Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Arthur R. McGill

25, of Gravette, Arkansas.
McGill died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated while he was on mounted patrol in a HMMWV. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia. Died on July 19, 2005.

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"On Memorial Day weekend 2016, I was honored to honor A Sgt Arthur R. McGill from Gravette, AR as part of Mindful Memorial Day 2016 at Arlington National Cemetery. Reading how his life inspired others and his legacy lives on in his family truly inspires me lo live a better life. In salute of this fallen soldier and his life's legacy, thank you from a grateful citizen who will try to live every day thankful for the freedom Sgt McGill has provided me. I am honored and thankful."
Lynn D. of Worcester, MA

"i turn 18 tomorrow daddy, life has been hard but ive made it through this far. almost out of highschool, taking steps twords collage too. i even have a good man to protect me its almost 4 years with him now. im sure you would approve of him hes alot like you.i dont know if you can watch me or anything but even with all of my mistakes i hope to make you proud. i may change my name but i will always be a mcgill."
Kaylee of gravette

"Its been 8 years brother and not a day goes by i don't think about you....I remeber right before the war kicked off all of us knuckle heads sitting around singing with...sounded like a bunch of cats fighting lol. Its been hard with the old crew since we are so far apart right now. worst thing the army did was split us up. I play the song luke picked out once a day. Every day its gets harder and harder to get up knowing one person that you want to hear from, you can't...i miss you brother keep watch over us pls."
Thomas Brown of Montgomery, PA

"im sorry its been so long. My mind has been elsewhere. ok so today my whole family missed the bus, i got yelled at for my alarm clock when shaun,recent step dad figure,forgot to even set his. he is like a giant kid who is really stupid and agressive. you havent met my little brother but shaun yells at him all the time daddy. its not fair that lil boy got spanked again i hate it cause it breing us back to the days of abuse. not only that is litttle girl is a jerk too she makes fun of me all the time and desides to shut the car door on me twice today. he says nothing to her nothing but and he normanally does is yell at her too. ive also had my first major nose bleed during the time no expectacy i was crying and it swooped out. Mom hasnt changed at all shes got the starvation belly now god sometimes i want her dead so i can leave this family daddy its horrid! I Miss you and i still have our book you know scardy mouse. love you daddy"
kaylee mcgill of gravette,ar

"Daddy i cant do this every time i go home i cry every time i go to school i wanna die i feel like vomiting every time im sad or stressed even thought i have nothing on my stomach.mom has given up on life i need you. i hurt ...alot and i cant help but think over and over ever bad thing i have had and will have. please help me."
kaylee, mcgill of gravette arkansas

"Hey dad im back im a bit scared and was wishing for your help. DHS came to see me and matt at school today. What should i do. I mean should i be scared? oh btw HAPPY VETRANS DAY! I LOVE YOU"
KAYLEE of gravette,arkansas/america

""I Have not know him for long, truly not at all but from what his daughter has told me he was the best dad ever. I'm very glad he served for us & we wish him the best where ever he shall rest.""
Jessie Eames of Gravette Arkansas

"Hi dad, im writing about all of the men i have had in my life as step dads. just got done with the section of your death hope its ok. i have good news, shaun will finally be taking me to see you I know its been a while. Im sorry i tryto draw you in art but i think i dosent look good. love you miss you"
kaylee mcgill of gravette ar

"Hey dad its me again. today like every other i made my friends mad. Mom did something very nice. I know she works for me and she loves me but i am a daddies girl and always will be. I hope to see you soon i love you and miss you. I found this and feel like i can really comunicate with you i just wish you replied back. How is it up there do you miss me how bout mom? I have had many accomplishments and downfalls but eithier way i know you love me. I am an artist i have drawn the cover of a short story and i have grown to love anime. The japan version of what you loved. i wish i had more memories of you but all i can do is wish untill youve returnd to me. Goodbye daddy."
Kaylee Mcgill of gravette arkansas

"Hey dad i miss you.I thank all the people who say these things im glad you still think of him. Its been hard this week Im missing him more than ever and came upon this spot to find these nice words. I am 14 now and I hope my dad is proud of me."
Kaylee Mcgill of Gravette, Arkansas

"Hey Arthur. I finally done it. Got my GED and joined the gaurd like I always said I would when you used to come around. I'm 17 just like you were. I hope I'm half the soldier you were"
Jordan Harrington of Gravette Arkansas

"Sometimes it is hard to believe that it has been six years that you have been gone, and other times it hurts like just yesterday... I remember the day you shipped out and struggling to catch your eye as you marched off...then finally we did and feeling like a whole conversation just took place with one look. So many things I wanted to tell you but I know you already know them. Not everyone is lucky enough to have someone like you come into their life and have such a profound affect as you did on me. I am a better person for having had you in my life. Somehow I think you would get a chuckle out of the fact that I am a fire fighter and EMT now - I know how important school was to you. Because of you, the children know what a hero is and the sacrifice that all too often takes place....I miss so much about you and light a candle in your honor every sunday. I know you never really thought so, but you were the best of the best in so many ways and I will always love you for that."
Kendra Clement of Gouldsboro, Me

"Its hard to believe it has been 6 years. 6 Miserable long years without you hear to talk to and goof around with. I still get messages and calls from people I have never met just wanting to meet me because they say you always talked about your baby sister. I feel so honored to hear that. Though there is no way you talked about me as much as I have talked about you. I am still trying to find a way to go back to normal. I am now married, of all things in this world that sadden me its that my husband and future children will never know you they will only know of the memories that I will continue to tell of you. If I know one thing its that you will live on forever. You will never truly die. You are the only person that I have ever met that was truly selfless. There will never be another like you. Your spirit has helped me through these last six years. I would be lost with you. Before I did anything I always stopped to think "would this make my brother proud?" and I always knew the answer. I treasure every memory with you. I know that you have blessed so many people in this world because of your wonderful spirit and I will continue to share my memories until the day I die. I love and miss you so much my giant brother! Your baby sister forever, ~Allissa"
Allissa Hutchinson of Gaston, SC

"Big Country,
Its been a while, but it still hurts. I hope that Jenkins and Rasco are there with you. I still haven't figured out why God takes the good ones. I hope your family is well, or as well as they can be with you gone. I miss you guys. Forever your friend,"
SSG Whiting of Fort Riley, KS

"I think it was around 130am i guess. i think of your last hours here on earth...business as usual wtf we dedicated a machine gun to you and we really changed how we did stuff after you died, i guess that is the only silver lining here"
austin of portland maine

"To SGT McGill Daughter & Family:
SGT McGill will always be one of my best SOLDIER a Section Chief could have had,I'm glad to serve side by side with this great man,brother,soldier,HERO, but most of all a GREAT FATHER & Family member!!!. I know because his daughter and sister,was his talked when we was on duty or sleepin on the back of the PLS truck. And yes his Aunt & Uncle also,So to the McGill Family hold your head up high and GOD will take Call of all your problems. LOVE ALWAYS"
SSG Roland C.Owens Sr. & Family of 1009 East Waldburg St. Savannah,GA 31401

"I never want to forget the sacrifices of so many young men and women. I am so proud it makes me cry. I understand in theory only that war is a part of human nature but so is love and caring. I wish I could take the families pain away but I can't. I am committed to loving ALL people, myself and our environment. I am committed to working on my happiness everyday because so many have died for my freedom to live my life. Thank you is not enough but it is all I have. All my love and respect. ogersteiner@yahoo.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEjz-wAQLSA&feature=PlayList&p=477CB1585D5551F3"
Scott Steiner of Worthington, OH USA

"I met Ray when he first came to 1-9 FA and there is not another person I know that had a bigger heart then he did. He would give you the shirt off his back if he had to just so someone else would not have to go without. There is not a day that goes by that I dont think of him. I still see him, Tony and Josh hanging out and talking about going fishing. I will always miss you Ray"
A old buddy of Fort Lee, VA

"June 24, 2008
To the family of Sgt. Arthur R. McGill:
Arthur 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

"Hey Bro! I'm sitting here reading everyones commments to you and about you, && balling my eyes out once again even after all these years that have went by. I pulled out your box of things i have the other day. Believe it or not I'm always looking at them. I miss you so much Spiderman! "whatever floats your boat, water" lol! see you still make me laugh. Wish you were here so bad. Oh && guess what, i'm going to have a baby soon. You're gonna be an uncle! well let me go wipe my tears & just wanted to let you know i love you Big Bro! See you later."
ShyAnn Leah Gilstrap of Gaston, SC

"We loved him like a son. We will miss him each and everyday of our lives. We give our best regaurds to his family. And we are sure that they are very proud of him. We are too."
Don and Mildred Harrington of Gravette, Arkansas

"Its not said in here but arther started in the national Guard the 1/142fa as a ammo haller and he ended up becoming my brother and we won several awardes do to McGills ability to work well with me and to work well with others no matter who they were. I loved hom like my own brother and I know that he died for what he beleved in and for futher more I just wish I could have been there with him. Arther is a man that all will miss and was a very good soldier and a good friend."
SSG Harrington of G

"REST IN PEACE "BIG COUNTRY". THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE."
Jordan Harrington of Gravette, Arkansas

"Arthur was a very good soldier.He was also a caring father and friend. He was very close to my brother Dwain and the rest of my family including me. I will always remember him and what he has done to keep our country free. I respect him and his military career very much, and I give my best regaurds to Kaylee and his family."
Jordan Harrington of Gravette, Arkansas

"Ray,
Not a day goes by I dont mis you still. I know that you got my back! and always know that I will always love you! I am married now and have a baby boy. Ayden Mathew Roach. Your on my mind a lot these days. My third time over here and I just wondering when it will be my last. Not in a bad way, because I know when its my time to go to Heaven..... its gonna be me... you... and two fishin poles. See you soon brother."
SSG Luke Roach of Georgia

"To Ray,
Hey there buddy, it's me. I was up late tonight and I ran into this page. I'm writing this direct to you because I miss you man. I see a few of the old guys have written to you. Everythings doing well here in Chicago. I'm a Deputy Sheriff now. Michelle had the baby March 10th, 2005. It was a boy, his name is Sebestian. I wish you could have met him. I tell him about his Uncle Ray all the time. I keep thinking to myself, Why? Me, you, and Roach where brothers. I keep wondering why not me? I remember the last time I saw you. You were going back across the pond, but this time without me. I should've been there. Maybe it wouldnt have happened. I miss you and love you much."
CPL Anthony Mondello, US ARMY RET of Plainfield, IL/ USA

"To the family of:Arthur R. McGill 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 knew Mr.Mcgill as the Creapaux family calls him because I was a good friend of Lexie Creapaux and while I lived on Fort Stewart she introduced him to me he was a very nice man who I thought deserved friends like the Creapauxs and I was also there when Miss Kendra found out that Ray had passed and I just want the Creapaux family to know that i'm still praying for Mcgill and when my time comes I hope to see him again."
Brandon Cooper of Fort Irwin CA

"Hey we miss you in 1-9FA.We Still think about you REST IN PEACE MY FRIEND.Thank you McGill Familey for your son he will never be forgoten"
a soilder of 1-9 FA

"Authur is not and will not be forgotten. He served under my son in Iraq and I have heard nothing but good stories about what a wonderful, caring person he was from many of his brothers. He was a hugh loss to all of those who served with him as well as to you his family. A true Hero, willing to serve and fight for what he believed in and keeping us all safe. His sacrifice and trajic loss will be remembered always. Thank you Arthur. May God bless you and loving your family."
Bruce Gover of Lehman, PA

"Dear McGill Family,

I read with great sorrow the recent article in The New York Times on the Iraq War, which included a picture of Arthur, among many others. Something about his faced deeply moved me -- I think he reminds me of my own brother when he was about Arthur's age. I just wanted to express my sincere condolences. While I do not support the war generally, I have deep respect for the men and women who are serving and those that have given their lives. This is indeed the greatest sacrifice. My heart goes out to you.

With kind regards,

Gavin Power
New York City"
Gavin Power of New York City

"To the McGill Family,
We extend our heartfelt sorrow for the loss of your ARTHUR. We honor and celebrate his life as an American Hero and will never forget his sacrifice.
ARTHUR - thank you for your courage and service to our country. May the Angels watch over and surround your family as they try to heal. Gods Speed Brave Soldier.
From a grateful family of a US Army Soldier, stationed in Iraq. 101st AVN Regt, Ft. Campbell. 10-20-05"
Sharon & Craig Erwin of Oregon, USA

"To the family and friends of SGT Arthur "Big Country" McGill:

I first met Big Country in March 2003 when he was assigned to my platoon in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Through 21 intense days of sustained combat operations during the push to Baghdad, Big Country served bravely and fought honorably.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom III I had the priviledge to serve with him again, while only briefly.

In May, during another fire-fight, Big Country again fought bravely. His section came under intense enemy small arms fire and while others sought cover, Big Country continued to hold his position and refused to fall back.

He was a brave soldier and never ran from anything.

Big Country was one of the best soldiers I ever had the privledge to work with.

Arthur McGill represents the best that America has to offer and was the epitome of the American Soldier.

His loss cannot be put into words.

He was a true hero and will never, ever be forgotten by myself, nor anyone that served with him.

Rest in Peace Big Country."
A Captain in the 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery of the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division

"The Star


Tonight as I cry
I look into the sky
And there is a star…
Oh so far
I felt broke
Then my heart spoke
Do not cry,
Look in the sky,
See that star,
That’s so far
That belongs to Mr. McGill
He is still alive
In your heart
My heart mended in happiness
I will keep his memory alive
By letting him thrive
In my heart
My friend
Mr. McGill –

With Love"
Lexie Creapaux of Hinesville Ga

"There will never be another who will so deeply touch my life as Ray did. Ray was always there for me when I needed him. Ray was "Mr. Gill" to my children, who were crazy about him, and "Big country" to most of the rest of us. He was a hero during his life for having been a friend and mentor to many people, and he died like a hero, defending our country. I am eternally greatful for all the memories I carry in my heart. I take comfort in knowing that he is in heaven. His memory will always be alive in his precious daughter Kaylee and in the hearts of all of us who loved him so dearly. I am proud to have been considered his friend."
Kendra, Lexie, Will, & Hunter of Georgia

"i am very proud to say i served with you as a soldier, and got to know you also as a friend. i miss seeing you around the fob, its not the same with out you. Sgt McGill will always be remembered as a kind and generous person. i have alot of good things to say about Sgt McGill and alot of funny memories also. he is missed by all of us at our fob."
Spc. Davies Joseph R. of F/co 1/9 FA Fob Loyalty, Baghdad, Iraq

"The Salute


To those who have died,
And to those who have cried.
We Salute You.

To those who have lost,
Paid the ultimate cost.
We Salute You.

And to those who still serve,
The Red White and Blue.
Our grateful Nation,
Proudly Salutes You.""
Tom Balstad of West Warwick, RI

"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

"May God give you the strength to get through the days ahead. My brother, CPL Gary Walters, was also a member of 1-9 FA and was killed 24 April 2005."
Michele Carter of Germany

"Dear Family of Arthur...his sacrifice will never be forgotten. My heartfelt sympathy is with you at this most difficult time in your lives. I can actually say I know what you are going through....My hero Pfc Landon S. Giles also gave his live for our Counrty, to insure our way of live. Authur is a HERO and will always be remembered. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Thank You Arthur "American HERO"...my you rest in peace.
God Bless....
Proud Mom of PFC Landon S. Giles
KIA 02-26-2005"
Kim Giles of Arkadelphia, Ar.

"TO THE MCGILL FAMILY FROM THE WAHL FAMILY. WE ARE DEEPLY SADDEN BY HEARING OF ARTHUR. WE FULLY UNDERSTAND THE HURT AND THE PAIN. OUR HEART AND PRAYS ARE WITH ARTHUR AND YOUR FAMILY. ARTHUR YOU HAVE TOUVHED THE HEARTS OF SO MANY. AN YOU MY FRIENDS WILL BE ONE THAT WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN. TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOEVER YOU WILL BE REMEMBERED. YOU ARE MORE THEN A SOLDIER AND HERO! YOU ARE THE ELITE OF AMERICANS! NOT MANY ANSWER THE CALLING TO SERVE OUR COUNTRY. WITHOUT MEN AND WOMEN LIKE YOU. AMERICA WOULD NOT HAVE FREEDOM AND LIBERTY. THAT ALL OVER THE WORLD PEOPLE COME TO AMERICA FOR! WE LOST OUR SON LAST YEAR ARTHUR. AN WE ARE EXTREMELY THANKFUL YOU SERVED TOGETHER WATCHING OVER ONE ANOTHER. AN NEVR ONCE HAD YOU BOTH MET. SO THANK YOU FOR THAT. MY TEARS ARE NOT JUST WITH MY SON, WITH YOU NARTHUR AND ALL OUR FALLEN. 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, Arthur will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you ALWAYS. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"Thank you Arthur McGill, 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. Arthur McGill:
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 Arthur 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. Arthur McGill:
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 Arthur, 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