Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Pfc. Ricky Salas, Jr.

22, of Roswell, New Mexico.
Salas died in Mosul, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his military vehicle while conducting mounted operations. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 37th Armored Regiment, Friedberg, Germany. Died on March 7, 2006.

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"dear daddy I miss you so much I would do anything to have you back I love you so much thank you for my life your the best dad ever I miss you and love you"
jordan salas of roswell nm

"Dear lil Rick

I sit here and think of the day I got the news you passed away , I can't believe it's going on 9 years since you've passed away , I sit here and look at the pictures of you and I cry , I feel so ashamed that I couldn't go to you're funieral . But I wished I could see you again because you were like my brother and you'll always be in my heart forever"
Christopher Salas of Haltom City , Tx

"I don't really know where to start, except to say that my husband and I had the absolute honor of meeting your mother a little over a week ago. Her face, beautiful, the way that a mother with a deep loving heart is. She was the most quiet one among a table of people who had a lot to say, and for good reason. She had a gentle strength and kind eyes. As the group was dispersing to each go our separate ways, knowing nothing about her, I gave her a hug and said "Father bless you." She said to me that she needed it. Then she told my husband and I just a little bit about you. I read a thank you note from a mother of a fallen soldier recently, to a man who has made every effort bless and honor our patriots. She said, 'the act of giving one's life for your country is but a moment, but the cost is a lifetime.' Those words struck me deep. Ricky, I know that I didn't have the pleasure of knowing you, but I want to thank you. I thank your mother and your family and friends. I know they too are paying the price, not only for our freedom, but the freedom of others. Thank you and Father bless you."
Danielle C. of Amarillo, TX USA

"I am the flight medic that picked up Ricky salas in between Mosul and talafar in 2006. His face and memory has haunted me since then.. The reason why is because he looks like my best friend.. If this is the right Ricky salas... I took him off the battle field and flew him to the hospital in Mosul.. His name is permanently engraved in my brain.. Ricky salas will always be remembered by me. Please forgive me but I will never forget his name.. i have never met him or know anything about him other than his name."
Nathan T L Skaggs of Kapolei Hawaii

"To the family of:Ricky Salas,Jr.
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""

"Lil Rick well they had a parade of the fourth of July and they had did the 21 Gun salute and when they did it made me think of you and cry because it made me feel like a part of me is missing and that piece of me that is missing is you and I remember the trip to Colorado that the family took and me and you hug out many times and how much mine and everybody else's Freedom I sit here right now writing this and I cry . It has been 6 years since you have been gone and lil Rick you will alway's be my hero and have always looked up to you because you were a good role model for all of us :) Rick you will never be forgotten and Before I go Lil rick you are in my heart and i will love you forever"
Christoher ( Pato Pato) Salas of Graham Texas

"Lil Rick well they had a parade of the fourth of July and they had did the 21 Gun salute and when they did it made me think of you and cry because it made me feel like a part of me is missing and that piece of me that is missing is you and I remember the trip to Colorado that the family took and me and you hug out many times and how much mine and everybody else's Freedom I sit here roght now writing this and I cry . It has been 6 years since you have been gone and lil Rick you will alway's be my hero and have always looked up to you because you were a good role model for all of us :) Rick you will never be forgotten and Before I go Lil rick you are in my heart and i will love you forever"
Christoher ( Pato Pato) Salas of Graham Texas

"My Husband- As today marks 6 years that you have passed not a day goes by that I don't think of you countless times a day! You live in our 2 BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING and TALENTED children! Jordan (9) acts just like you and Ricky III (Jarrod) (7) looks just like you! As the kids and I do for every birthday, holiday and this awful day we will go to the cemetery and leave you flowers and just talk to you! We love you and miss you every moment of every day! LOVE ALWAYS AND FOREVER, April, Jordan and Jarrod Salas"
April Baca-Salas of Roswell, NM

"Once again it is Memorial Day. I so miss you Ric. Your smile was heart warming. Your mischieviuos attitude was something else. I still feel like it was just yesterday. Life hasnt been the same without you. Our family is not the same without you here. I know you watch over me and I am very proud. Love and miss you....Mom"
Brenda Robertson of Crosbyton, Tx.

"Hey Ricky, Well it's me again but just a few years later. Recently I had said how I wanted to join the army and do great things. Well I joined the army in 2009 and I am in Afghanistan now. Been here for about 7 months and going home soon to see the family for leave then of course I'm coming back. Everyday I think of you especially while I am here. I see the soldiers and it's you I see. I wish you were still here with us and we could share some amazing army stories lol. But everytime I put my uniform on and I see the name Salas, it's your face I see and with that comes every memory I have of you. I miss you cuz and believe me when I say I looked up to you. I'm finishing what you started!!!"
Spc. Salas, Stacey of Afghanistan

"What's up bro it jones. It took me a long time to come to do this, I know its been a while since the last time I spoke to you and I'm so sorry. Its been real hard for me in the past years I'm still in the Army and I have a few more to go as you may know cuz you see and hear all. Man I miss you so much and I iwsh you was still here cuz you was my bro and I will never foget you save that seat for me inside those pearly gates I love you bro"
SPC. Jones, Terrence of Fort Irwin, Ca

hey its me tanajade again im here in iraq been here for a good 6 months i had a hard time coming and writting you again ive dreamt you so many times you were here with me in my dreama rollin out with me everytime and everytime somehow savin my *... thank you rick i know you really are watchin over me now with my big brother up there to i must be the luckiest girl in the world to have 2 of the bravest men i know as my guardian angels ive told u before bear looks jus like you the other day he had his 5th birthday i told him id be there so i made sure i video called he was so excited i was there and jordan shes a handfull so beautiful they are both growing up so fast but no worries they are fine their daddys an angel and hes watchin over them always... every year around this time me and april since ive joined anyways we stray from eachother around this time she still gets upset at me and no that im here she so scared but i remind her i have u watchin over me :) thank u rick thank you so much... I Love You"
TanaJade tanajade20@yahoo.com of Talil. Iraq

"ricky you dont know how much i miss you man...i think abou tour last day all the time...playing horse shoes and laughing and joking...you still owe me that last game...one day we will finish...your the champ bro....i miss you so much man. i wish i could have taken you place...every day i stuggle with the memories..."
gillham of port richey, fl

"(((Brenda))) I am so sorry to hear about your son*( Holding you in my thought, my prayers, and forever in my (also) broken heart. Luv Kimmi Mom of ^Chris^ 08/31/80 ~ 08/31/00"
Kim Mom of ^Chris^ of Lubbock TX

"Gone but never forgotten. You will always be in our hearts. I will miss you always. May God Bless your wonderful family."
Flora Hernandez of Lubbock, Tx

"Gone but never forgotten. You will always be in our hearts. I will miss you always. May God Bless your wonderful family."
Flora Hernandez of Lubbock, Tx

"Thank You for serving. My son is in the Air Force. Stationed in Del Rio. God Bless your family at this time."
Erma Salas of Mesa, AZ U.S.A.

"Hey lil Ric ? i know i was never a your funeral and i'm so sorry . But i wanted to go and see you but I could not . Well i'm doing good as you know I live with my sister . I have so much pain when i think about you and i start crying and I just start crying . I have been praying about it but the pain never goes away . I love you and miss you every day and i pray that we will see each other one day ."
Christopher Marcos Salas of Cleburne Texas

"I miss you very much and still think of you all the time ."
Christopher salas of Cleburne , Texas

"February 28, 2009
To the family of Pfc. Ricky Salas, Jr.:
Ricky 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"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"hey ricky its tana-jade well i did it i joined im now stationed in fort drum new york the weather sucks here but its beautiful i deploy here in august 09 im kind of excited im goin to kuwait.., Anyways we all miss you april is still upset that i joined but she knows i did whats best. LOL Bear is so big i know your watchin them he talks so well and Jordi shes a handful they are gonna be in albuquerque when i go home for the weekend il be sure to ive them xoxo'sfor thier daddy, Rick i jus wanna say thank you i know youve been thier with me through alot i feel it youve kept me safe and i know youll continue to do so I Love You So Much N Your My Hero Always!

PV2 Hernandez
Tana-Jade, of Albuquerque New Mexico/Fort drum New York

"Hey lil ric,
I just wanted to tell you how I am doing. I finally got married to Johnny Ray. I am so happy with him. You know you have inspired me to do a lot in my life. I think about you all the time. I wanted to become a soldier after you passed, but I'm not as strong as you are. My heart is to bad to join the military. I recieved my GED a little after you passed away. God is looking over your family and I hope they are all doing very well. John ray and I just bought our house. We are doing so good. You have always been the person I wanted to be. You were the outkast in your family just like I am in mine. I miss you so much. You know with all the stuff going on in the presidential debate between McCain and Obama. Obama wants to bring the troops back. I don't like that idea. My cousin did not risk his life for nothing. He passed with honors. Not for no reason at all. You are always in my heart. Talk to you later. You will always be here with us. Never Forgotten."
Stacey Salas Espinoza of Cleburne, TX 76033

"Dear Ricky, We live next door to the Baca's and we were there the day the Army came to tell April of your passing. We saw her fall to the ground. In that moment we were soldiers once again. ( both having been Marines ) The bond of military people for eachother lasts a lifetime and so we went out the door to go to your wife, children and April's father Ray. I went to your daughter Jordan. Carole to Ray, April and little Bear. In that moment and from that time on we were joined to your family. We will always be there for them my brother. We have and will watch over them all for you so rest easy. They are a wonderful family and it is a priviledge to now be part of them. They are warm and loving and give us so much of themselves. We will be there for them always Rick. Victoria told me you used to hit golf balls in the yard. I found some of them in my yard. I am saving them for Bear. God bless and keep you! We are proud to be joined to the family of an American hero. Pat & Carole 3/2008"
Pat & Carole O'Rourke of Roswell NM

"Its me tana again rick so i just got off the phone with april shes not so good today and i even had some good news i got my ged results and i passed i told her you were my good luck and wanted to be on our minds the day i got my good news,... todays the day you gave your life to protect us and your still protecting us, il go to MEPS in a few days and they tell me when i ship out :) yup i joined the army,.. well i love you and thanks for everything cuz i know you've been right here the whole time! Jor and Jar are gettin so big he looks just like you! well Love You Bye!

Alwyays Tana-Jade
Santana-Jade of Albquerque NM USA

"Hey lil Rick, I know I didn't go to your funeral and I appologize but thats not how I wanted to remember you by. The only thing I can remember is when we blew up that lawnmower I wish that you would of stopped blowing up things right then.. But I also miss when we watched movies together and hung out all the time I miss You and never will forget you. Love Bumper"
Elizabeth Salas (Bumper) of Graham,TX,United States

"The Ultimate Sacrifice

On March 7th, my brother called from Lubbock to tell me he had 2 Army soldiers looking for Rick Salas Sr. The soldiers had news concerning Rick Salas Jr. What we had prayed not to happen to Rick- had happened. He had been killed in Iraq.
Rick joined the Army knowing Iraq was a dangerous zone. The boy we saw grow up for 20 something years lay in a coffin with an American Flag draped over it. He was and is still loved. The coffin was closed. Rick was not allowed to be seen. It is hard to believe he is dead. Even after the funeral and several memorial services, it is still unbelievable.
Rick had lived with his grandparents in Graham. His grandmother still has a very hard time accepting what has happened to her little boy. She still breaks down and cries for him. He would call her twice a week. She tells me that he had not called from Iraq and that maybe, it is true that the coffin which the Army presented was Little Rick. She even tried to call him on his cell phone, but no one answered. As she cries and is telling me this, she asked me if she would ever see Rick again. I told her that she would someday.
We want to Thank everyone who has supported our grief. Please continue to pray for those who have lost loved ones and pray for those still in combat.
Semper fi

Uncle John

Uncle John of Graham, TX

"Rick, Happy Birthday mijo, and I am doing what I told you the day you last called us at the CDC. I am taking care of your kiddos, and showing them LOVE. Miss you so very much."
Roni of Roswell, NM

"Hey Ricky its tana aprils baby cousin well i;ve been thinkin of you alot i see jarr bear and he looks just like you he loves his daddy :) and jordy haha daddys little girl she misses you alot but knows daddys an angel now and withher always. A few weeks ago i had, had a dream of you at uncle rays sittin on the swing drinkin a beer smiling and watchin everyone then the next night all these crazy things happened to me and it was the weirdest thing when somethin bad would happen i'd get the chills and i'd be the one to stop whatever was going on it was like someone was there helping me be brave i would get the chills everytime all night till i was home in bed i got them one more time then i was fine, ha the weird thing was it wasnt cold outside. the next night i talked to apal (april) and you know what she said"it was Ricky babygirl he was there with you keepin you safe, he loved you babygirl he wanted you to go to germany with us but that was him makin you brave keepin you safe," again i got the chills and knew it was you Ric i Just want to say thank you i wouldnt be here after that night if it wasnt for you i love those babies of yours Jar my duckie and Jordan My Jordy Baby and apal shes my rock she has been so strong i know she misses you so much everyone does, Thanks Ric :) your truly a Hero and so much more in my eyes.

(tana, haha or Jade)
Santana-Jade Hernandez of Albuquerque NM, USA

"Ricky, I had the hardest time accepting that you were gone. I think about you all the time, every time that I put on my uniform, I think about your sacrifice. You were more than a brother-in-law to me, you were my best friend, and you are a hero to me, and to countless others. You will always be in my heart. I love you bro, and I miss you."
Spc. Redgate, John of Ft. Polk, Leesville La

Thank you for all you did for us. May the Lord bless your family and give them comfort. Vaya con Dios, amigo."
Tom McCaffrey, an old soldier of Las Vegas, Nevada

This memorial day had so much more meaning than any other.Son, I miss you so very muc. Sleep is impossible and life is just so hard without you. So many times I just want to give you a call and ask you for some advice but that is impossible and it hurts. I love you so much son and that feeling will never end. Love your Mother Brenda Robertson"
Brenda of Texas

Legeta of Artesia,New MexicoUSA

"One year ago today, Ricky Salas Jr. was killed. We should all spend some time reflecting on this brave young man who left behind a wife and two small children. It is my sincere wish that they will find comfort in his memory on this sad anniversary. Rest in Peace, Ricky."
An old soldier of Bangkok, Thailand

It has been 10 months since we lost you to a graeter life. i miss you more and more everyday. I know you told me when we spoke last that if anything ever happen we would meet up at Heaven's Gate's. I will always love you and miss you! I will never forget the part of your life I was honored to share with you. God Bless all your family, and April if you read this I love and miss you and the kids very much!!! Please if anyone wants to share stories or pictures of Ric e mail me at dt1443@yahoo.com"
Don "D" Tellez of Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA

I just read the story in USA Today about you and your fellow soldiers who were in that Humvee. I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy. And to Spc. Morales if you're reading this, that goes for you as well, you got more guts then I'll ever have-I hope the best for you and your family as well.

"Courage Conquers"(37th Armor Motto)"

"Well in almost 3 months it'll have been one year since my cousin passed away. I miss him so much and i miss my whole family. It's like we are all hiding from each other. Lil Ric kept are family together and strong. I miss you lil ric and i love yOu very much."
Stacey Salas (stcy_sls@yahoo.com) of Cleburne, TX 76033

I will never ever get over losing you. You were my soul, my heart and my life. I love you and miss you so very much. You were the son I never had. I have started a new life in your honor, you would be so very proud. I swear to you my precious son, we will be together again."
Don Tellez of Roswell, New Mexico

I will never ever get over losing you. You were my soul, my heart and my life. I love you and miss you so very much. You were the son I never had."
Don tellez of Roswell, New Mexico

"to all salas family members,
i would be greatful if somebody out of your family would get in contact with me so we can share stories how great ricky was.its very important for me to get in contact with my best friends family.
sincerly sgt. morales, jay
phone# : (202)361-9206
e-mail: tribute_to_the_fallen_gods@yahoo.com"
jay morales of washington dc/ walter reed army medical center

"hey salas its me SSG Anthony you dont know how much we miss you we fight every day in your name and try to make the enemy pay in 10 fold. you know i talked to my father about you and he told me something that kinda hurt me more when i heard it but made me stronger. i sit and wonder and think about friends i lost in the war and my father put it in a way that can make me feel a little better he said "god take the good young " and i must say you was a good man my brother on another land we will miss you and we will never forget you we love you from 3rd platoon. SSG Anthony."
Gerald W Anthony II of bronx , New York

"ricky you were my cuzin ill never forget u ill all ways remmber you all the fun times we had at grandmothers house all the BARBQ we had i just wanted to say i love and i miss you."
JJ Torres of Hamlin Tx.

i was your mentor, your friend and your brother in war.its very hard for me to forget you when i was in the humvee with you, eventhough i lost my leg and broke my arm my deepest pain is the thought of not having you with me i have you every night in my dreams and will not rest until i have closure. i love you and i will keep my promise i made with you.
dear mrs.salas i just wanted to say that its sad what happend to your son and us but i know that he is in a safe place where no one can harm him and also now you have earned a nother son i hope you will take me in as your family i would like to get in contact with you so i can get to know my best friends family.
sgt.morales, jay
here is my email address:
jay morales of washington dc / walter reed army medical center

"To my Grandson I will always love you and I will never forget you. One day we will be together. But for now I know you are in a safe place. I am very proud of You Baby Ric. You will alway be in my heart. I will alway remember you voice when you used to call and sing for me. I still call your cell phone hoping that you will answere, but till this day there is no answere. I see your smile in small children,young men. The town of Graham has done so much in your honor. Baby Ric you were taken from us too soon. You had so many dreams. Granpa and Grandma are very proud of you. Your Big Smile will be missed."
Your Grandmother Francis Salas of Graham,Texas

"Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers we are very thankful. We are very proud of Ric and what he stood for but we miss him so much. Thanks again. Brenda (Ric's mom)brndrbrtsn@yahoo.com"
Brenda Robertson of Roswell, NM USA

Please KNOW so many people share your sadness,
and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief.
Our nations HERO, Ricky will be remembered by name.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Pat & Sandi Breckenridge / Montana God Bless you ALWAYS. "

"Thank you Ricky for being our hero! Thank you for fighting for our freedom! I can proudly tell my son that he knew a true hero & now an angel. You be good up there in heaven. We miss you & we'll never forget you! Don't worry about April & the kids we'll take great care of them. We love you Rick! April we're here for you whenever you need us, we're family & we love you 3!"
Coco, Patrick & Wes of VA Beach, VA

"Thank you Ricky Salas, Jr., 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. Ricky Salas, Jr.:
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 Ricky 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. Ricky Salas, Jr.:
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 Ricky, 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