Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Rel A. Ravago IV

21, of Glendale, California.
Ravago died in Mosul, Iraq when hostile forces attacked the vehicle he was in. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Died on November 23, 2003.

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"I knew Rel in the Army. He was in 1st battalion 502nd Infantry and I was in 2nd batt. When I first met him, we instantly clicked as we were both from So Cal. We even had one common friend in Cali. Since we had different units, we didn't see each other. The one time I saw him, I was excited to see my brother. We talked about what we were going to do when we got back home. I still miss you, Rel."
Paul of Fort Worth, Tx

"PS- Watch our for M for me this year. I have a feeling thing one will be a little rough for him."

"Once again, I have changed my profile picture to the "I touched an angel" one for you. I have a new place that makes me think of you. I'm not sure why, but for the last year or so, you seem to make yourself known when I drive by the small local airport here. It's only when the lights are lit up a certain way. There was one night that there was a beacon that was flashing, and it freaked my kids out. I said it was probably a way for the airport to call a plane home that was having a hard time seeing through the fog. My daughter asked me to make it stop, and as soon as the words left her lips, the light stopped. I whispered "Thanks, Rel!" and smiled. I'm sure there's some sort of metaphor in there somewhere. I miss you. With Love & Respect, always."

"PS- My profile picture is the one from the Halloween that I dressed as an angel at work. I've kept the picture up all month for you. "I touched an angel." So cheesy. So sweet."

"12 years today. 12 long years. No good. I wish you were here. Being all smiling and dancing. With love & respect B"

"It's been almost 12 years. I need you to call up your buddy on your angel phone (Oh wow, I'm touching an angel.), and make sure he's ok. I'm extra worried this year. I was talking about you guys the other day. I also remembered the time you came to see me at work. We were having a contest in the store, like transaction Bingo or something. I made you buy a journal and a pen so I would win. And I did. I think my prize was hair dye or something. What happened to that journal? Did you take it with you? Sigh..."

"I re-read your letters. I was able to laugh and even roll my eyes at your silliness sometimes. It didn't hurt much, not nearly as much as it usually does. I miss you, as always. I wish you were here, as always. Sigh...also as always, I leave this page with nothing less than love & respect."

"Thinking of you today. Missing you, always."

"Weepy again today after another tv show punched me in the gut. I miss you a lot. And now, I don't have anyone to talk to who knows you anymore. I feel like I lost you all over again, all this time later. I talked to my mom about it a little bit. She reminded me that you sent me the crab on the kids' field trip. That made me feel a little better. Come visit my dreams tonight."

"You must want me to see or feel or hear something today. I tried to post a link on a friend's page, and not once but twice, this page. So I'll be on the lookout. Love and Respect, Always."

"I'm a little weepy right now. I was watching a tv show that showed a guy having a flashback to his time overseas. He and his buddies were being silly and dancing like girls in the club. It was kind of amazing and hilarious. I can totally see you doing stuff like that. I miss you."
B

"The most amazing thing happened today!!!!!!!!!! My daughter had a field trip on a boat. They dredged the bottom and found a small crab. Before the captain threw it back in the water after all the kids held it, he asked the kids to name him. They were yelling out all kinds of stuff, but I was having none of it. I kept yelling over them. A name I think you'd approve of. Hispes II. He asked why, and I gave him the long story short version and not the origins of the name. Just that I once had a hermit crab named Hispes who died, and it broke my heart. He humored me, and the kids were just like "Uh, what?" But it made me really happy. I know I just told you this yesterday, but I miss you! With oh so very much Love & Respect"
B

"Memorial Day again. I will always memorialize you. Is that a word? It is now. Ooh, but if I'm making up words, how does memoRELize sound? Yeah. Much better. I like it. Know what I DON'T like? Missing you. It still hurts. Still makes me angry. And proud. Sigh. With love and respect, B"

"Hey its that time of year again. I want you to know I went on to live my dreams, couldn't have got there with out your kindness and support. Often I wish we would have traded places the world needs more like you. Anyway I honor you every day and every way I can. Thank you for the "life"...I'll never be able to repay you but I will do my best."
SPC Jackson Young of TN, USA

"If for no other reason than your mad ironing skills, I know I will always ALWAYS remember you. I was doing my son's outfit for a wedding today, and I'm sure you can imagine how well than went. Yeah, not so much.
With Love & Respect"
B

"Um, yeah. So Dancing With the Stars made me cry again. That song and the meaning of the dance "Five Minutes More." Ugh. Tears and feels. I has them. I miss you. As always, nothing but LOVE & RESPECT"
B

"OH YEAH!! And guess what. I found a few pictures of Hispese. Godspeed, good pet."
B

"Talking to M about crying over this dude who is on Dancing With the Stars. There have been a few guys on there who have been injured overseas. I'm glad they made it home, but I was jealous a little. And sad. I'm truly grateful they came come, but why not you? Ya know? Turns out, you guys knew him. I miss you.
With Love & Respect,"
B

"I had to iron my daughter's pants today. Totally messed them up. I kind of melted them. It makes me smile to know that literally every single time I iron something, for the rest of my life, I will remember that night. That might just be my absolutely fondest memory of you. My boys, schooling me on laundry. Well, I am also very fond of "You know how I'm Asian?" That's a good one too.
With Love&Respect,
B"

"Hi."

"I'm watching an episode of Scandal. A woman visits her son's grave, and she sprawls out on the ground at his headstone. That's exactly what I see myself doing when I come to see you. Sigh."

"It's Memorial Day. There was a 5K today, and I wish I had known about it in time to run for you. I like the idea of my first 5K being for you. Although, I probably would have puked and/or cried. One day. With Love and Respect, B."

"You were I great friend and I think of you and your family often. On this day cheers to you and your family, you will never be forgotten! R.I.P Sprout, much love brother!"
SFC Fleharty of Va.

"And here we are. For me, this is the day I lost you. 5 months later. Because of randomly running into M. What if I hadn't? I miss you. With love and respect, B"

"We're coming up on 10 years to the day since I found out what happened to you. How is that possible? I was just thinking about you. I saw one of those surprise homecoming videos. They kind of make me mad. I'm sooooooooo happy for those people, but I get super jealous too."

"Another story about my son. Today in his backpack, he had a library book called "The Hermit Crab." It made me smile."

"My son wants to join the army one day. He's only 7. I hear the speech Arizona gave about George joining the Army. "You asked me who I was. I am a person who thinks that what George is doing is dangerous and terrifying and brave. He's going to serve his country. He's going to risk his life to save the men and women who make it possible for you and I to sleep safely in our beds. I'm a person who thinks that that is brave." But then I think of you, and I want to wrap him up in bubble wrap until he's 80. I miss you."

"Rel,
Itís been a long time since I wrote to you, but there is not a day that goes by that I donít think about you. You will always be in my heart. I miss you."
Douglas Sanchez of Norfolk, VA

"I wish you could just call up M on some mysterious angel phone or something. He needs to talk to you."

"So..................yeah. Thinking of you again tonight. And yet hope remains, if the company is true."

"Sooooooooooooo. 10 years today, huh? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life. I still don't get it. I don't understand. Yup. Stupid. You know how you're Asian? That might be my fondest memory of you. I wish I still had that tree you drew me, the one you sketched to look like the one in IHOP. I'm sad. Sigh."

"It's Veteran's day. M and I have been talking about you lately. As much as we can. It helps that I'm not as angry anymore. I think I "get" it now. It took a while. But I have also decided you're like the Cheshire cat. When I think of you, the grin is what I see first. The rest of your face fades in around it. Yeah. Good times."

"Today, a coworker was talking about Forest Gump. She said she loved everything about it but the war stuff. I told her I felt the same way, to which she replied "I know, right? It was so boring." I just blinked at her a few times. I wanted to headbutt her. Or scream that the reason I can't stand it is because for almost 10 years now, I still can't wait war movies or tv shows. I've had to skip many an episode of some of my favorite shows because all I see when I watch them is you. I can see what happened to you, even though I was a world away when it happened. That I want to cry til my eyes are dry. Til my voice is raw from wailing. She couldn't know these things. About me. You. But it was awful. I've been screwed up ever since. With love & respect, B."

"I was just freaking out, because for some reason I couldn't find this website today. I'm not smart. Oh well. I was thinking about you today on the way home. Some song came on, something about "Where would you go if you had the money and the time." Out loud, I said Glendale. I haven't forgotten. I'll go one day. I didn't keep every promise I made, but you can bet I'll make this one.
With Love & Respect, B"

"I didn't post anything on Memorial Day like I usually do. That doesn't mean I was thinking about you. The irony is, I didn't lose you in November like everyone else did. For me, it happened in May. I didn't know til I bumped into M in a restaurant. Oddly fitting that he was the one to tell me. Still, yuck. Miss you."

"Was thinking of you today. Almost 10 years. Till we meet again."
Armen of Burbank, CA

"I had a really nice dream about you last night. We were all just hanging out, driving down the road. We were all so carefree and happy. It was the closest thing to closure I think I will ever get. I felt at peace, for the first time in a long time. It was good to see you again."

"My son participated in wreaths across America today. I didn't go. I couldn't. But I thought of you.
With love and respect
B"

"I found a picture of the Halloween with the angel costume. There are so many questions I have. So many new things I never knew. How can I be learning so much about you after all this time. B."

"We were talking about you again last night. I feel so bad for those 3 dumb kids we were. They had no idea what was going on, but just KNEW that they had the world figured out."

"I was reading over some of the more recent posts and just remembered something Talking about how you slept so hard and would say "Go away, bad dream" when they tried to wake you. I say that from time to time, especially when I think of what happened to you."

"I was talking about you yesterday.
With Love and Respect, B"

"I remember when Jessica Hohal called me to tell me the news my heart just fell right out of my chest. I didn't believe her. I ran to get a news paper and couldn't look till I got home. Sitting on my living room floor I could barely breath or read the words. Why did this have to happen to such an amazing person? You were such and amazing person with your big smile always finding something to laugh about. You took care of us girls (Jessica, Becky, and I) when our husbands unit got deployed. I remember all of us coming to pick you up in the baricks and you blushing all down the hall at the sight of all your boys seeing you with three girls. :) I miss that cus you were so cute about it. You were such a little gentleman. I miss watching you dance. You were such a good dancer. You tryed to show me so many times how to do it and I just couldn't get the rhythm down. You were such a family man and I remember how often and how fondly you spoke about your mom. I miss hearing about all the latest things going on back home with all your friends. I remember missing Cali together and talking about hanging out when we got back home.
I remember how excited you were to get your Mazda. When you were getting close to getting deployed you packed all your possession in it and parked it where your room was cus you didn't want it to go into the deployment parking lot because you heard cars were getting broken into. I remember coming back on base about 4 or 6 months after you had passed and pulling up to your car still siting there with all your stuff in it. I broke down cus I knew how much you loved that car and there it was just sitting there. I wanted to tell someone so they could get it to your family or at least your belongings but no one was there except for reservist. I never found out what happened to your car and I'm sorry I couldn't do more.
I miss you so much Rel! I think of you often with such fond memories. I still have your letter you wrote to me a couple months before you passed and Becky said she got to see you over there which is so awesome. Thank you for being such a great person and friend with such a great outlook on everything and a great smile. I miss your laugh and your heart. You are so loved and you touched so many lives.
My deepest condolences to your family."
Heather Martens (formerly Fitzgerald) of Washington state

"Thinking of you and M today."
B

"I was thinking about the day you visted me during Halloween, when I was dressed as an angel. That was the beginning. It was a good one too. Crappy ending though. And it seems to be rewriting itself. You're still the heart of the story. Always."

"Rel,
It has been a very long time since I have dealt with you. If there is anything tears me up more about what happened is the fact that I was SOG that day. What makes it worse is this. That day I was at the .50 position which was no more than 700-800m from where you left us. There is not much I remember, but I do remember this. When I reported the shots from that area to main, I was told not to worry about it. Someone would check it out. A little bit laterwe were asked for your sPecial equipment numbers. Ii want you to know that no matter how pissed I was at you if I knew they were after my little buddy there would have been no army in Hell that could have stopped me from coming to save you. You were my morale booster. You were the person who kept me going. There was no way in hell I could allow my little friend who always had a smile on his face no matter how shitty of a day he was having beat me. Anyway, if there was one thing I couLd ask for from and still receive it would be for forgiveness that I started a little bullshit argument with you prior to you becoming CSM Wilsons driver. Love ya buddy. See ya in a little while."
William Shields of Baton Rouge, LA

"I miss you Rel. My deepest condolence to the loss of a great brother and son of your family. I miss all the good times we had, ruck marches on the weekend, hanging out with friends and going to Nashville. You even taught me how to throw knives. I still couldn't lift as much as you when I work out. I remember heading to Nashville and going back, all of us were drunk except you coz you drove us back and forth from Nashville. I was so glad when we all met at the Tarmac in Mosul. You even told us that you are going to be a State Trooper and our plan when we get back to the States is to have Barbecue with our friends. I was told that when you dropped by to our Company that you were looking for me and refused to wake me up because we just got back from an OP mission. I didn't know that until the day I found out what happened and it was a few days after, I was at the Air Base and was about to eat thanksgiving. It was the saddest day of my life brother. I'm sorry if I wasn't able to attend your memorial, I didn't know. It still tears me apart from time to time knowing that you aren't here with us but I know that you are watching over us. I miss you and Ken.. you will forever be one of my brothers. It was a great honor serving with you, you are my hero."
Christian Arce of A Co. 2/502 Infantry, 101st ABN DIV Air Assault

"Just FYI, I was assigned to B/1-502 for two OIF tours. I did the most recent Run for the Fallen here at Ft. Campbell. I completed 17 miles, and Ravago's name was on my list. I did one mile for all Bco. warriors lost since OIF 1. Ravago is not forgotten, at least not with this former First Strike Bulldog."
SFC Fuller, Leslie W. of Ft. Campbell, KY

"I never knew Rel, but I hear of him all the time. My best friend, my brother, Shawn Parlett, was with him in Iraq. Here it is 7 years later, and I never get tired of hearing the stories. Shawn is a Baltimore City Police Officer now, and he would rather leave his house in the morning without his vest than without his bracelet with Rel's name on it. It never leaves his wrist, and the memories never leave him behind. My deepest sympathy to Rel's family and friends, and my gratitude for the sacrifice of those men greater than myself. GFBD."
Raymond Rogers of Baltimore, MD

"I never want to forget the sacrifices of so many young men and women. I am so proud it makes me cry. I understand in theory only that war is a part of human nature but so is love and caring. I wish I could take the families pain away but I can't. I am committed to loving ALL people, myself and our environment. I am committed to working on my happiness everyday because so many have died for my freedom to live my life. Thank you is not enough but it is all I have. All my love and respect. ogersteiner@yahoo.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEjz-wAQLSA&feature=PlayList&p=477CB1585D5551F3"
Scott Steiner of Worthington, Ohio USA

"Rel,

Itís been a while since I left you a message. I just wanted you to know as I'm sure you already do that not a day goes by that I don't think of you. The past 4 years I have been in Afghanistan doing private security and Iím constantly reminded of the fragility of life. When you passed it was the worst feeling I have felt still to this day. I questioned God and asked him why take such an amazing, caring, energetic and all around fantastic person from us here. I struggled with this for some time but now I understand that God took you because you were so great. He needed you in heaven more.
At least we are all left with your memories. I feel so privileged because I was one of the few that interacted with you every day for three years. You were my Javelin gunner, my pack mule.lol In the field while the rest of the platoon was doing dry fires; weapons squad was doing crew drills and listening to you crack everybody up. I remember us going to Nashville and dancing all night. You would always have girls all over you. In Iraq during the invasion you were marching just a few feet behind me. We were all carrying so much weight but none of us wanted to complain. How could we if 5ft Ravago could carry his ruck with mortar rounds, radio batteries, the clue, javelin round and an AT4. Not to mention he was doing it in MOP 2 at 120 degrees and half a canteen cup of water. You were the best soldier that any team leader could ask for. Rel you were my motivation and your smile and great attitude has gotten me through some tough times. You will never be forgotten Rel because you have touched so many lives. Please watch over me buddy and everyone else who is in harmís way."
Brad Evans 1/502 INF BCO 1st Platoon weapons Squad of Kabul, Afghanistan

"I will always remember."

"I was new to the unit a replacement, new to a strange and unforgiven country, and in this place you have Rel a soldier no matter what cant keep him down, always a smile and something nice to say. I wish I knew him as well as others. Rest In Peace"
SSG Oliver, Deril 67th MP CO(I/R) of Fort Leiws, WA

"Greetings and remembrance on this 4th of July 2009 to all soldiers and families of the 1-502nd who served in OIF 2002-2003. My name is David Rush and I am now retired after 20 years of Active Army Service and was serving in Mosul, Iraq in the 1-502nd IN as an Anti Armor Platoon Sergeant on the day of these fallen soldiers tragic deaths.
To the families, friends and fellow soldiers that had the privilege to know Command Sgt. Maj. Jerry L. Wilson, 45, of Thomson, Georgia the 2nd Brigadeís (502nd Infantry Regiment) CSM and Spc. Rel A. Ravago IV, 21, of Glendale, California newly assigned as the CSMs drover and previously assigned to B Company, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment who were both killed 23 November 2003 when hostile forces attacked the vehicle they were riding in Mosul, Iraq I would like to extend a heart full of love for both men and you. I will never forget them.
I have spent most of my 4th of July on the internet searching and reading about my fellow soldiers and particularly the ones I new well and love like a brother. Both CSM Wilson and SPC Rel A. Ravago were both my friends and loved.
I spoke with both of them hours prior to their death. I remember it like it was yesterday. The CSM was making his regular visits with the soldiers and circulating to check on the soldiers needs. We actually had about a 15 minute conversation that day where we shared a Coke and both ate some boiled peanuts from a can my family had sent. SPC Ravago and I had a conversation on the front steps of the BN headquarters building just prior to their departure in route for their next stop where I reminded him to stay alert. I remember standing on the steps and watching their vehicle drive out the protective gate of our compound. I can close my eyes and still see them. The memory and love we their fellow soldiers have for them will never die.
God Bless you and all who serve"
DAVID S RUSH of MIDDLEBURG, FL/US

"January 30, 2009
Wishing you Happy Birthday Rel, we love and miss you so much...."
of Glendale, California

"Rel I first remember meating you as one of the other Gunners when they first brought in the Javelins. How we all joked around that they found the smallest guy in the battalion to carry the biggest weapon. I remember the hours of boring classes every 6 months to keep us certified and I remember our friendly competitions trying to so who would outshoot the other. And no matter how crazy, long, or boring the day was you always had a big ole grin on your face that cheered up those around you. I was put on a medflight to Kuwait and was told shortly before I was loaded on the flight of your death. I was crushed. We all missed you my friend. See you on the other side."
Spc Daniel Smith of Baton Rouge, La

"November 16, 2008
To the family of Spc. Rel A. Ravago, IV:
Rel 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

"Rel,

As a former PSG of Third Platoon B CO.during OIF 1 and later a PSG for First Platoon B CO. during OIF 3 I too can attest to the quality and little mentioned physical toughness of Rel Ravago. As not being in First Platoon during OIF one I had only limited exposure to Rel. However of the memories I do have with him I will never forget. I remember during the long march through the streets of Karbala, Iraq looking over at him with this huge Javelin missile strapped to his back with this mass of additional gear and heavy equipment on his body and seeing a huge smile. Despite the fact that it was 120 degrees, we hadn't slept in days, had heavy NBC gear on and had to ration our water to 1 liter per day. How many of us can find something to smile about in this scenerio. I also had the honor to meet his parents when they came to his service at FTCKY. His dad also smiles alot and it was a honor to meet both his mom and dad.

Thank You Rel! Thank You man...

Few more memories. Please e-mail if you want to hear more. robert.m.gallagher@us.army.mil"
SFC R. Gallagher of FT. Irwin, CA.

"AS WE CELEBRATE THE 4TH OF JULY, LET US NOT FORGET THAT WE CONTINUE TO ENJOY OUR FREEDOM BECAUSE OF THOSE WHO GAVE UP THEIRS.

PLEASE JOIN ME AS I CONTINUE TO CELEBRATE THE LIFE OF ONE OF THEM, AN EXTRAORDINARY YOUNG MAN WHO REMINDS ME DAILY THAT FREEDOM DOESN'T COME FREE."

"I'm Former SPC Powell of 2nd platoon Bco 1/502. Rel was one of the best soldiers and person I ever had the pleasure of meeting. He Was always cheerful, happy and joking. He is truly missed."
Spc Powell, Dencil of Baton Rouge, LA

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY REL, ALWAYS THINKING OF YOU. WE LOVE AND MISS YOU SO MUCH."
of GLENDALE, CALIFORNIA

"Although I never met SPC Ravago in the short time he was at BDE, his 1SG's voice still echos in my head from Rel's roll call. Blessed Be to your soul and your family, thank you hero."
Matthew Buettner of Medina, OH

"I am former SGT. Glynn Bramwell 1/502in Bco. 3rd plt. I served with ravago for 3 years in Bco. and i have never met a person with so much love for his fellow soldiers. i remember a time with bower was messing with ravago in our break room with one of his cusions from his crutch. well he eventually ceased his teasing and 1st sgt bradshaw came in the room and i guess ravago thought that he was bower bugging him so he smacked him, needless to say i never saw him so muddy after that day. even though 1st sgt was smoking him, he still had a smile on his face and i will always remember that about him. no matter how bad it was in the field, or how fierce our weapon squad competetions were, he always had a smile and was very polite and respectful to everyone. the world loss a great human being, soldier, and friend. i still get angery at the situation that led to our loss, but what done is done and he will forever look over us with that same smile as we carry on day to day. to all of his family, you have my deepest condolences and up most respect. you have brought up one the finest human beings that i know. to the rest of the Bco family, live your lives to the fullest and don't forget ravago. i love you brother and have and will always miss you."
Glynn Bramwell of kansas city, MO

"Rest peacefully Rel, I will never forget."
of San Antonio, Tx

"To my friend, my comrade, I miss you and wish that you had not been there that day. With the loss of Ken later on, it is hard to imagine the good times that we actually had over there making fried rice and following our roots. You should rest easy, knowing that we are continuing the mission. First Strike."
SSG Holmes, Thomas of 2/3 ACR. FT, Hood

"Like many who have posted before me, I once had the distinguised honor of serving with Rel Ravago. I remember when we were in Iraq, we talked about how we had to meet up sometime after we got out of the military since we lived so close. He was a great friend, and truely enriched my time with B.Co 1/502. I just want his family to know that he is still to this day remembered, and his memory will forever be carried on in the hearts and minds of those who served with him."
Former SPC Randy E Davis of Hawthorne, CA

"The only time I met this young man was at the Halloween party at the Strike Hotel. He was a heck of a dancer. I had never seen someone dance like him before. As a matter of fact, I still have a video of the party with him dancing. I know that Ravago was a good soldier. There was not one single dry eye in the whole division when the news was announced."
Anonymous please of Fort Campbell, KY

"Rel was a shining light in place full of sorrow.
With the years that have gone by I still get asked about our time in Iraq. When we first arrived and until November 22 2003, I could never understand why my family was so tight lipped about what they did when they were in war. I now understand. Having lost you Rel I now understand why. Whenever I hear anything about the war or even soldiers I can't help but think of how much the world lost the day you died.
I can't explain the pain that I felt the day I was told to hold two locals that were found with your belongings. One with your personal notebook. I do not know if they were there when it happened or even participated however I did want to call revenge on them for the loss the world was going to suffer because they had lost you. I will never live to see a better person, in their heart, than you.

I send all of my best wishes to Rel's family. I sat and talked with his mother for a while when we got back. That sad face is burned into my mind. I wish there was something I could do to make that sadness go away for you. You have my apologies and condolences.

1st Platoon
2nd Squad
1/502 Airborne(Air Assault)"
SPC Nick Garrison of Minneapolis, MN

"Brad Evans BCo 1/502INF Weapons squad 1st platoon


Rel,
I just want you to know that not a day goes by that I dont think of you. I served with you for three years and had the privelege of being your teamleader for two of those years. Some of the best memories were in Iraq. We were a tight squad. I wish I could go back and change some things, but I know you would say to forget it. My last memory of you was at the battalion head quarters. We talked about your new job and you told me how happy you were. I told you about my upcoming trip back home for thanksgiving. You were so excited for me. I just wish I could have been there when it happened. I landed in Maryland on the 23 of November. The next day I was working outside with my dad when my mother told me to come inside. I looked at the TV and there was your picture. I didnt talk to anyone for 2 days. Rel I miss you so much. Thank you for being a great friend and for keepimg me in touch with reality. To Rel's family. Rel was a very good friend of mine. He was apart of my life for three years and a part of him will always be with me. Please tell me were Rel is buried so I too can pay my last respects."
Brad Evans of Elkton, Maryland

"I am marching in Albany, NY on March 18th in a rally for peace. I will be holding the name of Rel Allen RAvagno, IV and honoring his service to our country. I am praying for his family and friends and for all who are in harms way. I offer my condolences to all who loved him."
Lisa Dudley of Tivoli, NY

"Its been three long unhappy years already without you! Nothing has change still missing you so much, especially during family get together, birthdays, holidays and etc.... LOVE and MISS YOU"
of CALIFORNIA

"We are simply incapable of understanding why it is that we loose the best among us. The Sacrifice of Specialist Ravago will never be forgotten. This hero's name is forever engraved in our hearts. I grew up not far from Glendale and served with the 502 in Vietnam and felt close to this fallen soldier as I read the messages on this site. May God's blessings and hope be upon this man and his loved ones."
Tim Lickness of San Diego, CA

"I remember hearing of this incident and wondering if my soldier, who was killed on the same day, was involved. It turns out that he wasn't, but my thoughts have always been with Mr. Ravago's family. I hope that you have found peace and a sense of fulfillment in that he was taken to a better place. You all are in my thoughts, and God bless you as the third year approaches for us both."
G M of Augusta, GA

"I'm ABE3 Sanchez a former soldier who had the honor and privilage of serving with REL, while serving in Bco 1/502nd Inf. I can still remember the day that I had first walked in to the company, and SSG Allen introduced me to you. I will never forget the friendship that was formed that day. You were the heart of the platoon, and the guys from the platoon miss you. You will always be my hero. And I will always miss you always"
ABE3 Sanchez ( USN ) of Norfolk, VA

"Where do I begin? Rel you seriously were the best damn soldier I have ever met and had the privledge serving with! I met Rel When I first came to Ft. Campbell He was in Weapons squad and I was in the 3rd Herd. I really didnt get to know real well until we became roomates. He was prolly the best roomate anyone could ask for. Except he did sleep all the time and there was always some smelly left over asian food in the Fridge! But hey If that was he biggest down fall, he wasnt too bad! Seriously though to anyone who reads this more than likely you knew rel and how great of a guy and soldier he really was. Thanks Rel! you made the ultimate sacrafice, We will always miss you. But you are not forgotten...SSG Levi Miller--Former member of 1/502 Now a National Guard Recruiter in Champaign IL"
Levi Miller of Champaign,IL

"There isn't much that i can say that hasn't already been said. I had the honor of serving with Rel in Iraq. He had more personality and heart than most men could ever hope for. Always quick to smile and joke, there was never a dull moment with Rel. When we first flew over the border and into Iraq everyone was squeezed into blackhawks, I had the pleasure (though I didnt think so at the time) of having Rel pretty much sitting on top of me. And anyone who knew Rel can tell you that no matter where we were he could fall asleep. So there we are so cramped and stuffy and heres Rel sitting on top of me fast asleep. I have a lot of memories about Rel, but everytime I think about that one I just start to laugh. I could go on for days with stories......I miss you Rel"
Carlos Baylor 1/502 IN..baylorcarlos@yahoo of San Antonio TX

"I salute you Rel."
R.L.Nolte, Plt. Leader, 1/502nd Inf., 101st Abn/Ambl., RVN - 1969 of Genoa, OH

"To the family of:Rel A. Ravago IV 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 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga"

"My name is SGT James R. Riddick. I had the honor to serve in the same platoon with "Sprout" for three years. We have had some good times together. When I hear the name Ravago all I see is smiles and honesty. What a great guy. I am honored to say I served with such a great soldier and good friend. It hurts so bad to think about losing such a great spririted person. I just thank God that I still have all of the great memories and can still see the smile that will always live in those who served with him. I love you brother. I know I will see you again oneday.
Your buddy,
James R. Riddick"
James R. Riddick of Mobile, Alabama USA

"I had the honor of serving with Rel while in Mosul while in B Co 1/502, 1st platoon. No one could cheer me up like he could. Rest in peace Rel. God bless."
Josh Smith of B Co 3/67, 4th ID

"My name is Adam Zigelhofer. I had the privilage of serving with Rel. He was one of the most energetic, good natured and compassionate perople you could have ever met. When I first met Rel it was during a training mission in Ft. Campbell, and he basically showed me how to work the equipment that he was a specialist in. We were in the same platoon for almost a year and I would not give up a memory of anyone of those days for anything. I have had to wait some time before I could write this but I am glad that I am finally able to say that Rel was a great friend, outstanding soldier, and one of the best people that I have ever met. To the family of Rel I am sorry for the loss, when we met at the company I had been so pleased to meet the parents of Rel. Our prayers are always with you. I am now a Drill Sergeant at Ft. Benning GA, and all of the new trainees as about the black bracelet that I wear. I tell them that it is to honor those that have fallen and never forget what they fought for, and I tell them about Rel. To the remaining friends of Rel, Live for him, because we all know he would do the same for us."
Adam Zigelhofer of Columbus, Ga

"I am former SPC Arevalo, Juan. Me and Ravago met when i first came into Bco 1/502 INF 1st Plt Weapons Sqd. We were good friends from the start. We were like brothers he showed me the way. He thought me how to fire the Javelin, me and him were Javeling gunners in ours sqd. (Sprout) Ravshago as we called you, you were like a brother to me and wife. You always knew what to say. I know that this hard for the family and i just want to say that with the bottom of my heart. That my prayers are with you'll, i will never forget, I remember the day before i had just missed him. I had wanted to tell him so bad that my daughter was born. I wanted to share the news with him so bad i wanted for him to now. I remember when he became the Sergeant Major's Driver he was so happy. That was the thing about Ravago. No matter what mude He was in, he always postive about things when i was down he would bring me up.Brother of mine you are always in my heart and dreams. We were the brown connection the greatest team alive. Here in my office I have the picture of me, you and Casica. Man i miss those times i just wish i could see you again. Rel Allen Ravago I love you with all my heart. Until the next time we met again.

101st Screaming Eagles
Bco 1/502 INF
1st Plt. Weapons Sqd"
Juan Rafeal Arevalo of San Antonio, Tx, USA

"Your contribution to our continued freedom will never be forgotten. I will honor it in your memory."
P Bell of Macon,Ga

"Rel you were on of the nicest guys that I ever met, you always had a big smile on you face, and never said things behind peoples back. You acted the way the rest of us should strive to act. We had a lot of great times. I miss you buddy"
Micheil Shoup of Silver City NM

"First Stike Brother,
Sleep easy. It is our watch now. "bout to go back soon. Watch over us."

"I'd like to thank you all for the things you have said and done for my friend Rel and his family. "Sprout" has been a very close friend for over three years, and his memory lives on today in my heart and that of my families. He was a brother to me and my wife, and all who served with him. Go easy Rel we will never forget you. God Bless You."
Nigel Benchoff of Ft. Campbell, KY

"I did not know Rel Ravago or even hear the name before seeing this website, but after reading the messages from other people who did I feel like I do. I just want to say to the family and friends of Rel how sorry I am for your loss. Most of all to Rel, thanks brother. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten and I will remember your name as long as I live."
Bill of Enfield, CT USA

"Ravo(Sprout), You're the man.... You made the sacrifice that nobody wants to make. You did what you had to for the greatest cause in the world ((FREEDOM)).Even though it wasn't ours. It had to be done. I've known you for a short time and it doesn't take to long to get to know someone in the military. Sharing hardships will strengthen anyones relationship. Your a good man with good morals. Not to mention those break dancing skills. (The Girls Love Ya) I am proud to have worked with you in the "BIG GUNs" team, Ravo. You have a heart like a lion(big, bold, and tuff as they come) your a better man than most. I know GOD will always be with you, and your memorize will be with everyone else. We will never forget you and all you have done. With Love the Gebert family. Gebertandstanley@yahoo.com"
Sgt. Gebert, Chris of Ft.Wayne, IN / United States of America

"i just wanted to give my condolences to Rel's family. I knew him for a while, we went through basic, and airborne together. I remember in basic the drill sgt.'s would joke and call him ravioli. We became friends during that time, and once out of basic had the little freedom of airborne school together. After that the military took us serperate ways. I went to the 1/75th and he was waiting on getting stationed, I know you guys were always in his thoughts. The amount of time I did get to know him was like many friend-ship's I have made in the military, bitter-sweet. Becoming close and going through tough times together, and then saying good-bye, hoping to see them again some day. I know I'll see him some day, and I hope you can all find comfort. Rel A. Ravgo IV was some one im proud to have known and served with. God bless you, and all our freinds who passed before us and still serving our country."
Nathan Lee Bontrager of Savnnah, Ga

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

"i had to wirte this for therapy and it was the hardest thing i ever wrote if his family reads this and needs anything my email is danielkleonardi@yahoo.com just let me know

dear ravago and big willie
i dont know exactly what to say. i am just wirrting this leetr to let you know how i feel
about you and what happend to you. well it was very hard to hear what happend to you you both
where the greatest guys. i wish it could have happend to someone else. i just remember you guys
always smiling and joking and having a good time. i alway wish i would have been there to help.
i dont know what i would have done but if nothing else just take the place of either of you. i
die than have you or your family go through what you and they have gone through. i dont know
what to say i just what you both to know that you and you families are in my thoughts and
prayers. i am sorry i couldent be ther with you guys. i love you and would do anything to help
i just wish i new what to do.
love your friend leo"
daniel kyle leonardi of ouray co

"I too, like marcin kulis, was a member of B Co. 1-502 INF. I knew rel pretty well though. not as much as some but more than most and i knew that he was very honest and straight forward with everyone, yet had a very well sense of politeness. I would also like to say to the family and friends of rel that i am sorry and deeply saddend at the loss of such a great person. that man had so much potential to do in life. the only thing i wish is that someone would get with me on where he was laid to rest. i wish to pay my last respects. my email is Lucky7STaRTeR@aol.com"
Allen Roy of Hesperia, CA

"I went to Airborne school with Rel.. and i can honestly say, not because of his death, but from the bottom of my heart, he was as close as you get to an angel on earth. There was no one earth that could resist smiling when Rel smiled. In three weeks he touched my life more than people do in years of contact. i will never forget you.

samholee@hotmail.com"
Sam Lee of Downey, Ca

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

"Happy Birthday, JR!!!! I don't know how to get through this day, but I know I have to. I love and miss you so much."
Auntie Arlynn

"On behalf of Rel A. Ravago IV’s family, I would like to thank everyone for the kind thoughts, prayers, and especially for taking the time to send your messages/comments. Our gratitude to Tim Rivera for creating this site. We sincerely appreciate your thoughtfulness more than words can convey. There is nothing greater than losing a loved one. Rel was extremely loved not just by his family but also by his friends and seemingly by an enormous amount of people he touched throughout his life. Rel was not only outstanding as a person, he was also as a soldier having served as a point man and javelin gunner during active combat from south through north of Iraq. As his superiors stated, “he was an outstanding soldier, truly one of a kind.” Thank you very much for celebrating his extraordinary life with us and for not forgetting that such a man lived."
Arlynn Ravago-Solis of Sunnyvale, CA

"Thank you Rel Ravago IV, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"I am former Spc. Kulis, Marcin. I served with Ravago in B Company 1st Battalion 502nd Infantry Regiment. I never thought anyone from our company wouldn't come back alive. Ravago was one of the coolest guys I knew in B Company. We shouldn't mourn over this man's death, but rejoice that such a man lived. May God's blessings be plentiful for the family of Ravago."
Marcin Kulis of Chicago, IL

"to rel ravago, my brother a filipino hero. to his family im very saddened on what happen to rel, my deep sympathy to you all, rel and i met at the dining facility in mosul we shared stories dreams and his plan in our lives . hes a great soldier, kind hearted to his filipino friends in the dining facility. he's one of us mistah[brother] im proud of him from the roots of brave filipinos in the world who will serve their country, to his dreams will live and his loving kindness will be shared to everyone who need it . GOD BLESS HIM ALWAYS, REL WILL WATCH US ALWAYS."
SPC. Reagan Quintos Cruz of Fort Bragg, NC / Rosales Pangasinan , PHILIPPINES

"My name is Vania Garcia and I went to high school with Rel. I will always remember his sweet smile and the sparkle in his eyes that brought comfort... Eventhough we didn't keep in touch after high school I always remembered him... my heart fell to the ground when I saw his picture on the television, especially after the announcement taht was given. If anyone knows about the funeral please let me know... I can be contacted at VaniaG7909@msn.com... I would also like to tell his family that Rel will forever be remembered...."
Vania of Torrance, CA

"My name is Armen and I went to school with Rel. Even though our worlds are different we are bound by the Uniform that we both wear. I currently serve in the USAF. I mourn his death and celeberate his life with his family, not as a friend but as a brother of Rel. God Bless you."
Armen of Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA

"To the family and friends of Spc. Rel Ravago IV:
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 Rel for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Spc. Rel Ravago IV:
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 Rel, 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