Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Lance Cpl. Michael J. Smith, Jr.

21, of Jefferson, Ohio.
Smith died due to injuries received from enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, California. Died on April 17, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Lance Cpl. Michael J. Smith, Jr..


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

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"there is not a day that goes by that i don't think about u, old soul, like erin made it,me missing my best friend,i your sister that misses u everyday,brother and friend, like look into the stars for you every nite hoping u will kick me a star that r u around,sometimes i get my answer and not,,,,,just if ur around,watching over all of us ,,,,but i know u r always around u r there over 10 yrs of missing u watching your son he is so much looking for you and lost at the same time , but he is so much like you, but quite, but like u ironic it may seem he is ur son temper and all,grandma's boy,loves being with mom,trying to do everthing thing for him, i your sisters that listens and watches from a distance see so much,,,, all through the yrs i see you,the guy that calls my brother smitty and has my couch i like to meet u i have seen your messages over the yrs,but that was my couch i gave to my brother after he got married apparently my sister in law didn't like it u have my great grandma 's couch,lol not micheal's passed down,smitty what u call my brother i like to talk t u,,,,,,u miss him as much as i do,he was the best and no one like him,hero and my best friend, smitty friend contact me, alison,sister , love ya michael, i didn't need a your name in stone like others to miss u,like family really, cause loving you will always b in there hearts always"
alison,sister of wellsburg,wva

"Michael it's been a long time since I've posted anything but I wanted you to know I still think about you all the time...I've come a long way from the little girl you once knew...I was a freshman in high school when you were taken from us..I still remember to this day you coming to our house and I opened up the door when I had no idea you were on leave from your first tour...I screamed up to my parents I gave you the biggest hug and you invited them to your wedding...we were unable to go and that's one of my biggest regrets my mom has had to deal with..I'm now 24 and getting married for myself and I just wanted to remind everyone of how amazing you were...I talk about you often to this day..my fiancé knows your name and your story..you have and will always be my hero and I miss you so much.."

"Cousin Michael J. at last the brooke county veterans memorial site is almost complete . we have worked hard to see it through so that all the soldiers sacrifices are not forgotten.Your sacrifice started this journey for us,that is why you have your own monument stone, telling us your story. We hope to have the dedication Nov. 11 , 2012 Veterans Day a fitting day for remembering you and all the soldiers. I will always love you and miss you cousin Janet Sporka with the Brooke County Veterans Memorial"
janet sporka of wellsburg wv brooke

"I will never forget you cousin Michael you were the best cousin ever I will love you and miss you forever....."
janet of wellsburg WV brooke

"I will never forget. I still think about you all the time. We are forever grateful. Miss you man."
Mike Soly of Lexington Park, MD

"Dear Alicia, Elizabeth, and little Mikey, I just wanted to let you know that your family is still in our prayers. We proudly fly the Healing Field Flag that bears a ribbon in honor of your Husband/Father's sacrifice. Michael passed on my son's 17th birthday. And you have the same last name as my family, Smith. We were inspired by your story. My son is now a U.S. Navy PO3. I realize that it is still hard as you approach the 5th anniversary of your loss. But Michael will not be forgotten, and we pray that you all find much joy in his memory."
ToriPS of Broomfield, Colorado

"SMUFF!!! thanks buddy, nearly five years on and you still got my back don't know how you did it but you did it damn well. your kids are just awesome and they will never have to want for anything that i have. you may be gone but you left smiles... smiles i havent seen for a long time but im seeing them again now. thanks buddy

p.s. still got the couch and still love it ha ha ha ha ha ha"
Kyle Komora of wherever life takes me to make your legacy

"”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to you. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Over 1,800 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com or go to www.heropaintings.com . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Project Compassion , Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"Well, I knowit has been a long time, but to me it is still fresh. My name is Alicia Smith and I am Michael's wife. This is the first time I have ever read these messages and I thank you so much. Michael is missed so much everyday and still talked about everyday. Our children are beautiful. Elizabeth is 7 now and Mikey just turned 5. He is his daddy up and down except for the red hair. Everything on this site fills my heart and I can't even explain how much it means to me. Thank you. My heart breaks for all of you that have lost a family member whether it be a son, daughter, father, mother, or a fellow marine. My email is smithusmc5@aol.com if anybody wants to or needs to talk. And I would love to hear from everyone."
Alicia SMith of follansbee,wv

"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 Steiner of Gahanna, OH / USA

"April 20, 2009
To the family of Lance Cpl. Michael J. Smith, Jr.:
Michael 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

"On this memorial day, and throughout the year, I remember your service and your sacrifice. "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." - John 15:13 You will not be forgotten. I am proud to have served with you. Semper Fi."
Former 3/7 Marine of Lancaster, OH.

"Michael not a day goes by that i dont think about you and the ultimate sacrifice you made you will always be my hero i miss you dearly and im sure everyone who ever knew you will agree with me the world has truely lost someone unexplainably special and my heart goes out to all of your family who shares the pain i feel ten fold"

"We would like to express our sympathy to Michael's family. His name was one of our fallen heros passed out at our chuch, Trinity United Chuch of Christ, last Sunday. Wanted you to know how many people appreciate what he did for our country."
The Franks Family of Wooster, Oh.

"smuff it saddens me that a year from the last message i left there have only been a few more no worries though i make sure you are well known in the places i go i still think that that horrible day was a total blast until the bad part =: )> ill see you in due time ive got your legacy to set first and thanks for looking out for me in new orleans buddy"
cpl komora of too far from my best friends


Its been a long time man, but I still remember where I was and what I was doing when Dave called. As I sit here today, for some reason your face keeps popping up. I don't know why, but when I went into the chow hall today at FOB Tiger (Al Qa'im) I noticed for the first time a table that was set, with no one sitting there. As I looked closer, there were two sets of dog tags and a Purple Heart. As soon as I saw that, I knew that you were watching over me, and all of your brothers from Lima 3/7th. Sleep well, Michael."
Donnie Williams, Medic, KBR Services of Al Qa'im, Al Anbar, Iraq

"Lima 3/7 forever brother, semper fi
Sgt Antista"
Sgt ANtista of Atlanta, GA. USA

"To the Smith family,
i will keep your family in our prayers. im so sorry for the lost of your son. we also lost our son, Frank straub on august.9th, 2005"
lynn straub of phila, pa

"smuff two years on... you are sorely missed. it was an honor to serve with you for those three years and next to you on the fateful day. i have no fears knowing you and the others watch over the rest of us down here we will always carry on your memory and i apologize for the choice of beer i will be pouring for you tonight but my choices here in baghdad are limited so please enjoy it as best you can... laters"
CPL Kyle Komora

"To the family of: Michael J. Smith,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"

"Hey Mike,
I think about you all the time, even more whenever I am deployed, but you have always stayed in my thoughts. Everyday of my life I think about how you lived your life not for yourself, but for everyone else. As you know I am on my second trip out here and I know that you are watching over me, and keeping me safe. You will always be in my heart."
Jacob Clark of Al Asad, Iraq

"Mike we miss you and your smile that you brought to everyones face. I was glad to help put you in the Marine Corp.To the family that you left behind if you remember me and need anything contact me at joseph.reasbeck@hill.af.mil love ya and miss ya reasbeck"
SRA JOSEPH REASBECK of layton,utah,us

"It's Been a year Michael, and we miss you as much now as we ever did. Your son is beautiful and looks just like you! We love you so much and know that you are watching over everyone, thank you for what you have done. We love you"
Jennifer and Larry Mays, cousins of Massillon, Ohio

"My heart goes out Michaels family. I send my deepest regrets. I was Mike's squad leader while I was with 3/7 Lima. I could always count on him to get the job done if ever I wasn't around. He was a great man and Marine and an exceptional artist as well. He showed great bravery in the face of the enemy.I only wish I was there with him to keep him out of danger. I could always count on him to give me a laugh when times were tough. We will meet again someday, my fellow Marine."
Sgt. Jason Long of Richmond, Va

"Mike, each day you are in our hearts and our vividly remembered in our thoughts. You remain a bright star and a loving friend. My brother Roy and I are fortunate to share such great memories of you being in our lives. Please rest peacefully in knowing that your wife is well, you daughter is fantastic, and you new son Michael III is just a mirror image of you in so many ways. He grows in strength and love everyday and has the same remarkable glow that you yourself showed to so many. Love you always."
Katherine Hukill of Wellsburg, WV

"To Micheal's wife, children, and parents. Michael is remembered every single day. He was a hero, and our country will forever be grateful for what he gave. Our love goes to you, from your cousins. Lindsay,Holden,Josh,Brie, Jennifer and Larry Semper FI"
SSGT Larry Mays, and Jennifer of Massillon, Ohio

"Your bravery and love of country will not be forgotten. Thank you Michael."
Mrs. Arthur's 4th grade class of Nelsonville, Ohio

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

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

"Lance Cpl. Michael Smith,
You are HONORED and REMEMBERED this Memorial Day and every day."
Norma Pate (aunt of Maj. Richard J Gannon KIA 4-17-04) of Capistrano Beach, CA USA

""To the family of Lance Corporal Michael J. Smith Jr.; My deepest sympathies go out to you. My family suffered the loss of our loved one in the same battle. And as I have witnessed since their deaths, the Marines are one big family... so I feel like a part of your family now, and share in your grief of Michael's death. Michael will forever be a hero to me and I will forever be indebted to his courage to fight for my freedom and the freedom of others. To Michael's children: Forever remember that your dad was a true American Hero. May God be your comfort in the days ahead. Semper Fidelis.""
C. Brady (mother in law of Cpl. Chris Gibson KIA 4-17-04) of Simi Valley, CA USA


"May God's comfort be with you during this terribly difficult time. Our prayers are with your family."
Lynne Stamm/PFC Jordan Rex of Eastlake, Ohio

"To the family of Michael J. Smith, Jr:
God Bless your family during this extreamly tough time. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
SPC Jason Ranson
WV Army National Guard"
of Charleston, WV

"To Michael's family we know what you are going through as we just lost our son AJ Vandayburg on the 9th of April. Our hearts go out to you as no one knows the true pain of loosing a child. I know we do not know each other but i want you know that we now have bond like no other. If you would like to contact us for support or anything please feel free. bags131@aol.com AJ as wellas Michael were hereos to us before but now are true american hereos, god bless. Allen W. Vandayburg father of AJ....."
Allen Vandayburg of Mansfield Ohio

"To Michael's Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send you our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you during this difficult time and we thank you for his bravery and sacrifice.

From the family of Capt. Ernesto Blanco-Caldas, KIA Iraq 12/28/2003"
Gloria Caldas (his mom) of San Antonio, TX

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

"To Michael'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

"Rest in Peace Tufelhunden. The Taylors

"To the family and friends of Lance Corporal Michael J. Smith, Jr.,

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

"Thank you Michael Smith, 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 Lance Cpl. Michael Smith, 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 Michael 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. Michael Smith, 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 Michael, 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