Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Craig L. Nelson

21, of Bossier City, Louisiana.
Nelson died at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, of injuries sustained December 16, 2004 in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his military vehicle. He was assigned to the Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 156th Armor Regiment, Shreveport, Louisiana. Died on December 29, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. Craig L. Nelson.

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""This Memorial Day 2011 we will honor your service and remember the sacrifice you and others made for us to be free. We will watch as your name is added to the Memorial Wall at the USS Kidd. God Bless You!

Bob and Judy Barnett""

"Carly,
"Murm" was the driver for my son, SSG Stephen Morgan, the day they left SHV as we all stood out beside Humbug. You and your mom stood there with us as Craig and the other guys loaded all that snack food into the Humvee. I can still hear his voice calling out, "Hey, Sarge..." and I realized he was talking to Stephen! We think of him and you and your mom often. Stephen is back in Iraq, as 2Lt. Morgan now. Please know that, coming up on this Memorial Day, you and yours are in our prayers and I know that Murm is still standing watch from heaven!
rhturn0603@aol.com"
Cindy Turner of Shreveport, LA

"December 21, 2008
To the family of Spc. Craig L. Nelson:
Craig 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

"Dear Mom and your family all,
I am a Chinese mom and a born-again Christian, I absolutely understand your feelings. because, I am also strongly missing my son -John Gao, a teenage Christian who laid down his own 15.6 year life for his classmates two year ago in the Atlantic Beach Currents.
But, we should have steadfast faith that our dear sons never "dead" to let us lose them. they just rest in the Lord' Arms due to their sacrifice for others (“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13 “) and their faith in the Lord during their lives in this world . we will reunite with them someday in Eternal Kingdom by the Lord Faithful Promise, let's expect that day joyfully and peacefully. Amen !

May the peace, joy from the Lord be with you and your family !

Mom
grace"
Grace Mei of Flushing, NY/U.S

"The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell""
Posted By: Brandi Ramagos"
Brandi Ramagos of Batchelor, La

"YOU ARE STILL WITH US, THERE ISNT A DAY THAT GOES BY WE DONT THINK OF YOU... YOU WERE AN AWESOME PERSON AND NO ONE CAN EVER FILL YOUR SHOES! WE LOVE YOU AND WILL MISS SEEING YOUR SMILE!"
MADOLYN SMITH of BOSSIER CITY, LA

"Craig is always in our hearts. We will never forget his sacrifice. I am his friend Hunter's mom and I just want his family to know that he is always in our thoughts and they are in our prayers."
Vivian Shehane of Murfreesboro, TN

"Craig and to your family, you are a hero in my heart, a friend always with me. You are my family, my cousin. I always looked up to you and to this day I still do. You are missed everyday and I wanted to thank you for defending our great nation. I have followed in your footsteps and am now a Sailor in the U.S. Navy. I am in Korea defending the same freedom you fought for. I hope that your family is well and I think of them often. May your days now be in peace and may you be with me in spirit here in my heart in Korea or where ever my ship is to take me and give me strength when I have none. You are an inspiration to us all and I am proud to call you family.
Your Cousin and fellow soldier,
~YNSN Caleb Lewis Burney USN
Commander Fleet Activities Chinhae,
Korea

P.S. I always will remember when you came to visit us in Colorado and you learned how to ski with me when we were young. Us red heads, we always stick together!"
Caleb Burney of Arvada, Colorado

"Today, January 16, is your 23rd Birthday. We love you and miss you very much. Happy Birthday Boo!!
Love, Momma, Sissy, Tommie, and Cade"
Carly Thompson of Haughton, LA

"I thought about your family today as I was on a website and noticed that it was one year ago today that you passed away. You gave the ultimate sacrifice and we are so grateful. Rest in Peace and keep watch over your military family still there one year later."
Marjorie A. McCathern of Nellis AFB, NV

"Craig, we miss you so much but we know you are still with us - today will be a year and from my eyes and the gangs eyes and hearts you still are with us...forever! WE LOVE YOU FOREVER!"
Madolyn Smith of Bossier City, LA/USA

"TO THE NELSON FAMILY FROM THE WAHL FAMILY. CRAIG IS NOT FORGOTTEN. THANK YOU FOR SERVING OUR COUNTRY. AN FOR BEING A MILITARY BROTHER TO OUR SON SGT GREGORY L. WAHL! I REALIZE NEITHER KNEW ONE ANOTHER. STILL PART OF A MILITARY FAMILY. MY TEARS FLOW FOR GREGORY SINCE HIS NEWS. AN EVERYTIME LIKE TODAY I THINK OF CRAIG. THOSE TEARS ARE FOR CRAIG! MY HEART AND PRAYS ARE WITH HIM AND YOUR FAMILY. REMEBER ALL THE JOY CRAIG HAD GIVEN YOU. FOR HE IS ALWAYS IN YOUR HEARTS. I DON'T KNOW HI AND HE IS IN MINE. HE IS THE ELITE OF ALL AMERICANS. TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY AMERICAN'S AND A HANDFUL. WILLING TO SERVE AND RISK IT ALL FOR US! THAT TELLS ME ALOT OF CRAIG AND HIS PARENTS THAT RAISED HIM. HE HAS NOT DIED IN VAIN! REACH OUT TO YOUR COMMUNITY AND POLITICAL LEADERS TODAY. REQUEST A STREET BE NAMED IN HIS HONOR. HE SERVED HIS COMMUNITY, COUNTY, STATE AND COUNTRY. IT IS THE VERY LEAST HIS COMMUNITY CAN DO FOR CRAIG!"
LEONARD WAHL of VALLEY STREAM NY

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

"I am the mother of SGT.Russell (Rocky) Ellis who is currently in Iraq and served with your son Craig....I remember when he called to talk very little about what happened.....he said mom I am very sad but am very proud to have known him......Our family continues to pray for yours as I know you will continue to pray for mine...May God Bless and Keep You.......In Christ"
Sheri Davis of Shreveport, Louisiana

"To the family of Craig L. Nelson, I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. he died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Hopefully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or someone to talk to please call or write my pastor at Gateway Community Church, Rev John B. Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd. Covington, Ga. 30016 Phone 770-787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ"
Polly Ballew of Covington Ga. U S A

"Craig,
Thank you for what you have done.. WE MISS YOU.. the whole gang.. ( Dajuan, Heath, Hunter, Kevin, Jordan, Betsy, Reggie,ect) We LOVE YOU.. Watch over Kevin and make sure he returns safe.. I LOVE YOU .. Love ALWAYS MADOLYN"
Madolyn of Bossier City, Louisiana/USA

"Craig,
Thank you for what you have done.. WE MISS YOU.. the whole gang.. ( Dajuan, Heath, Hunter, Kevin, Jordan, Betsy, Reggie,ect) We LOVE YOU.. Watch over Kevin and make sure he returns safe.. I LOVE YOU .. Love ALWAYS MADOLYN"
Madolyn of Bossier City, Louisiana/USA

"I am Craig's sister. Thank you all for these wonderful messages. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers for us but please continue to pray for the boys still over in Iraq. Craig fought for what he believed in and fought to the end. He will always be with us - just a half a step behind. Love to all and God Bless. Thank you"
Carly Thompson of Bossier City, LA

"Dear Nelson Family,
I was with you the last few hours in Bethesda when we lost your son. May God bless you and your family. Oh yeah...if people ask about him, tell them he was a soldier to the very end."
Capt Tony Licari of Bethesda, MD

"To Craig'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 your soldier's bravery and sacrifice.

Sincerely,

The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
Gloria Caldas (The Big Ern's Mom) of San Antonio, Texas
gcaldas48@aol.com"

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

"To the family and friends of Craig Nelson:
Though we did not have the opportunity to know Craig personally, we feel that we know enough about him to always keep him in our hearts. We are forever indebted to you for the sacrifice he has made toward our freedom. Because of him, we will see to it that our children never take freedom for granted. They know who a TRUE American hero is. May they always look up to your son, brother, and friend. We do."
Mike and Susanne Knotts of Haughton, LA

"Thank you Craig. I will not forget what you've done for me."
Lindsay Robinson of Baton Rouge, LA

"To the family and frends of Sgt. Nelson

Having just gone through this ourselves last week, we want to let you know that Craig and all the soldiers of the 256th are in our thoughts and prayers. Craig must surely have been an extraordinary person for 1200 people to attend his service.

Our son, Christopher, loved what he did and would have done anything for his men, including putting himself in harms way.

It seems that one thing both of our sons had in common was their sense of humor. May we take comfort knowing that because of their zest for life it will be easier to keep their memories alive.

Bob and Judy Barnett, parents of 1st Lt. Chris Barnett (11/02/72-12/23/04)"
of Baton Rouge, LA

"To the family of Army Sgt.Craig L. Nelson.... May God be with you during this time of loss. I would personally like to thank you and Craig for the sacrifices you have made and will continue to make in the future. I have total respect for Craig and all has done for my family and this country. May God watch over this warrior that put himself in harms way to protect his beliefs, this country, and the freedoms we all enjoy. Thanks Craig."
J.E. "Rebel" Wren of Doyline/Lake Bistineau,La.

"Thank you Craig for your brave action defending America from those cowards who wish us harm. You are our hero and we will remember you each day we raise our flag in the front yard. God Bless you and may he bring comfort to your loved ones at this time. From a very grateful American family."
The Shaw family of Paadena, Maryland

"Thank you Craig Nelson, 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 Spc. Craig Nelson:
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 Craig 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 Spc. Craig Nelson:
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 Craig, 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