Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Jacob M. Pfister

27, of Buffalo, New York.
Pfister died in Baghdad, Iraq, when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near his dismounted patrol. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia. Died on April 19, 2005.

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"To this day we all think about you puck. I dont know what there is to say its years later and I still cant believe it. Some day we will meet on the other side."
Sig Ep NYH of Rochester NY

"GONE BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN... i was one of your fuelers from support platoon and ran several ammo missions for you guys before we all got sent over to iraq. I Remembered the night i found out at the barracks on Camp Falcon....you and Wessel were together and did all you could to stop that terrorist from hurting anymore of our boys. We didnt know each other very well but I WILL NEVER FORGET BROTHER...COTTON BALERS BY GOD, DAMN FINE SOLDIERS"
BILL WOOD of Grand Rapids, MI

"Every year, in april, I remember Jacob. The day I walked to the barracks to see if you were there, cause everyone was busy for days at the time. I asked where is Jacob? is he upstairs? I knew I had heard something but I still wanted to go upstairs in total denial that anything had actually happened to Jacob. It was just painful, just wishing that what I'd heard then was untrue, wasn't prepared, no one is or was, no one would be prepared to lose a friend early. I've known Jacob for a brief time, but we connected like brothers instantly, as both of us were very much into music, and how you wanted it to make a career out of it by going to study sound engineering and music at university of Texas at Austin. I still have "The Wall" pink floyd's film that you gave me. What a cool and funny guy. It isn't even fair writing this here. Daughter was due July in 2005 if I could remember right. I wish his daughter the best, and hope she knows that Jacob was the nicest and very down to earth person with such an easy going attitude. It's kinda hard to stay "chill" and "funny" when it's 120 degrees out, but it wasn't hard to do for Jake. Respect to Jacob and to the ones who raised you, and to the little girl."
Stephen of Texas

"Jake, I got to know you a little bit when I first got to the unit. You made me feel welcomed and made my time in stewart a little more comfortable. Brother, I miss you and I wear your bracelet 24/7 I never take it off. I just wanted to stop by and let you know that you are not forgotten. I will always remember the good times we had in stewart and in Iraq. God Bless You!"
Desmond Lackey of Rock Hill, SC

"Jake AKA "Puck": Thinking of you, and the wife and child you left behind. May you watch over them until they join you on the other side : ("
Devon of Amherst, NY

"I was with Jake on patrol the day he was killed. I asked him for a cigarette right before we moved to where he was taken from us. He was always willing to help and give what he had. "All gave some, but some gave all. I miss you Jake."
Andre Beasley of Fort Wayne, IN

"These was like a punch in my stomach when I seen this today I was on the 3/7 web site when i seen this. I was pfister first roomate when he got to fort stewart he was ther for about eight months before I ets. I remeber asking him why he joined he was playing collage football he said to serve my country the whole time in the army I never heard anyone give me that answer."
mike lindie of ooltewah, tn USA

"Jacob, I've sent a wreath to the Veterans Memorialwhere your name is inscribed in your memory. Merry Christmas and thank you for being such a good friend to Ryan."
Mary of Clarksville, TN

"Dear Jake, as you seem to be remembered here, though you will always be Puck to me, I was saddened to learn of your passing, and to learn that you left a family behind. I will leave the philosophical waxing to others, I will just say that you were an enigmatic person that will be remembered by all who met you. You and I both had the habit of stepping on toes and declining to apologize, you had your own view of the world, and you took care of yourself and those who meant something to you. I hope that you've found peace in Heaven, and that you are with God now. See you when I see you, we were so alike that I have no doubt that we're going to wind up in the same place.

Your Brother,

Brian"
Brian "Lansky" Grutman of New York, NY

"Jacob,
I miss you man! It seems like yesterday when you talked about how you wanted to move to TX for school..us trading music cd's, the football games on xbox, the extra ammo you carry and I asked you why all this ammo? you smiled and said "gotta be ready man, this would solve problems in no time" so, "JP" will be carved on my guitar man, I know how passionate you are when it comes to music. I wish your family the best brother, the daughter is almost 4 now I believe, I wish your family the best. this message is late but you're never forgotten brother."
Steve of Iowa

"For all of you who knew Jake there is a place our family goes to honor him. It was his wish to be cremated and some of his ashes were scattered on the Warrior's Walk at his tree on the grounds of Ft. Stewart, GA. His remaining ashes are at home with his Family in NY according to his wishes. In WNY on Erie Rd in Derby, NY there is a Fallen Veterans Memorial Park. My family regularly visit there. Jacob's name is inscribed on a stone and the 3rd Infantry Flag is next to Him. Yesterday we took him his beer and cigarette and we just hang out. He loved North Evans and the town of Evans and He and His memory will always be here. All My Love, Mom"
Amy MacGregor-Morrisey of North Evans, NY USA

"April 16, 2009
To the family of Spc. Jacob M. Pfister:
Jacob 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

"Hey Jake I miss you man. You were a good friend, teacher, and soldier"
SGT Matt Shultz of Ft. Lewis, Wa

"Jake you were one of my best friends.You made Hinesville livable and I think of you every day.I miss you more than words can say."
Tiffany Raspa of Ft. Huachuca Az.

"I served with Jake for a short time and was in his squad from the time I got to fort stewart until I left the service on a medical. Pfister was a great soldier and always motivates others around him including me with his gun ho attitude. I left shortly before his last tour and felt guilty for not being there with him and my other comrades. I found out about his death as soon as it had happened from others in the unit. I know that jake was married shortly before deploying and his wife was pregnant. When I heard the news it pained me so much to hear it and could only think about his baby girl that he never got to see. So I'll tell her this, " Your father was a brave man was well loved by those that served with him." Pfister I'll never forget."
Pfc. Michael Dixon of Carlsbad, California

"I had the pleasure of being Jake's "Team Leader" and friend; during and prior to OIF1. Using the words "Hooah", and "Gung Ho" when describing this soldier would be an understatement. He is the best "Point man" and an even better person. He is the reason why people like us civilians, remain free. You are not gone nor forgotten. Rather just living in a better place. Cotton balers by God!"
Justin Rick of Ventura,CA

"Hey jake, I miss you man. You were so cool with me when I came to the unit. I still remember the night you asked Will and I to start a fight with that gay medic. haha!! anyways, more importantly I will always remember you for what you did and what you stood for. Thank you and again I miss ya bro."
Desmond of Rock Hill, SC.

"Phister,
Sgt. Ken Clark again wanting to let you know I still think of you often and all my memories I have of you are all full of life. I smile when I think of you. Thanks. Best to your wife and family.
Sgt. Ken Clark
A Co. 3/7 Infantry Invasion force"
Kenneth Clark of Hermitage, Tn USU

"Hi big brother! My little brother Daryl is going to Iraq next month, so watch over him for me please! Not a day passes that I don't think of you and wish I had just one more day with you.

"The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone." -H.B. Stowe"
Mara Zilkenat of Warren, PA

"Jake, Miss you like hell brother. I still have your Rage Against the Machine shirt. I can't listen to those guys without thinking about you. I know all is well with you up there. Be easy brother...until we meet again..."
Chris "Andy Colorado" Briggs of Fairbanks Alaska

"I ordered a KIA Remembrance bracelet from Ranger Joes last week and it came in with Jacob's name on it. I cannot tell you the profound sorrow I feel for his family and loved ones. I wear this bracelet every day in his memory and the memory of all our fallen heroes of this war and all wars past. I too served in the armed forces for six years in the Army as an armor crewman on the M1A1 Abrams. Fortunately for my family and loved ones it was during peace time. I take Jacobs loss and the loss of all my brothers in arms very personally. Thank you for you service Jacob, and every day that I look at your name on my bracelet, I will be reminded of the ultimate sacrifice you and our other fallen soldiers have made to keep peace, liberty, and freedom safeguarded. Thanks again...."
Chris Brooks of Ft. Worth, Texas

"Pfister, I was so hurt and sad to hear about what happened. I lost touch with you and everyone around me after our first tour and never really was the same again until a year or two after getting out. I regret now not keeping n touch. I'll miss and love you like a brother!!! See you around man."
Sgt. Elijah Darden of Savannah, GA

"To the family of:Jacob M.Pfister 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"

"We only met a time or two,usually when you all were coming or going. I've some great pics of you and Ryan. He still grieves for you, wears your bracelet always. I'm sorry I didn't get to know you better, but I was glad to have met you and know that Ryan had friends like you.
My prayers are with your family, may they take comfort in knowing what a fine young man you were."
Mary McGaughy Neely of Clarskville, Tn

"I hope that someday we will find the courage that you displayed. You may be forgotten by the politicians but not by ordinary Americans who - everyday - salute you for your Sacrifice."
Anon. of USA

"To Those who cared and loved Pfister,
I meet Pfister in June of 04. He was a cool and melow guy who cared about the army and his loved ones. Its hard to understand why good people have to go but only god knows when its our time and i'd like to say that i was glad to fight by his side in OIF3 and I will never forget him or the other borthers we have lost on the battle field."
SGT Cladera Arthur of Hinesville Ga.

"Encourage us, O God, in our endeavor
To live above the common level of life.
Help us to choose the harder right
Instead of the easier wrong,
And never be content with the half truth
When the whole can be won."
(West Point Prayer)

Jake Pfister chose the harder right instead of the easier wrong. He could have stayed home after his first tour of duty, but that was not the way Jake lived his life. Jake was a son, a husband, a soon-to-be-father, a veteran who died for his country and his belief of freedom, and our fraternity brother.

When I first met Jake in the fall of 1997, he was a young, high spirited, cocky student at the University at Buffalo. He joined the largest national fraternity in the country, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and became a brother of SigEp at the University at Buffalo in the fall of 1997. Jake and I spoke many times about what he wanted to do with his life. He had a “nothing can harm me” approach to everything, and wanted to do it all.

I watched Jake grow as a student, a young man, a member of society, and as my little brother. I never questioned his ability to reach for the stars and to accomplish whatever it was that he set his mind to. Even though we will not see Jake in a physical sense, he will be in the hearts of his family, friends, and his fraternity brothers for eternity.

Little Brother... Enjoy your time with our Creator, where pain and suffering are non-existent. Remember to pray for your brothers on earth and all of us that were touched so deeply with your short, earthly existence. You and your family are in my daily prayers."
Br. Ronald J. Sigeti of Buffalo, NY

"Phish
We served together during the war. You were one person that made being over there a little better. You made a bunch of us laugh and yet we still kept our composure to get the job done. When we got back going to the bars was fun. I will never forget all the great times we had together. To your wife and kid may god bless you and help you with your new endevours. I will always were your kia bracelet. Your life was not a loss and you will never be forgoten. Love ya man."
Spc Anthony Kertatos of Pell City, Alabama

"Jake,
miss u man. we deployed together twice and we're both from ny. I worked with u for almost 4 years..same company and same platoon. I had so much fun doing my job with u. I will always wear ur memorial bracelet. I miss u and Kev. Thank's for everything. You and Kev are the bravest soldiers who lived the army values. Damn fine soldiers. Hooah!"
SPC. Nacpil, AL of Bayside, NY.

"To Jacob's family,
As Memorial Day approaches, please know that Jake's service and your sacrifice has not been forgotten. Your family continues to be in our thoughts and prayers."
Kaye (a 3-7 INF mom) of OK

"Jake not a day goes by I dont think about you, I hope your doing good up in heaven and your daughter is beautiful. Be good buddy and I will see ya when its my time."
Sgt. Garth R. Landis of A 3/7 INF Fort Stewart, GA

"I miss you and I always will. April 19 will be hard to face without you and Grandad. I hope you guys are having a great time in Heaven."
Aunt Ellen of Hamburg, NY

"I just wanted to say that it is an honor to wear Cpl. Pfister's KIA bracelet. It will be worn proudly!! I am currently an Army ROTC cadet. God Bless!"
James Eric Honeycutt of Morristown, Tennessee

"No words can describe the pain of loosing a loved one. My heart goes out to Jacobs wife, child, and family. He has worked with my husband since we have been here at Stewart. Unfortunately we did not know his wife that well. We send our thoughts and prayers. Our daughter Starr loved Jake so much. He was her "Uncle Jake". She wants me to tell his family that he is with all the Angels in Heaven. We love you Jake and you will be missed and NEVER forgotten."
Trina Orbison of Fort Stewart, Georgia

"To Ashleigh Pfister:
I am so sorry for your loss. I pray for you often and for Maddy as she makes her appearance into the world. I know that you will tell Maddy how wonderful her Daddy was. It will not be easy for you but know you have the support of family and friends and Almighty God. A woman I work with donated some new baby clothes and things that I will be sending to you this week. If there is anything I can do for you, please e-mail me at xuanloc@aol.com
I was part of Operation Direct Support that adopted A/3-7 as this was my old Vietnam unit. I continue to keep in touch with the Jake's buddies in Iraq.

With deep respect and affection,

Father Phil Salois, M.S."
Father Phil Salois, M.S. of Newtonville, MA

"Phister,
I'm glad we had the time we did to serve together and become friends. You were a good man and a good soldier.
I won't forget."
Sgt. Ken Clark of A. CO 3/7 Inf OIF

"JOCOB'S FAMILY.....JUST TO LET YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS.....IT MUST NOT BE EASY....."
JIM FORAN of SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT PA.

"Condolences for everyone who have lost their family member or friend. The Pfister family is like my 2nd family, I'm here for you. May God grant eternal rest on Jacob. He is truly a hero!!!"
Samantha of Buffalo, New York

"You have always been and always will be in my thoughts. We are a part of eachother brother even though we never spent much time together. I love you and miss you! Be at peace...we will meet again in a better place!!!"
Mara Zilkenat of Jamestown, NY

"Ashleigh, I will always be here for you. I still remember the night we met at the pool hall and our husbands played pool agaist us. It was fun cheating in that game. I love you and you and maddison will always be in my prayers."
Grant & Lori Williams of Fort Stewart, Georgia

"Cpl. Pfister my nephew, an American Hero. We will miss Jacob's physical presence but will forever cherish and hold the memories of Jacob in our hearts. I love you & will miss you Jabob!"
AUNT PATTI of Port St Lucie, FL

"I knew Jacob pretty well...I practically lived with him for four months when I first started dating his best friend, Bob, and we shared some of the best times. Jake like to go bowling and have a good time. he like to stay at home and play video games, watch movies, and just cut up with friends. Jake was a brother to Bob (Sciria), and in that way he became a brother to me as well. He was always looking out for Bob, and I admired him for that. I'll never forget Jake and what he did in life. He's got a baby girl coming into the world and in that way Jake will always be with us. I hope she grows up knowing the hero that Jake was. I just want to let the family know that I feel a sense of loss that can never be healed. If there is anything you and your family need, please feel free to give either Bob or I a call...we will do anything in our power to help. Sincerly, our condolences."
Nicholle Halseth of Ft, Stewart, GA

"To Jacob's family:
I am Kevin Wessel's cousin, Skyler. I'm 8 years old and in the 3rd grade. I'm sad for your family, too. I'm very proud of what he and Kevin did for our country. They were the best and bravest soldiers!"
Skyler Yanagi of Kaneohe, Hi

"TO THE FAMILY OF JACOB, OUR FAMILY DEEPLY SADDEN FOR THELOST OF JACOB. OUR HEART AND PRAYS ARE WITH JACOB AND YOUR FAMILY. WE UNDERSTAND OH SO WELL THE HURT. LOSTING OUR SON ELEVEN MONTHS AGO. BOTH HAD NOT KNOWN ONE ANOTHER. BOTH ARE BROTHERS THAT HAD EACH OTHERS BACKS COVERED. JACOB IS A HERO! A MAN THAT HAS TOUCHED MANY MANY LIVES WITH THOSE IN HIS COMMUNITY, FRIENDS, NEIGHBOR'S, HIS MILITARY FAMILIE, AND THE LOVE OF HIS OWN PERSONAL FAMILY. JACOB WILL NOT HAVE GIVEN HIS LIFE VAIN. HE WILL BE REMEMBERED TO ALL AMERICANS AND THOSE IN IRAQ. GOD BLESS! LWAHL1@SEARS.COM SEVERAL FALLEN FATHERS OF NY, ORGANIZING A GROUP. TO FIGURE WAYS TO GET A WAR MEMORIAL NOW BY THE STAE CAPITAL. TONIGHT, I WILL LIGHT A CANDLE FOR JACOB!"
LEONARD WAHL of VALLEY STREAM NY

"TO THE FAMILY OF JACOB, OUR FAMILY DEEPLY SADDEN FOR THELOST OF JACOB. OUR HEART AND PRAYS ARE WITH JACOB AND YOUR FAMILY. WE UNDERSTAND OH SO WELL THE HURT. LOSTING OUR SON ELEVEN MONTHS AGO. BOTH HAD NOT KNOWN ONE ANOTHER. BOTH ARE BROTHERS THAT HAD EACH OTHERS BACKS COVERED. JACOB IS A HERO! A MAN THAT HAS TOUCHED MANY MANY LIVES WITH THOSE IN HIS COMMUNITY, FRIENDS, NEIGHBOR'S, HIS MILITARY FAMILIE, AND THE LOVE OF HIS OWN PERSONAL FAMILY. JACOB WILL NOT HAVE GIVEN HIS LIFE VAIN. HE WILL BE REMEMBERED TO ALL AMERICANS AND THOSE IN IRAQ. GOD BLESS! LWAHL1@SEARS.COM SEVERAL FALLEN FATHERS OF NY, ORGANIZING A GROUP. TO FIGURE WAYS TO GET A WAR MEMORIAL NOW BY THE STAE CAPITAL. TONIGHT, I WILL LIGHT A CANDLE FOR JACOB!"
LEONARD WAHL of VALLEY STREAM NY

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

"To the Pfister family,

This is the dad of Kevin Wessel, the soldier who died at his side. From what we can gather about Kevin's relationship with Jacob, they were fast friends. Kevin loved being in the army and respected Jacob as a veteran of the liberation of Iraq. I feel like they were joined somehow - Kevin's email address was pv2fister! Jacob had a friend by his side when he went home to our father."
Paul Wessel of Honolulu, Hawaii

"Jacob, When your father died, (my brother) you said to me that I was the next in line to be your father and that I was in my heart. I am very proud of you and your decisions that you made in life. You died for us and that will always be a fact. You are with your dad now looking down on us... pray for us Jake as we have'nt made that journey yet. Save us a seat will ya buddy? We will all be together soon"
David J. Pfister of Buffalo New York

"Jake, You sacrificed your life for my freedom and the freedom of the world. I could never thank you enough for that. I pray your death was not in vein. Love, Uncle Dar"
Darwyn Pfister of Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. 33304

"This is Jakes cousin Jason. My family and I recently lost contact and have waited to see or hear from him ,we miss him and also will never forget what he did for all of us.I have looked at Jake as an idol most of my life...and always said i wanted to be just like him and succeed just as he did.He still is an idol to me and i cant wait to meet up with him again someday."
Jason Pfister of Buffalo,NY USA

"To Jacob and his family. We are very sorry for your loss and we pray for you to have the strength to continue. Jacob's Bravery will always be remembered. We honor your Hero, and his sacrifice will never be forgotten. God Bless Jacob and his family"
Jennifer and SSGT Larry Mays and family of Massillon, Ohio

"I am Jacob's step-mother. There is nothing to describe the hurt and loss that myself and Jacob's sister, Andrea, are feeling. He's always been a hero to me, and I'm proud that he's now a hero to others."
Debra Pfister-Brainard of Jamestown, NY

"To the family of Jacob Pfister. This is Kevin's mom and dad wanting to let you know how sorry we are for your loss. Kevin had emailed us a picture of Jacob on patrol that you may not have. We would be glad to pass it on to you via email. Our email address is sorehands2003@yahoo.com"
Paul and Lori Wessel of Honolulu, Hawaii

"I am CPL Jacob Pfister's Platoon Sergeant, and I want everyone to know that CPL Pfister was a great leader, he demanded to be in the front of every patrol while we were walking through Baghdad. He also loved his squad and platoon members of 1st PLT, A Co. 3-7 INF (Cottonbalers!). He will be missed, but not forgotten. God Bless you CPL Pfister, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family."
SFC Robert Sammons of Baghdad, Iraq

"I didn't know Jacob, but I did know his friend Kevin. Kevin spoke highly of Jacob over the phone to me, and I wanted to thank him for looking out for Kev when I could not. My deepest condolences to the Pfister Family"
Greg Yanagihara of Honolulu, Hawaii

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

"Your bravery will not be forgotten. You are a champion, a fighter, and a hero!"
Catherine of New York

"Thank you Jacob Pfister, 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. Jacob Pfister:
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 Jacob 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. Jacob Pfister:
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 Jacob, 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