Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Pfc. Aaron J. Rusin

19, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
Rusin died in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries sustained on October 10, 2004 when his military vehicle came under fire from enemy forces. He was assigned to the 44th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Howze, Korea. Died on October 11, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Pfc. Aaron J. Rusin.

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"Another Day My Eyes and Hugs yearn for you. The Pain won't go away I Miss you soo much With All the Love I have to give is with you in Heaven. I'm sorry you don't want the Tears that I can't Help Falling. I LOVE AND MISS YOU MORE THEN ANYONE COULD UNDERSTAND. Eternally XOXOXO Who Loved You First.............."

"I miss You so much Son, It Still Hurts Immensely. I Love You with all I Have to Give !!! God Only Knows...."

"Aaron, not a moment goes by you where you aren't missed by so many. I remember you from when I was younger and we would come up to your mom's shop. Myself and Talia would always adore how close you and your mom were. Everyone is so proud of you. My son and I will be remembering you tomorrow, asking with our other fallen family. Hugs for you Miss Sandi, xo."
Brittany Gardner (Ayers) of Council Bluffs, IA

"Aaron, my precious Son it has been Eleven Years since you were taken from Me "Mom" and others. I Just Have to say it doesn't get better with time. From Oct. 2015 till now Feb. 25th-Your Son's Eleven today he would so much love to know you, when I look at him I see you. I Love Aaron Jr. dearly. I Miss You So Much Son The Heartbreak does not go away. I Love You Endlessly, I know you're with me a lot of times with things that happen, Thank you Son. Daily Loved and Missed your Best Friend your Mom"

"You Are with me Daily Son everywhere I go In My Heart and Soul Forever. I Miss You Endlessly. Even Though I Know God has been Taking Good Care Of You The Last Ten Years. Till We See Each Other Again, I Love You Aaron"

"Each day, I look at your photo on my wall and remember you serving our country. Eternal Memory."

"My Brave Loving,thoughtful Son. It is now nine years and twenty minutes since you my Baby, your Life was taken from me,in a cause you believed in. this Irag War to DEFEND YOUR COUNTRY, as always Mom is and Always was Proud of you, now not only me but a lot of others are proud of you. But no one can miss you and Love you as me your mom. Another night no sleep thinking of that car pulling in our driveway at 9:00to break your moms Heart. I know you're in Gods house now but mom walks with you daily in my Heart and on my mind with Pleasent Memories of you growing up.Thanking God for all the moments we shared.Everlasting Love xoxxoxo Your Mom"

"ALWAYS ON MY MIND FOREVER MISSING YOU WITH ALL MY LOVE YOU TOOK WITH YOU. GOD AND YOU ONLY KNOW. DAY BY DAY GOES BY, NOTHING HAS REALLY CHANGED SINCE YOU'VE BEEN TAKEN FROM ME, THE EMPTYNESS WITH YOUR DEATH MY HERO SON WILL NEVER GO AWAY. I LOVE YOU XOXO MOM"

"My thoughts are with your family Aaron. I am sorry I couldn't do more. You were a brave man. That will be admired forever."
Tom of McKeesport (New Florence), PA

"Merry Christmas to you my Son Aaron James in Heaven, Gods Angel, Mom always will remember your kind soul and the Love we shared as mother and son. I miss you so much especially on this special day. Nothing still seems the same "or the way it should be", without you. Day to day always that wonder and want... I'll always remember the feelings of love for you my first born Holding and looking at you with such joy and gratefullness but most of all Love, till my time comes you're with me daily my presious son,Missing and Loving you Deeply xoxoxo Mom"

"I'M THANKING ONE AND ALL FOR REMEMBERING MY SON THROUGH THE LAST 8 YRS. 2MTHS WITH ALL YOUR KIND WORDS AND THOUGHTS. I'M WISHING YOU ALL A MERRY CHRISTMAS. THE COMRADS OF AARON WHO SHARED HIS TIME IN BASIC TRAINING,AND UP UNTIL HIS FINAL MINUTES MY PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU ALL ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO GOT IN CONTACT WITH ME,THANKYOU FOR ALL YOU SHARED WITH ME ABOUT MY SON. GOD BE WITH YOU AS I KNOW AARON IS IN YOUR THOUGHTS AND ALSO WATCHING OVER YOU. A SPECIAL THANKYOU TO YOU HARRY NEWMAN YOU WILL NEVER KNOW HOW MUCH YOUR CONCERN AND WORDS HAVE HELPED ME......PROUD MOTHER OF A BRAVE KIND SOLDIER AND SPECIAL SON"

"Eight years son and I still feel so lost without you, moms heart still yearns to feel that love too and from you.I think of you daily and pray to God for the strentgh, thats how mom makes it through every morning as i try to find a reason then the day goes on and your in my prayers as others. Please be there to watch over Adam he still needs you too..more then ever. I LOVE YOU MY BRAVE SON AND MISS YOU DEEPLY EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY....AS ALWAYS xoxxooxxoxxo FROM Your Proud Mom"

"son just another rough day, I'm missing you so much with everlasting love that you took with you...xoxoxoxoxoxxo"

"I Miss You so Much My Son, 4th of july coming up going to put a Hero wreath at your resting place. God only knows how much I Want to be with you. I felt you beside me last week for a couple of days but mom wants to be selfish and I want to see you, speak to you know some things....Most of all that special hug you had to bend to give and tell me I Love You Mom.I as always are so proud of you since you were born1-12-85 3;48 AM i Look at your pictures and thank God for each of those special moments of"everydAy" I MISS YOU SOOOO MUCH-IT HURTS. As always son forever on my mind and deep in my heart sharing moments of joy and painful sorrow.xoxoxo MOM"
AARONS MOM WHO LOVED HIM FIRST TILL THE END OF ETRNITY

"For two days now i've been feeling so lonely,lost without you I Miss You so much Son. If your with me now , Give Me Strength, My Heart is Feeling something writing to you, it don"t feel to much naturly since you Took most of it with you when God Called you Home Early. Always in my thoughts and all the Love i can give. Till God calls me home lots of xoxxoxoxoxoxoxox"

".Aaron one of my Dear Sons Just thought i'd write to you something a little pleasent. I got to spend the day with your Bro Adam he took me your mom out to dinner with pleasent conversation and just everything great. God made me one of the luckiest mothers to bring into this life two great children and all the memories Mom will always Love and miss you deeply.Your Legacy will always live on what you did so much of in your life in such a short time as always MOM is So Proud OF You My Brave Son. Watch over us especiallly your bro Adam. We Love You xoxoxoxo always you shall be withus in our minds hearts and souls. Adam Mom(sandi)James and all who knew you +++++++++++And some special day your Son,Aaron Jr. Gods will be done,Watch over little Aaron too keep him safe with Gods will. Again I Love You MY Son"

"Birthday memories today too you son with joy and tears of love .Looking at old pitures with special cakes made for you, always celebrated with special friends of yours. With moms special surprize giifts that I always got the bigggest hug for . How i miss those hugs. Happy 27 my angel son xoxxoxxoo"

"Dear Sharon i'm sorry i didn't write to let you know I appreatiate you and your husbands thoughts and prayers. For I too pray every night for our lost loved ones and for you, asking God for the strength...you know what I mean. its 5:00 in the morning one of those sleepless nights.I'm sure you understand that to. Well have to get a shower, work and all the things that need done.God Bless your family-as I said your all in my prayers. Heartbroken mother sandi-of courageous son PFC Aaron James Rusin foreverMissed and deeply Loved"
Sandi (Rusin)Sidola

"Aaron,Moms missing you so, especially now. I always told you and your bro you always had to come home for christmas no matter what,wives, babies...all of you always. I did see a special star on the 26 and 27th in the sky and in my mind and heart i said theres my aaron watching over us all. I Love You my Son, my Aaron, and I Miss you Deeply xoxxoxoxxoo"

"It's seven years son and it hurts so. mom loves you, my first born, my first real joy of life and love is unmeasurable what mom feels for you thinking of you everyday and also what your missing bringing up your son Aaron Jr.He is a Bright young man like his daddy you Aaron my courageous, caring, loving Son. Till our Day comes Forever you are with me and your Bro and someday with Gods help on this planet a part of your sons life and heart xoxoxoxoxAs always everyday I,m so proud of you now as I,ve been since the day of your birth. LOVE MOM"

"Sandi, will be thinking of you and your family in the coming days. I know it has been seven years but it never goes away. It was seven years for us in May. We still miss our Brad very much also. Just know you will be in our thoughts and prayers. We think of you often. Sharon and Roger Kritzer, Parents of PFC Bradley G. Kritzer - KIA May 5, 2004"
Sharon Kritzer of Irvona, PA

"To whomever visited my sons resting place-PFC Aaron James Rusin, and left all that you did in his honor and memory THANK-YOU. I just wish I was there with you, too meet you, I think you were one of his Squademates.Chris? Please e-mail me, his mother, today is tuesday sept.20th I had stopped by with flowers and wanted to talk to my brave son when I saw what you left. Please e-mail me sandi3691@atlanticbb.net. I live everyday loving and missing Aaron. With thoughts of sorrow I never met any of you, Aarons Squad. I was just given 30 some days ago the notebook with the messages from some of you to me Thank you... In 20 days it will be seven years my sons life was taken from me. From all who knew and loved him. PLEASE any of you Aarons comrads...e-mail me. God Bless you all. Sandi, Aarons mpm"

"Rusin, I wish I can go back to 2003, 2004 while we're serving together. Miss you brother."
Gon Yi (aka. Supply SGT Lee) of Conway, AR

"My Son, No rest tonight, thoughts of you deep within my mind and Love of You within my Heart. Missing you so.xoxxoxo Mom"

"Aaron not a day passes without me thinking of you and that fatefull mission.I will always remember you fondly, And for your family I am still so sorry for Our loss and if you wish to contact me and I hope you do as I hope to make a trip up North and would like to see Aaron's final resting place and I will try to get as many of the Squad toghether for this because it has been too long. my email is holzemer86@yahoo.com Please message me anytime and I hope to hear from Rusin's family. To me he will always be the real hero of that night! P.S. to Aaron's Father we met the night we had the Family night before the Ceremony for all of Fort Carson's Fallen."
Chris Holzemer Squadmate A13 of Nashville,Tn

"Dear Son, I'm going through some things in yours and adams room. I just picked up your1992 and '93 year book and some assignments,writing about certain days and the things you did on them, With a smile I read them but it didn't take long for the tears to set in. I Miss You So Aaron it Still Hurts So Bad. Your not here to Hug to Tell You How Much I LoveYou and the Upmost Pride that You Are MY SON. Everlasting Love and Deeply Missing you Aaron. xoxoxo Mom P.S. anybody reading this let your child know how happy you are to have them in your life with many words of Graditude, PRIDE and LOVE. I Thank God I Did and Still Do with my other Joy in my life God Gave me, Adam"

"Son, It's your birthday 26th, How i wish we were celebrating together. Yes mom would be still baking you a cake or buying one with a picture on that would surprize you like i always tried to do........ We saluted you and had a toast to you for the kind,loving,... young man you was,the brave soldier you became, and our Hero you will always be.Always and Forever We Deeply Miss You and Forever Love You. Mom,bro-Adam,dad-James,and Aaron Jr."

"TO MY BROTHER IN ARMS I WILL NEVER FORGET U.U SAVE MY LIFE AND WITH THAT I AM FOREVER GREATFULL"
M.LOWE A13 of NY

"Dear Son ,I was out yesterday to bring you some flowers even though i know you'd rather it be a beer. That will have to wait till we come to see you and honor you on oct.10th. As always we will drink to and with you for the gentle loving kind couragous person you always was. We miss you and love you so much. Our Hearts will always have an empty spot because you took that piece when you went to be with our Lord.Love for you always and forever from your mom, sid and adam"
proud but lost mother

"I MISS YOU SO MUCH AARON JAMES"

"My Dear Son almost five and a half years since you've left us and joined our Lord in Heaven and Mom still Loves and Misses you so much. I Thank God for you and the memories but the loss of your presence hurts so much, people say time heals all wounds, I don't think so. Another day to go to work and pretend everythings all right!! Aaron I do Thank God for your bro.Adam you'd be so proud of him too...he's grown into such a fine young man with a great future ahead for himself.... We miss you son always and forever our Love for you. xoxoxxox Mom,Adam andJames"

"Dear Son, another Christmas without you here to share the joy and smiles of opening gifts-no crazy surprizes for mom to give you and see that big smile and enjoy that big hug you always gave me. Just a little something under your tree my son, Me, your bro Adam and James miss you so much. Always on my mind and in my Heart Hugs and Kisses to you Aaron, As I said you are deeply
loved and missed. Merry Christmas to you, Aaron in the house of our Lord, I pray you're able to watch over your comrads in battle being one of Gods guardian angels,see you in my prayers my brave son. Mom Loves you always and forever, and misses you deeply."

"Dear Son, another Christmas without you here to share the joy and smiles of opening gifts-no crazy surprizes for mom to give you and see that big smile and enjoy that big hug you always gave me. Just a little something under your tree my son, Me, your bro Adam and James miss you so much. Always on my mind and in my Heart Hugs and Kisses to you Aaron, As I said you are deeply
loved and missed. Merry Christmas to you, Aaron in the house of our Lord, I pray you're able to watch over your comrads in battle being one of Gods guardian angel,see you in my prayers my brve son. Mom Loves you always and forever."

"Dear Son, another Christmas without you here to share the joy and smiles of opening gifts-no crazy surprizes for mom to give you and see that big smile and enjoy that big hug you always gave me. Just a little something under your tree my son, Me, your bro Adam and James miss you so much. Always on my mind and in my Heart Hugs and Kisses to you Aaron, As I said you are deeply
loved and missed. Merry Christmas to you, Aaron in the house of our Lord, I pray you're able to watch over your comrads in battle being one of Gods guardian angel,see you in my prayers my brve son. Mom Loves you always and forever."

"Son,it's over five years now since you left us. I think about when you were young how i sometimes wondered what your life and what you'd be like when you grew up. Now I wonder what your life and life in general would be like if you were here with us as an adult. since you're not here so much of me is not here either. A big emptiness in life that can't be filled anyway. I miss you so much.......Only If...Your always on my mind and forever loved."

"Aaron, My Dear Son I Miss You So Much I Love You and All The Beautiful Moments Locked inside, We as Mother and Son Shared. God Forgive Me. Aaron,. I Wish You Were Here So I Could Just Hold You, And Tell You Again How Proud I Am Of You And That I Love You..........."

"WOW! I can't believe so much time has gone by but yet it still seems like yesterday. Not a day goes by that I don't think about you and I still miss you like hell. I read all the emails you wrote from over there when I was pregnant and I'll never forget the type of guy you were. I know your watching down but your still not here..."
Missy of Nanty Glo, PA

"Dear Amy: THANK YOU, Aaron is and will always be my first pride and joy in my life I'm happy to read you got the memory of him to carry with you,on you, and in your heart. I will add you personally to my prayers to our Lord and ask Aaron to watch over you. From A Proud but mostly Lost Mother-Sandi."
Sandi-Aarons Mom

"To the family of Aaron Rusin,
I work for the MN Army National, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program. Everyday I am able to help families of all services deal with deployment and reintegration. I see first hand how we are helping those families. Recently I ordered a KIA memory bracelet and received PFC Aaron Rusin of 1st PLT A Co. 44th ENGR. Before I put it on I said a prayer for Aaron. I think of him everyday and it has made me want to do my best for service members families everyday. I have deployed to Iraq myself and my mother and father prayed for me everyday. My heart goes out to you and your family, Aaron faught for his country with pride and honor. Thank you for raising an amazing son. You and your family will forever and always be in my thoughts and prayers, God bless."
Amy D. Smith of Rosemount, MN

"March 23, 2009 While only Aaron's cousin by marriage (Married to Kathy Rusin) he has made a permanent impression on my life. I think of him daily. His picture is on my board at work and his button is on the sunvisor of my car. I perform the Memorial Day service at our church evry year, and every one is dedicated to Aaron. He is my hero. Quoting Ronald Reagan from Veteran's Day, 1985.."It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray-haired. But most of them were boys when they died, they gave up two lives -- the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for their county, for us. All we can do is remember."....and remembering Aaron, we will."
Henry Wojciechowski of Cowansville, PA

"To Steck family and others Thank You for your kind words for my son and all the other lost fallen heroes. Now all we have to do is hope and pray our children didn't die in vein with our govt. letting all these Iraqs into our country, a country that can't afford to take care of its own especially veterans fron this one and past wars. how do we know any of these 13,000.00 plus 17,000.00 more to be placed here in the U.S. won't do here what is being done over there in Iraq. My son Aaron went over there to protect our country in his words so they don't come over here......and look what our coutry is doing for our brave loved ones,I just don't understand??? If any of you do please tell me. The Pain of the Loss of my first born doesnot get any better.A Proud but lost mother."

"To the family of PFC Rusin, We thank your son for the sacrifice he made so our children can now live in a safer country. We salute you PFC Rusin and all of those fighting for our country. God bless you. The Steck family"
of Reading, PA

"Rusin, after 3 years and a lot of phone calls and emails I was finaly able to get ahold of your dads addres. I am sending some of the stuff of yours to hin and keeping a few momentos. I think about you a lot, life isnt been the same withut you. I miss playin video games with you. I hope your dad is happy with the stuff I thought he should have them. Will never forget you Rusin."
sapperChris of Baltimore, MD

"Another Birthday gone by son 24 years old you would have been. I MISS YOU SO MUCH. Moms at aloss for words for it still Hurts so bad not being able to feel your hugs....Forever in my Heart I Love You Aaron My First Born, I am so Proud of you for all you've done for everyone Always and Forever Missing and Loving You. xoxoxoxo"

"Aaron we just wanted to let you know we are thinking of you but I think we have the wrong sight. I think this your mothers diary sight? Anyhow,sorry if we are at the wrong place but if you can see this, know that we miss you and are thinking about you brother at Fort Carson.We ll keep lookin for your memory page."
Chris and Don of Fort Carson, Colorado

"Hello Tim and Pam, Its been awhile since we spoke. Ive been trying to reach you via email with no luck...please contact me. As always you are in our prayers."
Alan Pitts Sr. of Rahway, NJ

"Four years have gone by son and it still feels like yesterday, even though so much has happened in your honor,in your memory. I Miss You, Love you and as always Proud of You........Always and Forever xoxoxoxo........"

"September 29, 2008
To the family of Pfc. Aaron J. Rusin:
Aaron 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

"Marge, Thank you for your kind words and support. We will pray for you, your family and your Grandsons' father and his safe return. We hope no one has to go through what we did, but that is the cost we pay for our freedom.We are fortunate that Aaron left a part of him with us in his son, who has such a resemblance to his father. He is what keeps up going and we thank God everyday for this miracle.Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family."
Tim and Pamela Rusin of Youngstown, PA

"To the memory and family of Aaron Rusin,
As we prepair to send our grandson's dad to war with th 856th, we meditate once again on your contributions and your unfathonable sacfifice. You Aaron were by all reports a truly outstanding young man. We will never forget you and when we see your son we will forever think of you. Thanks will never be enough. May God lighten the weight of loss for your loved ones."
Marg Martin of Clarion Pa USA

"Dear Aaron: Lifes not getting any easier without you,the joy of your voice the sight of your smiling face, looking up at you the way i did listening to your every word of what you did on your call...I MISS YOU SO MUCH SON. I'm so grateful I still can hear your voice in the messages i got to save. Till next time my son, Gods Angel. Your Always in my Mind and in my Heart. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU AS ALWAYS and FOREVER MY LOVE to YOU, AARON my FIRST PRESIOUS GIFT from GOD."

"Dear Son, Today I gave two scholorships out in honor of your bravery and all that you were. I first told everyone about you, the kind, compasionate, caring young man you were and what you did when joining the Army and becoming our HERO. The two students were happy and honored to receive the scholorships and memoramdims of you, I guess you know that, watching over us. It still feels good to share with you this way, and in prayer. Your Always with me son as from the day you were born.I Miss You and Always Love You. God Bless You Son xoxoxo Mom"

"TO EVERYONE who is e-mailing Aarons web site faces of the fallen what right do you have to write those things about Aarons life. I never threw my son out of his home, first of all I Love My SONS with all I have to give past and present. Aaron chose to join the Army after I discussed with him not to. I never bought my sons guns or anything violent to play with when they were little...I BEGGED AARON NOT TO JOIN. A week after he was enrolled at Greensburg tri tech he told me he joined the army. I CRIED AND CRIED....Aaron, a month later told me it was to defend his country,I gave in to what he wanted and told him I was proud of him. But I still wasn't happy with his decision. I did ask Aaron to take his stuff with him to his fathers, what he wanted to take because he had the apartment and we thought we'd have to rent it out.He wanted to be with his dad before he went to basic training. I had a big party here, Aaron invited all his friends...Was a grat day. that was a month before he left. If you think Aaron had such a bad life you come to me personally and talk ,if your man enough. HIS FATHER, "YOU BLAME", HE TALKED HIM INTO JOINING HE'S WHY !!!!!!!!!!!I have all Aarons e-mails he was at times wishing he was here ,he felt deceived. So as for any of you rusins, deemers, sanders,... talk to me like human beings instead of doing what your doing over the internet and about Aaron jr. I made an error i just lost my son 3 days, still not beleiving the news and praying that if it was really true that Dear
GOD to take me...Jessica knew for 2 to 3 months, why didn't she come to me then why did she wait till Aaron was gone.. People put your self in my place. Most of you people are hippocrits you go to church ask God to forgive you and pray to the Lord.Then turn your back on me and condem me. Tim Rusin and his family choose to not talk to me and so on I gave up all I care about now is my son Adam, My husband James and keeping Aarons memory alive. If any of you want the truth about anything pertaining to Aaron Come to me or Adam or my husband James, then you'll get the truth.Now Please stop all this. Aarons not here to speak for himself. I know he's an ANGEL but do you think your letting him rest in Peace,I don't. A PROUD MOTHER OF TWO PRECIOUS SON'S"
SANDI

"Rusin, I really miss you. I'm still in the military and just got back in the states. I was looking at some pictures of us, the good times! Rusin, I have read some blogs since I've been back and read the e-mail you wrote lea but one blog really bothers me because yur friends no the real story and everyone needs to no and we can confirm it all.First yur mom threw yu out of the house after highschool.You stayed at the firehall and Jessicas and moved in with yur dad. Second, when Jessica went to yur mom to tell her she was havin yur baby, Sandy, you "caring" mom knowing Jess was pregnant physicaly threw her off her property. Yur mom forbid her to attend yur funeral.Yur mom denied yur son and said he wasnt yurs. Now she said that Jess is keeping her from seeing him, an you need to forgive Jess???? who would blame her. Yu no Jess doesnt need yur forgivness,she knew yu were watchn from up ther. You know it all. yur mom is who needs yur forgivness for all the lies.Now she will always carry. the guilt of what she has done the rest of her life. Rusin, the truth needed told. I respect you like a brother. I hope to visit yur son and you resting place this summer. We will always be brothers and I no yu will watch out for me when I'm on patrol. I pray that you are now at rest."
Mike of Florida

"Hey Aaron, I just graduated from Washington-Jefferson College. I have always carried the words with me that you gave me on "no matter how tough it gets to keep going" with me the whole way through college. Well, I did it, thanks to you. I miss you and all the fun we had going to Eat-N- Park, going to the movies and wrestling around in your yard. My father gave a sermon at our church he preaches at on values and what type of person makes a good, honest servant to God and he mentioned you. You are an angel looking down on all of those you have touched.I think its really cool how your dad has your Aaron Rusin Boulevard sign up at the intersection of his driveway. I will never forget you and all that you had taught me. I miss you and will never forget your kindness. Love, Mary"
Mary of Delmont, PA

"Aaron, We all love and miss you very much.When you left us, you took a big part of us with you. You, however left us with a part of you, your son, who is the mirror image of you.The community felt bad about all the hell that Jessica, Aaron Jr's mother had to go through just prior and after your death, but we assure you, she has taught Aaron Jr who her father is. They know who the guilt lies with. Aaron Jr. will point to your picture and say Dadee.We know you are looking down and watching your son grow. We know you will always be with him and us.You live on, not only through your son but in our hearts. We believe that Jessica, her parents Kevin and Marlene, and your father Tim and step mother Pam will have many stories to tell him as he grows as to what a wonderful father he had and the sacrifice you made for our freedom. We all thank you for what you have given us, fighting for our freedom. You are a true American Hero. We love you"
The Sander family of New FLorence,PA

"Dearest Son: Not alot to say except I miss you so much, another night no sleep just thinking of you. five days short of three and ahalf years since you were taken from us and it still feels like yesterday. I LOVE YOU AARON AND AS ALWAYS SINCE THE DAY YOU WERE BORN AM EVER SO PROUD OF YOU AS I KNOW GOD IS."
MOM

"Dear Aaron, I would like to take a moment to let you know I had the oppurtunity to meet and talk with your mom at the Jackson Twp. fire hall a few weeks back. I also believe through the graces of God you are able to read what people write here. I want you to know that your mother talks about you everyday and truly misses you every minute of the day. She told me many great things about you and she also gave me some printed stories about you along with buttons with your picture and name on. I will tell you that your mom is so very very proud of you and she loves you more than anything in the world. I never had the chance to meet you in person but from what your mom has told me you were a true hero. Many people don't really know what our servicemen/women do for all of us, but I can sure tell you, your mom is doing a great job spreading the word for you. I also want you to know I had the chance to see and read the large display in the firehall that was put there in your memory. Your friends and firemen are also very proud of you as well. I also noticed that they removed a block from the front of the firehall building and replaced it with a marble stone in your memory. To me Aaron this show every person that walks by it how special of a person you must have been. May God Bless you and all of your family."
David Gehlman of Johnstown PA United States

"aaron,
hey. its jason botti. i know its been a long time. im sorry. i cried when i recieved the information that you were gone from this world. i know that you are feeling no pain now and that you are in a better place. i have 2 little ones now, hope who is 4 almost 5 and faith who is 10 months and a baby boy who is due in may. i wont forget the days running from one end of my parents property to the other, or running calls. i know that it is partly my fault. when i went in i left them ur name as someone to talk to. u and klay both. we all miss u everyday. my parents have a tribute to u set up at the house and i have a flag in a case that never comes out and sits on a shelf...to sandi and adam, i am soooo sorry. i feel like i should have been watching over him just like we used to watch over each other. me and faith say our prayers each night and aaron and the family is included in that. love ya guys."
jason botti of greensburg pa

"Aaron, as someone who grew up in Somerset and Cambria county and joined the Army young, I can't help but look to you for inspiration. Life is never a guarantee and I pray for your family. I wish we had been closer during the time I lived in Johnstown but you were already in Iraq and I was just finishing up high school. God bless you and everyone who grieves for you."
Alysia of now in Canada

"Another night of not to much sleep. praying and talking to you Aaron. It's now 5:OO october 10th, and knowing now in 16 hours and approx.48 mins.you were taken from us three years ago, it still feels like it was only yesterday. Son I know your still with us somedays i can feel your presence but it still hurts because your mom wants to hug you see you... Your Bro Adam and I spent the afternoon together yesterday and talked about our dreams of you and happy we get to share some sort of time with you we Love And Miss You, Adam still reminds me your in a better place. Someday son we will all be together, so don't be disappointed inme for still grieving because your not here and i hope you can forgive jessica for not letting us be a part of little Aarons life. I keep praying things will change the way it should be so you can rest in peace always. That special part of my heart misses you so much and Loves you all the same. Mom has a mass for you this morning so till next time your always with me son I Love You and Always so Proud every time I think of you. Love Mom,Adam,James and all who know you"

"Another night of not to much sleep. praying and talking to you Aaron. It's now 5:OO october 10th, and knowing now in 16 hours and approx.48 mins.you were taken from us three years ago, it still feels like it was only yesterday. Son I know your still with us somedays i can feel your presence but it still hurts because your mom wants to hug you see you... Your Bro Adam and I spent the afternoon together yesterday and talked about our dreams of you and happy we get to share some sort of time with you we Love And Miss You, Adam still reminds me your in a better place. Someday son we will all be together, so don't be disappointed inme for still grieving because your not here and i hope you can forgive jessica for not letting us be a part of little Aarons life. I keep praying things will change the way it should be so you can rest in peace always. That special part of my heart misses you so much and Loves you all the same. Mom has a mass for you this morning so till next time your always with me son I Love You and Always so Proud every time I think of you. Love Mom,Adam,James and all who know you"

"Aaaron I miss yu so much everyday it gets harder and harder to look at our son and not cry. yud be so proud i look at him and all i can picture is how yur face would glow if yu could be here now. I miss the hugs and trips to walmart. I miss yu and the letters yu sent home. I'll bring yu flowers this week. Love yu Airbear always and forever!"
Jessica of Sidman, Pa

"My dearest Aaron, Its almost three years since you were taken from us and over four years since you walked up to me telling me you joined the Army. I cried for a month when you told me your plans, and now for almost three years the tears still fall.I am ever so proud of you son but you know those words were never to hard for me to say to you. I just want you to know I LOVE YOU and MISS YOU every day that comes and goes, nothing and no one could ever take your place. GOD made you special..I know your with our Lord but the pain of not seeing you. I']] speak to ou in my prayers. Forever in my Heart that one special part is always yours. Always your Proud and Lost Mom."

"My dear son 2years 8months it still feels like yesterday since i got that knock on the door. I Miss You So--------and as always that special part of my Heart is Filled with my Love For You Always and forever I Love You and Am Ever so Proud Of You Aaron your Mom-"

"My dear son,my firat born. Today its two and a half years to the date God opened his Arms to you and i'm missing you so much. I miss your strong hug and smile and especially your heart full of goodness and love. I still listen to your last two phone calls, they heip to hear your voice. I'm always and forever so proud of you. And most of all son thank you and Jessica for bringing a child into this life to carry on yours and hers love with your name. Aaron, your always in my Heart and on my Mind with love. I thank God for the time he gave me being your mother.I pray we will see each other again. I Love You Son. Mom"
Mom

"Aaron I know yur looking down on us everyday and I tell yu every night how our little man is doing but the past two and half years have been so long without yu here, yur family has made us feel so welcome these past few months. its hard to beleive everything is falling into place. i love yu airbear and we miss yu more each day."
Jessica of Pa

"On March 14, 2007, I participated in a vigil in Eureka, California for peace and for people who have fallen in the Iraq conflict. I was assigned to carry a placard with Aaron's name on it. I have a 16 year old son, and I can't begin to imagine the grief members of his family are suffering over the loss of this fine young man. My heartfelt condolences to all of you who knew him and loved him. And while I don't agree with the war, I thank Aaron for his service to our country."
George Rodes of Eureka, California

"Aaron, you were truly an angel on Earth and God must've thought so too. I miss you so much I can't even cry anymore, but I know that someday I will get to see you again and that makes me smile."
J of PA

"Aaron, its getting closer to your birthday again. as usual i'll come and see you, and leave flowers like i always do. I know as kids we never realized how much family means. I never took the time to think that someday you wouldn't be here with us any more. I regret not gettin to see you right before you left. The last time i saw you was the christmas before we lost you. We were all at uncle Bob's house same as always. Eating a little bit of everything and just catchin up on time that had passed. There are still nights when i have dreams when i see you, and u always tell me that everything is ok. That is just the kind of guy u always were too. You always put everyone else first. I will always miss you and love you so much. Happy Birthday Cuz!"
Renee of PA

"MY DEAR SON, ANOTHER CHRISTMAS HAS PASSED WITHOUT YOUR PRESENCE STILL YOUR MEMORABLE SMILE AND WORDS OF LOVE LINGERED IN THE AIR. TWO DAYS AWAY IS YOUR TWENTY SECOND BIRTHDAY WE WILL TOAST YOU AGAIN MY SON FOR THE REMAKABLE HEROIC YOUNG MAN YOU WERE AND ARE.AS ALWAYS DEEP IN MY HEART I LOVE AND MISS YOU SO MUCH!!! GOD WILLING MOM WILL SEE YOU AGAIN AND HOLD YOU CLOSE.I LOVE YOU,AARON"
SANDI of JOHNSTOWN,PA CAMBRIA COUNTY

"To the family of:Aaron J. Rusin 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"

"AJ, You weren't just a hero as a soldier, you were a hero as a person in general. For all of you who don't really know Aaron or the type of person he really was, know this; I was pregnant with my first daughter when he was preparing to leave for active duty, As a soon to be single mother Aaron went with my to buy my unborn daughter's crib. He even carried it in the house for me. That was the last I saw of Aaron. One of the very last emails I received from Aaron was him offering to be a father figure for my daughter since her real father was a deadbeat and I was so scared and worried. Aaron is one true person who has touched my soul like no one else has. This kid had a heart of gold. I know you shined down over my brother and made sure he came home from Iraq safely. I want you to know that the locket you gave me will be forever with Kylee to protect her. She will know where it came from and the meaning behind it when she is old enough. The tiggers from Korea, both which are in safe keepings, each of my child will have one when they are old enough to not damage them. (Yes they still have the tags on them in my tigger shelf! the glass one too) Thank you and you will always have a special place in my heart XoXo ~WishIng YoU waS HeRe~ ~Still missin the shyish grin~"
Melissa Nagle of Nanty Glo, PA

"You will never know how much you meant to me."
M of the fire hall

"SRGT. Alan Pitts or any of Aarons friends from basic training, Korea or Iraq please get in touch with me I NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU!!!!! my e-mail address is sandi369@peoplepc.com I am Aarons mother, thankyou"
Mrs.Sandi (Rusin)Sidola of Johnstown,Pa.15909

"MY SON, AARON, I AM SO PROUD OF YOU, AS I ALWAYS WAS AND WILL ALWAYS CONTINUE TO BE...YOU'VE TOUCHED SO MANY LIVES WHILE YOU WERE HERE WITH US, NOT RECOGNIZING THAT THEN, NOT THINKING SO MUCH OF YOURSELF, ONLY THINKING OF AND DOING FOR OTHERS, NOW SON ALL YOUR FRINEDS AND LOVED ONES AND PEOPLE YOU DIDN'T KNOW ARE THINKING OF YOU, SAYING THINGS AND DOING THINGS TO HONOR YOU, SO NO ONE WILL EVER FORGET YOU, THE OUIT, KIND, SINCERE, LOVING...YOUNG MAN YOU WERE. AARON I MISS YOU SO MUCH AND MY LOVE IS SO DEEP AND FOREVER STRONG FOR YOU, I KNOW YOUR ONE OF GODS MAIN ANGELS AND YOU'RE WATCHING OVER THE GUYS IN IRAQ...BUT THE TEARS WON'T STOP,YOU LEAVING WAS SO UNEXPECTED KNOWING THE KIND LOVING, SOUL YOU ARE.I THOUGHT YOU'D ALWAYS BE WITH US, HOW WE TALKED ABOUT THE FUTURE AND KIDDED AROUND ABOUT IT. SON FORGIVE ME I WANT YOU HERE LOOKING MY WAY WITH THAT SWEET GRIN OF YOURS AND TELLING ME-MOM,I LOVE YOU. AS YOU ALWAYS DID BEFORE LEAVING OR HANGING UP. FOREVER MY HEART IS WITH YOU AARON WITH DEEP LOVE. XOXXOOXXXOOO...YOUR MOM"
-SANDI(RUSIN)SIDOLA of JOHNSTOWN,PA.15909

"Aaron you were like a brother to me. You saved our lives that night. You will always be in my heart as a hero. I will never forget."
Sgt Alan Pitts of Ft Carson, CO

"Aaron I miss you more than you could ever know! You were one of the most amazing people in this world! All your brother and sister firefighters are thinking about you and keeping you in their prayers!! I love you!"
Michele Lieb of Ebensburg, Pa, USA

"Aaron, you will ALWAYS be in my heart. ALWAYS & FOREVER!!! I miss you."
Leah of Saint Louis, MO/USA

"aaron i love u and miss u soo much"
*b* of usa

"Aaron another year has gone by with out you on your birthday.. you are missed very much on this special day.. Happy 21st Birthday to you."
Lisa Finnegan of Johnstown Pa

"Pfc. Aaron J Rusin, Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice. You are a true american. I am currently serving in Iraq and i know how hard it is. my brother Sgt. Alan J Pitts who was with you that night said you did your best to save their lives. Thank You"
Spc. Brandon M Pitts of Rahway,NJ

"Soldier Rusin,

I salute you!

forever indebted to you,"
Angela of Fort Worth, Texas

"Aaron J. Rusin: You may be gone...but you will NEVER be forgotten! Your shy smile and big heart have impacted more people than you will ever know!

To Aaron's family and loved ones: Thank you for raising such a fine young man. He is greatly missed and never far from our hearts!"
of Ebensburg, PA

"To the family of Aaron J. Rusin-
I want to thank you and your son for what he has done and gone through for America. Thank you and I'm sorry that i could not say more."
of Amesbury

"I'm a Drill Sergeant in the US Army. I have been on the "trail" for 23 months. In that time I have graduated over 275 soldiers from my platoon alone. I have kept in touch with a couple of them and have been happy to hear of their exploits and adventures.
But today I got some of the saddest news I ever heard. PFC Aaron Rusin was died on Oct 11 2004 in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries sustained when his military vehicle came under fire from enemy forces on October 10.
I'm sad because I barely remember PFC Rusin. I just remember that he was a quiet kid, one of those that I had to ask who he was on graduation day. He didn't stand out at all, but that not a bad thing. More often than not those that do stand out, stand out for all the wrong reason.
Out of 275 of my soldiers, only one has been killed.
Pfc Aaron Rusin is kid I barely remember, but a soldier I'll never forget.

Thank you for allowing me to vent a bit of my anguish"
SSG Mitch Doss, Drill Sergeant of FLW MO

"Aaron just letting you and your family know that we are always thinking of you and miss you SO much, I know God is watching over you and making sure you are ok. we love and miss you so very very much.. Happy Birthday to u baby."
Lisa Finnegan family of Johnstown pa usa

"I wanted to let you know that you are in a better place now, this place is *ed up and I'm sorry you had to go out the way you did.

You and all of the other men and women that have died are constantly in my mind each and every day I hit the streets of Mosul. Much love and respect to his family.

See you on the other side."
PFC Hunter, Joseph of Mosul, Iraq

"My deepest sympathy goes to Aaron Rusin who died in this sacred fight for our freedom and safety. God Bless our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan"
DG

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

"To Aaron'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"

"To the family of Aaron I am turly sorry for the loss of Aaron he was a great hero and will always be remembered we will miss him dearly. He was a great guy and a wonderful friend.. God Bless your Family and friends."
Lisa Finnegan Family of Johnstown, Pa Us

"To Aaron'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

"We are so sorry for your loss. We lost Army Spc.Joshua Justice Henry on 9-20-04. This was the hardest day of our lives. We honor these guys as our Heroes and hope no one else has to go through with what we are all dealing with. Rest in peace Aaron, and thank you for serving your country to the fullest."
Henry family of Vandergrift , PA

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

"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 aaron J. Rusin."
Amy & Aaron Monier of Waterford, MI.

"To the family and friends of Aaron. I am truly sorry for your loss. Our family shares in your sorrow, we also lost a soldier. My brother SPC Shawn Davies on July 8, 2004. Aaron will always be remembered, and is a true hero. May God be with you now and until you meet with Aaron again."
Toni Peters (toniannp@sbcglobal.net) of Concord, OH

"God Bless you and your family. There's really nothing I can say to you to ease your broken hearts but I want to say thank you. Thank you for raising a hero. I know life would be so good if he got to come home to you guys alive as a hero and I'm so sorry that he won't. I think it is so devistating that so many men and women in this war are just mom and dads little babies. Too young to die, it seems. I'm so sorry for your tragic loss. Just know that your son is a HERO. You're in my prayers."
Alicia Bilby of Nevada Missouri

"Thank you Aaron Rusin, 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 Pfc. Aaron Rusin:
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 Aaron 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 Pfc. Aaron Rusin:
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 Aaron, 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