Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Lance Cpl. Branden P. Ramey

22, of Boone, Illinois.
Ramey died as a result of enemy action in Babil Province, Iraq. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Corps Reserve, Chicago, Illinois. Died on November 8, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Lance Cpl. Branden P. Ramey.

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"Today would of been your birthday, no amount of time that passes takes away the pain of you being g gone off this earth :( miss you so much buddy."
tj of usa

"Always on my mind! Love you bunches!"
Sandy and fam of Madera, CA

"I miss you so much it hurts somedays...still after all this time"

"To the family of:Brandon P.Ramey
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""

"Sometimes, when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopullated.
love u and miss you endlessly <3"

"Ramey,
You left us the day I entered the Corps. You were one of the two major influences in me getting out of Rockford and into the Corps. I cannot thank you enough, it took you to make me realize I needed a change. I am no longer in the Corps but my life is one thousand times better because of it. We shared the same birthday, we would have both been 29 on the 6th. I did not think of it at the time but on October 6th, 2011 I was at the gym here in Indio, CA and I saw a man who looked just like you. I hope he did not think I was weird for constantly looking over at him. I contemplated asking if he would take a picture with me but I didnt, I am sure I will see him again as I will you. I stumbled on this page because a foxnews.com article caught my eye and I googled your name. I am thankful to have found it! Semper Fi Brother and Happy late birthday. I will never forget you as a friend and until we meet again, it is an honor and comfort to know I have men like you looking out for me!"
Spencer of Indio, California

"Try To Understand
I’ll lend to you for a little while a child of mine, God said,
For you to love the while he lives, to love where e'er he’s led.
It may be ten or twenty years or only two or three,
But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me?
He’ll bring his charm to gladden you, and should his stay be brief,
You’ll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught below I want this child to learn.
I’ve looked the whole world over in my search for teachers true,
And from the things that crowd life’s lane I’ve chosen only you.
Now will you give him all your love? Nor think the labor vain?
Nor hate me when I come to take this lent child back again?
I fancied that I heard them say, “Dear Lord, thy will be done.
For all the joy’s thy child will bring the risk of grief we’ll run.
We will shelter him with tenderness; we’ll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we’ve known forever grateful stay.
But should thy angels call for him, much sooner than we’ve planned, We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.”

Author Unknown"

"Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
that we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference in your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without affect,
without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you,
for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just around the corner.

All is well."
of Belvidere, IL

"TO ALL WHO LOVE BRANDEN: WE HAVE STARTED A FACEBOOK SITE FOR HIM UNDER THE EMAIL ADDRESS bshady1@att.net. Nobody will be answering that email address mail, but the facebook site is the place to go if you want to share photos or memories of Branden. My husband and I, and Ed, and all Branden's siblings would love to see anything you have to share. Please share all you can. I'm hoping to find a way to get old videos of Branden on there. Bless all of you."
Sandy Ramey of Madera, CA

"Branden, I miss you soo much. As we got older we didnt spend as much time together as when we were kids but we always had a close bond...All I have is our memories growing up together gettin in to trouble!! You are still so missed by us all! I love you...."
cousin Jenny Pardo of Hanover Park, IL

"I can't believe you've been gone 6 years. It just doesn't seem fair. I know I can't change the past so I just feel stuck without you. My life hasn't been the same since you died. I miss you so much.

Love, Dad
p.s. I still talk to my cats. I remember you were freaked over that. Thought I was really weird. I still talk to them! Of course, I'm sure you already know that, as I'm sure you're with us often...when you aren't with STacie."
Randy Ramey of Madera, CA

"We will never forget the ones that did not return. Rest in peace brother. Semper Fi"
J. Landaal of Waupun, WI

"I love you, yesterday..today..always! Rest in peace my chuter bug!"
of Belvidere ,IL

"We miss you so much. It's so hard to grasp, and hard to believe it's been 6 years, yet seems we haven't seen you in longer than 6 years. Last time you were here on the beach with us in May 2004, you were 21, and we didn't get to see you again after that. You will forever be 21 to us. Same laughter, same jokes, ....

On your birthday a couple days ago, I was walking through the gates at work, and was thinking about you heavily, and someone next to me said, "Aight!?" and I felt like you were talking to me, reminding me that you are here with us. That's a word I heard you say a million times. The person that said that at the gate that day is someone that I've not seen in a while, and I have NEVER heard him say that word before. I keep telling myself it was from you.

Love you bunches. Aight?

Sandy"
Sandy Ramey of Madera, CA

"Hey Brandon, its been a long time but it seems like only yesterday we were at Rush practice, banging shoulder pads and livin the good life. (I still remember your homemade shirt (**** the defense!!) (Classic Brandon Ramey) Those days are long gone, but you will be with me forever. I remember the day that you announced to the team that you were leaving. We all gave our congrats but we were all a little nervous. I remember hugging you, and telling you to be safe, and you assured me you would, and although there are tears in my eyes writing this, Im SO proud of you for what you've done for us and your country. I only had the pleasure of knowing you for two years, but they are two years of my life that I will NEVER forget and I am SO thankful that you shared in them with me. It was terribly saddening to hear of the news of your Mom too, but at least you have each other now and your friends and family will join you in good time. We all miss you Brother, and love you dearly."
Patrick Barrett of Belvidere IL

"Branden,
Missing you as always, not a day goes by that your not on my mind, in my heart, remembering the friend I had in you, the inspiration u truly were to my life and how it still lives on with in me today, i love you and miss you,"
tj of usa

"Hey Bee not a day goes by to where I dont think about you!!! You left such a legacy that one would only dream of leaving. I miss you all the time and often wonder what great advice you would give to me today, for your wise words I looked up to with a great deal of belief. I love you and miss you!"
Darla Decker/Mah of Lexington, KY

"I just wanted to say hello, and Happy New Years.. You and I last spoke before you were leaving to go to a training exercise, you were at a mutual friend's house for a small party. I've been travelling a lot for work lately, and seem to be stuck in airports more than ever before. During these long stays I have seen so many different service men and women. I always think about you, the sacrifice you made, but also the fun times we had playing football, baseball, basketball, and for a short time--wrestling for the Belvidere Bandits. I'll never forget how much better you were then the average athlete in any sport. I want you to know that I will never forget you, and am honored to be able to call you a friend. Thank you so much for your bravery, and unselfishness. As long as I am around, and obviously everyone else who has written on here you will never be forgotten! See you when I get there..."
Tim of Milwaukee,WI

"I can't believe I JUST found this site. I can't believe how much it broke me down. Now here I sit, a complete MESS at work. I'm so touched by the words of kindness and admiration spoke of Branden, and I too can't believe it's been so long. I still dream of you B and then I wake up and remember you're still gone. And as hard as I try to get back to sleep so I can see your face, it's too late. WE love you so much. I think of you daily...give your mom the biggest hug for me, and thank her for my last purse, I didn't get the chance too."
Jocelyn Campbell of Charleston, SC

"I can't believe its been 5 years today that you have been gone, I miss you each and everyday, the longer your gone the more your missed, I will love you always buddy,"
Tina J of USA

"Branden, not a day goes by that your not in our thoughts or prayers. I remember we used to talk alot when I was in dep in the navy and you were getting ready to do your push to iraq. I dont really know what to say but I do know that your unselfish sacrifice is beyond what any one could of asked of you. We miss you and I hope you will watch down over us as we go back into harms way. Your memory will live on through us. We will meet again hopefully some day.

God bless and keep you always.


There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13, NLT)"
HM3 John Girardy, 2nd Light armored Recon, Bravo Co, 2nd plt. of Camp Lejeune Nc.

"Brandon never forgotten and always missed. Just was thinking of you and wanted to drop a line on your page :)"
Jessica of IL

"Lcpl Branden P. Ramey,
Home Town:
Chicago, lllinois
Branch of Military Service:
U.S. Marine Corps Resrve
Cause of Death:
Enemy Action
Date and Place of Death:
November 8, 2004
Unit:
2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division of Madison WI

Nobody can take Branden place.
From annual moon-light bowls inside jokes
to his love of his life Stacey.
He had no regets fought for what you wanted.
He is missing a lot of things from being an amazing uncle
to more bon fires and jokes.
It doesn't matter because
his memories are wonderful.
It was meaningful to thoses him knew.
Even though I never met him or visited his grave
he is my hero.
Branden know how to touch people's hearts
and make them not stop laughing.
He treated everyone with respect.
Some people have memories with Branden at prom, in class,
with cheerleaders, birthday parties, or some other events.
Others who don't know he is but should remember his name"
miranda cadmus of la crosse wisconsin

"Wow, It's hard to believe so much time has passed since you were taken from us... although the years have passed not a day goes by that I don't think of you..It has been a whirl wind days months and years. I feel horrible for not writing in so long but what do you put when so many things are different..yet so many are the same... When you first passed I had no idea how i was going to make it through my life without you.. I hadn't experienced a life without you in years before... everyone said just do what you need to do to get by...one day you'll find happiness again .. i never believe any of them.. then your best friend sat me down and told me about our weekend in Vegas how when i went to the bathroom with samantha at the hard rock cafe you said " Take care of her... I have my doubts on making it back... but promise me you'll take care of her.. Promise me on everything! She deserves the best and if I don't make it home... be there for her.. help her get through and make sure shes happy.. help her to see that I would always want nothing but for her to be happy..." it was the hardest thing for me to hear..and it took me three years to take the words for everything they were and live by them.. its funny because you kinda through happiness right at me.. I came to a point in my life where I just wanted to give up ... after losing you and losing your mom...All i wanted to do was be there for your brothers and try to keep things together and as hard as I tried I realized it wasn't me getting me through so much... it was you... and your brother... When Bryce and I realized the feelings we felt I ran from them I said even if they were there I would never acknowledge them because I could never do such a thing... after numerous dreams of you and your mom... I decided id give it a go.... Branden, you taught me how to love.. you taught me how I should be treated ... you taught me so many things and finally Im in a place exactly where you wanted me to be... happy.... I was able to open my heart and love again... I was able to let go of the hurt and instead cherish the memories and smile for everyday I spent with you... every moment we laughed, loved and enjoyed our life together.Opening my heart was the best thing I could have done.. and it was with someone that you would trust to take care of me and make me happy... someone that you trust in me to take care of and make happy... This past Christmas Bryce asked me to marry him... and in February you became an uncle. You will always be in my heart Branden and I will love you my whole life.... and the beauty of it all is that the person That I am in love with will never question that... he will never try and take that away because he too loves you and misses you everyday.... Bryce is a Marine Now.. in your unit 2/24... and Brent leaves in July... We are all doing well.. working hard and most of all taking care of each other... thank you for all that you taught me...thank you for pushing for me to be happy... and I promise you this Cadence will always know how amazing her Uncle Branden was here on earth and the miracles he performed as an angel in Heaven...
I love you!"
Stacey of Belvidere

"Love you and miss you, regardless of how much time passes, only seem to miss you more,"
of Free in USA

"Nobody has written in a while...just writing to say that you cross the minds of many all of the time...you'll NEVER be forgotten!"
of Belvidere, IL

"November 16, 2008
To the family of Lance Cpl. Branden P. Ramey:
Branden 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

"as another year passes. we still raise our glasses. Cheers Branden."
Josh of Illinois

"Just a little note to let you know you're heavy, heavy on our minds, as usual. Today makes 4 years since you left. Hard to believe. We still can't quite get a grip on it. We miss you. Logan looks an awful lot like you in the eyes and eyebrows. It's amazing. I'm sure you've been watching over him. Thanks for your message about the pasta. You're crazy, you know it? But it worked. Without that message, I wouldn't have believed it was you. You're the only one that could have known that.

We love you bunches, and hope you're busy up there, enjoying paradise. See you soon."
Sandy, Dad, Nick, Melissa, Logan and Crystal. of Madera, CA

"Hey Ramey... Its hard to believe that another year has passed since you've been gone. I still miss you like crazy B and wish you were still here. We have your annual moonlight bowl tonight at the hill so that will be a good time. Just thought I'd stop by and tell ya I miss ya and love ya B. You Know Why... 4-LIFE"
Tim of Belvidere

"miss you brother"
jake klipp of milwaukee, wi

"Another year passes, yet this vast emptiness lingers, your not forgotten.
I miss you everyday, I love you and miss you my hero............."
of free in usa

"Branden...

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SACRIFICE, for my freedom! Takes a certain kind of person to do what you did, for some people of your country..that are all too ungrateful. I AM GRATEFUL and THANKFUL..

And your brothers are missing you everyday! But I got your back and am keeping a good eye on them. Its great to see them tell stories of you and Pam now and being able to smile at the mention of your names.."
D of Cherry Valley

"still miss you and think about you bros always....."
Sgt. Buddha of Milwaukee

"Hey Just thought i would let you know that your little brother bryce is graduating on sunday. well he isnt so little any more. everyone still thinks about you. Tell your mom i said hey."
Dalton Harris (Tracey swanson's son) of Belvidere IL.

"Branden,
I miss you. I haven't been able to make it to see you the last 2 times I've been home. I promise I will make it in a few weeks to see you and your mom. I miss you both dearly and the world is a better place and I am a better person for knowing you both and getting the pleasure of having you both in my life, even though it was much too short. Find me in my dreams, it's been much too long old friend. Love You Always! My Angel up above and my Hero always."
Stephanie of AZ

"Hey Branden, it's kind of funny that this is the first posting I've put on here. I must have visited your grave more then a dozen times over the last couple of years. Everytime I'm able to come home, something just draws me out there. We never really hung out much and I didn't know you that well, but servicemen have a special bond that I believe no one else really fully understands.A bond of mutual respect and comradely, I felt like I had that bond with you. So many people have seen me in uniform and thanked me for what I do to keep them free, and everytime I think to myself that I don't deserve it. I came back home in one piece to see my wife, go back to work, go to school, all the things most people take for granted everyday. I can't count how many times I've watched the news or driven on base and seen protesters shooting there mouth off, and more often then not it's people our age! Just ignorant people with nothing better to do. I think to myself, why in the world would God spare them, and take people like you away from us? I just have stop and think it's for people like them that we fight and you died for. The right to say what they want no matter how stupid or backwards it may be, people like you gave them the right to say it. And thanks to people like you, good people in Iraq and Afghanistan have that right to. So from all the good, bad, and indifferent people in this world THANK YOU. I'll be home to visit you soon. "BROTHERS FALLEN, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN""
SSgt Jared Kilmer, USAF of Tucson, AZ

"Merry Christmas Branden!"
M of Rockford

"Love you brother. I've been in the shadows since it happened, but that's no excuse to stop the fight! We talk allot in my prayers, and I hope you saw the night I saluted our beloved flag,and you ... our brother ... Brandon. Today is Vet day, and I'm going to come see your grave. Then I'm going to do something you remember me for, and pick up that guitar and be inspired. Love ya man! Spine straight , head high , eyes locked, Never stop pushing forward! We are America!"
DC3(SW/AW)Michael High of Belvidere,IL Land of The Free

"My name is Tony Mok and I used to be Bryce's soccer coach when he was younger. My wife was also a friend of Pam's. I met Branden when he came out to practice a couple of times with Ed, my assistant coach, and helped us work with the kids. I thought this was a nice thing for a high school kid to do. He was always very respectful and pleasant to talk to. I remember well the conversation I had with him a couple of years later at the Belvidere football field, while watching Bryce and my son Jordan practice, about his new career in the Marines. I just remember telling him to make sure he took care of himself if he got sent overseas. It was the last time I talked to him.
I was very sad to hear of his passing. We all cried in our family when we heard the news. My heart goes out to the boys, Bryce and Brent, who have had a lot to deal with these last couple of years. Take care of yourself you guys, more people than you know are pulling for you.
Branden, as a fellow vet and someone whose life you touched, I thank you for the sacrifice you made for me and everybody else who live in freedom in the United States. God bless you."
Tony Mok of Belvidere, Il.

"Can you believe you'd be 25 now? What an old fart! Seriously, we all spent a lot of time on the phone with Stacey for your birthday yesterday. She and Tim are coming this way some day soon. Maybe very soon. There are a lot of places they can stay that will be free! We have lots of empty bedrooms now. We made it through your birthday. I hope you and your mom enjoyed your birthday together. Keep holding Stacey tight while she learns to enjoy those around her and allow her heart to open to others, and the love they have for her. We love you and miss you, of course. You already know....... Visit me in my dreams again. I need another hug."
Sandy of Madera

"Hey Branden, It's Oct 7th. Yesterday was your birthday. FOr some reason I thougth of you today. I read through a couple other messages to you. You know, we were never close, but for some reason I keep you in my memory. Every now and then I think of you and Stac. I have your picture in my room. I were your Roscoe Rush bracelete on my ankle. I wish I coudl be there for Stacey. We never were that close either, I woulond't be able to really understand what she's dealing with, but I would be someone that she coudl talk to. Just know I think of you evey now and then and I sometimes see Stacey and hope she's doing ok. I just want to go up and ask her, but like I said, we weren't that close. I know you are watching over her and your family and friends. YOu are one of my heroes and I will enver forget you!"
Jules - BHS 2001 of Dubuque, IA

"I picture you there while I'm sitting here trying to distract myself from missing you so much. It's not easy...my thoughts always find a way to come back to you. Your silhouette's in the background of every image in my mind, and your voice runs through my head just like a love song. Sometimes I'll think I see you in a crowd, but it's not you - it's just wishful thinking. I want so much to be able to touch your arm, hold you close...feel your heart beating warm agains mine. But all I'm left with here is this incredible sense of missing everything about you.

I want you to know that every day I travel the endless stretch of time till we can be together again, and every night I keep the light on in my heart -- the light of love for you."
Sandy of Madera, CA

"Brandon...

You and I didn't talk much in my early years in high school. But after my brother graduated and I still had a year left you kind of "took care" of me and just kept an eye out, and for that I will always be greatful. You are one of the greatest people I have ever known, and I know that I am a better man to have know you, then i could ever be without. Brandon you will always be in my thoughts, and my prayers go out to everyone you left behind. I will never forget you, you were and are a great person.

Dan, Belvidere High School class of '01"
Dan of Belvidere, IL

"I dreamt of you last night, it has been awhile since i have last seen that beautiful smile........... I have been missing you so endlessly, I don't think the place in my heart will ever be filled, No.......... I know it won't be. your irreplaceable. you touched my life in a way that no other has ever nor will, you were my inspiration in the dark chaos that had surronded me. Last night as I dreamt, it was so peaceful and Beautiful and just to see you for that breif moment was a moment i will cherish, you were playing football, and you smiled and touched my finger and ran off to do what you do, " inspire all" Stacy and the boys where there, it was so beautiful, thank you for bringing joy and love to the hearts of all and come see me again, I miss you endlessly buddy, I love you and miss you and will be praying for your loved ones........ God Bless you my, hero.........."
love your buddy always.. of FREE IN USA

"I don't try to forget but sometimes it passes my mind...I just watched Bobby's video again tonight after work...on Monday I just said goodbye to the next line of Golf Company going back...I feel so guilty, I wish it was me...I try to live my life to the max where i can at least attempt to pick up the fragments that you all deserve to live on still...enough of the poet, I miss you all truely, brothers, brothers always

on a lighter note, remember when you got a package from home, but it was really a box of mustard packets from the base that Johnson had addressed to you...you were so pissed, then you realized the humor in it and laughed harder than all of us....may those who have done harm for the sake of harm not have the joy of a death where people always honor their name"
Sgt. Buddha of Milwaukee, WI...The Greatest Country on Earth

"R.I.P Branden P. Ramey, Thanks for fighting along with us, i was with 1/3 A. CO. during the "Battle of Fallujah". To the Ramey Family thank you so much he is a great person."
Nadeem of Belvidere, IL

"Branden, It had been 2 years and I finally took your picture from my window at the fire station down. I didnt have the heart to do it. It is going back up today, I didnt realize Stac drove by and blew you a kiss everyday. I have to put you up for everyone to see. It is still soooo hard to think back, how devistated your mom was to lose u. How strong she was after you left. How horrible that we lost her as well. She was sooo proud of you. The boys r doing good. I get to see them at Todd and Rhonda's. I guess the only good thing to come of all this is we realize how fast you can lose someone close to you. And to show them your love everyday. They both know that and show it. Please give your mom a hug and a kiss for me. I miss her so. Tell her Dalton is getting so tall and made varsity wrestling his freshman year! And her baby Cole is getting so big and is so smart, you and her would get such a kick out of him now. The last time you saw him he was a itty bitty baby at the metro center with Bryce. You just had to hold him.
Well I better get a move on soo I can get your picture back up in my window, HOMETOWN HERO!
Love, Tracey Swanson (Pam's Friend & Wrestling Mom)"
Tracey Swanson of Belvidere, IL

"Hey baby... I miss you chuter bug! I'm gettin ready right now trying to make myself look presentable.. i'm going to the RUSH game with our(your and somewhere along the line they became my) beautiful brothers...and papa they are retiring your jersey into the hall of fame tonight... let me tell you about the boys for a few seconds.. Baby you would be so proud.. haha they are a spitting image of you in completely different ways.. brent is NEVER wrong and is stubborn as hell just like you.. but he has a heart of gold and always makes me smile.. we will argue about the stupidest things and just when I start going off about how he can admit once or twice in his lifetime that he just might be wrong he smiles does that little twitch and says " stace, your beautiful" and then laughs at himself.. he is the king of one liners! hahaha and then theres Bryce.. of course Mr.popular himself.. known by so many and loved by even more.. the social butterfly.. he is very polite and respectful as you were too and can have a conversation with pretty much anyone haha... he says a lot of the same things you do and sometimes it scares me because he sounds JUST LIKE YOU .. they are both so amazing and i thank god that they have been in my life for the past 9 years... I love them both more than anything in this world and the past 3 years have done nothing but bring us closer.. we tell each other everything even the things they know id rather not hear about... they tell me and find it humorous when im standing there saying ok ok ok thats enough too much information! haha they are great and your papa and I had a long talk to days ago i took my lunch not knowing where I was going to go for that hour i just started driving and before I knew it i ended up in the same drive way that my car spent a good 3 years parked in... haha i walked in the door just like i used to knowing if it was locked i still have a key and there was nana we chatted like nana and I always do a little vulgar and way to honest but always delightful to the two of us... and then i went back to papas bed and layed down with him and I sat there talking with him and remembering so many things just rushing back into my mind ... so many memories we had in that house so many things that i will never ever forget as long as i live... and then before i knew it i started crying to papa 2 years and 8 months later still wanting to know why... why it was you.. why when we were so happy and our lives were so perfect were you taken away ... I told him it wasn't fair and it never would be I told him that I didn't think I would ever be 0k.. that I didn't know if I would ever be happy again ... and that i just dont think i can accept this.. ive tried ive tried so hard to act like everything is ok to just smile and keep going knowing that eventually my life will start to fall into place again and eventually it will all make sense.. but chutey...it has it wont and its not going to.. i wake up every morning still wondering why i can't have you next to me.. i fall asleep everynight wondering if ive made you proud wondering when im going to see your face again and hating everyday that goes by that i dont... knowing that no one else understands makes it so much worse knowing that there really arent too many people i can talk to about it after all this time that have seen my "im doing great and life if looking up" face that just wouldn't get it... sometimes i want to run away.. take my memories of you with me and start all over again but i just don't know if i ever could because after 9 crazy years i can't picture a life without your brothers or papa or nana... and it kills me... brent asked me the other day if you were still alive would we have had any kids by now and i laughed and said haha..well.. yeah probably and bryce said piper nichole and i just looked at him in shock for a second.. thinking.. so many things have changed and so many can never be the same before brent chimed in with yeah your right youd probably have a couple!haha I miss you baby and I love you more than anything and always will watch over us and keep us safe...
love always your chutey!"
Stacey Lee of Belvidere,il

"Brandon,

Although you're no longer standing here beside us, don't think for an instant that you're forgotten. So much of the time you spent here with us is worthy of recognition, but I'll never forget the moments we spent together. We saw eachother far less than I would have liked, and so much of that is regrettable given our current circumstances, but I want you to know that when I get disheartened about the job I do, I remember what you've done, and it reminds me that things are never as bad as I make them out to be. You are an inspiration to me, and I hope that I will see you again in time.


With all my love and pride for being your cousin,
IT2(SW) Carl A. White
United States Navy
June 5th, 2007"
Carl of San Diego CA

"well brother, its about time for me to go back. i got some for you last time and i know you heard me talking to you while i was there. i have one more deployment and know you will be there for me once again. i love you brother, help me once again."
cpl T of belvidere,il

"Branden,
I was reading a recent edition of Leatherneck Magazine and read about the Memorial that was dedicated last Memorial Day at the Marine Reserve Center in Madison in honor of you and your fellow Marines from Golf Company who were killed in Iraq. I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"I want to tell you thanks bro, i know that you were there with me when I too got hit by an IED;and i know you where with your mom when she passed, even though it was the same day. i want you to know that i joined the marines in your honor...because i always wanted to be like you and impress you. i joined the infantry for revenge...i realise now that it was a decision based in anger. and it took me a while to get passed that stage because you ment so much to me. you where and still are my hero. my Logan's middle name is paul...just like yours. everything that i have going on in my life....where i live, what i do, the sacrifices i made and continue to make all started the day you were killed...it was that one thing that started my life in the direction it is now...and when i say that one thing was revenge, i really thought so at first, but now i see its to finish what you started. and now that im back home from iraq i feel i did you proud. and when i go back in september i know youll be right there with me again watching my flanks, but if it is my time, ill step up to the plate and smile at death just like you did; because i know YOU will walk me to the pearly gates...and we'll gaurd the streets of heaven together...as United States Marines

i love you and miss you. and Logan will know you like i did"
Nick Ramey of Ca, 29 palms/US

"Thinking of you..."
M of Rockford

"Ramey,
Thinking of you, so often. Obvioulsy of your mother too, I can't believe you both are forever gone from this world; I honestly used to think this world couln't get any more unloving, unwelcoming when we lost you, I was wrong. Your mother was an amazing woman as I have told you so many times before. She had become such a blessing in my life after you; such a woman of wisdom and always offering inspiring advice to lift my spirits as well as those around. ( you obvioulsy already knew this, look how wonderful you were, only an angle could have raised another) *smile* I love you both endlessly and miss you each so endlessly. Your lil brothers, wow they both are amazing. Branden wow, sweety these two young men blow my mind away each time I am blessed to be with them. Lil Bryce, is so strong yet able to open his emotions up and let you see and feel his pain. & lil Brent, wow.... this lil guy is so loving, so amazing, he is so strong, so stuborn *smile* he holds in his emotions to make sure others are ok, wow serioulsy I see so much of you in each of them. all your amazing strenghts and Pams too, and obvioulsy your additudes *smile* but honeslty I love those two lil guys like they are my own lil brothers,& your stace....... another wow. ( obvioulsy you already know) she is so amazing. who would have thought any of this would ever happen? let alone, meeting a woman devoted to your family long after you would leave for Heaven? she is so devoted. such a good big sister to those two lil guys, *what a blessing* than you have Timmy? another wow, Branden serioulsy you were always such an amazing inspiration in all our lives that your absence have devestated us beyound repair, we do what we can, but miss you endlessly and daily. Please watch over Timmy. I don't know him but had the pleasure of seeing his devotion to you, your stace, the boys and pam at the hospital and after. He deals with this similar to me ( work it off) he is such a gentle man, but I can see he is hurting deeply, I am praying for him, for everything, for stace, the boys. Just be with them, watch over them and guide them to make the right choices. oh..... your beautiful Cusion (J) wrote and read an inspiring poem about your mother, wow is all I can say, but honey, watch over her... she is a great girl and she has good intentions, I pray she will have a impact on some of your friends lives. *smile* well my sweet friend, I miss you endlessly and love you forever, give your momma a hug for me, tell her how much I love her and how very much her humor is missed. I love you both so much, until we meet again. your buddy"

"Hey baby! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I miss you like crazy.. and wish that I could see you face everyday. A lot of things have been happening since the last time you came to visit... As you already know, your mom is with you.. I can't even imagine the look on her face when she saw you.. and to know that she will never have to be away from you again. The boys are being taken care of don't worry.. Aunt Paula and Rick, Rhonda, Me, and timmy have been doing everything possible and so far so good. I can't believe it's almost been to years since I lost you chutey... im going to get ready for work early so I can go see you and eat some cupcakes! whoo hoo! I love you baby I will talk to you in a little bit! muuuaaaaah!
Love always and forever
you chuter bug"
Stacey Lee of Belvidere

"Today is Tuesday, September 26, 2006. It has been 10 days since Branden's mother, my sister, Pam joined her pony boy. Even though I was holding her hand when she passed it seems so unreal. I ask everyone who reads this to keep in their thoughts and prayers Branden's brothers Bryce and Brent Trevino. In less than two years they have lost their big brother and their mother. May God give them the strength to greet each day knowing they have two very special angels watching over them. Rest in peace Pam & Branden-we will be with you again one day."
Robin Brown of Murfreesboro, TN

"Hey baby, I miss you like crazy.. It has been over two years now since I have seen those baby blues... all I could think about last thursday was you and I in that airport.. I just wanted to leave a lil note and tell you that I still love you more and more everyday and miss you just as much! see you in my dreams chutey baby! I love you
love always and forever"
Stace

"What up B. Ramey, I havent written on here for a while and I figured what better time to write something then on 9/11... I just want to say that I miss you like crazy man... * all kinda got a little worse when I went out to see Phil for my bday and alls I could think about were the times that we all used to hang out together... great memories buddy that I will never forget... well I just wanted to tell ya that I love ya brother and I miss ya... I'll try and be cool and not be a fool for ya buddy (I bet you miss that coming out of Bone's mouth)... 4-LIFE B. RAMEY"
Tim of Belvidere, IL

"hey baby, I miss you like crazy.. this week has been pretty helpful though cuz your baby boy is home from Vegas.. Mrs. Berry sent me one hell of a plate of food to work the other day and all i could think about was how much you probably miss her cookin.. I miss you and I love you so much.. I hope you know that although time continues passing with us being apart I still dream of when we will be together again.. I love you babe!
Love always
your Chutey Baby"
Stacey Lee ( Branden's Fiancee) of Belvidere, IL

"It has been ages, 4th of July has come and went, Don't think that you weren't on my mind. You always are. I miss you so much and it effects me each day. I pray for stace and your family endlessly, I haven't seen much of them lately but i hear they are doing well, you would be so proud. well I have to run, Love U always miss you so much."

"We thought of you with love today
But that is nothing new.

We thought about you yesterday
And days before that too.

We think of you in silence
We often speak your name.

Now all we have are memories
And your picture in a frame.

Your memory is our keepsake
With which we'll never part

God has you in His keeping
We have you in our Heart.

Author Unknown"
Sandy of Madera, CA

"Hey Branden! Thought I'd stop by and leave a lil note for ya! 4th of July is coming up and I was kinda thinking about you. I dind't forget you on Memorial day either.Infact... Sam, Toms girlfriend and I kinda talked about you a little a couple days before hand. I had your picture of facebook and she misunderstood it. It was my way of putting a memorial for you. But we shared a few tears! I wore your Roscoe Rush Bracelet with Pride! I've got it on my Lifeguard Lanyard now. I'm living here in DBQ, I guess Belvi is getting pretty bad with Gangs and what not. I don't know. Oh.. I met Josh Gracin! He was a Marine and now is a Country singer. I told him about you and what not. He gave me a Camo shirt with his autograph on it. I told him that I became his fan because of you and because he was a Marine. I have your picture hanging next to that shirt. I drove by the high school when I was home and there were new fresh flowers by your statue. You are missed alot! I think about you often! I'm sending your family and friends back home prayers for the 4th! Talk to you soon! Much love!"
Jules (Belvi 01') of Dubuque, IA

"Hi Branden
It is Memorial Day and our family is thinking of you. My boys never meet you but you are their hero and everyone in their school knows it! Chase had to think of a name of a new celebration day last week in school and he suggested the Branden Day. We visit you and share the beautiful poem Joselyn wrote for you with other military people and it has helped families cope with a loss such as our family has felt the loss of you. We love you Branden and you will always be our hero."
Rhonda

"BRANDEN, I think about you every day brother..The other day i was looking at my bootcamp year book and I see you and i start to cry ...we had so much fun in book camp,school,Hey it's mamorial day I'm so stoned listineing to my old music thinking of you you changed my life......I cant stop crying ...BIG MARINE cant stop crying..your werth every tear bro......................i got so many stories to tell you but i dont type that fast and i dont have that much time..HAHAHA...hey carlos Penada "CHEESE"hes up there with you tell him i said whats up ..Rangle remember Rangle Dude, He grauates his first class HES A Drill INSTRUCTER...AAAAAHHHHHHHHH....REcrut RRRRRUUUUUMMMMMBBBBAAAAUUUUUGGHH........remember in school when we were going to pimp slap PFC.HALLOA he past away to hey man if you see him up there tell him i sayed sorry and no hard feelings...MAN we were all so young...I LOVE YOU BROTHER...SEMPER FI. CPL.RENDON,MOSES
3/8 INDIA COMPANY
0331...GRUNTS OF STEEL...
MOSTRALEA@YAHOO.COM"
MOSES RENDON of Hollister,CA .USA

"It's been over a year and a half now Ramey since you were taking from us, and not a day goes by that without an image of you running through my head. Things would be so much different if you were here, but I can only wonder how my life (as well as everybody else's) would be different if you were here. I'm trying to get on with my life the best I can but for some reason I haven't really been doing a good job at that. In due time I'll get my act together I suppose. Well, we have another friend heading over seas, Mr. Phillip Berry, take care of him while he's over there and keep him safe. Well that's about it for now B, just thought I'd drop a line and say hi and that I miss you and love ya buddy. Till we see each other again buddy... 4-life"
Tim of Belvdere, IL

"IT'S A BOY, BRANDEN! Nick's baby is due in the beginning of October, so maybe on your birthday we'll have a new chubby one to love on. We will definitely show him every picture we have of you and tell him all we can about you. We sure miss you. See ya!"
Sandy of Madera, CA

"Hey! B,
So todays my golden birthday. I got up at 6:00 to go to the license place to get my permitt. An guess what i failed it the first time i was so mad i only missed it by one. An i was really made cause i thought i would have to wait tell tues. to retact it but my moms got conections so i got to retact it then i only missed one so now i'am driving all over. An throw the hole time i was taking my test i helt like someone was staring over my shoulder and at first i did'nt know who it was then i figured it wasn't my mom or my brother so i figured it was u. An now that i have it ur going to be my gardian angle right? Well then i went to the slon and got my nails redone and got my hair done. Then we were going out ot dinner so everyone said but in they had diffrent plans. Instead stace blind holded me and made me lay down so i could and she drove me around acting like we were going to some place in rockford and she made up streets and everything the hole 9 yards and come to find out they throw me a suprise party i had no ideas i was so suprised. Everyone was there. So that was my golden birthday it was the best love ya."
Tay tay (stacey's cousin) of belvidere IL

"My name is Cameron Schilling and I have started “Portrait of a Soldier” which donates a portrait sketch of every Illinois soldier who has fallen in Iraq or Afghanistan. All 122 sketches will be on display for a Memorial Day Presentation in Chicago, Illinois on May 26-31 at the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. After the ceremony the sketches will be given to the immediate families of the Illinois soldiers. I would invite any friends or family members to come and honor these men and women from Illinois who have given their lives to our country. For more information please contact OperationHomeFront.org at 866-417-8889 which is an organization headed by the Lt. Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois who is in charge of the Memorial Day Presentation. Thank You.

Please check out www.portraitofasoldier.org
To contact Cameron email cameronschilling84@hotmail.com
To contact Operation Home Front call 866-417-8889"
Cameron Schilling of Charleston, Illinois

"Hey Branden! I miss u buddy. Guss what? i get my permitt on saturday. I'am so excited. And it's my golden b-day on saturday i can't wait.Me and tanner went down state last weekend for bowling we did pretty good. It was so much fun but i got sick the morning we had to bowl i was so mad i think i got food poising.Happy Easter a few days early. did u hear well u knew how that the street that was named after u well u knew how it was only going to be up there for six months well be cause of me it's going to be up there for every. Tanner and aunt lisa and father ramondy say they love u and they miss u. same here i love u and miss u so very much. Well i think that's all for now"
Tay tay (stacey's cousin) of belvidere IL

"Hey Everyone, this message is for all the people that come to this page and pay their respects to Branden, and to our family. We all appreciate you so much. As Branden's Fiancee, like his family I too knew him inside and out.. infact there really wasnt a single detail physical or emotional that went unnoticed. Needless to say.. I have a lot of confidence that this is what Branden is saying to all of you... Especially those who were extremely close to him..All of his family of course, But those who have stepped up to help the family also, Timmy,Shel, Tina, Rachel..and so on. Also, for those of you who never met Branden, it wouldn't have mattered anyway..He would still wish you the best.. Thats just the way he was! Thank you all again so much!
"My Wish"

I hope that days come easy and moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you want to go,
And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window,
If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,

More then anything, more then anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it,
To your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more then you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
And you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,
And you always give more then you take.

Oh More then anything, Yeah, and more then anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it,
To your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more then you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish."
Stacey Lee of Belvidere,IL

"What's up buddy... It's been a long time since I've written you a message on here and I apologize for that. It's almost been 17 months since you've been gone but it seems like only yesterday we were playing bags and horseshoes out in T-Bone's backyard with everybody who hangs out there. I miss those days so much. Throwing ringers and "six-pack slammers..." Ahhhh, the good 'ol days Ramey. It's also about that time to start camping down at Stace's grandparents house. Me and Stace went down there last night and went fishing and threw the football around. It was a good time just hanging out around the ponds on a beautiful night. Me, Stace, and Tomcat were sitting on the picnic table having a nice little chat and we were deciding which star in the sky was you. Stace found you right away, the brightest one we could find. Things aren't nearly the same as they use to be without you, but we're all dealing with it day by day. It doesn't get any easier I'll tell you that buddy. Your family seems to be doing good. The boys are doing better in school which makes your mom happy. Some days are worse than others for Stace, but she's hanging in there knowing that you are with her in spirit. Well, that's about all for now buddy, I will talk to you later. Love ya Ramey... 4-life"
Tim of Belvidere, IL

"Hi! I cannot believe how much we think of you! We miss you so much. You seem to be in our every thought. Melissa was listening to some comedian yesterday and one of his speils, I swear, was you. Your voice, your ideas. It's stuff I've heard you say. You seem to pop up in many places. My boss said "aight" the other day, and I started remembering all the times you said that. Stace sent me a few pictures that were sooooo wonderful to see. One of them I will have to label really well that it's you ---cause you look exactly like Nick, except for your biceps. Yours are larger than Nick's. The face under all that gear looks like Nick. He's making his own picture memories in Iraq now. I printed out your pictures that STacey sent and have mailed them to Nick, as he was already in Iraq when she sent them. I'm sure he'll tape them up somewhere. He has his own "room" so he should be allowed (I'm guessing here) to hang pictures. I don't know.

I know you're with Nick, helping him make decisions and I also know that you can't over rule God's plans. But you can comfort. For that, I'm grateful. There are many in Iraq that need your comfort. I'm sending as much as I can in care packages, but I can't send a hug. Thanks for doing that for me and all of us that care about the US military in Iraq.

Seeing your pictures put me back into the uncontrollable crying mode again. No matter where I went I cried. I got past that again, and am trying hard to keep that at home. Help us all be strong. We can't live on xanax forever. We love you and will see you soon! Time goes faster every day."
Sandy

"Hey baby, Sorry it's been so long since i've written on here. I've probably started one like a million times but I feel like all I do is repeat myself. It still kills me every morning waking up without you and I still have problems falling sleep without your heartbeat. I miss you so much.. I have met some very amazing people in the past week. Rachel is one of them. I always knew you two were friends and I remember you always speaking so highly of her but i actually had the pleasure of spending time with her personally last week. She is amazing and i thanked her very much for all her talks she has with you and all the writing she has done on here... I know how much you must appreciate her and I hope she knows that i feel the same. You Brother is in Iraq now.. I sent him an email and told him to be careful and that you would be proud of him. I also reminded him that you will be by his side every step of the way. I wish you were here..just to see that smile again.. I love you with all my heart my little chuter bug! Stay with me and keep my strong! Love you babe!
Love always your W2"
Stace

"~*hey babe*~
well i havent really talked to you since you left us i see stace all the time and i realize how much i miss you i know that you see and hear all so but i just have to tell you that i went to homecoming with bryce and i wanna go to prom with him to cuz. well i miss you so much branden i am so glad that we got so close i dont know what life would have been like without you in it at all. you are my heroe and always will be so yep you have one strong family dude i love them all.


to bryce aunt pam brent and stace i love you guys i know ill talk to you soon but ill see you guys soon too oh well keep up the good work.
hey stace i got a good one *cough bryce cough* lol"
Ariale(staci's cousin) of Kirkland

"Hey B,
So much time has passed and yet it still feels like yesterday you were just here. I can't believe how long you truly have been gone. ( though each day is a sad reminder) I am not sure how that amazing girl of your's is doing I haven't been able to reach her. But I will still pray. Keep watch and be with her, be with Pam and Bryce and Brent. They miss you so much each day.
I miss you, Luv ya"

"Hey handsome :) It's your girl Rachel, I wanted to leave you a message tonight because I have finally met your "wife" Stacy. Yeah I know you never got married to her but in all of our eyes that know & love you, you two are married to eachother. She is so beautiful, sweet, sincere, genuine, caring & might I mention a funny one too. You picked a great one....I'm proud of you once again. I miss you soooo much & think about you all the time--thanks again for being my hero & taking care of everyone you care for & for those who you never even knew....you are the best thing that has ever happened to this world. I'll see this week when I come visit you...Love and miss you as always...keep smiling for me :)"
Rachel LePla of Rockford, IL

"I never knew Branden; nonetheless I am forever held in his debt. I served with the U.S. Army Reserve and was in Iraq on Nov 8th, 2004. Upon returning, I joined the RUSH. I will always know just how fortunate I am to be able to enjoy the many freedoms that are often taken for granted by others. I will never forget."
Spc. Meyer & #94 of DeKalb, IL

"Branden...well i never knew you but i miss you soo much and i think about what you have done for me. I hope you,shane,robert and chad are having fun. I hope you watch over everyone and i just want you to know how much i appreciate what you did.
¢¾Nicole¢¾ -shane's little sister"
Nicole O'Donnell of Windsor,WI

"You're going to be an uncle around your birthday! I sure wish you could be here with us and spend time with your new neice or nephew and show him or her your wonderful personality. There is so much you could have taught him or her.

We miss you very much! And love you more than words can describe."
Sandy, Nick, Crystal, Melissa and Dad of Madera, CA

"Hay! Branden i miss u so much so does tanner and aunt lisa and father ramondy. I miss all the good times like the one time me and stace went down to ur practice and painted ur car windows. And all the fun we had during the summer when we when swimming at stace's. I get my permitt in like 1 month and 15 days am so excited. i can't wait. My dads building me a jeep to drive when i get my licens. Then when i get my licens stace will be 21 is'nt that funny. I started high school this year it's going ok i guess. Well i go out and c u sometimes at the cemetry not as much as i want to but must of the time i go with stace and when ever we go out there some how stace almost falls. lol But my mom goes out there quit a bit. Well i think thats all for today i have to finish getting ready for school. Love u very much. so does tanner aunt lisa and father ramondy."
Tay tay (stacey's cousin) of belvidere IL

"Branden, I put more photos of you on Legacy.com moving tributes to share with everyone. Some of them show your daredevil talents. We sure miss your smile and your ability to make everyone laugh. And your voice! What a voice. Very unique. I can still hear you say "Hi Sandy" when you were about 6 years old. It replays in my mind over and over. I also replay in my mind your last visit with us before you left for Iraq, the fun we had at Pismo (I didn't think we'd make it out of the water in time to turn in the boogy boards...I was sure we'd end up owning those boards!), and the wonderful baby fairy you bought me as a gift. That fairy has your face and hair. I will forever cherish that fairy. I pray for you, as you well know. Keep visiting us....we cherish those visits. See you when it's time."
Sandy of Madera, CA

"Hey Branden! I just watched the tribute your family made. It was soo nice of them to share it with everyone! I was doing observations at the High School this week, since I'm home on Christmas Break and all. I was observing Mackey. She and I started talking about you and reminissing a lil. It was nice. I haven't really been able to talk to many people about you since you've been gone, but I've thought about you and you family and all your real close friends. I see Stace sign online every once in a while and I wonder how she's doing. I'm not sure what to say to her or if I should Im her, so I don't. I know Mackey misses you as much as everyone else. I'm going to send that tribute to her. I may not write very often, but I display your memorial I made in honor of you, in my room with pride. I think of you often! Fallen, but not forgotten! We all love you and miss you!"
Jules (Jules.Sanders@Clarke.edu) Belvi Class 01' of Dubuque, IA

"The tribute to Branden on Legacy.com was beautiful...thank you for sharing that w/ everyone. I watched it over and over again. We all miss him sooooo much still. I think about him daily and visit him weekly. Branden's family and friends are always in my prayers. I hope everyone has a better 2006...take care! Thank you again to Branden for being the bravest and best person I have ever met....till we meet again."
Rachel LePla of Rockford, IL

"Go to www.legacy.com and click on moving tributes! Please put in your own tribute if you have pictures of Branden! We would love to see any pictures you have! Thank you! Or you can send them to my personal email address for our scrapbook on Branden."
Sandy (sandyramey@comcast.net) of Madera, CA

"Miss you everyday babe!!! You are my hero before you joined the Marines & you are my hero now and forever. Im so proud of you for doing what you always wanted to do..be the best person you could ever be. I love that I knew you & that we were friends through good times and bad. Thank you for defending our country...you will NEVER be forgotten & always thought of. I love you sweetheart....till we meet again...."
Rachel LePla (talula821@yahoo.com) of Rockford, IL

""There You'll Be"

When I think back
On these times
And the dreams
We left behind
I'll be glad 'cause
I was blessed to get
To have you in my life
When I look back
On these days
I'll look and see your face
You were right there for me

In my dreams
I'll always see you soar
Above the sky
In my heart
There will always be a place
For you for all my life
I'll keep a part
Of you with me
And everywhere I am
There you'll be

Well you showed me
How it feels
To feel the sky
Within my reach
And I always
Will remember all
The strength you
Gave to me
Your love made me
Make it through
Oh, I owe so much to you
You were right there for me

'Cause I always saw in you
My light, my strength
And I want to thank you
Now for all the ways
You were right there for me
You were right there for me
For always"
Love Always ,Your W2

"Hey Chuter Bug! just me, I just wanted to write you and tell you Merry Christmas.. although I told you a million times on my couple of trips to see u over the past weekend.. some people just don't understand how I can go out to the cemetary 2 or 3 times in a day.. they think i'm only making it worse for myself but to tell you the truth baby, it's the one place i have peace with this situation.. I talk to you and I feel you with me all the time.. I have a favor to ask you.. A couple of your good friends are leaving here in the next month or two please keep them safe. Tyler will be leaving first, stay by his side baby and keep him strong. He has helped me get to where i'm at right now even though he was stationed far away. He was a great friend to you and to me also so please keep him strong and safe the best you can. Ryan will be leaving shortly after. You and Ryan had a friendship not very many people were aware of.. but you two knew..and neither or you would ever feel you have to justify it to anyone. Ryan has been one of my best friends this past year. We have been through hell and back together so promise you will do all that you can to keep him safe and bring him home. He is an amazing person and a wonderful father. His little girl Ava will be two soon and this is going to kill ryan to be away from her so please stay with him also and keep him strong. I have been trying to do all that i can to keep your family and friends strong since you have been gone..and I'm only hoping if I could see your face you would smile and tell me you were proud of me.. but in this situation with those few who are/were close to both of us you have the better chance of taking care of them.. and I know you will do what you can. Also please keep Meeker safe and strong while he is also going to be with ryan and missing his two little girls. I love you babe, and this is one of our strongest points.. doing everything together.. by asking you to help with this (even though I know i didn't need to ask) it almost makes me smile reminding me of everything we got through because we did it together. I love you with all my heart and all my soul and miss you just as much! I'll see you in my dreams my lil chutey baby! XOX MUAAH! SLRRP (HAHAonly you and I understand that and anyone else probably thinks im a wierdo)"
Stace ( Sofuyada04@aol.com)

"A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,

I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.

My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,

My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.


Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,

Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,

Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.


My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,

Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.

In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,

So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.


The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,

But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.

Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.


My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,

And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,

A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.


A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,

Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.

Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,

Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.


"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,

"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!

Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,

You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"


For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,

Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light.

Then he sighed and he said "It's really all right,

I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."


"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,

That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,

I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me."


"My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"

Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas Gram always remembers."

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',

And now it is my turn and so, here I am."


"I've not seen my own son in more than a while,

But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile."

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,

The red, white, and blue... an American flag.


"I can live through the cold and the being alone,

Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,

I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat."


"I can carry the weight of killing another,

Or lay down my life with my sister and brother.

Who stand at the front against any and all,

To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."


"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,

Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."

"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,

"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?


"It seems all too little for all that you've done,

For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,

"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.

To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,

To stand your own watch, no matter how long."


"For when we come home, either standing or dead,

To know you remember we fought and we bled.

Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,

That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."


PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S.servicemen and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq"
Jessica of Belvidere, IL

"Branden,
I have not written in a while nor have I been by. I had thought, that perhaps if i don't acknowledge it than maybe my mind would forgett all about it and i could trick myself into thinking your still out there. ( sad way of thinking, i know) obviously it did not work.
everyday is a sad reminder that your gone. The whole world seems like it went crazy to me. ( prehaps it just me)
either way things are soooooooooo diffrent. Though i have great faith and know that regardless of why this tragic inncident happened, your in Heaven. a much greater place, a much more peaceful place and we all will see you again. It is just really hard to let go. I feel so sad for stacy, for your mother and brothers. My heart can't bare to read stacy's beautiful letters to you. each time I cry for her. well i can't really find the right words to express all this, but I really miss you. I miss you so much and all that you have done. But more than anything, i miss you so much for stacy and your mother and brothers. Until we all meet again, i will keep praying for your loved ones. Thank you so much Ramey for everything. ( miss you)"

"Branden,
I still think of you daily...I appreciate you looking out for all of us during the holidays it is difficult to celebrate when so many are out there w/ out their loved ones. Take care of your family & Stacey (like I have to say it) during the holidays...I pray for them daily. Thank you again for being a hero to me and the world. You are never forgotten & always thought of...love you."
Rachel LePla of Rockford, IL

"B-
Hey chutey baby! it's crazy to think that this is our second christmas without you.. I don't even remember christmas last year probably because everything was still so fresh, so it's almost like this is the first. I had a hard time decorating our tree but I put it up and got it looking just as nice as we always did. I miss you like crazy and would give anything just to see your face or to hold you even if it was only for a second. I just thought I would leave a little note telling you I love you and I miss you and i will see you in my dreams! I love you Chutey!xoxo
p.s Dad says hi and he loves you!"
Stace

"Branden,
Not a day goes by that you aren't thought of. We miss you so much...that warm smile of yours that couldn't help but light up the room, your heart of gold, your inner strength and caring that touched the lives of so many, your love of life, family and friends. You will always hold a special place in our hearts. We love you, buddy. Until we meet again, young man..."
Aunt Laurie & Uncle John of Loves Park, IL USA

"My name is Cameron Schilling. I am a college student from central Illinois. I am the first generation of my family not to serve his country. I am extremely grateful for the sacrifice you and your loved one has given for the United States. I am disappointed by the way the news media has covered this war and the deaths of our youth. The media has stopped listing the names of the soldiers killed in Iraq and people only talk about the soldiers when we reach a specific milestone in deaths. If you just started watching the news today you would not even know there is a war going on. Partisan politics have replaced coverage of our young generation who have traveled to a foreign land in the name of the United States. Whether you believe the war in Iraq is wrong, right, justified or not everyone should pay even just a little more attention to what these young men and women are sacrificing. This is what I would like to do. I want to do my part in honoring these soldiers and their memories. Along with being a college student I am also a budding artist. I draw pencil portraits of local people in my community. I want to offer a pencil portrait sketch to the immediate family of every Illinois soldier killed in Iraq. Please contact me at cameronschilling84@hotmail.com."
Cameron of illinois

"I just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving. And we all are thankfull for everything that you did for us, and you are always in our hearts. Miss ya Man!"
Angeline Swanson from Belvidere Il of Now in Farmington MN

""Who You'd Be Today"

Sunny days seem to hurt the most.
I wear the pain like a heavy coat.
I feel you everywhere I go.
I see your smile, I see your face,
I hear you laughin' in the rain.
I still can't believe you're gone.

It ain't fair: you died too young,
Like the story that had just begun,
But death tore the pages all away.
God knows how I miss you,
All the hell I've been through,
Just knowin' no-one could take your place.
An' sometimes I wonder,
Who'd you be today?

Would you see the world? Would you chase your dreams?
Settle down with a family,
I wonder what would you name your babies?
Some days the sky's so blue,
I feel like I can talk to you,
An' I know it might sound crazy.

It ain't fair: you died too young,
Like the story that had just begun,
But death tore the pages all away.
God knows how I miss you,
All the hell I've been through,
Just knowin' no-one could take your place.
An' sometimes I wonder,
Who you'd be today?

Today, today, today.
Today, today, today.

Sunny days seem to hurt the most.
I wear the pain like a heavy coat.
The only thing that gives me hope,
Is I know I'll see you again some day.

Some day, some day, some day.


By Kenny Chesney
Release date: By 08 November, 2005"
Sandy, Melissa, Dad and Nick of Madera, CA

"Branden.. I just wanted to say Happy Veteran's Day and thank you for being brave and protecting our country! I'm very thankful for that! I appreciate everything you've done for our counrty. Thanks again"
Jena of Belvidere, IL

"Chutey-
I tried and tried to come to this site yesterday to try to think of the right words to say..to try and put my thoughts on this site like so many of our friends, our family, and even those we have never meant put so much time into doing... but I couldn't. Yesterday was so hard I have been trying to live a life where physically I cannot see you.. I cannot touch you.. I can not wake up with you or fall asleep with you.. I cannot hear your heart beat or see your beautiful blue eyes.. or hear you say I love you.. For one year now I have been trying to live that kind of a life and I must tell you it is not going well. I came out to the cemetary with my mom yesterday.. I cried the whole way there and most of the time I was there...I tried to get all of my tears out before I was with your family hoping that in some sense I could be strong for them..maybe make them laugh or smile throughout the day at any time I could.. I told some funny stories about us.. although I have not broken my promises on our secrets.. of course I love the sigh of relief on your mom's face when I burp in my insanely-non-girlish manner that she always follows up with " yeah, that's my little girl.. my daughter in law.. that my son loved so much merely for the fact that no one can out burp her" and of course she smiles and she laughs when I tell her your plans of having me do that at our wedding! = ) but to see her smile and hear her laugh is enough to get me through a whole day.. I did break down to her once but it was just the two of us.. Our little BIG brother bryce had a very rough day yesterday and him and I spent a lot of time alone.. talking and trying to comfort one another.. Brentos was socializing and making everyone smile like usual.. although today was very hard for him.. I see so much of you in them.. so many times I will leave your mom's and cry on the way home because of a certain facial expression Bryce made or the way brent stares at the T.V when he's really into what he's watching.. It's good though to see you in them.. they love you so much and they are so strong.. Bryce is so protective of me and he hurts everytime i do but stays strong to help me through it.. and brent is always there to make me laugh.. Your mom did well yesterday though I could see the hurt in her eyes so many people were there to try to keep her going.. Aunt Paula did great with keeping the day moving.. Tiffany and I bonded with burping, Devan was Devan always beaming with a smile even though I know how much she misses you.. Gram's was there she tried to make jell-o cake but without you there to inhale it in three bites she said her heart just wasnt into it.. Sgt.Meeker and Ry were keeping everyone laughing.. along with so many other people.. the phone call's the cards the visits it was unbelieveable! I miss you so much.. i hate knowing exactly what I was doing last year collecting pictures.. trying to tell different T.V stations what an amazing person you are without knowing how to put it in words and ripping there faces off when they changed everything that I said haha. I hate being without you .. I feel you with me all the time.. i just wish I could hold you or ask you for advice.. or stare into your eyes and know all the answers to any and all of lifes questions. You have been in heaven for a year now and so far im assuming you have been spending much of your time playing cards haha! OR SO I HEAR! on the flip side of complaining about what I wish I had or could have I am glad that everytime I close my eyes I see your face and I am glad that when it is quiet i hear your voice.. please don't ever leave me baby I know I don't have you here with me but your in my heart in my soul and always on my mind.. I will love you my whole life and until we can be together again and I can see you face.. your smile and everything else I miss from "our" life I will continue to miss you.. please help me stay strong.. for our friends, our families and for me! I love you my little chuter bug! (porterhouse paul haha)Oh p.s Pugsley a.k.a your Monster says hello and he loves you ( EVEN MORE THAN ALL THE T-BONE TREATS YOU GAVE HIM)"
Stace ( your W2) of Belvidere, Il

"Branden,
Last night as I layed in bed, I could not believe that the 8th was already here. I was in aww.. I can vividly remember the phone called I recieved about your passing. I was in shock and more so in shock for Stacey. I could not believe it. I saw "JARHEAD" this past weekend. During the whole movie, I thought about you and how grateful I am that you and the other soldiers risked your lives to protect our country. I hope you know that there isn't a day that I don't think about you, stacey, and your family. Everyone misses you Branden. Half of us don't know why you had to be taken, but we do appreciate everything you did for your country. Keep your family and Stacey strong. You are continually thought about!"
Jena Sternquist of Belvidere, IL

"-Ramey-
Here it is...November 8th, 2005. One year since you were tragically taken from this Earth defending freedom for all. Not a day goes by that I dont think of what happened. You ARE a one of a kind man and I can see it everytime I am lucky enough to speak a few words with Stacey about you. I will continue to pray for your loved ones. Keep them strong B. I cant wait, along with everyone else, to see you again. Peace Branden"
Josh Gerard of Il, USA

"Branden,
One year has passed and I have thought of you pretty much every day. I pray for you, your family & friends. When I say family I mean Stacy too...she is your family, your heart & your everything. I miss you so much. I need your smile to brighten my days your crazy jokes to make me laugh. So much has happened since you have been gone. I wish I could talk to you once more but I don't know what I would say. What do you possibly say to anyone when it is the last time? Words cannot describe the sadness I feel every time I visit you. I always laugh at myself because I am talking aloud & I know that you cannot answer back, but sometimes I feel that you are right there laughing at me or looking disappointed or sad w/ me. I don't know how to describe it I just feel that you are there w/ me one on one conversing like old times. Tomorrow will be a very sad day for me, your family & all your friends it was the day you were taken from us all. I would give anything to have you here as would anyone else, but I know you are still here w/ us all in memories. All the stories I hear & tell, the pictures I have & see, the video tapes from events we attended are all ways of you being here w/ me...I miss you everyday & again I am so proud to have you as my angel. Thank you for being the bravest man I ever knew."
Rachel LePla of Rockford, IL

"***Brandon***
Well it's almost been a year now since
you were called on to be with god. It feels just like yesterday that you were here in my mom's living room laughing and joking with my family and I. I'm grateful that you were able to spend your last visit out in Las Vegas with your fiance while you visited my brother for those few days. I'm sure that my brother will forever remember the time he was able to spend with you, as well as the conversation you both had before you left overseas. I pray that you as well as god keep my brother strong, lord knows he misses you like crazy. Now that your gone Phil as such a hard time coming home. He's only been home 3 brief times since you left and all he can do is think about you since as soon as he would come home you'd be watchin movies at our house and stayin out all night doin what you men do. Not a day goes by where we don't think of you and your family. From East Park Christian School to RockValley College the memories will continue to live in all our hearts and lives. The Berry Family sends our love and prayers to Pam and the rest of the family. We love you Brandon, please know you will never be forgotten."
Faith Berry of Belvidere, IL

"Hey Branden! I havne't written much lately, but I've though of you often, and even more lately as your year anniversary since you've been gone is arriving. I've been thinking of you and your loved ones back home knowing that it's been tough for them but will likely be much tougher. I want you and everyone back home that I'm thinking of you and praying for all. I still have my memorial I made for you sitting on my dorm shelf. You aren't forgotten.. You are a true hero!!! You are missed much and an inspiration to many!!!"
Jules (Belvi class of 01') of Dubuque, IA

"~Branden~
How the time has sped bye, (though the pain has paused, still hard to believe)I was going to come on your Birthday, But I thought I would give your loved ones there much needed time. ( I came to this message site, to write a message in honor of your birthday) when I seen the message from stacy, i couldn't bare to write a word. all i could do is cry. ( you and her,should have never had to deal with something like this, you were such an awsome person! it is just so wrong, so sad, so heartaching, sometimes just the sadness i feel for your stacy, and family alone is enough to tear your heart apart. I miss you so much, but it could never compare to the loss they are feeling, and I am so sad for them. ( I am sorry to feel that way, but it seems these days, I am weak)I truly wish things were diffrent.
I haven't seen stace in quiet some time. I pray for her daily and send her stuff now and than to let her know i am here if she needs anything, But after you were killed Branden, I have found out that words do not ease a pain like this, not actions, not gifts, not hugs, nothing does.
( something like this does not have a fix) I use to think that just being there for someone, was enough, now i have learned that sometimes, we can't fix it. Branden, I can't believe soon it will be 1 year since you have been gone. ( it doesn't seem real) the world is so cold, people act as if death does not matter. * can you believe some one gave me a Sorrow Not book* basically telling me that, i should not have sorrow over this. " what has the world come to?" My faith in the Lord is strong, and i have hope. But my faith in people has been destroyed. ( they stink) I miss you so much, I wish things were diffrent. not just for me, but mostly for stace, pam, bryce, brent. they miss you so much, so , so much."

"Happy 23rd Birthday!!!!! What a great day it is that you were brought into this world & the greatness you accomplished & all of the lives you touched. I miss you everyday & I am so happy to have you as my angel in heaven. I always feel like you are watching over me along w/ everyone else you love. I went to visit w/ you on your birthday & the sadness was overwhelming until I saw the cupcakes your grandma left for everyone to enjoy. The honorable tombstone is beautiful & every week I visit I look forward to seeing your face & seeing the new cards, poems & memorabilia left for you. Your family & friends miss you so much & we cannot wait to see your beautiful smiling face one day. I love our weekly visits together it makes me feel stronger & helps me to get through the sadness I feel. You still make me smile everytime I think of you. I cannot wait to see you again in heaven. Till next time I will have you in my memory & photos of our times together. Thank you for being YOU & I couldn't be prouder to have known you."
Rachel LePla of Rockford, IL

"THE FINAL INSPECTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."



~Author Unknown~

I Didn't know Branden but he was a good friend of my wife(Darla Decker) and she makes him sound like a good person, and a true HERO. So I thought this poem would help the ones that did know him."
Jimmie Mah of Clearwater, Florida USA

"Hey Branden! Happy Birthday Sweetie! Gosh we all miss you so much and wish you could be here to celebrate your b-day. I was home on Monday and was sure to stop in to see you as I always try to do whenever I get home, espeically cuz its your b-day this week and I can't make it home today. However, I've got great friends here that never knew you, but know how much you mean to me and everyone else and they plan on having a drink or 10 with me for you. Keep watching over me and everyone else. All my love!!!"
Stephanie

"Branden- Well here i sit October 5th, most likely going to be another sleepless night.. sitting here knowing that when i wake up tomorrow morning it will be your birthday. Last year was the first year that I was away from you on your birthday in about 6 years.. I remember Katie and I got a cake and I took pictures blowing out your candles and eating your cake and we sent them to you while you were doing everything you could to defend your country.. you laughed when you got the pictures and i knew you would they were pretty funny..that's why I sent them anything to make you smile while you were so far away. Tomorrow I will spend most of your birthday at the cemetary with your mom your brothers, nana and pa, timmy, and you of course..Nana had cup cakes made, haha you know she wasn't about to bake them .. I miss you still more and more everyday that i wake up without you. I still pray for our families everynight and all the troops still over there.. I pray that God reminds everynight that I love you so much and I miss you.. that I think of you every minute of everyday and that i cannot wait to be with you again. I still cannot believe it's already your birthday.. you did'nt even reach 23.. you were taken so young..and for what reason? obviously one I will never know until we are together again because I ask myself day in and day out why!? It's so hard dealing with the challenges life throws at you when you don't have your side kick with you.. you'd think by now I would be adjusting but i'm not.. it just gets harder..everyone says it will just take time and time will heal all.. it's not the time that makes it better it's the people you choose to spend your time with..they either make you or break you for that particular day. But everynight when I go home and climb into our bed it's the same thoughts that go through my mind.. over and over. Next weekend is sweetest day.. haha remember that hallmark holiday you could never remember! the first of many years you remembered was last year while you were over sea's I got a letter from you that day saying" by the time you get this babe, it will probably be sweetest day! so happy sweetest day! I love you!" and it is so hard to think that was a year ago.. then to think our 3 year (wink wink give a few years haha) anniversay is the weekend after that..then before you know it it will be nov. 2nd our last phone call.. the last time i ever heard your voice.. to think it has been a year tears me apart.. then already a year since that horrible day that threw our families lives and mine upside down.. I just keep wondering how am I suppose to get through all this without my other half.. how do I deal? am I doing what you would want me to? and am I making you proud? I haven't had to many dreams lately.. but I wish I could see you more.. I feel you all the time..but to see your face .. what a feeling.. I love you very much branden! I miss you my little chutey baby! mmmmmuuuuaaaaaah! slrrrp(haha) Good night babe!"
Stacey Lee (Branden's Fiancee) of Belvidere, Il

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRANDEN! This day, 23 years ago, is the day that changed our lives forever. We are so thankful God gave us you for the time He did. What a difference you've made in our lives and so many others. We love you, we miss you, and pray for you."
Dad and Sandy of Madera, CA

"to the Remey family and his beloved Stacie,i did not know Branden but michelle told me about him and what he had sacrificed for our beloved country in the last few years unfortunatly the terrible continue to happen but maybe Branden was first of the many steps to the end of the distruction, i bet by just what i heard of him he would have been a great friend to have. these are my best wishes from someone who has lost a loved one in a terrible way, my father died of turmonal cancer i know that it is different but my dad had almost full life at 62, yours was taken when he had alot of living to do i wish you with best wishes......"
greatful for a soldier who sacrificied for our beautiful country of rockford, ill - winn.

"Hi
My name is Amber and my fiancee, Sgt.Bradley Bergeron died in Iraq in January. To Branden's fiancee: I understand your heartache, pain, and emptiness. I'm not quite sure how we will survive without our soulmates and other part of ourselves, but you can email me anytime. What I do know is we have to support each other through this. Because we have no legal connection to our men, it makes it extra hard....for me at least. branden and his family are in my prayers. imthemary@hotmail.com"
Amber Stilley ~fiancee of Sgt.Bradley Bergeron KIA 1-6-05 of Baton Rouge,LA

"Well get em soon enough... its only a matter of time. Well have that drink together soon enough my friend."
LCPL T

"To Branden and the people that are closest to his heart.
I have just now found this site and I would like to let everyone know what they already know. Branden was a great human being, he was what someone might even consider being perfect. I went to school with Branden and was even a co-worker if his at MCI. Branden helped me with a lot of decisions that I made in my current relationship, the advice that he always gave me always came from his personal experience with Stacie. He has touched so many people and will continue to do so as the years go on. I didn't find out about what had happend until awhile after it happened. I had relocated to MN and when my brother came up for Thanksgiving who still lives in Belvidere told me about the incident. I really wanted to go the memorial at the high school but it was already over. I am really happy that I am able to read about it though. I am also very happy to find out that Branden finally proposed to Stacie. Stacie I hope that you continue to enjoy everyday and second that you spent with him even as the days go past. I now have a son that will be turning 1 and I want my son to have the "it" thing that Branden had. Within seconds of meeting Branden you were instantley touched. There will never be a more honest, respectable and all around amazing human being as he was. Forever, Angeline

2swansons@frontiernet.net"
Angeline Swanson Class of 2002 of Farmington, MN

"You are on our minds so much. We miss you more and more every day."
Sandy of Madera, CA

"Hey Branden! Happy 4th of July sweetie! Each firework I see this year is in memory of you. I wish you could be here to snuggle with Stacey curled up in a blanket somewhere to enjoy them. ~ Keep Phillip strong. He misses you like crazy, just as the rest of us do. On Memorial Day, we just sat and cried and going to your grave with you mother, that was so hard. Seeing your fellow comrads come to honor you was an amazing sight. Everyone misses you so much Branden. ~ Quick funny story.. haha.. I took Sky for a walk to go find your little memorial thing they did for you at the high school.. I walked right by it and couldn't find it!!! HaHa... I look at it everytime I drive by now when I'm home. It's just one more symbol to show how much you mean to all of us and we will keep your spirit and memory alive in our hearts and community forever. ~ Keep us all strong and keep coming to visit me in my dreams. You still seem to know when I need you most and I can still count on your smile to brighten my darkest days. Not a day goes by that I don't think about you. I miss you so much. Love You!!!"
Stephanie of IL

"Ramey,
It has been far too long, I can't even belive it, still after all this time. the pain does not subdue, it is like an endless ache. your memory is very much alive still and will always be. though your presence is missed more and more each and every day.
I sit in silence and watch all those around me, also mourning your loss, though we all hurt, it is so amazing to see so many people touched by you, by the man you were, by all you had done. when I think of you, I smile, even though my heart is crying. your mother is so strong, she is doing all she can to honor you, ( some people have even said she needed to do more, can you believe that crap?) Stacy, she is hurting so very much, though she trys to smile on the outside. what a wonderful young woman she is. your little brothers Bryce and Brent, wow, those two amazing young boys miss you so much, they hurt endlessly but to see them speak of you is just breath taking. when they tell stories of you, there eyes lite up, they are so very proud to be your brothers. I wish you could be here for us all, it doesn't seem fair, really. ( but who am i to decide) it just feels like it was too early, too soon, we needed more time, if not even for me, atleast for them ( pam, stace, bryce, brent) well though my words can not change a thing, I will miss you forever. this world is so much sadder with out you in it. I will never forget you and all you have done, and how much your touched my heart. miss you forever buddy."
of Land of the free

"To the Family, Friends, and loved ones of Branden, know that you are all still in our prayers and we will never forget the sacrifice he has made for this country. God Bless"
Jessica of Belvidere, IL

"Branden as I read through the letters from friends and family of yours it helps me learn more about you as a person. I just wanted to tell you that you had such an influence on my life. You totally motivated me to do my best everyday as a fmf corpman. I became just that, I am the best that I can be. You inspired me to be that. I just wanted to tell you and everyone else that I made it and that I do my best eveyday. I used to be scared of going to war, but im not anymore, Branden your death wasnt in vain. I just wanted you to know. I miss you buddy."
HM John Girardy of Great Lakes Naval Base Chicago IL

"Branden-
Today is a special day! It's Memorial Day! The last couple days I've driven by a house about a block away from mine. It is where the home of BCW was. In their front yard, there is a big wooden sign, it says... "Honk in memory of Branden Ramey, Our Hero!" The last 3 days I've wailed on my horn as I've passed that house. You truely are a Hero in this town and are missed by many! You are and will be missed by not only those who were close to you, but maybe those whom you never even knew. When I first heard you had passed away, I was up in Dubuque, Ia at Clarke College. Yup, believe it or not, Tom and I go to the same school and we both just transfered there from RVC this last year. I was in shock. I didn't know what to say, or even do. I sent out a Campus prayer request for your family and close friends at first. Our Campus ministry Director came up to me that very day and asked if I was the one who sent the request. I replied, "yes." Soon after, I broke into tears. I heard Tom was coming home. I decided later that day, that I really wanted to come home as well. I wanted to give my condolences to your family and also to Stace. I really didn't know how. I finally ended up just sending them both cards. You and I, we weren't really friends, but we were classmates. To me, that means something. I remember seeing you in the halls and you'd say hi. You were one of those "One Of A Kind" Type people. You didn't care if people weren't in you "click" you'd say hi and were friendly to everyone. You were an amzing athlete and had such a wonderful personality! You always had a smile on your face. I remember watching youplay football as I cheered on the sidelines, and hearing "Branden Ramey the ball carrier." It's amazing the little thigns people remember. Everyone would go to Grandpa's Resturante after home games to watch "Friday Night Football Blitz." The thing that is sticking out most in my head today, is our senior year, or maybe it was our Junior year. I cna't remember. Which ever it was, we did a stunt night for cheerleading. I remember you and I think Javie did it and a couple others. You were having so much fun. If I remember correctly, Destiny Case, so yup, it was our Junior year, she was on your shoulders and she fell and I went to catch he, saved her life, but broke my arm. Good times, good times! Come to think of it now, we had Mackey's class together our senior year. That class was soo much fun! The Memories!! I know you also played ball with my brothers, Joey and Ryan and I'm pretty sure they did BCW with you. If not Joey, definitely Ryan, he graduated with us as well. I look through my year book and just get tears in my eyes.You meant sooo much to so many people and you touched the lives of some, maybe you neve even met! It's amazing! It's amazing the lives of those you touch without even really knowing them that well. When I came home that week, my mom said to me.. "Why are you home? I didn't even know you were friends with him." She's right, we weren't exactly what one would call friends, but, you know what, it doesn't matter. You were a terrific person who had much going for and you didn't deserve to die. I don't care what people say. I'm going to honor your memory and keep it alive as best I can. I just wanted to let you know that I pray for you and Stace and your family. I'm not going to let your memory fade by any means. I sent out an email with your picture on it and a nice little memorial saying. I also have framed your Senior and Military Photos with a nice little memorial, as to be reminded everyday of you willingness to do wahtever it takes to help those in need! I have also taken one of those yellow car magnets for cars and written "In Memory of Branden Ramey" You will not be just a soldier who died in Iraq! You will be known as a Proud Marine with a name and a face, who gave his life and became a HERO, for what he believed in! I hope one day we'll meet in heaven and perhaps become the friends we never had the chance to be! One last thing before I go.... My uncle Eddie just returned from Faluja. He was lucky and was only shot in the leg. He's a Sgt. in the Marines. I just found out last ngiht that he may get sent back over the lead yet another troop. If he does have to go, do you think you could look over him for me? I pray that God will do the same and also help protect the rest of our fellow classmates and fellow Americans fighting over sees. I must go now Branden. I jsut wanted to be able to tell you the things I needed to. I was unable to attend your Memorial Service at the high school. Please know that I wanted to be there and to this day, wish I could have been! God bless!

To The Ramey and Trevino families, Stace, and all of Branden's close friends and our fellow classmates:
Please know that I am praying for all of you! I can not even imagine the pain you all are feeling. I was just a mere speck of dust in Branden's life. But let me tell you this. His passing on hit me so incredibly hard and touched me in so many ways that I didn't even know possible. It's unbelievable! We were all so lucky to have known him! Stacey- You had the perfect fiance and I know you will never find a love as great as the love you have for him! I'm here for you!
Family: I can only imagine how proud you are of him. You have every right to be proud to say he was (is) your son! He was a truely amazing and unique individual. I was lookign thorugh my year book and he was listed as our class's Dream Date! Stacey definitely couldn't have chosen anyone better. As a brother, he was teh perfect role Model! Know that he is always watching over you and protecting you. Also that is always with you! Whenever you miss him, all you have to do is look inside yourself and you'll find him. He'lll be waiting there to guide you and help you through. Please know that my thougts and prayers are with you all.
As for all close frineds and the class of 2001: It is our duty to keep his memory alive! I'm praying for those who knew him very well, that God will help see you through this difficult time. I pray that you can be strong for one another and for the family! I'm sure there are others along with em that only wish we had the opportunity to spend time with Branden and enjoy his company and unique personality.
God Bless everyone who has been affected by this horrible tradgedy and help keep the memory of Belvidere's Proud Marine Hero Alive!"
Julie Sanders (Belvidere High Class of 01') of Belvidere, IL - Dubuque, IA

"Being in San Diego for Nick's USMC boot camp graduation was very hard. We are very proud of him, but kept feeling you would have been there if you were alive. You would have been very proud of him also. We were missing you a lot that weekend. Yesterday and today, I'm going through pictures to make a banner for Nick's graduation party. Looking at pictures makes me laugh and cry. I cannot believe how alike you and Nick are; yet so different. I don't think the average person will see a resemblance, but I do. Seeing the two of you at different times; both of you have the same facial expressions when telling a story or when doing your comedy routines to entertain. I lose track of some of what Nick says because my brain says, "There's Branden again....there he is again." Nick even uses the same hand and body language you did. It's nice to see a part of you that way. I found a picture of you absolutely CRACKING UP with a friend. You looked like you were about to crack a rib. You always were so upbeat. I will cherish all memories of you. Nick will most likely be headed to Iraq in the next 6 months or so, as he went into INFANTRY. I hope you'll watch over him. Whatever God has planned is what we have to deal with. We love you so much and miss you more than anyone can imagine."
Sandy and dad of Madera, CA

"If only words could describ all these painful emotions, I went to see your dress blues. I didn't think it would be so emotion ( my goodness, they were just clothes you had worn) but the moment I seen them my heart broke. I guess I had forgotten just how tall you were and how proud you had once looked wearing those honorable clothes, something you belived so strongly in. I belived so strongly in you. Your still so much a part of me and it is really hard for others to understand. I guess since know one has walked in my shoes, noone could truly understand what a blessing you had been in my life. words can not even begin to explain but i know you were my angel on earth to show me the way to the light again; and you did just that. (thank you) I try and honor your memory in everything I do, there is not a moment that goes by that your not in thought.
I pray for your stacy, and for your loved ones, I know they are hurting still so deeply. ( i am in the process of getting something designed in your honor) for a suprise later to your mother and stacy, though we can no longer have you here with us my buddy, this is something that will shine in your glory. Branden, I must go for the moment, but please know that we all miss you and love you so much, that we will never forget you and the man you were, that you remain in our hearts forever, and that one woman who gave you her heart (stacy) is such an amazing woman that is dealing with alot of pain right now, please be with her and give her strenght and I pray that she still knows just how much you love her Branden, you made her such a wonderful person, she made you such a wonderful person also. God Bless you buddy, my hero. missing you so much.
all my inspirtation has died,"
Freedom thanks to my best buddy ramey of America

"It will be six months tomorrow that you have been gone. I miss you and think about you still everyday and think of your family and friends and of course Stace. I know that if I am hurting still your family and Stace have to be hurting 10 times more. I just know that you are always with all of us and look out for everyone who loved you. Knowing you as I did I'm sure you are trying to be a hero to everyone in this world and outside of it. I am so proud of you and so honored to have known you. I will never forget our times together....proms, great america, working together, bonfires, and so much more....you will never be forgetten. I love you and miss you everyday."
Rachel LePla of Belvidere, IL

"Hey B, I miss you! Even though you are in heaven watching down on all the people who love you and miss you ,I know that you are still smiling protecting the ones you hold close. But yet I still pray for your family and for your beautiful fiance Stacey. Ever since the day I met you B, way back when we've been close. I think you were that way with a lot of people you were a true genlteman and I know a lot of people looked up to you and still do. I can remember a lot of things but one that sticks out most was when I knew you had feelings for Stacey and I would tell you to go after her. We were close like that we looked after eachother and would tell eachother everything. I thought you'd get a kick out of that Stace because that was so long ago. He would tell me so many things about you like "Oh she's a tough one you'd never want to fight with her" and how funny you always were. So after I moved away I was so happy to hear when he told me that you two were dating. You see Stacey it's the memories you live off of, because that brings you to them. I wouldnt worry about anything people say only you, God, and of course Branden know what you have. This is my first time looking at this website and I thought it was very wrong that people are saying stuff about you and Ryan NO WAY! Honestly how dare them, not only is that rude but that is disrespectful so i am so sorry for those people that have too much time on their hands. Anyhow I just wanted to write a little something. Also thank you Stacey for being the way that you are the way he always talked so highly of you, you are very equal to all that he was. It really meant alot that you took the time to help me out and tell me about stuff. May you and his family just take it day by day, and live off the memories that you are so blessed to have. Take care and God Bless. As for you Busy Bee I can still hear you laughing and see you smiling. You've always done what you wanted to do and I admire you for that! Love and miss =) DARLA"
DARLA of Belvidere

"It seems when I sit down and try to put what my heart is feeling down on the screen, the message can not get from my heart, to the typeboard. My Goddness, it has been far to long, since you have been gone. I had to accept it, but I still can not believe it. a few weeks ago your troop came home from Iraq, it was great that they came home, but so devestating, becuase you were not with them. I supose after all this time I should have known that, but somewhere deep in my heart, I hoped maybe there was some tragic mistake and when your troop came home, by a miraculous miracle, you would just walk in smiling. I know it sounds crazy, but I guess sadly, the reality of your death makes me kind of crazy in my heart, I don't really know how to feel about it. I am so sad, so angry, so hurt, and so numb at times. I feel so selfish that i feel like that, and than i feel completly helpless to reach out to your loved ones. I have not seen or spoken to Stacy, since you have been gone. She is such a strong woman, hurting so much inside, but holding herself together. I know how much my heart aches and you were only like a brother to me, I can not imagine how Stacy must be feeling, or how your (family) mother is feeling. Your mother, is hurting so deep inside, But she carries herself so strong, ( i see where you got most of your wonderful personality and strenght) I can imagine in her heart, she must be so angry, that you are gone, I can only imagine the heart gripping pain of a mother, with the loss of her child.
Branden, you truly are missed. from your family, friends, loved one, and so many others. there is not a day that passes when your smile does not pop into my mind. I miss you so much, and I just pray that in these hard times you are with your family (mom) and stacy, they are hurting so much, well, I have to go, my heart aches too much ........ GONE but NEVER FORGOTTEN
SEMPER FIDELIS.... WE MISS YOU"

"MISS YOU!"
Sandy and Dad of Madera

"Our Heroes,
America's Best


They come from all walks of life,
Never seeking tribute for doing what was thought right,
Just going forward regardless the danger's rife,
Knowing that ultimate fate could come any day or night.
These are the ones who came to sow,
Seeds of freedom, liberty, justice and more,
To a new land many years ago,
That became what all who declared and fought for.

These are the ones who bled,
In the wars against tyranny,
Leaving the battlefields stained red,
Oh, so young and many.

These are the ones who protect,
From fire, disaster, and the lawless,
Going wherever to detect,
Keeping our country safe from duress.

These are the ones who explore,
Beyond earth's reach,
Into the stars they soar,
Allowing our dreams to go beyond the breach.

All are what make our country proud,
Passing the honor, duty, and courage test,
Making it easy to praise them loud,
As they are our heroes, America's best!



* I seen this, on a hero site and knew it belonged here as a tribute to my Hero Branden Ramey ( I miss you)"

"Some of you have asked how we are:
We hurt very much and I doubt the pain will go away. We get advice that it will be one year and all of a sudden the pain is gone. I can't imagine why. I know we'll be more "used to" his death, but that doesn't take away the pain. We have many good days where we know he is in paradise, doing better than any of us and we're proud that he is with God, proud like the way a parent would be if they could say "My son is the President of the United States"--and proud that God chose Branden to be a hero, proud that we were given the privilege of having a part in raising such a wonderful human being, proud that God chose us to help guide him. BUT...There are many days where we are STILL angry that this happened to him -to OUR BRANDEN -even tho we are proud he is a hero. I believe God has a plan for our death (date and time) long before we are born, and this was Branden's day and he would have died that day and time, no matter where he was, even if he were at home in bed --asleep. But I still have the anger that he's gone. I'm angry that God took him (yes, even tho I'm am proud that God wants him in Heaven-and took him), angry we have to be without him till we die (even tho I'm proud that he was welcomed into paradise and has a job to do there), angry that the President has the US soldiers over there (even tho I'm proud we help so many while also protecting our own country. Our emotions conflict every moment of every day. Just remembering Branden, his smile, his persuasive personality (manipulative?? haha), his jokes, his ability to entertain without trying, can put us in such good moods. Like I told someone awhile back, PRIDE AND PAIN are a very strange mix. We do thank everyone for all their kind words, thoughts, prayers, and support. I've learned a lot about the love and caring in each person on earth. Thank you so much for "being there" for all of us."
Sandy of Madera, CA

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; Love leaves a memory no one can steal."
Sandy of Madera, CA

"Perfectly said, (sorry, sometimes I cannot find the perfect words and they come out wrong but, I feel the same as Sandy on this matter)

Branden,
Miss you Buddy,"
Tina of America

"Stace:

Please don't allow someone else's opinions and uncontrollable, runaway mouth to rule your emotions (that's advice from someone that has made that mistake too often). They are being presumptuous more than hateful. It's human nature. Even if you wait 20 years to date, that will cause a stir of rumors in a small town like Belvidere. It doesn’t matter what you do, how you do it or with who, there will be rumors among those that know you or have only seen your face. I'm hoping everyone can give you the time to mourn on your own timetable and will try to entertain you, make you laugh and just be the shoulder you cry on. If they aren't there for you, don't worry about them or what they say; don't give them a second thought. Just do what makes you happy every day. If you do fall for someone else, it's meant to be. There are no timetables of anyone's grief. We have the capacity to love many people in our lifetime in many different ways. Enjoy and embrace that ability. You can fall for someone else when you're ready and it will never diminish what you feel for Branden. (Listen to Faith Hill's song "You'll be there"). I can honestly say Branden would not want you alone and unhappy. He will probably be pushing someone in your direction soon. You may not be looking for someone, but it WILL happen some day; you will love someone other than Branden. That's normal. When you're ready, it will not be a slap to Branden or his ability to choose the “right woman”. Nobody's opinion matters to your life, except your own. Always remember that. We love you and will always think of you as family, as Branden's reason for smiling, even when you love someone else and make a life with someone else. Right now, you're not thinking you will ever want that. But God made us too emotional, too loving, to be alone. The thoughts and opinions of others should never be a driving force in our actions or emotions. We love you, Stacey, and Branden and God love you. Don’t worry about the rest."
Sandy of Madera, CA

"In Honor of Branden Ramey,
Today, As I read the messages left for an amazing man, an amazing Marine, a true hero. tears came to my eyes and such a sadness to my heart as I read the moving message to Branden from his finace Stacy lee. How completely horriable that people could even accuse such a thing. (dating) obviously those of you, whom would assume such a heartless thing (oviously did not witness the love between Branden and Stacy) Branden Ramey was and still is, the very beat of Stacy's aching heart. Her day's revolved around him. such emotion you would witness when she spoke of him (constanly *smile*, and when he was near) Branden made her whole world rock, she loved him till no end and still does. countless times Branden came to the school were stacy and I attended. each time I would sneak him back to suprise her (she was in class) no matter what, when she seen Branden she stopped what ever she was doing and ran and leaped into his arms. (right out of class, in the middle of session) the love that Stacy and Branden shared and always will, is only a love that one imagines a fairy tale to be. (but the love they share is very real) the day Branden was killed, all of those whom knew and loved him. a part of those people died, expeacially his family, his parents, and Stacy. Stacy lee, lost the most important part of life that day, the other half of her, her soul, her heart!
No matter what we as individuals have been threw, and the pain we have felt can look into the heart of others and try and assume we know what a person is really feeling or going threw. as humans we try to be compassionate and understand, we also hurt. But to place blame on such a girl, who lost everything? That is just wrong and very heartless. Branden Ramey was one of the best men, I have ever known, he was my best buddy, I believe in all Branden stands for, and I support all the choices he has made, so for all of those whom ever you are made such acusations on stacy lee, What type of man do you think Branden was? don't you think that Branden was wise enough to choose a woman who would stand beside him no matter what? don't you think he would choose a woman he could trust? The fact that Branden asked Stacy to marry him, (unite and be as one heart, body and soul) should tell you that he believed in her, and trusted her for better or worse. Those of you whom bad mouth Branden's heart and soul, you are dishonoring what Branden believed in.
* Branden died for our country, for our freedom, for the freedom of all* so since I have nothing but admiration for my buddy, I step forward and say this......... people please, don't fall apart, don't bad mouth, don't dishonor. Branden was a man of Honor, Respect, (always faithful) he was loyal and caring. Branden was an amazing man, he would give you the shirt off his back. he smile was gold. I believe that Branden would be truly sad to see, any of us act in a hurtful way to anyone, exspeacilly those he loved. Branden being taken away from us all, should not make us act foolish hurt those around us, but it should make us realize that Branden died making a diffrence, now it is time for us, to take a stand and follow his lead, what diffrences should we be making? good ones as he did.
I know that so many are hurting with his loss, but Branden would truly want everyone sticking together and supporting one another, not trying to hurt each other. God Bless each one of you, and mostly. God Bless my hero Branden Ramey *let freedom ring*"
Tina.J of America

"Branden-
My heart, my soul, and my whole world .. everynight I lie in our bed and I pray.. I pray for our families , I pray for the rest of G Co. 2-24 and all the other troops, I pray for the families that are waiting patiently for their loved ones to come home, and I pray for those who have lost loved ones over sea's..I pray for my own strength to keep taking this heartbreaking and horrifying experience one day at a time, and I always end by saying "..and God most importantly please tell Branden that I love him and I miss him more than anything, that I think of him every minute of everyday, that i'm doing my best to take care of all those he loved as well as myself and that i'm trying to make him proud.. tell him I can't wait to be with him again and look into those bright blue eyes and see that smile.. the "Chutey baby smile" that only I got to see.... and Lord, tell him to stay with me, wait for me and please help keep me strong" when I finish my prayers I lay there and I talk to you like we spent everynight doing, we would lay there and talk for hours sometimes about life, about us, about our future and our past. I Love you Babe, without knowing how or when it all started back so many years ago.. I have loved you day in and day out.. being without you is the most painful thing I have ever had to do, I wake up and fall asleep everyday with this pain inside of me and it never goes away.. I don't think it ever will... I hear your voice over and over again in my head, helping me through my hard times..making me smile... making me laugh.. and sometimes making me cry.. I don't understand my dreams sometimes.. I will dream about you all the time but when I wake I never remember what happened.. but I always know in my heart..I just never have words for it.. I feel you with me all the time and the only thing that keeps me sane on the days i feel like im going to loose it is knowing good or bad happy or sad you are with me all the time.. you are here right now next to me.. I feel you.. everytime I close my eyes I see your face.. with your 11 different facial expressions and your 6 different smiles. I will love you for the rest of my life and no one will ever take that away.. everyone has been supportive and caring but those who were just there in the begining just to be there are standing out even more now because it is those same people who are talking negatively now.. only because those poor poor people have nothing else going in their lives so they feel the need to stir up problems amoung this small town.. this same town the both of us loved so much and wanted to grow old in.. has now found a new satisfaction in talking about things they have no idea about.. for example your very good Friend Ryan.. he has been there for your mother and I and bryce and brent day in and day out from the start.. but because many of these people didn't know the two of you were close I am being accused of dating him.. haha I know your laughing now and so are those who truly know you and I.. When you passed you took my heart.. and I don't want it back it is yours for all of eternity.. you've had it since I was 12 why would I want it back now haha.. and deep within me I know that I have yours.. and im NOT giving it back.. no one could ever take your place Chutey.. do you remember when we would sing in the car together all the time.. one of our favorite quotes from one of our favorite songs was " We're Lost But Holding Hands" how true that stands now.. I have read everything that has been put on this page and I appreciate each and everyone of you who have taken the time to write your thoughts and feelings about my heart and soul... isn't it amazing at 22 how many lives he touched? You all were so very close to his heart and from our families to yours we truly mean it from the bottom of our hearts when we say thank you. As for you my lil Chuter bug, haha I love you.. i've always loved you and I will continue to love you day in and day out for the rest of my life.. you are a hero to me and to all of US, keep me smiling, keep me laughing, and keep me strong so that I can keep everyone else who is hurting strong also... I love you Branden, I will see you in my dreams! Goodnight my Love! MMMMMMMUUUUAAAAHH ( sLLLLLRRRP hehe)"
Stacey Lee ( Branden's Fiancee), ( SoFuYaDa04@AOL.com) of Belvidere, Il

"Branden,
What a amazing day it is today, the sun is out, the birds are singing. a sure sign that spring is here. *smile* as I was walking with Emmy, a woman asked me who that handsome man was on my pin? Before I could even say a thing Emmy spoke out, That is Branden he died in Iraq. He was my mommy's best buddy. The woman looked at your picture on my pin and smiled. she said that it was very sad. Emmy smiled at me, and said " it is ok, Branden is a Hero, He is with Jesus in Heaven and Branden is not sad" it has always amazed me when she speaks like so...... but it is so true. The truth a child brings to such subjects.*smile* I miss you so very much, your memory is in everything I see and do, your family misses you so much also.... I know that your in heaven and what an honor. I miss you, see you again one day my hero.
miss you, love always your buddy."
Freedom Thanks to my hero Branden Ramey of America

"Let me rephrase....

I'm thankful others get to come home...(I think I said that), but I resent not having Branden and his smiling face with us all.

We love you."
Sandy of CA

"Dear Sandy,
As a good friend of Branden's since we were little, I can say that I was... disappointed in your last message. I pray for your family in Cali as well as his mothers side in Illinois and all of his friends and people he touched everywhere he went. Please remember that Branden WANTED to be in Iraq. Please remember that Branden was not scared to go over and die for his country, for people who were not free, for people he had never met. Every part of me misses Branden every day. I wish I could see his smiling face just one more time for 10 seconds. But I don't resent that he was not able to come home. Branden died doing what he loved. I believe that it was Branden's time to go whether he was in Iraq fighting, or home safe. It was his time. I have friends that are over there right now. Friends of Branden as well. He would not want you to resent their homecoming when they do make it back. He would not want you to be bitter.
I just went to another going away party for someone else leaving to go over there. It was the hardest thing I've had to attend since Branden's funeral. I cried for hours and had to talk myself into going to say goodbye in case he was not coming back either. As a matter of fact, we cried together about Branden not being here, and we shared stories of Branden. Those are not things a soldier needs to hear as he is leaving, but we all love Branden.
Nobody is happy or accepting or over the fact that Branden is no longer here. And God is not punishing you or anyone else. Branden WANTED to be there. Branden died being the HERO he always was to everyone. He's one of America's heros now. And it's sad that you wish a shorter life for youself. Branden would not want that. You have a family here that needs you. Branden is patiently waiting for all of us and still looking out for all of us. Stay strong for Branden and your family. Branden does not want you there with him yet. It's not your time. We will all have plenty of time with Branden when it is our time and then, it will be nothing but happiness and tears of joy, no more pain and hurting. So live your life to the fullest as Branden always did. You're correct in saying the pain doesn't go away. It never will. You are allowed to hurt and even be angry if you want. But please do remember that Branden WANTED to be there and I can't stress that enough.
I can't wait to greet my friends and cry that they did make it home and be thankful for that. I will continue to pray for you and everyone that Branden touched. I also pray that those still fighting do make it home safe. Branden is still here, remember his smile. Cry tears of happiness.
God Bless you Branden. I miss you everyday and you will never be forgotten. Continue watching over all of us."
Stephanie of Belvidere, IL USA

"Branden, I have a co-worker that just came back from Iraq. I really thought I'd be okay seeing him. I wasn't. I thought I had accepted that you were in Paradise and waiting for us and I would be able to look at these returning soldiers and be happy that they came home. It didn't work out that way. I had a little trouble getting air when I first saw him...then we talked a bit and before I knew it, I was crying. I cried off and on the rest of the day and am not even positive why. I have a resentment. I'm happy for him that he was able to come home...but I resent the fact that not everyone is able to come home. I didn't know it would hit so hard. We miss you so much. Your dad asked me if I've ever asked God WHY!! Of course. I wonder if we're being punished, then my brain clears and I remember God isn't a punishing God, but an all loving God. He isn't punishing. We're learning. I can honestly say I hope our lives here are much shorter than originally planned, because we would like to ALL be with you. I just hope we all can go together.

We love you and think of you continually. The pain just doesn't go away, and the shock of it all is still very fresh. We pray for you. Please help us with this acceptance.

Love ya"
Sandy of Madera, CA

"Sandy, This is Teri Mason-Reeverts. Remember me from Northwoods? My heart breaks everytime I think of you all and the pain that you have had to face. I have a Freedom Isn't Free with Branden's Picture on it on my desk to remind everyone who enters the price your family has paid for freedom. I was at the memorial service and wanted to talk to you but there were so many people that I wasn't able to. It was a beautiful memorial....Let me hear from you sometime. Kidbiz82@aol.com"
Teri Reeverts of Belvidere, IL

"Branden,
I check this thing every single day. And yet, never found the words to put together to leave something. I felt like whatever I left, it wasn't going to say enough about how much you meant to me. All of these messages speak of how great of a man you are, not were, because you're still are here. They all speak of how you touched everyone's lives you met because you just have that energy that surrounds you and everyone can sense that when you were around. I'm leaving something today because I'm on my way out to a going away party for a young man in the National Guard whom I've never met, but he's a good friend of one of my friends. I missed your going away party. I don't even remember what was going on that day and why I couldn't make it and I've regreted it every day since then. When I got that phone call that you're life had been taken, I was so hard on myself because I didn't even get to say my goodbye. I finally found you in a dream about a month later and it was so real. You didn't stay for long, but I got to say my goodbye. I think had that dream not taken place, things would be even harder trying to accept that you're waiting for me up above.
Had I of known that day you and Staci came into LoneStar while I was working was the last day I'd get to see your smiling face and those bright blue eyes, I would have embraced each moment even more. I would have held on a little longer and a little tigher you when left. I would have laughed harder at your silly little comments. I would have taken a closer look at the way you and Staci looked at each other because you two have something so special. We're all so young and dream of a once in a lifetime, true love and you two had that. It was amazing and refreshing to see that in you two and it gives me hope that there are good guys still out there.
I wear your dog tag that your mother gave to me. It's never left me, ok, only when someone makes me take it off for sports purposes and let me tell you, I put up a fight! I'm not sure when I'll take this off, everyone keeps asking me why I still have it on or how long until I take it off. I don't have an answer. I don't wear it to remind me of you. There is always something happening around me that makes me smile and think of you. Rachel spoke of seeing a white probe out and about and getting excited to think maybe you were driving. I do that all the time. Certain songs come on the radio and I just laugh and think of those crazy dances in high school. Every person I see in uniform, I think of you and how proud you are to serve your country. I haven't been able to watch any war movies or even CNN anymore because I just see you that day your body was taken. I know your spirit is still here, I can feel it. I tried to watch Saving Private Ryan a few weeks ago. That opening scene, didn't go over so well. And you know me.. little miss tough girl who doesn't cry, well I did, and I ignored someone's kind gesture because of pride. That's something I wish I could take back as well. A loving arm around me was what I needed and I didn't take that. You were always giving your loving arm and shoulder to cry on. I still cry to you and I know you're still watching over me like you always did.
The last few times I've been home, I haven't made it to see you, but tomorrow I will be stopping by. Even at your grave, where most people feel uneasy, I can still feel your big heart and I can feel you there and I look forward to still coming to see you just as if you could sit up and give me a big hug.
Keep Phil safe wherever he is. I pray for you brother who joined the Marines and hope your family in Cali is doing well. I see your mom and brothers every so often when I go home. Keep a close watch on them, keep guiding them in the right direction because they are struggling with how to deal with life right now. I haven't seen Staci, but I pray for her as well. She's so strong and loves you so much and I admire her courage through all of this. I'm sorry to continue on, I should have left something a long time ago. You truely are one of a kind Branden Ramey! You're always in my prayers, on my mind, and in my heart. You never will be forgotten. Until the next visit, the next dream, the next memory, or my body is no longer here, you're with me wherever I go and I can't wait to see your smiling face once again. God Bless you for all you've given and all you continue to be in my life. I miss you so much and love you even more. Freedom Isn't Free, but someone's got to do it."
Stephanie of Belvidere, IL USA

"To my hero,
I can remember the first time I met you through my brother. You were a skinny little 7th grade boy. We continued to become better friends through high school. Our lockers were across from each other. I remember sitting in the "locker bay" before school and you always made my mornings bright. You dated my best friend through your first years in high school and I got to enjoy homecomings and proms with you. I remember taking pictures with you and they would always come out looking beautiful because you were in them. Your smile and your beautiful eyes are always lingering in my memory. I miss you each and every day. Whenever I see a white ford probe I hope you are behind the wheel and when I realize that is not possible I start to cry. I loved having you as a friend. You were a great friend to me and to all those whose lives you touched you will never be forgetten. I am so proud to have watched you from being a boy to becoming a man and now you are known to me as my HERO. I miss you and I love you very much. You will always be in my thoughts and prayers. My heart goes out to your family and all of your friends who miss you very much. I will see you and your smile again someday. Until then, watch over all of us like you always did."
Rachel LePla of Belvidere, IL/USA

"Branden:

It's been over 4 months,
and the tears still fall
Since you left here to answer,
the Lord's call.

Unselfish and committed,
knowing the ultimate price
Of fighting for your country's freedom,
and sacrificing your life.

Such a devoted son, fiance,
marine, and friend
Who had a heart of gold,
that no one could contend.

A true hero you are,
honoring the motto "Semper Fi",
Your memory will always live on,
and your spirit will never die.

You are deeply missed by many and forgotten by none..."
Missy Wirth of Belvidere, IL

"If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again."
Sandy and Dad of Madera, CA

"Branden-
To a friend and a brother to all of us on the RUSH football team. It is hard for all of us to even expect this happened. You and many others have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country so we can be where we are today. Branden had a unique personality as anyone who knew him would say. He told it the way it was. I always respected him for that. HE will always be a part of the RUSH football team and I know he will always be watching over us. I gave Branden my word before he left that I would not give up his football number. I am a man of my word and we are retiring his number at our first home game on July 9, 2005. WE are also showing our respect to Branden by wearing our RUSH logo on our helmets that will be in red, white, and blue with a #17 inside the R of our logo. At home and away games there will be a jersey on the sideline with Branden's #17. This will always be on our sideline as long as the RUSH will be around. To all the families, our condolences go out to you. And to Branden, God Bless and we will meet again one day.
Brian Kelly-Roscoe RUSH Owner"
Brian Kelly of Belvidere, IL

"Ramey,
it seems as if just yesterday you were taken away. Though it has been almost four months. It just seems so unreal. Like, you will still walk threw the door. Praying for some sort of miricle. (though I know this could never be.) Time does not seem to get easier, it is only a sad reminder that it has been just that long with out the wonderful presence of you in our lives. I feel as if I can not shed another tear, and than at the same time I feel as though I can not stop crying inside. With every sun rise and sun set, I miss the person that was such a good friend to me. I miss the man that brought a smile to so many around him. I miss the man that treated all with respect. I miss the wonderful effect that you had on all the people around you. To tell you the sad truth. you were the glue that held so many things together. now since you are no longer here, people are changing. we are all so sad, that it is hard to be the person you helped us to be. the smiles we once shared now have turned into anger. were laughter filled the rooms,now just heart filled tears echo off the walls. you truly were a gift from heaven and you showed us how to love, care, smile, and have joy. I miss you so very much and I know that you are in Heaven watching over us, and what an honor that is. (but we rather have you here) Oh.... ok, I will stop complaining now, and being selfish. I know that your in a much better place, but my sadness wants me to just be so selfish and wish you back here. (i am sorry)
It is just, I miss you so much.
Branden, you were such a good friend to me, like my brother and I have never ever had someone like that, so it is so very hard for me to let you go. Just the other day, I seen this man, He resemebled you, as you once were. his walk,his stance, his eyes and his smile. I watched him for a long time with tears in my eyes....... knowing that sadly you are forever gone to this earth, but for one moment in watching him, you were there. It was the way he spoke with the children, it was his gestures. If only for a moment, I wanted to go over to him and just hug him. That is when I realized how much I still miss you, how much I will always miss you. People have told me, " get over it, it is time to move on" that is bull****, This is not something I will ever get over. The loss of you, will be with me for the rest of my life. I don't want to forget you, all you have done for me, will always be with me. sadly though i had to except your death. but i will never get over it. to me, you were not just some story in the paper. just a puase in my life, and now i can move on. you were my friend, my brother and my hero. so... I miss you so much. I think of your loved ones day in and day out and pray for them. becuase if my heart aches this much, than i can only imagine the pain of those that loved you so very much, like your father, sandy, your mother, stacy, bryce, brent, mellisa, nick, your grandparents. ( and your Marine Brothers) your friends. ok..... Branden, though your in Heaven..... I miss you so much. Love always and forever. your buddy."
forever remembering my Hero of America

"One More Day
Last night I had a crazy dream.
A wish was granted just for me, it could be for anything.
I didn't ask for money, or a mansion in Malibu.
I simply wished for one more day with you.

One more day.
One more time.
One more sunset maybe I'd be satisfied.
But then again,
I know what it would do.
Leave me wishing still for one more day with you.

The first thing I'd do, is pray for time to crawl.
I'd unplug the telephone, and keep the TV off.
I'd hold you every second.
And say a million "I Love You's"
It's what I'd do for one more day with you.

One more day.
One more time.
One more sunset maybe I'd be satisfied.
But then again,
I know what it would do.
Leave me wishing still for one more day with you.

by Diamond Rio"
Dad, Sandy, Nick and Melissa of Madera, CA

"Branden, time is just not making this any easier. We all miss you so much, seems we cry all the time. We are all so proud of you, for the man you were, for the friend you were, for the laughter and entertainment you provided, the giggles, the love you gave with a smile all the time. We will forever cherish memories of you and our time with you. We'll see you again soon. Please watch over your brother Nick...he leaves for boot camp on Feb. 21st. He wants to be just like you. We love you bunches!"
Sandy of Madera, CA

"You will be in my prayers as well as all the other brave soldiers fighting for us, i also have friends who are over there and pray that they will return. But if they should not i just thank God for bringing them into my life, there should be no worries because we will all be together again back home/heaven in no time. Stay positive and God Bless"
Justin of chicago, Illinois

"Ramey,
A new year has slipped in with the silent memories of yesterday. It seems as though it was just yesterday I seen your smile.
you were cutting a steak for stacy. than walking around with a rifle shooting God knows what? out in stacy's field. your target was hit and you collected your prize. dang you had a great shot. that smile you displayed sticks in my every thought. If only i could bring you back to that moment and I don't know? trade places? something? even though you are my hero and always were. And i am so proud of you and always have been, i know you volunteered to go to iraq and that was so honorable. I know you loved your job and wanted to be there. But still... if i could go back to that day, I would keep you here with us. regardless of what you wanted. *smile*
Honestly this world is at a great horrific loss with out you in it. people just are not made like you any more. your mother hit the jack pot when she created you.*smile* after you were killed, I never thought a day would come when I could smile, at the sound of your name or at your memory.
though pain is in my heart and i miss your each and every day, when i think of you, i smile each time. just the thought of who your were, who you made me, the friendship your showed me, all the encouragement in my dispear. all the fun and stupid things we said. *smile* you truly touched my life, not only were you an amazing friend to me, I also found a friend in stacy. she is an amazing woman, so strong. she holds you with her in everything she does. she already has the marriage planned for the very first moment she reunites with you. *smile* now that is some woman. *miss you very much, *"
lasting memories of Freedom thanks to the brave like my hero Branden Ramey

"Branden- You are the epitomy of an American Hero. I thank God for putting such a good person on this Earth to better everyone around them as well as protect them. I am absolutly blessed to have got a chance to know you and play baseball with you as well as be your friend. I think of you and your ultimate sacrafice you have givin every single person in this country every day. I pray for Stacey and the rest of your family every night.

Until we meet again.........Cheers"
Josh Gerard of IL

"It is now January 2005 and yet it still seems like yesterday that I received that life changing phone call from my brother on November 8. My brother Jimmy called me in Tennessee to tell me that the Marines were waiting for my sister Pam when she came home from work. All the memories came rushing back when I would take care of him while my sister went to college to try to finish her nursing degree. Remembering how Branden would call me sissy when he was little. When my own son Jaryd was born and how he sworn for years that Branden was his brother not his cousin because they loved each other so. All the memories of Papa and Nana sharing precious time with their grandchild and my sister letting those memories grow and grow.

I wonder if there will ever be a day when I can think of my nephew and just smile and feel the warmth of his love instead of crying because it feels like someone has torn my heart out of my chest and threw it on the ground. It is a true reminder that freedom is not free and I could not be prouder of my newphew for he made the ultimate sacrifice. Branden was truly one in a million and the whole family is proud of him for his need to make a difference in this world. I thank God for giving us the priviledge and honor of knowing and loving Branden for the 22 years we had him rather than never of having him in our lives at all. I also pray for my sister for her pain is immeasurable for she has lost her first born-her little pony boy. I know one day we will see Branden again with that unforgettable grin and curly hair. Until that day nephew-keep watch over us all, we are so proud of you and we love you and miss you immensely."
Aunt Robin of Murfreesboro, TN USA

"Branden, I don't even know where to begin...I'm extremely proud of you as well as I am proud of your family and especially Stace...Everyone is so strong because you helped them be that way...Your mother is an amazing woman, it is such an privilage to know her...She speaks so highly of you, as well as anyone who knew you would...Like mother like son...I know you sit and probably laugh at billy ray, donnie, and I but we're trying to keep smiles on our faces...I love you Branden and will never forget you!!! You and your family are always in my thoughts and prayers!!!
To Pam and the boys, I love you all...The love you guys share with everyone is priceless...Bryce and Brent remember this...you now have a sister who is a lot tougher than your brother...Stace loves you all so much!!! Take care of yourselves otherwise you'll have to deal with her!!! If you guys ever need anything what so ever I am here for you guys and you as well Pam...I love sitting and talking with you Pam, some of the things you come up with are great...You live in the real world!!! I love you all and my thoughts and prayers are always with you!!!
Stace, you are like my little sister...you have been there for me and I hope i've been there for you!!! I'll never forget what you said when you fell into my arms at Pam's...You said, "No matter what has happened with us in the past, I knew you would be here." There is no other place I've wanted to be since you found out...I want you to know that I am always here for you no matter what happens, no matter what time, and no matter where we are!!! I love you with all my heart!!! You are such a beautiful person inside and out...I am so glad I have the honor and it is an honor of being your friend!!! I love you Billy Ray!!! <3 always and forever, Shel a.k.a. Herb"
Michele of Belvidere, Il

"HEAVEN must be a peaceful place where everyone will find sweet comfort for the spirit and contentment for the mind.

HEAVEN must be the perfect place all hearts are dreaming of, for only heaven is lovely enough for the cherished souls we LOVE.

Have faith that the ones we love are not lost to us forever, but wait to live with us in peace for all eternity."
Sandy of Madera, CA

"Branden, you will be missed bro! I can't explain in words how much of an impact your death has had in the community and in the U.S.. Branden you helped introduce me to Angela, and although we are no longer together I will never forget the time I was with her, and who brought me to her. Branden you did all the good things in life. Even the crazy times we had especially with Todd, myself, Hank, Drew, Teague, Hughes, Bach, Sam, Winters, and Blaine. Branden I miss so much and everyday I think about you, and what we have loss and friends and family, and a nation. You are a hero! I ask myself everyday if I have the courage to do what you did, and unfortunately the answer is no. You were such a brave human being and soldier. Stacey will miss you and never forget about you, and one day you will both meet in paradise and be together. Branden now that you are with our Lord watch over us all, and bring back our boy Todd we can't deal with losing both of you. I received a letter from him recently and he is doing okay. Keep him safe baby boy, he needs you, after all he's one of the reasons you left this great country. To be by your brother's side. Everyday I dream of what it would be like if this had not happened, but the fact is that it did, and there is nothing we can do but be strong and help your family, friends, and your fiance stacey through this. Branden thanks for everything you gave us in life, for the people that make wrong decisions and don't act as they should your actions make me want to be a better person. I have lost a friend and a hero. I love you bro and I'll always miss you and never forget you! I'll see you someday my friend! Shake my hand as I enter the gates that you guard in heaven. You will be missed but never forgetton! Love you! Bring Todd back safe we need part of you and him back here!

Semper Fi bro!"
Erik Fisher of Bloomington/Normal--Roscoe, IL

"Branden-
Where do I begin, you are my heart my soul and my life. I wanted nothing more than to wake up and fall asleep next to you for the rest of my life. I love you and I will continue to love you day in and day out for the rest of my life. You are such a wonderful person and I consider myself the luckiest person ever to have had a chance to be with you for so long. You are my hero , my lil chutey baby! I love you in so many ways.. I will see you in my dreams night after night and until we can be together, keep me strong and keep me smiling! I love you
love always and forever
Stace
( When we meet again you better believe first things first....A WEDDING! SMILE FOR ME! )"
Stacey Lee of Belvidere Il

"FOR YOU, SON, AT CHRISTMAS

Family Ties are lasting bonds
that are woven in each heart
to keep a family close in thought
together or apart!!

Busy lives and hectic days
have not been on our side,
but that can't change the family ties
or heartfelt love and pride
that are here for you whenever
we're together or apart,
for you are such a special son-
and always close in heart.

WE ARE HOLDING YOU CLOSE TO OUR HEARTS THIS CHRISTMAS AND FOREVER."
DAD AND SANDY of Madera, CA

"NEXT TO YOU:

YOU CANNOT SEE US
BUT WE'RE STANDING NEXT TO YOU
YOUR TEARS CAN ONLY HURT US
YOUR SADNESS MAKES US BLUE
BE BRAVE AND SHOW A SMILING FACE
LET NOT YOUR GRIEF SHOW THROUGH
WE LOVE YOU FROM A DIFFERENT PLACE
YET WE'RE STANDING NEXT TO YOU!"
BRANDEN RAMEY AND FELLOW ANGELS of HEAVEN

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

"I grew up right next door to Branden. He was a GREAT person. We shared many many great times together. Everyone is right when they say that he could light up anybody with a smile. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. I know this is a time of great loss for you, but remember this, we will all see him one day soon. Branden is in a MUCH better place!
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14"
Steve and Dawn Robin (Lawson), Melody and Ethan of Belvidere Illinois

"To the family of Branden.
May God be with you during this great time of sorrow. He made the ultimate sacrifice for my freedom! He is a true hero. Feel free to contact me at anytime. crk9551@hotmail.com"
Candy of Poynette, WI

"~ Never Forgotten~
Standing in silence, while tears fall to the ground. Emptiness fills the hearts of many come to say one last Goodbye. The hardest farwell, to all those whom knew and loved Branden Ramey
A true Hero, many admire those in the movies and on the court,But not I. For my Hero wore a Marine Uniform and the price he paid for freedom was his life.
It has almost been a month since he was taken from us all, and yet my heart still can not except he is for ever gone. its as if only yesterday i seen that smile that charmed so many, heard that laugh that encluded all those around. He was here for only a short time, but touched everyone around him. He is a True Hero, An angel in disguise. I will never forget him. ( his brother shared a story of how just days before he was killed, he called home and told them of how he was friends with a small child in iraq and that they were learning each others langues and how the little boy came in to harms way and Branden ran to try and save him. He risked his life that day, Branden was aware of the price. NOW THAT IS A TRUE HERO"
Unknown of Usa

"Branden, we are truly blessed to have known and loved you -- there won't be a day that goes by that we won't be reminded of your shining face, your intoxicating smile, your warm and caring spirit, your zest for life. We shall carry our love for you in our hearts forever, and be eternally grateful for the unselfish sacrifice made for us. Until we meet again, our young hero...
Love, Aunt Laurie and Uncle John"
Laurie Breit of Rockford, IL

"I am Branden's stepmom. I could not have special ordered a better stepson. He was soooo wonderful. I have always loved him, since his birth; his personality made it impossible not to love him forever.

To all: We want to extend our appreciation to those whose kindness, generosity, compassion and, most importantly, prayers have supported our families. There are those wo open their hearts to others, who never think twice about giving of themselves. They are the wonderful, warmhearted people who make all the difference in our lives and in the world. Your thoughtfulness has a way of touching lives, of making days a little brighter, hearts a little happier, and problems seem a whole lot smaller. And though you may not hear it often, you are appreciated very much. Thank you for all the ways you all gave so much of yourselves. Your kindness will never be forgotten.

Branden, we love you and will see you in paradise when it's time.

Sandy (sandyramey@comcast.net)
Branden's dad can be written to at randyramey@comcast.net."
Sandy Ramey of Madera, CA

"My sister went to school with Branden, she always had something nice to say about him, She was hit hard with the news of his death. So was I. I never really new him personally, but I know I will never forget him. He is a true hero. Stacy, my thooughts are with you. You probably don't remember me, but we went to middle school together. We had gym class together before I moved. You were always so nice to me and Branden and you deserved each other. All my Love
"Rest in Peace Branden""
Alison of Roscoe IL

"To The Ramey and Travino Family,

I would like to extend my deepest sympathy for your loss. Branden was a great kid. I was fortunate to be able to meet Branden through my brother Doug Richards. Branden and I spoke about the Marine Corps when I would come home on leave and he looked forward to going into the Corps. I have been in the Marine Corps for a little over four years now and I know the sacrafices that are made when you are in the service. Branden gave the greatest sacrafice anyone could give for his country and his beliefs. You are all in my prayers. RIP Branden and Semper Fi"
Cpl Rachael Richards/ USMC of Naval Weapons Station, Charleston, S.C.

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

"Branden will forever be remembered as a true hero in my eyes and everyone elses. He was a great guy and could put you in a good mood instantly just by giving you that little smile of his. I've never been more proud to have walked the same hallways as someone as brave and courageous as Branden was. He will be missed everyday. " For some life lasts a short while, but the memories it holds last forever""
Sarah of Belvidere, IL

"In Honor of a Fallen Hero,
since the day i met Ramey, he was a very important part of my life. I can not capture into words how wonderful of a person he truly was becuase this web site is not large enough. (smile)
He believed in me when noone else had and he was the best buddy a girl could ask for. This is the most horrific loss any family should endure, and stace, he loved her like no other. she was the beat that made his heart work. i witnessed thier fairy tale romance (way to often) smile. they truly loved one another. Branden took great honor in serving his country. he believed in making this whole world a better place and he treated everyone with respect. I remember when me and stace stopped in to visit him while he was working, (recruiting) he had to make a Marine Board.He took so much pride in making it great, he even went to the fabric store to get red fabric for the back round. when he showed us the finished product. it was amazing. made you want to get up and enlist in the marines (smile) he truly touched my life, and everyday i will honor his memory, this world is some much sadder with out our ramey in it. May we all feel peace in knowing that he loved what he did, he was great at it, he is a hero and one day we will see him again in heaven. and stace than you will meet your prince and marry as you should have.
i am here if you ever need me, and his family also. GOD BLESS Salute (miss you ramey)"
~T.J~ of Rockford Il USA

"My condolences to the family and friends of Branden Ramey. I can only begin to imagine what you all are going through. I am always thinking of Branden and I remember what a great person he was. He had the best personality and was always able to make anyone smile. He was truly one of a kind. It's hard when you lose a friend when they are so far away. The service at the high school was beautiful and it helped bring us all together to celebrate his life. It truly reflected how Branden touched so many people. We will always remember you Branden."
Andrea Henao of Belvidere, IL

"Roses are red violets are blue
I will remember him
and so will you..
Roses are red violets are blue
Branden is a hero
and a ture one too..
Roses are red violets are blue
I will miss him
you will too..
Roses are red violets are blue
I will remember him
and so will you.."
Ashley Hinkle of Belvidere, IL./USA

"To the family of Branden;
Our sincerest condolences for your loss. Branden is a true American hero and will always be remembered by us for his bravery and ultimate sacrifice he gave to our country. Our family has also suffered the loss of my nephew in this battle for freedom. May God bless you during this difficult time."
Vic and Tammy McClain--azquail@att.net of Tucson, AZ

"RIP Tufelhunden The Taylors USMC NC"

"To the family and friends of Lance Corporal Branden P. Ramey,

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

"My heart goes out to the family of B. Ramey and that they are in my prayers and in my heart. And to Stacey, you are like a sister to me. I love you Stace and you are in my prayers and I will always be there for you. There's nothing more to say except that Ramey was one of a kind. I had the pleasure of being friends with him since I was 8 years old. We first met when we were playing flag football and we just had an instant friendship. I had the pleasure of becoming one of his best friends throughout high school and thereafter. I have so many memories of B. Ramey that I will never forget. I love you Ramey, I miss you, and you will always be in my heart. 4-LIFE"
Tim Buhl of Belvidere, IL

"My heart goes out to Branden's family and espeically to you, Stacey. You are trying to be so strong for everyone and I am so proud of you. This is a terrible thing that has happend, but just know that the memories you have in your heart of Branden will make him live eternally. You and his family are all in my prayers. I love you and pray for some comfort to come your way."
Erica Harris of Belvidere, IL

"To the Family and Friends,
Ive known Branden since little league baseball. I joined the Marines in 1999 my Senior year and Branden always asked questions on what it was like and what I would be doing. Branden was a good kid with a good heart. He will be missed by all and it is a great loss to all of us. My family and i send our thoughts and prayers during this tragic time. Remember the good times and he will always be here.

Semper Fi and R.I.P. Marine..............................."
Andrew, Katie, and Zoe Tschumper of Escondido, Ca (Belvidere, IL)

"Branden will be missed by everyone who knew him. My condolences to his family, Stacey, Phil, and everyone else. God knows these are really bad circumstances, but TOGETHER everyone will get through this. That's what friends & family are for! Stac, you and Branden were PERFECT together, and this is SOOOO unfortunate, but you're a strong girl, and I know you're doing the best you can..you've got my best wishes in getting through this. And Phil..I can't even imagine losing a best friend, keep your head up big man, I'm here if ya need me...I love ya! My deepest sympathy to all of Branden's family. We all admire his strength and courage...Branden will never be forgotten!!!"
Megan of Belvidere

"branden is a good kid a will always be remembered. i send my deepest sympathy to the family of branden and may he rest in peace."
daniel shelabarger of belvidere, il

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

"I didn't know Branden, but I have known Bryce since 4th grade! and he is sucha great kid, and the way everyone talks about Branden it reminds me so much of Bryce. Just know, i live right down the street, if you ever need anything, and you are all in my thoughts and prayers. We will ALL greatly miss Brandem Ramey. It was sucha a shock to all of us. Even the ones that didn't know him. And Pam and Eddy! Oh my! its going to be okay guys! and Stacey I don't know you but, you are in my thoughts also! if any of you need anyting! bryce you know where i live! I love you all! Oh so very much! <3"
Erin Wilcox of Belvidere, IL

"I've known Brandon for years and years and this is not at all what I could ever have imagined. He was always full of energy and had so much passion. He'll forever be missed by everyone who knew him. My prayers are with his family, friends, and fiance. Although he is gone, he will NEVER be forgotten and will live on through those he loved.
Farewell...we'll be seeing you..."
Kelly McCormick of Belvidere and Carbondale, IL

"To the family of Branden, Stacey, and Phil..
I met Branden through Phil. He was always smiling. I talked to Branden a lot about my brother (also a Marine). & hung out w/him a few times w/Phil. He was a great guy and I know I will truely Miss him. Stacey Keep Smiling Hun remember all the good times you had and i remember when we all went mini putting, I remember telling Phil (LOOK HOW CUTE THEY ARE).. And Phil, I love you like a brother.. You know im here for you.. You can call me anytime. Branden I'll Miss you"
Stephanie Tschumper of Belvidere

"To Branden's Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your soldier's bravery and sacrifice.

Sincerely,

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

"Dear family of Branden P. Ramey,
I am sending my condolences to your family and especially his fiance Stacy. I am greatly sorry for you and your family. We all know that Branden is in a better place. Also, I know that he will always be remebered in Boone County. Words and thoughts won't help that much, but I know you will take it into consideration. Branden is a hero in Boone County. God bless you and your family forever and always."
Brittany of Boone County Illinois

"I spoke to Branden not long before he left. He was always wondering about others making sure eveything was alright. The first thing he asked me is how my brother (recently out of the marines) was doing. He mentioned that he was leaving soon, but also made a point to say that he didnt have to but WANTED TO. He has that smile that lightens up a day. No matter what kind of day you are having all you have to do is talk to him and know that everything will get better. Branden is strong and has alot of courage and bravery and for that I thank him. To the family and Stacy my condolences go out to you.
Forever in my prayers Rest in Peace Branden Ramey"
Michelle Tschumper of Belvidere, IL

"Just before Branden went overseas I had the pleasure to chat with him at Old Chicago, which in my mind seems not too long ago. My vividest memoirs of him was his uncanny ability to do great in whatever areas he pursued, be it in the classroom or on the baseball field. Well-liked and admired by his peers as a genuine personality instilled with good morals and ethics, he stood apart from many because he was the perfect blend of class and charisma. It is my hope that the prayers of my family, especially myself and my brother Dan, will bring you comfort in your time of need..."
David / Dan Pawlowski and Family of Poplar Grove, Illinois

"My deepest sympathy, our family has also suffered the loss of a precious life in this battle for freedom. May God bless you and help you through this time. Forever in our hearts a HERO Branden P. Ramey."
Amy & Aaron Monier of Waterford, MI.

"To the friends and family of Lance Cpl. Branden Ramey,

There are no words that can possibly ease your pain but please know that many across this country are grateful to your son and you. His bravery and sacrifice will never be forgotten. Please accept these words as a token of my heartfelt sorrow for your loss.

Respectfully,"
Rebecca of Los Angeles

"Dear Hurting Family,
In my eyes, this is an attempt to capture in words the essence of how sorry I am that you have had to endure such a loss. I knew Branden from high school,(I graduated in 2000 from BHS). Although I didn't know him that well, his smile was one I could recognize from a mile away. I'm a veteran myself, and I've had to ask God for the words to say that would maybe bring some comfort to a hurting family on more occasions than wished. I can't even begin to imagine what you are feeling. I've lost friends/comrades, but not a son, or a sibling, or a life-long companion in such a way. So, what else can I say, but thank you--and his body may have been layed to rest, but a spirit like his knows no boundaries. God bless you and keep you as your sorrow is acknowledged by heaven."
Vanessa Garcia (Casiano) of Belvidere, IL

"To Branden's 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 Branden Ramey, 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 Lance Cpl. Branden Ramey:
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 Branden 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 Lance Cpl. Branden Ramey:
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 Branden, 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