Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. David L. Rice

22, of Sioux City, Iowa.
Rice died in Balad, Iraq, of injuries sustained in Muqdadiyah, Iraq, when his HMMWV rolled over. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas. Died on April 26, 2005.

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"This seems like maybe its a little late coming but I have been thinking about Dave a lot lately and how much I miss him and the other friends we have tragically lost over the years. We really do take too much for granted and I want to say thank you to Dave for being such an amazing friend, soldier and man. Take care of each other up there :)"
Hope Wells of Des Moines, IA

"I was part of the repatriation ceremony in Iraq for Spc. Rice. His was the first ceremony I participated in and the only name I remember from all the ones I did."
Dave of Trenton, NJ

"I was stationed with David back at Riley, he was a PFC then and we were both on rear D since my unit was deployed (we were stacking in the same due to being artillery). Rice was that guy who kind of took me and another under his wing and showed us what to do and what not to do. Being on rear D can be hard since none of your leaders are around but Rice took over that role and to this day I have never left my ID card. Sorry it took so many years to say but my condolences to your family."
Turner, Mark of Pensacola,FL

"I served With Dave. I carry his memory every day. When I heard that he had died I cried for days. I never cried before that and haven't since. I was a Mechanic on FOB Normandy, when the truck was brought back to the FOB My PSG SFC. Garrison and SGT. Zillinski and a few others rebuilt the truck he died in to remember him. They did it did it for Dave, they did it because the platoon wanted it done. he will be missed but more importantly, he will be remembered. He is the reason I changed my MOS to Medic, I wanted to give soldiers a second chance to see there families because Dave didn't get his. I love you brother, I'll see you again someday."
SGT. Nathan Durand of Fort Lewis, WA

"To David's family: My son Dwayne served with David in Iraq, and David is one of four named in the dedication page of the book we published in 2009; "A Soldier's Questions, His Pastor's Answers." If you would contact me I would like to send you a copy mendoncg at wcoil dot com. P. O. Box 6 45862"
Pastor Dean Bruce of Mendon, Ohio

"I miss his kindness and his ability to make me laugh my * off. Five years without him has been hard to bare."
Sgt. Dan Hoefling of Det.1 Co.A 1-114th AVN 45th I.D.

"David was an amazing friend to me. i had the pleasure of getting to know him during his time at ft. riley while we were in the same platoon. I miss david everyday. the world is now at a loss without him,"
Sean Morse of Colorado Springs

"April 18, 2009
To the family of Spc. David L. Rice:
David gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"Hey dave, my greatest sympathy to your family. I went out to see you last summer. I balled my eyes out, and Im a grown man now. I remember that time we met out in junction city, ks. wow, i stood there and i said don't i know know you? and you said "who are you". i said jon searls. "no way". we were astonished looking at each other. going back to the days when we were in boy scouts and Y soccer together. Its been hard to pay respects to the friends I have lost in iraq. Its so emotionally hard. This is one of the ways to cope with my feelings from being over there. Its what I have to do. May god bless you and your family, godspeed!"
Spc Jonathan Searls of Sioux City, Ia

"To the family of:David L. Rice I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief. He died a hero defending freedom and we are so grateful for anyone defending our freedom.
Know that I am praying for the peace of God that surpasses all understanding for you and that one day we will all meet in Heaven where we will rest in the arms of Jesus.
If you need someone to talk to or someone to pray with please call my Pastor at Gateway Community Church, Reverand John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd Covington Ga. 30016 Phone 770- 787- 1015 (fax)770-787-8215.Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew"

"David, you were an awesome kid. I am glad that I got to know you a bit better after Justin died. I know that you are up there with him having a good ole time. I think about you along with Justin all the time. I am sad that you had to go to....but I have to look at it as the good do die young. That is the only thing that can help me move forward...you and my brother were both good. I feel for you RICE family..I am the sister of Justin Hebert who died in Iraq with the 173rd. I am sure you may have heard that from David. I used to call the boys in Italy and chat with Justin. They would be playing Xbox and when it was Justins turn to play David talked to me. What a smart--- :) Just like my brother. It was great to chat with him and email with him as I did often. He called my bro his bro and I called him my bro as well. I wish you all well during this holiday season. It isn't easy to move forward but when you love someone so much...it does pull you through. Take care! Proud sister of SPC Justin Hebert and SPC David Rice :)"
Jessica Hebert of Marysville, WA

"I was stationed with Spc. Rice at FOB GABE in Iraq. I never had the oportunity to meet him but my heart is with you. At least he's in a better place, and with his other comrades who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Still my heart and prayers are with you."
SGT. Jacob Flores of Warner Barracks, Bamberg Germany

"To the family of David Rice. I graduated from East High School in 1998 and decided to join the military in 2001. I went to the recruiting station up by the mall and I walk in and here sits David Rice. I said "Dave what are you doing?" He said said "Im going to become an airborne ranger!". We were both in disbelief that we were both going to join the Army. We were more concerned because we were both a little on the heavy side if ya know what I mean. Well I went off to Boot Camp and never heard anymore about Dave. I got stationed up in the hills of Southwest Germany for four years and we had a field exercise for 3months living out in the field. After 3 months of agony we were finally able to go in to this little rinky dink PX and buy some goodies. I come around a corner and here stands Dave 2 years later. I couldnt believe my eyes. He said he was stationed in Italy and his unit came to Germany to train for a bit. Well we talked for a while and went about our ways. Then I got deployed to Iraq for 15 months. I was at the PX at Baghdad International Airport and coming out as im walking in was David Rice. We were astounded!! It was so exciting to see someone you went to school with and lived in the same city in two other countries. I mean what are the chances. David was a great you man with a great goal in life. He was a go-getter never afraid to try something new. He had an enormous heart and knew what it meant to be a soldier. David Im sure your still watching down over those soldiers. God Bless you and your family and may you all find comfort knowing that Dave is in a peaceful resting place."
Tony Knox of 1st Armored Dvision--Baumholder Germany

"I just stumbled upon this site as I was about to order my family bracelets in honor of Dave. Words cannot express the profound loss I felt and I will never be able to come to grips with the fact that the guy who always was able to make me laugh will never be able to do that again, and our country lost one of the best on 26 April...he will be missed and missed greatly for as long as I shall live. My life is more complete having had Dave around my life...the Rice family is owed my thanks.."
SGT Jim Verschueren of FOB Gabe, Baqubah, Iraq

"I donot know David but if he trained at Ft. Polk, LA then we've walked in the same tracks as that's where I trained. We most likely have been in the same building. For all we know our "spirits" have communicated. I have trained at Ft. Polk many times over the years."
James M. Reese of Texas

"I met David at JRTC at fort polk. When we get the call to come to Iraq I asked david what it was like over here and he said dont worry it goes by fast and you'll be home in no time. I lived in the room next door to him, with his NCO SGT Ream. I rember the day david died I was on the radios I got the call from the mission commander that a truck rolled. At that point a cold sweet went over me. I yelled at my runner to go get the commander, and he took off in a sprint. Right then It started to rain. I knew it was bad. I was in formation for his ceremony here on FOB Normany. I can tell you that everyone in this company cryed for him. He is missed here and this place hasnt been the same. his picture is on the wall between my room and his room right next to the US flag, I look at him every day.

I'll Never Forget"
SGT William Lukenbill of FOB Normandy, Iraq

"David, ever since we were little kids Iíve always looked up to you. Whenever the family would get together it would always be you and I sitting together sharing stories and laughing. Christmas will be hard without you. Everyday is hard without you. I miss you all the time and I only hope I can live my life well and become a person you would respect. I love you.
Forever your cousin


-all gave some, some gave all"
Adam Maslonka of Eau Claire, WI

"i never got to met david i wish i had. He sounds like a loyal and a true american. A year ago my family and i started a project called Troops Tribute Across Iowa. If anyone has information about david or his family please contact me at: queenie_20035@hotmail.com. Please and thank you, we would like for his family to join our project/team."
Ashley Farrier (T.C.B. Demo) of Washington, Iowa, USA

"I know about your loss because my son is serving and served with your son in Iraq. I am praying for you and share in your grief."
Joan Gallagher of San Diego, CA

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

"I served with Dave the first time he was in Iraq...we served a lot of cold, lonely nights together, and I'm forever thankful of what he's done for me personally and for the country. I hope the Rice family can find some comfort in knowing that he was the most kind, personable, honorable soldier I had the pleasure of serving with, and I will miss him immensely..."
David Heath of Ft. Benning, GA USA

"David, I went to see you and Dusty today. There are no words that I can come up with to thank you for all you have done so that we as Americans can be safe. We will NEVER forget about you! Please watch over us all. Your family and friends are all proud of you. We love you always."
Erin Donaway of Sioux City, IA, USA

"David Lee thank you for the sacrifices you made for this country. Our hearts and prayers go out to your Mom, sister, grandparents, and the rest of your family. When my mom called and told me what had happened, I was in disbelief and shock. What immediately came to mind was seeing you in your uniform at Grandma Fillipiís funeral. I know how proud your family was of you. I talked to your grandpa and he told me some stories about your time in the Army. He always had that spark in his eye and you could tell he was proud to have his grandson serving in the armed forces. May we never forget the ultimate price you paid for preserving freedom. God Bless"
Jerry Washburn and Family of Rapid City, South Dakota

"To the Family and Friends of David L. Rice. I would like to tell you how sorry I am for you lost. I really can't tell you how it feels because it changes from person to person. I know that it hurts really bad to lose a love one. He will be remember as a hero, and also a comrade. You all will be in my prayers."
Nathan Miller of West Burlington, IA

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

"To the friends and family of David. May God be with you at your time of sorrow. Our family shares in your pain, we lost my brother SPC Shawn Davies, on 7-8-04. David is a true hero and will always be remembered. Keep the good memeories in your hearts and minds until you meet with David again."
Toni Peters (toniannp@sbcglobal.net) of Concord, OH

"TO THE RICE FAMILY FROM THE WAHL FAMILY. WE ARE DEEPLY SADDEN BY YOUR LOST OF DAVID. WE LOST OUR SON GREGORY ONE YEAR AGO. AN ALTHOUGH, OUR SON'S HAD NOT KNOWN ONE ANOTHER. WE ARE EXTREMELY GRATEFUL HE SERVED ALONG SIDE YOUR SON. DAID HAS TOUSCHED THE HEARTS OF MANY. DAVID IS MORE THEN A SOLDIER AND HERO! HE IS SOMEONE'S SOMEONE; YOUR'S AND TO ALL HIS BROTHERS AND SISTER'S THAT HE SERVED WITH. DAVID WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN AND ALWAYS IN MY PRAY'S. GOD BLESS!"
LEONARD WAHL of VALLEY STREAM NY

"To David and his family. My family honors your hero. David was a brave man who gave his life for freedom. His bravery, Valor and Courage will always be remembered. We are grateful for his loyal service and will never forget the sacrifice that he made.
God Bless David and his family."
Jennifer and SSGT Larry Mays and family of Massillon, Ohio

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

"To the family and friends of Spc. David Rice:
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 David 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. David Rice:
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 David, 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