Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. John E. McGee

36, of Columbus, Georgia.
McGee died near Diwaniyah, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his convoy vehicle. He was assigned to the Army National Guard’s 2101st Transportation Company, Camden, Alabama. Died on May 2, 2005.

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"I couldn't believe it when I got the news of one of my best friends since we met in school John had that smile and great sense of humor and we both were in JROTC together, I remember John playing football and if my memory serves me right him and Michael Moreland were called the Honey Bun twins,John could bring out a smile in anyone he came in contact with he had that personality that the only thing you could do was smile, John was and will be my brother blood or not to this day I find myself thinking of him and wake up with tears running down my face. Rest on my brother we will meet again, Love you always!!!"
Ronnie Richardson P.O.3rd Class, U.S.Navy of Virginia Beach, Va.

"10 years I can't believe you've been gone that long. In my heart it feel like yesterday!! I promised myself I would not shed tears and yesterday I didn't. Today, it all hit me like a ton of bricks!! RIP big sarge I sure wish we could've had that cookout we talked about but God know best!! Love you and miss you my friend!!"
SGT Sharon Smith of Lisman, AL U.S.A.

"Today makes ten years that you paid the ultimate price to save our nephew . We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You are a true hero !!!! May God continue to bless your family,friends,and fellow soldiers !!!! Thank you our "HERO!!!!!!""
THE FAMILY OF TIWAN L. JONES of PENNINGTON,AL USA

"May 2, 2005 Lord Have Mercy!! Nine years to this day 2101st was told what no soldier ever want to hear. We had lost one of our own. SSG John E. McGee made the ultimate sacrifice by given his life in honor of this country. SSG McGee was our motivator! He kept our spirits lifted by telling jokes, some were funny some were not, yet we laughed anyway. SSG McGee met no stranger and those who knew him loved him. Upon ever mission, we would pray God keep us safe and John would throw up two fingers and scream REGULATORS MOUNT UP!!! His last words to me was " Smith love the ones that love you back"!! These words are forever imbedded in my heart along with his memories. I will forever be grateful for his dedication, his motivation as well as his friendship. RIP my friend 2101st will never forget your service to your country nor your loyalty to our company!!"
Sharon Smith of Butler, AL USA

"Always remembering McGee & his sacrifice. We will never forget! 2101st Trans. Co"
T. Cochran of Camden, AL

"I only met John on the convoy that day .
I was the only flat bed driver on this mission .
To this day NOV 2013 I still remember that night May 2 2005 19 alph .
Yes I remember when we came thru the gate at Camp CEDER seeing everyone line the road .
You are and will be remembered JOHN
May your family found some peace in knowing that a lot of people remember you ."
Ken Heide KBR Driver of Dallas Texas

"I visit this site on May 2nd, Veteran's Day, and your birthday, although I think of you daily...You was such a great inspiration to myself as well as the entire 2101st TC...you are so dearly missed!! To mother Mcgee and the entire Mcgee family SSG Mcgee will forever live on in our company and our hearts!!"
SPC Sharon Smith of Butler, AL USA

"I met John up at BIAP near Baghdad while staying at the KBR camp. His convoy left out before ours and I remeber he was driving the same truck I drove on probably 7 or 8 missions. The roads went black after they left and then I got the news when I finally got back to Camp Cedar. All I kept thinking about was talking with him about him going home to see his kids, His family. His death struck me hard. He was a real nice young man and a great soldier. Everytime I passed by the running track named in his honor I felt the loss of this soldier and thought of his family. God Bless John McGee a name I will never forget. SSG Goddard (Retired)1438th Trans Co. Camp Atterbury Indiana"
Tony Goddard of Columbus Indiana

"Although I only knew SSG McGee for a few months I certainly recall when he died and the effect it had on the 2101st TC and the 119th CSB. I remember when the convoy returned from Diwaniyah, that almost everyone on Camp Cedar lined the roads to salute the convoy and to remember SSG McGee. Also we named the PT track in his memory and created a memorial sign for him. I always thought of his scarifice whenever I walked by. I know that Camp Cedar is gone and all of the soldiers have left Iraq but his memory and sacrifice will live forever."
JOHN SIMMS of 119th CSB, New Jersey

"TODAY MAKES 7 YRS, SINCE YOU GAVE YOUR LIFE FOR THIS COUNTRY. I KEEP HOPING WITH PASSING EACH YEAR THE PAIN WILL SUBSIDE, BUT IT DOESN'T. AS I WRITE THIS POST, THE TEARS ARE FALLING FROM MY EYES FROM THE MEMORIES OF YOU. TO FAMILY I AM BLESSED TO HAVE KNOWN MCGEE FOR THIS SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. HE WAS NOT JUST A COMRADE BUT A FRIEND AS WELL.I WILL CHERISH THE MEMORIES HE HAS LEFT AND HOPE THAT YOU ALL KNOW HE WAS A BRAVE SOLDIER AND A GREAT MAN."
SPC SHARON SMITH of 2101ST TRANS CO DEMOPOLIS,AL USA

"To the family of:John E. McGee
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""

"As I was reading all of the messages left by others who knew my uncle, I can't help but feel joy! What an amazing thing, to read how Uncle John affected so many lives in a positive way! I used to have so many questions as to what happened? How did he actually die?... But I'm content & I know that my uncle is with my heavenly father! Uncle John, the last time I saw you, you were being "the jokester" & making everyone around you laugh as you always did & I remember laughing so hard! this is what I remember when I think of you! & everytime you invaded my dreams, I saw you amongst the clouds! I LOVE YOU & I only ask if you could put in a favor for me & ask the BIG GUY to continuously comfort Grandma! Doing my best to see you again, your niece ~Eeba~ :-)"
Yamenjal McGee of Shreveport LA

"You were one of my best friends. We had a lot of great times. It only seems like yesterday that we packed up and headed out on that infamous trip to Jacksonville, FL. Three days of ridin' and chillin'. Courtney and I still talk about that trip. LOL. Man I miss you. I still remember how all you wanted was a "Mr. Green" Soda. The DDC is still going strong my boy. Love you and miss you dearly."
Natorio Howard of Montgomery, AL/US

"To the family of Staff SGT.Mcgee i would like to tell u how sorry i am for the loss of a son father and great soldier he was my friend and looked after me and when we were down and missing home he new just how to make us feel better he was a great friend to me and thdose are hard to find god bless his family and god bless the United States of America"
CPL..Chris shackleford 2101 Tc

"TO JOHN E.MCGEE FAMILY,I HAD THE HONOR OF SERVING WITH SSG MCGEE IN IRAQ.HE WAS OUR MOTIVATION.HE GOT US THROUGH SO MANY ROUGH TIMES.HE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.IT'S BEEN FIVE YEARS AND FOUR MONTHS SINCE WE LOSS SSG MCGEE,AND IT'S NOT A DAY THAT PASS THAT I DON'T MISS HIM.HE TOUCH MY LIFE AND WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBER FOR HIS HEROIC DUTY FOR HIS COUNTRY AND COMRADES...TO THE FAMILY STAY CLOSE AND KEEP BELIEVING IN GOD.PLEASE TAKE COMFORT IN KNOWING WE TOO WAS DEEPLY AFFECTED BY THIS LOSS AS WELL...GOD BLESS"
SPC SHARON SMITH of 2101ST TC DEMOPOLIS,AL US

"To the family of JOhn, Freedom Quilts will like to pay our respect to you for your loss. Our deepest condolences. I'm sending out a quilt to you and your children I just hope I have the right address for them to go to. My email is debeniel@ncn.net if you need to get a hold of me and my website is www.freedomquilts.net Please know our prayers are with you and your family. Betty Nielsen of Fonda Ia"
Betty Nielsen (Freedom Quilts Inc of Fonda, IA 50540 USA

"I never knew John but through the eyes of other soldiers. I did get to met his wonderful family at his funeral. His Commander, Major Chris Amos spoke at his funeral and told many incidences of his good nature and love for his country. He told about the certain way he walked - kind of like a strut and would shout "Regulators, Mount Up" with a big smile on his face. My son spoke very highly of John. It seemed as though I knew him and what he stood for -- his honor and bravery and his casual ways with his peers and those under him. To his family : I have prayed for your strength and understanding in this time of great need in our country.Your kindness was an example of life's lessons that John's parents had taught him well. I tried to place myself in your shoes but could not even imagine your grief. My heart still aches for those lost in this war. John will never be forgotten in our hearts and souls. God bless you and comfort you in the days and years ahead when precious memories of him surface. Blessings."
Priscilla Andrews - "Citizen Soldier Support,Inc." of Dothan, Alabama

"April 28, 2009
To the family of Sgt. John E. McGee:
John 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

"John was a fine man and a fine Soldier. He will be remembered."
1SG Todd Gibson of Enterprise, AL, USA

"To The Family,
I will always remember SGT McGee. I recruited him to OCS when he was part of the 1103rd CSB. He was a really good person. He would help anyone and he was a true soldier. I would love to meet his family and I know you all are very proud of him. I love John as a brother.

Sincerely,

MAJ Alfred donald
2/346 REGT
Camp Shelby, MS"
Alfred Donald of Leroy, AL/ Washington

"It has really been hard for me to visit this site. John Edward McGee was my uncle. He wasnt just my uncle, he was my "FAVORITE" uncle. He always kept the family filled with laughs. I MISS YOU UNCLE JOHN YOU WOULD ALWAYS BE IN MY HEART."
Kanya McGee of Cary, MS

"AS DR. KING'S BIRTHDAY APPROACHES I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR MAKING THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE TO MAKE IT POSSSBLE FOR ALL OF US IN OUR GREAT NATION TO HAVE A DREAM! TO YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS YOU ARE ALWAYS IN OUR PRAYERS. TO MCGEE WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOU GAVE YOUR LIFE TO ALL OF OUR DREAMS POSSIBLE FOR THAT WE ARE FOREVER GREATFUL!"
PATRICIA MOSS of GULFPORT,MS.

"THERE ISN'T A DAY THAT GOES BY THAT MY FAMILY FAILS TO REMEMBER WHAT A HERO McGEE IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE.HE WAS A HERO TIL THE VERY END.MY NEPHEW WAS DRIVING THE TRUCK MCGEE WAS A PASSENGER IN.MY FAMILY THANKS HIM .A TRUE HERO PUTS A FELLOW SOLDIER'S LIFE BEFORE HIS OWN.HE SAVED MY NEPHEW'S LIFE BEFORE HE TOOK HIS LAST BREATH.McGEE NOT ONLY GAVE HIS LIFE FOR HIS COUNTRY,HE SAVED A LIFE AND SPARED A FAMILY A LIFETIME OF HEARTACHE.AS I SIT HERE ON CHRISTMAS DAY I AM REMINDED OF HIS GIFT TO US.IT IS HE WHO BROUGTH OUR NEPHEW HOME AND FOR THAT WE WILL BE FOREVER GREATFUL.MY THOUGTHS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS THIS DAY,AS WELL AS EACH DAY THAT PASSES.FROM THE FAMILY OF TIWAN JONES WE THANK-YOU!"
THE FAMILY OF TIWAN JONES of PENNINGTON,ALABAMA.U.S.A.

"I remember as we gathered together to pray before we set out on those dangerous treks across those perilous lands. I remember looking at the faces of all who were there. I took a still frame in my mind of all of the faces of these warriors. I remember seeing John and all of his comrades bowing in praise and faith. I recall asking for vigilance and the Lord's strength to guide me and my troops escorting you to protect the convoy and the brave souls doing our Nation's duty to her. I asked for His divine hand to help those of us who protect peace loving people of the world from tyranny, and Godlessness. Though my tour was complete, and I had already began to rejoin society. I always remembered the time spent amongst the soldiers there, and I remember the somber day I was told of your tragedy and homecoming. You are with the angels John, and I know you are still protecting us! God Love, Bless, and Keep you brother. Your family mourns you, yet is honored and awed at your courage to face evil on this earth. From a grateful comrade in arms."
SSG (RET) Chad Sanders of Waco, TX United States of America

"I remember as we gathered together to pray before we set out on those dangerous treks across those perilous lands. I remember looking at the faces of all who were there. I took a still frame in my mind of all of the faces of these warriors. I remember seeing John and all of his comrades bowing in praise and faith. I recall asking for vigilance and the Lord's strength to guide me and my troops escorting you to protect the convoy and their brave souls doing our Nation's duty to her. I asked for His divine hand to help those of us who protect peace loving people of the world from tyranny, and Godlessness. Though my tour was complete, and I had already began to rejoin society. I always remembered the time spent amongst the soldiers there, and I remember the somber day I was told of your tragedy and homecoming. You are with the angels John, and I know you are still protecting us! God Love, Bless, and Keep you brother. Your family mourns you, yet is honored and awed at your courage to face evil on this earth. From a grateful comrade in arms."
SSG (RET) Chad Sanders of Waco, TX United States of America

"To John and his family,
I have had the privelage of sitting in the foxhole with McGee. The man has a smile on his face you cannot say "no" to. I remember John at times when we would get in trouble in OCS class and he would always find a wise-crack thing to say in the midst of silence to get everyone "motivated". John, you are the symbol of motivation in my life. I will see you again my friend."
Sgt Burbank, Greg of Lafayette, La/USA

"To honor the Georgia soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families, the professional portrait artists of the Atlanta Fine Arts League are offering to paint a portrait of the individual soldier for his family. These 16 X 20” original portraits are being offered completely free of charge in recognition of the sacrifices made by these brave soldiers and in condolence for their families’ loss. Please visit our website www.atlantafineartsleague.org or email us at AtlantaFineArtsLeague@Yahoo.com for further information."
–The Atlanta Fine Arts League of Georgia

"To John's family, He was indeed a great man, a great soldier, and a great leader. He will be missed but never forgotten. There were many days at OCS that McGee got us through with his motivation. We will not forget him. He will always be in our thoughts and so will you. God Bless you and John."
1LT Robert Law of Tallassee, AL, AMA Class 46

"To the McGee family may God continue to strengthen you and guide you; for he will never leave or forsake you. For Psalms 28:7 states The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. May the word of God bring sunshine even when your days seem cloudy. God is always there; especially during the storm."
SPC Tamarla Cochran; 2101st TC of Camden, Al

"To the family of John, I want you to know that John was a postive influence on myslef and Class 46 (OCS). He was a great soldier, a great man, and he will be missed."
Eric Aldridge of Decatur, AL

"On behalf of the Sr. Class of 1986, John you were such an inspiration to us all. You always greeted everyone with such a graceful smile. Your mere presence was an example of a true Christian. John, you will forever be loved and missed. WE LOVE YOU!"
Rolling Fork High School, Sr. Class of 1986

"Well, it has been a year today and I am still grieving the lost of John like it was that day all over again. I miss him so much. It is not a day that goes by that I don't think of him. He has left such a last affect on so many people. I hated having to go to Iraq but if I had not gone, I would not of had the opportunity to meet such a truly great man. I was just sitting here reading all the emails that he has sent me and it just reminded me all over again that he was a great friend and if I live to be 100 years young, I will never have a friend as loving and caring as he was. Rest on my friend. We will meet again. You will always have that special place in my heart. I LOVE YOU!!!"
SPC. Cynthia Pritchett of 2101 Trans Co. 2nd Platoon------REGULATORS, MOUNT UP!!!!

"IT'S BEEN ALMOST 10 MONTHS AND EVERYTIME I THINK ABOUT SGT MCGEE IT SADDENS ME. I BELIVE I WAS BLESSED TO MEET HIM ON ONE OF OUR CONVEYS UP NORTH. HE ALWAYS BROUGH LAUGHTER AND SMILES ON SOLDIERS FACES. I BELIVE I WILL REMEBER HIM FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE AND HOW I USED TO CALL HIM BERNIE MAC! SGT MCGEE GUIDE US THROUGH EVERY STEP WE TAKE AND PRAY FOR US LEFT BEHIND."
Brenda Sanchez 2668 TRANS. Co. of Fresno CA ,

"It is now March 4, 2006 and we still think about SSGT McGee. My husband knew him and was set to deploy with him before finding that he had cancer. John touched him deeply and my husband was shocked and very upset when we received the news. I will never forget my husband's profound reaction and the sense of loss he felt; due to this I can only slightly imagine what his family must be going through still. Our thoughts and prayers are with you always and we greatly miss the man that brought smiles to everyone's faces. May God keep you and bless you!!"
SPC Robert & April Riccardino of Ft. Hood, TX, USA

"I had the privelege to serve with SSG McGee in Iraq. I am a member of the 2101st Transportation Co. and recall the day this happened. It was a huge shock and still is, but SSG McGee's legacy still lives.He was a unique person and I personally am proud to have known him.SSG McGee RIP my brother you will NEVER be forgotten. Mount Up!!!!!"
SPC Crews of Gardendale, AL USA

"Hello, I am SGT Covington of Fort Benning georgia, I want to say that john was a great person as well as a friend. He often put the thoughts and feelings of others before his own and that is the result of unselfishness sacriface. He will always be remembered and we all will be together again soon. To my friend John. Peace, One."
Jashua Covington SGT of Columbus, GA,USA

"Thank you John McGee, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. As a fellow soldier, friend and classmate my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and all that knew him, my prayers and deep condolences in our loss. May God strengthen you and the Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia communities in your loss. "Together Let Us Live, And If Need Be, Let Us Die Together"
William A. Speed...Rolling Fork, Mississippi"
MAJ William A. Speed Class of '86 of Richland, Mississippi USA

"TO THE FAMILY OF SGT MCGEE FROM A FORMER SOLDIER OF THE 736 TRANSPORTATION CO. IT WAS A PRIVILEDGE TO BE A PART OF HIS LIFE WHILE HE WAS WITH US ALWAYS REMEBER THAT GOD ONLY LEND YOU A CHILD TO HOLD WHILE HE LIVED AND TO MOURN WHEN HE IS GONE AND NEEDED IN THE HEAVENS AGAIN THE SANCHEZ FAMILY WOULD LIKE TO OFFER YOU OUR WARMEST THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS TO COMFORT YOU ON YOUR LOSS THANK YOU SGT MAY GOD REST HIS HAND UPON YOUR SOUL"
RUBIN SANCHEZ of PARAMOUNT CA LOS ANGELES

"Smyrna Baptist Church, Deepstep, Ga. would like to present your family with a memorial quilt in memory of your loved one who paid the ultimate price for the freedom that we have in America. Please e-mail me at johnnytanner@bellsouth.net of call me collect at 478-552-6388 Thank you and God Bless each of you."
Brenda Tanner, Clerk of Sandersville, Georgia

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

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; Love leaves a memory no one can steal. We are deeply sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
From the family of LCpl Branden P. Ramey, KIA 11/8/04"
Sandy of CA

"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

"We will remember your Family in our prayers and thought. John you touched so many lives, amoung your fellow soldiers. my Daughter talk so much about how nice you were everytime she call. I,m so thankful that i got a chance to tell you that we appreciate what youall are doing. May God bless you and family always."
Josephine C. Spears of Lisman, Ala

"My deepest sympathy goes out to the
family. My nephew, Sgt. Patrick Blakley
was a dear friend. He often talked
about McGee, it seems as if we new him."
Rose M. Ross of Lisman, AL

"TO THE MCGEE FAMILY FROM THE WAHL FAMILY. WE ARE DEEPLY SADDEN BY THE LOST OF JOHN. JOHN HAS NOT GIVEN HIS LIFE IN VAIN. OUR FAMILY VERY THANKFUL FOR HIS SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY; PROTECTING IT AGAINST TERRORISM. AN ALL AMERICANS SHOULD BE THANKFUL! FOR JOHN WAS APROFESSIONAL SOLSIER. THAT DAY IN DAY OUT GAVE US THE RIGHT TO FEEL SAFE AND FREE. VERY THANKFUL AND GRATEFUL THAT JOHN AND OUR SON SERVED TOGETHER IN THE ARMED FORCES. AN BOTH MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN OF ONE ANOTHER. YET, MILITARY BROTHER'S ALWAYS HAVE ONE ANOTHERS BACK. WE LOST OUR SON LAST MAY. AN OUR HEART AND PRAYS ARE WITH JOHN AND HIS FAMILY. JOHN HAS TOUCHED TEH HEARTS OF SO MANY. THOSE IN HIS COMMUNITY, NEIGHBOR'S, FRIENDS, HIS MILITARY FAMILY OF BROTHER'S AND SISTER'S AND THE LOVE OF HIS FAMILY. AN THOSE GIVEN OPPORTUNITY IN IRAQ TO A NEW BEGINNING. ONE DAY WILL UNDERSTAND ALL OUR SOLDIER'S DID FOR THEM AND THE COUNTRY OF IRAQ. JOHN YOU ARE NOT ALONE! AN ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED NEVER FORGOTTEN, IN MY HEART AND PRAYS ALWAYS; ALONG WITH ALL OUR FALLEN SOLDIERS."
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, John will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you ALWAYS. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"Thank you John McGee, 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. John McGee:
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 John 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. John McGee:
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 John, 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