Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Rodney A. Murray

28, of Ayden, North Carolina.
Murray died in a vehicle accident between Baghdad and Scania, Iraq when a Bradley Fighting Vehicle and his military vehicle collided. He was assigned to the Army Reserve's 351st Military Police Company, Ocala, Florida. Died on May 9, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Sgt. Rodney A. Murray.

Links:

Contributions to the Families of the Fallen

Messages:

Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

Please report inappropriate messages

"Happy 4th of July Son. Every patriotic holiday has a sense of pride for you, but is sad at the same time. Love and miss you. Mama"

"Memorial Day 2017: Thank you Son. You gave your all for us; now you have everything with Jesus. Love & miss you lots."
Daddy & Mama

"Thirteen years ago Son you were called home. Good for you, but heartbreaking for us. So glad for time we had with you. Miss you forever, but looking forward to seeing you one day. Love you always."
Daddy & Mama

"5/2/17 - Well Son by now you and Granny are having a good reunion together as she came to Heaven yesterday. I told her to give you a big hug for me. Love you."
Mama

"Happy Easter Son. Love you."

"Merry Christmas Son. Christmas Eve 2003, was our last time to see you alive and hug you. We miss you so; but know you're having the Best Christmas of everyone there with Jesus. Love you lots."
Love, Daddy and Mama

"I am trying to reach Mrs. Stella Murray. I have something very special I would love you to have from your son.4782784427"
Angie Roberson of East Dublin Ga USA

"Happy 41st birthday, Son. Love you."
Daddy & Mama

"Happy Thanksgiving Son. Love you and miss you lots."
Mama & Daddy

"No matter how many years pass, in my heart it feels like just left. I still feel the impact you left on my heart and my life. Because of you I am a better person and my eyes are focused on Jesus. Till I see you again. Had I known the last time I saw you would have been the last I would have stopped and told you how much you meant to me."
Pooh Bear of Fayetteville

"Well Son, it's another Memorial Day [2016] to remember you and say thanks for all you did for your family and country. We appreciate you with lots of pride. Miss you lots, love you even more."
Mama & Daddy

"Son, it's been 12 years now you've been gone from us. Still missing you so much; nothing can take away the memories we have of you, and at least weekly [sometimes sooner] there is a "Rodney story" remembered by one of us in the family and close friends you had. Still don't understand why, but I guess we'll never know why. Missing you and Love you lots."
Daddy and Mama

"Happy Easter Son."

"3/4/16: Got up thinking about you this morning Son, wishing I could see you & talk to you again. Dreamed about you recently, got a hug from you, it was so great. I miss that too. I wish you could see how happy your brother is now, with his new wife. They are so good for each other. You would be so happy for him & really like her. Miss you & love you much.
Love, Mama"

"Merry Christmas Rodney.It's been 12 years, on Christmas Eve, since we last could be with you; still miss you so much & love you.
Mama & Daddy"

"Happy Birthday Son. This would be "the big one #40". Wish you could be here so we could tease you about being "over the hill". Still miss you so much and love you even more. Happy Birthday in Heaven celebrating with Jesus.
Love you, Mama & Daddy"

"Happy Thanksgiving Son. Love, Daddy & Mama"

"Long before you became a hero to your country, you where mine. I dont need a holiday to remember you, life hasn't been the same since you went home. I love you, Rock"
pooh~bear of Raleigh

"Thank You on this Memorial Day Son"

"Well Son, 11 years ago today you gave your all, and we were left with a big hole in our family. We cherish all the memories you left us; but we still miss you so much. Wish you could still be with us; but, that wasn't meant to be. So, we go on with life like you'd want us to, and look forward to being with you again one day. We love you and are so thankful for what you gave us. "Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose." [Author Unknown]
Love you lots"
Daddy & Mama

"Remembering your sacrifice. I will never forget our friendship. I've never forgotten, and I never will. God Bless your family. I was glad I got to know them."
SGT. Arthur Zehner of Alachua, Florida

"HAPPY EASTER SON"

"Happy 2015 Rodney"

"Merry Christmas Son. Love you and miss you. Christmas 2014."
Daddy & Mama

"Happy Birthday #39 Son.
Sure wish we could tell you in person, at a birthday get together; that would be so great. But, not to be. We are so thankful for the years we did have to tell you happy birthday. you left us a lot to cherish in your short life. If we had only known that last time we saw you, it would be the last, we would've insisted on getting together more in that 2 weeks you were home. We miss you, think of you daily, and love you.
We know your birthday in Heaven is much better than it would be here, but that doesn't stop us from wishing we could see you still.
Happy birthday again, & love you lots."
Daddy & Mama

"Well Rock,the years are rolling by and your birthday is right around the corner. Not a day goes by do I not think of you. You taught me how to live, and how to die. I live with the regret I didnt stop the last Christmas you were home when I saw you in the yard at your moms.....had I known! I miss you my friend and I never pass up an opportunity to tells someone about you. Almost 11 years have gone by and I miss you as if it was yesterday. Happy birthday Rock, I love you"
pooh~bear of Fayetteville, nc

"Happy Veteran's Day Son. You are a Veteran who gave the ultimate sacrifice for us. Thank You. 11/11/14. Love Mama & Daddy"

"Thanks for being who you were, and thanks for your service and sacrifice. You touched so many lives for good; but none as much as your Brother, Daddy, and Mama. We've gone on with life, but you are still right there with us, [in our thoughts daily], missing you so much and wishing we still had the chance to be with you, and, living life to the fullest. We know that is what you would've wanted us to do; but it can be so hard. We are glad for the short time God gave you to us, and wish we could've packed more into life. You will not be forgotten on this Memorial Day, or any other day. We love you very much and miss you, and sppreciate what you gave to our little family. Love you."
Mama & Daddy of Zebulon, NC

"Well cheif its that time of year again when everyone stops to remember the fallen. For me its not once a year its everyday. Very few days go by I dont think of you. All my life I have looked up too you but never the way I have since you got called home. I was forever changed tge day you left this earth. I know try harder than ever to walk in your foot steps to be more like you. Pa once said its not what you have while your here or what you leave behind, but the impression you leave on those you touch while you were here.I never pass up the opportunity to give someone else the love,understanding, compassion, and support you gave me as I was growing up.I do this everyday in your honor. I love you rock."
pooh bear of cary\north Carolina

"Well cheif its that time of year again when everyone stops to remember the fallen. For me its not once a year its everyday. Very few days go by I dont think of you. All my life I have looked up too you but never the way I have since you got called home. I was forever changed tge day you left this earth. I know try harder than ever to walk in your foot steps to be more like you. Pa once said its not what you have while your here or what you leave behind, but the impression you leave on those you touch while you were here.I never pass up the opportunity to give someone else the love,understanding, compassion, and support you gave me as I was growing up.I do this everyday in your honor. I love you rock."
pooh bear of cary\north Carolina

"Well cheif its that time of year again when everyone stops to remember the fallen. For me its not once a year its everyday. Very few days go by I dont think of you. All my life I have looked up too you but never the way I have since you got called home. I was forever changed tge day you left this earth. I know try harder than ever to walk in your foot steps to be more like you. Pa once said its not what you have while your here or what you leave behind, but the impression you leave on those you touch while you were here.I never pass up the opportunity to give someone else the love,understanding, compassion, and support you gave me as I was growing up.I do this everyday in your honor. I love you rock."
pooh bear of cary\north Carolina

"Well cheif its that time of year again when everyone stops to remember the fallen. For me its not once a year its everyday. Very few days go by I dont think of you. All my life I have looked up too you but never the way I have since you got called home. I was forever changed tge day you left this earth. I know try harder than ever to walk in your foot steps to be more like you. Pa once said its not what you have while your here or what you leave behind, but the impression you leave on those you touch while you were here.I never pass up the opportunity to give someone else the love,understanding, compassion, and support you gave me as I was growing up.I do this everyday in your honor. I love you rock."
pooh bear of cary\north Carolina

"Rodney, posting a note today to let you know that i think of you often and especially on memorial day, you were a great person, it was an honor to call you a friend. praying for amanda and all your family members"
Michael Rowell of Ayden, NC Pitt

"Son, Ten years ago today you were called from this life. It's still so hard. Daddy & I, and Adrian, still miss you greatly. Life has changed so much for us. We still don't understand why you were taken, but know there is a reason; but, that still doesn't stop the hurt. You had such a good future planned, but God had better plans for you; that's the way we have to think. I am so glad you got to call me on that Mother's Day, the last time to ever hear your voice again. We love you and miss you so. May 9, 2014"
Daddy & Mama

"Because we never met, I come to visit you today This grateful American proudly salutes you. I humbly thank you and am praying for you and your family. Because of your bravery, courage and sacrifice liberty and freedom is still ours. You will always be missed by those who's lives you touched, but most of all, your immediate family who today still have a hole in their heart. May you rest in eternal peace."
A grateful American, Thelma Coberly of Lakewood, Colorado USA

"Because we never met, I come to visit you today This grateful American proudly salutes you. I humbly thank you and am praying for you and your family. Because of your bravery, courage and sacrifice liberty and freedom a still ours. You will always be missed by those who's lives you touched, but most of all, your immediate family who today still have a hole in their heart. May you rest in eternal peace."
A grateful American of Lakewood, Colorado USA

"Happy Easter Son"

"12/24/13
Merry Christmas Son; you're having the best Christmas of everyone; being with Jesus, who is the Reason for this season. Ten years ago tonight was our last time with you. That is to be cherished forever. We love you and miss you so much."
Daddy & Mama

"Happy Birthday Son [38]. We love you and miss you."
Mama & Daddy

"Happy Thanksgiving Son."
Daddy & Mama

"Miss you brother."
Art Zehner of High Springs, FL

"I thought about you today and all the others who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you. For so many it has turned into a reason to barbecue and to get time off work, but I will always make sure my family remembers the real reason for Memorial Day. I can't believe it's been 9 years, some days it still doesn't seem real. Aiden asked just the other day why he was Aiden Rodney. I don't know how to explain to an almost 3 year old how he came to get his name. He "wears" his name proudly, though. When asked his name, he'll say "I Aiden Rodney", and he will correct you very quickly if he is called anything different (except for Bubba). I miss you. Give my Grandma and Grandpa Murray a hug for me please and let them know that we're OK. Tell my Grandpa I'll take care of Daddy."
Olivia Murray Morrison of Tucson,AZ/Zebulon,NC

"On this Memorial Day Son, we thank you. Love and miss you lots."

"Nine years ago you were taken from us, Son. It still hurts so much; and we still miss you so, and wish life didn't have to be as it is; but, it is beyond our control. We love you. Happy 9th homegoing."
Daddy & Mama

"Happy Easter Son.
Love Mama & Daddy"

"Merry Christmas Rodney. Love & miss you.
Daddy & Mama"

"RODNEY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY #37"

"Dec 5, 2012

Happy 37th birthday Rodney.
We love you and miss you so much.

Love, Mama & Daddy"

"Happy Thanksgiving Rodney
Love, Daddy & Mama"

"Veteran's Day: Thanks for your service Rodney"

"I have been thinking of you lately and wanted to write something. The kids and I went back to NC last summer and saw your mom and dad. I do miss them and you so much. Your mom loved seeing Aiden. I can't say whether he is more Murray or Morrison, but he is definitely all boy. I'm still working on being the person that I want to be and following your example. I am almost done with school, and hopefully Justin will get orders soon. We would like to go back to the South and get out of this heat here in AZ. Thank you for all that you did and for being the great person that you were. Love you."
Olivia Murray Morrison of Tucson, AZ/Zebulon, NC

"Remembering you, Rodney, on this Memorial Day, and missing you so much. We visited your grave today, and said "Thank You, and Love and miss you".
Love,
Mama & Daddy"

"Son, Eight years ago we had to say goodbye. That was such a hard thing to have to do. We miss you so, and wonder what you'd be like today. Wish it didn't have to be that way, but it's not ours to control. Our little family circle, got a hole in it that day; your homegoing. We love you Rodney."
Daddy & Mama

"Dear Rock, I was just sitting here today and memories of you came flooding back. Pa told me that we you die all there is for people to remember you is the impression you left on the hearts and lives of the people you touched. As long as I live I will for ever be blessed to have been loved by you. And when my days are done here I hope your the first person I see when I get to heaven. I don't make it by those old crossroad much, but they are never far from my mind. Just wanted to say I love you and your always in my heart and never far from my thoughts."
Pooh-Bear/ Rhonda of Apex, N.C.

"Happy Easter Son"

"Rodney,
Eight years ago, I said good-bye to a friend that has had such an impact on my life. I have a 2 year old grandson now, and have your life as an example of the man I hope he becomes. Everyday, I say a prayer of thanks for having you as a friend and fellow warrior. You and your family are always in my prayers, and I miss those days we had during our deployment. You and your family will never be forgotten. God Bless."
Sgt. Arthur Zehner of Alachua, Florida

"Merry Christmas Rodney. It must be something to behold, to celebrate Christmas with Jesus. Eight years ago was our last time with you. We miss you so, and love you. Love, Mama and Daddy"

"Happy 36th Birthday Rodney. Love you and miss you."

"HAPPY THANKSGIVING, RODNEY"

"We went to a Veteran's Day ceremony at ECU today. It was so nice; and we got to see a some of your friends, along with Amanda & her parents. One friend put a paver brick in your memory, in the walkway for ECU military. That was so special. You will always be a part of ECU son. Love you lots, & miss you more."
Daddy & Mama

"REMEMBERING YOU THIS MEMORIAL DAY, RODNEY. WE APPRECIATE YOUR SERVICE, AND LOVE AND MISS YOU.
LOVE, MAMA AND DADDY"

"5/9/11
It's another anniversary of your homegoing Rodney; 7 yrs today. It's been so long, it seems at times, and like yesterday, at times. Nothing has been the same since you left us, and it never will be again. Life and family is just so different. I got your last Mother's day card, you sent to me, which I received 5 days after you died, out again this yr & read it, & cried again. It's so hard without you; I wish you were here, whole and safe, with us, and our little family could all get together for celebrations again; but it isn't meant to be. I believe God had a purpose for this, but I don't understand, and it doesn't make the heartache go away completely, either. I cherish time with your brother, but I miss the good times we all had too. I've gone to Books-a-Million on May 9, since 2005, as you introduced me to that bookstore yrs ago, but that's gone now, too; I realy loved that place, it was my healing place, & my homage to you on this day. I'll find some other way to pay tribute to you, but it won't be the same, either. Adrian still wears the bracelet he received in your honor, occasionally, for you. We all miss you so, and love you, too. Daddy & I really appreciate the good things your fellow soldiers, and friends write about you, it sure is nice. I had a good Mother's Day out with Daddy, and Adrian, & you were in my heart also. We're thankful for the 28 yrs we had you, and memories keep going on.
Daddy & I Love you and miss you."
Love, Mama

"Happy Easter Rodney. This was your favorite holiday, next to Christmas. You are with the Son, and we imagine you're celebrating the Resurrection, and have so much joy. We sure do miss you. We love you."
Love, Daddy & Mama

"Happy Easter. I know you are enjoying it. :)"
Olivia Murray Morrison of Tucson, AZ/Zebulon, NC

"Rodney, I was scrolling though facebook this morning and I came across Jack's site. He posted a web site for fallen soldiers. I went to the site and I found myself reading ever posting. At the end I noticed I had been crying. I wasn't crying for you, but for me and the way I have been since leaving Iraq. I have since been back. My temper is shorter and I have less time for family. These are qualities I need to change. I always remember you having a smile, your lips did not have to be curved in a smile it just simply came from your heart. Sunshine followed you around. I remember playing basketball and volleyball with you during our downtime while in Kuwait. You would lite up when talking about your kids you taught back home and how you liked teaching. My words do not flow as smoothly as others, but my heart feels stronger for knowning you. I wrote a few words, but I should have only said was, THANK YOU. Thank you for giving us some of your sunshine. Thank you for making us better people. Thank you for your smile. :)"
Kim Williamson (former of 351st MP Co) of Vidalia, Ga (Jacksonville, Fl)

"Rodney,
I'm sorry I don't write as often as I'd like. It seems with school and the kids I'm always doing something. This may sound a little silly, but I believe you are Aiden's angel. There are times when he is just looking off into space and smiling as if he is looking at someone. After the struggle he and I had to get him here, it doesn't seem so silly, that you would be his angel. After all, he was born on Memorial Day, and shares your name. If you are looking after him, could you please add Justin to your list. He is deploying soon, and knowing that you are watching over him will make it a little easier.

I haven't been the greatest person lately. I've been very judgemental, ill tempered, grumpy, and sometimes just down right mean. After reading the last few entries, I realize that that is no way for me to live. Not only am I setting a bad example for my children, but that is not how a Christian person should be. I should be living by the example that you set. Thank you for being a wonderful person and my cousin. I love you and miss you."
Olivia (Murray) Morrison of Tucson, AZ/Zebulon, NC

"My how time has flown. Rodney has been gone nearly as long as I knew him. I was recounting a story of Rodney to my children tonight and was amazed that it will be 7 years this May. I think of him often and cherish the memories we were able to build in the short time we had together. The impact that he left on me is profound and leaves a lasting stamp.

The last time I saw Rodney was in June of 1999 as I drove him to DFW airport. He was gracious enough to fly in and once again stand by my side (as he had done many other times) as I was walking down the aisle into a new chapter of my life. He spent roughly a week with my soon-to-be bride and me. Every moment with Rodney was an experience. He birthed in me such an appreciation for the small things that make up life that I often remember small things that are seemingly inconsequential. I try to honor him by being patient, being kind, being slow to anger, honest and doing my best to be the person he believed I could be when we first began hanging out on the football field.

Rodney was instrumental in starting my journey towards faith. I don't think he ever realized how much of an impact he had on what has become the single largest part of my life. His gentle spirit and patience with me struck a cord that sounds to this day. He has the title as being the only best friend I ever had. He truly brought new sides to a phrase that is thrown around these days almost in passing. The lessons that he taught me were life impacting and mind altering. I sincerely appreciate the time I had with him and look forward to joining him at some point down the road on the next leg of the journey. I keep him in my mind as a motivator, as a guide to live each day to the fullest, to chase my dreams and hold me accountable.

I'm going after it Rock! I miss you tremendously, love you deeply and thank you for your selfless service.

See you on the other side, Brother.

Sean"
Sean Williams of Dallas, TX

"I never knew Rodney but I knew a little of him. He was deployed to Iraq with my youngest sister, SPC Kristy Jackson. For her English Comp class Kristy had to write a paper on what inspired her. She chose to write the paper on Rodney. The paper is dated 21 August, 2009. I wanted to share this with his family and friends;

"In February of 2003, I had the privilege of meeting Rodney A. Murray. We were both from North Carolina and also from the same Military unit, but we had never met before. We were assigned to the 351st Military Police unit out of Ocala, Florida. I was his driver and he was my gunner. We only knew each other for ten months, but he influenced my life in so many ways.
Murray was from Ayden, North Carolina, where he taught as an English teacher for the local high school. He also loved sports, and so he also coached the women's basketball team and junior varsity football. He had a loving wife, named Amanda, who also worked for a school. Rodney was a devout Christian, who loved God and applied the teachings of the Bible to his everyday life. Selfless service and love was what he was all about.
When I first started working with Murray I didn't know what to expect. We were like oil and water, day and night and I wondered how we would survive as team mates. Our major difference was our belief in religion. I would consider myself an agnostic, while Murray was definitely a Christian. He never preached to me, but he did teach me about kindness and understanding. After listening to him I learned to develop a patience for the human race.
The other major difference between us was that he never had a single bad word to say about anyone. I, on the other hand, couldn't keep my mouth shut about anything. I realized that his approach to people was a lot more respectable than mine. I am still very judgmental but I do try to keep it minimal.
Murray influenced me and everyone else in so many ways. On Mother's Day of 2004, Murray was killed during a night mission. His death crippled the entire company emotionally and physically. All my life I have never met someone so pure of soul. I will never be as nice as he was, but I do think twice before I act or open my mouth. If the entire world could be like him it would be such a nice place to live."

I joined the Army in April of 2003, around the time my sister had gotten the word that she was deploying. Since then we didn't get to see each other very much as she had moved to Florida. When I did get to see her I did notice a change in her. At times it seemed like she played the peacekeeper and I don't remember her making any negative remarks. She was a changed person after Iraq, like most of us are after a deployment. I believe Rodney did help change my sister for the better, as I believe my sister's kindness changed me for the better. My sister is no longer with us but still lives inside all of us, and I believe that Rodney is a part of that too. I want to extend my sincerest condolences to you all. I know that losing someone so precious can be crippling, but I imagine if I ever met any of you I would meet him as well, as he lives on in all of you."
Deanna Jackson of Oak Ridge, NC

"Today, I held the hand of men who were with you when you went home. Overcome, I could feel you near. I called you Rock as a child and you were my Rock. You still are! They wore your name on their wrist and told how hard it was to lose you. Oh how I know! You touch so many lives, and many hearts still feel the pain of your loss. I m growing old without you physically, but you are here in my heart everyday. I love you Rock. 2/12/11 poohbear"
Rhonda Horton of Middlesex, nc

"To the family of:Rodney A. Murray
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"1-18-11"

"Christmas 2010. Merry Christmas Rodney. It's been 7 years since we were with you at Christmas, for the last time. We still love and miss you so."
Daddy & Mama

"God Bless you Rodney for all that you did here on Earth:)I feel like I knew you, your Father talks about you all the time. I work with him at Nationwide and he talks of how very Proud he is of you and was.I am sure your Mother must be a very nice person because your Father is one of the nicest people I have met. He loves the Lord and he said that you did as well. We don't know why your life was taken at such a young age Rodney but what I am sure of is that you will someday reunite with your Family and live Forever in Eternity....God Bless you all!!! Have a Merry Christmas:)"
Pam Barton of Youngsville, NC

"12/05/2010
Happy 35th Birthday Son.
We love you and miss you so.
Love, Mama & Daddy"

"I miss you so much. I find myself remembering how much you, Adrian, and William picked on me when we were kids. If I had only known then that those days were limited, I wouldn't have taken them for granted. I know that he misses you and regrets all of us "growing up" and being too busy for each other. You know how the Murray's are, we don't like to talk about things. I've been so busy with school and the kids, I didn't have time to leave you a message until now. I'm sorry. You will always be in my heart. Thank you for serving."
Olivia (Murray) Morrison of Tucson,AZ/Zebulon, NC

"Thinking of Rodney on this Veteran's Day.You are so missed."

"Just as many days before today I find myself thinking about you Murray. It was more than 6 years ago our convoy had the accident, yet the memory is still vivid. I live my life everyday working to become a better man by following the values I learned in our friendship. You will forever be a hero and a friend."
Bradley Roberts of Jacksonville, FL

"Rodney,
Today is Sept 11, 2010. You have been with the LORD now for over 6 years. It's funny how when you were here with us, I took you being here for granted. Now that you are not here, I think of you everyday. On Memorial Day this year, I had a son. I named him Aiden Rodney. Justin and I couldn't think of a better person to share a name with. Stella sent us pictures of you, so that we can put them in Aiden's room, so that he can know who you are. Thank you for serving. I love you and miss you more than you could ever know."
Olivia (Murray) Morrison of Tucson, AZ/Zebulon, NC

"Remembering Rodney on this Memorial Day."

"Rodney, there is not a day that goes by that i don't think of you. I tell everyone about you when I get the chance. You had an impact on my life, and the lives of others. You are still missed. I still think of our time together in the 351st. You made the days go by alot easier when we were "over there" I miss you brother, I can't wait to see you again when that day comes.
SGT JOSEPH AGNER 221st EOD
2nd PLT "Vipers" 351 MP CO 2002-2009"
Joseph Agner of Middleburg, FL U.S.

"May 9, 2010: it's been six long years since Rodney left his journey on Earth for Heaven: six years since he called to wish me a Happy Mother's Day, and hear his sweet voice for the last time; not knowing he only had 8 hours left to live. We have peace for where he is, but we sure do miss him so much. Some days are just so hard; it just tore a hole in his parent's and brother's hearts. We so appreciate all the service members who were his friends, and were with him at his end; doing all that could be done to revive Rodney. It was just his time to go; his work here was done. We don't understand why, but we believe it was for a reason. We visit your grave as often as we can, but feel so blank and numb standing there. We miss you so very much, and wish life could've turned out different, but it was not meant to be. We love you son."
Mama & Daddy

"HAPPY EASTER RODNEY"

"It is amazing the little things that remind me of Rodney. I think about him everyday and continue to pray for his family. I always thought we would grow old together, in many ways we are. I love you Rodney. There is not a time that my tires hit that dirt road we grew up on that I am not overwhelmed."
Pooh-Bear of Durham, N.C.

"Merry Christmas Rodney; We love you and miss you. Love Mama and Daddy"

"12/05/09

To a Great Son and Brother:

Happy 34th Birthday, Rodney.
It's still so hard without you. We love you and miss you so much. Happy Birthday."
Daddy, Mama, & Adrian of Zebulon/Raleigh NC

"Mr. and Mrs. Murray. Not a day goes by that I don't think about Rodney. What an honor to have him for a friend and fellow warrior while we served together at Ft. Stewart and in Iraq. As always, he remains a positive influence in my life. I miss him. Thank you for the honor to have known you and your family. His memory will remain with me forever."
Sgt. Arthur Zehner of 351st MP Co Ocala, Fl.

"Today I flew my flag in honor of Sgt Rodney A. Murray. I fly his flag proudly and think of him and the family and friends he left behind. My father and I sponsored his flag at a healing field we had here in our small town of Tooele Utah shortly after his passing. I think of him each time I fly his flag and send my love and prayers to his family. My father passed away suddenly at Christmas 2008 and we had full military honors for him. (he served in the US Navy) I was mindful of all those brave me and women who serve our country and I will be forever grateful for the freedoms that they have given us. God Bless You Sgt. Murray. I look forward to meeting you one day. Much Love to Your Family. <3 Jalyne Fidler Tooele Ut"
Jalyne Fidler of Tooele UT USA

"Rodney, We're remembering you with heavy, but proud hearts this Memorial Day. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. We love you and truly miss you so much. We thank each family who has someone serving, and who has given the ultimate sacrifice also. Mama and Daddy"

"May 10, 2009: Sometimes, May 10, can be as upsetting as May 9, for that is the day we found out of Rodney's sacrifice; a whole day later. So much missed and not understood. No one can understand the feelings. Life truly has not, not will ever be the same. Thanks to all who've taken the time to write in this memorial. It is a great help to think people care."
Rodney's Parents

"May 10, 2009:

Sometimes, May 10, can be as upsetting as May 9, for that is the day we found out of Rodney's sacrifice; a whole day later. So much missed and not understood. No one can understand the feelings. Life truly has not, not will ever be the same. Thanks to all who've taken the time to write in this memorial. It is a great help to think people care."
Rodney's Parents

"May 10, 2009 Sometimes, May 10, can be as upsetting as May 9, for that is the day we found out of Rodney's sacrifice; a whole day later. So much missed and not understood. No one can understand the feelings. Life truly has not, nor will ever be the same. Thanks to all who've taken the time to write in this memorial. It is a great help to think people care."
Rodney;s Parents

"May 9, 2009
Rodney, loosing you five years ago today is like an eternity, and almost like yesterday, also. Though healing has taken place, there is still a lot of pain and sorrow. We miss you so bad, and some days it's like it just can't be true. There is an emptiness for Daddy, Mama, and Adrian; we miss you so much, but we do enjoy our memories you left us. No one can know what we feel behind the smiles we show some days. We are so proud of you and your service, as well as that of all the service people in our military. Thank you Rodney, for being who you were. It is just so hard. We were blessed to have two fine sons; we're cherishing your brother now, and your memory. We love you and miss you very much. Love, Daddy, Mama, & Adrian"
Rodney's family of Zebulon, NC

"May 4, 2009
To the family of Sgt. Rodney A. Murray:
Rodney 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

"Rodney - we all miss you so bad. Thanks for your sacrifice!!"
Hannah Stallings of Clayton, NC

"This Christmas marks five years since I've seen you, Rodney. I think of you often especially when I am working out or running and I hear you tell me, "Is that all you got?" You led by example and never waivered in your beliefs. I am so proud to call you friend. Absent from the body, present with the LORD so I know you are ok and laughing at me every time I stumble or tell a lame joke. God bless you!!"
J Eddins of Knightdale

"Sunrise 12/05/75 - Sunset 05/09/04

Happy 33 rd birthday son. We know you are having the best days of all of us, but that doesn't keep us from missing you; your laughter, sharing holidays, ballgames, jokes, and serious stuff. We're proud of you and your service for our country. If this had to be, we're so glad God allowed you not to suffer when He called you home. We all miss you and loved you so, and still do. Life if not the same for Daddy, Mama, or Adrian. You were a good son and brother. Love you and miss you, and Happy Birthday, Mama, Daddy, Adrian"
Jack & Stella Murray of Zebulon NC

"I served with Rodney in the 351st. We got to know each other at Ft Stewart while we were on a painting detail. He was a great guy and a strong christian. He touch my life with his positive attitude and kind words through out our deployment. I will always remember you Murray, you will never be forgoten at the 351st. "Jackolopes""
2LT Mendoza of Gainesville, FL

"Sgt Rodney Murray was a sweet and soft spirited person. I liked the vibe around him. I still think of you everyday. I often see your name in memoirs and I have a hard time forgetting that gray and dark day that we as the 351st MP company had when you departed this life. You are still here in spirit. God Bless You Sgt Frankie D. Johnson"
Sgt Frankie D. Johnson of Cordele,Georgia

"I grew up with Rodney.He lived next door all my life. As time goes by the love Rodney planted in the hearts of his love ones is still goes on. Rodney (rock) was always my hero, I am so proud that his memory is still alive.However, sometimes those memories are bitter sweet."
Rhonda Horton (pooh-bear) of Zebulon, NC, USA

"My deepest condolences to the family of Sgt Rodney Murray.

You will be missed by all those who knew you, but also by those who never had the privelige to call you a friend.

You will not be forgotten. We will always remember that you stepped forward when most lacked the courage to do so.

We're proud of you mate. You did good.
There's alot of people out there who feel the same way."
James C of London, England

"Amanda,
Reflecting back to the day I first met you and Rodney. Still hard, so very hard. Both of you continue to be an inspiration to me and my fellow soldiers in the 351. Stay strong, and just know that we'll never forget either of you. Both of you continue to touch our lives. We've been blessed.
Z-Monster"
Sgt Arthur Zehner of Alachua, Florida USA

"Murray,
Its still hard to think about not having you and Strap around. I still smile when I think about you both. Rest well my friend."
Mark "Bart" Bartholomew of Rocky Mount NC

"Rodney, or as I know you..."Rookie": You were my buddy for a very long time. YOu were the guy that everyone liked and truly respected. While we did not spend as much time together in the years before your death, our friendship was always true. Thank you so much for being YOURSELF! Your buddy forever.....Austin"
Austin Thomas of Washington NC

"I was friends with Rodney throughout school and was deployed to Iraq when I heard that he had been killed. Words cannot express the grief and frustration that I felt at that moment. Rodney was an exceptional human being and I am sure that all his great qualities carried over to the Army. My condolences to his wife, Amanda, and his entire family. He will forever be in my heart."
Al Rogers SSgt USMC of Twentynine Palms, CA/Zebulon, NC

"To Rodney,
I remeber all the times we worked together at Food Lion. I remeber u making me laugh by picking on me while I was pregeant with My daughter... U left a wonderful memory to me... That was never take anything to serious. You always talked about Amanda.. everytime u mention her name ur face would light up.... I still remeber the day I found out you were gone.. I havent forgot about that day. U are missed so much here....."
Cynthia Tompkins of Farmville, NC

"To Rodnet,
I remeber all the times we worked together at Food Lion. I remeber u making me laugh by picking on me while I was pregeant with My daughter... U left a wonderful memory to me... That was never take anything to serious. You always talked about Amanda.. everytime u mention her name ur face would light up.... I still remeber the day I found out you were gone.. I havent forgot about that day. U are missed so much here....."
Cynthia Tompkins of Farmville, NC

"To Rodney: i hope you know i was there that night. i got the chopper there as quick as i could. they kept telling be to call back to bn to get an eta. but you know all this. i guess i just wanted to say that i did the best i could. so did al. he did his very best. but i guess the man upstairs needed you more than any of us did. thinking about it over the last year and a half, that's the only conclusion of mine that makes any sense. there is now no doubt in my mind that when the time comes, you will be on the Lord's front line, fighting the good fight. thank you for all your encouragement, in the gym, on the road; and thank you for teaching me tolerance of others. God speed.
To Mr and Mrs Murray, Amanda, and Adrian: i'm sorry that rodney's last day was with us, and not at home where he belonged. i hope that maybe the pain is not as sharp as it used to be. but i hope you know that he is forever in all of our hearts and minds. i'll never forget him."
spc. erica hartlieb of winston-salem, NC

"Rodney, I did not know you...but my brother did. You served together, laughed together, and became friends. These are priceless gifts in a hostile land and I truly thank you for that. He says the greatest things about you.
I served in Iraq, too, and with that experience I can tell you that I believe in what you were doing. We are all endebted to the men that made this the greatest nation the world has ever known. Men no different than yourself. We will never be able to repay you, but we will never forget you either. I will try to learn as much as I can in order to honor you. My sincerest and heartfelt condolences for your family and friends. I wish all of you peace, and one day laughter, and happiness."
FBR of San Francisco CA USA

"Rodney - Still thinking of you and your wife every day over one year later. As your Commander, the pain of your loss is still very real. You will always be my hero. Continue to watch over all of us.

MAJ Tim Connelly
80th DIV, Richmond, VA
Former Commander, 351st MP CO(OIF1)"

"Yesterday was a very difficult day. Frustrations abounded as I tried to get to the point where I could visit with my Marine son, Gil, as I waited my turn to be with him on his first liberty from base where he waits for his MOS class to pick up. Every moment is so precious, with the knowledge that he will likely be deployed this summer. I try to be patient, and am not very successful when it comes to wanting to spend any possible moment with Gil. I want to see him at every opportunity, of course, but that is not always possible. And then, this angel of ours, Rodney, flutters into our consciousness to make yesterday so much more than the already large day it was for all of us. Somehow, with a power I can not explain, my soul which was full of angst, became one filled with peace.

It's been a year, yesterday and today from my first meeting with Rodney. I met him as he began his knew life as one of God's holy angels. The year since meeting him has been a very long, tension-filled, tear-filled year as I follow a beautiful son stepping in Rodney's footsteps- and meeting his brothers and their mothers who join him in this venture.

Today is the first anniversary of the beginning of a beautiful 'friendship', Rodney's and mine, one in which I have learned much and been blessed beyond compare. May your family be blessed yesterday, today, and tomorrow."
Julie Rose of Grifton, North Carolina

"Dear Rodney,
A year ago today I took you to the airport so that you could finish your mission in Iraq. A year ago today was the last time I saw your sweet, smiling face tell me how much you loved me. You kept telling me, "Hope with me, I will be back home with you soon." Little did I know that your home would be Heaven, and that I would not see you again until the day of your funeral. Rodney, I miss you so much, more than I ever could imagine. God answered my prayer of having the best husband in the world. You touched so many lives in your short time on earth. I wish that I could be with you now...but one day I will. Until that day I will forever remember you and love you, and do my best to be like you and follow in your footsteps everyday. You were a very admirable person, not only as a husband, but also as a best friend. I am still having a very hard time coping with the loss of you, because we had so much love and so many dreams to share together. You were my sunshine. I will always love you, and cannot wait to see you again, one sweet day.........."
Rodney's wife, Amanda Loftin Murray of Ayden, North Carolina

"I am Rodney's aunt,Lois.Rodney was more like my son than my nephew,I have never had anything to hurt me as deeply as losing him.Yet I have to say I am so proud of him.He was my best friend and someone I looked up to and admired and respected.I loved him so very much and I know my life is all the richer for having him in my life for 28 years.Thank you all who are remembering all of us in your prayers.I have gained a new respect for all our men and women in the Armed Forces."
Lois Kearney of Franklinton,North Carolina

"Rodney Murray was one of those few people who embody truth, love and honor. By simply knowing him, you become a better person. In reading the beautiful words he wrote, you became inspired. In hearing his prayers you became closer to God. We are all better for having known him, and this world will feel his loss. Your family is in my prayers."
Jamye Warn of Greenville, NC

"Murray could put a smile on my face no matter how bad the day in Iraq had been. All he had to do was look at me with that grin of his, and I would start to smile. He was a good guy and all of us in the 351st were better for having known him."
SGT Michael Porter of Ocala, FL

"He left this world on Mother's Day. My son, Gil, was present at our high school's tribute Rodney, a toy drive for Iraqi children. Gil enlisted -in the delayed entry- USMC three months ago. The night he enlisted our phone rang. Rodney's name was on our caller ID. It was Amanda, actually. But I could not answer the telephone. At our Veteran's Day service in November I had a strong sense that the call was indicative that Gil has a guardian angel defending him- Rodney. He leaves in two days for Parris Island.
Our prayer: Everlasting God, you have ordained and constituted in wonderful order the ministries of angels and mortals: Mercifully grant that, as your holy angels always serve and worship you in heaven, so by your appointment they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The following poem was written on December 16, 2003, Rodney and Amanda's third wedding anniversary- on leave from Iraq, and the twentieth anniversary of our firstborn son's birth and death. We will enjoy Christmas in the Heart, with the multitude of angels in heaven.

Thank you.

Christmas in the Heart

All I want for Christmas is to see my wife,
Friends and family, be at home, that's all.
The young soldier really meant it.
And a bit of guilt he did feel
Of having his miracle come true;
Though not enough to change his plan;
With no kids to play Santa to, yet,
Some with such would have to stay.
Of all such days, Holiest of Holy,
Every soldier, every national, every vulnerable Citizen of this ravaged land
We claim to help should be able to celebrate.
But cold mornings in a lonely guard shack,
Riding lonely desolate supply routes
Tries to deny the celebratory mood.
And chaos and beastly acts alike
Try to rid others of a celebration of sorts.
A ruthless dictator captured
Becomes a festive celebration to some.
While others will avoid, hopefully,
Festive ending fiasco
In loss of life and will.
That's how they'll spend Christmas
If only that reason to celebrate.
Others cling to hope as their Yule Tide;
Hope for home soon from a foreign land,
Hope for a home,
Civilization in a lack luster land,
Hope for a difference one made
Or hope just to make it out alive, another day.
But it's guaranteed, the soldiers who
Have to stay in an Unsilent Night,
A non Holy Night,
Will instinctively glance at their watches,
When subtracting eight equals twenty-fifth at home.
And they'll silently utter Merry Christmas
From the heart to spouses and brothers,
Friends, loved ones, fathers and mothers.
But there's the rub. Like you at home,
All nestled and nice, calm and comfy,
They'll have Christmas in the Middle East.
For it will be in the heart, in grateful
Honor and remembrance of that Holy Night,
When the world received the greatest gift,
Wrapped in Hope, Grace, Mercy, In Love,
For all mankind.
Such will have Christmas
In their hearts, where it should be.
While others in that land,
The one promised to Abraham's seed
Will know nothing of it.
For they must of followed Ischmael's seed
Instead of Issac's.
No Christmas for them.
Can they even tell you their "Messiah's" birthday?
Death date would probably be easier,
But they'll claim to tell you what he wants
You to do to get to Heaven, maybe even
Doing away with ones that follow
That First Noel-
Cause in it you do nothing to get to Heaven,
Save receive the gift,
The Christ in Christmas.
So, you don't take for granted this Holy Season,
And grumble for lack of parking spaces.
Don't let crowds confound you
Or busy bustle bring a frown to you.
Love the busy schedule of family and friends,
Give in honor of the birth of Him who gave
You All.
Remember, some won't have Christmas,
And some will have it merely in their hearts.

Merry Christmas
Rodney Murray
12-16-2003"
Julie Rose of Grifton, North Carolina

"Rodney, you are the best friend that any guy could ask for. You always had a way of putting a smile on everyone's face that you came in contact with. When we were in the box together you were more than a friend...you were a brother.Even though you aren't here on this earth you are with all of us in our thoughts and hearts. thank-you for being my friend.you are a friend, a brother, and a hero."
SPC Joseph Agner of Madison, Florida

"You are a champion. We miss you."
WHC of North Carolina

"Rodney, You were closer than a brother to me during our time at Fort Stewart and during our missions over in the big sandbox. You stood for what all of us aspire to be, with your courage, love of God and country, and your love for Amanda. The grief that we carry is tempered by the fact that we are all better soldiers, husbands, and fathers by having known you. I miss you my brother, and will keep your memory alive as long as I live.
Z-MONSTER"
Spc Zehner of Alachua, Florida

"I was deployed with Rodney in Kuwait and For a moment in Iraq. He was honorable, kind and compassionate. He kept in touch with his wife, and honored her above all things. I used to call him Murray Murray soft and furry. He tried to grow a mustache, but it never looked great. We laughed about it alot. We worked as customs inspectors at the airport in Kuwait. He used to get me cuban Cigars, and I'd get him some chew. We spent time playing "tunk" the card game. I felt honored to attend his funeral, as the other soldiers there in Iraq could not be home. I miss my friend, god speed."
Nicomi of Angier North Carolina

"To the Family of Sergeant Rodney A Murray. My name is Jalyne Fidler and I send my deepest sympathy to your family and appreciation for the life and sacrifice of your son. I live in a small town in Utah where flags were flying in a Soldiers Field in honor of those brave men and women who have given their lives for truth and freedom. My Father and I selected the flag with your Son's name on it and I want you to know that we will forever remember Sergeant Rodney A. Murray as we fly his flag. I can only imagine the sorrow you feel in your Son's absence but I want you to know that Families are Forever and our Father in Heaven will strengthen and comfort you until you meet your Son again. We send our love. We send our prayers. May wonderful memories bring peace and comfort to your hearts.
Sincerely The Fidler Family
jjfid@msn.com"
Jalyne Fidler of Tooele Utah USA

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

"to the murray family from the wahl family. our hearts and prays are with your family. words are extremely, diffucult to express for any loss of life. No one needs to tell you Rodney was special. You knew that! Rodney is much more then an HERO! He in his life has touched many. All will miss him dearly. Losing Rodney, is a reminder as each soldier lost is, as we lost our son. Only comfort from all this. That Rodney and like Gregory both enjoyed serving our country and the ARMY. THAT SPEAKS VOLUMES to the person our son's become in life. May Rodney rest in peace."
leonard Wahl of v

"To Rodney,s family, I am so sorry for your tragic loss. Please know that many of us appreciate his service to and sacrifice for our country."
F Smith of Pennsylvania

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

"To Rodney'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 his bravery and sacrifice.

Sincerely,

The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne, KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.

Gloria Caldas (his mom) of San Antonio, TX
gloria.caldas@banksterling.com"

"Thank you Rodney Murray, 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. Rodney Murray:
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 Rodney 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. Rodney Murray:
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 Rodney, 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