Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Staff Sgt. Robert C. Thornton, Jr.

35, of Rainbow City, Alabama.
Thornton died in Baghdad, Iraq, when his patrol came under rocket-propelled grenade attack. He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Died on August 23, 2004.

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"It has been awhile since we said our goodbyes. I still wear my memorial bracelet of you and enjoy telling people your story. I feel as though my wife and kids know you from all the stories I have told and they have never had the honor to meet you. I miss our talks that seemed to make everything better. I thought you were crazy when you wanted me to try oysters but I actually liked them. I still eat them now the exact same way you had me eat them that night in Iraq. Crackers, oyster, and hot sauce. I haven’t went back to meet your wife or children again since I left. They were so small back then but I follow them on Facebook and see what wonderful people they have become. I know you would be proud. Until we meet again."
Calvin Romans of West Plains, MO

"God Bless you Robbie and Godspeed to your family."
old friend of Ga.

"I honor you for your service, I'm trying to remember if I Trained with you over at C Trp 5-15 Cav. I remember training with an insert with the last name of Thornton, it's not a very hard name to forget. I'm wondering if it's you. If so, i want to say, it was great knowing you, and my heart sank when i saw your name. Rest in peace, Brother-in-Arms"
Valencia of Livingston, California

"Rob, It's been over 11 years since your passing and well brother I'm finally retiring. I ran into our old 1SG and CO, we all had a long talk and left a glass for you. You've been missed and every time our troopers meet up you are thought of. Again like always I expect a beer waiting for me when I meet you at Fiddlers Green."
Comanche Red 2 ancient of Fort Benning, GA

"Ellen, I remember Rob and you everyday. You two rented from us in Spanaway, WA. I remember your Day Care and how he decorated at Halloween and Christmas. He would drive gold balls in the pasture. Our Grandson was in awe of Rob. When you told us you were moving, we were devastated. You were the most wonderful neighbors we had. And, then we got a phone call one day from Rob. We felt very special that he thought of us, for he called right after the birth of Brad to tell us. I think he was still at the hospital. We were so excited for both of you. When he called to say he was to be shipped out, we were again devastated. But, he was so very proud of his service to his Country! When the phone call came that he was gone, we cried and felt a great loss. We were only comforted with the memory that he Loved his Country and his service to serve. The Christmas card you sent that year, with he and the children, is still put out. You are thought of often when the peonies and rose bush bloom. Gifts from you and Rob when you left. He and you and the children will live in our hearts forever!!! ROB YOU ARE A VERY SPECIAL ANGEL IN GOD'S HEAVEN!"
Sharon & Paul Cusato of Spanaway, WA. GREAT USA

"Hard to believe it has been nine years ago today, brother. I think about you often. Garryowen!"
CL of Newport News, VA

"Ssg Thornton was my recruiter and he sent me to Ft Knox as a tanker in Feb 1998. I want to personally thank him and his family for giving me a chance to follow in his footsteps. SSG Thornton went to my wedding with his wife prior to me leaving in Leesburg in 1998,even though he didn't have to.I am now a SSG myself that was forced into medical retirement after an injury sustained in Iraq. You will not be forgotten,and thank god for the lives you did change.Rest in peace big Sarge your legacy will live on."
SSG Brown,Micah S of Crossville,Al

"Today at Fort Rucker, Alabama I had the honor of wearing Robert's name on a star as I ran our annual 5k for fallen soldiers and survivors. I can not tell you all how sorry I am for your loss. I did not know Robert, but forever more he will be remembered by my family and I. You all are in mg thoughts and prayers."
Elizabeth Berg of Fort Rucker Alabama

"We were not close, but we spoke frequently because many of his Family Support Activities would take place at the Squadron Headquarters and I would step out of my office, or drive back to the SQDRN Headquareters just to check in and especially greet him. He was that type of person - one not forgotten once meeting him. Whether children or men - he always was comfortable around them and setting for others an example of how to enjoy life, leadership, and always walk with a smile. He loved what he was doing and those with whom he served. He really, really loved his family. I always respected him - and knew there was a large hole left in our lives when he passed. He lived life more fully than most others who live three times his life span. He has made a great difference . . . to this day."
William "Chip" Nicholas (Chaplain) of Fort Sam Houston

"To the family of:Robert C.Thornton,Jr.
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""

"Hey Thorndog, you still got the grip brotha. I pray the best for yours always. I hug yours, Brads, and Kempers memories every now and again. Peace"
Fellow Trooper GarryOwen of Lampasas

"Like this day 9/11/2011 and many other days I still think of my friend and you always with HONOR protecting your country and your state. I don't know what else to say about you but you are missed.

You knew that you was in the same unit as my father was in the Korean War 1st Cavalry Division and I feel that my father was riding with you in your tank in spirit.

Always your friend"
Johnny Davis of Centre Alabama USA

"7 years ago on this evening I fell to my knees crying in disbelief that you were really gone. Still to this day I really cant believe it happened. My heart aches every time I think of you. Then this summer something amazing happened. Brad turned into the spitting image of you! It is so amazing to see him. He walks, talks, and acts like you did. I am in such awe everytime I see him how much like you he is! You live everyday through him. Bri does have some of your qualities and features, but your son is you made over. I tell him every time I see him that I am going to kidnap him and make him mine! He is my little boy that I never had! Ellen is a wonderful mom and truly an inspiration to us all for everything she does, but I would never expect anything less from someone you chose to be your wife! Every Saturday or Sunday that there is a race on I pull hard for Tony Stewart in your absence, I told you I would and I always will. Keep a close eye on us all and keep those dumpsters in Heaven clean!! I love and miss ya Robby! Until next year...."
Suzy of Rainbow City, Al.

"Robbie will always be remembered and honored because he loved and was loved."
Terry & Charlie Smith of Amarillo Tx

"I was in C Troop 1/7 Cav SSG Thornton was a good man it seemed like when things were hard he always knew what to say to get you through the day. He was a good person. I am sorry for the loss I will always remember him as a friend."
Donald Adamson of CA

"On this Memorial Day I would like to speak of Robbie. I Knew SSG Thornton during the years surrounding Desert Storm. He was a young man at that time and he was also a young Soldier. He was a kind and good hearted man who always brought a smile to those that knew him. Robbie loved the M1 Abrams and he was born to be an American Soldier.
To his Children and his Wife,always take great pride in this Man's life. I and many others,will spend this day in Remembrance of Him."
An old friend

"Ellen, I think that you will probably see this one day and I wanted to say "Thank You." Thank you for your gift of our combat spurs when we got home from Iraq in 2005. I could not bring myself to thank you that day at the park, I did not know what to say. I knew your husband about as well as a PFC could know a SSG and I respected him so much. I was with him everyday and I enjoyed and look back on him with nothing but love and respect, he was a good man. I keep my spurs in my truck on my mirror and see them everyday and it brings him to my mind everyday. I came home a different man, but I think back to my time as a Cavalry man and I am proud to have served and been friends with men like SSG Robbie Thornton. Thank you Ellen and may God bless you and your children."
Jason Moon of Spring Branch TX

"Rob...wow time has passed so quickly. I think about you often, you and your family. I will never forget what a great man and soldier you were. Life has changed so much for me but I still see you just the same. I am thankful for the time you spent in my life. You and Ellen were there when I needed someone the most. Even though Jared and I are divorced now I have a beautiful daughter thanks to you introducing us. Much love always and thank you!"
Sonja Jennings Holcomb of Lake Stevens, WA

"While I never had the honor of meeting Staff Sergeant Thornton in person as my wife has, I have come to call his brothers, Father and members of his family friends over the last few years, and it is clear that you were a loved and greatly missed person in their lives. I would have been proud to have served along side him."
Jeff Purdum of Guntersville, Alabama

"Robby still miss you so very much. You were a very special person and a wonderful son-in-law. You brought out the best in all of us. You made us want to do better and be a better person. You still have that affect on me. I am very thankful you were part of my family. Very sad we had to give you back to God so soon. Thanks for taking care of us then and now. Think of you so much. Love you and miss you greatly."
Beckii Bradley of Rainbow City, AL

"SSG Thornton,
Every day I still think about you and the things you taught me. From delayed entry to the range time at 1/7. I can honestly say you made me a better person, and for that I thank you, Thor. You will never be forgotten."
Johnny Reagan of Albertville AL

"My Love....I miss you so much. I guess that will never change. You were my life, our children our joy and our love forever. The kids are so amazing. You would be so proud of them. They know you and what you stood for because we talk about you all the time. They miss their Dad but they are ok. They know how much you loved them. Keep watching over us and keeping us safe as you have always done. I'll love you...always and forever."
Ellen of Copperas Cove TX

"To the family and friends of Robbie Thornton. I was lucky enough to have serves with Robbie form Jan 03 up until his death as being a new tanker Robbie had the task of trying to show what to be an NCO and an gunner and then teaching me how to be a tank commander. He and I would fight each other but in the end I always came to see what he was trying to teach me which I will always treasure that for it made a better person. I was with Robbie holding his hand on the day he was killed and thru his pain he was more worried about his fimily and wanting them to know he loved them. I remember this each day it made me cry then and I still do even today. I hope and pray that his children will always know that thier father loves them. I hope in the future that I may be able to see family once again and to be able to visit his memoriale in Al. Thank you Robbie and Thank you the family of SSG Robert C. Thornton Jr."
Lawrence Hubbard of Independence Ky

"Robbie, you were a great friend and mentor to me. From the day you picked me up at reception to the last day we spent together in Iraq. I still think about you all the time and wherever I may be in the world I will ask my self if you would aprove because I do not want to let you down. Robbie you took a boy and turned him into the Man I am today! I wear your bracelet and carry your dog a tag with me always. Even when I was wrong you knew how to get me to fix it and better myself. I can write all day so I will end now with a line from your favorite band, "Closer to the heart". You will always be close to mine and everybody else who had the honer of knowing you! Thank you Robbie and God Speed to you and your Family my friend! Danny"
Daniel P. Watson of Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.

"I never want to forget the sacrifices of so many young men and women. I am so proud it makes me cry. I understand in theory only that war is a part of human nature but so is love and caring. I wish I could take the families pain away but I can't. I am committed to loving ALL people, myself and our environment. I am committed to working on my happiness everyday because so many have died for my freedom to live my life. Thank you is not enough but it is all I have. All my love and respect. ogersteiner@yahoo.com"
Scott E. Steiner of Worthington, OH

"5 years wow how time flies!! It seems like yesterday I gave you that last hug as we were leaving Texas that January we came to visit before you deployed. Had I have known that would have been the last I would have made it last a few moments longer and a little tighter. I know you are happy and well, but it does not dull the pain or help fill the void that is there where you used to be. I still to this day, yes five years later talk to your picture on the refrigerator every time I walk by. Sometimes I gripe other times I laugh, sometimes I just sigh and go on. Looks like Tony may even get him another championship this year, I am pulling hard for him, just for you. Anyway just wanted you to know I am thinking about you! Don't get into too much mischief with Bubba there now! You have 5 years on him so I know you can show him all the good dumpsters!! I love and miss you terribly!!"
Suzy of Rainbow CIty

"”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to you. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Over 1,750 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
Mothers and/or Fathers, of our heroes, please be aware that the Project Compassion sponsors will now help cover the costs of the portraits for you to have one - regardless if the spouse of the hero has one or not!
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com. or go to www.heropaintings.com . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and bless you.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Kenna
Project Compassion
P.O. Box 153
Manti, Utah 84642"
Project Compassion - Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"I am proud to have served under SSGT. Thornton as his loader/driver in 4th PLT, C Trp 1-7 Cav for a few months from Spring '01 to when I left for Korea in July '01. Rob was a godsend to me during a time when I needed a positive supervisor or even a good Army role model at that time. SSGT. Thornton restored my faith in NCOs and the Army, and helped me stay positive and do my best with the remaining time I had left in the Army. I remember that he loved his family, the Army, and tanking, and was just a great guy that cared about his soldiers and everybody for that matter. I even kept in touch with him while I was in Korea, and he always wanted to know how I was doing over there. I was hoping that someday when I thought I became successful enough, I would look him up and tell him how great my life is and say thanks for his inspirational zest for life at a time when I needed it most. So on this Memorial Day of 2009, I want to Thank You SSGT. Thornton for being in my life even for a short time, Thank You for protecting my family, friends, and I, and THANK YOU for touching my life for the better. I will Never Forget You. -PFC Ski"
Mike Janowski (mjski81@hotmail.com) of Chandler, AZ

"Robbie, I can't believe it has been almost 5 years since you were taken from our family. I wish we could have known each other better. We went to visit Jan and your Mom (Auntie Domi) in OK before she passed and your pictures covered the house. You lived my dream of serving our great country and your fellow soldiers. I will forever keep you in my prayers. Garry Owen. Love your cousin Rich Jr."
Rich Menear Jr of Topeka, KS

"SSG Thornton was the ablest, most loyal comrade in arms one could hope for. To this day, and well beyond, I am grateful for the privilege to serve with him and learn from him. You remain with me always. God bless Ellen and your children always."
CPT Geoff Heiple of Pittsburgh, PA

"to one of my best friends ever, i will never forget you or the fun times we had,
robbie was a great person and could make you laugh at anything, i will miss you buddy"
T.T. Dutton of cedar bluff al.

"I dont know what to say, I didn't even know this page existed until I was making one on face book.
To Rob: I can remember the day I called you and asked you to recruit me into the service. I think you actually squealed like a girl with excitement at the prospect of putting your wifes cousin in the Army, with a "Hot Damn" thrown in there as well. This brought us closer, as family and also made us Army family as well. As you told me once, "We will have a language and life all our own that no one will understand but us." When you went off the Net, a part of me went with you. I miss you and love you like a brother. I have been in DC 2 yrs now and still cant bring myself to go to Arlington.
I wish I could have served with you directly, but we never got the chance. So many times I have thought and even dreamed, that with my military medical background, I wish I had been there on that day in Aug. My wife tells me I couldnt have done anything different, and I know this, but in my dream I try, I fail, but I try. I never got a chance to thank you for contributing to who I am today. I now have a younger family member who has joined and is deployed, mu wifes nephew, John, he is like a little brother to me and I share my wisdom with him as you shared yours with me. I give him the same advise at the end or every call home that you gave me when I called home, Rob, "Keep your * down and dont be stupid" Thank you Rob.

To Ellen:
I miss him so damn much at times. He always had a way of making people smile. I remember the day you guys were married. I slepted through half of it because I had worked a 48hr shift at the Fire Dept. and had been up all night. I caught the ending, but thats the best part anyway. The "I do's" and the kiss and the walk down the isle. You guys looked great together. He was as much a part of my life as he was yous Ellen, remember the time you had together and always smile. He will never be far from you.

I love you Both

Tommy "Phillips" Manasco
Proud Army Buddy, Recruit, and cousin to SSG Robert C. Thornton
Harpersville, Alabama(Home)
Walter Reed Army Med Center(Duty Station)"
Tommy of Good Ole' US of A

"SSG Robert Thornton,
Approaching 5 years and I have yet to reach any relevance of closure. SSG Thornton and I were at Jacksonville High School together in Jacksonville, AL. He was a senior while I was in the 7th grade. People would come up and ask about our relationship. Because my father had the same name, I would tell them that he was my father. You should have seen the jaws drop until I explained that it was mere coincidence.
Fast forward to 2002 when I was assigned as the SMO at 1-7 Cav. He and I met in my PLL office. After talking for a while, we realized that our paths had crossed that many years earlier in Jacksonville, AL. I thought I was going to be his next troop commander, but other plans were made for me.
I still remember exactly where I was standing in Iraq when I learned of his death. It hit me very hard, and still bothers me to this day. He was a great man, loved his family, and loved Tony Stewart. His car was covered in Tony Stewart stuff.
Years later in 2007, I was invited by Toyota to participate in the parade of champions prior to the All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC. As I pulled up to receive my driver after introduction, I see that it was Tony Stewart. Full circle.
Rob, I miss you. I still remember your winning smile, your love of your family, your troopers, tanks, and your love of NASCAR. I still think of you and your family every week and hope that you are watching over all those troopers you ever came in touch with. GARRYOWEN!!!"
MAJ Michael Thornton of Fort Bragg, NC

"Hey Sarge, I did you an honor and made you a rememberance page at www.army.togetherweserved.com, this way others can go and pay tribute as well. Garry Owen"
SSG Showers of Augusta, GA

"I loved you like my brother,
I am so sorry I have not posted sooner, I was SSG Thornton's gunner when he returned to the tank line. There was only one thing in this world he loved more than than the Soldiers he cared deeply for, that was his loving wife and family. I learned of his passing almost two years ago and could not muster the strenght to write these words. I cry every time I think of the great man he was and I only wish that everyone would emulate the values that he demonstrated in his life. Thank you boss. I love you"
SFC Martino of Watertown Ny

"I had the great privelege of serving with SSG Thorton in C Trp in Iraq. When I think of him I think of the one on one times sitting up on the barracks roofs with him looking out over the city and just talking about home and family, and disagreeing on Nascar drivers. I will never forget his sacrifice and the way that everyone was touched by him in some way if ever so brief speaks as to the type of man/father I want to be. I'll never forget you"
Moon Dog of Grayson GA

"Four years ago. Wow it really does not seem that long. I wonder where the time goes. We went to Bristol this weekend. I wore my Tony Stewart shirt just for you. The fly over gave me chills, the National Anthem made me tear up, but holding your cross and bracelet made me proud to not only know you but the fact I am an American still being protected by you daily gives me peace. I told Jeff that I needed some of your ashes to sprinkle in the wind as the cars went by to complete the trip! He said you would have loved it! Maybe next year!! I love and miss ya!! Suzy"
Suzy Bradley of Rainbow city alabama

"Hello My Love. You have been on my mind so much lately. I can not believe it is almost 4 years since the day I lost you. Today is my birthday. Every year I think about my birthday before you were killed. You woke me up singing Happy Birthday and told me you had a surprise for me that your soldier would bring me. I received that last birthday surprise from you the day after you were killed...a video of you singing Happy Birthday to me. It is one of my most treasured possessions. I can only bring myself to watch it once a year though. You have no idea how much I miss you...Always and Forever My Love"
Ellen of Copperas Cove, TX

"July 11, 2008
To the family of Staff Sgt. Robert C. Thornton, Jr.:
Robert 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 daughter and I went to visit your memorial site down in Guntersville yesterday. I wonder sometimes if you ever really knew what a truly wonderful person you were. All who knew you have all said the same things. You treated everyone as if you had known them for a long time. You touched many lives while you were here. All in a positive way. I am grateful to have known you even if for a short time. Holly still has the Army shirt you gave her when you took her to Montgomery for those enlistment tests. It was not meant to be for her to be in the Army but she will keep that shirt as a memory in your behalf. You are missed by all."
Sue Musick of Boaz, Alabama

"Hey Robbie, I've seen your dedication plaques in the DFAC at Ft Hood and at Freedom Rest here in Iraq. I've visited many of the places you prowled while over here. My last stop was Falcon just the other day. Each place brought back great memories. I feel like I raised you from a puppy from when you tagged along with me and Jan on dates to when we mobilized for Desert Storm; you as my gunner. I always knew you would make a great leader. This is evidenced by the remarks of others that have served with you. I just wanted to let you and your family know I still think of you and that you will always be missed. -Toon-Daddy"
CSM Jay Stallings of Taji, Iraq

"I remember when SSG. Thornton first came to Charle Troop 1/7 Cav. The unit was in the field, and I was running chow with the supply sergeant.
We picked SSG. Thornton up from Squadron and he insisted on going out to the field with us to run chow. He wanted to meet the unit. I thought something was wrong with him at the time, but just speaking with him on that ride let me know that there was something special about him. He actually cared.
I grew a great deal of respect for SSG. Thornton and he is a true leader. To say he was loved and admired by his soldiers is an understatement.
I send my deepest condolences to the family of SSG. Thornton, and all of those who had the pleasure of knowing him."
Born Rice of Queens, NY

"To SSG Rob (the boss), hey it has been 3 years since that day and not one goes by that I don't think of you and your contributions to where I am today. Your giudance and teaching enabled me to become a better NCO and I know you are always looking down on me. Thank you buddy and I will see you eventually, I'll bring the Kool-Aid."
SSG Craig A. Showers of Fort Campbell, KY, USA

"I love you Rob..."
Heiko of okinawa

"Robbie, You were an awsome father, friend and Soldier. I will honor your memory all the days of my life."
MSG Brad Bryan of Copperas Cove, Texas

"To the family and friends of Staff Sergeant Robert C Thornton from his English name-sake.

It was somewhat unnerving to see my name appearing on a web-site honouring a brave and courgeous man who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. To find appropriate words remains a challenge to which, sadly, I am unable to rise. However, let me say this, as his name-sake, I will honour the memory of Staff Sergeant Robert C Thornton on 23 August with an old English Thornton family tradition. On the occasion, a drink (a pint of beer) is bought for the 'absent friend', which is left by a vacant chair, we then raise a toast to 'absent friends'. I will change the toast to honour Staff Sergeant Robert C Thornton. Not much I know, but hopefully you will accept this small jesture as a sign of respect to Robert's memory and give you some small comfort that his sacrifice is appreciated on the other side of 'the pond'. With best wishes to you all."
Robert C Thornton of Northampton, England

"Hey Baby. I can not believe it is almost 3 years since you had to leave us. I still miss you so much. The kids and I went down and laid flowers by your name at the 1st Cav Memorial today. Our way of celebrating Memorial Day I guess. They miss you but they know how much you love them and that you are our Hero and our Angel who watches over us keeping us safe. Always know that you are my one true soul-mate....always and forever. I will always love you, more than words can say."
Your LNAH

"To all the loved ones of Staff Sgt Robert C Thornton Jr. ~ I am a 20 year old air force ROTC cadet, training to become an officer in the United States Air Force. I just wanted to let you know that his name is on my POW/MIA bracelet, and I'm proud to wear it everyday when I'm in my uniform. May God bless him in heaven and those of you left to carry on."
Holly of San Marcos, Texas

"TO THE FAMILY OF SSG THORNTON YOU HAVE MY PRAYERS ALONG WITH MY FAMILY. I HAD THE HONOR TO SERVE WITH SSG THORNTON AND DEPLOY WITH 1/7 CAV. I WILL NEVER FORGET THAT SUMMER IN 2001 WHEN I WAS PVT2 AND IN THE FIELD HAVING A HARD TIME WITH THE TASK AT HAND AND SSGT THORNTON CAME TO MY TRACK TO GIVE ME A PEACE OF CAKE HIS WONDERFUL WIFE HAD SENT TO HIM IN THE FIELD.I KNEW FROM THAT DAY EVERYTHING WAS GOING TO BE OK NO MATTER WHAT TASK I HAD. MY ARMY DAYS CAME TO AN END WAY TO SOON, BUT I WILL NEVER FORGET WHAT HE TOLD WITH A GREAT SMILE, I WILL BE GREAT IN LIFE JUST TAKE YOUR TIME. I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU SSGT THORNTON YOU WILL ALWAYS BE IN MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS"
SPC WILFREDO SANTIAGO III of KILLEEN, TX

"To the family of:Robert C. Thornton,Jr. 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"

"Forever MY Hero. Forever MY Love. I love you and miss you more than words can say. Always & Forever"
Ellen of Copperas Cove, TX

"SSG. Thornton... I am proud to say I served with you as your driver and loader In Commanche Troop. You were a great mentor and you a great NCO. I ll never forget what you have taught and your memory will always live on with me. From when I tried to drive your tracker and didn't realize it was stick...to getting lost and than becoming Junior NCO also. Thank you for your service. My condolences to your family. SSG. Thorton Was a great Man And NCO."
CPL. Yatsko, Matthew of Douglassville Pa

"Robbie, it's been just over 2 years since we lost you. I think of you constantly and the very last things you said to me before you passed. We were in the chow hall on FOB Falcon and you looked me in the eye and said, "This is the best thing about this chow hall, the kool-aid!" And as I walked past you and Cam standing by your tank you said, "There goes a true American hero, a warrior, Sgt Davis!" No SSG Thorton, you are a true American hero and a warrior. I've talked about the incident twice and both times I couldn't finish. I never saw you get angry or scold a soldier for no reason. I never heard anyone mutter a bad thing about you. To this day, I envy you. And let me tell you something about this wonderful wife of yours! A little over 2 weeks after you died, I still got a birthday cake from Ellen. Most people would have given up and moved back home, but she is the epitome of a warrior. Thank you Ellen, for your service to the troops in C Troop, 1-7 Cav and for your undying devotion to the family."
Frank Davis Red3GX

"Two years ago today. I still can't believe you are gone. There is not a day that goes by that I don't look at your picture and smile. Your laughter and sense of humor was so contagious that it is hard to think of anything about you and be sad. The only sadness comes from knowing you are not here. I know you are happy because you have an endless amout of dumpsters to dig in. I love you and will miss ya forever. Thanks for being the "Ultimate Warrior"! Oh yeah you had better start seeing if you can pull some strings up there and give Dale Jr. a little help! I Love Ya!"
Suzy of Rainbow City, Al.

"Thor, I will always remember you the way I last saw you...brave, big in the hatch, smiling, and waving a peace sign at me as you went out Falcon't gate...thanks for saving my life over there with your laughter. Miss ya, and peace to your family."
SGT Rebecca Deuel, medic of 1st Cav, Ft. Hood

"I attended the M1A1 Abrams Master Gunner Course with SSG Thornton and truly learned the man he was. We worked togther alot in 1-7 CAV ensuring that soldiers were trained properly. He cared about soldiers and had a big heart and would always do anything to help anyone. Brother you are missed."
SFC Roberto Garza JR of Schofield Barracks, HI

"Army Staff Sgt. Robert C. Thornton Jr. was brought to my attention by Wayne Mills. He is honored on my "Memorial Wall" I designed to honor our fallen heroes. Here is the address:
.http://421specialforces.com/421st_memorial_wall_iraq.htm."
Keith Milligan of Tuscaloosa, AL

"Sgt. Thornton was an amazing man. He was my recruiter in Albertville and became a close friend. I never made it into the Army because of a four wheeler accident but we continued to talk afterwards. I visited him often and also tried to give him more recruits..lol. My heart sunk when I heard the news. I truely knew how passionate he was about the Army, and that is how I am able to coupe with his death. I know that he died doing what he loved. Much love goes out to his family. He will always be in my thoughts."
Holly Musick of Fort Walton Beach, Fl

"I JUST WANTED TO SAY I REALLY DEEPLY APPRECIATE THE SERVICE THAT ROBERT GAVE TO THIS GREAT COUNTRY. I AM SOON TO BE REDEPLOYED TO IRAQ AND I WOULD LIKE FOR EACH OF THE FAMILY AND LOVED ONES OF ROBERT TO KNOW THAT MY SERVICE TO THIS GREAT COUNTRY IS TO TRY AND GIVE BACK WHAT HAS BEEN SACRIFICED TO KEEP US FREE. AS FOR THE MOTHER OF ROBERT, I KNOW THERE IS NOTHING THAT COULD EVER BRING HIM BACK BUT REMEMBER, HIS MEMORY WILL LIVE ON ALSO KNOW THAT EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE LOST A SON, YOU HAVE GAINED A ARMY OF SONS THAT WILL FINISH WHAT ROBERT WAS TASKED TO DO. I DIDNT KNOW ROBERT, BUT IM SURE THAT HE WAS A SOLDIER OF HONOR, AND FULL OF LOVE OF COUNTRY. I JUST WANTED TO WRITE A LITTLE SOMETHING TO SHOW I CARE. EVEN THOUGH I DIDNT KNOW ROBERT, I HAVE LOST A BROTHER AT ARMS AND IT HURTS VERY BADLY TO KNOW A BROTHER HAS FALLEN. AGAIN I THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH.
I PRAY GOD WILL BLESS EACH OF YOU. AND I SURE WOULD LOVE TO MEET WITH YOU.

FROM A SOLDIER,"
SGT. Patrick S. Banks of Ashville, Alabama

"I will never forget you Robbie. A great tanker, leader, mentor, soldier, husband, father and friend. You taught so many soldiers what is was to be a man and a tanker. I never felt safer, when I knew it was you on the other end of the mike, when I was in contact you were always there to send back up and relay the info quickly and rapidly. I miss you and think of you often. God Bless and keep your family.

SSG Darrin C. Boner
Comanche Troop 1-7 Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division"

"To the family of SSG Robert Thornton,
I only knew SSG Thornton briefly while I was attending Master Gunner School with him in 2003 but you all have been on my mind a lot since I found out he passed away. SSG Thornton was a true warrior and will be truly missed. He always spoke so highly of his wife and kids and was so proud to be a husband and father. SSG Thornton is a true American Hero and will be missed. I will always remember our short but memorable times together in Master Gunner School. To his kids, hold your heads high and just remember that your dad was a great guy and really loved you a lot. You will always be in my prayers."
SFC William Shelley of Latta, SC

"Thank you to everyone that has posted a message here. These messages are something that I come and read often because they give me comfort, make me smile and in a small way bring me some peace. I will treasure each and every message here because they all come with memories of my Robby and I know that he will never be forgotten by any of you. It is wonderful to read how much he meant to different people and how many lives he touched. These messages will be so important later on because they will help Brad and Bree understand what kind of man their Daddy is. Thank you all again for helping me keep my Robby's memory alive."
Ellen Proud Wife of SSG Robert Thornton KIA 8-23-2004 of Copperas Cove, TX

""Thorndog", "Rob", "Robby", "Cecil",
"Thor", "Mike Gulf", The finest of friends and the most dependable warrior. Always the steadfast leader and battle buddy.....and we all couldn't help but have a great time with you. Your presence has left a legacy of decency, caring, and love that will linger in our memories and hearts forever. God Bless and keep your loving wife, children, and all of of those lives that you touched with your caring hand. "By this I know, that thou art pleased with me, in that my enemy has not triumphed over me. But thou hast upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in thy presence forever". (Psalm 41:11-12)

Fellow Trooper, 1st Squadron, 7th United States Cavalry"
Rodney Wilmore of Kempner, Texas

"To Ellen,
I just wanted you to know that we all will miss Robbie so much. I would have never met my wife if it wasn't for him and Bob pushing me to ask her out. I enjoyed every day that we worked together in Albertville. He was a joy to be around and always found the good things in all situations. We will remember and always love him."
Todd and Beverly Fuller of Albertville, AL

"I was with Robert in Fulda, Germany back in the mid 80s. We were a close unit then...and it pains me to learn that he has passed away. My condolences to his family and friends, he will always remain a great man."
Jeff McCree, SFC, 75th Div. of San Antonio, Texas

"To Robbies family, I want to say that Robbie held a special place in my heart for years and it hurt so bad to hear that he had been killed. I wish you all peace."
Tami Colston/Fowler of Rome Ga.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this brave man. My brother was with "Robbie" that day. I hope everyone is able to find peace within themselves."
Tatro-Medlin's of Las Vegas, NV

"Rob,
I could not have had a better son-in-law. I will always miss you and I loved you as a great friend and soldier.
Vern"
Vern of Rainbow City, Al.

"1/30/05
Thank you Robert for your brave actions in defending our country and its people. Your sacrifice has made a difference as we see the Iraqi people voting for the first time. We all owe you our sincere gratitute. You are our hero and we will not forget what you did for us all. God Bless you and may He grant your wife and children peace."
Jim & Margie Shaw of Pasadena, Maryland

"Robbie,
The main things I am going to always remember you by is :Your wonderful, lound, shrill laugh; Your love of the band Rush; The song Jump and the little hand guy you would make jump off the steering wheel to make Anna and I laugh. And, I'll never forget the day you told me you were going to ask Ellen to marry you. I believe you picked the best woman out there Robbie. You will never be forgotten."
Mandy Thornton of Seattle, WA

"To the wife of "Robbie", and his two beautiful children, I share in your loss, not of only a fine leader but a wonderful friend. I was blessed to be able to serve with him, and all of us of C Troop miss him dearly, his presence is with us daily. May God bless you all and bring peace, we will see you all in March."
SGT Aaron Stelly of C TRP 1-7 CAV, 1st PLT

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

"To Robert'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 soldier's bravery and sacrifice.

Sincerely,

The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
Gloria Caldas (The Big Ern's Mom) of San Antonio, TX
gloria.caldas@banksterling.com"

"To Robert'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 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. Neither you nor your sacrifice will be forgotten. For the family/friends: May time provide happy loving memories in place of present sorrows. Look to the sky for in the infinite meadows of Heaven the bright shining stars bloom....the forget-me-nots of angels. God bless you and thank you."
a grateful family in Phoenix, AZ

"To the family of Robert,
Our sincerest condolences for your loss. Our family has also suffered the loss of a precious life in this battle for freedom. Robert is a true American hero and will always be remembered for his bravery and sacrifice he gave to our country. May God bless you during this difficult time."
The McClain family--azquail@att.net of Tucson, AZ

"Thank you Robert Thornton, Jr., 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 Staff Sgt. Robert Thornton, Jr.:
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 Robert 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 Staff Sgt. Robert Thornton, Jr.:
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 Robert, 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