Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Alyssa R. Peterson


27, of Flagstaff, Arizona.
Peterson died from a non-combat weapons discharge in Telafar, Iraq. She was assigned to C Company, 311th Military Intelligence Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Died on September 15, 2003.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. Alyssa R. Peterson.

Links:

Arizona woman, 27, killed in Iraq
Flagstaff GI loved people, languages
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

"In time your truth will prevail. I served briefly with Alyssa at DLI and was present for her memorial ceremony. I never felt that the "non-combat weapons discharge" was an adequate explanation for her death. Let's keep her memory alive."
Former Chaplain of DLI

"God Bless Alyssa and her Family.We also lost a love one in this war,and his last name started with a y,so as I was scrolling down I relized how many women have died & been wounded in this war.I started interviewing some of the women in the military.Some are flying BlackHawk Missions,clearing buildings,searching for bombs.So I decided to write a song about the women who serve,hopeing that it would make everyone aware of what part they are playing in this war.Please go to proudandbrave.com.God Bless all who serve."
Sue Couch of Mt.Morris Mi.

"This is crazy. Nearly ten years after you Alyssa's death. But for some reason I started thinking about her tonight.
I first met Alyssa on the flight to Iraq. We both were in the same tent in Kuwait. I got to know her quite well. We shared music, and talked about the fears of going north.
She was a perfectionist. Constantly listening and working on her language skills. I met hundreds of people in my 7 years in the military. But Alyssa always stuck out in my mind. She always seemed too geniune and kind to be a soldier. For whatever that means. I never saw her again after we arrived in Mosul.
I do remember the day that I was told she had died. I was visiting with a fried who had flown in from another camp who had been stationed near her. She told me that Spc. Peterson who was in Kuwait with us had died.
I saw and dealt with many deaths in my two rotations. But Alyssa from time to time been in my dreams and thoughts. Usually at some of the most odd moments. Amazing the impact a someone can have on you just with their words and actions. I know this is way over due.
But if her mother is still out there. Your daughter was a great person. She had a heart and love for people that was pure. She was encouraging and strong. She was a quiet leader and her impact on people was profound. So much so that after only spending a week or so around her, almost ten years later I can still hear her voice and see her smile. May God Bless you. Thank you Alyssa for your encouragement. I'm sorry I couldn't be there for you when you needed it. I will never forget you."
Jason of Austin, Texas

"You keep popping up in my old DLI stuff. I find you looking out from the sides of pictures I'd forgotten existed. I'm so sorry I never looked into how you died before recently. I didn't want to believe it."
Jamila of Michigan

"- In only 27 years it seems Alyssa lived a more purposeful life than some of us who've lived to old age. Prayers for the Peterson family. - Prayers for all of our fallen soldiers and their families and friends. -"
Sincerely, Margaret (a Gold Star Sister of William - Vietnam) of Chicago, Illinois, USA

"to an America hero that understood right from wrong i will never forget"
brian a hayes of chicago il usa

"Your daughter was a better guardian of liberty and freedom than the cowardly hippocrites that were issuing her orders. She was willing to take her own life rather than participate in the defilement of everything good that America stands for. I will always remember her name as that of not only a soldier, but a hero. I consider it my loss that I never got to know her in life. I hold her commanding officers personally responsible for her death."
Grateful civilian of Las Vegas, NV

"Saint Alyssa pray for me, pray for our conscience's, pray for our souls. Light of our world, pray for me."
EyesWide Open of Philadelphia, Pa

"Torture kills the souls of good servicemen and women by turning them to the service of evil. Alyssa, through your courage and sacrifice you resisted that evil and refused to participate. God bless you."
Joshua Clark of Benicia, CA

"you are an american patriot that could not dishonor your military code by standing up against torture at the cost of your life"
brian a hayes of chicago il usa

"On Fiday, August 20, 2010 your loving father, Richard Peterson, joined you in the Celestial Kingdom. He now knows the truth of how you died and although deeply saddened by his death I rejoice in the reunion of Alyssa and he earthly father who grieved until his last breath."
Mary W. Black of Flagstaff, AZ

"To Alyssa's family and friends,
I did not know your soldier but wanted to send my thoughts of extreeme thanks and gratitude for doing what they did. My name it Kelly (Tyrrell) Zitelman and my younger brother PFC Scott Tyrrell also died "from injuries sustained in Iraq during a non-combat related incident" in 2003. He was near an amunitions hold when it exploded on Nov. 14th and died from his injuries on Nov. 20th at Brooks Army Medical Center, Ft. Sam Houston, TX.
It has been just over 6 years for us...and I just wanted you to know that yours, as well as mine have not been forgotten. I want to thank you for the sacrifice that, not only your soldier, but all of you also gave! I hope that you are able to keep Alyssa's memory alive but have also learned to live with the pain of him being gone. Please know that I will be thinking of all of you and that if any of you ever need to talk with someone "that truely understands"...you can reach me at zitelmanzoo@yahoo.com
Kelly :)"
Kelly (sister to a fellow fallen soldier) of Dixon, IL

"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"
Scott E. Steiner of Worthington, OH

"SPC Peterson, I didn't know you, but shared much of your ideals and upbringing as I too was born in the LDS church, served a mission to the West Indies, and, after seeing the mess in Grenada while I was there in the Caribbean decided I would join the Army when I returned; which I did, and completed 21 yrs of service.

Your death was not by your own hand. I do not believe you killed yourself at all, in fact, it was made to look like this. I have nothing to gain by entertaining these thoughts as I never knew you, and have no memories to support.

I think you saw the torture of detainee's and you objected. You probably had Mossad agents with you, and didn't know it, they probably killed you, and tried to make it look like you did it.

I too served in Iraq, for OIF 2 in 2004. When I returned I became vocal about the war, and the cause of it, the so-called Arab initiated 9-11 attacks on our country.

I too was victim of a bad assassination attempt, with poison, and an induced Pulmonary Embolism as I served in Ft Sam Houston TX in my last year of service to the United States. My 'crime' was warning others of a false-flag operation that could have gotten us into a bigger war. As a result of my speaking out, and attempted hit, I have come to learn about you, and others...CPL Pat Tillman, COL Westhusing (sp), and many others.

When we solve this 9-11 crime, your death will be exposed, your name will be exonerated, and your family will breath easier knowing you did not die by your own hand.

Be well Sister Peterson, I am thinking of you!"
SFC D.B. (R) of San Antonio, TX

"Alyssa, your heroism will never be forgotten, neither by Americans nor by those follow Jesus' teachings.

Alyssa's parents, I pray that you may be comforted in your loss until you see Alyssa's pretty face again. God bless you for raising a godly child."
Vonni of Tulsa, OK

"I remember SPC Alyssa Peterson. I met Alyssa at DLI in Monterey, California. We were both studying Arabic. Alyssa was such a sweet person. I remember that she always had an innocence about her. One day I went to collect my homework assignment from her roommate, Heather. Alyssa was drawing in the corner of her room. I was amazed at her talent. My last memory of Alyssa was when she came to church with Heather and our friends. That was the last time I remember having a conversation with Alyssa. I was in Arizona when I found out that Alyssa had died. I was shocked to see her picture on the news and immediately became numb. I was the one who had to tell our mutual friends of her passing. I had to tell our former unit at DLI of the tragic loss. It was one of the hardest things I have had to do.

Alyssa was a wonderful person. Recently, my friend told me of the news articles updating the cause of her death. I am glad that they haven't given up on Alyssa and her story. I hope that one day we will see justice done regarding Alyssa's sacrifice.

I hope that Alyssa's family takes comfort knowing that so many people regarded Alyssa as a kind, sweet, and generous person with great talent and a soft heart."
Chelsea Russell of Mesa, Arizona

"My morning stopped today. I am sorry I did not know of Alyzza's sacrifice before now. I read the comments on this web site and wept.

To Alyssa's family, I send my most profound heartfelt sorrow for your loss. The comments on this site describe a wonderful young woman.

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know that we will be reunited with our family members after this life. But even that wonderful knowledge, cannot remove all of the pain associated with losing a child.

It is my prayer that your family be continually comforted as you move forward through life. Your beautiful daughter "let her light shine" for her fellow man, her family, friends and acquaintances. How pround your family must be."
Vicki L Loosli-Lyzzaik of Wisconsin

"Alyssa, I wish I had your courage when I served in the military. I am LDS and fell away because I found it difficult to constantly defend my beliefs and morals. You couldn't survive among the evil that surrounded you and I have no doubt you have the peace of your Saviour to comfort you now! Thank you for inspiring me to stand up and choose the right!"
Tennille of Miami Florida

"You will see below my message about the Bybee memo that I wrote long ago. May your death, Alyssa, cause the authors of that memo, and that policy, to lose their legitimacy. Your resistance to torture techniques needs to be told, and I hope it will. Brother Peterson, you should still be proud-very proud of your daughter and her memory."
Fred of Irvine, CA

"Please don't let this death be in vain. The guilt of government officials, army officials and politicians in covering up the true causes of this tragedy must be brought out to prevent more of it."
Dennis Hannon of Chandler, AZ

"I hope she will be remembered for her resistance to torturing prisoners. I wouldn't take it on faith that she killed herself, because like her I question the authority which was over her at the time. She seems to have gone to Iraq with the same idealism she went on a Mormon mission. She sounds like a real American, and I honor her memory."
Dianne Foster of Newton, Massachusetts, USA

"yup, living in the woods sux. CIA operates impostor networks. Perhaps the sick *s will surface an "impostor" to quell what really happened to "Alyssa". Just like the Navy pilot (Speicher/F-18) that was really waxed by a Mig-25 AAM."

"I work with the CIA. This gal was executed ... as in she knew too much. Complete textbook treason, Langley style.

Cowards, Idiots, and *s ..."

"May the people responsible for her death rot in Hell."
Henrik Sønderkær Andersen of Denmark

"God bless Alyssa, a true American patriot! She stood for what is right, at a time when others forgot what America truly stands for. We are sorry we were not there to stand with you!"
JR of Tucson, AZ

"What a beautiful young woman, what moral character. The Lord knew the evilness that she was exposed to, and let Alyssa come home to Him. To her family.....what a beautiful person you beget. God Bless"
Marcia of Shohola, Pennsylvania

"Lord our God, you are always faithful and quick to show mercy.

We pray for our sister who was suddenly and violently taken from us.

Come swiftly to her aid, and grant her mercy and comfort her family and friends,
by the power and protection of the cross.

We ask this through Christ our Lord,

Amen."
Del Wasso of Freeport, Illinois

"Seeing her face made me cry as I thought about how bravely she lived her life. Thank you for loving this country even more than your own life. May you rest in peace and God give your family peace and happiness."
David of New Jersey

"I wish America could know your story without it becoming a political story, espically at this time when we are now being told what you have known and have literately died for. God Bless you."
Sharon Hale-Jenkins of Philadelphia, PA

"Thank you Alyssa for standing up to the depravation that has taken over our country.We will not forget you!May we all show the same humanity and integrity you displayed when confronted with evil. R.I.P."
Louise Ridder of Warner Robins, GA

"Truly a Patriot of conscience. I grieve for our nation's loss and honor her service to us. She will never be forgotten."
Chriss Grawburg of Port Charlotte, FL

"Thank you for showing the real face of american people."
Andrea Z. of Italy

"Alyssa didn't deserve to be subjected to the will of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Unfortunately she is not here to provide important testimony. Be kind to someone to honor her memory. Do it often."
Scott R. Hite of Kalamazoo, Michigan

"Alyssa Peterson was a shining example to all, a true American hero and patriot for displaying empathy and her opposition to torture."
Randy Lofficier of Encino, CA

"A true hero。 We needed more of them"
Ron of Tokyo

"A true patriot. Those who knew her should be proud of her for those heroic, if tragic, last days."
Tom Martin of Fresno, California

"My heart breaks for what Alyssa had to see .... God bless her and her family. This national travesty (torturing) is almost more than I can bear."
Carol Nicola of Santa Fe NM

"I am so sorry for the loss of this brave soldier.My sincere condolences to her family and friends. She was clearly a very moral person and was put in an impossible situation. I am so sorry she had to endure this. She is a true American martyr and hero. I hope those who allowed torture to occur and forced these brave soldiers into this untenable situation will be brought to justice."
Kathryn of Santa Barbara, Ca.

"She was a true hero - a person of conscience who refused to torture. Her story is now being heard by the world, and her actions send a powerful message. In her memory let's help to make a world where refusal to torture is honored rather than reprimanded, and where other people of conscience can live their beliefs."
Kaye of Troy, Maine

"I understand that she took a stand against torture. God bless her!"
Charles Wright of Dothan, Alabama, United States

"I'm sorry we lost that beautiful smile... in a way, I guess you communicated your humanity in a way that would make most people listen - it is unfortunate that those who received the message first were blind and deaf and hid your message from the rest of us."
Lisa of San Diego, CA, USA

"I just read how Alyssa bravely died in Iraq. I think there should be a statue in her honor. She is a defender of our national character, and our constitution. She is a true American hero. As a fellow veteran, I hope our nation finds a way to honor her memory properly."
Timothy Beauchamp of Tulsa, OK

"Allysa is my heroine. She stood against evil and received no praise for it.
She has a star in her crown."
Rhonda Cotner of Traverse City, MI

"Thank you to a true American hero.

Her parents and friends should be very proud of her. We are so sorry for her loss. We need more Americans like her."
Charles Cook of ft. worth, texas

"I've taken time to read the remembrances.
She was a wonderful person who cared for others and her country. No wonder her job with the military pushed her over the edge."
Janet Warner of The Hague, NL

"Alyssa R. Peterson was a true hero and patriot for her refusal to participate in the unconscionable torture of Iraqis. Everyone should teach her story to their children, and remember her this way. I know I will."
Pete of Pottstown, PA

"To the Peterson family
You have raised an honorable young woman with real patriotism, integrity and a person who is a real American heroine I am so sorry for your loss."
Aizaz Haider of Centreville, VA/USA

"With politicians turning their backs on the rule of law and the American ideal, it was good to read of Alyssa Peterson’s brave rejection of torture. It is disturbing to think that she could not receive the support that she needed to resolve her troubles, namely to end the detainee abuse."
Robert Braam of Manhattan, IL. USA

"She is gone, but will never be forgotten."
MIKE TANNER of 816 BLAIR ST. BOHEMIA, NY 11716

"August 20, 2008
To the family of Spc. Alyssa R. Peterson:
Alyssa 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

"SPC Peterson you will forever be a part of me. I think of you everyday."
Liz of FTCKY

"Happy birthday, to a wonderful friend. We miss you."
The Jones Family of Nebraska

"rest in peace"
d of d

"Alyssa,

I can only say you'll be missed, I think about you often. It's the most difficult when weekends like this one comes up. I know you live on and I also know that anyone who fights for freedom, fights for God. Thanks for your service.

Your brother in arms"
Brian Smith of Prescott Valley, AZ

"Alyssa and I went to the same high school and were in a couple of the same classes. I'd often wondered what happened to her and just googled her name and found out. My heart and prayers go out to her family. Alyssa truly was a beautiful person inside and out with a smile and a laugh for everyone. I'll certainly miss knowing her as a woman, but her memory will live forever in me, and her courage and bravery. Rest in peace."
Patricia K. of Seattle, WA

""Nevertheless, we may console ourselves in this point, that they have died in the cause of their country and of their God, yea, and they are happy."
Alma 56:11 Book of Mormon"
Dad of Arizona

"To the Peterson Family, Please accept my wife's and my sincere and loving condolences on the passing on of your daughter and sibling. I just learned about this, and I am near tears and heartbreak to hear about what a tragedy was perpetrated on her. I find it difficult at this time for me to reach for my higher angels to pray for the Army's enlightenment on such matters, but I shall. I have many inspirations in my life, many. But very few heroes. Alyssa, however, is a hero to me. I, for one, shall never forget her. And when I die and go to Heaven [or whatever there is], I hope she is one of the first people I meet there. From now until my last days on this earth, she will be a guiding light for me. Blessings to each and everyone of you in her family. Love & Peace, Diane Ruby & Tom Eckenrode"
Tom Eckenrode of Durango, CO 81301 USA

"To the Peterson family,

Thank you for raising a young woman of honor and integrity, a young woman of whom her country can truly be proud. I am a stranger, but I've been touched by her story and by her courage."
Jim Shultis of Seattle WA

"To the family and friends of Spc. Peterson,
I never met Alyssa, but was moved by her story. I'm so sorry for your loss, and I hope you can find some peace, some comfort, and some answers."
Rachel of Oakland, CA

"I have a twelve-year old daughter and thought of her when I heard about Alyssa's death. How horrified Alyssa Peterson must have been when she realized that the ideals for which she was risking her life--freedom, human rights, the rule of law, our true security--had been abandoned in the name of "patriotism."

She was the true patriot.

Her particular moral crucible and her sacrifice speak volumes about what we need to do to keep our country safe. We must honor the values and conscience of those who go to war in our name.

I pray for her family and mourn their terrible loss."
Linda Norton of Oakland, California

"For two years now, I have been arguing with my sister about the Bybee Memo, a Justice Department memo that said torture only occurs when you hurt someone so bad that a bodily function shuts down. I always believed that we would find the unintended consequences of that "un" torture in cases of tortured persons who struck back. I am an LDS returned missionary who saw some torture consequences in Argentina, and I never believed those consequences would be in my own back yard, as an Arizona native. I saw Alyssa's picture, and saw my daughter in her place. Brother and Sister Peterson, I hurt for you, and hope you'll find solace. How Alyssa must have felt the hopelessness of her situation. While I hope those who authorized the techniques will be brought to justice, I also hope you will someday learn all of the truth about your special and courageous daughter. May God bless you."
Fred of Irvine, CA

"There can be greater honor than to knowingly give your life in the service of duty, conscience, honor, God and Constitution in the face of monstrous evil.

She was and is greatly blessed by parents who raised her to know right from wrong, even in the very heart of darkness itself.

Her sacrifice seems to have achevied significant results, both then, and now as it's full meaning becomes apparent.

It's expected of a soldier to die for the sake of a comrade's life. It is above and beyond that they sacrifice themselves for their comrade's souls.

That is the core of what happened, and in her name we are encouraged to carry on."
Bob King of Reno, NV

"May peace be with Alyssa and her family. How horrible that we have lost such a wonderful, intelligent woman of honor. May God be with you all."
Joann of NY, NY

"Thank you, Alyssa Peterson"
Jennifer Morris of Hyattsville, Maryland, USA

"Thank you for your service and integrity. My condolences are with your family. I cannot express the sadness this story has caused for me. You are in my thoughts..."
Taimi Megivern of Ann Arbor, MI

"Alyssa, you represent the finest our country has to offer. We owe you our gratitude for standing up for the rule of law, and for giving your life for the rule of law."

"Thank you for the "ultimate" sacrifice you made for "us". May your memory live forever!"
Rita Price of Columbus, Ohio

"Alyssa, you are so honest, learning a language is all about building bridges with others, torture is about destroying your links with all humanity, you choose to be human."
Salem Ahmed of Dubai

"God bless you Alyssa R. Peterson, sometimes it is very brave not to face the horror."
samer batter of Dubai, UAE

"She woke up one morning looking in the mirror and did'nt like what she became. Either that or she was murdered....How do I know??? I tried to kill myself during GW1 in which the act changed me. It's the lessor of the two evils, there's no other choice."
Greg of Ocean, NJ

"Alyssa,
You were more brave than many can imagine. Now we have lost a brave soul who stood up to be counted, only to be discounted. You are a true hero."
Patricia J. Akers of Santee, CA

"From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother"
Semper Fi

"I didn't know Alyssa, but we've something in common. I googled my own name one night just weeks after her death and found her and all of postings from people who missed her and her special spirit. We're the same age, same religion, same name, both us temporarily from Kentucky, with seemingly similar loving families, and I sat in my office that night and cried for your loss. You know that your daughter is safe, protected, surrounded by loved ones, and without fear. Please know that even stangers wish and pray for you and all those that miss her. I wish the peace of mind and heart for her family and friends. Thank you for her sacrifice to protect us all."
A. Peterson of Louisville, KY

"I knew Alyssa from DLI. I can't believe it's been 3 years already. I miss her too, she was so special. I remember I used to see her running all the time. She was a wonderful girl. I wish she were here."
Britta Conner of Wahiawa, HI

"Peterson- I just found out, too long afterward. We were in the same Co @ DLI. You never dropped your smile, and that brought one to my face many times. To you and those of us with you in a better place, I raise my hand in salute."
CPL Mccuen of SC

"To the family of: Alyssa R Peterson 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. She 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"

"Your daughter, Alyssa, was remembered on 17 August at a Peace Demonstration on the Court House Lawn in Bozeman, Montana. I was given his name, everyone got names to keep and there were too many names to go around."
Rev. Christie of Bozeman, MT

"I was lucky to meet Spc. Peterson when she arrived in Mosul. I was with the S-4 and she was excited and very cheerful. I send my deepest feelings to her family and say goodbye to a sister in arms."
Sgt. Grant Lanham of Ft. Huachuca Az. USA

"The very day Alyssa died, her Father was talking to me at the Post Office where we both work, in Flagstaff, Az., telling me he had a premonition and was very worried about his daughter who was in the military on the other side of the world. The next day he was notified while on the job by two army officers. Never has a daughter been so missed or so loved than she was and has been by her Father since that fateful September day in 2003. He has been the most broken man I have ever seen. I am so impressed to read all the wonderful words people have written about her and I know that someday she and her Father, Rich Peterson, will have a loving reunion with the Heavenly Father."
Mary W. Black of Flagstaff,AZ, USA

"Hi my favorite soldier,
I've been here many times to leave a message and been unable to finish. I'm touched by your bravery, changing duty assignments after Arabic school, so that a classmate wouldn't be going to Iraq. I can feel only a small part of your feelings as you flew into the area, not knowing what to expect. We've heard such great things about your service in Tel Afar; even though the time was short, you made such a huge impression on those around you.
We recently met an Iraqi lady, who fled Iraq as a child, after her two uncles were hung, and the family made to cheer and applaud as they died. She sends a huge thank you to you and to so many others who have served her country as well as ours. She hopes to someday return to a peaceful and free country.
I'm reminded of you in so many ways, so many times each day. Each of those remembrances is so good. I love you and miss you, and am grateful for your service, and dedication to the good things in life. We'll be together again one day, and what a joyous day that will be."
Dad of Flagstaff, Az

"I met Alyssa when I arrived at Fort Campbell. Her and I where in the same unit 311th MI BN. I can think of many times when we got stuck together cleaning up Rear-D. Painting the steps in front of the Company, buffing the BN Class floor. She was a great person. She will be missed"
Craig Christenson of Fort Campbell, KY

"I met Alyssa only once during a weekend surfing trip while she was at DLI. Although our encounter was brief, she made a lasting impression. We did not know each other well, but I was blown away by her genuine, sincere, sweet nature. I don’t know how else to put it- she was just nice. The kind of nice that makes you want to be more like her; that makes you want to be a better person. In just those few moments she made me feel better about who I was. I can only imagine the impression she left on those that got to know her and truly experience her joy. I was devastated to here of her death. I couldn’t understand why it had to happen to such a wonderful person. All I know is one could spend a lifetime trying to become as wonderful a person as Alyssa already was and she can leave this world knowing that she made a difference. I will never forget her, because of just a brief encounter that left me with the desire to be a better person- more like her. Thank you Alyssa. You are a hero in so many ways."
AW of Los Angeles, CA

"I went to Basic training, Fort Huachuca, and DLI with Spc Peterson. I was shocked to hear the news of her death. My mind floated back to when we met on graduatiion day from DLI. She graduated from arabic and I from korean, and she told me she was eventually going to Iraq. It made me think " if only I could have warned her somehow". She was a the most truthful and kind person I ever met. She is definitely in heaven right now."
Peter Castonguay of Seoul, Korea

""To the Peterson Family"
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Alyssa. I remember when she first came to 311th I issued her most of her equipment to leave to go to war. She had so many questions and i helped her out to the best of my ability so that she would be comfortable for her short stay in the US. But i do want you to know that you are always in my prayers."
Gabrielle Daniel of Montgomery,Alabama

"I knew Alyssa, she did a wonderful job taking care of my grandparents in Flagstaff AZ. Alyssa lived with my grandparents for a couple of years, in a detached annex onto my grandparent's house. When I was in a school in Fort Huachuca (it may have been the Basic Non Commissioned Officer Course), I would drive up to visit my grandparents on the free weekends, and Alyssa was there taking care of them. Alyssa and I got to chatting, and she had a thousand and one questions about the life in the Army, and what an Army linguist does. At that point, Alyssa was not sure of what she wanted to do, when I visited in 1998 or 1999. I was stationed in Japan from 1997 to 2001, and afterwards was stationed in Fort Huachuca as an Interrogation instructor. You can imagine my surprize to see her sitting in my classroom in November 2001! I would like to think that as she chose my job because my talks with her had something to do with her decision to serve our Nation. I was stunned to her that she died in Iraq. I reflected on the last time that I saw her....my Grandparents had decided to move into a Managed Care facility and Alyssa was moving out. At that time I wished her well, and never imagined that she would join the Army and choose my Military Occupational Speciality....Human Intelligence Collector (interrogation specialist). She was so good to my grandparents, and her kindness will not be forgotten. My aunt Agatha and aunt Catherine were asking me recently if I had any way to get ahold of Alyssa's family so that they could send their sympathy and condolences to the Peterson family. Once again, there are no words that I can find that capture my sadness about the loss Alyssa, both to her family and to the Army."
Sergeant First Class Denis Colbert of Fort Huachuca AZ

"I ran into Mitch at the Wal-mart yesterday and found out about Alyssa. I just wanted you to know that my heart goes out to you. I remember Alyssa from the Institute and your family from Spencer and Iris's wedding. Take care. You are all in my prayers."
Julie Mitchell of Flagstaff, AZ

"To the family and friends of Army Spc. Alyssa Peterson, I am deeply saddened by your loss and will keep you and Alyssa in my thoughts and prayers. May God comfort you in your time of grief. God bless Alyssa, she was a true heroe who was devoted to serving her country."
Leslie Cantor of Richboro, PA

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

"I never really spoke much with Alyssa, other than in casual passing, but I spent a week with her as a journalist traveling first from Fort Campbell to DC on a 14-hour bus ride, then a 28-hour flight to blistering hot Kuwait and finally a week in a tent at Camp Wolf, Kuwait, awaiting our flight into Iraq. She was quiet, but seemed to have made close friends with some of the other women soldiers cramped into a tent with dozens of soldiers and five journalists. I returned to the U.S. and to my job at the Kentucky New Era newspaper in Hopkisnville, Ky., in early September after traveling over with Peterson in August. I recall the day her death was reported by The Associated Press. Though I could not confirm I knew Peterson from our time together en route to Iraq until talking with the 101st's public affairs officer who traveled with us, seeing her name and photo come across the wire to our paper gave me an eerie feeling. Since learning of her death, I cannot get the image of the last time I saw her out of my mind. We were walking out of the tent in Kuwait to be briefed on our flights into Iraq as I stepped aside to let her out first. Her smile was brighter than the hot desert sun. Peterson was the only soldier I interacted with that I know died in Iraq. I am truly sorry I had to know any."
Daryl K. Tabor of Ashland City, Tenn.

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

"To Spc Peterson's Family:
Though we are strangers, we want you to know how sorry we are your Alyssa was taken from you. There is no doubt her thoughts were of you, as she served with the Army in Iraq. We will never forget. You are in our hearts."
With Love....Carol & Larry Miller of Tampa, Florida (2/9/04)

"My name is Spc Victoria Espinosa. I am a soldier here in Kuwait, I also was in Iraq for about 7 months. I wanted to write a little something to the family to express my sorrow for them and tell them how sorry I am for their loss. I was shocked when a friend of mine that I went to basic training with had crossed me while we were in Kuwait and she told me the shocking news. She asked me if I remembered Peterson? I told her yes, I too went to basic trainging with her. She was so athletic and the nices person there was always had a good outlook on life. She was very intelligent. I even have pictures of us together at Basic which was 3yrs. ago. I just wanted to say to her family that I'M SORRY and she will never be forgotten!

Spc Victoria Espinosa OIF Soldier"
Victoria Espinosa of Corpus Christi, T.X

"About two weeks ago someone handed me a People's Magazine with all the photo's of fallen soldiers. We're in our last month of deployment and I looked through the photo's for a soldier in my company who had been killed by an IED the 11th of Nov, SPC Marlon P. Jackson. I didn't know him real well but I still had to see his picture and I can't even tell you why. I wasn't looking for anyone else and the thought that I'd know anyone else didn't even cross my mind. Alyssa and I were in Basic Training together. My first night I arrived very late in the evening. I was shown to the barracks and just as I entered the door the light was shut off on myself and the other female soldier I was with. Instantly the idea that I had made a huge mistake seemed to come over me. It was Alyssa who got her flashlight and helped us to an empty bunk. Something about that calmed me. Maybe its not the most important thing to remember about her. I guess I just remember how nice she always was. How solid she seemed. How helpful to everyone. I can't say I kept in touch or that I've even thought of her or anyone from then, but I swear I'll never forget her again. Next month I'll be home with my family and friends. There are no words for how fortunate I feel for my life, nor enough I could possibly say to her family. I wish there was."
PFC Ann M. Little of New York Currently Deployed

"Thank you Alyssa Peterson, 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 had to write a short note to give my condolences and tell of a strange coincidence. I did not know Alyssa, but my sister noticed her name in the People magazine spread. I was pregnant with my daughter when Alyssa was killed, a week later a gave birth to a precious little girl who we named Alysa. Although I didn't know about Alyssa death at the time, I feel honored to have my daughter carry the same name."
Laurie Peterson of Little Rock, Arkansas

"Rich.I just read your message on the main message bord.First let me say how sorry I am for your loss. I lost my husband May 1st in Iraq. I have been ask alot of the same things you have about the war and I have never been able to put into words how I feel. But after I read what you wrote. I know how I feel. and wanted to say thank you for saying it all. I hope as time goes by things may get a little better for you and yours.It is so hard to lose the people that mean the world to us. I know they would want us to go on and to be ok,so we try for them.again I am sorry for your loss.And my thoughts are with you."
Melissa Givens of Fountain Co. USA

"Alyssa and I served in the Army together and were in the same Arabic class at the Defense Language Institute in California. I want her family to know that she was an inspiration to me for many reasons. She always strived to be an exemplary leader and soldier through her physical, mental, and group accomplishments. She persevered through setbacks, discouragements, and disappointments during the intense 16 month course to learn one of the world's most challenging languages. Not only did she succeed in learning Arabic, she completely surpassed some of the expectations others had for her by her determined study and high test scores. She encouraged me personally to never forget my love for creating art in any form possible, and always managed to ingeniously extract time from her overwhelming schedule to create art of her own. However, the most memorable and inspirational component of Alyssa's character was her faith and undying love for God. Even though we did not always share the same views, she helped me to find a now deep seated respect for her and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although I was devastated by the loss of my friend and sister, I can smile even now, because there is no doubt in my mind that she sits at the right hand of God. Thank you to her family for sharing her with us, and I would love to share with you my memories of her."
Ami Michelle Langford of 1003 Pleasant Street, Framingham, MA 01701

"SPC Peterson was a special person and will definitely be missed by many. I know that here at the Defense Language Institute where she studied Arabic that she impacted many people, including myself. I still have a book that she gave me and a friend of mine has a picture that she drew for her. My thanks to SPC Peterson and her family for giving their all to this country and to the people of Iraq. May God Bless all our soldiers that are in harms way."
SFC Scott K. Moyer of Monterey, CA

"It seems that we always lose the best. Alyssa sounds like a bright shining star. Thanks for sharing your memories of her with me. Thanks for sharing her with the world. Our family is thinking of you and praying for you. We are so grateful for a sure knowledge that we will be with our loved ones again. God bless you at this most difficult time. May he encirle you in our Savior's healing wings. Until we "meet again at Jesus' feet." Thank you Alyssa, for your service for me, our country and the Iraqi people."
Julie Cawley Hanson, sister of another fallen, SSgt. James W. Cawley, USMC of Roy, Utah

"To the family of Alyssa:
As the sister of another LDS Soldier who died during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Marine Staff Sgt James Cawley, I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to you and thank Alyssa for the tremendous sacrifice she has made in behalf of her country. Our family's thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of grief, but we live with the sure knowledge that we will see our loved ones again. Thank you Alyssa for your service to the Lord and your country."
Debbie Cawley Seamons of Allyn, Washington

"To the family and friends of Army Spc. Alyssa R. Peterson. Our prayer for you is that the wonderful memories you have of Alyssa will somehow be a source of comfort to you at this time. Her life is a testament of a person who was committed to excellence in ALL that she did! She will truly be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Prayerfully Yours - The Siberts Family"
Kathleen of Redondo Beach, California

"To the family and friends of Spc. Alyssa Peterson:
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 Alyssa for the sacrifice she 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. Alyssa Peterson:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. She 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 Alyssa, 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