Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Mark A. Maida

22, of Madison, Wisconsin.
Maida died in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries sustained in Diyarah, Iraq on May 26, 2005 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV. He was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Irwin, California. Died on May 27, 2005.

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"11/11/16
Still thinking about you every day.
Happy Veterans Day Maida"
M.A. Lopez of Tempe, Arizona

"Every year I beat myself up and hate the fact that I will never fully understand why I'm still alive and not you. I was so gun ho yet again I left the Army before deploying to Iraq with Echo troop. I just read a letter you sent your girlfriend and it breaks my heart even more. I recall jacking with you because you were always smiling. I also had a hard time reading your last name. Btw you are the only Maida I ever knew. Every year I am down and mad. Every freaking year. Man I wish you could still be with your family. That you would of made it back. Why do the young and spirited die so young? Anyways Maida. May I see you one day. I'll never forget that smile!"
Hernandez of Gig Harbor WA

"I remember one time, late at night outside the phone tent at Kalsu. There was a big line because that is the prime time for reaching home on the telephone at a decent hour. Me and Maida were sitting together. I was talking about all the cool things I wanted to do, like hitting a guy with a pop flare, etc, etc. I asked Mark what kinda stuff he was wanted to do, and he told me "I just want to make it home".
No matter how hard I try, there are no words I have that make the situation any better, there is no wisdom that justifies your loss. Just sadness, just pain. I am sorry I couldn't do more to change things. Miss you buddy."
240 of ky, usa

"Mark, I just met your father today, what a great man, he was and is so proud of you. I was in the Marine Corps with your brother Chris and was in Iraq with him in 04-05 (what a mess) anyways come to find out that you and I were only 40 miles apart. Please tell Ssgt Simon and Cpl Warns I said hi. Take care buddy. Thank you"
Scott Leck of Madison

"Mark, my husband Mark Steppe was with you that day...... I want you and your family to know that he loved you so much and remembers you and thinks about you all the time. Although I never got to know you, I want to say your memory is so alive with my husband and I. You are a hero."
Amy Steppe of ridgewood NJ

"Sgt. Maida, you and your loved ones are heroes to me, and to your country. I am grateful, unworthy and indebted to you all for your service and great loss, and you will be in my prayers always. May God Bless You."
George Grunditz of Northbrook, Illinois

"You and your family are thought of and loved
more than you'll ever know. The Maidas are the best. I'm lucky to know them and spend time with them. Here's to Mark-you'll always hold a place in our hearts. Always."
of Wisco

"mark it's been five years. supple just got married to beth. all of us where together this past weekend. you where sorely missed. I hope your doing well. we miss you and we love you. "there's a little dive on a dead end road that i hope i find you at someday""
fardy of madison,wi

"mark not a day goes bye of what happen that night its forever burnd in my mind but i alawys knew u were still with use 3rd plt till the day we touch down back in cali i miss u thanks for always being a good friend till we meet agine see u on the other side brother"
marquez

"Mark
It was a pleasure serving with you in E 2/11 in Ft. Irwin. I will always remember how you would always keep your head up and make us laugh when times got rough. You were an inspiration to us all. I too served with 1/503rd and know that the world is a better place for your sacrafice. I will always remember you."
SSG Montemayor of McAllen, TX

"May 14, 2009
To the family of Sgt. Mark A. Maida:
Mark 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

"OHH
SO SORRY"
MAYA MAIDA

"OHH
SO SORRY"
MAYA MAIDA of ORANGE COUNTY ,CA

"To the family of:Mark A.Maida 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"

""I too have served this great country and this great state of Nevada. I am a High Roller in the Nevada Air National Guard and have been deployed to Qatar, Kuwait and Baghdad. I was one of many who participated in the “Patriot Detail” to say farewell at BIAP. Although I never met you Mark, I know you were a first-class troop, great friend, and the perfect son to those who new you in your brief life. Because of you and all those who have lost their lives, and those who continue to fight this war on terrorism our ‘America’ will survive and be stronger than ever. My life and freedom given by you and so many others makes me eternally grateful for all who have faced the challenges to protect America and our friends on foreign soils. For that Sgt Mark Maida I am deeply grateful. May God bless you and give you peace.""
MSgt Rommie Brown of Sparks, Nevada

"For Mark's family and friends:
We live on Regent St. near the cemetery. One night, recently, I was walking along the edge of it and saw the small Christmas tree with lights and a card by it. Today, my wife and I were out walking and we went to visit Mark's grave. We were touched by how young he was and by his heroic action. The card beside his headstone had a very loving note on it and we were deeply moved. Our hearts ache for you. God Bless."
Bill & Betsy Tishler of 3925 Regent St. Madison

"Mark, I always think of the day you and me at the promotion board in April '05. We were so nervous and laughing on how funny we would look. You were truly a great friend, I'm so glad you were apart of my life eventhough for a little while. My heart goes out to you and your family. I never seen someone so close to to his family. And with all those packages you got out there. We were all jealous on how much you got. I know now that you touched the lives of not only your battles but that family back home who truly loves and misses you.
Your Friend"
SGT Caban of Ft. Irwin, CA/ U.S.

"Mark,
It was a plesure serving with you in Echo Troop 2/11, you were a great soldier and a friend that would do anything for anybody. I will miss the days that we had talking about fishing and listening to cash and buffet. I know your in a safe place now with your hawian shirt on making everybody laugh. Take care and we will never forget you. See you in margarita ville."
Sgt Cory Elder of Coram, NY,

"Mark I was honored to know you for the past 2 years and to go to war with you. It hurts to know that a great guy was taken from his family and friends, but I know that God has a better plan for you. And I know that you are in the best place. I love you and miss you."
SPC VOID, JOHN of New Britain, CT

"HEY BROTHER YOU ALWAYS MADE ME LAUGH IN BASIC; TELLING STORIES OF HOME AND YOUR FAMILY, AND HOW YOU AND ADAM AKA 'SOBIE' THOUGHT THAT THE "VIOLENT FEMS" WERE A BAND SENT FROM GOD. WE HAD SOME DAYS! I STILL REMEMBER THINGS LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY. IT IS ASHAME THAT IT IS ALWAYS THE GOOD ONES WHO HAVE TO FALL. I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU, AND I WILL NEVER FORGET THE TIMES WE SHARED. MY HEART GOES OUT TO TOUR FAMILY. "ROCKSTEADY""
GABLE DARBONNE of LAKE CHARLES, LA------SEVED WITH 3-505TH P.I.R. 82ND AIRBORN DIVISION

"HEY BROTHER YOU ALWAYS MADE ME LAUGH IN BASIC; TELLING STORIES OF HOME AND YOUR FAMILY, AND HOW YOU AND ADAM AKA 'SOBIE' THOUGHT THAT THE "VIOLENT FEMS" WERE A BAND SENT FROM GOD. WE HAD SOME DAYS! I STILL REMEMBER THINGS LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY. IT IS ASHAME THAT IT IS ALWAYS THE GOOD ONES WHO HAVE TO FALL. I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU, AND I WILL NEVER FORGET THE TIMES WE SHARED. MY HEART GOES OUT TO TOUR FAMILY. YOUR BUDDY GABLE DARBONNE. "ROCKSTEADY""
GABLE DARBONNE of LAKE CHARLES, LA

"SGT Maida, you will always be that goofy little kid who had the heart to do anything. I found out just today, that you are a hero, defender of the freedoms of the Iraqi People. I only wish that you, instead of I, were the one that came back from Iraq. Basic was fun together, dude. I still remember you being so mad that you weren't able to finish airborne. If they would have let you, I feel like I would have been able to take care of you. I was looking at my Benning Classbook and saw something that rings true to your character to this day. You signed my yearbook, and I quote, "The greatest E-1 to ever live." I've never met a better one. Requesting permission to fall out, Sir.

B 1/19 Wolfpack "Hooah!""
SGT Adam Sobiesczyk of Green Bay, WI 3/505th PIR 82nd ABN DIV

"We understand your pain. We lost our son under similiar circumstances in Iraq. Please let us know if we can be of help. The sorrow never ends
DianeSantoriello@hotmail.com
proud parents of 1st.Lt Neil A. Santoriello Jr. KIA 8-13-04"
Diane & Neil Santoriello of Pittsburgh PA

"Dear Mark,
I salute you for your bravery and service. America grieves for you and is praying for your family's comfort, and also for your fiancee. We'll also pray for the safety of your fellow soldiers. Not one of you will be forgotten."
Megan of Los Angeles, CA

"To the loved ones of Sgt. Maida,

My heart goes out to you for your loss and sacrifice. Your son's sacrifice will not go unrewarded, and his memory will live on in many hearts. We lost a dear friend in Iraq on Nov. 22, 2003, and it breaks our hearts daily to hear of similar tragedies. You are in my thoughts and prayers, and I pray that you will find the strength to persevere over this tragedy. God bless."
Renee of Michigan

"I can't remember when RFK or MLK was killed but I will never forget the morning I opened the WSJ to see the article about you. I thought that this is the worst thing I could possibly see and wished that it weren't true. Our hearts go out to you, your family and your friends. The day after tomorrow it will have been 3 months and it still hurts. I can't imagine how difficult it is for your family and fiance."
Neighbor of Madison, Wi

"mark, every time i think of what has happened to you i want to cry, but then i remember you, and i laugh. you were more than just a friend, you were family to me and i love you for it. i'll never forget you."
heather of madison, wi

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

"Mark, you will be missed and remembered forever! You truly are a hero and such a brave young man. Mark was a fun, loving, happy guy, who could always make you laugh! I am so glad I had the pleasure to meet you and my family feels the same. I can understand why my brother considered you one of his close buddies. To the Maida family...you are in our prayers and just know that Mark will never be forgotten!-The Moreno Family"
Jenny Moreno of San Pedro, california

"To the Family of SGT Mark Maida:
We have constructed a memorial to the service men and women from Wisconsin and Illinois who have died in Iraq which includes, as of 6/20/05, 111 crosses and Stars of David. We would like your permission to put SGT Maida's name on one of them. We have called our display "Arlington MidWest." It is our expression of mourning for the indescribable loss you have suffered for our country.

If you would like us to do this, please email martypres33@yahoo.com.

We invite you to come to visit Arlington MidWest. I can send you directions and some pictures by email.

"As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them." Anonymous"
Marty Preston of Wisconsin Dells, WI

"Mark..I never ever got to thank you for being such a great friend to me, and such a great roomate for those 8months we spent in the same room. As I speak about you I cry inside, I will always and forever miss you my friend, and you will always hold a special place in my heart. I know one day I will see your smilin face again. May god watch over us all. I love you Mark, See you soon."
John Coulter of Claremont, California

"mark maida,
thank you for being my friend. your life has and will forever bring joy and laughter to my life, but now i cry!"
Ben O'Neill of Madison, WI

"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

"MARK MY HEART AND PRAYS ARE WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. MARK YOU HAVE TOUCHED THE HEARTS OF SO MANY. AN ALL THOSE HEARTS YOU TOUCHED MARK. WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU. THANK YOU FOR SERVING OUR GREAT COUNTRY. PROTECTING ALL OF US AGAINST TERRORISM. AN TO GIVE THOSE IN IRAQ A NEW BEGINNING. MARK YOU HAVE NOT GIVEN YOUR LIFE IN VAIN. MARK YOU ACCOMPLISHED MORE THEN MOST AMERICANS EVER DO IN ONE'S LIFE. THOSE IN YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, THOSE IN YOUR COMMUNITY,YOUR MILITARY FAMILY OF SISTERS / BROTHER'S AND MYSELF. UNDERSTAND THAT YOU (MARK) ARE A HERO! AN I'M SO PROUD THAT OUR SON SERVED ALONG SIDE YOU MY FRIEND. NOT KNOWING ONE ANOTHER STILL MILITARY BROTHERS WATCHING OVER ONE ANOTHER'S UNIT'S. WE LOST OUR SON LAST MAY. YOU MARK AND YOUR FAMILY WILL ALWAYS BE IN MY HEART AND PRAYS. GOD BLESS!"
LEONARD WAHL of VALLEY STREAM NY

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

"To the family and friends of Mark - there are not words to express our sympathy and concern for you. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers always. A proud Military Family in WI - Ryan(MiddleEast)Kelly(Airforce-California) -- Dean and Madge Waege"
Madge Waege of Warrens, WI

"5/28/05 Our deepest and heartfelt sympathy to the family of Mark. For many reasons you will never celebrate another Memorial Day Weekend without tremendous sadness, yet a great sense of pride. Matthew is a true hero and will go down in history as a great man who made the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation. May God give you strength to endure this most horrific painful loss.
John 15:13 Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends."
Webster and Ruth Reed(Father and stepmom of Jonathan Reed who lost his life in Operation Iraqi Freedom on 1/28/05) of Krotz Springs, LA

"To Mark's family,
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My prayers of support are with you. May God be with you. Mark will never be forgotten. He has paid the ultimate price for freedom...our freedom. Bless him."
Candy of Poynette, WI

"Thank you Mark Maida, 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 Sgt. Mark Maida:
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 Mark 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. Mark Maida:
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 Mark, 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