Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Staff Sgt. Jason A. Lehto

31, of Mount Clemens, Michigan.
Lehto, died in a non-hostile incident in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to Marine Forces Reserve's Marine Wing Support Group 47, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, Mount Clemens, Michigan. Died on December 28, 2004.

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"To the family of:Jason A.Lehto
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""

"Smper Fi old friend. I just heard of your untimely death from another jarhead from our days back in Lejeune. I'm sorry we never kept in touch. You died a HERO my friend and for that I am always thankful. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. I look forward to seeing you standing guard at the Pearly Gates when I arrive. Till then old friend SEMPER FI."
Dave Fisher of Wilton, NY

"Happy Birthday Jason, we have not forgotten you! It was a pleasure to serve with you in Iraq. To the Lehto familly as we celebrate our 235th Birthday know you are in our prayers."
MSgt Harkless of Charlottesville VA

"I met Jason back in 94' at Camp LeJeune 2nd LSB, when (I believe) he had just come back from Okinawa. We spent a lot of time together at East Carolina and on deployment. We managed to find a section of Zakynthos Isle that was not occupied by Sailors or Marines. Being young, single and on a holiday island, I assure you, we had a blast - great wingman!!!
I also spent time with him back in MI, when I was there for my sister's wedding. Every time I drive through Hamtramck, I think of Jason. It was pleasant surprise to hear that Jason was attending EOD School in Indian Head - Maryland, which is only a few miles away from my house.
I have nothing but kind words for him. He was goofy, quirky and fun to be around with. I will never forget his Z24, that car was a riot:-) It pains for me to hear when a Marine (especially someone you knew so well) passes. I truly thought I was safe from hearing about any friend perishing due to military action. I will always remember Jason for the great times we had. He was a proud and honorable man.
My prayers and wishes go out to Jason's family.

Farewell old friend

Semper Fi - Patrick de Rover - Atlanta, GA"

"”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to you. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Over 1,660 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com or go to www.heropaintings.com . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Project Compassion - Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"i miss you so much! you will never be forgotten, and your boys will know how great you were and how much you loved them promise"
your brother anthony of clinton twp.michigan

"December 19, 2008
To the family of Staff Sgt. Jason A. Lehto:
Jason 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

"To the Lehto Family,
I wish to send my condolences on the upcoming anniversary of Jason's death. I was a Ssgt. when I met and deployed with Jason. Although I knew him only a short time, he immediately had a profound affect on me. I was close by when he passed and will never forget his amazing smile and ability to make people laugh. I think about him frequently and intend to raise a glass in his honor at the MWSS-472 annual Mess Night next month. Those who served with Jason will never forget him.
Semper Fi,
CWO2 Patrick Robb"
Patrick Robb of Haverhill, Ma.

"I am Marine MSGT Ford Jacobs. Jason and I served together in Okinawa Japan for our first year in the Corps where we became good friends. The last time i saw him was when we ran in to each other in Iraq just weeks before he passed. You are fallen but not forgotten."
Ford Jacobs of Carlsbad Ca

"Michele and family. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. I went to college with you Michele at Macomb. (We had a writing class together). I even more so apologize that it has taken so long for me to find a way to contact you. I tried for a long time to contact you with no luck. I know these past several years have to have been difficult. I've never forgotten you and never stopped praying for you."
Amy Arbogast of Houghton Lake, MI

"To the Lehto family,
I served w/ Jason in Iraq. I just want to express my condolences to you and tell his children that their father was a fantastic human being. Jason was always in a good mood and seemed to pass this on to others around him. I have visited his grave in Arlington. SSgt Lehto is a hero. He will always be my hero. As an EOD tech, his job was to protect me and my platoon from IED's during our missions. He loved his job and took it seriously. We are here today because of his actions.
My family and I went to visit his grave site at Arlington. It was nice to see that he is resting in peace alongside other American heroes.
God bless you Jason, I miss you my dear friend..."
Sgt. Caraballo USMC of PA, USA

"I am John Lehto of the U.S. Navy son of Hugh Lehto SGT of the WWII era both served the U.S. along with two brothers and one brother-in-law who served in various conflicts with pride in America. Strong commitment to what we believe in is only part of our proud Finnish heritage. I salute all who have given all that is required of their beliefs.
John Lehto"
John Lehto of Louisiana

"Dear Jason's Mom and your family all,
I am a Chinese mom and a born-again Christian, I absolutely understand your feelings. because, I am also strongly missing my son -John Gao, a teenage Christian who laid down his own 15.6 year life for his classmates two year ago in the Atlantic Beach Currents.
But, we should have steadfast faith that our dear sons never "dead" to let us lose them. they just rest in the Lord' Arms due to their sacrifice for others (“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13 “) and their faith in the Lord during their lives in this world . we will reunite with them someday in Eternal Kingdom by the Lord Faithful Promise, let's expect that day joyfully and peacefully. Amen !

May the peace, joy from the Lord be with you and your family !

Grace of Flushing, NY/U.S

"I'm writing this in April 2007; I just learned of Jason's death.

I served with Jason out of Camp Lejeune back in the 1990s. We did two ship deployments together with the 24th MEU in 1994 and 1995, respectfully. I think we were in MOS school together too. Nevertheless, I remember partying with Lehto in Greece and Spain in 1995 on our second float from the USS Nashville. I was jealous of him because all the girls thought he was cuter than me---he was! I remember Jason going up for promotion to corporal---I was sitting on the board; Jason did great! I have pictures of Jason from that 1995 deployment and MOS school. They are worth more to me than anything else I own; I cannot put a price on them. I cannot imagine the pain Jason's family is feeling for the loss of him. It pains me so much to learn of the death of any Marines that I served so close with; but I'm sure it doesn't compare to the grief and pain his family and friends feel.

To Jason's sons: Your father was a good, honorable man. I'm sorry you will not grow up knowing him. But know that he is always with you and is always a part of you and of who you are. And that, in itself, will make you good, honorable men as well.

Thank you for this opportunity.

Andrew Elliott Stock
(former USMC sergeant)
3832 N Lake Dr Unit 116
Tampa, FL 33614
email: stockae@yahoo.com"
Andrew Elliott Stock of Tampa, Florida

"I first met SSgt Lehto down in New River, NC before the US moved into Iraq. I remember his smile most and the fact that he was always trying to make everyone laugh and enjoy life. It was a sad day when he was taken from this world, but I know that one day his family will see him once again when we have to pass him in order to get through the gates of Heaven.

To his family,
Thank you for your sacrifice. I know that he loved his job and could think of nothing better to give his life for than his country. I think we all feel it as Marines. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you get through life handing such a loss. May you remember and honor him well and smile every day as you think of him. SSgt Lehto truly lived the motto of Semper Fidelis."
Jennifer of MN

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

"May you remember him with smiles and laughter!"
David L. Christiani of Kona,Hawaii

"To the Lehto Family,
I am so sorry for the loss of Jason. Though i did not know him personaly, nor him me, he was still fighting for my freedom and the freedom of my family. Jason is a hero and will never be forgotten. God bless your family."
Jessie, RIP Lance Cpl. Justin Ellsworth 11/13/04 of Rosebush, MI

"Jason I know that you stand by our sides in spirit giving us the strength to carry on each day. Jason i wil miss and love you forever."
your cousin of from New York

"Jason was more than just a number in a far too sad total of the fallen. Jason is more than just a name released to the press. Jason was a husband, father, son, brother, nephew, cousin and friend. Jason loved being a Marine and loved serving his country. He thought that he could make a difference and he was right.... (What a difference there will be in this world without him.) When you read over the lists of names, ranks and branches of service, please remember that each one of these men & women left behind a family that loved them. They should be thanked and honored everyday. GOD BLESS THEM AND AMERICA!!"
Mary Tumey of Michigan/USA

"To Jason's Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your soldier's bravery and sacrifice.


The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
Gloria Caldas (The Big Ern's Mom) of San Antonio, Texas

"Though I do not know you, my heart hurts for his loved ones. It was a year ago on this day that my fiance CPT Ernesto Blanco was KIA near Fallujah. There are just no words at such a time as this. Please know you are in my prayers!"
Michelle Blanco of Texas

"I want to express my condolences to the Lehto family. You will always be in out hearts and prayers. God Bless You."
Stephen Lutz of Owings Mills, Maryland

"Thank You Jason for your Heroism. May you now rest in peace in the safety & comfort of God's home. You will never be forgotten."
Melissa Macchi, cousin of PFC Mark Barbret, killed 10/14/04 of Roseville, MI

"To my cousin Jason,
We will miss your bright personality and smile everyday."

A Brick will be placed in the Monument Court at Sterling Heights City Hall this coming spring. This brick will bear your name to be forever remembered as a Macomb County Fallen Hero. May God reward you for your service to help a Nation is such need.
Semper Fidelis my brother Marine
May you rest in Peace
Mike Adragna, Chairman
Sterling Heights Memorial Committee"
Mike Adragna of Sterling Heights, MI

"Thank you Sgt. Lehto for your brave service defending our beloved America. You are our hero and will be remembered each day we raise our flag in the front yard. Semper Fi Marine, God Bless you and may He bring peace to your loved ones at this time."
The Shaw family of Pasdena, Maryland

"To the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Jason A. Lehto,

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

"To Michelle, the boys, and the rest of Jason's family, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Jason was a wonderful friend, and an incredible human being. He always stood up for what was right & I will always be grateful for that, thank you. May God be with you all."
A. Haba of Indiana

"There are no words to express the sorrow we feel for your loss. May God bless you and help you through this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"Thank you Jason Lehto, 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. Jason Lehto:
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 Jason 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. Jason Lehto:
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 Jason, 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