Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Cpl. Michael R. Speer

24, of Davenport, Iowa.
Speer died from hostile fire in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Died on April 9, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Cpl. Michael R. Speer.


Contributions to the Families of the Fallen


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

Please report inappropriate messages

"PAPA.... We will never forget you"

"Hey Michael, I only met you a couple of times and the last was right before you left for the Marines. I remember we were in my moms kitchen and your dad was there too, he was so proud of you. You were so excited, no fear in you at all. I am proud of you and thankful I was able to spend a handful of time with you. You paid the ultimate price for us all, give my son a hug while your there. Thank you"
Shane doherty of Ft.Scott, Ks U.S.

"Papa was a very good friend of mine. I was in the hospital in Germany when he died. I would like to know where he was laid to rest. I am planning a trip this summer to say goodbye to my fallen brothers. If any of his family see this, please contact me at stephenkferguson@gmail.com

Papa, brother I miss you dearly. I think of you and all the guys on a regular basis. Love you bro.
Stephen Ferguson of Colorado

"To Sergeant Speer, and his family,
I was an eighteen-year-old "boot" marine when I met Sgt (then Corporal) Speer when I arrived at 2/2 Fox Company. All of the senior marines just had to introduce me to him in hopes that he would be extra hard on me, because our last names were almost the exact same. His is Speer, mine is Speir. Sgt. Speer really didn't seem to think anything about it, and didn't treat me any differently than anyone else.
Sgt. Speer was hard on all of his "boots", even those like me who were in the other platoons. He was hard on us because war is hard, and he wanted everyone to be as tough as possible when we got there. He was tough on us because he cared about every one of his fellow marines and wanted all of us to come home.
Sgt. Speer was one of the toughest men, and probably the bravest man that I have ever had the privilege of meeting. He was a PT stud and afraid of nothing right up until The Lord called him home. I remember that day like yesterday. I didn't see when Sergeant Speer was killed, I was elsewhere involved in the same action, but I know that he had opened up a can of whoop-* and was running toward the sounds of enemy fire when his ultimate sacrifice was made.
I wasn't able to serve with Sergeant Speer for very long, but he made a big impression on my life and I think about him a lot. His family, the Marine Corps, the United States, and the world lost one of the great men that day; and Heaven gained a great Marine to guard the gates.
Good night Papa, wherever you are. Semper Fidelis."
Richard Speir of Cusseta, AL

"PAPA! We we still remember you and theres not a day, Memorial day or Veterans Day that goes by without us bringing up your name. From the Marines you joined with to us younger ones you guided you will NEVER EVER be forgotten!"
Khalid Aziz of Maryland

"11/09/11 Tomorrow is our Birthday, the day we as Marines were introduce as a fighting force. I honor you and pray for your family. We walked together as Marines through battle. The day you left was heard around the world. You are never forgotten. Semper Fidelis my Brother in Arms."
Sgt. Ayala, Mayco USMC 2/2 Fox Co. 2002-2004 of Houston, TX

"he a was a great friend, i miss him, he introduced me to peach moonshine. He earned his place in Valhalla. Rest easy my friend"
Chris Mansfield of Manchester NH

"I served with Sgt Speer in 2/2 during our deployment to Iraq; and although I didn't know him personally, I felt a great loss that day(and still do) when I found out he died. We are all brothers in the Marines, and I'm proud to have served with him. Semper Fidelis."
LCpl Rhoades of Elizabethtown, Kentucky

"It's been to long, you are a great man i sit here looking at this and miss you, one times sucked you where there, one who could always laugh no matter what was going on miss you man"
matt wendt of livinston, MT

"070709 We went to Tenn. to visit Michael's grave last week. While I sat there Mike seem to talk to me telling me that he is'nt there, really. He is where ever your memories are. A few years back he and I talked once about moving away from the house where he and his five siblings grew up and I told him I could not move away from there to the farm because of all of the memories. Mike said "Mom that is just a house the memories will go with you to the farm." He was right we moved to our farm and all I have to do is close my eyes and Mike will be there with that smile and a bear hug for me. I still miss him so much. Thanks to all you help keep him alive with your memories."
Pam Speer, Mike's mama of Redfield, Ks

"To the Family of Michael Speer,
I had the greatest pleasure of serving with Mike in our first tour of Iraq. He was a great Marine and a great friend. He and I coached together quite a bit on the rifle range, he was a knowledgable Marine. He taught me about noodling, LOL! WTF! That * is crazy. I laughed my * off at his Chris Farley imitation. He also hooked me up with the best MRE's you could get while in Iraq. He was one of the most mature Marines I had the pleasure serving with. I am sorry for your loss, he is with god now smiling down on us all. He knows he is still loved and respected. Semper Fi!"
Corporal William Sooter of Springfield, Mo.

"April 20, 2009
To the family of Cpl. Michael R. Speer:
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

It’s been too long. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of you or remember all the wonderful memories of you ~ loving life. You were such an inspiration to everyone & I am honored to have known you. You became a part of our family & we all miss you dearly. You are a topic of our conversions and we always laugh at how you made life FUN. TN is not the same without you here. It’s been 5 years today & it is still one of the hardest things I have ever faced. Thank you for your service and thank you for being my friend. I am a better person because I’ve know you. Thank you “my sweetest friend”
I miss you & love you!"
Mary Mayle (Conkin) of Kingsport TN

"Been a bit buddy... I think about you often man. Was looking through pictures the other day and saw one of you and some of the guys. Just had to stop by and say hello man. Semper Fidelis"
Corporal Cory Dreyer of Clearwater, Fl

"It has been a while since I have wrote. I do not think time will ever heal our hearts completely. Just to let others know Mike's sister, Missy is with him now. I hope they are having a grand time. It has been a rough past four years, but we must carry on. I enjoy reading all the comments it makes me feel good inside knowing Mike had so many good friends who loved him. Please I would love to hear from you via email or phone call. jpspeer77@hotmail.com or 620-756-4316"
Mother of Papa of Redfield Ks USA


I have no words for the loss I still feel for Mike. I can think of nothing more to say than I miss him and thank you."
Corporal Anthony Amato of Long Island, NY

Where to start? So I was watching an old Chris Farley rerun with some friends the other day, and you all know the first thing that enters your mind! I have never laughed harder, I was in the library studying when I got a call saying you were gone. All I could think was how life just isn't fair. God must have had some really important work to be done to take such a fine man, I guess he needed the best. It was an honor to serve beside you and consider you a friend, just keep an eye out for us and we will see you again someday"
Derek Haskin of Manhattan, KS

"Papa always enters my thoughts at some point each day. I miss his personality and I always strive to live up to his standards. He is greatly missed in my heart. Semper Fi brother."
Corporal Anthony Amato of Long Island, NY

"The the Speer family, I served with Cpl. "Papa" Speer in Iraq. I was his platoons truck driver and a Fox Co. driver. I was with him on April 9 2004. He was a very couragous Marine and man. My sympathy goes out to you and the rest of his family and friends. I am truley sorry for you tragic loss."
Lcpl Nick McGhee of Paragould, Arkansas USA

"To the Speer's family:
Hello long time no talk just wanted to drop you a line letting you know My family and I are always thinking of you and Mike and wish you the best.

Hey buddy i know its been two years but not a day goes by without me thinking of you. You were Aaron's and I's bestfriend and You were more then are best friend you were our brother. I was so angry for a long time at God and The Corps, I didn't understand why you? You were the best, why couldn't god pick anyone else. Why did he have to pick Papa, You were the type of person everyone should strive to be like yet no one can be. You meant so much to Aaron and I. You still do I miss you so much. I wish you could have met my Wife she wishes she would have met you. Oh and my son Koda WOW he is a special one, if i can get him to grow up and hold himself half as good as you did I will be a proud Father. I never told you this but i felt so privilaged to stand and be a groomsmen in your wedding. Man what a blast that was, The three of us could really shake up a place. I'll never forget the boxer routine. I don't think anyone else will either. I remeber Our frist trip out in NC we got in that cab and told him to take us the most happen bar, there we were all decked out in cowboy hat, wranglers, boots and all, and the cabbie dropped us off at Coconuts, remeber we were the only three white guys for a mile radius.

Oh Bud i can remeber every trip we took every bar we enter every good time we had. I can also remeber April 9th 2004. That was the day the world stopped turning. that was the day God lost an angel. that was the day part of me died. that was the day I wish i could have taken your place.

thank you for considering me a friend. I Love you."
Adam Magnuson of Boulder City Nevada

"Hey Brother:

It's Christmas Day, 2006, and I just wanted to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

Those Marines still here think of you often.

I remember my last words to you; your last days here upon this earth. We had taken a vow -nay an oath- all knowing we would give, but the one in which you gave all.

We miss you Brother.

So, until that day when we see you again and laugh about the days of old, our thoughts are ever turned to you.

Yol Bolsun Brother..."
Cpl Young (USMC) of Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo

"Thanks to all of those who take the time to read and write here. Yes is has been two long years and our hearts still have an emptiness there. But I know in my heart that Mike 'Papa' would not want us to sit around and grieve but to go on. When he would get upset he would do something physical. We have found remenants of trees that he chopped down using an axe, some show that he must have really been upset the way the tree looked. NO wonder John could never keep an axe around the farm.
As I have said before his usual saying to me was "You deal with it and go on." If anyone would like to email us at jpspeer77@hotmail.com please do so. Take care,and we would love to hear more memories of Papa Mike."
Pam & John Speer proud parents of Sgt Michael Speer USMC of Redield Ks USA

"2 years past. I think about papa often. I hope the Speer family has been coping as best as possible. Best regards."
Corporal Anthony Amato of Long Island, NY

"May GOD BLESS Michael R. Speer and his Family... Mike and Family are in our prayers... Your sacrifice shall never be forgotten .....SEMPER FI"
William J. Speer Jr. of New Orleans, La.

"To the family of Michael R. Speer:

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.

Leila Campbell
Administrative Assistant
Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation
web site:www.fortsnellingmcf.org"

"I knew "Papa Bear". And will always know him. We spent time together off working hours. He was a man of repect and dignity. When I served in Iraq for our second deployment it was always a pleasure in seeing him and talking during the rough times. He could always bring a smile to my face. He may not be here in body but he will always live in my memories."
Gregg of lexington, nc

"I loved Mikey with all my heart and still do. His mother Pam told me that he used to refer to me as "his girl". I remember Mikey and I going to Jump Start on 6th and National to get cappuccino's. Then we would walk all over Fort Scott, just talking and sharing our dreams. We always talked about starting our own disco club. No words can explain how losing Mikey has affected me. We had a friendship that few people ever get to experience. I pray for Mikeys family. They are great people.

I love you Mikey,
Madgelene Harper Fort Scott, KS"
Madgelene Harper of Fort Scott , KS

"In memory of Papa. I had a chance to serve as papas 1st team leader when we returned from Iraq the first time and he was one of the best Marine's I had ever seen. All those long nights in the field together no matter what he was motivated and always kept me going. When I heard the news I was in Africa and deeply sadened by this. I knew though he always gave his all and never looked down. Mike you will be missed man and Im sure I will see you again brother. Semper Fidelis!!!
Your Brother- Cory Dreyer"
Cory Dreyer of Clearwater, Florida

"To the family and friends of Corporal Michael R. Speer,

"Perhaps they are not the stars,
but rather openings in Heaven
where the love of our lost ones
pours through and shines down upon us
to let us know they are happy."

Eskimo Legend

The Marine Comfort Quilt group would be honored to send a quilt to the next of kin. Please register so we can send you our "Love Stitched Together."

We need you to provide the address of the next of kin so it can be sent.


click register, or


Proud Member Of Marine Comfort Quilt group, and Proud Marine Mom"
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca USA

"i didn't know this fallen hero personaly but I just wanted to say Thank You, thank you for fighting for my freedom. God Bless and God speed."
Tessa of salt lake city, utah, USA

"Papa was my squad leader and amazing friend during the time I was in his platoon in 2/2. I left the unit and deployed to Africa with 3/2 right before 2/2 went back to Iraq. I heard of his death while still in Africa and it broke my heart. Papa was an amazing guy, always looking out for his fellow Marines. Definately one you could look up to in any situation. He is greatly missed..."
Corporal Anthony Amato of Long Island, NY

"Thank you, Cpl. Speer, for your sacrifice and unselfish spirit.
John T. Sargent, Lt Col, US Marine Corps Reserve."
John T. Sargent of Virginia Beach, VA, USA

"I never got to meet Mike or his family. But I wish I did. Back in January of 2004 T.C.B. Demo started a project and it will end in September of 2004 (sept. 5, 2004)called Troops Tribute Across Iowa. We never got the time to ask permission from his family. But we would live to next year. May those 15 soldiers rest in peace and god bless their families and friends. (derby_girl_2004@yahoo.com)"
Ana Farrier T.C.B. Demo of Washington, Iowa

"Michael was was not only a great marine but a great man.A person who all others looked up to.I had the honor of serving with him on 2/2's first deployment.All that can be said of mike was that he was a leader...and a dam good one.Although we were not the best of friends I will always remember him for what he gave and who he was.Semper Fi brother....always."
Matthew Caple of Norristown,Pennsylvania

"To Michael's family, I just wanted to pay my respects to Speer and his family.I had the chance to serve with him and enjoyed a few nights of drinking and hanging out with him. It was an honor to know Michael Speer, and he was a favorite around the barracks and from me and the rest of 2/2 Semper Fi and rest in peace, Devil"
frank whitmore of dallas ,texas

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

"To Mike's Family,
I met Mike around 6 years ago at a party. I will never forget that night. We talked until dawn about hobbies, relationships, religion, family, and anything else we could think of. Our bond of friendship grew quickly. We spent tons of time together and could tell each other anything. I became "Sis" and he became "Bub". He was the first one I told when I met my husband, John. He came home from working just for our wedding where he was an usher. A short time later he called me saying he had signed up for the Marines. He was so excited. "I can't wait", He told me. "Are you scared?", I asked. "Nah, It's gonna be fun."
He called and wrote as often as possible. He told me stories of Basic Training and how hard it was but not to worry because he was okay. He had made so many friends and the sargents didn't pick on him too much.
Later, He sent me letters and pictures from the Sea. Always telling me it was such a big adventure but he couldn't wait to get home and see everyone.
One letter I recieved told me all about a girl named Eliza. He was in love and couldn't wait for me to meet her. "Sis, Eliza and me are like peas and carrots. Your gonna love her! I think I am gonna marry her." Sure enough he did. She made him happier than anyone ever had.
I didn't get as much time with Mikey as I wanted, But the time we were together I will cherish always. He is a shining example of a man, a soldier, and a best friend.
Bub- I miss you. I will make sure that my daughter knows how wonderful you are. I know I will see you again, but until then I will keep you in my everyday thoughts and prayers. I love you."
Michelle Hawkins of Fort Scott, KS

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

"I will never forget the time when we were in Iraq just north of Ah-Shatra at the crossroads. At the time life just sucked and everybody was down. There were a few of us up getting some water. The sun was going down and Michael decided that he was going to get a laugh out of the few of us that were standing around the water cans. So he borrowed somebody's military issue glasses and put them on. He pulled his trousers up as high as he could get them. That is when I thought I was going to die laughing, he started doing his impersination of Chris Farley from the movie "Tommy Boy" and for the rest of that night I had a smile on my face, it was extremely funny. I have a picture of it and everytime I see it I have to smile.
He was a great Marine. He was one of the best Marines I had the pleasure of serving with in the 8 Years I served. God Bless his family. He will truly never be forgotten."
Eddie Owens of Richmond VA

"It is Memorial Day and I was in the garage working on a table and I heard them say on the radio to remember our fallen brothers and I though of a young man that I had the pleasure to embark on a 9 month deployment with. We froze together on the mountain tops of Kosovo and shared stories of the women we loved so much back in the States and all the things we were going to do for them when we got back. The warmth these moments provided us made those chilly nights tolerable. The never ending days underway on the Nassau were spent between Michael, others, and I pondering what our loved ones were doing and how soon we would get married when we got back. Funny then and cracking on each other about getting hitched, but very serious we were about spending the rest of our lives with the women we love. As we rode in the back of the "Seven Tons" and patrolled through the streets of Al Kut, Michael and I, though stressful times, still managed to exchange looks that say it all and talk about those wonderful ladies we missed so much more than half a world away. We got out of there safe and made it back to the States after the most miserable time of our lives. We both got married and shared our happy stories with one another. I left the unit and heard that 2/2 was going back to the desert and thought that it was crazy that they were going back after 10 months and that I was happy that all the guys I knew had made it out of there before they deployed. I went back to see them off the day they left and to my suprise I saw Michael had his gear packed and was going with them. I could only laugh and shake my head at him in disbelief and said " I guess you know what you are doing". I gave him a hug and told him to be careful out there. I never imagined for a second that would be the last time I would see my friend that influenced me to make the best decision of my life and marry my beautiful wife. I heard the news a few days after that tragic day and was overcome with anger and hurt and pushed those feelings deep down and did manage to cry a little bit a few times. Today I was laying in my garage listening to "An American Soldier" and it was just too much. I cried to my wife how much I wished he was here and that it is not fair that he didn't get to share this day or many days with his beautiful wife. I felt a stern breeze blow over my body that made me smile amongst my tears that made me feel like Michael was saying it is ok. I miss Michael deeply and hope that this message will warm the hearts of his loved ones. He was definately a mans man and one of the finest Marines I have ever had the pleasure of serving with. Happy Memorial Day Michael and thank you. HM1(FMF) James Arnold"
Doc Arnold of Jacksonville, NC

"Hello to all, I am deeply touched by all the love and caring for our son. I never thought of Michael being special to any one else besides his family.
My husband and I are so very proud of Michael. Proud for how he lived. He lived life to the fullness and would not want us to sit around and feel sorry for him or ourselves. Michael would say "Mom you just have to 'DEAL WITH IT AND GO ON." In his honor we are doing our best."
Pam & John Speer proud parents of Redield Ks USA


"To the family of Michael Speer, I did not know him but I appreciate the sacrafice he has made, to make the country a safer place. I send my condolences to you his family and to his parents thank you for rasing a brave and corages son. Semper Fi"
Allison of Jacksonville

"To Papa's family,

For as much as I knew papa, he was such a kind hearted person. My husband always talked so highly of him. He was on of the few that would go out of his way to greet you at the barracks. He is truly a hero and will never be forgotten by any one. 2/2 will not be the same with out him. On behalf of myself and my husband....... God bless you michael and all of his family."
Our deepest condolence's: The Shafer's

"To all of those who have written here for Mike and his family, I want to give you my deepest thanks to you. It means alot to me see all of this. My big brother will be sorely missed but never forgotten. I have been told he was a man's man, a top rank marine, and a great friend but to me he was always just my brother(no less my hero). Thanks to all of you again. To my brother- I hope to see you again one day but for now I'll just crack open a cold one for you."
Kimberly L. Speer of Fort Scott, KS

"To The Family of Michael Speer: I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your loved one. He was a hero, whose bravery and sacrifice will never be forgotten. A salute to a fallen soldier- THANK YOU, MICHAEL! May you rest peacefully in Heaven."
Tina Rexroad, sister-in-law of Peter Enos, who was also KIA on 4/09/04 of WV

"From one Marine family to another
"Though you cannot always see the bird singing, if you listen with your heart, you can always hear his song.
Though the ones we love may leave life as we know it, in our memory, the love we knew will always carry on." unknown author
Our heart and thoughts are with you at the very sad time. Your precious Michael will not be forgotten. He was a true American!"
Charles Davis family of Kailua, Hawaii

"To Family of Michael Speer: Mike is truly a hero and you should be so proud. His spirit does live on. I feel honored to have met him."
Carole & Elgin Ward of Pikeville, KY

"To the family and friends of Corporal Michael R. Speer

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. 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. Please register so we can send you
our "Love Stitched Together."

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

Proud Member Of Marine Comfort Quilt group, and Proud Marine Mom"
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca USA

"Rest in Peace Tufelhunden....Semper Fi"
The Taylors USMC of NC"

"To Michael's Family:
There aren't words to express how sorry we are for the loss your family is feeling right now. May God bless you all and help you through this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"To Michael's Family:

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

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

"Dear Michael,
You are a great American for serving all of us here at home. Your bravery is uncommon among so many of us today. But your enemy was deeply evil and it was only a matter of time before he was defeated. I am sure you made a deep impact on him. Terrorists will now think twice before messing with the USA. You are a hero Michael and I thank you."
mark reif of winchester, VA

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 "

"Thank you Michael Speer, 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 Cpl. Michael Speer:
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 Cpl. Michael Speer:
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