Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Lance Cpl. Jonathan L. Smith

22, of Eva, Alabama.
Smith died from wounds received as a result of an explosion while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Fallujah, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, Regimental Combat Team-8, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Died on June 6, 2005.

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"It's Veterans Day 2017, and you have been guarding the gates of Heaven for 12
Years. I want you to know you are always on my mind. I often think of what you would be like today; what your wife would be like and how many children you would have. You are my Hero and You loved your country and paid the ultimate price for that you will never be forgotten. Continue to do your job well for one day I will be at that gate! Love your Aunt Debbie ."
Debbie Chadwick of Carrollton, Ga

"Smitty it's coming up on ten years brother. I can't believe it. There's not a day that goes by I don't think of you. I'm honored to have served with you."
Ben Johns of Des Moines, Iowa

"I did not know Jonathan personally, but when I read in my local newspaper about his death in Iraq I decided I had to go to his funeral to pay my respects. He was a Marine, he was a Brother, that's all I needed to know.
The below is something I wrote after I got home from his funeral.

I Saw A Young Marine Today

I saw a young Marine today.

He was all decked out in his dress blues, ribbons perfectly aligned, buttons
and collar emblems shined to a high gloss, his white cover laying in his lap,
spotless and the brim shined, white gloves covering his hands at his side, a
recruiting poster Marine if there ever was one.

But I saw this young Marine in a place that I'm not use to seeing young Marines
and even now, several hours later, it breaks my heart to even think about him.
For you see, this young Marine was in a casket.

LCpl Jonathan Smith lost his life on June 6th, 2005 in Iraq, doing what he
loved, being a Marine and keeping terrorism away from our country.
I drove to Cullman,Alabama yesterday afternoon as soon as I found out that the
time and place had been set for his services. I didn't know him, all I knew was
that he was a Marine who had made the ultimate sacrifice and that was all I
needed to know. I wanted to pay my respects to a Brother and extend my
condolences to his family.

I met his father Garry, his mother Donna, his little sister Adrienne and
through them I learned who Jonathan Smith was.

The XO of Jonathan's unit, 2nd AAV, came down from Camp Lejeune along with the
Chaplain from the same unit. Last night they introduced themselves to
Jonathan's dad and expressed their condolences and assured him that they were
there for them and would do whatever needed doing. But this father, who has to
be heartbroken, didn't express grief. He proceeded to tell them how proud the
entire family was of Jonathan.

One thing in particular sticks in my mind of what Garry told them about
Jonathan. He said, "I'll give the Marine Corps credit for making my son a
Marine and a hero, but I'll take credit for him being a patriot. You see, we've
had an American flag flying in our front yard long before 9-11. We didn't have
to run out to Walmart and buy a flag because we had always had one. And I
taught Jonathan from an early age what that flag represented and what all it
took to achieve what that flag represented. So he was a patriot long before the
Marine Corps got ahold of him. But then after 9-11 Jonathan knew that 9-11 was
his generation's Pearl Harbor and he was ready to step forward to do his part.
He wasn't old enough to enlist right after 9-11 but he begin planning and doing
what he needed to do to become a Marine."

So Jonathan Smith was a patriot.

Garry also mentioned that before Jonathan enlisted that they had always flown
the Alabama state flag below Old Glory, but after he enlisted they flew the
Marine Corps flag below Old Glory. He said they changed it every time it
started getting weather worn, that they had gone thru 4 of them since his
enlistment. Those flags are at half staff at their home today.

There were several pictures of Jonathan thru the years, as a little boy playing
with his dog, dressed in his Atlanta Braves jersey and hat, along with his
little sister Adrienne, in his dress greens with his family when he graduated
boot camp. And then I saw a more recent picture. It was of Jonathan in his
dress blues with his sister in her cap and gown after she graduated high school
in 2004.

I spoke with Adrienne about that picture. She told me, "Yep I had to beg him to
wear his dress blues to my graduation because it was so hot that day. He really
didn't want to but I thought he looked so good in them and he finally told me
"Just for you, I will."
Then she told me, "And that was the last time I saw him in his blues, until
now."
I didn't know what to say. From talking with other relatives I knew that
Jonathan and Andrienne were not the typical brother and sister who sometimes
fight. They were best friends, he was her big brother who she idolized and they
looked out for each other.

The Marines from the Huntsville Reserve Center who served as pallbearers, honor
guard and firing squad did an outstanding job. They met Jonathan at the
Birmingham airport and escorted him to Cullman along with his parents and
sister. Jonathan's dad was talking about how 3-4 of them made sure everything
was just right with Jonathan's uniform, and then one of them asked did anyone
have a roll of duct tape.
Garry said, "When he asked for duct tape I didn't
have any idea what he wanted it for. But when they got some, he tore off a
strip of it, folded it backwards where the sticky side was out and then started
going over Jonathan's uniform making sure there was no lint anywhere on it.
When I saw these young Marines taking care of my son, I knew he was in good
hands."

And Donna, Jonathan's mother. I got to the funeral home about 5pm yesterday
afternoon. When I first saw her she was standing at the end of the casket where
Jonathan's head was,meeting all the people who came to express their
condolences, every now and then reaching over and patting Jonathan on the
shoulder. I was there for two hours and she never left that spot, not once. I
was talking with some other family today and mentioned that and they told me
she stood there all day long. It broke my heart to think what she would feel
when they finally closed the casket.

The service was today at 11am and Garry had it planned down to the minute, how
long each song was, how long the minister and the Chaplain spoke. As some of us
reflected on that today, someone mentioned that he didn't just let the funeral
director take over, he did it all the way he wanted. I said that I guess he
figures this is the last time that he can do anything for Jonathan and he
wanted to make sure it was right. And it was.

The Marines brought Jonathan in while the tune from We Were Soldiers Once and
Young played. I don't know the name of it, it's the slow, mournful song from
that movie.
Then they had everyone rise while they played the National Anthem and the
Marines Hymn. The minister and the Chaplain then spoke and each gave a
wonderful sermon.
Then they played a country song that I'm not sure of who was singing it or what
the title is, but from the lyrics I would guess the title is Letters From
Home.

Then as the Marines escorted Jonathan from the chapel outside to the cemetary,
they had Amazing Grace being played on bagpipes. That was more than I could
handle.

At graveside they had a SSgt from the Reserve Center read Jonathan's Purple
Heart citation and present it along with his Purple Heart to Jonathan's dad.
They wanted to do this to have something to present to both the father and the
mother.

A Gunny and a First Sgt folded the flag after the 21 gun salute and Taps and
presented it to Donna, Jonathan's mother.

I know this had gotten to be pretty long and I apologize. But I left here to go
pay my respects to a fallen brother and came away knowing Jonathan Smith like I
had known him all my life.

Here is a link to the program for his service and his boot camp pic, they gave
these out to anyone who wanted one.The song Mansions of the Lord was also
played, the lyrics of which are in this program. There was also a beautiful,
well put together scrapbook with emails and condolences from Proud Marine Moms
from practically every state in the union.
All told, this was an experience I won't soon forget. Nor will I ever forget
LCpl Jonathan Smith.
Semper Fidelis,
Chris
bamamarine7276@gmail.com"
Chris W. Spencer of Tuscaloosa, AL USA

"Thinking of you Jonathan on this Memorial Day 2014. You will never be forgotton. You were a brave young man who gave your life for our country. I know you are the fine soldier in Heaven as you were here on Earth. I miss you more and more as time goes on.RIP my nephew my hero! Till we meet again..."
Debbie Chadwick of Carrollton Georgia USA

"I will never forget not as long as I live. You are my brother and I miss you everyday. God be with your family. Semper Fi"
Gunny Ferguson of Sothport NC

"Memorial day is here. I think about you everyday. Rest in Peace Brother."
Cpl. Derek Michel of Dallas, Texas

"Rest in Peace Marine and to the Smith family, know that people to this day thank you and Jonathan for his sacrifice. Realize that you produced a young man worthy of earning the title of US Marine, something more than 99% of the rest will never be able to do. Semper Fidelis-"
CPL Mark A. Smith, USMC of Columbus, Mississippi

"Smith, we miss you brother. You are always on our minds and in our hearts. Semper Fi Marine, we are forever grateful.

B co Maint. 2005"
Jon Hawkins of New York

"" Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
President Ronald Reagan,1985

Jonathan, you made a difference.
Love, dad"
Garry Smith of Fort Payne, AL.

"Driving my granddaughters back to Ohio from Florida we hit traffic and routed through Hartselle and passed your sons memorial bridge. I am Vietnam Marine, GOD bless your son and family.
Nicholas BagnoliNbagnoli, Cincinnati OH"
Nicholas BagnoliNbagnoli of Cincinnati OH

"To the family of:Jonathan L. Smith
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""

"Hey Jon I just left a message on Comley's wall thought I'd say hi. I didnt know you guys two well man, but I try to remember your names every day. I whisper them in my head or aloud if Im alone. You guys were very brave and it wasnt right for either of you to go out like that. You both are missed everyday."

"Thinking of you this Memorial Day! You are gone, but never forgotten! Miss seeing your smiling face! RIP <3"
Marti Ricks of Hartselle, AL

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

"June 6, 2009
To the family of Lance Cpl. Jonathan L. Smith:
Jonathan gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"hey Jon this is jerry. i was just wanting to let u know i still think about u all the time and i'll never forget u buddy. to the Smith family my heart is still with yall 4 years later and i will never forget your family."
SGT. Jerry Jamison(former usmc 2141) of Snyder Tx

"I worked with Jonathan at Walmart. He always wore a smile upon his face. He made work actually worth while. He was a great kid that turned into a brave, strong Marine. I will never forget him. I'm proud to say he was my friend! God bless you and God bless America!"
Marti Ricks of Hartselle, Alabama USA

"My heart and prayers are with you all."
Mitch Williams of Buford, GA

"Smith, I miss yah brother. We will never forget your sacrifice. As long as I live I will keep your name alive as one of most genuine people I’ve ever had the pleasure to call my friend. I think of you and Comley every day and pray that your families are doing well. Rest in Peace my friend."
Sgt. Jon H Hawkins (former) of Bco 2nd AABN - 2141

"Smitty, It's been a long time but I have not forgotten you brother, nor will I ever. Semper Fi."
CPL. Derek Michel 2nd AABN Bravo Co. of Mckinney Texas

"Jonathan I miss you soooo much!! I ¢¾ you!!"
Brittany Shaw of Georgia

"I went to school with you. I am in the military for the same reason you joined. You will be missed. You payed the ultimate price for the freedom we enjoy may you never be forgotten"
Tiffany of Dyess AFB Texas

"Soldier's holiday
twas the night before christmas he lives all alone in a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone I had come down the chimney with presents to give and to see just in this house just lived i looked all about a strange sight i did see no tensle no presents not even a tree no stocking by the mantle just boots filled with sand on the wall hung picturs of far distance lands with metals and badges awards of all kind a sober thought came through my mind for this house was diffrent it was dark and dreary i found the home of a soldier once i could see clearly the soldier lay asleep silent alone curled up on the floor in the one bedroom home the face was so gentle the room in such disorder not how i pictured a united states soldier was this the hero of whom i just read curled up on a poncho the floor for a bed i relized the familys that i saw this night owed there lives to these soldiers so willing to fight soon around the world the children would play and grown ups would celebrate a bright christmas day they enjoy freedom each day of the year because of soldiers like the one lyen here i couldnt help wonder how many lye alone on a cold christmas eve in a land far from home the very thought brought a tear to my eye i dropped to my kneews and started to cry the soldier awakend and i heard a rough voice " santa dont cry this life is my choice i fight for freedom i dont ask for more my life is my god my country my corps " then the soldier rolled over and driffted to sleep i couldnt help control it i countinued to weep i didnt want to leave on that cold dark night this gardian of honor so willing to fight then the soldier rolled over with a voice so soft and pure whispered" carry on santa its christmas day in all secure" one look at my watch and i knew he was right marry christmas my friends and all a good night"
diamond of erie pa usa

"Think
just think how many times
those "taps" ment good-bye
how many american flags
have covers a soldiers coffen
think how many times
a soldiers has played
that little brass trumpet
around a flag covered coffen
think how many times
the guns have been shot
that 21 gun salute
that everyone fears
think how many familys
have had the bad news
the little yellow paper
that ment a hero is gone
think how many soldiers
go away to war
think how many soldiers
come home in a box
think how many soldiers
have familys far away
how many sleep alone
with only God to guide their way

This poem is dedicated to a great friend. Jonathan Smith he was killed June 6,2005 fighting for our freedom
We love and miss you but we will never forget you. You will always be in out hearts. You are our "HERO"
By Jason C. Howell
R.I.P.
Jonathan you were a great friend im just sorry i never go tthe chance to meet you in person but i want you to know that if it wasnt for you i wouldnt have made it through all that i have gone through you could make me smile on them days that i didnt think anyone could you are in my heart and i will never forget you you was like a brother to me and that ment alot to me thanks for everything bro mine and my familys love gose out to donna and the rest of the family if you ever need to talk in just a phone call away love you all"
jason howell of turtlepoint pa 16750

"Jonathan you will never know what you truly meant to me. It is so hard to say goodbye. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of you and tears come to my eyes. I'm so proud to have been your aunt and friend. Hannah told me that she sees you in heaven with your dress blues on with wings looking down at us. I can picture that and feel comfort knowing that you are in a better place. To my hero, I love you and miss you and think of you daily."
Teresa Brown of Franklin, Ga.

"Jonathan: I never got the pleasure to meet you face to face... but I want you to know that I appreciate you giving your life, to help not only keep us free, here in the great USA... but to help strangers,in a land so far from us, find out what freedom really feels like... Having two son's in the service, I cannot imagine what your Mama is going through without you... I know she is proud of you, and I know that some way, God will help her understand that he needed you home with him, more than your Mama needed you here on Earth with her.. God bless you, and I know that God has a very special place for you in his kingdom.. and I look forward to hugging you, when we all meet in that glorious place... God Bless you Jonathan.. Thank you so much for giving your all... NanaMamaEdge (Janice Edge)"
Janice S Thompson-Edge of Greensboro, NC USA

"my heart go's out to the smith's family.my prayer's will be with you and all the soldiers and there familey's..
a visiter who cares"
chrissy simpson of marysville,ohio

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

"You were always VERY special to me!!

Jonathan, I still can't belive that you are gone. You will always live in my heart.You have always been my Hero!! I will always love you!
Love,
MawMaw"
Jane Dean of Heard County Ga

"With great sympathy I express our conolences. I met Johnathan on the day they left for Iraq, Our son chris is his friend and in B Company. I am a retired MSGT. from the same battalion. Things are much different when you are parent instead of the active Marine. Chris spoke very highly of his friend, we morn with you, and Thank You for his service. You raised a wonderful young man. This generation, this group of individuals will be the generation that makes a difference for years to come. They are truly my hero's. My wife and I salute your family, a grafetful nation must never forget this gift."
Chris Holman (MSGT. Ret.) of Sneads Ferry, NC.

"I still can't believe you are gone, and I miss you so much. I just want you to know that I love you and I miss you. I always remember you're beautiful smile and your wonderful personality. I'll never forget you and what a wonderful cousin you were. I'll raise Tyler to know what a hero you were and what you did for us. I love you always."
Jessica Reeves of Franklin, Georgia

"I want to thank you for what you did for our country! I am truly sorry for the loss of your son. Thank you doesn't seem to be enough. He is now guarding Heaven."
Christa Hall USN of VA USA

"It is with great sympathy that I express my deepest condolences to your family. May God be with you and yours."
Wayne H. Vanderhoff of Warren, Pa 16565

"Our deepest sympathies to your family for your loss of a true hero. Our country is forever indebt to your son."
Mike Roeder of Plymouth, MN

"Smitty I was there with you when you came to Bco and when you picked up your rank and became my right hand marine on the AAVR7 throw many of feild operations and then to Iraq I was there when it happened and I was there with you when you passed away. But my brother my freind You will always be with us.YOU WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN"
SSgt David J. Ferguson of BCo Iraq

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted"
--Matthew 5:4"
Brandie Brown of Bowdon, GA

"'When I hear another 21-gun salute I know they have brought another hero home to us."- Trace Adkins

Jonathan is a hero, his courage and passion for his Nation was amazing. Gary, Donna, and Adrienne I Love you guys and I want you to know that I think of you every day. If you ever need an ear to listen, a friend to sit with, or a co-worker to help with chores, I'm only a few telephone digits away.

May God continue to bless with all of Jonathans memories."
Brett Messersmith of Hanceville, Alabama

""The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it." Thucydides - Ancient Greek historian

Thank you Jonathan for your enormous sacrifice…your courage will continue to inspire others to make a difference in the world…
To Donna and Family: I'm thinking of you everyday... and grieve for your loss. I will be here for you always…May God bless you and keep sweet memories of Jonathan close to your heart!"
Kelly Grant of Blountsville, Alabama

"Jonathan, you are my son, I love you more each and every day. You have always been my hero, now you are a hero to the world. How can I ever live without you? I see you in everything, the butterflies, the birds, the sunrise, and I here you in the wind. I love you very much, you still live in my heart! Love ,mom"
Donna Smith of Eva ,Alabama

"To the family and friends of Lance Corporal Jonathan L. Smith,

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 use our link and 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

"Jonathan was a hero. I am very proud of him. His bravery,love and strength was powerful. I am greatful to know him as my cousin,friend,and a HERO. He was truly A United States Marine! You will never be forgotten!"
Brittany Shaw of Roopville, GA/Heard County

"Jonathan was my cousin.I am very thankful to have known him as a cousin, friend, Marine and as a hero. He will never be forgotton!!"
Angela Shaw of Heard County Ga

"If the Army and the Navy
should look on heaven's scene
they will find the streets guarded
by United States Marines

I know you have guard duty, so I will let you go. Semper Fi to MY MARINE !
I love you son,
Dad"
Garry Smith of Eva, AL

"To the Smith Family, you have my sympathy in the loss of this wonderful hero. God Bless you all."
Barb Gifford of Saegertown, Pa

"We are deeply sorry for your loss. America will forever honor your Hero.
The Courage, Honor, and Valor that your Hero showed will always be remembered.
We are grateful for the sacrifice that was made and we will NEVER FORGET.
God Bless your family and please know that you are not alone.
All of our prayers are with you."
Jennifer and SSGT Larry Mays of Massillon, Ohio

"RIP Devil Dog....

J and T USMC"

"God bless the Smith family. We are grateful for Jonathan's service and sacrifice. We grieve for your loss."
The Hicks Family of Fairview, AL - Cullman County

"To The Smith Family,
Our Family, Our City, Our Country grieves with you. We are so saddened by your loss. Your Soldier is OUR HERO! We will never forget him or the others who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless You and your Brave Marine..Semper Fi!"
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN 6/9/05

"Mr. and Mrs. Smith,
I wanted to let you and your whole family know I'm really at a loss for words hearing about Jonathan. I went to High School with him, and was in band with him. He really was a great guy...very nice and respectful and was always serious when it was needed, but also goofed off with the rest of us when the time was right. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this time. He was and still is a hero to me and the entire country. He will always be remembered as the wonderful guy..turned Marine... that he is...

dawn_al83@yahoo.com"
Dawn Smith of Priceville, Alabama

"Dear family and friends of an amazing Hero. I'm Anna I'm 27 year Swedish and SoldiersAngel. I want you to know that you all are in my heart,thougts and prayers with warmest love and symphaty.
Your Hero gaved me the freedom and I will NEVER forget his sacrifice. Know there is someone in Sweden thinking of you with love and care.
HUGS n LOVE
Anna a.k.a Li'lSarge
Lucianna@swipnet.se"
Anna of Mjölby

"Our thoughts and prayers are with your family during this time."
Rhoades Family of Horn Lake, MS

"TO THE SMITH FAMILY, WE ARE DEEPLY SADDEN BY THE LOST OF JOHATHAN. HE HAS NOT GIVEN HIS LIFE IN VAIN. JONATHAN HAS TOUCHED THE HEARTS OF SO MANY. THOSE HEARTS HE HAS TOUCHED WILL NEVEREVER FORGET HIS FRIENDSHIP, KINDNESS, UNDERSTANDING AND FOR PROTECTING US AGAINST TERRORISM. HE TRUELY IS AN AMERICAN HERO! OU FAMILY HAS ENDURED LOSTING A SON. AN WITH JONATHAN IT IS NO DIFFERNT, TEARS. I AM THANKFUL AND GRATEFUL JONATHAN WAS A MILTARY BROTHER TO OUR SON; AS HE TO JONATHAN. AN BOTH HAD NOT KNOWN ONE ANOTHER. STILL MILATRY BROTHERS WATCH OVER ONE ANOTHER AND EACH OTHER'S UNIT AND BRANCH OF SERVICE. JONATHAN HAS DONE HIS JOB. AN WE MUST KEEP HIS NAMES AND ALL THOSE THAT GIVEN HIS OR HER FOR OUR COUNTRY. FRESH IN THE MINDS OF ALL AMERICAN'S. GOD BLESS!"
LEONARD WAHL of VALLEY STREAM NY

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

"Thank you Jonathan Smith, 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. Jonathan Smith:
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 Jonathan 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. Jonathan Smith:
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 Jonathan, 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