Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Shannon D. Taylor

30, of Smithville, Tennessee.
Taylor died of injuries sustained on August 13, 2005, in Tuz, Iraq, while he was conducting a mounted patrol his HMMWV came under attack by enemy forces using rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire. He was assigned to the Army National Guard's 3rd Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, McMinnville, Tennessee. Died on August 14, 2005.

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"R.I.P. SGT. Taylor. Your sacrifice isn't forgotten."
Russell P. of J acksomville, fl

"Your sacrifice is not forgotten, Sgt. Shannon Taylor. Rest in peace."
The Benakovich Family of Gulf Shores, AL

"Meant to leave contact info....amanda.wyer@gmail.com....for family to use...."
Amanda of Memphis, TN

"It's been almost 9 years and I still think of you often. You will always hold a very special place in my heart Shannon. Love and miss you and prayers often sent out for the family..."
Amanda of Memphis, TN

"My Bro...luv & miss ya"
Chelle of Smithville, TN

"Here we are, 8 years later, Memorial Day, and I still miss you. My thoughts and prayers are with your family today. Thank you. Again, one day."
Michael Stribling - Friend of Brentwood, TN

"Brother I think about you always. Joseph Holland. hollandjoseph75@me.com"
Joseph of Morrison TN

"To the family of:Shannon D. Taylor
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""

"I left you some roses and Budweiser at both of your memorials on 840 today, along with Taylor's memorial signs as well. The 13th of August replays for me every day. I am sorry it has taken so long to cope with it, but you can count on this every 13th of August."

"you were my best friend Shannon and i loved you so much. I miss you every day and i will never forget you. You have a special place in my heart that only you exist. Thank you for every wonderful moment we spent together. Even in loosing you i would never give those moments up. You were a great soldier and a wonderful man. I love you."
Scarlett Lawrence of Smithville,Tennessee United States

"I met Taylor as all of the "fillers" were eating at a buffet in McMinnville, TN. We were called fillers because we had been pulled from different troops to fill positions in I troop. I ate lunch with him that day, and you could say he was the first I troop friend I made. We were both in the same boat; didn't know anyone; weren't real sure what was going to happen to us. I really liked Taylor, because he was very kind. After that, we were seperated, he went to 2nd platoon, and I to 3rd. I don't know how the cards fell where they did, but I can't help but wonder why he was picked to be in 2nd platoon instead of me. People say everyday that they are thankful for the sacrifice our men are making for them overseas, but when there is a time the life could have very easily been your own life, it brings that saying very close to the heart. I attended the services for Taylor, Hawn, and Reece that hot, windy day at FOB Bernstein in Iraq, and I will never forget it. No one other than the ones that attend will ever know how heartbreaking it is to see your friend's rifle held in place by his boots. I have never meant a salute more than I did that day. I will never forget them. I think about them everyday. I hope Taylor knows that because of him I now have a family, with a daughter and a beautiful wife. If he had not made the sacrifice he made for me, I wouldn't have ever known the happiness I now know. My e-mail address is thebigteebone@yahoo.com if anyone ever needs anything, I will do whatever I can for you. Thank you."
Tim Perren of Blue Ridge, GA

"Salute To The Soldier
a poem by Tisha Emberton

Roman candles circulate the sky,
The twinkle of flight
And the sparkle in your eyes,
Softly the colors come alive,
And your arms hold me tight,
Fireworks of the sky,
And the twilight in my starry eyes...
Fueled by the wishful fancy,
Artistans of 4th of July celebration.
Soldiers and Citizens.
Remember the fallen.
Remember Arlington.
For we stand in rememberance.
And know freedom isn't free.
RIP Shannon Taylor, my cousin,
Died for honor, freedom and dignity.
It's the price to be free.
Aerial missile strike to Hum-V.
He was only 30, almost 31, at the foot of the gun.
Remember the soldiers who've died for freedom.
You never forget to breathe,
You never forget the things you will do today,
Please get down your knees and pray...
Just know a soldier bleeds...
For the air you breathe...
Remember the fallen.
Remember Arlington.
Freedom isn't free.
Salute to the American soldier."
Tisha Emberton, Shannon Taylor's cousin of Rock Island, TN, USA

"As a former member of Iron troop 3/278th 1st platoon, I knew Shannon only briefly at our time at Camp Shelby. I think of Shannon and the rest of the soldiers that Iron troop lost that night. Please know that Shannon and his family are in my prayers. May God bless you all."
Sonny "Doc" Leger of Lake Arthur, La

"July 11, 2008
To the family of Sgt. Shannon D. Taylor:
Shannon 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

"My husband rendered the final salute for Shannon and was honored to do so. He is our Hero! This is for you Shannon! Rest in Peace with your maker!

The Final Inspection
The soldier stood and faced his God
Which must always come to pass
He hoped his shoes were shining
Just as brightly as his brass

"Step forward now you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek,
and to my church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
"No Lord, I guess I ain't,
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be saints

"I've had to work most Sundays
And at times my talk was tough
And sometimes I've been violent
Because the streets were awfully rough"

But I never took a penny,
That wasn’t mine to keep
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills just got to steep,

And I never passed a cry for help
Although, at times I shook with fear
And sometimes, God forgive
I've wept unmanly tears

I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here
That never wanted me around
Except to calm there fears

If you have a place for me here O' Lord
It needn't be so grand
I've never expected, or had so much
But if you don't I'll understand"

There was a silence all around the throne
Where the Saints had often trod
As this soldier waited quietly
For the judgment from his God

"Step forward now you soldier,
You've borne your
burdens well
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell""
1 Lt. Paul Keller Jr. and Fanily of Sparta, Tn

"SGT Shannon Taylor, You will always be remembered. You were and always will be our brother in the E-Troop family. It was an honor to serve with you. May God bring his peace and understanding to your family and friends."
2ND Platoon E-Troop 2/278 RCT Iraq of Morristown, TN

"To the taylor family from the wahl family. shannon is in our heart and prays and your family. Shannon is someone's someone and someone to our son Gregory and our family. Both had not known one another. Today both are together. Many many fallen families will embark on Gatlinburg Tn midnight parade and fireworks. We plan to enter a float THEME: SUPPORT OUR TROOPS and to honour Shannon and all our fallen."
leonard_wahl@hotmail.com of Spring texas

"taylor i wish we were home again, just like in feb. we will meet again someday. take care, your brother always. joseph lee holland joseph.lee.holland@us.army.mil"
joseph lee holland of morrison tn

"my name is sgt chad chambers. i served with shannon taylor in iraq. we did not know each other until iraq but we lived together in bunker #10 on fob bernstein. i allways thought alot of shannon, he was a quiet man but allways did his job to the best of his ability. i remember the night he passed away and how long that night was because brother me and my platoon were out there at the sight all night doing what we could.....i also remember the day because you got promoted to sgt the very day you passed and i had congratulated you. you will be missed and ther is not a day that goes by that i dont thik of you and the other two on your vehicle that lost their lives that night and you are a hero to me. to the family of shannon, if you need anything just let me know my e-mail is soldier_1_0405@yahoo.com. just know that your son was a good man and died as a hero and will not be forgotten."
sgt chad chambers of asheville nc

"THANK YOU FOR KEEPING ME FREE. MY BROTHER DIED MAY 25, HE WAS WITH THE 278TH TRP A. I AM THINKING OF YOU AND YOU ARE IN MY PRAYERS."
SHOMI SILER of LAFOLLETTE TN

"To Shannon and those left behind. I grew up around Shannon he and my brother Josh Ball were great friends. I have many fond memories of Shannon coming over and hanging out and him and Josh getting their tatoos together, Josh always talks about how he could play a guitar with the best. I know that Shannon is looking down and watching all of us and we should all be thankful and grateful we had a chance to get to know and love him as a wonderful person and friend. This is not goodbye but see you later."
Gretchen Strawmyer(Ball) of West Lafayette IN USA

"I show your pictures and discuss my memories. You had such a great wonderful smile, and such a loving heart. I think how can this be real? Did this really happen to our Shannon? I know you were prepared to die, you let us know this. If anyone was ever meant to be a soldier it was you. It is strange how this is much clearer now that you are gone. We were the ones not prepared. I really thought you would come back. Why couldn't I have seen this before you left so that I could have hugged you a little harder? You will always be in my heart. I am so proud to have known you and to be part of your family. Thank you for your sacrifice.
Your cousin,"
Rejena Turner of Smithville, TN

"SHANNON THANK YOU FOR SERVING ALONG SIDE OUR SON GREGORY. YOU BOTH ARE UNITED ONCE AGAIN. THIS TIME YOU KNO ONE ANOTHER. SHANNON YOU ARE THE ELITE OF AMERICAN'S. VERY FEW AMERICANS WILLING TO SERVE HIS COUNTRY. RISKING HIS OR HER LIFE FOR THE WORLD NOT JUST AS AMERICAN'S. YOU ARE APART OF IRAQI, AMERICAN AND WORLD HISTORY. YOU HAVE NOT GIVEN YOUR LIFE IN VAIN SHANNON. YOU ARE SO MUCH MORE THEN AN AMERICAN HERO! YOU HAVE TOUCHED THE HEARTS OF SO MANY. TO ALL THOSE YOU TOUCHED MY FRIEND. ALL HOLD VERY DEARING MOMENTS YOU SHARED WITH ONE ANOTHER. YOU WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR HEARTS. YOU ARE SOMEONE'S SOMEONE AND SOMEONE VERY DEAR TO OUR FAMILY! GOD BLESS!"
LEONARD WAHL of VALLEY STREAM NY

"I was formerly a TNARNG soldier in 3rd Platoon/I Troop/3/278th ACR until May of 2004 and I am searching right now,to find a good picture of you Shannon,for I know I have known you. Your name is so very familiar to me,but soon I am sure I will find something to help me remember you fully,as you deserve nothing less than my full recollection. I remember Hawn & Reese well and I know soon I will find a picture of you and will remember,I will remember that I wish I could see you again,talk to you again,joke with you again,be a comrade & brother of yours again.I want to remember you,like I do Hawn and Reese,so I can remember all the jokes I know you told me, and the things I know you taught me when I was new, who you brought to the last Christmas dinner we all had at the armory ,and what we all talked about and felt together on that long busride from Smyrna back to Mcminnville on that fateful Sunday,when Captain Scott called us all together & gave us his speech about how we had been sitting on the bench,but now the coach had called us into the game,we were going to Iraq,and how every one of us asked the same question of each other "How are you gonna tell your family?" on that busride from smyrna that seemed to last forever.I just found about you & Hawn & Reese,I miss them terribly already & I feel numb,like this can't possibly be real,not for guys from my troop,and I know soon I will remember you also,for I can not stop searching until I do.I can not leave you behind,when my mind clears & I remember you fully,it's going to hurt.I know I once was graced by your presence,once we were brothers in arms & I owe it to you to remember the way you touched my life,taught me,& met my wife & girls.I can not begin to imagine the pain your family is feeling,because I know how much I am feeling.Their's must be infinite,I am so sorry for them.I know your sacrifice is not invane,I wish I could have gone with y'all,so I could have had more time with you.You and everyone in I Troop were the best,bravest,& kindest men I have ever known.Words can not express the depth of my condolonce for your family.I know there is a special place in Heaven for you,for you have truly done your time in Hell,& you volunteered to do it for people you didn't even know. You will never be fogotten.Now you can finally Rest in Peace my Friend.You have seen the end of war."
John Pritchard of Nashville,TN / U.S.A.

"The Salute


To those who have died,
And to those who have cried.
We Salute You.

To those who have lost,
Paid the ultimate cost.
We Salute You.

And to those who still serve,
The Red White and Blue.
Our grateful Nation,
Proudly Salutes You."
Tom Balstad of West Warwick RI

"We are deeply sorry for your loss. The Courage, Honor, and Valor that your
Hero showed will always be remembered.
We are grateful for the loyal service and sacrifice that was made and
WE WILL NEVER FORGET.
Our cousin LCPL Michael Smith Jr. gave his life on 4-17-04 fighting for freedom.
Please know that this was not in vain and these American Heros will FOREVER be honored.
God Bless your family and please know that you are not alone.
All of our prayers are with you."
Jennifer and SSGT Larry Mays of Massillon, Ohio

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

"Thank you Shannon Taylor, 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. Shannon Taylor:
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 Shannon 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 Sgt. Shannon Taylor:
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 Shannon, 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