Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Lance Cpl. Samuel Tapia

20, of San Benito, Texas.
Tapia died from small-arms fire while conducting combat operations in Ar Ramadi,Iraq. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, his unit was attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, California. Died on December 18, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Lance Cpl. Samuel Tapia.

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"I had the pleasure of becoming Tapias friend.He and I were home for the holidays after bootcamp and were recruiting people also working out together. Also his unit was stationed in my area as well. While he was in Iraq we were going to Iraq as well.I could not make it to his funeral obviously but my Mother and sister did. R.I.P. Sam"
Joe Alamillo of Raymondville,TX

"Samuel, I will miss you so much. To me you were a brother and you will still be my brother in my heart. I remember all those fun times me and my sisters had with you. I love you Sam and by me You will never be forgotten. Love you HERO!"
Jailene Padila of San Benito, Tx

"I knew Sam in Berta Cabaza Middle School and through out high school. He was a dear friend and shall always be remembered as a war hero, a loving father, and a dear friend."
Matthew Garcia of San Benito, TX, USA

"To the Tapia family, I am sorry for taking so long to write. My name is SSgt Juan Villanueva. I was Samuel's Drill Instructor. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of him and his baby girl. I wish I could tell him how proud I am of him. He had the kindest heart, the warmest smile and the greatest intestinal fortitude. He would not quit. I know this first hand, I tried making him give up everyday for just shy of three months. I love and miss you kid. Keep watching over your brothers in arms that are currently in harms way. Semper Fi Sammy."
Juan Villanueva of McAllen, Tx.

"I did not have the privilege of knowing Samuel Tapia personally, but I am sure that he was a great man and I am sorry to say that I will never get to thank him for fighting for this country. I would also like to ask if anyone was in South Padre Island recently? A couple of friends and I were down on the beach for spring break and we dug up a wristband engraved with his name and rank, it was a memorial wristband and I'm sure whoever lost it is missing it dearly, we would love to return it. If anyone reads this and knows who it belongs to, feel free to email me at hs1176@txstate.edu. Looking forward to hearing a reply. God bless to LCpl Tapia and may he keep watching over his family and friends."
Hector of San Marcos, Tx

"Tapia,

I wear you around my wrist everyday. I love you and was blessed to know you. you are my hero man, it was an honor to serve with you"
Brennan Wehr of long beach CA

"I will always miss you sammy you were my brother in law but still you were a brother to me. I really miss you and i know your in heaven with the other heroes.We love you and we miss you"
Jennifer Padilla of san benito

"Chupie, its your "fat thing". The day i first met you, you were running around in my barracks room looking for food. I remember thinking who the heck is this guy. Come to have it was my future best friend i could ever have. Went from that to sleeping next to you on my bottom bunk of our bunk beds bc you were too tired to climb up and i was too heavy. Thanks for looking out for me and being my 2 man. You are my role model and best friend. I love you so much and think about you everyday. I am a better man for having you in my life. See you soon chupie!"
Cpl Anthony Petrini of Foster City, CA

"Hey little buddy, I think about you everyday. I think of that day that you left us. I was there when your helicopter took you away at Camp Ramadi; it broke my heart and I will never forget that. We will all be together in heaven soon, until then take care Samuel."
Sgt. Mad-dog of Texas

"I think back to that one day when you first came into the fleet and I offered you a slice of pizza and asked if you had eaten anything? That day in that very moment you had no smile, no reaction like a robot just eating card board. I tried my best to crack some jokes after you ate that slice of pizza, and finally after a few hours. What I believe you realized was I wasnít kidding about trying to make you laugh so you cracked a slanted teeth grin thinking if you didnít I would make you do something stupid outside my nature. From that day forward you just knew me as Xiong. After all these years I think of my promise to you and the others so often, and I promised remember to not falsely lead in front of you, to not hide behind you, but pledge to stay and stand next to you when the bad guys did show up. I donít know what you think of that promise so long ago but I hope I didnít and never will break it. I only hope in your eyes that I am as good a Marine and a man as you were in life. I try everyday to live a good productive life, and try my best not to lose my cool, and when I do lose my thoughts I always look back to you for inspiration. I miss you like as if you were my real brother and my own relationship with my brothers can not compare to our friendship. I no longer ask why it happened but I only ask now how I can make up for it. To hang out with you again kid seems so long and far away. Thank you for helping and reminding me that its okay to ask for help to become better at anything I want to succeed in."
LeeHue Xiong of Long Beach CA/LA

"December 15, 2008
To the family of Lance Cpl. Samuel Tapia:
Samuel 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

"To the Tapia Family,
I was Sam's Platoon Sgt in Iraq. I remember when he first came to CAAT Blue, I remember thinking to myself, "I hope this little Marine will be able to carry the load of an infantry Marine." After getting to know him throughout training and the deployment, I knew his heart would never let anything get in the way of him getting the job done and protecting his brothers in arms. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him or the sacrifice he has made. My heart goes out to the Tapia family, thank you for raising such an honorable man."
John Brandon of Corpus Christi, Tx

"I would like to thank everyone that cares for what my husband did for this country, this is what he wanted to do become a hero. Even though I truely miss him and our daughter will grow up without him,we are all proud of him for being a true hero,he is gone but not forgotten, and I know that I'll see you and be with you again one day,until then I'll take real good care our beautiful daughter! I love you and I really miss you my love!"
Widow of Lcpl. Samuel Tapia of San Benito,Tx

"To the family of:Samuel Tapia 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"

"To my Best Friend and Brother in Arms. I will never forget you. Save a seat for me in heaven. I will be here for your family."
PFC Villanueva of Harlingen, Texas, USA (Currently in Germany)

"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.
Our nations HERO, Samuel will be remembered by name.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Pat & Sandi Breckenridge / Montana God Bless you ALWAYS. "

"I am deeply saddened at the loss of such a young, brave Texan. May God give you the courage and strength to face the days ahead.

Michele Carter
Sister of CPL Gary Walters
KIA in Baghdad on 24 April 2005"

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

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

"To the family and friends of Lance Cpl. Samuel Tapia:
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 Samuel, 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