Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Ross A. Pennanen

36, of Shawnee, Oklahoma.
Pennanen was on board a CH-47 Chinook Helicopter when it went down in Al Fallujah, Iraq. The cause of the incident is unknown and an investigation is underway. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Died on November 2, 2003.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Sgt. Ross A. Pennanen.


Contributions to the Families of the Fallen


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

Please report inappropriate messages

"RIP Ross. You are never forgotten!"
Marvin Jones Former soldier 1-22 FA Ft.Sill, OK (2001)

"I am so sorry."
C John of Sulphur, Oklahoma USA

"12 years have gone by today since you've passed.......... Still feels like moments ago. I miss you man"
Cory Reynolds of Lyons NY

"To be Europeanised But I think, a formal enforcement actions when necessary., Phen375 Reviews, 436, Phen375 Results, uhdxuq,"

"sgt. pennanen was someone i wanted to be like as a young solder. he know what to say to people to get them motivate to do anything. it has been almost 10 years now and i still rember the forth of july we spent in irqa. he is truly missed one of the best americans i had ever meet. my prays goes to his whole family."
Donney Schultz of Borger, Tx USA

"I feel guilt because Ross looked up to me because I went to the Marines in 1990 and was in Deaert Storm and Somalia. I partied with him a couple of times when I can home to Mcloud and he told me he was proud of me. I told him you should try the military, even though I told my buddy you don't have the balls to be a Marine. I ended up doing more time in the Military and when I heard my little brother was killed I still went to Iraq in 2008 for my last tour. I miss him and I feel guilty for being an influence."
Larry Wayne Ponkilla of Eagle Pass, Texas

"miss you bro, you're the *in man and always will be. Good times back in Charlie bat............."
Danny Smethurst of San Jacinto, CA

"Rosspennanan@gmail.com is the correct email associated with Ross's facebook page."
Tim Harper of Midwest City, Ok

"I made a facebook page for Ross. Rosspennannan@gmail.com feel free to comment there."
Tim Harper of Midwest City, Oklahomaq

"Ross, I wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you on this Veterans day. We met at the "welcome barracks" and from there we we're both assigned to 212th FA brigade although we went to separate battalions. I could always count on great conversation and a cold beer with you at the Impact Zone. It was an honor to call you my friend and brother in arms. Thank you for your service, your sacrifice. You will always be missed and never forgotten."
SGT Joseph Lee of Houston, TX

"Ross A Pennane is truley a american Hero my thoughts are with gage"
Ro Hurta of Tecumesh oklahoma pott

"my dad ross alan pennanen was a wonderful man he is loved and missed every day"
gage alan pennanen of 604b.east elizabeth, tecumseh, ok. 74873 unitied states

"Hey Penn, I just wanted to let you know that you are greatly missed bro. Serving with you was a great honor. You raised the bar for a lot of us young troops entering the Army. As far as I can remember everyone wanted to be like you. You had the best looking uniform that was stiff as a board, and those highly shined boots that all Soldiers envied. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of you and the rest of the Soldiers that we lost on the 2nd day of November. Not to mention our first casualty SPC. Navea on 27 August 2003. Every once in a while I canít help, but break down and cry. Thinking of how sad this world is without great individuals like you and all other Service Members who have made that ultimate sacrifice. Itís very over whelming. I have currently been staying here at Ft. Sill for BNOC (ALC), and seeing the memorial that has been left for you and the others still hits me hard. You know what though; the strength I get to move forward is that of yours and the others. It drives me to be the best that I can to push my troops to be the best they can be, and become successful in what they do in and out of work. You were always someone I looked up to and still do. Today is your day, our day, and I salute you brother. May God bless you and your family. Happy Veterans Day!"
SSG Carreto, William of Ft. Bliss, TX

"To Pennanen's family, I am very sad for your loss, but very greatfull to have served with him. I was stationed with him in Ft Sill, with 2-5 FA. Ross was a good friend and an awesome soldier. He always wanted to learn and be the best at what ever task was given to him. He was a very cool and mellow guy and always had a grin on his face, unless he was conducting a fire mission. I remember last seeing Ross when i was getting out of the Army, he and a few other soldiers wished me good riddons into the civilian life. I am glad that I was able to at least give a toast to you my good friend. May your family know they have one of the best Angels in heaven. Peace Brother.
Steban T. Ramos of Copperas Cove, Tx 2544668375

phillip ingram of college station, tx

"Sgt. Pennanen. I enjoyed the time we spent in Iraq and all the things you helped me with at 2/5. November 2nd is the hardest time of the year for me because we lost so many including you. I miss you Sgt. Pennanen. To the Pennanen family I just want you to know he was the true meaning of how a soldier should be and I respected and looked up to him for that. Please accept my condolences this November 2nd and to his son you should be proud to be the son of a true American Hero."
Phillip Ingram of College Station, Tx

"For my cousin Ross miss u every day always thinking of u. You were one of my favorites. I remember when all of kids use to play in the hay and grain at our grandparents in Taloga, OK
Tammie Kimball of Bella Vista, Ar

"Hey Penn...its morales, just stoping by to say hello...everythings good with me...just trying to find my way...however i can seem to adjust here nomatter how long the years go by...i still wanna be back in unform...chilling with all the guys and giving each other a hard time...lol..its funny how you dont know how much you can miss someone until there not there...i think about you every day...going back into the army is the only thing that will make me feel like im making you proud...every day i think about what you have said...not only to me but to all of us..you kept us together...i will make sure everyone knows who you are and what you did.

Robert Morales of North Hollywood

"Hey Penn, I was thinking aboout you today. I'd give anything to have you back, but I know your in a better place. I love you bro!

Kelly Harlow of Troy VA

""To the family of Ross A. Pennanen ,I am so sorry for the loss of your love one.He died a hero.May you know 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 someone to pray with you or 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""


"Thinking of you on this Veteran's Day Ross. Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice. You will never be forgotten."
Brenda of Bakersfield, CA

"Hey Penn its Morales again....again like every year me and mike get together..and remember the day of your passing...we are all doing good or as good as we can be doing....stewart is still having a hard time with adjusting but finds a way to pull through....I plan to make a visit to the cemetary were they laid you to rest...but again I just want to say you will never be forgotten."
Roberto Morales of North Hollywood CA

"Hey you, it's me again. Just wanted to let you know that i think about you daily and that i miss you. Please watch over me and my daughter and protect us. you were ALWAYS there when i needed you, thank you.. i will always love you..."
monica of oklahoma

"well where do i start? Ross you were my first love and one of my best friends. i remember we used to go riding on your motorcyle and ride all day and we would go somewhere quiet and talk. things we couldnt talk to no-1 else about. you would talk to me about joining the army, you and i both. we see now who the brave 1 was. we had our little arguements every now and then but we always made up. i think we would fight just so we could make up!!! yea them were the good ol days. i'll always love you. i heard about your dad passing away the other day. now you 2 can b 2-gether again. i knew how important it was for you to make him proud of you, trust me sweetie, he was VERY proud of you, and he missed you dearly when you left us. i love you my friend. cant waith to see on the other side! save me a spot...."
monica of shawnee,oklahoma

"If you want to visit Ross, his grave is located at GPS coordinates: N 35.95972 W.-097.52255"
Tim Harper SR 85 of OKC Oklahoma

"I still think of you, and my fondest memories of you are in High School. I was so surprised when I heard your name on KTOK. I just didnt want to belive it, but with a name like yours I just knew it was you. This year I plan to take a motorcycle ride in your memory, and visit your grave often. I just want everyone to know I knew Ross In his child hood, and growing up and miss him. He was really funny then too."
Tim Harper of Mcloud/OKC Oklahoma

"Hey Penn, just wanted to let you know that I still think about you, and miss you very, very much. I remember going through basic with you, and once I got to 2/5 I was so happy to see you there. You were a true soldier, and the best friend a man could ask for. I still remember the day that you left, I was on the .50 and you and I talked about you getting to leave. You were glad, but also wanted to see other soldiers go home before you. I love you man. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Pennanen family.

Kelly Harlow of Charlottesville, VA

"If anyone would like to share messages of comments about our fallen hero/friend please email.. i miss this guy like no other... mikemulari@hotmail.com"
Mike Mulari of Riverside, CA

"I love and miss you brother."
Mike Mulari of Riverside, CA

"It's been five years and we continue to carry our fellow Soldiers in our hearts. God bless you today."
Josh Peters of Indianapolis, IN

"November 2, 2008
To the family of Sgt. Ross A. Pennanen:
Ross 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"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"On this upcoming fifth anniversary of the tragic day you left us Penn I just want everyone to know that you are not forgotten me and mike always remember your day and for myself the pain does not subside, not for a second. I've often asked the lord.” Why... Why do the good people have to go why! oh lord cant you keep them here to help the rest of us make this world just a little bit brighter with all the chaos in the world we needed him.” you will forever be missed…my brother… until we meet again Penn!!!!"
Roberto Morales of Palmdale CA

"i spent many hours hangingout before going out our conversations very insightfull and i picture you having the same with the lord thanks brother"
Sgt Jason Preston of Dallas tx

"Every time I look at your picture my stomach drops and my heart misses a beat. Why did god take such a great American? I will never forget you brother. I love you."
Mike Mulari of Riverside, CA

"Hey Ross... Remember that July 17th rumor when we were in Iraq?!? Gosh, if only that rumor were true.. You would probably be getting a wedding invitation in the mail pretty soon because you would still be here with us. I miss you brother. Words can't describe the grief we all go through to lose such an awesome person. I love you man. P.s I'm getting married on September 20th, I finally found a GREAT woman.!"
Mike Mulari of Riverside Cali

"it is April 31, 2008 and I would just want to let the pennanen family, know that his memory is still present with me. me and Mulari always remember his the tragic day and in my culture november 2nd is known as day of the dead. which is mexico's version of holloween, and we honor our dead with display of his memory. to the pennanen family their is not a day that goes by that I dont think about my brothers and the harsh times we spent. i wear a KIA bracelet of him everyday. he is my friend, my brother, a soldier whom I admired and respected I miss you Ross everyday!!!! nothing is the same. nothing will ever be the same!"
Roberto Morales of Palmdale CA

"To the Pennanen family, my deepest condolences to you for the loss. I was SGT Penn platoon sergeant and good friend, I remember taking him to the airbase were he was going on R&R, he did not wanted to go, he wanted to stay and work because we were so short of personal. Two nights before he left us, I remember we sat down in our beds and laugh and joke around about the good times we had at fort sill during funeral details and training events. I will always remember him and the others will never forget you. We became very good friends and will always be. Love and miss you, Smoke Ramos."
Smoke Ramos MSG USA (RET) of Dallas, Texas USA

"I am one of the people who knew Sgt. Penn as a combat veteran. He was a God fearing soft hearted man who many of us soldiers looked to for leadership. He came to my platoon quarters very distrought after the passing of SPC Rahpael Navea.(May he rest in peace)It was unbeknownst that he too would pay the ultimate price for the freedom of many. My heart goes out to his family and all who love him. He was a truly honorable man."
Adonis Jordan of Miami, FL

"Im just now writing this years after Penn's death. I remember seeing the article in the paper(which I saved) and the picture of his boots back at Ft. Sill. Penn was a great guy. and I dont know anyone who thought ill of him. I trained with him at Ft. Sill In 3rd PLTN of the 1/22 FA E BATT. He was always willing to help anybody he could. I remember taking his picture with the sun behind him so he could send it home to his children. He looked the true definition of a soldier and he was one. I offer my love and condolences to his family and feel priveleged to have known such a fine human being. Good bye Ross, well all see you again some day."
Matt Dunnam of Mobile,Alabama

"I would like to send my deepest condolences to the Pennanen family.
the world is a darker place without him. I had the priviledge of serving with, but most importantly I had the honor of being his friend. He had the natural ability to keep the battery together and always tried his best to keep us Friends
I will always love and miss you!!!!!
Unti we meet again."
Roberto Morales of Santa Clarita

"I just want to leave another note for the Pennanen family. I am leaving the country for memorial weekend. But I want EVERYONE to know, that Ross is still remembered. I love him and miss him more than anything.."
SGT Michael L Mulari Jr of Riverside, CA

"To the family of Ross my name is Elder Aguilar I serve with Ross I always looked up to him he was the best that he could be all enlistees would look up at him, I still remember when he made up a cadence called "the men in the black beret" Ross you will always be in my heart and prayers miss you brother."
Elder Aguilar of Amarillo, Texas

"Ross...We did it ALL together.. Side by side in Iraq. I remember the morning of November 2nd. You were brushing your teeth, joking around with me.. Once your were finished you put a dip of tobacco in your mouth and it about grossed me out!! I wish you could have just stayed there with me man... I miss you so much it really hurts. I love you man. You were definetly ONE OF A KIND. I cant think of anyone who disliked you. I miss you man.. Love Mike enemyofdaworld@hotmail.com"
SGT Michael L Mulari Jr of Riverside, CA

"I wear a differerent uniform now - traded in my Army Green and went back to Navy Blue - I am a hybrid borne of many mentors in the military and you all have shaped my life to make me what I am today. There is hardly a day that goes by when I don't think about all of you; Keelan, Joe, Joel, Steven and Paul. I can see you all on that helicopter and on your way home - coming back and telling me just how much fun you all had with friends and family - relaxing, smiling and taking in the moments at home. Well, you all made it home - with any grace, you will welcome me into that same "home" someday, and we can sit, talk and laugh about a life long past - but a good one none the less!"
HM2 Peter A. Gutierrez of Camp Lemonier, Djibouti - Horn Of Africa

"Ross was truly American, in all that it means to be American. I remember the last time I spoke with him outside of Charlie battery...truly a model soldier and person for us- a role model for the younger soldiers who worked with him. I am honored to have known him. To this day, he is not forgotten. Thank you, Ross."
J. Heller of APO, AE

"To the Pennanen Family:
02 NOV is my birthday. I was a soldier in Iraq who got to come home for two weeks' leave on that day. I remember my best girl friend who was still in Iraq calling the house I grew up in to see if I was ok. I remember getting off the phone and crying, literally, all day. I felt so selfish for coming home and thought that if we didn't get R&R, men and women wouldn't have to die transporting us as your Ross did. All I wanted to do was go back to Iraq and finish the fight. Your son's unselfishness and courage to bring soldiers such great joy means so much to me and all the rest of us. He was truly heroic. God bless you all."
SGT LeAndra Pedersen of Woodland Hills, CA

"Dear Ross's family, The other day at my synagogue for the Jewish New Year, all members of the congregation received the name of a Fallen Hero. I recieved Ross's name. I wanted to let you know that we all prayed for Ross and that he should rest in Peace. I also pray for you."
Joyce Ben-Kiki of Newington, Ct.

"It is a strange feeling to find the namesake, under such circumstances... Very sad..."
Aleksi Pennanen of Turku, Finland

"I want to thank the family of Ross Pennanen. I never knew Ross, but my brother Tony considered him his best friend. I want to thank those around Ross who shaped his life into one of profound love and courage. He will always be remembered by my family."
Adriana of San Diego

"I did not know Ross. But he was a friend to my son, Paul (Tony) Velazquez. They died together in Iraq. To Ross' family today on Memorial Day, I can only say I am so sorry. I know we are both proud of our men. I know we wish we could tell them in person."
Beth Velazquez, Tony's mom of San Diego, CA

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

"To Sgt Pennanen's Family:
Though we are strangers, we want you to know how sorry we are your Ross was taken from you. He is our hero. You are in our hearts. We will never forget."
Carol & Larry Miller of Tampa, Florida (2/24/04)

"My condolences for the family and friends of Sgt. Pennanen."
Tero Pennanen of Helsinki / Finland

Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Ross, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"Rest in peace brave soldier!"
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"Light a candle for your soldier.


"Though I do not know Ross, my brother Steven Conover was stationed in Fort Sill with him and died in the same fatal attack with him. I am sorry for you family's loss. Nothing can take away the pain, but kind words can heal the heart. Ross was a hero and I am thankful for the sacrafice that he and Steve made for my freedom. You are in my thoughts and prayers."
Corrie Simpson of Wilmington, Ohio USA

"Osanottomme myŲs meiltš suomalaisilta,"
Valtteri of Finland

"Thank you Ross Pennanen, 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

"I was good friends with Ross in high school and was very sad to hear of his passing. My brother was also good friends with him. He had a wonderful sense of humor and a great personality. He is truly missed. I will forward these messages as I can to try to get them to his family."
Kristen of Boston, MA USA

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Ross Pennanen:
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 Ross 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. Ross Pennanen:
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 Ross, 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