Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Capt. Christopher F. Soelzer

26, of South Dakota.
Soelzer died when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device on Highway One near Samarra, Iraq. He was assigned to the 5th Engineer Battalion, 1st Engineer Brigade, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Died on December 24, 2003.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Capt. Christopher F. Soelzer.

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Contributions to the Families of the Fallen

Messages:

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

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"Happy 40th earthly birthday Chrisser. Love you so much, miss you more than most."
Momma of Sun City West, AZ USA

"I served with CPT Soelzer at Taji in 2003. I remember the conversations I had with him while in the TOC during that summer. Just wanted his family to know that his service and sacrifice will not be forgotten"
CSM(R) Jeff Mapes of Alva, OK

"My husband and I visited Arlington National Cemetery yesterday. In honor of Memorial Day we were given tags with the names of those who gave their all. My husband got Christopher's name. We honor him and are sorry for your loss."
Peggy of Baltimore, MD

"I got in the car this morning, fired it up, and there was Steve Miller telling me that he's a Joker! Go figure! Miss you, man!"
Tim Rose of Colorado Springs, CO

"I miss you my brother. Everyday, every minute. So much pain since you left, But we are hanging in there until we see you again. I love you, broseph!"
SFC Joshua Soelzer of ST. Paul, MN USA

"My Sweet Son, Another Holiday...Remember Thanksgiving at Missy's--holding Elsie K. for the first time. I miss you just showing up and surprising all of us. The last words we heard from you were at Thanksgiving in Iraq. Waiting for your favorite meal. I love you forever and always. The holidays continue to be so hard for all of us. XOXOXO"
Mom of Whitewood, SD USA

"Mom of Whitewood SD - I have thought about your son every day since this happened. There are no words to convey my sorrow for you loss,or the guilt I feel from it. Your son is not forgotten."
Call Sign: BullDog 1-1

"I met Christopher's mom by chance in the Westin in KC this past weekend. She shared stories of Christopher and said she hadn't done so in some time. I was touched that she chose to open up and I'm still thinking about her three days later. I'm so sorry for the family's loss. Reading all these comments about him from friends family colleagues I see what a wonderful person he was. I appreciate all that your sons have and continue to do on our behalf."
Deb of Kansas City

"My dear son, This memorial day was so hard....I don't know why. It will be 12 years, and there are days when I don't know if any time has passed. I hear you, I feel you, I love you forever and always. Mom"
Delain of Whitewood, SD USA

"10 years now, it's not any easier to deal with for everyone back here. You are truly missed by so many. Know you will always, always be thought of."
CLC of Waynesville, MO

"For Chris's Mom...This year I will do as I always do on Christmas Eve...pray for peace, healing and understanding for the Soelzer and Splinter families. It has taken 10 years to reopen my box of memories from that tragic day and I want to share my memories of Chris and that time with his family and friends. In the short time I got to know Chris, working with him and seeing him nearly every day, I found him to be an engaging young officer who was always quick to smile, incredibly talented and acutely serious about our mission in Iraq. I took the call into our Brigade HQs reporting the attack, that entire day became surreal and is one I will never forget. If you did not know, in the following days, the 5th Engineer battalion held an incredibly moving memorial ceremony on our FOB in which battle hardened men and women were brought to tears. This Nation owes a debt to the Soelzer family, one that can never truly be repaid."
COL (then MAJ, DIVARTY Chief of Ops) Andy Weatherstone of EUCOM HQs, Stuttgart, Germany

"Veterans Day, 2013 The ultimate sacrifice was paid 12/24/2003. My son..."
Mom of Whitewood, SD USA

"9 years...there are no words"
Mom of Whitewood, SD USA

"Hello My Son, I am remembering the Thanksgiving before you shipped out to Iraq. Surprising all of us at Missy's and eating all the leftover Turkey. Oh, how I wish you were here with us this Thanksgiving. I would stand beside you as you munched! We are gathering again this year at the house...your house! I hope that you will make yourself known and I will smile when I feel you around us. Love you dearly! Miss you more..."
Mom of Whitewood, SD USA

"Chris, I was cleaning my shop last night and found some old pics of you. Brought back some great memories. Thanks for helping mold me into the man I am today. It's funny that I found them on the Marine Corps Birthday and the day before Veterians Day. Thanks for being my brother Big Dawg. I Love You."
James C. King of Ozark, AL

"Chris, It's not a special occasion or a particular day of rememberance, but today my heart smiles thinking of you.

Sebastian (almost 8 now) has developed a laugh so loud everyone in Mass last weekend turned to us...I cried a little and just let him work it out. I think he just needed to get the spirit out! You made me a more understanding parent this week and are missed."
Tony Siebers of Mesa, AZ

"As we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, we celebrate the life of Chris!"
COL Robert & Brandie Sinkler of Arlington, VA

"My heart hurts tonight...tomorrow will be better---I know."
Mom

"One more year has passed & you are not forgotten..."
CLC of Waynesville, MO

"On my mind again, Bub! Still hearing your laugh and seeing that grin . . ."
MAJ Tim Rose of Colorado Springs, CO

"I made it to December 20...my heart breaks tonight as I remember every detail of that wretched day when my world fell apart...the day you never came home...the day you came home in spirit. My son, there is never a day that goes by when I don't think of you and smile with good memories and hearing your laughter, and your wisdom. We are traveling tomorrow to see Josh and Beth and boys. Ride along please. Loving you always and forever."
Mom

"Ahh, the holidays...again. Christmas 2011 Remembering that you were my gift every year and continue to be. Miss you always and yet I have joy. Sounds like an oxymoron. Loving you always and forever my first born bundle of joy."
Mom

"Chris: You are always and forever in my thoughts and prayers. I honor you and I honor your family. Freedom is never free. God Bless."
COL(Ret) Robert Grams of Sturgis, SD/USA

"Chris, its comming up to Thanksgiving time again. I remember that year i went to see you and meet all your family that one year. we had a blast. I never ate so much. I wish you could meet my family now. I love you and think of you often."
James C. King of Ozark, AL

"Fall is here again...it begins. The sadness of missing my son. It carries on through the first of a new year. Last night I had a dream--a dream so real that we hugged and I woke you from a really deep sleep and you were so glad to see me. Oh my son, how I miss you. You were my strength at times when I had none. You believed in me when I didn't. Oh, were we a mirror of each other? I do believe. I love you forever and always."
Mom of Whitewood, SD USA

"Thank you Christopher for believing in the USA and serving our country. Not a week goes by but that I don't think of you and wish you were here with your big as the world smile and laugh! Love/loved you dear!"
Rosann Fuller of Frankfort, Michigan

"My "big" brother! I'm grateful for the times we spent together. It was short, but OH those memories. I share you with my children, too. Miss you!"
Missy--"big" sis of South Carolina

"In respectful memory of Chris on this Memorial Day."
COL Robert & Brandie Sinkler

"I love and miss you!"
michelle of boonville

"I miss you..."
Mom of Whitewood, SD USA

"1/27/2011
After watching OPRAH, Bob Woodward, Tom Brokaw and Mrs. Obama this PM, I wanted to tell you once again, THANK YOU! I try hard NOT to "forget" all that you have sacrificed. My son served with Chris and had told me it was an HONOR and what a good Man/Soldier he was. I have wanted to tell you this from the first, but, always feared I would hurt you and that is not my intention at all. I want to be sure you and yours know I am a grateful AMERICAN, and, a PROUD Army Mom, as are you! Tim is in Iraq now, and I know it is his honor to "keep you safe". God bless you!"
Kathy Rose of Imperial, MO USA

"We talked about you, Chris & Ben today. You will always be missed and never forgotten!"
Cindy C. of Waynesville, MO

"Tomorrow...7 years...hmmmm! Missing you always. Love you forever and always."
Mom of Whitewood, SD USA

"The Holidays are approaching again. Every cell in my body reminds me and brings me to a quiet place. A solo experience. I miss you Chris."
Love, Mom

"I found this poem written by a woman I've never met. I thought it was beautiful.
December 23, 2009
To the parents of Capt. Christopher F. Soelzer:
I know your pain
I know your sorrow
It feels as though there's no tomorrow
It's Christmastime
Your child is gone
But know that from the great beyond
He's watching you
And is so proud
Wanting you to sing strong and loud
Allow this Christmas season in
So loving life can begin again.
~ Peggy"
Delain Johnson, Chris' Mom of Whitewood, SD USA

"Happy Birthday Big Dawg!!! lol... I remember the year I shopped for hours trying to find all of the "big dog" items I could find!! :) :) I miss ya so much Chris..."
Hanna of Boonville, Mo

"Happy Birthday, Chris. You are thought of often."
Suzy of Vandenberg AFB, CA

"Happy Birthday Chrisser. Always all my love. Miss you so very much."
Mom of Whitewood, SD USA

"Independence Day...Long live the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Freedom comes with a price...Miss you Chrisser."
Mom

"I only knew you when you were a kid. Even then, though, you were so full of life. You would walk into a room and it would light up. After death, you are still so full of life. It is obvious by all the people who write about you that you touched many hearts. I think of you often."
Susan Humphrey of Spearfish, SD

"Memorial Day 2010
Thinking of you and family this day.
Thanking you and family for your sacrifice!
We are forever in your debt!
God Bless You!
God Bless America!
Kathy Rose
Valley Park, MO USA"
Kathy Rose of Valley Park, MO USA

"There are no words my son. We miss you."
Mom of Whitewood, SD USA

"We in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at SDSM&T remember Chris...and thank him and his family for his service."
Robb Winter of Rapid City, SD

"I would love to hear from people. please email me at johnsond@rushmore.com"
Delain, proud mom of Christopher of Whitewood, SD USA

"Delain,

We continue to pray for you and yours. Your son was so very special. I have many fond memories...especially his willingness to always take home "leftovers" from our home @ Ft. Wood.
With respect,
COL Robert & Brandie Sinkler"

"Hey, Chris! Just thinking of you, Brother!"
Major Tim Rose of Fort Irwin, CA

"Thinking about you today and your family, and I know it isn't easy at all. Just wanted you to know that you are missed by so many and everything thinks about you so much."
Cindy of Waynesville, MO

"Six years ago today at 9:00 a.m. our world fell apart. Today, because of the grace of God we are thriving. Oh, how I miss your smile and your laughter and your gift to us. But I still hear it, see it and receive it. I love you my son and will see you again. Rejoice with the angels and with Jesus as He reigns. How it must be for you everyday. For each and every moment is Christmas. Blessings to my family and friends and to all soldiers at home and abroad. Silent night, Holy night. All is calm, all is bright..."
Delain, proud mom of Christopher of Whitewood, SD USA

"To those who frequent this site, Blessings as we see yet another December and remember that horrific day. This year though we will be honoring Christopher and his memory with a street sign dedication in Meade County. The Meade County Commissioners are renaming Sturgis Road to "CPT. Chris Soelzer Street". The dedication will be December 22, 2009 at NOON at the Wells Fargo Parking Lot in Black Hawk. This is setting a presidence and my hope is that every county will follow suit. Those counties who have lost a soldier to OIF or OEF. It has truly been my prayer that the names of the soldiers would be forever on the lips of Americans and would not be forgotten.
Blessings to all of you, remembering that Jesus is the reason we celebrate."
Delain, Chris' Mom of Whitewood, SD USA

"My husband Dan graduated from South Dakota School of Mines & Tech in 1978. We get the newsletters that are sent out regularly. Today I read about your son Chris. I could not stop crying at your loss of such a fine young man. The obituary was written with so much love and care. I send you all my heart, love and soul. I buried my 13 year old son Ryan in 1995. I buried him in Rapid City at the Catholic cemetery. I know and understand your loss and I so wish this never happened to you. I saw a picture of Chris and he is sure handsome. You will always be in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this ruff and rocky grief journey. God bless you and give you peace."
Niecy Moss of Houston, Texas

"I was thinking of my Dad today, Major Splinter and i thought of the brave heroes Chris and Ben who died with him. I very thankful for Chris's scarifice and I think of my Dad, Chris, and Ben a lot and always remember them for what they are, heroes."
Rachel Splinter of Iowa

"I was thinking of my Dad today, Major Splinter and i thought of the brave heroes Chris and Ben who died with him. I very thankful for Chris's scarifice and I think of my Dad, Chris, and Ben a lot and always remember them for what they are, heroes."
Rachel Splinter of Iowa

"Just remembering Chris today. I worked with his father, Steve, and got to feel as if I knew Chris through his dad. America is thankful to have had Chris serve our country."
Kim Zens of Rapid City, SD, USA

"Hey Chris,
I'm back in Iraq the same place I was 3 years ago. So much has changed, and so much the same. The Army is such a small place, I can hardly go any where, when someone doesn't ask me if I knew you. You were well known and loved. I miss you."
Beth LouAnn of Ramadi, Iraq

"Tomorrow is the unveiling of the banners at our state's capitol in Pierre. Please remember to pray for the families that will be representing our loved ones that died in the service of their country, their state and you."
Delain Johnson, Chris' Mom

"Hey Bro'! Happy Birthday. We all miss you horribly and remember all the great memories you have provided us. Love you always! -Tim"
Tim Soelzer of Rapid City, SD

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY Chrisser! I love you forever and always..."
Mom

"Delain, I still check Chris' page frequently. I pray for you and your family often. We have moved back into the area and are now in CO. If you still have family here, I would love to be able to get that meeting we couldn't make happen during our time in Cheyenne."
Frankie Jenkins of CO Springs, CO

"Happy 4th of July everyone. We truly are a blessed nation because of freedom. Because of my son and the many others that preceeded him in death, we are free and it comes with a price. Please remember the real reason we celebrate this day and it's not just another day off. Please pray for Beth as she just went over for a second tour. Joshua and the boys are alone again. That family certainly has paid the price. God Bless the United States of America and all His people."
Delain Johnson, Chris' Mom of Whitewood, SD USA

"We are thinking of you and your family today and always. You are missed so very much."
Cindy C of Waynesville, MO

"Good morning Chrisser, Memorial Day is...Remembering your touch on this world brings joy and a smile. Oh, how we miss you. Joshua, thank you for your service to this country and us. Beth, please stay safe and in touch. You are a brave woman, mother and soldier. We hold you up with our love and prayers while you are away. To all who protect us, thank you. Freedom is not free. It comes with a price and I know the cost. I miss my son. Visit a National Cemetary and think about the lives that have served and are serving. God Bless America."
Love, Chris' Mom

"Chris, we all miss you here and miss your laugh, great advice and good humor. Thanks for everything."
Jennie Leonard of Rapid City, SD

"MEMORIAL WEEKEND 2009
Blessings to your family today and all days.
May none of us forget.
God Bless America!"
Kathy Rose of Valley Park, MO USA

"Blessings to all who continue to read and sign Chris' website. Blessings this Easter season."
Delain of Whitewood, SD USA

"We remember you Chris. You have not been forgotten. Everytime I see an American flag waving in the wind, it makes me think of the classmate I had so long ago."
Cinda of NC

"Hey, Buddy!"
MAJ Tim Rose of Fort Irwin, CA

"There isn't one day that goes by that I don't think about you. I miss you so much and wish you were still here. My son would just love you, he wants to be an army guy when he grows up! Thank you for having been in my life and being my best friend.
Love always,
Jen"
Jennie Leonard of Rapid City, SD

"It's hard to believe that 5 years have passed since we lost Chris; a great man and friend. Delain, Steve, Josh, and Tim...you continue to have my sympathy for the loss of your son and brother; a loss I share with you. I think of Chris often and am honored to have gotten to know him as well as I did. Chris will always be a big part of my life; he is like a brother and will never be forgotten. Although I'm proud of my 20 years of service to our country in the Army, my sacrifices pale in comparison to Chris. True to his nature, Chris gave all for others. I miss my friend."
CPT (retired) Steven Wolfe of Edelstein, IL (USA)

"To Chris, my brother....we miss you so much. I often wonder what you would be doing right now, where you would be in life if you wouldn't have been taken so quickly and so young. I am fine throughout the whole year until this time of the year. All of the memories come flooding back like a tidal wave. 99% of them are good memories. Your laugh, your hugs, your jokes, your quirky little habits that at the time,as your little brother ,were annoying but now I would give anything to have them back. I miss you so much. As we remember on this 5th anniversary of your passing out of this world into heaven's arms, you are never forgotten. Your handprint on the world remains and will remain until all of the stars in heaven have fallen. We love you forever and for always. I remain your little brother forever and for always."
Tim Soelzer of Rapid City, SD

"December 21, 2008
To the family of Capt. Christopher F. Soelzer:
Christopher 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

"Five years...It seems like yesterday. I can still go there so quickly. This will be the year to reflect on the fun, loving man with the incredible laugh that so many people wanted to record. I miss you my son, but I know there will come a day when we will see each other again. To all of Chris' loved ones remember that he always said, "my gift to you is me". Feel a hug and light a candle with me on December 24. Remember Jesus is the reason we celebrate life. God Bless the soldiers overseas, please stay safe. Love to all..."
Delain Johnson, Chris' Mom of Whitewood, SD USA

"You were more than remembered today... veterans day... I hope you know how much you mean to everyone! You will never stop being my hero and I hope to honor you not only on days like veterans day, but everyday. I wish everyone would take advantage of the sacrifices made by so many and honor you by living life like you taught me to live! You are a great example and your influence has made me a better person. I miss you Chris!"
Hanna of Boonville MO

"Veterans Day...Remember the fallen and those who continue to serve. God Bless the USA. Joshua will soon be back home. I have a grateful heart."
Delain Johnson, Chris' Mom

"Good morning Chrisser, I am missing you so this morning. Fall is in the air (your favorite time of year) and two bucks in our yard. Home is where your story began. I love you."
Mom

"September 11. We will never forget. I remember where I was when the attacks happened. I knew that my boys were going to war and my world would be forever changed. God Bless America. God Bless our Soldiers and their willingness to serve and protect our freedom. God Bless Christopher and God Bless Joshua."
Delain Johnson, Chris' Mom of Whitewood, SD

"Hey Chrisser, we will miss you at the family reunion. But we know you are here in spirit and having a great time with us. Smile, smile, smile. I miss you so much."
Love you always and forever, Mom

"Happy Birthday bro'. Miss you."
Tim Soelzer of Rapid City, SD

"Happy Birthday my dearest son. You so loved a party. I wonder how you would have felt being 31. I miss you Chrisser. I feel your hugs all the time and I feel your smile. Loving you forever and always."
Mom of Whitewood, SD

"Uncle Chris, miss you so much. Happy birthday a day early!!!!! :-)"
Katie Wolfe of Edelstein, IL

"Happy Birthday, Chris! I know it's a day early but better that than late :-). Just want you to know we think of you often and miss you a bunch, especially that laugh. Delain, you're in our thoughts and prayers and please let us know when you come back through Illinois. We'd love to see you again! Take care and we'll be thinking of you tomorrow as always!"
Kristy Wolfe of Edelstein, IL

"People that write on this may feel free to email me. I would love to talk to some of you. johnsond@rushmore.com"
Delain Johnson, Chris' Mom of Whitewood, SD

"Hey Chris,
It's been a while since I last wrote here....but I do think of you all of the time. I do feel very fortunate that I've had the chance to meet and know you as a person. I know that we will meet again someday. You are my hero and are always in my thoughts."
Justin Shoop of Fresno, CA

"Memorial Day 2008
We were travelling on this day.
But, I did want to be sure your family knew that my thoughts and prayers were with them.
And, that you will forever have my Thank you's for your sacrifice. God Bless America!"
Kathy Rose of Ankeny, Iowa USA

"Thinking of you and your laugh this weekend, buddy."
CPT Tim Rose of Ft. Irwin, CA

"Once again Memorial Day approaches. I've had thoughts of all the soldiers still fighting for our freedom. Someone just told me the other day, thank you for your sacrifice. I told him, it was Chris' sacrifice and Josh's sacrifice that is to be honored. It is Beth who is honored for her comittment to freedom and her family. Again, we will go to National and listen to the veteran message. As a Gold Star Mother, I still mourn well that I might live well. Remember our soldiers and their families. We remember every day."
Delain Johnson, Chris' Mom of Whitewood, SD

"Happy Easter everyone. Our hope is in the Lord."
Delain Johnson, Chris' Mom of Whitewood, SD

"Chris, Every time I read or hear about the war I think of you. Your family is often in my prayers. I can still recall that cold, windy day in the Black Hills when we all said our good-byes. God Bless you and your family and be thou at peace."
Jeff LeRoy, MAJ USAR - former ROTC instructor of Loveland, OH

"Hello Chris,Five years ago, March 29th, was the last time we saw you Chrisser. This Easter has been hard. There is alot of sadness in Sturgis this year. We miss you and remember there are no empty chairs at our table. I love you so."
Mom of Whitewood, SD

"Thinking of you & keeping your family in my prayers. It's hard to believe it's been 4 years since the three of you left us on Christmas Eve. I hope Ben is keeping you good company up there. Thank you again for your sacrifice."
Nikki of Shepherd, MI

"A joyous New Year everyone. God Bless you and yours."
Delain Johnson, Chris' Mom

"Another Christmas, another year, another anniversary. Still thought of, still missed, still loved - always!!"

"Hey Chris! It's Christmas today and I've been thinking about you! It's been a crazy year and I miss your advice and your smile. I love to look at all the old pictures of our Christmases together, they ALWAYS make me smile!! I've been praying for your family. They all loved you so much! I loved you too... and I can't wait to see you again!"
Hanna Albertson of Missouri

"Merry Christmas Christopher. Our Family Still Thinks of You, Ben, and my Brother Chris Daily. It still doesn't seem real that the 3 of you are no longer with us. You are in our Thoughts and Prayers Daily."
Mark Splinter, Youngest Brother of Major Christopher Jon Splinter of St. Petersburg Florida

"My dearest son, tonight you were honored at church. The only name read on the necrology for OIF, KIA from Sturgis. The pastor gets it. Now they get it. I cried terribly again. The pain was there again. The pinpricks in my chest again. Love flowed at church tonight for us. Forgiveness was in the air. I am full of thanks that I don't have this every moment of every day now. This Veteran's Day may we remember all the soldiers serving and those who gave up their lives for this amazing country. God Bless the USA. Please remember Joshua is in Iraq now. Prayers and blessings of protection for him, too. Love you."
Mom of Whitewood, SD

"Dearest Delain- I thought of you today and hope that life is going ok for you, I know how much you love Chris, and how much you miss him dearly. I often think of you and know that you are not forgotten and neither is Chris. Maybe i will see you again at the "top" of the hill. In my prayers always."
Mily of Anaheim, CA

"Hey brother,
just wanted to drop a quick line to please pray for our brother, Josh, who is now serving his second deployment to Iraq. I am so proud of my 2 brothers for all that they do. Thanks."
Tim Soelzer "Brother" of Rapid City, SD

"I miss you more today than when you went home. You know why."
josh of Ft. Riley, KS

"July 10, 1977 HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTOPHER. XOXOXO"
Mom

"Happy Birthday, my son. You always loved a party. Austin, Christian, Elsie, and Katie. Remember..."My gift to you is me". Thank you for showing us this morning that you are ever so close. I love you and miss you as much today as ever."
Mom

"I love you big brother. I miss you just as much today as when you left us. Happy 4th of July Big Dawg."
"Brother" Tim Soelzer of Rapid City, SD

"Thank you Chris...
This day is no different in the amount of our appreciation, every day our appreciation is unmeasureable..."
Frankie Jenkins of Alabama

"Thinking about you and your family today. Know that everyone really cares."
Cindy of Waynesville, MO

"This Memorial Day I honor my son who died serving the country he loved so dearly. We miss you so much Chris; yet you are so close every day. Family is gathered again and we just all talked about you and laughed at the stories being told. May we all reflect on the countless people affected by this battle and remember the love of country every soldier has. God Bless you all"
Delain Johnson, Chris' Mom of Whitewood, SD

"I have been writing messages on this site today, tomorrow is the one year anniversary of others that we lost. I didn't know Chris, but my husband sure did. I just wanted Delain & family to know that everyday we think about Chris & all that he gave. While on Ben's site I counted the days since this happened, 3 years, 4 months & 9 days. Never think that people have forgotten, no one has! It's thoughts here & there during the day. Know that you are thought of often & I pray for your family."
Cindy of Waynesville, MO

"5/1/2007
How proud you are of Chris! How proud he would be of you! Your words are so eloquent and strong. I am sure that you embodied these traits in him. Am just so sorry that he did not come home to you. I wish you peace, for now, and for always."
Kathy Rose of Ankeny, Iowa USA

"Last night I gave a memorial scholarship in Chris' name to a fine young man from Sturgis Brown High School. Matt graduates soon and will be going off to basic and AIT and the University of South Dakota. In the essay he wrote to qualify for the scholarship, Matt mentioned Chris' name over and over again. He mentioned the respect he had for Chris and he mentioned our sacrifice and our grievous loss. The mentioning of his name was so important to me. May we always mention his name, remember his voice, his kindness, his quiet leadership and his love for his family and friends."
Mom of Whitewood, SD

"Every Christmas season, I think of Chris' family. Through our family's deployments, I have only imagined the pain of losing of loved one. I hope you have found (or will find) the strength and peace you need.

In thinking back to Kemper days I have many memories of Chris- (from the good, to the bad, and the all fun in between.) I am glad I had the opportunity to call Chris my friend.

Until we meet again in Heaven."
Rebecca Hart Felker of Selma, Texas

"To the family of:Christopher F. Soelzer 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"

"Thinking of you, Chris. 3 years, it's hard to believe. I'm glad your family and friends are getting along, having better days. Time marches on, but the best are never forgotten!!
Delain, I've been thinking of you. Take care..."
Marcie of Missouri

"Chris and Family,
Just thinking about all of you this Christmas Eve. I wish you all the best during the holidays. Chris was and still is a great gift! I miss you."
Jennie Leonard of Rapid Ciy, SD

"Christmas Eve...Hello to all family and friends who read this website today. I've been up since 3:00 a.m., other family have related the same. As you gather with family tonight and tomorrow I pray you remember those over in Iraq and Afgahnistan and those at Walter Reed Medical Center. They are truly the best of the best. As Christopher would always say as he would show up on our doorstep and surprise us, "my gift to you is me!" Merry Christmas all."
Delain Johnson, Chris' Mom

"Dearest Family of Chris...
I read this site often and have written in a few times. I especially think about you this time of year.
One thing that I am sure you are aware of and probably do not need to tell you is that this young man was loved so much by so many. I can't help but love him as well, even not knowing him.
I would like to wish you all a blessed holiday season. To Chris' mom, I am happy that there are a few more happier days.
God Bless you and keep you in his arms."
Jenkins Family of Alabama

"Merry Christmas everyone. Christopher always said that his present to me was him. Truer words were never spoken. This Christmas will be spent like the last two. Quiet and reflective. It is a much different one than last. I have many more good days than sad ones and I am grateful for his life and his love that he gave to all of his family and friends and his country. God bless each and every one of you. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year in 2007."
Chris's Mom of Whitewood, SD

"Chris,
I was flipping through our "97" Kemper Crest and came across a signing from you. You wrote "SFC Araiz, Good Luck at your next school and duty station. It has truly been a pleasure working with you." Chris you were always thoughtful of others, you placed the needs of others before yourself, you could always be counted on, and most importantly you are respected and loved by all who knew you. I do truly miss you."
Nick Araiz of Killeen, Texas

"I miss you chris. Looking back, I realize that I often took for granted your constant good advice and your strong arm of comfort! I'm sorry... I wish more than anything i could tell you how much that always meant to me. I wish even more that you were here today to do the same. My heart misses you so much... it always has."
Hanna Albertson of Boonville Missouri

"Hey Chris.
Just thinking about you--like I do everyday. I miss you so much, I wish you were here to laugh with me.
Love,
Jennie"
Jennie Leonard of Rapid City, SD

"Delain, I have been thinking about you lately. Since our move I have not been able to find your email. When you have time please contact me. If you go to www.bindingyourmemories.com there is a contact me link. That way I don't give out too much personal info. Hope to hear from you soon.
Frankie from Wyoming now Alabama."
Frankie of Alabama

"Dear Chrisser, The war continues, 9 soldiers died recently. My heart aches for their families. It is nearing the holidays again. I love you., Mom"

"Happy Belated Birthday Brotha! D- is back in Ranger school (his knee should make it this time). I'll be honest, I lost a guy this week who had just transfered to another command (same story, different place) and remembered your Birthday...is that wrong?

Billie and I are due again and life is moving on without me back home. I am beginning to understand more of your old emails everyday.

I sure miss your reply. I love you and miss you Chris."
Tony Siebers of BIAP, Iraq

"I miss you very much Chris, Love you"
Michelle Albertson-West of Boonville, Mo

"Chris,
Just saw off a group of my buddies heading back into harms way. As I stood there and shook each one of my buddies hands as they boarded that bus I felt myself holding back tears. I began to think of you as I often do when either myself of my buddies has to go do what we've all been trained and volunteered to do. I miss you very much my friend, I try to focus on the positive because I know thats what you would want me to do. I remember that Thanksgiving break our freshman year when you came with me and Schwartz back to Alabama. You were so out of your element and far from what you were use to,but in true chris style you opened your mind and your heart and we all had a great time. My only regret is that after I left Kemper we didn't keep in touch but I never forgot about you or the fun we all had. I miss you big guy."
SSgt. Shannon Judson USAF of Milford, Delaware

"Kemper Cadet and Army Captain Chris Soelzer has been named a posthumous member of Echo Company, Kemper Military School. He stands with the Eternal Corps of Cadets. A story featuring CPT Soelzer will appear in the December 2006 issue of the ECHO newsleter."
LTC JOHN DOWNS of Crivitz, WI

"Happy birthday bro' and Uncle Chris! We miss you alot."
Tim-Chris's brother of Rapid City, SD

"Happy Birthday Chrisser! How you loved a party! Remember Austin's 3rd birthday and the hard hat party hats. The pictures were great. We miss you and we'll set a place at the table for you and have cake. Loving you,"
Mom

"Hey Chris. I don't remember the last time I actually seen you? Just was reading all of the comments here and had alot of emotions come back. You have touched so many people in so many different ways. I think of you often and every time I'm back in South Dakota, I visit the cemetary. It's hard to believe that you left us so long ago. I still remember the day I found out, the only concern up until I was told was wondering what the Army was going to feed us at the chow hall on the airport in Bahgdad. I had often throughout that day thought about jumping over the wall and finding who had placed that IED. I wish we could have met up sometime over there, but there was alot of work to be done. Me and Angie think of you often, we light a candle for you every Christmas, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day. Last time I was back me and Trav. ended up talking about you a little while, needless to say we were both smiling by the end of the conversation! I think of the times we'd run into each other during a gaurd drill, or walking between classes at Tech. You always gave me great advice for both college and the military. After the deployment I finished my enlistment and couldn't find enough reasons to stay in. I'm sure if you were around you would have enlightened me with some! I am very fortunate to have known you and your family. I just want you to know you are a true hero. You are thought of all of the time. I'll see you someday again. Shoop."
Justin Shoop of Fresno, CA

"Hello My Son, Helen Keller once said that "the best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." How true it is with you. I'm so grateful that I have a continuing bond with you. I love you so very much. I continue to miss you every moment. Sometimes more or less. To the extent that we love someone we grieve. Some more than others. You know who they are. I see your smile and hear your laugh so often. Oh, to see you again when we all see Him face to face."
Mom

"Memorial Day 2006
I thank you for all the blessings I receive because of your sacrifice."
Kathy Rose of Ankeny, Iowa USA

"Live like there's no tomorrow. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching.
Love you Chrisser"
Mom

"Chris,
I just found this website and wanted to write to you.
I miss you every single day. I miss your laugh and your sense of humor, which was much like mine! You always said "Nobody gets a kick out of me more than me"! I hope you don't mind me using that line--people seem to appreciate it!
I wish that you could be here with all of us. There are so many things I want to tell you. I can only appreciate all of the moments that we had together. You were truly my best friend and will always be my greatest hero. I love you and miss you every day."
Jennie Leonard of Rapid City, SD USA

"Hey Sir, I miss ya, I love ya, and I want you to know that the poem I wrote about you got published in a book. Love ya"
Soel

"Chris, It's me, i miss you. I read the site often and I see so much hurt. I have a new job, i am the head of Harmony in Motion and it is hard being in charge of so much. I have to say thanks for preparing me for this with all the millions of talks we had where you said " get your head out of your fourth point of contact and lead how you know how to lead." You were always very eloquent with your words, lol. I know you will get my sarcasm. I will always keep your words first and foremost in my mind with every new mission that comes my way. By the way, i am going twenty. You know what i mean. Love you bro."
Soel of Ft. Carson, CO

"Hey Chris! This is actually the first time I have written to you even though I have thought about doing so many times. I just want to say thank you for always making me feel so welcome and a special part of your family and ecspecially for those wonderful bear hugs!! I miss them terribly. Travis is healing slowly but he is healing. He is able to talk about you more and he always smiles when he does so. I just heard the story of when you two were supposed to be fixing fence but decided to see if you could drive the truck through the dam instead and ,of course, got it stuck all summer until the water dried up enough to pull it out! I dreamed about your hugs last night and your smile and laugh. Thank you for visiting me (like I said you always made me feel special) Our children will know you for your generosity, giving spirit, tremendous love to others and of course that smile and laugh that light up the darkest of days. To Steve,Delaine, Tim and Josh we love you. You are in our thoughts."
Misti Puckett of Black Hawk, SD

"Dearest Chrisser,
Today, a most cherished gift from you fell from the counter and broke. It felt as though, once again, a part of you was lost and broken. I will cherish even the broken pieces. What is it about that material connection that keeps us bound to you? I love you so much. Austin's 6th birthday is coming up very soon. It will be three years since we saw you last, hugged for the last time, and waved until you were out of sight. That weekened was so very important to your brother. You are truly the best."
Love you always and forever, Mom

"Chris,
2 m ore engineers were lost over here yesterday, maybe more, but 2 that I have gotten to know the past 3 months. Everytime I get the reports in the reality of it all sinks in a little more that you still will not be home when I get back.
I have 9 more months over here. I think about you every day.

Beth"
Beth LouAnn of Ramadi, Iraq

"May all of you have a blessed and prosperous new year!"
Tim Soelzer-Brother of Rapid City, SD

"Well 2 years ago today, you came face to face with the greatest person to ever walk the face of the earth, however, for you, it probably feels like minutes ago. You know I do fine without you and go without dreaming about you for along time. Then what do you know, you're back, however, they are good dreams. They are not the ones where I would wake up crying at night in the middle of the night. I told Aunt Delaine about the dream I had about you and Grandma Helen a couple of weeks ago. Chris, I am again filled with sadness that has left me but has decided to haunt me again. I don't know what to do, except "vent". Josh wants me to talk with him and Aunt Delaine wants me to talk to her but I don't know what to do. I don't want to burden my feelings onto anybody. As you know, Aunt Delaine, your Grandpa Duane and I saw Josh and the boys. That was a great week. We did alot of talking about you, can you believe it? It was actually a good healing week. I miss you Buddy. Someday I will see you and Grandma Helen again, and next time will be for good. I love ya."
Heath of Hill City, SD

"chris, today is Christmas Eve and it is hard for me to celebrate this day. (i know that you would probably be angry at me for that:) ) so, I spent this morning thinking about you and decided to pull out some old pictures. When I came across the one of you and Heath helping me decorate a Christmas tree, i stopped and laughed. you both were hanging the ornaments from your faces instead of the tree!!! Goofballs!! It just reminded me how special this time of year is. Tim once told me he was jealous because you were having a better christmas in a much better place than the rest of us... and he is right. so, i will just hang that silly picture up, and follow your example...again!! Merry christmas Chris!!!!
and have a merry christmas soelzer family!!"
Hanna of Boonville

"My dearest son, this morning I woke with you on my mind. Today, I choose to celebrate who you are and who you are in our lives. You loved Christmas and always said that "my gift to you is me!" How true this is and little did we know...Friends have called already. The boys are gathering this afternoon to remember you and celebrate your love for family. Oh, my son, I miss you. But today you are our bright and shining Captain. We serve a risen Savior who is constantly with us and strengthening our resolve. We feel your presence as always. I love you forever and for always. Merry Christmas, son. You are where we all want to be."
Mom

"December 24, 2005
What a place this World would be if your Soldier were still here!
What a place this World is BECAUSE he was here!
My love and prayers to you.
Wishing peace to you, now and always."
Kathy Rose of Ankeny, Iowa USA

"Chris,
Its Dec 19,2005 it feels longer than what it has been. My life has changed alot this year, but one thing has not and that is wishing you were here, missing you, dreaming about you, I had a dream about you the other night it was so real Chris, you were in my parents home sitting on the couch with blue jeans and blue jean shirt with a white t-shirt on underneath just sitting there with that smile you had more like a cute smerk, then you got up walked to me and hugged me, Chris I felt your arms around me, at that moment I was so happy, and of course I woke up, but you know I could smell you,I know that sounds weird but you used to wear pleasures and I smelled you, like you had just sprayed some on I don't know, kinda freaked me out but you know for once since your death I felt peace. Thank you Chris for that moment, and for all the moments we had. I LOVE YOU!
For your family I thank and pray for.
Heath be strong you are in my thoughts.
Chris I miss you love you and will see you someday soon on the streets of gold!"
Michelle albertson-West of Boonville, Missouri 65233

"chris, hi. I'm still reading deep thoughts by people, especially Your brother tim. Pretty funny, huh. You know who was there for you when you were here. talk at ya later."

"You were remembered in my prayers this Thanksgiving Day 2005. I am ever so sad for your family. I am thankful that you were over there protecting me and my family, allowing me to have freedom for all, here in America. God Bless you!"
Kathy Rose of Ankeny, Iowa USA

"Thank you Chris! Thank you for everything! You have ALWAYS been here for me when I needed you and to this day, you still give me strength. I miss you so much! I miss your guidance and your reassurance! You were always so strong... it's thoughts of you that get me through my days! Since the day I met you, Chris, I've wanted to be near you, in your presence, learning from you and listening to your stories and your laugh. Following you around, because I wanted to be Like you!!! That hasn't changed Chris! I hope that others can see something in me that reminds them of you! I want everyone to know who you are and what you mean to me! I was so proud to have someone as special as you to celebrate this veterans day."
Hanna of Boonville, Mo

"Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice brother.Thank you to your comrades who continue to serve and protect us.Let us not forgot on this Veteran's Day the gift that our soldiers from all branches of the military have given us, the gift of freedom. God bless you Bro'. We continue to miss you and love you."
Tim Soelzer,Brother of Rapid City, SD

"Chris, my dearest friend, cousin and my brother. I just found this web site. As you know, I don't have to write down everything I say to you, but I will give this a go. I've been so mad at you. So mad at you for leaving all of us. So mad at you for getting yourself killed, even though it is not your fault. I have never been so mad at anyone yet miss them so badly. I miss going to Booneville and seeing the Albertsons. I miss our talks, our trips, our stories. I miss playing golf with you and riding 4-wheelers. I especially miss you, your company. Even though it's been almost two years, I still think, "I need to give Chris a call." And then remember. Rae misses you dearly as well. She is always there for me when you are on my mind (daily). Chris, I, too am sorry for the way I left you. Left you without a letter while you were away. I actually had a Christmas card for you and Josh written up the day before you were killed. I never gave it to Josh and I am sorry You never got it. I went to the cemetery the other day, as you know and had to release what was on my mind. I have not cried like that since before Grandma Helen died, actually I haven't cried like that since I can ever remember. I have been reading the messeges that Annie, Michelle, Josh, Tim, Aunt Delaine and Beth have been leaving you and am grateful that God placed you in all of our lives. I am grateful that I had the priveledge of being one of your best friends. I think I have said enough for now, but these are a few things I did not tell you while at the cemetery. Miss you."
Heath Soelzer of Hill City, SD

"There is a stillness over us all, Chrisser. We miss you still, forever. There is a whole in the world that can only be filled with your smile, your phone calls, your abundant life, your love for family. What was it about you my son. You could light up the most darkest of days. Losing you was the darkest of days. I love you so. I long for you, my son."
Mom

"Iam thinking about you alot today. I miss you so much. I will always love you, and continue to miss you."
Michelle Albertson of Boonville MO

"I love you bro'!"
Tim Soelzer, Brother of Rapid City, SD

"I salute you Captain Soelzer.

Thank you for your example and your sacrifice for our freedom. You obviously touched many lives.

Richard A. Ragsdale
Kemper Military School
80-83"
Richard A. Ragsdale of Round Rock, Tx/USA

"My Captain, my Captain. Christopher, I miss you so. Someone asked me today, if I could see you again what would I say; I told her "One more day, one more hour" one more hug, one more smile, one more laugh, one more...I just want to see you. I love you so."
Mom

"I miss you so much Chris!"
Annie

"It has been some time since I recieved the call but it feels like yesterday. He was the best man when Stephanie and I married the year before. He was a good man (and still is). I'll see you on the Green Sir - have a cold one waiting for me."
CW2 Joseph R. Crowser of (enroute to) Ft. Drum, NY

"Happy Birthday my oldest son. 28 years old. I miss you so."
Mom

"Happy Birthday Chris"
Tony Siebers of Camp Murray, WA

"We were thinking about you today. Happy birthday bro from Me, Misti, Raine, and Gavin. Love you man! Trav"
travis puckett of RC

"Hey bro'. Amanda, Julia, Alexander and I wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday. We love you!"
Tim Soelzer, Brother of Rapid City, SD

"happy birthday, chris. miss you."
joshua soelzer of ft. carson, co

"Hey Chris, I just wanted to let you know that you made my fourth of July extra special this year. As everyone spent their day celebrating the freedoms of this country, my thoughts were on you. Boonville decided to shoot the city fireworks off from a new location this year, from Kemper. So after spending all day remembering you and wishing you were here, i found myself standing in the courtyard where i first met you in tears. But they were happy tears. The fireworks lit up the whole place and made it shine and it seemed like with each colorful splash of light, i saw your smile. I could almost feel your happiness and I was so proud. Proud to have been your friend, proud to have seen you become such a perfect man and soldier. As the lights lit up the parade field, I remebered how happy you were the day you graduated from Kemper, and as the lights lit up the barracks, I remember all if the times I heard your laugh echoing through the halls!! I miss you Chris and I just wanted to say Happy Fourth of July to my Hero!!"
Hanna Albertson Howard of Boonville Missouri

"chris, Love you and miss you. not much to say except that the days aren't getting easier I'm just getting creative with how to cope. Mom's doing fine, trust me. Beth is deploying in september. stay be her over there in "the land that time forgot"

love you Chris."
SGT Joshua soelzer of Ft. Carson, CO

"Chris

It's been almost 10 years since we had spoken. Not since graduation. You were one of the smartest, brightest, and most motivated people I have ever known. I was deeply saddened when I heard what happened. I just found this website tonight and had to leave a note. You were a great friend and the one person I was most looking forward to seeing again at our reunion. I am honored to have known you and shared your friendship, even if only for a relatively short period of our lives.

Josh, I am so sorry for your loss. I know how close you and your brother were. If you are ever in Denver, Please, look me up."
Chad Grieve of Denver CO

"Chris,
We just finished a quick weekend trip to DC, and I got to visit the "Faces of the Fallen". It was so good to see your face, it seems strange we never met. I took pictures, and made sure Benjamin knew which one was you, too. I just wanted your family to know that you will never be forgotten, not by us, or our families - ever!!"
Marcie Biskie

"Hey Cap, friends, and most importantly the Family of Chris. Many years ago i served with him as my platoon leader in the 5th. Everytime my wife and I cooked spaghetti I knew we could count on him being there. I was at Ibn Sina that Christmas Eve. Nic Ricciardelli and my wife told me the next day what happened. Everything over there changed for me that day. Chris, You made me laugh smile and gave me hope, when i found out you and the 5th were in the desert all I wanted to do was see you. Brought several of your new soldiers oer there with me when they were fresh out of AIT Small world isnt it. Just know you arent forgotten Every Christmas and every spaghetti dinner you are in our minds. To Chris's family: God bless you all Always rememebr that Chris touched many many lives and left his impression on us all. Thank you"
Christopher L Blomgren SSG of Ft bragg, NC

"Hey Chris,
I haven't written here yet, but I think about you everyday. This has been a hard year for the family but it is getting better. We were blessed with another child in the middle of our pain. It was nice to have something joyous to celebrate.
I have just learned of some news that one of my friends was killed in Iraq as well. His name is Aaron Seesan. Learning of the news was heart breaking all over again. He was a guys that reminded me of you. He was threre to lift my spirits when you left and helped me make it through the rest of EOBC. Your absence is a tough thing to swallow, and I miss you very much.
I am leaving for over seas before the holidays.
I'm blessed to have know you. I love you."
Beth Soelzer of FT Carson, CO

"It is Memorial Day 2005.
I just wanted to say Thank you.
And, God Bless You.
And, God Bless America."
Kathy Rose of Ankeny, Iowa USA

"CHRIS,
I WENT AND HAD A MEMORY BRACLET MADE WITH YOUR NAME ON IT. WHEN PEOPLE ASK ME ABOUT THE NAME I TELL THEM AS MUCH ABOUT YOU AS THEY ALLOW. I WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU AND ABOUT THE ULTIMATE PRICE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY PAID FOR FREEDOM. I WISH YOU KNEW HOW MUCH YOU BLESSED ME. I THINK OF YOU EVERYDAY. THE PAIN IS GETTING BETTER BUT I KNOW THAT IT WILL NEVER GO AWAY, AND THATS FINE I WILL CARRY THE MEMORY OF YOU ALWAYS. WELL YOU KNOW THE REST YOU HEAR MY HEART. I LOVE AND MISS YOU CHRIS."
MICHELLE ALBERTSTON of BOONVILLE, MO

"Hey Chrisser,

So last week there was a large group of buglers back east who lined up for miles to play a "Chain" Taps. They are trying to get more people to play for veterans funerals, kind of like we used to do back at Kemper. I tried to play, but I don't think I'm ready for that just yet. I can't complain...life for our family has indeed been blessed, but well, I'd just about give anything to stand and play with you again. We just hit our 8-year anniversary as Officers last week and I celebrated with with a cigar. I must have reminded myself six or seven times to put it down when in "turned" thinking of you, but...somethings are hard to let go of. I miss you Chris. Tim and Josh, your brother would be so proud of you both!! You guys continue to impress me. God bless you and your families!"
Tony Siebers of Eugene, OR

"Chris,
Its been 1yr 4mo 17 days since our lives have been changed forever. Every day i look at your picture on my desk, and on my family room wall, i am reminded of why i had the greatest honor of knowing the brightest, strongest person that i have, and always will look up too. Everyone knows I was never one to show emotion, and i was the "tough guy" in every situation. I cant be that this time. I love you and miss you very much my friend, and it hurts deep inside. But i will forever have the many many memories from fixing fence to tearing around in your volkswagon bug, from the last time we ate together at sanfords before you left....to the time i talked to you one the phone while in Iraq, and how excited you were to hear about misti finially being pregnant with our son, Gavin Christopher. And yes my brother, his middle name is to honor you. Even though he was not born yet, you will forever be in his life now. And he will learn all the memories as well, just as many of us will pass on and talk about these memories for many other generations to come.
I will never forget you my brother, and we will see each other again someday. I promise you that. I love you bro.
Trav"
Travis Puckett of RC

"To the family of Christopher F. Soelzer:

The Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation will be honoring your loved one at the non-denominational Memorial Day Sunday worship service at 11:00 a.m. on 29 May. We will remember the casualties of the Global War on Terrorism from Minnesota … and the neighboring states of Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Outside of the historic Fort Snelling Veterans Memorial Chapel will be a “Memorial Garden” filled with white crosses bearing the names of the war dead … including your loved one.

I would like to extend to your family an invitation to honor us with your presence at worship as we pay tribute to the sacrifice made by your service member and family. Our pastor, U.S. Army Chaplain, LTC Kenneth L. Beale, Jr. will preach a message entitled “Remembering Our Freedom.” A former Soldier and country music songwriter and performer “Rockie” will pay a special musical tribute. At the conclusion of the worship hour, all of the congregation will be invited to silently pay their respects at the garden and place poppies at each of the crosses. An honor guard squad will be on hand to fire vollies as the US flag is lowered to half-staff and Taps is played.

As this Christian worship service has traditionally been well attended, we would be happy to reserve seating for you and yours. To do so, kindly call (612/970-7866) and leave a voice message indicating your veterans’ name and the number of persons attending. If you are not able to attend, we pray that you would find comfort in knowing that our prayers are with you and all of the fallen heroes.

Respectfully,
Leila Campbell
Administrative Assistant
Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation
email:info@fortsnellingmcf.org
web site:www.fortsnellingmcf.org"

"Hey Bro', I love you."
Tim, "Brother" of Rapid City, SD

"DEAR, CHRIS

ITS BEEEN OVER A YEAR AND I JUST FOUND THIS SITE. THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS THAT I WISH WOULD HAVE SAID TO YOU. BUT IN THE PAST YEAR I HAVE TOLD YOU AND I KNOW THAT YOU HAVE HEARD MY HEART. CHRIS YOU ARE MY HERO IN EVERYWAY. LIFE HAS A WAY OF PUTTING THINGS IN PRESPECTIVE.
I HATE THE FACT THAT YOU ARE NOT HERE AND I HATE THAT SO MANY PEOPLE WILL NEVER GET TO SHAKE YOUR HAND AND SEE THAT WONDERFUL SMILE. NOT A SECOND OF EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY DO YOU CROSS MY HEART.
I HAVE YOUR PICTURE ON MY MIRROR IN MY ROOM, EVERY MORNING I LOOK AND SEE YOUR SMILE FOREVER AND REMEBER THAT YOU GAVE ME THE FREEDOM THAT I HAVE. NOT JUST FREEDOM BUT FRIENDSHIP AND MUCH MORE, I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART AND I LOOK FORWARD TO MEETING YOU ON A STREET OF GOLD.
I LOVE YOU AND AM ALWAYS THINKING OF YOU."
MICHELLE of BOONVILLE, MO

"To everyone who truly loved my brother, thanks for everything. There is so much that i want to tell you about him. I just attended a conference of engineers in Denver, CO, we were the special musical entertainment. Dozens of people knew who he was and they looked at my name and made the connection almost instantly. It really is a small army. To tell you the truth, it felt like i was back at the funeral of Chris and They wanted stories, feelings, and they gave they're condolences. It just let me know once more, the impact that Chris had on so many lives. I just want my brother and best friend back in my life to enjoy his neice and nephews. Tim, i want you to know that everything will be alright and i will help you through your pain. I love you. Always."
Joshua Steven Soelzer, brother of Ft. Carson, CO

"Chris,
It's amazing how fast life flies by, I can't believe it has been so long since your passing. I saw your picture on the news this past week and all the memories came back to me. It was a rude awakening that you are gone, but never forgotten. I just wanted to let you know that you changed our lives for the better forever with your life--and death."
Eric Solberg (Cousin) of Vermillion, South Dakota

"You make me smile, I hear your laugh. I still feel an incredible sadness at not talking to you, hugging you and seeing you face to face. You are my Captain. Forever and for always."
Mom

"Thinking of you!!"

"Was thinking about you today "Old Boy". Your Kemper crowd wanted you to know, but, I betcha did already. Will miss the chance to see you this April."
M. of Columbia Mo. USA

"Freedom isn't free. It is bought with a price far richer than gold or silver or pearls. It is fought with hearts that are true to their mission. Defending our soil. It has been awhile since anyone wrote on my son's site. Please don't forget. Hear his laughter and see his smile. Check out www.facesofthefallen.org this memorial will be in Washington, DC through September, 2005 honoring soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice. The numbers continue to rise and families lives will never be the same. To those soldiers home and injured, GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU. To those soldiers who have returned to US soil and have to once more go into battle, GOD BLESS YOU and bring you home safe. You represent courage and bravery beyond measure. Freedom is not free..."
Chris' Mom of Whitewood, SD USA

"To Chris's mom
Thank you for your kind words written on my brother's site, CW2 Scott Saboe. It's hard to believe our heroes are gone. I miss my brother as much as you miss your son. They made the ultimate sacrifice and will never be forgotten by those who knew and loved them. As time passes I hope your heart will begin to heal."
Ann Saboe-Remington,CPT USA Nurse Corp of USA

"Hanna, you meant more to Chris than you will ever know and he was blessed to have you in his life. Never forget what you meant to him or to us. Always keep with you the happy memories you had with him in Boonville and when you visited him here. It is those memories that will help you gather strength to deal with the loss. I have always felt a sort of responsibility to somewhat maintain what he was trying to teach people and how he made people feel. I urge you to do the same, that is what he would want. Continue to be the strong spirit you are Hanna and I hope this message finds you well. Love, Tim"
Tim Soelzer of Rapid City

"Chris, I miss you so much! More than any words can express. There honestly isn't one single day that goes by without having thoughts of you. The memories of us together bring me such joy and happiness, and yet i find myself crying everyday because I can't be with you anymore. What you did for me was more than anyone else ever did. You honored me with your friendship, trust, respect, and with your love. And even in your death, you sacrificed so much for us all. You taught me so much!! I am everything that I am today because of you. You were always there for me... teaching me in every area of my life. There are so many more things that I need to learn from you... I wish I could speak to you. I look at this page almost everyday and it reminds me of you, but I always hesitated to let others know how much i have been struggling with you loss. But, I can't help it anymore. I needed to tell you that I miss you. That I'm so extremely thankful to you for touching my life and making it so much better. I told you a million times that you were my hero, and now it means so much more. You Are my Hero, Chris!!! I love you and miss you. And to the soelzer family, I will forever be grateful to you for sharing Chris's life with me. I know that you missed him when he was away from home!! But I thank God everyday for every second I got to spend with Chris. I am truly sorry for your loss, from the bottom of my heart. It is good to hear that your family is doing well. I keep you all in my prayers and again I am truly thankful."
Hanna Albertson-Howard of Boonville, Missouri

"I miss you, buddy."
CPT Tim Rose of Ft. Benning, GA

"Hey Bro' I wanted to write to let you know that we are all fine here. Everyday gets easier, and even though we will never forget the sacrifice you made for everyone, there are more happy memories and more moments now that make us laugh than cry. I know that is what you would want to happen as we near the end of the transition from you being brother, friend, son to being a guardian and heavenly being. I love you more than words can express and more than anyone will ever realize. God took a great leader that day, a leader that had a greater purpose to serve. Goodbye brother until we meet again."
Tim Soelzer of Rapid City

"I wanted to let the Soelzer family know that I still remember and always will remember the sacrafice Chris gave for our country. I want to let the Soelzer family know that I do think about you guys, especially my good friend Josh Soelzer. Your a great friend Josh, I am proud to know you. Get a hold of me sometime. I still live in Rapid City. I am in the phone book."
Sgt Scott Wilson of Rapid City, SD

"I'm sorry for your loss. I would have written sooner, but i was deployed. Chris was my first commander with the 153. He was a great guy, and could make anybody feel welcome. He is and will always be missed."
Spc. Mark Francisco of Iraq

"Thank you to everyone who has remembered Chris this past year. I am sure Chris is smiling that wonderful smile right now knowing that so many people are holding his memory in their hearts and minds. Chris was an amazing son, brother, cousin, grandson, and nephew and I am glad he has had the chance to touch so many lives. Our brother is an eternal flame that will continue to burn for eternity. I love you Chris and I thank you for teaching me the important things in life even after death. Julia and Alex miss you very much and Julia says goodnight to you every night and blows you kisses. I am sure you are catching those kisses. I love you bro' and I will see you again. Happy New Year."
Tim "brother" of Rapid City

"chris, I haven't written in awhile, I'm sorry. I have such guilt sometimes when i think I am not doing enough to keep your memory alive with people. It is so hard to talk about and I don't think people want to listen to me about this. Most of the people I talk to or know me do not know what to say about it and it make me feel stupid for feeling this grievous. I get so mad whenever I think about anyone else who might be your best friend, it is the only thing I was ever selfish about. I do know that I will always have them beat in one area, I was your brother first as well as your good friend later. maybe they are jealous of me? I can't think that way, you know what we were to each other and what I brought to the table.
This past year has been so rough for me that I haven't been able to get myself promoted, but you will be the first to know when I do, right. Chris, I love you more than you'll ever know, more than I ever told you I did, and I feel peace knowing that you did know what you meant to me. I miss you every day and I am just waiting for the day when we meet the Lord jesus Christ in the air and rejoice his coming again. I know you are "sleeping" and it gives me a smile to think that when you wake, it will be like you never left. I love you.
To everyone else who reads this, it is just a conversation with my brother, please take it as such. I love everyone and happy new year."
joshua, his brother of Ft. Carson, CO

"Hi Chrisser, Merry Christmas, son 'o mine. We miss you but we know you are where we all long to be. Even in your death, you are near and ever so close.
I love you so. Yesterday, all your friends and family called just to say they love us and are thinking of us. They remember sweetie. God Bless them and God bless every soldier here and abroad. You are truly brave. Thank you for your sacrifice."
Mom

"To the families of Christopher, our thoughts and prayers are with you always; today especially. We are honored to have been touched by Christopher's life.
God Bless you all."
The Jenkins Family USAF and The Creamer Family of Cheyenne, WY and Portland, OR

"One year ago today, we lost three amazing men. Although dreading this anniversary, we made it this far. Somehow. It hasn't been easy, and there will still be many tears, but we will remember these wonderful men. Never forget their sense of humor, or their laughs.
Family and friends, you're never far from my thoughts, especially now. If ever you need anything, or just want to reach out, I'm always here. missingmygi03@yahoo.com Feel free.
Chris, you and Chris also have an important part in my heart. We will never forget any of you, take care of eachother, and Ben, till we "see you on the other side"
We Love You!!"
Marcie Biskie of Missouri

"As we celebrate our Lord's birth this Christmas, we also celebrate the lives of the three brave men who gave their lives for each one of us. Even though my heart aches every day and how much I want my brother back to share in the joys of the holiday season with us, I know that his star is shining brightly down upon all of us and it brings comfort and peace. I hope and pray that everyone finds peace this holiday season and God bless you all."
Tim Soelzer "brother" of Rapid City

"Our brother-in-law was in the vehicle with Capt. Soelzer when they were killed. Maj. Chris Splinter, was very dear to us and is greatly missed. I want you to know that as we approach the anniversary, your family is in our thoughts and prayers. I hope that this finds you well and staying strong. Take Care and God Bless."
Barton family of Horicon, WI

"My dear family and friends, This has truly been a year of firsts. We miss Chris as much today as we did last December 24. I pray for each one of you as you journey toward your healing. Live, love, and (as Chris did so heartily)LAUGH. Speak his name often, love each other more and let his gift to you be his memory and the love he had for all. He always said "my gift to you this Christmas is me". Little did we know how true that would become. I love you Christopher Frank Soelzer. I love each and every person that has embraced us this past year. I pray for the Splinter family, the Biske family and all that love each one of us. Blessings to all of you and always remember to embrace all the goodness that these three men stood for and died for."
Delain Johnson (Chris' mom) of Whitewood, SD USA

"Time for healing, right tim."
josh soelzer of ft. carson, co

"Chris, and Family,
I never knew how special Veterans Day would be to me, until this year. With three extra special "Veterans" branded into my heart, and thought of especially this day. I hope you're enjoying "your" day, as you should, you've earned it in a way most hope to never have to. I hope you can feel all the love and thoughts being sent your way today. "We do not remember days, we remember moments" You will never be forgotten!!"
The Biskies of Missouri

"Dearest Christopher,
How I miss you. Today is Veterans Day. I never would have thought that I would be honoring "one of my very own". My heart is hurting today with thoughts of you. There are days I want to do nothing but sit with those thoughts. You will always be my hero and my warrior. To all who visit this site---thank you for never forgetting Cpt. Christopher F. Soelzer"
Love, always and forever Mom

"Thank you to everyone who is keeping Chris's memory alive. Chris touched so many lives in so many ways. Each memory is special to each individual person and never lose those memories. I did not join the military as my brothers did, but Chris still cheered me on in life, no matter where I was with things. Chris was always trying to get me to put my shoulders back and have high self esteem and to be proud of myself. I had the honor of Chris being my best man at my wedding and I remember him commenting to me that my shoulders were back.To hear Chris tell me and show me that he was proud of me will stay with me for the rest of my life. I have his picture up at my desk and look at it every time I feel myself slipping and he keeps me going. Don't lose sight of what Chris taught each one of you, no matter how small of a thing it might seem, it was important to him. God Bless all of you and every American Soldier."
Tim Soelzer of Rapid City, SD/USA "Brother"

"Hello,
I have just found out I am related to this brave soul, and I am proud to say so. I have never met him, but I feel from all that I have read he was a wonderful person all around. I'm very sorry for the loss. I want to say I'll never forget from now or forever.
Love a long away relative,"
Richele Smith of Goleta, Ca

"Dearest Soelzer Family:
I have learned a great deal about Chris thru his mom. I had the pleasure of meeting her just last week. Although my time spent with her was brief, and Chris I never knew you..but I know of your strong hearted courageous spirit. A mother's heart never forgets.. They hold their little one's hand for a moment their hearts forever." Chris.. you are loved and to Delain.. what an honor to have been and forever be his MOTHER. May you continue to have the strength and courage to get you through those rough days. Christopher.. thank you for protecting and fighting for our freedom. God bless you all. We will never forget..."
Mily Teske of Anaheim

"My name is Frankie Jenkins, my husband and I lost one of our best friends, Capt. Aaron J. Contreras in Mar. of 2003. He was the pilot of a helicopter that crashed in Iraq. Aaron was the best man in our wedding, he also pinned on my husband for Second Lt. We named our second son after Aaron because he was such a wonderful and truly amazing person. I tell you all about this because I was with the Creamer family when they purchased Christopher's flag in Portland (see previous msg from Creamer family). We were going to purchase Aaron's flag in case one of his family members hadn't. One of Aaron's family members had purchased the flag but the Creamer family (the awesome people they are) felt they wanted to help by purchasing someone else's flag. They let me do the picking. As stated in their comments, we were looking for someone not in the area. The gentleman showing me the flags pointed to one. I said "not to be picky, but can we find another Captain?" We walked around and I said..."How about that one?" Something drew me to Christophers name. After reading all of the beautiful things written to/about Christopher on this site, I can tell we made a wonderful decision. I know that by purchasing a flag it does not change much. However, in my heart, and the Creamer's hearts we feel honored to have been able to help in some way. I obviously never met Christopher. However, after reading the comments left by those who loved and miss him most, my heart aches with sadness. Please know how truly sorry I am for your loss. To his brother, congratulations on your new baby, what a blessing. May God bless you and your beautiful family."
Frankie Jenkins of Cheyenne, WY

"hey bro, I miss you. We just found out that we are having a baby boy, another one. I know you won't read this but I feel like I am talking to you when i write on here. You are my hero, and will always be my best friend.

love you"
josh of ft. carson, co

"Captain Soelzer we will never forget you"
Spc Brett Pelezo of FLW, MO

"My dearest son,
Not a moment goes by when I don't think of you. I wanted you to know that I'm doing better every day. I know that is important to you. You are missed so very much. I love you. I know you are not very far away.
To all that still remember and continue to learn about who you are, my heart swells with gratitude for the honoring that you continue to do in my son's name. Thank you to the Creamer family for standing in proxy for us. I hope you call me so we can talk."
Chris' Mother, Delain Johnson of Sturgis, SD

"Sept. 11 2004
We attended a memorial service today in Portland Oregon. They called it
"The Healing Fields". There were flags representing all of the people killed in the 9/11 attacks and the war on terror. These were full size flags. As a fundraiser to benefit military families you were able to purchase a flag along with a name plaque and flowers in rememberance of that person. We chose Christopher as we assumed that none of his family would be able to. We just wanted to let you know how deeply saddend we are for your loss and know that there are people who support our service men and women whole heartedly. Thank you for the time that Christopher did serve. We greatly appreciate his service and ultimate sacrifice to his country. Because of him we will continue to remember why it is that we are in the land of the free and the home of the brave. May God Bless You."
The Creamer Family of Portland, OR

"Chris,
Not a day goes by that you and Chris and Ben are not thought of. Many people are wearing the bracelets with your names on them. We talk about you often, and I still wish I got the chance to meet you. One day. We will never forget you!!"
Marcie of Missouri

"this poem is for you chris. You are a soldier and i am a soldier so that is why it is called "soldier for Soldier" I miss you so badly. Love josh

Soldier for Soldier



Chris was here but now he’s gone.
The Good times we had are over.
Why did it have to be him that moved on?
It should have been another soldier.

He was my friend and my brother.
He never failed to be there.
He lived for his family like no other.
He made sure we knew he cared.

I’ve never met anyone like him
In all my twenty five years.
December 24th will always be grim.
It will be hard to hide my tears.

I can’t hide the grief I feel.
The world won’t want to hear me.
I loved my brother Chris a great deal,
He was everything I want to be.

I love him more than he’ll ever know.
We’ll be in heaven together.
When I see him again, I’ll say HEY BRO!
He’ll be my brother forever.

- Josh Soelzer
- Brother"
joshua soelzer of ft. carson, co

"I known him as the funniest A&O PL and XO in B co 5th engineers until 2002. My first impression of him was that he is going to be fun. He was. I lost two friends that Chrismas day. Ben and Chris. They were both dedicated soldies serving for a good cause. Chris made everyone laugh in every situation either in the field or in the company area. He liked to be around his soliers and get to know them. He will be missed by many who loved him and laughed with him.
I will see you guys later.
Sappers Lead the way."
Frank Bozso of Bridgeport, CT

"Chris,
I can still hear you laugh, buddy. . . ."
CPT Tim Rose of Ft. Leonard Wood, MO

"To all who have written these most sincere, heartfelt words honoring my son, I thank you. They have touched my heart today when I needed them most. To the one who still calls him "Sir", I thank you. He was truly a soldier's officer. He chose to be in Iraq and he truly laid down his life for his country and his people. We miss him more than words can say. We will see him again and hear him say, "What took you so long! "ha,ha,ha". Remember to serve the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind that you too will see Chris again. I love you all"
Chris' Mom of Sturgis, SD USA

"Chris,

You were a great guy to have around. Your sense of humor was boundless, you always got the job done, and your laugh brought a smile to my face on more than one tough mission. You introduced me to the 5th, and we had some good times together. I miss you, but I will never forget you. Nate

To the Soelzer family,

You doubtless know what a wonderful man Chris was. He had such charisma and purpose. He is missed by many that served with him, including me.

Sincerely,"
CPT Nate Crain of Ft Leonard Wood, MO

"Today I met Cpt. Soelzer's mother after the Memorial Service at Arlington National Cemetery. She asked to hug my husband and our PMO. Although her grief was devastating, she had the utmost pride in her son. I will never forget her or her son. An American hero. They will always be in my prayers. I can't even begin to understand her grief. I know her son must have been an exceptional man because he had an exceptional mother. May God bless her and put his arms around her. I will never forget her or the loss she suffered. Please, pray for our soldiers."
Cathy Jackman of Fort Myer, VA

"To The Soelzer Family,
I just want you to know that Chris will not ever be forgotten. I also went to college with hime and was his roommate our second year at Kemper. With out him I would have never become the man I am today. I know this without a dought. I remember one time when I hurt my knee in training and he carried me up 4 flights of stairs to our room. That was Chris. Always ther for you when you needed a helping hand. Never selfish, always loving and caring. I know now he is in Heaven watching us all. helping us through life more then he did before. He his helping everyone of us take the right path and be safe as we travel down that path. Thank you Chris. You where not my blood brother, but we where brothers just the same. I will try to spread your love and joy to eveyone that I meet, as just the same way as you brought love and joy into my heart."
Cpl James C. King of Ozark, AL

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

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

"Mr and Mrs. Soelzer

I was your sons roomate in college at Kemper. He was a great guy a good friend and a otstanding soldier. I know I speak for all of us who were lucky enough to know chris a Kemper when I say that we will miss him more than words can ever say. Your family will remain in our prayers and I will never forget my friend Chris."
SSgt Shannon Judson USAF of Milford,DE USA

"Capt Soelzer:
Thank your for giving yourself so that those of us at home can live freely and safely. There are not enough 'thank yous' for a gift such as this. Rest in peace soldier."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"CPT. Soelzer, and family,
I couldn't wait to meet you, and now I will never have that chance. I heard stories, and your name, so much just before Christmas. I hope knowing that the three of them had a good time together, and many laughs helps ease the pain a little. Thank You, Chris, you will never be forgotten!!"
Marcie Biskie of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri USA

"Mr. and Mrs. Soelzer,

I will forever miss your son. He was an outstanding person and a great friend. His laugh is something that I will never forget. You always knew when Chris was in the room because of the hardy laugh that echoed down the halls. He was a great person to be around. His honesty and integrity were unquestionable and one of his greatest traits. I will miss him. Your son is a hero, thank you. May you find some peace during this tragedy. God Bless."
CPT Matt Novak of OBJ Tinderbox, Iraq

"Thank you Christopher Soelzer, 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

"Sir, It seams like yesterday that I was talking to you on the phone and giving you updates on the rear detachment. I only wished I had the opportunity to serve with you longer. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.....You will be missed"
MSG Kevin Burrell of FT Bliss, TX

"CPT Soelzer, You will never be forgotten. Your memory will not allow
your enormous smile nor your hearty laugh to fade.
You will cheer all of heaven with that laugh-as you cheered us here.
Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice you gave on Christmas Eve 2003.
My heart will never be the same knowing the price you paid.
You will never be forgotten but
you will forever be missed!!"
Ami Novak of Saint Robert, MO

"CPT Soelzer, You will never be forgotten. Your memory will not allow
your enormous smile nor your hearty
laugh to fade. You will cheer all of heaven with that laugh-as you cheered us
here. Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice you gave on Christmas Eve 2003.
My heart will never be the same knowing the price you paid.
You will never be forgotten but
you will forever be missed!!"
Ami Novak of Saint Robert, MO

"To the family and friends of Capt. Christopher Soelzer:
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 Christopher 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 Capt. Christopher Soelzer:
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 Christopher, 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