/18, standing in my bedroom in Flint the news came on about your death, frozen I could not move. You see, I was on my way to spend the weekend speaking in many places to support bringing you all home now. I pray for your family, I did not know yet only a heart beat away, I am so proud of the fight you gave! Your honor will never be forgotten. Heaven is now today with over 1,500 of our best of the best. Can you let my son Sgt. Michael Pedersen know he is still so loved. God bless your family soooooo much."
Lila Lipscomb of Flint, Michigan

"The best friend a guy could have, the "Walleye God". God must have an over stocked lake and sent for the best to help thin them out! I'll miss you my brother. God bless you Rick"
Scott Powelson of Sunfield Mi.

"This was a guy who could spend hours wrenching under a track in the mud, and still smile. He will be missed."
CPT. Don Darnell of Dexter, Michigan

"Kieffer and I were stationed together (room mates)with the 3/20th FA Maintenance Section, 1989-91. I was deeply saddened to hear the news of his untimely death, as I browsed through an Army Times newspaper. He was without question one of the hardest working mechanics(self-named "Mechanic Supreme") I had the pleasure to serve with, and I owe a debt of gratitude to him for all he taught me as a peer. I would make mistakes fixing trucks and he would often help rather than criticize. We could always count on him to do something crazy for a laugh or two and I'll never forget his temper during moments of frustration. As room mates we got along fine, despite the differences in our backgrounds, he being from the suburbs and caucasian and me being black from the city. My condolences goes out to his family, and may god bless them and help them through this tragic loss. This guy was truly a hero."
SFC Charles Starks of Hohenfels Germany

"TO THE FAMILY OF RICKY:

I AM DEEPLY TROUBLED BY YOUR LOSS. MY BABY BROTHER LANDON GILES WAS KILLED ONLY FOUR WEEKS AGO. I PRAY EVERY NIGHT FOR STENGHTH, AS I'M SURE YOU DO. YOUR RICKY IS A HERO FOR THE AGES NOW, AND WILL ALWAYS BE YOUNG, AND BRAVE AND HONORED. I HOPE IT HELPS YOUR FAMILY TO KNOW WE GRIEVE WITH YOU AND FEEL YOUR PAIN. GOD HAS TWO MORE ANGELS RICKY AND LANDON AND MANY OTHERS, BUT THEY GAVE US SO MUCH TO PROUD OF, I HOPE IN SOME MANNER THIS MAY HELP, IT IS SO HARD, I KNOW. I WILL PRAY FOR YOU AND KEEP YOU IN MY THOUGHTS. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TALK YOU CAN EMAIL ME celestialhoney2004@yahoo.com"
Jo Giles of Bakersfield, CA

"To the family of Ricky, our family honors your Hero. Ricky was a brave man who gave the ultimate sacrifice of his country and we are so proud of him. His Honor, Valor, and Courage will never be forgotten.
Our prayers are with you and know that you are not alone in this time.
God Bless Ricky and his family"
Jennifer and SSG Larry Mays and family of Massillon, Ohio

"Hey Ricky, I just heard the sad news. At first I thought they were wrong, but how many Ovid, Michigans are there. And I only remember one Ricky Kieffer that I grew up with. I'm currently stationed at Ft. Benning, Ga. as a drill sergeant. I feel a sense of guilt as it is my place as an Infantry soldier to be over there fighting. The young men I am training will eventually be over there carrying on the fight. I train them hard so they will know that they can do the job when asked. As an American soldier I hope you gave them one hell of a fight.
Rest in Peace Rick, you deserve it.
Duty, Honor, Country"
Drill Sergeant Jimmy Garcia of Ft. Benning, GA

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

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

"TO THE KIEFFER FAMILY FORM THE WAHL FAMILY. WE ARE DEEPLY SADDEN BY YOUR LOST OF RICKY. OUR HEART AND PRAYS ARE WITH YOU. LOST SOMEONE YOU LOVE IS VERY DIFFUCULT AND HARD. OUR FAMILY UNDERSTANDS THAT. WE LOST OUR SON LAST MAY. I REALIZE OUR SON'S DIDN'T KNOW ONE ANOTHER. NOT TRUE, ALL SOLDIERS ARE BROTHERS AND SISTERS. AN I'M THANKFUL RICKY WAS WHO? HE WAS A PROFESSIONAL SOLDIER SERVING HIS COUNTRY. FOR ALL AMERICANS ! I WILL ALWAYS KEEP RICKY IN MY HEART!"
LEONARD WAHL of VALLEY STREAM NY

"Ricky, your loss has already affected us deep. I can't believe you're not here with the funny jokes and sayings. We will continue the mission that you started and make you proud. God Speed."
SSG Jason P. Rogers of 1-182FA MLRS

"SSG Kieffer I will never forget you and the things you brought to this deployment from Fort Dix's to Iraq. My Prayers are with you and your family. You will be missed by all of us and this year we are in Iraq will never be forgoten. 1st Platoon Allens Heros"
SGT Scott Halm of 1/182 FA (MLRS) Michigan

"We would like you to know how sorry we are for your loss. Ricky is a hero and America is greatly indebted to him for his unselfish willingness to serve. Our prayers go out to you. May God give you the strength to continue without him."
Webster and Ruth Reed (Father and stepmom of Jonathan Ray Reed who died in Iraq on January 28, 2005) of Krotz Springs, LA

"Thank you Ricky Kieffer, 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 Staff Sgt. Ricky Kieffer:
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 Ricky 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 Staff Sgt. Ricky Kieffer:
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 Ricky, 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