Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Sgt. Michael Vernon Lalush

23, of Troutville, Virginia.
Killed in a UH-1N Huey helicopter crash in southern Iraq. He was assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA)-169, Marine Aircraft Group-39, Marine Corps Air Station, Camp Pendleton, California. Died on March 30, 2003.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Sgt. Michael V. Lalush.


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

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"Honoring your sacrifice this weekend. I am in Washington DC at Arlington Cemetery and was given your name on badge to honor. Thank You for your service and sacrifice. My thoughts are with you and your family this memorial weekend. Thank You."
Jen of St. Louis MO


You have been on my mind a lot lately I still cry for you I miss you. I can't explain to you how much I loved you we were so caught up in the she's to young your to busy bull crap that we were told. I regret everday not sharing you with everyone I knew you were an amazing person. I will never forget you."

"Lalush it's been 12 years brother. I remember being in Kuwait with you in those hot tents and you were in the bunk next to mine and McGinnis was across from us. We talked politics of the time and of how much we missed home, but the biggest topic was when we thought it would all begin. I knew you for a short time but even through my hardest time in the Marine Corp you were kind and respectful towards me. For this I thank you............ Semper Fi Sergeant Lalush. Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters,I will be with you;and when you pass through the rivers,they will not sweep over you.When you walk through the fire,you will not be burned;the flames will not set you ablaze."
Deputy Victor Moreno of Los Angeles County Sheiff's Dept.

Dave Lalush of Troutville Va."

"Lalush, I remember when you checked in at NAS Pensacola, FL. Despite the short amount of time we spent there, you always seemed to stick in my mind. You were always the one to step forward and do the next right thing. I am so sorry for your parents to have lost such a wonderful man. You were always the leader that I had hoped to be. Semper Fi brother!"
LCpl Reynolds of Missouri

"Mike, you were a great Marine, and always made me laugh. The last time we talked, everyone had to have thier name etched on thier knives they used on the flightline. You stood there and put about 7 knives on the table. I asked what the hell ? You said "No Iraqi will get me before I cut his *!" I just laughed. RIP brother. Your missed daily......"
SSgt Cary Truex USMC Ret of Menifee, CA

"Mike, you were a great friend, mentor, Marine, and roomate. I will always remember you and i will always miss my brother "Vern". My prayers go out to Dave and Becky. Such a special person taken way to early. I look forward to crewing a huey with you as we watch over the streets of heaven someday. Semper Fi Marine."
Steve Henley "Turk" of California

"I wore a bracelet with his name for a long time. I recently found it in a forgotten jewelry box. Once again I am reminded of why I wore it. I hope his name is never forgotten."
Sharyn Ueckert of Las Vegas NV USA

"Remembering Sgt. Lalush this Memorial Day along with Marines Jesse Strong and Justin Thacker.


We shall remember."
Jim of Moneta, Virginia

"Mike, its been 9 years today. So hard to believe. My baby girl was born 2 weeks before the day you died. You never got too meet her, your funeral was the first time I left her. Today is my sisters birthday and it is such a bittersweet day every year to try and be happy for her but mourn your loss. We always had so much fun, you were like the big brother I never had. I wish you were still around to talk too. Well, we all loved you and I miss you very much. You are gone but you will never be forgotten. Today your parents are in my thoughts. Know that he touched everyone he met and because of him my life as well as many others is better because he was a part of it. Love always"
Paula Layman of Roanoke, VA

"An AMAZING person, friend, and Marine!!! Made a huge impact in the lives of everyone around him, and he is very much alive in all of our hearts and minds! Semper Fi"
Sac of USA

"Sgt. Lalush, There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of that night. I was the first responder to the site of the crash. You can reach me at sandusky_m01@yahoo.com if you would like to talk. I want to offer your parents my sincere condolences. Semper Fi brother, and rest in peace."
Sgt Sandusky of Indianapolis, IN

"I will NEVER forget you. Respect to you as a person and an NCO in the USMC. Semper Fi Devil!!!""
Cpl Mullins/HMLA 169 '03 of San Diego, Ca

"March 15, 2009
To the family of Sgt. Michael V. Lalush:
Remembering Michael on the upcoming sixth anniversary. May Michael never be forgotten.
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"Mike was a friend of my brother's in California. Mike's dad was a coach for Mike and Adam's AYSO soccer team. The news of his death has saddened the people that knew Mike back in those days. As a former servicemember your sacrifice will never be forgotten!"
Rebecca Schuster of Santa Clara, CA

"I went to high school in California with Mike, and I was friends with him, we played street hockey together and hung out in the same circle of friends. I just randomly thought about Mike this morning, and I wondered what had ever happened to him, so I Googled his name. I was shocked, then deeply saddened to learn that he is no longer with us. I was not suprised, however, to learn that he had joined the Marine Corp, since he always struck me as somewhat fearless. Even now, 14 years after I last spoke to him, he randomly made an appearance in my memory as "that really great guy with the awesome sense of humor who I knew in high school". He will be missed."
Cathy Ramos of Sunnyvale, CA

"This is Shawn Fenner, and I was in boot camp with Lalush when Sgt was far away and recruit was the call of the day. Platoon 1076D with SSgt Hilliard, SSgt Chasse, SSgt Baxley, and Sgt Stephens. I stood across from him every day as we went through the numbers. I remember hearing his name all the time (He was a favorite for the DIs to mess with as was I, only they called him Lawless like Lucy.) If he ever mentioned me, I was definately the one who got the Platoon in trouble, but we graduated the same day. I can't say we ever talked too intently (talking was kind of against the rules at the time for the most part), but I remember he was funny. It was nice having him there to share the experience and I was saddened to hear the news. If friends,family, or Marines from that Platoon want to reach me, ShawnFenner08@comcast.net"
Shawn Fenner of Richmond, Virginia

"Mike, i can't believe it's been so long since you left us, you were a great friend and will be missed by me and Annie! God Bless."
SSgt Christopher Ramirez of Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

"I remeber when you asked me how a light bulb works... I remeber AK-47s across state lines... WTI... Damn brother, I miss you. Your a hero in my eyes and I wish I could have done something... Your one of ten but your never fogotten. Respect and thanks for being a brother in arms."
ho chi of HMLA-369

"Five years have gone by and yet it seems like only yesterday. Thank you for all that has been said to Michael and about Michael. We would love to hear from any Marines that knew him."
Mom & Dad of Troutville, VA

Your the best Friend anyone could have ever had, we had some good times man. Your loss is like a brother to me."
John Calligan - Hooks of Orange County, New York

"You personality great, work ethic great, and "You" all around great! You are missed by your fellow Marines.

God Bless,
Ryan P. Koshiol HMLA-169 Ordnance"
Ryan P. Koshiol of Minneapolis, MN U.S.

"July 4, 2007
To the family of Michael V. Lalush. Michael 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"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"Happy Birthday Mike! I Miss & Love you!"
he knows!!! of va

"Its almost been four years Mike and I miss you everyday. You taught me so much on how to be a real man. I will never forget you."
Cooper of Mosul, Iraq

I would like to say thank you to you and the two other Marines who were also killed in that crash for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"Although we did not work alongside each other, I remember how no matter where we were deployed to if we ever crossed paths, you always greeted me, "Good morning" or "Hi, how you doin?" Very professional and courteous. Your parents and family have very a many good reasons to miss you and to be extremely proud of you, for I was too, to know I worked with a real Marine. You will be missed my friend and see you soon for we are in the last days."
A Fellow Former Viper Marine of Houston, TX

"I don't even know where to begin Mike. You were the first person of my frieds I would let hold my daughter, she was not even at a month old. We shared almost 5 years together, working on many different projects together and in many different lands. There is not one day that passes where I don't think about you brother... I miss you so much. You taught me the job from day one. We were such a great team, I loved working with you. It didn't matter if we here in the states or overseas, I remember I would refuse to go home until both of us were done with our jobs. I will never forget you Mike... I love you and miss you. You instilled in me character traits that I admired you for. Thank you for everything, but most of all, thank you for your kindness, you're always in my heart.
Semper Fi"
Jared S. Bickell of Fullerton, CA/ USA

"I never knew Michael, and had never even heard his name. Then I was given an assignment in my college english class and it brought us together. A close friend of mine was stationed with him and he gave me his name for my final project. I am apart of many Tidewater Community College students who are writing a memorial book about the fallen of Iraq. I would like to contact the family, but I don't want to upset them. If anyone has any stories or memories of him that they would like me to write about, please let me know. I am commited to getting his story right. Also, I would like to have permission to use any quotes from the family and his friends that I have found doing my research. We want to have his memory and the memories of the others who have passed in Iraq, to live on forever. All procedes of this book go to the families of our fallen. Please email me at Shawnaz04@yahoo.com.
Thank you for serving your country, Michael. It is my mission to have your story live on. You are a hero."
Shawna Arabie of Norfolk, Va

"We were best friends for so long, I was so in love with you, and you with me but we never did anything about it. We had such good times together in the "YO" truck! You "trying" to teach me how to drive that truck! How funny was that?? Alabama was our favorite! I think of you every day, I have your picture on my desk! I miss you so much LA-LUSH. Rest In Peace! You will always be missed & always in my heart!"
Mike Knows Who I am!! of Hometown, Virginia

"In your honor and with gratitude to you, Michael Vernon Lalush, Iíve planted a daffodil in your name, as have others across the country as part of Project LIVE ON, a not-for-profit program founded to memorialize each U. S. military who has died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thousands of beautiful daffodils will come up each Spring, and, like your spirit, will LIVE ON...and ON. Blessings to you, the family, as you grieve, and heal. For details, contact projectliveon@aol.com. Jan. 22, 2006."
Gretchen Forbes of the northcentral mountains of Pennsylvania

"I have planted a daffodil for you Mike along with 50 more bulbs to represent other soldiers that have been killed in Iraq. Your flower will be seen every year and your sacrifice remembered. Projectliveon@aol.com"
Ruth Anderson of Mountain View, California

Dave Lalush of Troutville Va.

"zoey 21mom@hotmail.com i have pic of them write me thank you missy"

"marine sgt lalush we remember you and sgt. mcginnis semper fi devildogs"

"hello i meet sgt. lalush back in 2002 I was dating a friend of his at the time cpl .bell now he is my husband and they served togetther at camp pendleton hmla-169. Lalush would come to my house for lucnh some times. I remmber when I found out I was having a girl he said make sure it dont look like Drew . my husband got out of the marine one year ago. We remmber Lalush and Mcginnis in our prayer. to the family I dont now what to say but they did a good job over there god bless you guys."
melissa bell of CALOUN ,GA, USA

"There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of what you have done and what you have taught me. Thank you Sgt Lalush. You will always be remembered"
a fellow VIPER

"I have been doing a bullitan board for the troops ever since 2003. The bullitan board is at Troutville Elementary School. I am updating the board and I would like to do a memorial for those who gave their life for us to have freedom. Would you be interested in allowing us to include Michael in this memorial. The memorial is for the families in Troutville that has lost a loved one. My Little brother Staff Stg. Michael Broughman has been deployed 2 times over to Afganistan and Iraq, and his 1st trip there was in 2003 and thats why I am doing this. He is back in the states now safe but I don't want the troops nor their families to feel like we have forgotten them. If you would please call me my number is 966-2569. We never want our fallen heros to be forotten and your son is one of those heros. I hope and pray your family is doing okay. This memorial will hopeful be at Troutville Elementary for a very long time. This will mean your son may be gone but he is never forgotten."
DeAnna Rodriguez of Troutville, VA

"To the family members of Sgt. Lalush. I had the honor to serve with Mike at HMLA-169. He was a great leader, great example, and a great man. He is remembered and honored."
Sgt. Terrance C Boynton of Miami, FL/USA

"Family of Sgt.Lalush.
God Bless you and your loved one. He is in a better place now. I am a cadet at the Virginia Military Institute. And as an act of Company Unity we are wearing KIA bracelets to commenerate the Fallen. I am proud to be the person to wear his name. God bless you.
Christian Green, VMI class of 05'+3"
Christian Green of Lexington, Virginia

"To the friends and family of Michael V. Lalush:
No words can ease the pain of grief, but I hope it brings you some comfort to know that so many people pray for you every day. My husband died in Iraq on June 4, 2004. These soldiers will never be forgotten and will live on forever in our hearts."
Sarah Linden of Portland, OR USA

"Mike, your a good man. You'll never be forgotten! I still remember classes with you in high school, even though it was yrs ago. You did well for yourself, and you did what you loved. RIP Sgt. Lalush."
SrA Isley of Aviano, IT Roanoke,Va

"Thank you brave soldier for sacrificing your today for my children's safer tomorrow. You have our utmost respect and gratitude. May God provide comfort for your family in their time of sorrow. May you forever rest in Heavenly peace. Neither you nor your sacrifice will be forgotten."
a grateful citizen in arizona

"RIP Marine"
Petty Officer Cawthon of RTC Great Lakes, IL


Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Michael, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"To Remember Them..In loving Memory..Its been a year..

At the rising of the sun and at its going down, We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of Winter, We remember them.
At the opening of buds and in the rebirth of Spring, We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of Summer, We remember them.
At the rustling of leaves and the beauty of Autumn, We remember them.

As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
Rest in Peace Dear Marine!!SEMPER FI!! We will NEVER FORGET!"
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN

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

"Mike, everyone who knew you loved you. And we always will. It's almost been a year and I still think you are coming home. I think about you everyday and will never forget what you meant to me. I love you from the bottom of my heart. RIP I'll never forget you............"
Paula Layman of Daleville, VA

"To the Family, Friends, and Loved Ones of Michael V. LaLush: Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Michael for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Lydick Family of Manassas VA

"Thank you Michael Lalush, 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 Michael: Thank you for sharing some of your memories of Michael with the media so we could see what a special person he was. My heart goes out to you for your loss. He won't be forgotten. May God comfort you in your grief."

"Our prayers are with your family during this difficult time. Thank you brave soldier, your courage and sacrifice will nerver be forgotten."
Ken and Maritza Holley of Pembroke Pines, Florida

"you are always in my mind"

"Mike spent thanksgiving at our house this year, and I gave him all of the leftovers to take home to his roomates. He was the only person we had over this year and it saddened me to know that he was so far away from home on a family holiday. But Mike was the brother that I never had and he was my family just as much as I was his. I feel robbed for the time I'll never get to spend with him, yet I am blessed for the time that I did spend with him. The world is lesser place since he left us but it is with out a doubt a better one because of the time he spent here. I'll see you soon "Big Carl"!"
Cody of San Diego, Ca

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Michael Lalush:
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 Michael for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Michael Lalush:
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 Michael, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera, of Powder Springs, Georgia

"I am so honored to have known you. You will be sadly missed. I am so glad that you got to live your dream...and loved every minute of it. God Bless you and Thank You! You will never be forgotten."
Amy Curtis of Troutville, VA

"I am so honored to have known you. You will be sadly missed. I am so glad that you got to live your dream...and loved every minute of it. God Bless you and Thank You!"
Amy Curtis of Troutville, VA

"RIP Brave Marine. We will never forget you."
The Taylors, USMC of North Carolina

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on