Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Audrey Daron Lunsford

29, of Sardis, Mississippi.
Lunsford died in Haswa, Iraq, when his military vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the Army National Guard's Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry, McComb, Mississippi. Died on May 23, 2005.

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"I can't thank you enough for your Husband and Father's service to Our Nation. My husband and I were so overwhelmed at the nice note you left on our truck last night. All gave some...some gave all. Freedom isn't free. We salute you and yours. God Bless You and God Bless America. Captain Jerome " Joe" Madison, and Wife Ava. (P Co Rangers, Vietnam.)"
Joe Madison of Summit, MS

"To see your precious daughter leave a message on your wall about how much she misses you breaks my heart! She is so beautiful now and i know you are looking down over her. She favors you so much but she is for sure her mothers child! They both have such a beautiful smile! HaHa we miss you so much and can never thank you enough for what you've done"
Lauren

"Dad I love you so much I now you are happier now I cry over And over I miss you you are the best"
McKaLyne Lunsford

"Daron,

I think of you often and still cannot believe you are gone after so many years!! But, you died serving our country and that is something that you are proud of as well as all of us friends and family you left behind. Your memory is one that will linger on for many years. Anytime you cross my mind, I come here to see any updates and messages that may have been left. Or just to view pictures. My mom use to call your mom quite often to check on her. For me, I havent seen her since the funeral. Just know we are all thinking about you daily and your memory will forever live on in our minds and hearts. We all love you and miss you but we will see your smiling face again!! Love ya!"
Jennifer Hudson of Senatobia, MS

"To the family of:Audrey Daron Lunsford
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""

"Daron, Hello Brother. You seem to weigh more and more on me as the days go by. I keep saying Im going to go and check on your mother but I doubt if she even remembers me. You were a great friend, and my role model in college. I always wanted to be like you. you taught me so much, and after your death, I signed up myself. Now as Im getting pinned SGT tomorrow, I wonder if you would be proud of me, if I have lived my life so that you could be honored. I will never forget the day I saw on the news what happened to you. I can't bring you back, but I hope all that I do in my military career honors you brother. Matt"
Matt

"ALL gave some... YOU gave ALL!!!!

5/31/1975 - 5/23/2005"

"It will be 5 years tomorrow... and how some days.. the time flys.. and others it drags... Somedays, I think... Oh what I would do if I could turn back time.. But I know deep down inside... it was you time... And I just have to keep thinking.. that God needed an angel who could do anything he needed.. more than we needed you here on earth...I know that he is McKaLyne & I's Angel... A little over a year ago... we were in a wreck that totalled out my new veh... and walked out with only a bruise! That was nothing but our Guardian Angel sent from Heaven! McKaLyne is almost 6... and she ask alot about him.. and understands.. but still dont quite understand... and we were talking the other day.. that this month was her daddy's birthday and also his passing month... and she said momma.. I wanna see my daddy... I told her he was in Heaven.. that we would have to wait... She said, Momma.. I wanna go ... to Heaven now... I always have told people.. it gets easier.. as the days go by.. but when you have his daughter, who is now becoming of the age she ask a million questions... It's doesnt get much easier! But I am glad God & I believe Daron, sent us a wonderful family! We have been blessed in soo many ways! And I am truly blessed to have a personal Guardian Angel, whom I knew, cherished, loved & still hold dear!!! Till we meet him again!"
ME

"It's getting close to the 5th year anniversary of your death.. and a knot forms in my stomach... Even though it has gotten easier day by day.. there is not a day that you are not missed... Oh what I would give to have you back.. but I know you are above and watching over us... And have helped me go on.. even when i didnt want to.. or didnt think i could... You are our Angel... I love you forever and always!!!"
ME

"Hey buddy! I knew your birthday is coming up in a month (you and my son share the same birthdate) and I was thinking about you and found this site. Although we bid our farewells at the end of the police academy I also valued the friendship you and I and several others formed during that time. You and I running into the barracks to take and energy pill to keep us from falling asleep in the long classes. Some of us still talk about how we all got "smoked" while at the academy by the instructors. Your superior lives in my county and one day when I worked a burglary at his house I saw your name on a stone that he had. I know you are watching down on your baby girl (who I'm sure is big by now) and you are so proud of her as I'm sure she is of you. Being in this line of work I don't consider many people close friends, but I will alway consider you "friend". Walk with Jesus brother!"
Jerry Spell of Hazlehurst, MS Class 198

"May 14, 2009
To the family of Spc. Audrey Daron Lunsford:
Audrey 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

"Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Daron, its been a few years since you have left us. Mom and I miss you a great deal. But we know that you are in a far better place than we are. And that we will see you again someday. Your mom has alot of strength to continue on, without you there. I think alot of Ms. Susie. Whenever I am in Batesville, I stop in to see Tina. Not a day goes by I dont think of you or her. You always had a way to make everyone smile or laugh. I often wonder how your daughter is. Where she is, and how she is doing. I would love to see pics of McKaLyne. Well, I just wanted to stop by and leave you a note since no one has in a while. We will see you again someday!! We love you!!"
Jennifer Hudson of Senatobia, MS

"We Miss You "D"..Think about you daily........you will always be a part of our lives."
A Friend of The Best Guy Ever

"It has been many years since Daron and I used to hang out in high school and I have to say he was my hero then. He always looked out for me like a brother. He was then and will always be my hero. Mckaylne your daddy was one of the best men I have ever known. You and your mommy have been in my prayers as well as the rest of your family. Ms. Sue if you see this, I wish I could see you again, you are in my prayers as well. Daron you are so missed and you are a hero to all!"
Brandi Ledbetter of Pontotoc, MS/USA

"Dear Vangi,
I want to say we all ways will remember and pray for you at this signifigant time of year. I wear my memorial braclet proudly in rememberance of a great soldier and friend. May God bless and keep you. We love yall. Fly High Daron! You are never forgotten. HOOAH! Infantry lead the Way!"
PV2 Adam M. Ard of Fort Riley, Kansas USA

"Dear Vangi,
I want to say we all ways will remember and pray for you at this signifigant time of year. I wear my memorial braclet proudly in rememberance of a great soldier and friend. May God bless and keep you. We love yall. Fly High Daron! You are never forgotten. HOOAH! Infantry lead the Way!"
PV2 Adam M. Ard of Fort Riley, Kansas USA

"Vangi Lunsford, do you know how proud your husband is of you! I did not know your husband, but my husband served with the 155th as well. We too lost a loved one in Iskandariyah. My husband's best friend...more of a brother...died in a humvee accident back in Feb.16,2005. His name is SGT Drew Rahaim. We miss him every single day. As Memorial Day approaches, I'm remembering him and all our fallen heroes more and more. I was reading through this website and saw all of your remarks that are truly full of a strength that is admirable. Mrs. Vangi, my husband came home from Iraq...and with tears in my eyes...and as much as we miss Drew....I can truly never fathom the ache you still feel. However, I see such a strong Christian woman in you as I read your messages. SPC Lunsford must be grinning and saying "yeah that's my wife!" each and every time you post a message and send encouragment to others. I am so glad to see you are holding on to Jesus as you endure everyday. He is truly the only One that can really heal our hearts. I truly wish I had some words of enouragement for you....but all I can say is THANK YOU. Thank you for setting an example for all grieving hearts....even though you hurt tremendously...you have hope enough to sustain you until the day you are reunited with you husband in heaven. I admire that strength. So, just know that there are people praying for you still and gaining strength from your words. SPC Lunsford...God bless you and all our soldiers for your sacrifice...because of brave soldiers like you and our Drew...we are free. There is no greater love...you demonstrated the greatest...we won't forget. Thank you.


-A Proud Infantryman's Wife-"
Kandice Rowe of Jackson, MS

"April 24, 2006

Hey My Love! Yes, I know I have been slacking on writing to you.. I skipped McKaLyne turning 20 months and yesterday I skipped you being gone for 11 months. It is summer and with McKaLyne.. you never have a moment for your self! She is at the age where is is wide open!!! From the time she wakes up till the time she lays down, she is hyper!!! And with it being summer we have not stopped.. Plus we are almost ready to move into our new home... It is gonna be a change... but I think it will be for the best! And will do us good! I know you have looked down us me with the decisions that I have had to make... and helped guide me! I think the only problem I am going to have is the stairs and McKaLyne.. she is gonna have me running up them to get her down.. :-) I don't know if a baby gate will hold that strong girl! And as tall as she is getting.. she might could step over it.. :-) She is growing too fast!!!! But I love every minute of it!!!

For the next month, McKaLyne and I are gonna be very busy not only with the house... But with Welcome Home Luncheon's & Dinner's! I've gotten to meet with several guys who served with you and will meet the rest at a luncheon in a few weeks on the coast! And alot of them around here! So, I might be getting alot of gray hair from getting in a new house, to luncheons and then taking care of McKaLyne... Taking care of her is more than a full time job! :-) But she is the joy of my life! I dont' know what I would do without her! I Thank God for her everyday!

We Love you Lots!"
Vangi & McKaLyne Lunsford of Batesville, MS

"April 16, 2006

Happy Easter, My Love!

McKaLyne was beautiful today in her Easter Dress! She has on an off white dress with pink flowers on it and... a hat! :-) She was precious! And had the attitude to go with it! She is getting to be more and more like you every day!!! God, please help me as she gets older! :-) We got some cute pictures of her today while she hunted eggs with you. Yesterday Mauri kept McKaLyne in the truck as I hide eggs on your grave and then we let her find them.. But I was the smart one and forgot my camera. So we went back today and she had a Blast! Took off her shoes and played like a true blue country gal!

We Miss You Lots! I talked to Kim today and we were wondering how many golden eggs you and Poppie had found. And which one had found the most. But we decided that God had allowed ya'll to find the same amount... That he would not want to hear it from ya'll that the other had found more till next Easter.. :-)

We Hope you had the best Easter in Heaven! We miss you lots! And Love you BUNCHES!!"
Vangi & McKaLyne Lunsford of Batesville, MS

"You were true in every meaning of the word. I was a firefighter with you, and you were the best. You were a great cop and I am sure you were an incredible soldier. I thought you were invinsible, and I know that no one could take you down face to face. It took a coward to set up a road side bomb to take you away. I don't know if a guy could have had a better friend than you! I will always respect you for the way you lived life and died. Things here will never be quite as entertaining with you gone, but your memory will always make us smile. God bless you."
Watt of Como

"March 25, 2006

One Year Ago Today...

I remember waking up with you at 5:30 a.m. for you to get ready to go into Camp Shelby for formation. You left our room around 6:30 and said you were going to get your orders for the day and would be back shortly. I went back to bed with McKaLyne, who never even knew we were awake. You came back to the room around 8:00 and crawled back in bed with us.

We finally got up and stirring around 10:00 and started making plans for the day. We decided to go eat lunch at your favorite Chinese Rest. We ate and the whole time mom was taking pictures of us!

Then we headed to Camp Shelby were we thought you were gonna be leaving at noon. But when we got there we found out it would be later in the day. Ya'll had formation around noon and got your orders for Iraq. You told me you would hold up one finger if you were going to be gone a year and a thumbs down if you were going to be gone 18 months. I waited as they called your name and you read over your orders. Then it came, the one finger. I had prayed that it would only be a year. And God answered my prayer!

We went and sat under the shade trees and you went and put your things to be loaded with the other guys. We shed lots of tears that day and you played with McKaLyne bunches. You even took her off away from us and talked and walked with her. We had our moments but we never talked about you not coming home. We sweated so much you finally let me take McKaLyne's clothes off because she was getting fussy. We laughed to keep from crying.

Then the time grew closer for you to go load your things on the 18 wheeler to be shipped to Iraq. I was gonna stay behing in the shade and let you get things done, but you wanted me to go with you. As we walked, I will never forget our talk!

You loaded your things on as we stood with tears streaming down our faces, because we knew that the time had come that we would have to say goodbye for a year. As ya'll started marching to the tent to be checked in, I went beside you. I had made up in my mind that until they said I could not be beside you, I was there till the end. No one ever said a thing!

I stood by you as you waited to be weighed in, then you gave them your name and then received a goody bag from a church in Hattiesburg. Then off to the bus to load your things, and it tore my heart open to know that McKaLyne and I was fixing to be alone for a year. We were able to visit for a bit before the buses left and it took everything in you to let us go. Damon went and put water in your water bottle so that you could have your "favorite drink" on the bus.

As you started on the bus, you went up a few stairs and came back down three times to give me a kiss. I finally told you to go that it made it harder everytime you came back! You got on the bus and sat in the next to last seat. We were talking thru the windows even though we could not hear what each other said. Some one said they wanted some water so you got back off to get them some water so that you could see us once again! We said our good byes one last time and you got on the bus. As the bus drove away you were kissing the window and holding up the I LOVE YOU sign at me! I stood and watch the buses till they were out of sight.

As I sit and write this to you, the emotions that I had that day come back. It doesn't seem real that you are gone. You never dream that the love of your life will be taken away! McKaLyne and I sat down today and looked thru the pictures of the day that you left. And the love that we share, is beyond compare! It was a love like no other! A true and pure love!

God has been good to us this last year! I have learned to lean on him and trust him with my whole heart! And having you as my Guardian Angel is the best thing God could give me!

We Miss you more than words, but it is nothing that you don't already know! Please keep your hand on us as we live one day at a time. It has been hard and gets harder the longer you have been gone, but God has given us strength! We Love you BIG!!!"
Vangi & McKaLyne Lunsford of Batesville, MS

"March 23, 2006


Hey Baby Love!

Today you have been gone 10 months! And as I look at McKaLyne she reminds me more and more of you! Not as much in her looks but her ways! She is a showoff!!!! Even when it is just us, she shows off! Always making faces or something to get you to laugh at her! We Miss You SOOO Much! But we know that you are watching down on us! I know that you are guiding me as I am getting house plans together to build McKaLyne and I a home. It's not gonna be the log ca

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