Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. 1st Class Linda Ann Tarango-Griess

33, of Sutton, Nebraska.
Tarango-Griess died in Samarra, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near her convoy vehicle. She was assigned to the 267th Ordnance Company, Nebraska National Guard, Lincoln, Nebraska. Died on July 11, 2004.

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"July 12, 2016
Linda, you and Tricia staying out of trouble?"
rkwortman of ne

"I have never forgotten you, I relive that night in samarra Iraq everyday. Your obituary is inside my helmet that is displayed in Kingston NH. A beautiful song was written for you called "Remember The Reason I Died Here Tonight". You live on because I can and I thank you for this gift of life. Forever yours in service."
CPL Robert Jordan of Raymond NH

"To the family of Linda,
I have no words that will ever consol your loss. I was the S4 of the 264 EN out of Speicher - Linda worked closely with me and my team and I met her several times. She was always a true professional, a mentor and a friend, and served her country honorably. Your loss...our loss will be with me forever. I think of her often. I looked for her name on the honor roll of a memorial that was in Wausau WI several years ago, upon finding it, I broke down in tears...she will forever be in my memories and in my heart. God bless her and her family. Rest in Peace Linda, you will never be forgotten."
LTC(R) Troy Torgerson of Mosinee, WI

"I met Linda at FOB Speicher in 2004 at the MWR. My prayers go to her family.
She was a proffesional soldier.
SSG Bee"
SSG K Boudriault of Maine

"I was also a friend and classmate of Linda's & met her in Jr. High. Unfortunately, we fell out of touch after graduation. I still remember the day I heard of her sad, unfortunate news. I was shocked & numb!

May all of her family have comfort in knowing that she touched the lives of all who knew her and brightened the world with her sparkling personality. I am glad that if she had to leave us, that she went doing something she loved!

My condolences to all of her family & may you have comfort in all the beautiful memories she left you with! God Bless!"
Janet Bokowski of Lincoln, NE

"I also went to high school with Linda. I remember her as someone that always had a smile and positive attitude. She will be greatly missed as we come up to our 20th reunion, but she definitely will never be forgotten."
Steve Schriner of Kearney, NE

"The Lord certainly called home one of his angels the day that Linda passed. She always had a contagious smile, a loving attitude, and a true aura about her that made people always want to be in her presence. Linda...although you are missed, you will never be forgotten. Thank you and God Bless you for all that you stood for and the sacrifices that you made for this great nation of ours."
Mike Hoyt of Omaha, NE

"Hello again. This is Cyndi Schug Bahler, classmate from Kearney. I have since lost touch since you went and did your service for our country. I was shocked to hear that after all you had gone through that you would be doing a tour yourself. Then I thought. You and Linda were indeed a perfect union as she too would have gone on in your honor and memory as well as obligation to serving this great nation. I was keeping tabs thru your aunt who loves you and loved Linda an awful lot. As I have shared before, Linda was a wonderful person. As we prepare for our 20th class reunion we cannot help but think of her and all the memories she was a part of. She added a lot to the lives of anyone she met. I thank God for the time she had, the friendship I made and the memories I will cherish. May God continue to bless you and your loved ones!"
Cynthia Schug Bahler of Lamar, NE

"I also went to high school with Linda. I will always remember that smile of hers. She was truly genuine with a huge heart. She will be missed at our upcoming reunion. I am very sorry for your loss."
Jennifer Gaver of Highland, IN

"I went to junior high and high school with Linda and will always remember her as one of the nicest and most genuine people I have ever met. She ALWAYS had a smile on her face. God bless Linda for her bravery and tremendous sacrifice. And God bless America."
Kim Faden of Portland, OR

"July 11, 2008
To the family of Sgt. 1st Class Linda Ann Tarango-Griess:
Linda 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

"I had the priviledge of knowing Linda. She worked at the warhouse where i would pick up supplies. I was over in Iraq the same time she was the warehouse was about 5 min from our camp On a daily basis i would go and pick up supplies and me and Linda would talk sometimes when i did not have anything ordered i would go by the warehouse just to say hi I have sinced retired from the Army Reserves but i think about linda daily she had become a good friend"
melvina williams of savannah,ga

"Thank you all for your support. linda was a beutiful and loving woman she was honored to be in the service and she's still with us today.in so many ways.I am So proud of her."
cousin brandy kelly of hastings,NE

"To the family of:Linda Ann Tarango-Griess 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. She 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"

"Linda's family would like to thank SPC Fennelly and SGT Ramonas for being there for Linda when she died. It gives us comfort to know that you did everything you could to attempt to stop this tragedy and were with her in her final moments on earth.

There is no way for us to thank you except to say Thank You, and let you know that you will always be in our prayers.

Linda's Aunt,"
Maria (Terry) Medrano-Nehls of Lincoln, NE

"god bless you very much, there in heaven. today iam enlisting at 41 yrs. old, seeking the path & example from people like you in the quest for freedom!"
Roberto Fuentes of fajardo,puerto rico

"god bless you very much, there in heaven. today iam enlisting at 41 yrs. old, seeking the path & example from people like you in the quest for freedom!"
Roberto Fuentes of fajardo,puerto rico

"The one soldier I spoke with briefly had nothing but praise for his Platoon Sergeant, SFC Linda Ann Tarango-Griess. I was also there with her when she died, and the memory will be with me forever."
SGT Andrew Van Koevering of Grand Rapids, Michigan

"An angel has passed from this life, and now another has followed. My cousin Tricia L. Jameson attended the funeral of a very good friend and fellow soldier almost exactly a year before her own death. She talked of Linda to our family and friends and was very much in sorrow of this befallen soldier. Tricia went to Iraq June 28th as a medic and was KIA on July 14th, 2005 in Speicher, Iraq. She was going to the aid of a wounded Marine (Christopher Winchester) and they were both killed when an IED went off near their vehicle. What an honor your daughter has served for our country, and now what an honor Tricia has served...These two Angels of God are together again, in God's hands and always in our memories , hearts, and forever in our souls...YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN LINDA, I KNOW BOTH YOU AND TRICIA ARE SMILING DOWN ON US RIGHT NOW AND WATCHING OVER YOUR FELLOW BROTHERS AND SISTERS...
From the family of Sgt. Tricia Lynn Jameson (34 years of age) KIA July 14th, 2005 in Speicher, Iraq- Company C, 313th Medical Company, 67th Support Battalion..."
Keri Craig of LaVista, Nebraska

"Linda, I was there when you died. The memory of you will always be with me."
SSG Ramonas of Clinton, Utah


I was assigned as the commander of the 283rd Transportation Company, which was assigned to the same Battalion as Linda's during Operation Iraqi Freedom II. Two of my soldiers, SPC Fennelly and SGT Ramonas were in the firefight that claimed Linda's life. SPC Fennelly and SGT Ramonas performed with valor as they repressed the enemy fire by laying down accurate suppressive fire. I know all of the details of this event. I attended the memorial service at Forawrd Operating Base Speicher in Tikrit, Iraq for Linda. This event will be with me forever. We can honor her scarifice by remembering the causes she fought and died for - freedom, liberty, and the American way of life.

-MAJ Mark Burton
Former Commander, 283rd TC
Tikrit, Iraq"
Maj Mark Burton of New Boston, New Hampshire

"To the family of Linda Ann Tarango-Griess
I wish I could have known Linda.
My deepest sympathy to the family"
Linda Tarango-Rodriguez of Van Horn, Tx USA

"Thank you all for your wonderful words and sympathy. This family could not go on without the overwhelming support that we have been recieving.

My sister was a wonderful woman and will be greatly missed. She is now with my other sister Julie Tarango and I am sure they both are working through us. Keep praying for my family for mom isn't doing so well and for myself. I was the strong one for the whole family and now it is my time to grieve.

I feel like this is some kind of bad nightmare that I can't wake up from. But unfortunately it is not. Those of you that have wrote on theis website that have lost a loved one in OIF know exactly what we are feeling and you have done so much to heal us. Thank you all agian for the overwhelming support and those of you that didn't know Linda, thank you from the bottem of our hearts for thanking her for your freedom. Oif=Operation Iraqi freedom. Vicky Smith Tarango"
Vicky Tarango-Smith of North Platte Neb. Linclon co.

"Linda was a bright and shining star in my life. I had the opportunity to experience so many first things with her. Linda came to live with myself, my husband and two sons when she was young and provided us with years of joy and pride. She was the daughter we never had and a sister to our sons. She was loved by everyone who knew her for her beautiful smile as well as her beautiful personality. In school she was active in softball, volleyball, band, Kearney Police Department Explorers program and the FRIENDS program (local chapter of the Big Brother/Big Sister program). She loved people and she loved life.

In May, my oldest son got married and Linda was not able to come home to attend so she wrote a beautiful letter in which she says “I am sorry I can't be there to share in your day, but here I am in hopes that one day, these people will have the chance to be as happy as you”. She was there to do a job that she took seriously. We will forever be proud of her and she takes with her a part of our hearts.

Aunt Terry, Uncle Fred, Scott and Jeff Nehls, Lincoln, NE"
Terry Nehls of Lincoln, NE

"Thank you brave soldier for sacrificing your today for my children's safer tomorrow. You have our utmost respect and gratitude. May God provide your family with comfort in their time of sorrow. May you forever rest in Heavenly peace. You will not be forgotten. For the family/friends, may time provide happy, loving memories in place of present sorrows. God Bless."
a grateful citizen in arizona

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

"I try to remember back to when Linda and I became friends and it was somewhere around the 7th grade. She was always there for me and one of the best friends that I ever had. In fact it was her that introduced me to my husband. She will always have a special place in my heart and my children will always know what a hero she is. I will miss her very much. May God be with you all in this time of pain."
Gayle Webb of Galesburg, IL

"Last time I talked and saw Linda was about 4 years ago. I know she was very busy with her military life and that's why we didn't see her much. She loved what she did. One thing I will never forget about her was that big smile she always had on her face. Amazing! That's a person with a big heart. I didn't get to say how proud I am of her. She is my COUSIN,My HERO. We are going to miss you cuz. Thanks. My heart goes out to her family. God needed an Angel and he's has one of the best now."
Victor A. Mora (Linda's cousin) of Garden City,Kansas

"My prayers go out to the family and friends of this fallen hero."
David Hutchinson of Cincinnati, Ohio

"I remember the first time meeting Linda. She and I were taking a class together in California. As I recall, I had gotten into an heated arguement with the class instructor. Of all the people in class no one during the arguement stood up for me. Except for one person. That was Linda. She did not have to do it, I was, after all a stranger to her at the time. But to those of you who knew her, I know this kind of selfless behavior was normal for her and is not a surprise to any of you. Needless to say Linda and I became fast friends from that day forward.
I have many memories of her over those two weeks, but none so strong as the first day we went to the beach together. She told me she had never been to the ocean before, and seeing as we were only thirty miles from Pismo Beach, we went and spent the day there. In that day, I learned of the essence and spirit that made Linda such a wonderful and amazing person. When she looked out over the ocean for the first time I saw her smile, a smile that could light up a room. She said she could not believe how large and beautiful it was. And though I had grown up not far from the ocean and had seen it many times, I found myself looking at it again and seeing its beauty. But that is a gift Linda had. She was able to see the goodness in everything. But her true gift was in enriching the lives of those around her and making them see the goodness in things too. Wherever she went in life, people smiled and laughed and enjoyed life more because of her.
I know Linda was an outstanding soldier. Dedicated and honorable. But she got this way by being an outstanding person first. She was a woman that lived her life to the fullest. If we look around we see her hand in everything she touched, especially other peoples lives. She, so many times, has set the example. This is the kind of person we strive to become like.
Linda, thank you for being such a great part of so many lives. As for me, the next time I look upon the ocean, I will smile and see its beauty again, and think of you. As for the rest of the people you have touched, you will be in their hearts and minds for the rest of their lives.
Take care my friend. "May all the angel's in heaven sing thee to thy rest..."


"To Linda Ann's Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your loved one's bravery and sacrifice.


The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
Gloria Caldas (Ernie's mom) of San Antonio, TX

"sorry for your loss. Linda was a good friend and soldier, she will be greatly missed."
of sutton Ne

"Doug Griess, Agustin & Juanita Tarango, my heart goes out to each and every one of you. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Linda was a wonderful person. Her sacrifice along with all of the other fallen soldiers that accompany her in the heavens, will leave a legacy forever in our hearts of their courage to fight and die for OUR FREEDOM...."
Linda Hernandez (Linda's cousin) of Clovis, New Mexico USA

"Thank you for your families sacrifice for all of us. We just buried a friend of mine, 2nd Lt Brian Smith. We share your grief.

God Bless you and America!"
Don of Dallas, Tx

"Dear Tarango-Griess Family, I am so sorry for you loss and know too well the measure of your pain. Many thoughts and prayers are coming your way and may God grant you peace in this time of great sadness and darkness. Aunt of PFC Bradley Kritzer, killed May 5th, in Baghad. I wonder if Linda Ann and Brad are talking in heaven tonight?"
Laurie Miles of Coalport, PA

"We are so sorry for the loss of Linda Ann. She will be remembered. May you find peace in the memories of her life."
lisa and gino of columbus, ohio

"Sergeant Tarango-Griess, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

"To Linda's Family:
There are no words to express the sorrow we feel for your loss. May God bless you and help you through this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"Thank you Linda Tarango-Griess, 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 Sgt. 1st Class Linda Tarango-Griess:
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 Linda for the sacrifice she has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Sgt. 1st Class Linda Tarango-Griess:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. She 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 Linda, 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