Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Cpl. Andres H. Perez

21, of Santa Cruz, California.
Perez died as result of enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. Died on November 14, 2004.

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"It is Memorial Day weekend again. I was holding my son and I began thinking about you and the rest of our fallen brothers. I told him how you are one of my heros and I hope one day he will understand the importance of this day and of your sacrifice. Your picture is hung in my home and I think about you often. Rest easy brother."
Cpl. Dustin Christian USMC of Dayton, OH

"It is Memorial Day weekend again. I was holding my son and I began thinking about you and the rest of our fallen brothers. I told him how you are one of my heros and I hope one day he will understand the importance of this day and of your sacrifice. Your pictures is hung in my home and I think about you often. Rest easy brother."
Cpl. Dustin Christian USMC of Dayton, OH

"Hey Dre,
Just passing thru to let you know your nephew is everything his name says he should be ... Angel Andres. He is raising his parents very well, definetly giving your sister and my son a run for their money ... lol. Thinking of you often and knowing you're never far away ... Love you"
Tina (Angel's Mom) of Staten Island, N.Y.

"Dear Perez family,
While life's business makes many of us forget about the young men and women serving in the deserts and mountains of Iraq and Afghanistan I am often reminded of the sacrifice of Andres by the small sticker I have in my office. I wish all of you peace on this Memorial Day.

Andres has not been forgotten."
John Gillette of Santa Cruz, Ca

"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, Ohio USA

"I try to think of the good times we had. My pain is so deep. I miss you Perez. My tears come and go."
Derek Porter of Oak Park, CA/USA

"November 15, 2008
To the family of Cpl. Andres H. Perez:
Andres 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

"To the family of:Andres H. Perez 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"

"Andres was one of my best friends. I miss him with all my heart. He was the guy who everyone got along with. He was funny, loving, smart, and genuine. In high school he was my brother bear, he was always looking out for me and offering great advice. I can remember the times he would call me from Virginia when he was at his post; he would sing to me and tell me jokes to make me laugh. He know how much I worried about him, but some how he had that magic of his that made me always feel at ease. The night he before he was scheduled to leave for Iraq he had a big party with all of his family and closest friends. My memory of that night was of him being his silly self throwing little fire crackers at us girls, singing, dancing, and taking ridicule for having no eye brows. The night ended with his usual huge and kiss good-bye, however, I refused to say good-bye instead I said I will see you later. He told me he loved me and we parted ways. He will be dearly missed by so many, and remembered by all. Rest in peace my sweet friend."
Gloria Benabides of Santa Cruz, CA

"Andres was one of my best friends. I miss him with all my heart. He was the guy who everyone got along with. He was funny, loving, smart, and genuine. I can remember the times he would call me from Virginia when he was at his post; he would sing to me and tell me jokes to make me laugh. The night he before he was scheduled to leave for Iraq he had a big party with all of his family and closest friends. My memory of that night was of him being his silly self throwing little fire crackers at us girls, singing, dancing, and taking ridicule for having no eye brows. The night ended with his usual huge and kiss good-bye, however, I refused to say good-bye instead I said I will see you later. He told me he loved me and we parted ways. He will be dearly missed by so many, and remembered by all. Rest in peace my sweet friend."
Gloria Benabides of Santa Cruz, CA

"I dated Andres for a short time while I was a freshamn in high school. He was such a sweet guy. We would always joke about our height, him being over 6 feet and me being just under 5. I was stunned by the news and I just wanted everyone to know that he was a great guy and even though we weren't together long he still touched my life. I will always remember him. He will be missed!"
Jennifer of San Jose, CA

"It is hard to bite back tears even now, two years on since Andres left our physical world. He meant so much to so many, I never knew anyone like him and can't imagine that I will again. He taught me so much about standing up to your own word, living up to your highest expectation. I disagreed with him many times, but never fought with him, every decision he made was made with so much thought I could not argue him out of it, nor did he ever try to talk me out of my own pig-headed stuborn ideas, he supported me even when he knew I was wrong.
A silly picture of him, from our time in highschool, hangs over my desk at work to remind me that we must give of ourselves for the greater good. His bravery, honor and sacrafice inspires me to fight the battles I have been called to fight. I work to do things he would be proud of, though I know he would support me no matter what.
Thank you to his family for all the strength and support you have been to his friends and for sharing your beautiful son with us."
Beth Lighty of Tacoma, WA

"I still can't explain how he died and I lived. That thought will never leave me. Goodbye Andres..."

"Family of Sgt.Perez, I think of you and your son often. My nephew,Cpl. Michael D.Anderson. was your boy's best friend. I share your sadness...it is now a year they have been gone from us and it has been a hard one for us all.I only wish they could have come home safely to us but that was not to be. I send LOVE and will always have you all in my heart. I am so very proud of Mike and Perez. They defended and sacrificed for our beloved Country so bravely. They will never be forgotten!"
Aunt Kathy Anderson of Sonoma, CA

"TO THE PEREZ FAMILY....I AM THINKING OF MY DEAR FRIEND, AS THE DAY APPROACHES THAT HE WAS TOOKEN FROM THIS EARTH. MAY PEACE BE WITH YOU ALL AND ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT, YOUR SON AND BROTHER WAS A GREAT HEREO AND WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR HEARTS. I WILL NEVER FOR GET THE TIMES I SPENT WITH HIM NOR THE WALKS HOME FROM HARBOR HIGH. HE WILL BE IN MY HEART ALWAYS. MAY GOD BE WITH YOU ALL."
MARISA ROMERO of SCHWEINFURT,GERMANY

"To the Perez family I am truely sorry for the loss of your great son. He was my best friend in the Corps and a part of me died when I found out he gave his life for his country, marines, and family. Honor Andres cause very few men like him come into our lives. I thank God for his true friendship and our great memories.
Your Brother,
J.R."
Cpl. John R. Quiroz of San Antonio, TX

"I thought of Andres again this weekend as his classmates begin to graduate from college. They carry him in their view of themselves and in their view of the world, in what they know of honor, in what they will expect of themselves and in how they treasure friendships.

When asked what stereotype he felt was most wrong about him personally, he said that it hurt him that because he was a big Latino football guy (this was pre-USMC) that some people assumed he was disrespectful of women. His life always showed his affection for his sisters, respect for his mother and father and his regard for others, even those with very different views from his.

His loss is felt, his name is honored more times than you might imagine, and by many more people than you could name."
M. McClaren of Santa Cruz, CA

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

"To Mr.and Mrs. Perez; Sandra and Elvira,
I am deeply saddened to know of your loss and would like to extend my sincerest condolences to you all. Andres was a special young man who touched many lives during his short life. His close connection to his sisters was evident to me during the time I had him as my student. Andres spoke of his little sister, Elvira, with affection and Sandra, being a caring older sister, did a great job of keeping her little brother in line : ). Andres and I had a great teacher-student relationship by the time that year was over thanks to his sister's positive influence. I would like to share a wonderful recent memory of Andres.
About two 1/2 years ago Andres saw me driving down the street in Santa Cruz and flagged me down. "Mrs. Spisak!, Mrs. Spisak! Pull over! He gave me a great bear-hug. I was surprised he still remembered me! He wanted me to know that he appreciated "his Spanish teacher". At the time he shared he might have a possible assignment to Camp Pendleton. His commitment to his field was so evident. I knew he'd found his life's calling. I was also worried about his safety because the possiblity of his going to battle was real. But I realized Andres wasn't afraid of that possibility. He was willing to serve 100%. I'm personally very grateful to him for his ultimate sacrifice. His memory is inspirational to me and all who have known him. With deepest sympathy, Mina Spisak--mspisak@kirby.org"
Mina Marmol Spisak of Santa Cruz, CA

"To the family of CPL Andres H Perez,

Thank you for your son who gave his life for us. Along side of CPL Michael D Anderson.
This is Michael's aunt in South Carolina, when the boys came to the house we enjoyed them so much. May the peace of God rest with all."
Marline L Hawkensen of York, South Carolina

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

"To Andrés' 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. !Que el Señor los cuide y les de fortaleza a todos!

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, TX
gloria.caldas@banksterling.com"

"To Andres' Family:
There are no words to express the sorrow we feel for your loss. May God bless you and help you through this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"Thank you for the gift of Freedom. I will honor it in your memory."
P Bell of Macon,Ga

"To the family and friends of Corporal Andres H. Perez,

Those we hold most dear, never truly leave us. May you find comfort in love's everlasting connection.

In the Support section of this web site you will find links to many groups that support you at this crucial time. The Marine Comfort Quilt group would be honored to send a quilt to the next of kin. There are many, loving and caring Americans from all over the United States that will never forget the sacrifice that your loved one has made for our Freedom. Please register so we can send you our "Love Stitched Together."

Proud Marine Mom and Proud Member of Marine Comfort Quilts"
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca

"Thank you Andres Perez, 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 Cpl. Andres Perez:
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 Andres 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 Cpl. Andres Perez:
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 Andres, 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