Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew J. Kilpela

22, of Fowerville, Michigan.
Kilpela died as a result of an explosion while conducting combat operations in Saqlawiyah, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Died on June 10, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew J. Kilpela.

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"To the family of Andrew Kilpela, my son Cody wore your sons name on his name plate his junior year, I never met you when our families, our Glhs comets we're honoring fallen heroes. I have had your sons pin in my personal vehicle above my head since that night four years ago. See, our community has lost many young men, and life is precious as was your son to you I'm sure. He has not been forgotten. I got a new vehicle now, my son is now attending NMU, and I will continue to ride with Andrew, watching over me, as he did for this whole Country, so we can enjoy our liberties, our freedoms.
Andrew has not been forgotten.
Thank you for your service and giving your life for our freedom!"
Kelly (Reavis) Culp of Grand Ledge michigan

"Andy, I still remember going to prom with you senior year, and laugh when I look at the pics. I would have to say it was the best one in HS. Two guys in tuxes eating pizza on the couch at my parents house. I have your memorial bracelet on every single day. I miss you and think of you often. I'll never forget."
Clint, SGT, US Army, (RET) of Fowlerville,MI/Portland, TX

"To the family of andy kilepa, we still andy every day! He was such a good friend to michael lynch they had been friends forever it seems! Well today michael is getting andy's name with a flag and boots, helmet and gun tatooed on his arm. It has been many years but we havent forgotten!"
Carol Brewer(Lynch) of gregory,mi 48137

"To the family of:Andrew J. Kilpela
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""

"To Andrew's family-
We are Kilpelas from Eveleth and give our sympathies to you for the loss of Andrew. Our daughter Kirsty Kilpela was also killed so we wanted to let you know (as distant relatives) we share in your pain and understand how hard this is for you."
andrea j kilpela of eveleth mn

"I did not know Andrew, but I am honored to where his name on my jersey this friday at our football game, and I hope I can do him proud just as he has made this country proud."
Cody of Grand Ledge,MI

"Serving now, I think about you still. This all scares me and I dont know how you did it. I wish I could have met you and I guess I will someday, but for your bavery I will always remember you as the beautiful person I'm told you were."

"To the Kilpela Family: I'm thinking of you this Memorial Day 2011 - soldiers like Andrew will never be forgotten by his comrades. May God keep you in his blessings today as you remember."
Jeffrey A. Ruth of Fowlerville, MI

"Hello, I am CPL Ian Cochran. I served with Andrew at Camp Hansen, Okinawa Japan. I met him in 2003 and helped him and other new engineers get checked to his new unit, 9th Engineers. He was a good marine and always helped out when he could. I am honored to have served with this marine and hero!! My best memory if him was celebrating my 21st birthday at the Palms club on Camp Hansen. To the Kilpela family your son was a true warrior and a great friend! God Bless."
Ian Cochran of New Freedom, PA

"Andy we knew each other in redford and we were twins there, we were twins in Fowlerville too, always my brother from another mother andy never forgotton."
Erik Grubbs of Fort Lauderdale

"Dear Kipela family, I did not know Andrew,"Andy" as many have referred to him, but my heart aches for you as I read these entries. Our son Derek Martin (F'ville H.S. grad) was deployed to IRAQ in Jan of 2008 & we are awaiting his return next month, Dec 08. My prayers go our for you & your family. God bless you. We will not forget Andy and those who have served & sacrificed their lives for our country. We are very proud of all of them! Jim & Kristin Martin"
Kristin Martin of Perry, Michigan

"June 15, 2008
To the family of Lance Cpl. Andrew J. Kilpela:
Andrew 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

"To the Kilpela Family
I didn't know your brave son but was thinging of him today as I read his poem "Today I Smiled". The poem is hanging on the wall in my office. I often read the poem and wonder who Andrew Kilpela was as the tears roll down my eyes."
Tom Rapson of Lansing, MI

"My name is Cpl Joshua Boston and I served with Andrew. I first met "GUNS" in MOS school in Courthouse Bay. I then went to Camp Hansen Okinawa with him. We became pretty good friends and were both sent to 2nd CEB together as well. I was in Iraq during the same time, but on the other side of the base. My platoon arrived about 2 months before his and I left early on emergency leave. So, I wasn't in country when that fateful day arrived. I will never know a finer Marine than Andrew J Kilpela and I want to give my condolences to his family. Thank you for allowing us to serve with him.
Sincerely
Cpl. Joshua D. Boston"
Joshua Boston of Conway, AR US

"Andy there hasn't been a day that has gone by that I don't think about you.I only wish that I was able to know you longer.I just hope that someday I can justify your sacrifice,you have been and always will be my hero.

To the Kilpela family my name is Sgt Scott Kittrell, I was Andys platoon guide in Iraq.I have always wanted to write or talk to you but I haven't been able to bring myself to do so until now, and for that I am sorry.I know there is nothing that I could say to make things any easier,except that I am so sorry I could not bring him home.To me Andy was one of the best people I have ever met, and I always thought of him as family because to me he always will be. Andy was one of the Marines I knew I could always count on to get the job done when the chips were down.There is not a day since that I do not think about him or you,I just wanted you to know what a great person you raised.May god bless you and your entire family.

Semper Fi"
Sgt Scott A. Kittrell of Bethesda, Md.

"Andy -
So he did it. Jonny decided to become a Marine. Now you are brothers in blood and deed. He misses you terribly, you know.
I talk to Heather regularly. She's still "Aunt Heather" to James. You come up in conversation a lot. I hope you know how loved you are!
I've got 5 years of being a Marine Wife ahead of me now, maybe more... all I can ask is that you keep an eye on my Jonny for me, okay?
Love you!"
Layla Kilpela of Howell, MI

"Andy, I miss you more than you could ever know. And I want you to know that we are all proud of you. Semper Fi."
Dan Kubiak of Fowlerville, MI

"Andy- We will never forget you and all of our good times together. Just thinking back to the "wondeful" food court days and outlet mall days. Or the wonderful high school times together! God Bless you and thanks for everything you did for our Country- We miss you."
Carla Conley-Watt & Brandon Watt of Fowlerville, Michigan

"Andy we all miss you it's not the same without you.I miss you soo much. so does your sister. And your whole family misses you too..My mom and dad miss you too. We always think about you on the important holidays and whenever it isnt either. So i guess i thought id just tell you that."
Emma Anderson of Howell Michigan

"Andy, my man! It isn't quite the same without you here. Think about you everyday. When we get to see each other next, it'll be one big Applebee's all over again! Much love brother!"
Jon Kilpela of Howell, MI

"Andy,

I miss you dearly and I think of you everyday. Lee misses you as well. I remember the time you babysat him one nite for me and I didn't come home till like 6 am and as soon as I walked in the door he woke up and You told me to go back to bed and get some rest and you would continue to watch him for me. I think that was probally one of the sweetest things any guy has ever done for me. You were always there for me. You always made me smile even when I didn't have anything to smile about. You were a truely great friend and all of us at Bart's miss you. As you know Im having another baby boy and I could think of no one else better to name him after! You were so very sweet to me and we had a lot of fun partying together and I miss you so much. Thank you for the price you had to pay. I remember the last time I saw you I had a party at my house and you drove me to Taco Bell and we laughed the whole time and we ordered like $30 worth of food. Even doing stupid small things like that with u were always memorable and I miss you and your smile so much. Andy, I love you and "were gonna ramm em dude" Rest in Peace hun Love you"
Nina Pearl of Camp Lejeune

"Andy,

I think of you and happy everyday, you two were my brothers. i'll never forget you two. i wish you two were here right now, i'd give anything to see you two again. i just hope i can justify the sacrifice you two made, for you two gave us all freedom for the rest of our days. one day i'll come and see both of you, we'll talk and catch up on old times. you two are my biggest heros. until the day we are reunited, semper fi"
Skeeter of United States Marine Corps

"TO MR. & MRS. KIIPLEA, THE CNBC SHOW WITH DONNY WAS NOT ONLY INTERESTING. IT WAS PUTTING FACES TO NAME'S OF OUR FALLEN. THE FIRST LETTER WAS FROM MY DAUGHTER-IN-LAW MARICELA WAHL WITH MY GRAND-DAUGHTER ALEXIS SITTING BY HER SIDE. THAT SHE COULDN'T ATTEND. THE REASON I MENTION THIS. ALEXIS FOR SIX YEARS OLD HAS AWAY WITH HER. SHE WOULD OF BEEN THE FIRST TO HUG YOU MR.KILPELA. ALEXIS UNDERSTANDS BETTER THEN MOST THE LOST. IF SHE HAD SEEN YOUR TEARS AND THE PICTURE OF ANDREW. SHE BE COMFORTING YOU! I'VE SEEN HER DO THAT TO OTHER FALLEN FAMILIES. I HAD WANTED TO TALK WITH YOU, BUT I'M THE EMOTIONAL TYPE! I WAS THE GENTLEMEN SITTING NEXT TO NAVY PETTY OFFICER 3RD CLASS TRAVIS YOUNGBLOOD'S WIFE (LAURA). ALL THIS IS VERY HARD ON EACH OF US AS MRS. SHEEHAN. I DON'T AGREE WITH WHOM SHE MAKING HER STAND WITH. BUT, MY HEART FEELS FOR HER LOST. EACH DAY EACH LOST WE ALL LIVE IT AGAIN. ANDREW IS WITH YOU AND YOUR WIFE! BY YOUR OWN WORDS I KNOW THAT TO BE TRUE! EACH SOLDIER HAS SUFFERED! AN WE ALL NEED TO HEAL IN OUR OWN WAY. SOME WILL AND SOME WILL NOT. I PRAY FOR ANDREW AND ALL OUR FALLEN. AS I DO FOR YOU AND YOUR WIFE AND ALL THE FALLEN FAMILIES. LOSTING GREGORY WAS EXTREMELY HARD! NO DIFFERENT THEN YOU LOSTING ANDREW. HE WAS MY OLDEST SON! NO MATTER WHERE? HE WAS STATIONED HE WAS MY FOUR O'CLOCK ALARM CLOCK. SOMETIME'S TO SIMPLELY TALK OR WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS OR THAT. I MISS THAT MORE THEN ONE COULD REALIZE. ANDREW WAS THAT WAY TO YOU BOTH. I AM IN A VERY DIFFERENT ROLE THEN PRIOR TO LOSING GREGORY. STRONG JUST NOT ME! AN YET, I BECOME THAT! STILL I HAVEN'T DECIDED IF I'M PRO OR CON OF OUR SITUATION. I DO BELIEVE SUPPORTING OUR TROOPS IS IMPORTANT! SO I LIKE YOURSELF MAIL PACKAGE'S TO OUR TROOPS. (OPERATIONTROOPBOX.COM) AND CREATED CHILDREN OF THE FALLEN LONG ISLAND. WE HAVE HELPED TEN CHILDREN OF A FALLEN SOLDIER TO DATE. THE TENTH IS MRS. YOUNGBLOOD'S BABY (EMMA) DUE MY MONTH END. IF I COULD MAKE ONE SUGGESTION! REACH OUT TO YOUR POLITICAL LEADERS IN YOUR AREA. (COMMUNITY) TO HAVE A STREET NAMED AFTER ANDREW! HONORING HIM THIS WAY AND NOW IS THAT IMPORTANT, TRUELY. OFTEN IN PAST CONFLICTS AND WAR HONORING OUR FALLEN TAKES ENDLESS YEAR'S. I HOPE THE NEXT TIME, WE ARE TOGETHER WE CAN MEET. I AM VERY PROUD OF ANDREW, FOR BEING A MILITARY BROTHER TO OUR SON AS HE TO ANDREW. WATCHING OVER ONE ANOTHER IN COMBAT AND ABOVE. WITH NO REGARD TO BRANCH OF SERVICE JUST AS UNITED AMERICAN SOLDIERS!"
LEONARD WAHL of VALLEY STREAM NY

"FAMILY OF ANDREW KILPELA,
WORDS JUST CAN'T EXPRESS HOW MUCH MY HEART ACHES FOR YOU. I THINK OF YOU SO OFTEN. OUR SON IS ALSO IN 2ND CEB A CO AND STILL IN IRAQ. HE WENT TO IRAQ WITH ANDREW IN MARCH. ANDREW WILL ALWAYS BE A HERO TO ALL OF US ESPICALLY TO HIS MARINE BROTHERS IN THE 2ND CEB. MAY ALL YOUR SPECIAL MEMORIES OF ANDREW HELP GET YOU THROUGH THE DAYS AHEAD. GOD BLESS YOU."
GRAINGER FAMILY of EASTPOINTE, MI

"To the Kilpela Family, I wish to extend my sincere condolences on your loss. What a fine young Marine you raised. Andrew is a true American Hero who will always be honored and remembered. May God Bless you all"
Mary Ghaney of Brooklyn, New York

"Andy,
We all miss you, and we're all honored to have known you for as long as we did.

To all that have left a message: Thank you. Andy was my brother, and it means so much to my family and me that you would care enough to reply."
Kristin Kilpela of Fowlerville, MI

"To the Kilpela family, I just found out about the tragedy of Andrew through the Marine Times. I am so sorry for your misfortune. I remember Andrew from 9th Engineers Suppt.Btln Okinawa. He was a realy good kid and allways thought of his fellow Marines first,I remember deploying to Mongolia (operation Kahnquest). He was new to the unit at that time,but he impressed his leaders by his initiative and drive, he will allways be a good Marine and he will allways live in our hearts as a hero. He is in a better place than all of us, and he will never be forgotton. SEMPER FIDELIS"
CHRISTOPHER M. CONSTANTIN of VA.BEACH VA.

"To the family and friends of Lance Corporal Andrew J. Kilpela,

Those we hold most dear, never truly leave us. May you find comfort in love's everlasting connection.

In the Support section of this web site you will find links to many groups that support you at this crucial time. The Marine Comfort Quilt group would be honored to send a quilt to the next of kin. There are many, loving and caring Americans from all over the United States that will never forget the sacrifice that your loved one has made for our Freedom. Please use our link and register so we can send you our "Love Stitched Together."

Proud Marine Mom and Proud Member of Marine Comfort Quilts "
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca USA

"We are deeply sorry for your loss. America will forever honor your Hero.
The Courage, Honor, and Valor that your Hero showed will always be remembered.
We are grateful for the sacrifice that was made and we will NEVER FORGET.
God Bless your family and please know that you are not alone.
All of our prayers are with you."
Jennifer and SSGT Larry Mays of Massillon, Ohio

"To The Kilpela Family,
Our Family, Our City, Our Country grieves with you. We are so saddened by your loss. Your Soldier is OUR HERO! We will never forget him or the others who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless You and your Brave Marine..Semper Fi!!"
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN

"To the Family of Andrew Kilpela. Please know how thankful we are for Andrew's service and for his unselfish act of love of country. We are so sorry for your loss - we can only imagine. Our 24-year old son served 15 months in Iraq and, thank God, returned home safely to us. We pray that you will be comforted at this sad, sad time. It must seem like the world should stop; please know that you are in our prayers. Once again, we are so sorry for your loss, but thank God for brave men like Andrew. We are forever grateful - his death is not in vain. One more hero. May sweet and pleasant memories of Andrew help you through the many days ahead."
Jerry and Connie Kimbel of McBain, MI

"to the KILPELA family from the WAHL family. our heart and prays are with ANDREW and your family. Andrew thank you, for serving our great country! You have made it alot safer since 911! You are a hero, one that is someone's someone and someone to the WAhl family. you have touched the hearts of so many. an those will not forget you! ANDREW you have not given your life in vain. You will be remebered! Never ever forgotten! we lost our son last year. An the cmofort to me is that. Gregory served with men like you ANDREW. One's that watching over one another's back and units. An from one military branch to an other. You are his brother, as he is your's and all those serving are your brother's and sister's. That is why? American's military is respected all over the world! An Andrew you are apart of that history."
LEONARD WAHL of VALLEY STREAM NY

"Andy,
We remember when you came to us and told us you were going to be a Marine. We all laughed and told you you couldn't do it, well you did do it. You were a great Marine, they were lucky to have you. We are so proud of what you stood for. We remember how any situation wasn't so bad when you were around, you'd always make us laugh some how. Our children were blessed to have known you and you will aways be Uncle Andy to them. You will be missed a great deal. You were a good person and a great friend. We miss you."
Mike and Jenni Lynch of South Lyon, Michigan

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

"Thank you Andrew Kilpela, 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 Lance Cpl. Andrew Kilpela:
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 Andrew 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 Lance Cpl. Andrew Kilpela:
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 Andrew, 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