Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Lance Cpl. Dustin L. Sides

22, of Yakima, Washington.
Sides died from hostile fire in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 9th Communications Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. Died on May 31, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Lance Cpl. Dustin L. Sides.


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Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

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"May Lcpl Sides rest in peace and my heart and prayers go out to him and his family."
Sgt Marco Mardueno of 9th Comm Bn Svc Co CEM 2001-2005

"Each memorial day brings to mind the sacrifice that Dustin made. He put his fellow Marine before himself. He gave his very life for his brothers. There's no greater love than that. Among several leadership traits, Sides was the embodiment of dependability, unselfishness, courage, and loyalty, to name a few. Dustin will be missed, and the events of that day will not be forgotten. Thank you for your sacrifice."
Sgt Jesse Childers, USMC of Wilkesboro, NC

"Happy Marine Corps Birthday, Cpl Sides. 11 years later you are remembered by all. At our Birthday Ball the table is set for you. God bless and continue to comfort your family. Thank you for the times you rode supporting me. Semper Fi,"
LtCol Righter of USMC

"Sorry I missed 9 but today is the 10TH year of your passing. You still make me SMILE DUSTY even after 10 years! I LOVE YOU and thanks for my hello from heaven while I visited Japan. I saw our Favorite Good Charlotte banner on the side of a building which was so interesting since that came out many years ago, I know you were saying hello to me! MUAH MISS U 10 years ago and I still remember the worst call in my life to hear that Memorial Page Dustin Sides has passed away. Wow 10 years! GC for life baby! I LOVE U FOREVER! RIP Dusty and THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY AND MY LIFE!"
Aryn N of Camp Pend/ CA

"It is the start of Memorial Weekend and it's been 10 years this year sense u were here. I think of u and Ur family a lot. RIP Dustin u are missed a great deal by friends and family !!!!"
Rene Jarvis of Yakima Wa

"It has been almost 10 years now... I want you to know that it seems like yesterday to me. I will never forget the sacrifice you made. You and your family are often in my thoughts and prayers. Semper Fi Brother!!"
Sgt. Scott Tatum (9th Comm BN, Support Company) 2001-2005 of Oceanside, CA

"I will be heading to Yakima on the 10 year mark if anybody want to join me for remembrance. Lest we forget."
LCpl Jonas of Rochester, NY

"Semper Fi Marine"
Doc 9th Comm of San Diego

"John 15:13
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Semper Fi to our Guardian Angel"
GySgt Kris Siegfried USMC Ret

"LCpl Sides we did a CrossFit work out in your honor on Memorial day out here in Afghanistan and tomorrow we will pay our respects and do it again. You are missed and my prayers continue for your family. If anyone wants to join below is the workout.

400 M Tire Flip
500 x Pull-ups
600 x Sit-ups
700 x Squats
*Buddy Workout*"
MSgt Shakir of Oceanside, CA

"Keep guarding the streets, on heaven's scene, Marine.

9th Comm Bn, Svc Co. CEM Plt (2002-2004)"
MSgt (Ret) Curtis Sinkfield of Tampa, FL

"met Lcpl Sides when he arrived at the unit was his tool room NCO he stayed behind while most deployed it was a brief encounter. I sometimes think i'm lucky to live my short life, I sometimes think younger men that died were better men than me, see you on the other side SEMPER FIDELIS"
Tony Vasquez of Temecula, CA

"Dusty, it's been 8 years now and I think of you all the time! I miss hanging out and partying with you! I'll never forget your sweet smile! :) It's so hard for me to know your in a better place since I never got to say goodbye- it still feels like your still here. I went to the bar and I caught myself still looking for you and your boys, I still hope to one day get out there to WA! I miss you and still play our favorite songs! You'll always be my favorite "girl"! :) I LOVE YOU! <3 much love to your family and friends as well! oooohraaaaahhhh! GC baby!!!"
Aryn of Camp Pendleton, CA

"Cpl. Sides, hey buddy it's been awhile, but know that I have still not forgotten you brother. On this 2012 Memorial Day, I just remember what an amazing person and Marine you were, and still are. Guarding the streets of heaven, I know you are brother. Love and miss you man."
LCPL. Brett L. Grant USMC of Beaumont, TX

"Dustin -
Just letting you and your family know I am thinking about you on this Memorial Day 2012.
Todd E. Lyons of Moxee, WA

"To all those who remember my son a heart felt Thank You. Tues Dustin would of been 30 yrs old. I cant help but wonder what his life would of been like... with friends like the ones he has here I bet his life and relationships would be as amazing as he was. I am so proud of my boy...he made his mark on life with his love of others, that lives on through his friends and family, Thank you Dustin, you are loved and missed."
John Sides (dad) of yakima, wa

"Sides, not sure what made me look you up today, after so many years. It is 2012, and my memories of you are not of how you left us but what you left us. I read through the messages on here and see all the people who you had an impact on, young or old, it didnt matter, your impression was made. I remember driving from Kuwait to Iraq. You were in my stick, and made life easier knowing you were with me. I had NO concern that you were more than capable to handle any issue with any vehicle we had. I remember sitting at night always laughing at you, not with you :) it has been many years and Im still laughing brother. To Dustins Family, your son lived well and will always be remembered. Semper Fi"
GySgt Blake Richardson of Phoenix, Ariozna

"LCpl Sides I was a Mech for 9th Comm back in 2007 to 2011 and many of times as I would go up to The company office I would see you and Cpl Kim on a plaque and I would offen times think about how much of an honor it would have been to know ya'll. Everyone you graced with your presents will never forget all the great memories. Semper Fi Marine!"
Sgt Ledford of Abilene, TX

"Hey DUSTY! whoa baby! 7 years! I lit my candle last night and as well as today. I still miss ya bud. I always think about you and wonder what things could have been like. I'm sure you would have been married and probably 3,5,75 children by now ha! Just played some of our jams and man, you were so much fun dude! I miss you so much! Your my GURL lolz..... <3 you! hugz to heaven! Keep rockin' out up there and Party with Macho man too! P.s- you need a facebook too ;)"

"My daughter served with Dustin in the 9th Comm Bn. She lost a friend that day, but his family lost a great deal more. No parent should ever have to bury their child. I hope memories of Dustin and the outpouring of support will bring strength to his family and friends to help heal from this great loss.
Semper Fi,
Proud Marine Mom"
Yvonne Cawley of Fort Lauderdale, FL

"Dustin, I still see you preparing your vehicles for that convoy. You were the last Marine still working to make sure all was ready. All the Memorial Days I will live to see, and many days between, I will always remember you, Motivator. Your sacrifice for our nation will NEVER be forgotten. How proud your family, friends and fellow Marines are of you. How they love you and miss you is reflected on this site. Semper Fi, Motor-T, Heaven-Reconin'-Warrior!"
Jeffrey Roach, MGySgt USMC (Ret.) of Vista, CA

"Sides, you were my best drinking buddy, and one of the 3 or 4 Marines in the battalion I really considered my friend. I was in the only truck in front of you on that convoy and I often think about why it wasn't my truck that got hit. It's been a long time, but I love you man and I think about you often."
Ssgt. Kaiser of Fairfax, VA

"Sides i really miss you. god its been such a long time but those days i can remember clearly. living in them s#@$ty old barracks lol. you and kim keep it safe for the rest of us. i love you guys. see you real soon. SEMPER FI.

heather i hope your life has been field with joy and pride in that you knew Dusty and were in love. you guys were great i'm so sorry we lost your man!

god i miss you dusty and kim you two keep the gates shinning for the rest of us."
Cpl halliwell of santa barbara ca

"hello sir, you dont know me but i saw your name and we have the same last name so i didn't know if we were related somehow. i just wanted to say thank you for your sacrifice. i'm joing the Corps in a few years and hope i can make my country proud like all of you."
Jared L. Sides of Denver Colorado


"I had the pleasure of serving with Cpl. Sides at 9th Comm Bn. He always had a smile on his face, always upbeat no matter what they were putting us through. On this day I remember him.. Sides, tell Cpl Kim hello for me and one day brother we will all meet again."
Cpl Blake, 9th Comm Bn Jan 2001-Aug 2004 of Pensacola Fl/USA

"I only knew Dustin and his brother Derek when they were young and did not have the opportunity to know either one in their grown years. I only recently found out that Dustin had been killed in action and am deeply saddened. My heart goes out to his mom Wendy who is by far the most beautiful and loving person I have ever known."
Gary Armstrong of Cle Elum Wa

"I served with Corporal Sides in Iraq. Although he was in Motor T and I was a radio tech from CEM, we used to see each other all the time in the phone tent. He was a great man and a great Marine, always ready with a smile and a hello. I still think about him every now and then. I remember getting the news about the convoy and when I heard it was Cpl. Sides, it felt like I had been punched in the gut. The memory of his memorial service, with Jones singing "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" always chokes me up. He will always be in my prayers along with his family and his then fiancee. I want to thank his parents for raising such a wonderful son and also thank God for allowing me to serve with such a great Marine and American.
God bless you, Cpl. Sides. Keep Heaven safe for the rest of us."
Sgt. Matthew Hess, USMC of Liverpool, NY

"I arrived at 9th Comm in Camp Pendleton in May of 2004, straight out of comm school. A few days later, I found out I would be deploying to Al Anbar that September. A few days after that, I was attending a memorial service for a Marine, from my own unit, who was there. As a husband and a father, it was a truly sobering experience to have right out of the gate.

I never had the pleasure of meeting Cpl. Sides, but his memory came to me today, out of the blue. I guess in troubled times, you think back to the experiences from which you learned the most, in search of an answer.

I never met you Cpl. Sides, but I needed you to know that your life has touched mine, and I am better for it. If your family ever needs anything at all, just call. RoetherB@gmail.com"
Sgt. Brad Roether of Cincinnati, OH

"May 31, 2009
To the family of Lance Cpl. Dustin L. Sides:
Dustin 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

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANGEL! Love you always... your memory is still as strong as ever, wouldnt have it any other way!... Always in my heart!"
Heather of California

"Sides... on part of "corner" as you told me before... I didn't get to know you very well, but from what I did you were a stand up guy... Selfless, and true. You really are a Marines-Marine. You will be missed. Especially when you were being goofy on truck watch my first time in Iraq. God Bless your family, and we will see you in Heaven."
Sgt T. Flores (Kreckel), USMC of Originally from Cali - Meadville, PA USA

Its been a little over 4 years and I was thinking about you, I thought I would look you up. I met you out there in iraq. I Remember our talks about washington and how i wanted to meet your Fiance. well I did end up meeting her when we got back. You were a great man and I wish I got to know you better. I couldn't believe that day I found out, knowing that I was sposed to be a radio operater on the trip and they replaced me last second.God Bless."
Sgt Rinehart, Rebecca of Yuma, AZ

"Dustin...It's been awhile. When i think about those months on the testing team i remember you first. Your plans, the family of Marines you come from, and most of all the Marine Spirit that you were born with. I was in Iraq when i found out. A mutual friend of ours, Burns told me they had been hit and lost someone. I asked him who and he said i would not know him. I asked again and when he said your name i felt a hole inside and fell down on one knee and started to cry in front of everyone. He could not believe or know that i did in fact know you. I cried for the future you spoke about. I was looking forward to seeing your progress. I've been back to that place 4 times now....I think about you often brother and the sacrifice that you made. You are a "Marines" Marine Dustin and i'll see you in a little while. Keep those gates safe till then man."
SSgt Kerwin Williams of MarCor Det Fort Leonard Wood, Mo

"Its been a long time, 3 years 10 months since that horrible night. I just wanted to say that it was an honor to serve with you and if we could go back in time, i would've switched places with you in a heartbeat. I miss you a lot and ever since then my life has changed for the better. You've made me see things in a new perspective. Thank you for everything Sides....Semper Fi"
Sgt. Bennett of MCRD, San Diego

"Dustin I remember back in MOS school whenever I had to choose a guide to run the platoon under me.There were many to choose from brother, but only you stood out like a sore thumb.My first impression of you was that I thought that you were just trying to kiss * and that you just wanted to be in a leadership role, but after taking some time and really evaluating you and how you got things done I knew that you were my number 1.After you became my guide I was always the one to try and get some kind of party going and there you were right there beside me going to the bowling alley to pound down some pitchers with me.You will always be remembered and will never be forgotten my brother."All gave some, and some gave all.""
LCPL. Brett L. Grant of League City, Texas

"I just wanted to Thank you for being my HERO yet again out there in IRAQ. I miss you so much! There is so much that one day I hope to fill you in on! I think about you everyday and miss all the crazy things we would do together! I miss smiling with you and dancing the night away! Today in honor of you I'm wearing the pants that you broke...(ie: U accidently broke them)in honor and memoriam of you! Take care up there and know my family misses and loves u so much! RIP DUSTY! I LOVE YOU!"

"Not sure what to say. I am very greatful for your sacrafice. It's been 3 years and it seems like just yesterday we were loading up getting ready to head back to camp. I know that if you hadn't checked and secured loads for our convoy I would have had more work to do that night. Thanks for looking out for us.
If any of the Sides family ever needs anything please ask. fmfdoc13@hotmail.com.
Thanks again"
Doc Minesinger

"Dustin, it has been too long brother...I can still remember you getting both of us in trouble in boot...You always had a way of making everyone laugh. Your enthusiasm and optimism will never be forgotten -
Take care buddy and dont forget to look down on us once and a while..
Sgt Puls"
Geoffrey L. Puls of La Crosse, Wi

"To the family of:Dustin L. Sides 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"

"sides what can i say ,we all miss so much well never forget. cpl. pineda"
chris of chicago ,il

"I have had the Honor of working with Cpl Sides both at 9th CommBn, Camp Pendleton and Iraq. I watched him grow from a young PFC into an awesome Marine. Never one to think of himself and always willing to help. My family and I miss you and think about you, your family and Heather everyday. Semper Fi! You and yours are always in our hearts. We miss you."
SSgt Maddox of Marbury, MD

"I went to school with Dustin...I always remember him bouncing off the walls with energy and just being so happy. He is missed."
Michelle Bernard of Everett WA

"Cpl Sides, tell Cpl Kim you guys are never forgotten and will always be recognized for the sacrifices and dedication you gave to make 9th Comm "MOTOR T" the best freakin' platoon anyone has served in. Semper Fi Corporals."
Sgt. Arias of 9th Comm Motor T Aug 02'-Jan 05'

"I had the great pleasure of working with dustin in and out of iraq He was the Best Marine and the friend anyone could ask for my prayers and thoughts are with his family everyday God Bless and SEMPER FI"
SGT. S.R. Vandecoevering of MarCor Det. Ft. Leonard wood, MO


"it's been awile now and we still think of you at work...you will never be forgotten by 9th comm motor t"
Cpl. Canada of Camp Pendleton, California

"I want everybody to know that dustin was the greatest, most strongest man i ever knew. He taught me to be strong. The last time he was home, he told me that i can be anything i want to be when i grow up, as long as i try my best. He told me i could be a doctor, or a vetinarian, or anything. He modivates me. He beleives in me. Thats so important to me. The last time that my dad talk to him, he told my dad that he wanted part of his life insurance to go to me for college. That right there.......brings me to my knees. He wants me to go to college and be sombody. Because of my brothers big strong heart.....I have what it takes to go to college. After i broke my back i thought i wasnt going to be able to get the job that i wanted because i thought that my back would slow me down. but after i lost my brother i have the modivation to do anything. all i want to do is help people. I was trained to do physical therepy for this girl in a wheel chair, her name is shyla. Shes very lucky to be here today. she had a very bad spinal cord injury, her legs still some what work. She used to just walk with her walker at home, because he endorfince isnt very good but know that i have been working with her she can now walk with armband crutches. i am very proud of her. i told her that one of our goals are that i am going to get her to be walking independently by her senior year so she can walk at her graduation. after what happened to dustin i just want to help poeple and make their lifes better. now that i have the modvation(because of my hero) i want to be a pediactric prothetic specialist. This man dustin will forever be a marine and forever a hero. thank you dusty, i love you"
dustins little sister of yakima ,washington

"Still missin you
Still thinking about you
still lovin you!"
Heather of Cali

"Cpl Sides was and outstanding Marine and a friend. Unfortunatly i had just become friends with him right before we deployed. but the time that i did get to know him is a time i will never forget. Cpl Sides is a Marine i will never forget. Semper Fi Sides, i will see you some day !"
Cpl Starnes of Camp Pendelton CA

"This is to Dustin's family and Friends! I knew dustin good enough to know that he was a great person, great friend; I miss him everyday of my life. We had some awsome memories to share, the times we used to hangout on nob hill getting in to trouble. I wanna say that I will always remember you dustin and never will I forget you! My heart and soul goes out to dustin's family. GOD BLESS YOU ALL"
PV2 Palachuk, ronnie aka "scronny Ronnie" of Yakima, wa currently Frankfurt, germany

"Dustin we miss you so much and always will. Thank you for all the goodness you brought to our lives. You and your family are in our hearts forever. Bless you Dustin."
Shelly of Yakima, WA

"Semper Fi, it was an honor to serve with you, and you are missed and will not be forgotten."
Cpl. Warnasch of Houston, Tx

"I did not know Dustin Sides, but my husband Corporal Benson from 9th Comm Battalion worked for the Chaplain Richardt, and was responsible for the memorial services that took place on Camp Pendleton. He came home from the service and told me he saw Dustin's fiancee weeping, I started crying when I heard that.
I hope she is doing fine now. To the Sides family and his fiancee, I am so sorry for your loss.RIP marine."
Lynn of Seattle (formerly of San Diego CA)

"This is to Dustin...I couldn’t be with you today, even though I wish I
were. A year ago today you left us all to join all the
other immortal soldiers who have saved us all from
living a life of fear. I thought today would be the
hardest day I ever had to go through but I’ve come to
realize that everyday is harder than the last. In the
beginning I told myself I would never leave the town
you were laid to rest in. Then I realized that the
only thing you would want for me is to be happy and do
what’s best for my life…and that’s what I’m doing
cousin. I know you can see that though. This last year
has been a crazy one, not only did I lose you but I
lost my grandma, the two most important people in my
life. I never expected her to live forever but I at
least thought you and I would grow old together,
don’t tell anyone but I’m rather jealous because when
we meet again I’m going to be all old and your going
to look just as handsome as you did the last time I
saw you. There’s not a moment that passes when I don’t
think of that day, I still have a hard time going to
the airport…to me everyone that I have to watch walk
through those gates isn’t going to come back, because
you didn’t. I wrote your dad a letter yesterday. I
needed him to know what he meant to me. Never in my
life did I care if my own father was disappointed in
me, but I care about what your dad thinks. He is a
great man Dustin, but you know that. What’s weird is I
still have a hard time believing you’re really gone.
To me your not. You’re just as much in my mind today
as you were that day at the airport. Never in a
thousand years did I think that I would have
to go through life without you. I was selfish in that
way. I took advantage of the time I had with you and I
regret it more now than anything else in my life.
Whether I told you or not, you were my world Dustin. I
was proud to call you family long before you ever
thought of joining the great Marines. You were so good
to me, and I took it for granted, and I regret not
telling you I loved you every single day I talked to you on the phone while you were there. I
hope you knew how much I really did care and how much
I loved you. I feel safe knowing your looking down on
me…I love you Dustin and I’ll see you when I get

Love Unconditionally,
Kacey J Ruff
Saying goodbye is never easy
It's the hardest thing to do
But what hurts even more
Is not the chance to say it to you.
Yesterday is just a memory
Our laughter was sunny and bright
Then clouds started to gather
For you were no where in sight.
You were my first real love
And this I will never forget
How you left without a warning
No good-byes, my only regret.
Wherever I may be now
Always searching for another so true
To place my world of emotion
Handing my love to someone like you.
If again I must go there
And experience all the pain
I would do it in a minute
For all the good I would gain.
No matter what my wrongs
You offered only love
Until the day you left me
For your new home up above.
I know you still are with me
Your love is within my heart
Though life is no longer present
Our souls will never part.
This is given to you in honor
Of all that we did share
I just wanted you to know, dear,
How much I really did care....I wrote this letter on Memorials Day...knowing I couldnt be with him...I did it to make myself feel better, and it did...I dont have to sit here and tell everybody what an amazing man Dustin was, because you already know...Its now June 13th...Its been 1 year and 2 weeks...and today is as hard as the first...Even though Im not in Yakima anymore, Dustin and my family are still in my heart...I love you Dustin...A quote that Dustin would of loved and used often is what Im going to leave you with..."You tell those maggots with the laundry on thier head, that its wash day and were bringin the Maytag" Semper Fi 2 words true to what he stood for "ALWAYS FAITHFUL"...and thats just what he was...I will forever sing your face cousin..."
Skankface of Olympia, Wa, USA

"My son was with Dustin last year in Iraq. It's been a year ago today that their convoy was attacked. Please know Dustin is in our thoughts and prayers not just today but always."
Sheri Brown of Offutt AFB, Nebraska

"I enjoyed going to middle school and high school with Dustin Sides. He was a cool guy from the little i knew about him.I was heart broken from when i saw he got killed in iraq. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.He will be greatly missed."
Kelli of Yakima Wa,

"To Dustin: As the day approaches that you so bravely gave your life for our liberty, may you be in peace. May your family have the strength to keep going. We are having a special event in Yakima on Memorial Day to honor our soldiers and we will definitely be honoring you and your family. Thank you, may you never be forgotten."
Jeri Heintz of Selah, WA

"I served with the 9th Comm. Bn. from 1975-1978. It pains me to hear of any service member being killed in action, but it particulary hurts when it is a Marine and especially from the same unit I served in. May God bless the Side's family as he has surely blessed their son. Semper Fi Marine."
Sgt. Terry A. Paggi of Mokena, IL.

"I served with the 9th Comm. Bn. from 1975-1978. It pains me to hear of any service member being killed in action, but it particulary hurts when it is a Marine and especially from the same unit I served in. May God bless the Dustin family as he has surely blessed their son. Semper Fi Marine."
Sgt. Terry A. Paggi of Mokena, IL.

"I have almost made it through the "year of firsts" All I have left is the aniversary of the day we lost Dustin. He died on Memorial Day.I think he wanted us to remember him. Like we would ever forget him. He was unforgetable.
He was only a Marine for a year and a half....before that he was my son in my heart. I miss him more than words can say. Thank you all for not forgetting Dustin."
Nancy, Dustin's Mom in my heart of Yakima,Wa

All of your friends are home now and it's just not the same. You were the one who always brightened everything up with that amazing smile. Ill miss that smile as long as I live. You are talked about often, no one has forgotten about you, and I don't think they ever will. It's almost been a year, and sometimes it still feels like a dream. I know your happy where you are, but I still get selfish from time to time and ask why it happened, but I guess only God knows that. Just know that you changed my life in everyway that is good, and I will be thankfull for that forever. I just wanted to let you know that even though it has been as long as it's been, I still think about you and I still miss you. Please watch over all of us, because I know that we still need you right now as much as we did while you were with us. I'll always think about "Finding Nemo" (over and over and over again) and the late nights at the bowling alley (even the nights you couldnt hold the cheap beer down). But better yet, Ill always remember how you loved with everything you had, and truely made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything. I love you."
Heather of California

"To Lcpl Sides' family;
It was an honor to serve with your son and have him as a friend.
He'll be greatly and truly missed and will always be in our thoughts."
SRA Matthew Hamilton of California

"To the family of Dustin,I did not know your Son, but I do know he was a hero. May God bless you"
Diane of Spokane, Wa

"The Marine’s Hymn tells us that the streets of Heaven are guarded by United States Marines. Well, Heaven has gained Lcpl Dusty Sides, an outstanding Marine. The Lord is safe.

Semper FI"
Cobradad of Palos Heights, IL.

"Dear Family: I just saw your sons name on the evenings news.My thoughts are with you.What caught my attention was they said he loved motocross. My son dreamed about and joined the Marines right out of highschool. [1996=2000]. He raced motocross from age 4. He is now serving in the U.S. Army north of Baghdad as a H.E. Transport operator. He is due home in early 2005. I also was a Marine [70-74]. Please accept my condolances and feel free to send me an E-mail. It seems our sons have a lot in common. Semper Fi. Dean in Iowa."
Dean Holman of Laporte City, Iowa

"Dustin, Our Favorite Marine. You brought so much to our lives. You showed us what true friendship means. We carry you in our hearts everyday and will miss you always. Through knowing you, your family has become our family. Godspeed Cpl. Sides"
Scott and Shelly of Yakima

I never imagined i would ever have to write something like this. But I hope that you are still rockin' out to GOOD CHARLOTTE! You truly made a impact in my life. I had known you for little bit over 3 months and loved every moment with you. You always had a way to brighten up my day and let me know that everything would be ok and that there is much more to life than we all know. I attended the GOOD CHARLOTTE concert on 10/31/04 like we had planned- I could definitely feel your presence there. I will never forget picking you up and singing "LITTLE THINGS" and "MOTIVATE ME" those songs will forever be our songs. Dont ever forget XMAS'03! SIDES, I hope that you meet up with your best friend up there. I know you wanted to see him one day. Thanks for showing me what true PUNK ROCK was. You are CRAZY and that is what we all LOVE about YOU! You have served us well. You are my HERO. There is not a day that goes by that I dont think about you. LIKE GC says "We'll see you when we get there." The PUNK BAND HAZEN STREET couldnt say it any better in the song "In Memory OF" :
I never thought I'd be writing you this
Man, I'm feeling such a pain, and emptiness and the loneliness
It's gotten me thinking about all the good times
I know you're still by my side, cause
You never let me down, I never let you down
Always knew how to put a smile on my face,
How can I make you proud, Honor you no doubt
I'd do anything if I could bring you back, I'd bring you back now!

To all my friends who passed away
Friends and family
Memories will never fade with me
And I will never forget you
You'll never die as long as I'm alive

I wish you were here with me
I wish that you were by my side
I know you're watching over me now
---SIDES I miss you man! YOU ARE MY GIRL! :) I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!THANKS FOR COMING INTO MY LIFE, now I feel MADE! I LOVE YOU! CANT wait to see you! oooh rahh devil dog semper fi! or in my case semper fit!***hugz***"
ARYN *Sides HOMIE-4-evah! of o'side

"I am honored to have the privelage of saying Dustin was once my roommate! I have never met anyone so full of life before. If I had a bad day, he did anything (including making a fool of himself) to make me smile! I will remember driving around with Dustin, hats on backwards, jammin' to POD, and laughing at all the people staring at us! I will never forget his smile, or his laugh. There was also a serious side to this funny man! I will cherish our long talks about life and about the future. He is forever loved and forever remembered in my heart! On July 4th, we put up an American Flag in your honor, every morning that I look out my window, I say a prayer for you! God Bless you for standing by your beliefs in the Marine Corp Dustin! God Bless your family and friends for the sacrafice they have made."
Amy Lane of Yakima, WA

"I served in 9th Communications Battalion from April 2000 - February 2004. I went to Iraq with the Battalion and I am sorry I never got to meet LCpl Sides. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones in their time of need. Your son was a brave man and a great Marine. Not many people can understand why Marines do what they do, but they put their life on the line for the people of America. And they do it willingly. Something like this has a dramatic effect on the close family and the military family of the Marine. Both feel the loss, the loss of a son and the loss of a brother in arms. Out of this loss you can only take fond memories of the Marine. Just know that Dustin is standing in God's Kingdom now and he is well taken care of. He has returned home to heaven and has an eye on all of us, watching over our every step. Thank you Dustin Sides, you will never be forgotten."
Cpl. Andrew Wark of MCAS Iwakuni, Japan (Former 9th Comm, Alpha Co Marine)

"Your son is truly a hero thank you. Sincerely,
The Family of L.Cpl Jason A.Tetrault USMC 1/7 Twentynine palms CA. KIA Kuwait 7/9/2003."
Ray of Moreno Valley Ca

"I am a United States Marine with 9th Communications Battalion, unfortunately I did not have the honor of meeting this Marine. He gave the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect the ones he cares about most. As all Marines, I too, would sacrifice myself to ensure that this wonderful country was protected for another day. Some people may forget what is happening in these days, but I will never forget the sacrifice this Marine has made in order to protect the way we live. God Bless You and may your family live with the knowledge that he did not die in vaine."
Cpl. West of 9th Comm Bn, Camp Pendleton

"Thank you brave soldier for sacrificing your today for my children's safer tomorrow. You have our utmost respect and gratitude. May God provide your family with comfort in their time of sorrow. May you forever rest in Heavenly peace. Neither you nor your sacrifice will be forgotten. For the family/friends: May time provide happy loving memories in place of present sorrows. Look to the sky for in the infinite meadows of Heaven the bright shining stars bloom...the forget-me-nots of angels. God bless you and thank you."
a grateful family in Phoenix AZ

"Dustin was not only cousin but my best friend and might as well of been my brother. Everything he did made me proud and honored to be apart of his life. He was the one person I could always go to no matter what. My father disowned me when I was 14 and after that I had planned but never got the chance to ask Dustin to give me away at my wedding. I will never have that oppurtuniy now, but I know that he will still be there looking over me on that day and on every other day before and after. When I found out he was going to Iraq my heart dropped but I knew it's what he wanted to do and I loved him for his passion and love for the Corp. He wouldn't of wanted it any other way. He called me everyday from Iraq and never once complained about wanting to come home, he loved it more than anything. I never got the chance to get to know Heather while Dustin was still with us, but I am now going to take the oppurtunity to let her know that she will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart and you will forever be in our family. I want to thank everybody that has givin so much support and love in this last month, without them I don't know if myself and the rest of Dustin's family could of made it. I could go on forever talking about what a great person my cousin was, but I'm just going to end it with this...Dustin, You are in my heart and soul forever, that is one thing that will never change, even though you are not here with me in body you will forever be here in heart, spirit and soul. You taught me so many things about life and I love you for that. I will forever sing your face Cous. I love you more than any words can say, you are my hero, thankyou for protecting me all my life. To Heather, even though we just barely met at the funeral, you are in my heart and I will always love you no matter where you are. Thankyou to all the other troops that have protected this great country of ours. You are in my prayers. If you read this Heather, or if any of her friends read this, please get ahold of me, I would love to talk to you and get to know the girl my cousin loved so much...my email is eminemgirl007@hotmail.com and if you have aim or aol my screen name os Muddin4life007
Once again thankyou for all your support."
Kacey Ruff (Dustin's Cousin) of Olympia, Wa, USA

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

I was so blessed to have you in my life. Thank you for everything you did for me. Through you, I learned what true love was. I think about you every day. Remember when I used to tell you that you were the first thing I thought about when I woke up and the last thing I thought about when I went to sleep? Well, nothing has changed. Im sorry that we did'nt get to do all of the things that we had planned, But I know we will see each other again. I will never forget you. You have made me who I am. Like I told your dad - I will always be "Mrs. Sides". I will always be your Heather. You have always been my heroe, and now you are my gaurdian angel as well. I can't wait to see you again. I will always remember what you told me; "Keep your chin up no matter what angel.". Ill keep my chin up just for you, baby. I love you so much."
Heather of Dana Point, Ca.

"RIP Marine"
Petty Officer Cawthon of RTC Great Lakes,IL

"Thank you all for taking the time to say a prayer for my son and my family. I just want the world to know how PROUD I am of my son he is and will always be my Hero"
Dustin's Dad of Yakima, Wa

"I'm not the kind of person to have many friends, let alone close friends. Dustin was one of those. Everything about him is an inspiration to me. I think he was a better Marine, and I know he was a better person than myself. I try to live up to his example every day. He will truly be missed, and never forgotten.
My condolences to all who cared for him as much as I did.
...and to his parents, thank you for bringing a great man into this world. I am proud to have known and served with your son.
Semper Fi"
Cpl Ault of Camp Pendleton (currently in Iraq)

"Dustin, I know you are on a wing of every soldier out there in Iraq. You are moving forward with eternal life. We are saddened but the imprint you have left behind in your Mother and Father's heart, that is something no one can ever take away! Thank you for being there for us when we needed you the most, which is for our FREEDOM. May God keep you and all of your famiy. Thank you again, I too have a Son over there in Iraq and I know you are watching over him. God Bless."
DELIA CAVAZOS of Houston, Tx

"There is never anything to say in a time like this, but know that my prayers and the prayers of many others are with you. Dustin was a good Marine and a great man."
Cpl Steven Deardorff of 9th Comm Bn

"In Remembrance of Dustin Sides and to his Family and Friends-
My heart goes out to all of you in this very hard time. I knew Dustin a little in High School while he was still at Eisenhower High. I lived in Yakima Washington a few years back. I didn't know it, but we've been stationed in the Same Military base here in Camp Pendleton. I moved here with my Parents and brothers awhile ago. I didn't even know that Dustin was stationed here until one of my good friends told me about his Death in Iraq. It was such a shock to me! Also a reality shock as my father's going to Iraq in August as well. I appreciate Dustin so much for his dedication to the freedom of our Country! I can remember how good and sincere a person Dustin was. I Know He will truly be missed!!! My heart and soul goes out to his family, and the rest of his friends. Good men die, but death will NEVER kill his name. Just because we lost such an amazing person, doesn't mean that he won't LIVE on in our hearts FOREVER!! Just remember to celebrate his LIFE, and that while we're mourning about his death...others are rejoicing to meet him in Heaven!!! My prayers and love will be with you always!"
Sincerely Crystal Schenck (vr6vwrcr@msn.com) of YAKIMA WA originally... now in CAMP PENDLETON CA

"Dustin was the most amazing person I think I had the chance to ever know. He was the peace maker. Always out to make sure that you were okay. He would always make me smile when I would frown. Just his big beautiful smile alone would make you want to smile too... I shared many great times with Dustin. Times I will never forgot. I'm praying for his family and all of his friends often. Thank you Dustin. For always being YOU. We'll miss you."
Kortney Dahl of Yakima WA

"My son, Sgt. Michael DeQuattro, who is currently in Iraq, told me about the Memorial they had for Dustin. My heart goes out to his family & loved ones. Prayers & tears, God Bless."
Marianne DeQuattro of Chicago, IL

"My prayers are with your family. You have made this ultimately painful sacrifice with your loved one, Dustin. Thank you for your commitment and support of our country, our freedoms, that far too many take for granted. My brother, PFC Casey, is currently serving in Iraq. He and my entire family are grateful to Dustin for his service and sacrifice. We pray for God's peaceful arms to hold you tight..."
Melinda Casey of Yakima, WA

"To the family of LCpl Sides,
My husband and I want to send our love and condolences to your family, Dustin did not know us but he is close to our hearts. My husband was with 9th comm at one time. We will pray for your family and hope you feel comfort in knowing he is peacefully at rest with the Lord.
Cpl Kevin Spiwak and Bianca Spiwak"
Cpl Kevin Spiwak of TX

"I only knew Dustin for a brief ammount of time, but we were boys and I will miss him dearly as a friend and a fellow Marine. My heart goes out to your family, I will hold you in my prayers."
Former Marine Sergeant Jerrid Procter jpinusmc@charter.net of Kennewick, Washington

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

"I wish I could express my whole heart and love to the Sides Family during this sad time. My prayers are with you today and always. Thank you for his sacrifice and bravery. May his soul fill your hearts with tons of strength and love. Always remember, no matter day, time or place....you are lead....not only by the best guardian angel up there, but also by a hero."
Jennalee (Friend of Dustin's Fiance'-"Heather") of San Clemente, Ca

"To the family and friends of Lance Corporal Dustin L. Sides,

Those we hold most dear, never truly leave us. May you find comfort in love's everlasting connection.

In the Support section of this web site you will find links to many groups that support you at this crucial time. The Marine Comfort Quilt group would be honored to send a quilt to the next of kin. There are many, loving and caring Americans from all over the United States that will never forget the sacrifice that your loved one has made for our Freedom. Please register so we can send you our "Love Stitched Together."

Proud Marine Mom and Proud Member of Marine Comfort Quilts"
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca USA

leonard t. wahl of VALLEY STREAM NY

"To Lcpl Sides Family,

Sides was a great freind and he had a lot of love for you all and he told me very often how much he loved you all. I will miss him alot he was my best freind here in california and I will miss him dearly and I would extend my hand to any of you If you need any thing from me or the Corp, ask and I will help to the best of my ability. He Will be missed But never forgotten.

Semper Fi and God be with you."
Lcpl Jimmy L Stone Jr of Camp Pendleton, Ca, USA

"Dear family, I am so sorry for the tragic loss of your loved one. Please know that many of us appreciate his service and sacrifice for his country."
F Smith of Pennsylvania

"To Dustin'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

"To Dustin'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 his bravery and sacrifice.

The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne, KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.

Gloria Caldas (Ernie's mom) of San Antonio, TX

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

"To the family and friends of Lance Cpl. Dustin Sides:
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 Dustin for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Lance Cpl. Dustin Sides:
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 Dustin, 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