Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army 1st Sgt. Ernest E. Utt

38, of Hammond, Illinois.
Utt died in Baghdad, Iraq, after two 122mm rockets were fired into his forward operating base. He was assigned to Battery B, 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Died on June 27, 2004.

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"You are still larger than life itself... Your impact on us all is felt every single damn day. Miss you friend. See you on the high ground! J.E. Smith"
J.E. Smith of El Paso TX

"Another year has passed Ernie and I still can't believe your sacrifice. Always in my thoughts, looking through the pictures of all my great memories and knowing that you were a great man, husband, father and friend. Your smile and laugh get me through rough days. I miss you brother. I missed having you at my wedding last month, but I know you were looking down toasting us."
Peter Pyle Jr of Hollywood, CA

"You were always on point. I know you had true vision and inspired all who knew you. You were and are an inspiration and leader among men and angels. Thank you for letting me know you. You are truly missed but not forgotten.
1SG Retired Erik W. Smith C 1/82 FaA"
1SG Erik W. Smith of Copperas Cove, TX

"A day doesn't pass that something reminds me of you 1sg Utt, 71 Pokey. Today is no different other than your sacrifice is recognized by more than just me. I miss you brother and do and will always have you in my heart and thoughts.
Your friend always 21 Gumby"
Peter Pyle of Hollywood, CA

"Ernie.... WOLF 13 C- Friend... I think about you often and miss the candid views we shared and your gigantic sense of humor. I am sorry I retired Brother. I should have gone with you all. It is 22 May 2015 and as Memorial Day approaches my thoughts are about you. The one soldier we needed to keep around. I am so sorry and you are so missed. I will see you Brother on the high ground. Wolf 40 Ancient, SGM, USA Retired"
Joseph E. Smith of El Paso Texas

"Thinking again of you today Ernie. I recently moved and going through boxes found pictures of us at Ft Irwin, NTC that made me cry. The times and friendship we shared are always in my heart. You were a soldiers soldier"
Peter C Pyle, Jr. of Hollywood, CA USA

"Thinking of a great friend and dedicated soldier this Memorial Day. Ernie always put his troops first and epitomized what a soldier is; dedicated, loyal and extremely patriotic. Even though it has been more than 25 years since we were stationed together, I think about him often and have many great memories of the frienship we shared.

You are truly missed."
Peter C Pyle, Jr of Garden Grove, CA

"I will never forget your name and will always be thankful fo all the wonderful memories. I recall the day your life was cut short and to this day I'm still hurting.I know you're looking down on us smiling. May you rest in peace."
Garnett Miller of New York

"1SG, as you all ready know they named the 1-82 conference room in your Honor."
SSG Grabowski, Robert of Fort Hood

"Ernest,
Even after all this time you stay in my thoughts. It has been almost 9 years now. The four horseman ceased the day you left us. On this Memorial Day as I think of you, know that one day Apeman, Hillbilly, Odie and you will be together again. Rest peacefully brother and know you will always remain in our hearts."
Odie of FBNC

"Always in my thoughts. Memories of our days at Ft Irwin are some of the fondest of my days in the service.

21 Gumby and 71 Pokey, he is greatly missed."
Peter Pyle Jr of Garden Grove, CA

"While I don't always think about Ernie, the memories I have of him are many. He was not only a dedicated soldier, but a great friend. I have fond memories of the month we spent in Pearson Station with his family. He will always be in my thoughts for his service and friendship. He loved what he did, was dedicated to troops and his family

Ernie will never be forgotten!!

Peter Pyle"
Peter Pyle of Garden Grove, CA 92841

"I knew first sgt. Utt two days before he got killed in camp Cuervo south west Baghdad …. I still hear the sounds of that attack after all these years. The attack was only 150 meters away from me….i was lying on the ground…few minutes later… I heard the bad news from 1-82 captain…( we lost first sgt. Utt )…I started crying like a baby while I was saying ( but I just met him few minutes ago….how come??....)…and the captain reply … (did you knew him??)... (I met him two days ago... but I feel that I knew him for years) I said… he was so friendly with a great smile upon his face… I still remember the last words I said to him (Utt its easy name to remember for Iraqi guy like me)…. But it's hard to believe that first sgt. Utt was gone…. i will never forget that day as long as I live …. I lost a great friend…. I lost a great friend"
IRAQI FRIEND of BAGHDAD

"I just can't help but to sit and cry while I read these. Ernest was my father and feel like he left me too soon. But I understand that he is in a better place.There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of you. Just as you had my picture on your desk at work you are on mine. I constantly show my son your picture so that he knows who you are. You have truely touched so many people.I will be having my official wedding on may 11 2013 and there will be a rose in the seat at the parents table for you cause I know you will be there."
Courtney Johnson of fayetteville,NC

"Some of my best memories while serving were the times I spent at the NTC with Ernie. I had the pleasure of meeting and staying with his family in Pearson Station for 30 days of leave and built a friendship that 25 years later still hold a special place in my heart. His dedication, joyful spirit and compassion for others will always be his legacy. Brother you are missed and will always be in thoughts and memories."
Peter Pyle, Jr of Loveland, CO

"Ernie I'm almost 53 years old now". I was operated on for cancer in 2010. I know my life is coming to an end. I was thinking of you and wanted to tell you I love you, and that I still think of you all the time.
I don't believe in God, or Christ. I do believe that you and I shared something that was as sacred as any two men can share. I will have you in my heart till the day I die. Brothers always. ROSS"
Ross of Maryland

"1sg Utt. I shead tears remembering that tragic moment, but I know that youre in a better place. The way that you cared for your soldiers will live on in all of us forever. I know that I was trouble from time to time as a soldier but you made me the NCO that I am today. Thank you!"
SSG Joshua Shackleford of Ft. Sill, OK

"”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 the hero’s Mother, Father and/or spouse. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Almost 2,100 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!
This is a gift! We have wonderful sponsors who help with the costs, and want you know that everyone here at Project Compassion does and will always CARE.
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 God Bless You.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Kenna
Projectcompassion@manti.com
www.heropaintings.com"
Project Compassion- Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"August 10, 2009
To the family of 1st Sgt. Ernest E. Utt:
Ernest 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

"I am aorry for ur loss I have friend that was ur couisn I support all ur family and friends"
clifford borowiak of oregon

"I am aorry for ur loss I have friend that was ur couisn I support all ur family and friends"
clifford borowiak of oregon

"It has been an honor serving with you 1SG. You have taken care of the men so well. You are going to be miss by so many people you have influenced. I still have that pocket knife you gave me right before we deployed. That knife has meant a lot to me as well as your leadership."
SGT Clark of Fort Lewis, WA

"This is Ernie's step brother Jimmy. I happened to search for Ernie on the web and found this site. Thank You for all the sweet messages you have left. God bless all of you and your families!"
Jimmy Lantz of Two Rivers, WI.

"hey top,
this is ledford. i'm finally getting out now and was looking around on the internet and ran across your page. thanks for everything you helped me with, i know i was a handfull, but you always did your best to take care of me. it still means a lot to me and you'll always have a high place in my heart for everything you did for all of us before and during our deployment. thanks again for everything and always being there for us. you will not be forgotten."
david ledford of savannah, ga us

"1SG Utt,
When I was an NCO under your command, I always thought you held a grudge against me because I was a former Marine, but now I realize that you push those who have the most potential, the hardest. I have never forgotten you, and I talk about you often. You were an inspiration, and I wanted to say Thank you for all you did and for the sacrifice you made."
D. Compton, former SGT USA/USMC B Btry 1-82 FA of Fort Worth, TX

"You are greatly missed. I think about you from time to time. You were more than just a 1SG, you were my friend as well. Rest in peace my brother."
Kenneth B. Swinnie (RET CSM 1-82 FA) of Stockbridge, GA/USA

"Hey Ernie.
It's me again. You have been on my mind and in my heart all day today. I love you and miss you very much. I'm going to come by and see you tomorrow. Sleep in the arms of Jesus tonight.
Love and peace."
Dennis Ross of Fayetteville NC

"Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free.
I'm following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard Him call.
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay that day,
to laugh, to love, to work or play.
Task undone must stay that way.
I found peace at the close of the day.
If my parting left a void,
then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
Ah, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with time of sorrow.
I wish for you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full, I savored much
Good friends, good times, a loved one touched.
Perhaps my time seemed all to brief,
but don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and share with me.
God wanted me now, He set me free!"
(Author Unknown)
America has been built on the blood of Brave Men of Honor. Heros who answered the call to defend all of our Freedoms. A fellow Veteran pays tribute to your commitment to duty and the ultimate sacrifice you have made for us. Thank you. May you rest well in Gods loving embrace Brave soldier, and may peace come to your family and loved ones for the sacrifice they made also."
William Darby Taylor Jr. of Bonita Springs Florida

"Wednesday, June 27, 2007.
Brother. you have been on my mind so much today. I am so upset with myself. I should have done a better job of staying in touch with you.
I miss you and knowing that someday for us to hook back up Will never be. TO catch ourselves up, shoot a game, burn something on the grill. Have a beer or several, and just hang out an laugh at each other.
I love you Earn..."
Dennis Ross of Fayetteville NC

"Saturday, June 09, 2007. My name is Ross, I was contacted by Denise yesterday afternoon about the death of Ernie. I am devastated. I couldn't sleep last night and when I reported for work this morning. Was sent home.

I stopped at the the cemetery. Denise stayed on the phone with me and helped me find Ern's grave.

I cried like a baby. While trying to say my goodbyes to my friend. I'm typing this through my tears now.

I met SSG Utt in 1989 in Baumholder Germany. We quickly became lifelong friends. We spent almost every waking moment together for the next three years.

Our unit was 2nd BN 34th FA. We worked together and played together. I have so many great memories of Ern. He was always there for me, and I was there for him.

I was eliminated from the ARMY in 1991 for being stupid and we lost touch for several years, but in 1998. I picked up the Fayetteville NC phone book and found his name and number in it.

We picked up right where we had left off. Lifelong friends. Thats when I met Denise and became friends with her.

One night after a cook out at Ernies house on post. He told me how much in love and how happy he was now that he had found her. That his life was complete. He had his children and a woman that loved him as much as he loved her. He was so happy. I felt good just being around him again and knowing that he was exactly where he wanted to be in life.

After he pcs'd to California. We lost touch again. I'm a traveler and every town, or city I've been in since. I always open the phone book and look for Ern. I guess I'll stop that ritual now.

I can't seem to stop crying now. To me He has just died. My heart is aching.I'm sorry if I'm not making any sense, or if I'm rambling. That is not my intention.

I loved Ernie. I still do and this is very hard for me to accept.

Brother, as long as I live you will live in my memories. It will not be as easy as it once was to tell the stories of our escapades, but I will continue to tell them.

Sleep in the presence of god tonight Ernie. I love you.

Ross (850)625-8320"
Dennis Ross of Fayetteville, NC,Cumberland

"So many times, the passing of a good person becomes more about those who are left behind, than those who are gone. In this case, I can tell you that this view is fully justified. The world was a better place, when Ernie Utt was in it, and we are poorer for his passing. The comfort that we can take, is that he left behind young soldiers, shaped in his image."
Gavin Turbett of Dearborn, Michigan

"I knew 1SG Utt from Ft Bragg around 1995-1996, we were both Master Gunner's and spent time certifying artillery sections all the time. He was the best of the best, in a place where only the best apply. Later I saw him again in Guernsey, Wy. in the spring of 2000. He recognized me and we shared a bowl of chilly in a great little Mexican Restaurant.
I was speechless when I saw his name listed here. He left a great impression on me and I will always remember him and keep him and his family in my prayers.
For those that read this that knew him you already know what kind of man he was, for those of you that read this that didn’t, know that Ernest Utt was a fine man and an Excellent Soldier. I am proud to have known him and I will remember him always.

God Bless You and your family Ernest Utt"
Matthew Jones of Tikrit, Iraq

"To the family of 1SG Ernest Utt,

I just read that my battle buddy had passed away. I attended EO school with SSG Utt at Ft. Bragg in the mid 1990s. The two weeks with him, I learned so much from him and counted him as a true friend. He was a compassionate Soldier who loved his Soldiers and so very proud and in love with his wife and family. I still have his information in my book as he told me to call anytime I needed something. Funny thing about a month ago I thought of him. To his lovely family be encouraged through this and know God's strength will allow you to endure. You are in my prayers and thoughts."
MSG Douglas Padgett of Ft. Bliss, TX

"To the family of:Ernest E.Utt 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"

"My name is Cameron Schilling and I have started “Portrait of a Soldier” which donates a portrait sketch of every Illinois soldier who has fallen in Iraq or Afghanistan. All 122 sketches will be on display for a Memorial Day Presentation in Chicago, Illinois on May 26-31 at the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. After the ceremony the sketches will be given to the immediate families of the Illinois soldiers. I would invite any friends or family members to come and honor these men and women from Illinois who have given their lives to our country. For more information please contact OperationHomeFront.org at 866-417-8889 which is an organization headed by the Lt. Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois who is in charge of the Memorial Day Presentation. Thank You.

Please check out www.portraitofasoldier.org
To contact Cameron email cameronschilling84@hotmail.com
To contact Operation Home Front call 866-417-8889"
Cameron Schilling of Charleston, Illinois

"My name is Cameron Schilling. I am a college student from central Illinois. I am the first generation of my family not to serve his country. I am extremely grateful for the sacrifice you and your loved one has given for the United States. I am disappointed by the way the news media has covered this war and the deaths of our youth. The media has stopped listing the names of the soldiers killed in Iraq and people only talk about the soldiers when we reach a specific milestone in deaths. If you just started watching the news today you would not even know there is a war going on. Partisan politics have replaced coverage of our young generation who have traveled to a foreign land in the name of the United States. Whether you believe the war in Iraq is wrong, right, justified or not everyone should pay even just a little more attention to what these young men and women are sacrificing. This is what I would like to do. I want to do my part in honoring these soldiers and their memories. Along with being a college student I am also a budding artist. I draw pencil portraits of local people in my community. I want to offer a pencil portrait sketch to the immediate family of every Illinois soldier killed in Iraq. Please contact me at cameronschilling84@hotmail.com."
Cameron of illinois

"22 Oct 05
To the Utt Family:
I only recently learned of your loss and am deeply saddened. Then, SSG Utt, was my Gunnery Sergeant in B Battery, 2-319th at Fort Bragg in 1996-1997 before he PCS'd to NTC. As his Battery Commander, we shared a special relationship because he was my right hand man when we went to the field on training exercises. I was a new commander and "Gunny", as we called him, was only too happy to teach me all he knew -- I learned a great deal. He drove me crazy at the time because he was using a civilian GPS to survey our firing positions and I was not confident in that technology because we were only supposed to be using military gear. But that was him -- a trail blazer and an innovator and I loved him for it. Now, the Army buys us civilian GPS's when we go to combat. Gunny Utt just happened to be the first guy I saw using one -- and he spent his own money to buy it. Selfless service was his trademark. The world needs more men like 1SG Utt. He will never be forgotten. You will always be in our prayers."
Major David S. Flynn of Schofield Barracks, HI

"To the Utt family:

My heart goes out to all of you and hope that time has sweetened your memories and dulled your pain. I had the privilege of teaching young Jakob Utt and will always remember the way he kept me on my toes in class, a noble trait I am sure he learned from his father. Take care, you are never far from my heart."
Mrs. Lynn Verrego of Broadalbin, New York/formerly of Killeen, TX

"To the Family of 1SG Ernest Utt:

My friends and I have constructed a memorial to the service men and women from Wisconsin and Illinois who have died in Iraq which includes, as of 7/12/05, 112 crosses and Stars of David. We would like your permission to put Ernest's name on one of them. If you would like us to do this, please email me at ArlingtonMidwest@yahoo.com.

We have called our display "Arlington Midwest" and it is located in Wisconsin Dells, WI. It is our expression of mourning for the indescribable loss you have suffered for our country.

We invite you to visit Arlington Midwest. I can send you directions and some pictures by email.

"As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us,
as we remember them."
Marty Preston of Wisconsin Dells, WI

"I served with 1SG Utt, I knew him when I was a member of A btry 2nd BN 319th AFAR, 82d ABN Division. He was a good and decent man, as a young soldier he made an enormous impression on me, and showed me how a leader was supposed to act. I have always held fond memories of him. It was the example of men like him that I tried to emulate through my ten years of service. I cannot express my feeling of sympathy to his family. I will always remember him"
Patrick D Gaebelein of Thornton, CO

"Dear family of Ernest E Utt, My name is Morgan Mabe. I recently purchased a fallen hero's braclet with 1st sgt Utt's name on it. I just wanted to tell you how honered i was to be wearing this braclet with his name on, I have a brother in the military and I cant imagine what it would be like with out him. You and your family are in my prayers. God bless you -much love morgan mabe"
morgan of greensboro north carolina

"Denise, I received the message from my mom about the loss of your husband. My heart goes out to you and your boys. No words can tell you how proud and grateful we are for your husband's bravery and the ultimate sacrafice that he has made for our country to keep us safe. If there is anything I can do, anything at all please don't hesitate to email me at mequus@wctatel.net. I am Sidney Rae's daughter, she was the one with the corvette the you and your husband purchased."
Patricia Lucas, grateful American of Alden, Minnesota

"Denise and children God bless you. I just learned of your sorrow last week from one of our Fort Irwin Majors. I wish I could wrap my arms around you as you did me the day I sold you and Earnest the Corvette. God be with you . If I can be of any help please contact me. I am still cutting hair on our brave guys at Fort Irwin, CA. Dec. 21, 2004"
SidneyRae Fox, RC of Newberry Springs, CA. USA

"Denise, Hey its Anthony from Bragg, I'm in awe right now. This is mind blowing for me. I'm in Afghanastan (since May) and just found out about Ernest I am so sorry. Is there anything that I can do for you or the boys. Please email me djxtclsp@aol.com. Ernest my brother I cannot begin to explain the pain I feel right now. I know you are in a better place Bro. Know that I will help Denise and the boys as best I can. I miss you Bro. You're like a brother to me, you helped me out in the Q Course and when I was down and out. I lost my medic 20 SEP 04, Tony Olaes I know he is with you. I pray God has you both watching over us as we finsih this fight so that our children will not know the pain of loosing a Brother like you. God Bless you and your Family. Always your Bro Anthony."
SFC Armijo, Anthony of ODA 341 A Co 2/3 SFG Ft Bragg, NC

"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. God Bless you and thank you."
a grateful family in arizona

"We Will NEVER FORGET !"
Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering all your family and loved ones
in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Ernest, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge Montana "

"1st SGT Utt may God bless your soul. I learned alot from you but I didn't learn enough. You took me under your wing and made me feel like one of your kids. You made me laugh when I was sad and carried me when I was weak. It breaks my heart to know that you are gone. But you will always remain in my thoughts and in my prayers.
To Denis: your lose is mine. Please accept my greatest condolences. I know that you are in good hands, Gods hands because your husband gave his life in line of duty for his nation."
Tarik Madkour of Houston, TX

"I served with then SGT (E-5) Utt from 1986 to 1988 as part of the Werewolf Team at Fort Irwin, CA. Even as a 20-year old sergeant (which was pretty unusual), he was the consumate professional soldier, coupled with a bit of rebellion. His current soldiers might find it funny to know that Ernie often sported an earring in his off hours and wore "anarchy" t-shirts around the post. Due to a vision condition, he had a profile that allowed him to wear his issue RPG sunglasses all the time...which caused the "old guard" to grimace and his peers to grin. He had an infectious smile, a mischievious sense of humor and was an amazing soldier. Although we didn't talk often in recent years, I am proud to have called him my friend. The US Army and our nation will not be same with his passing. I will miss Ernie Utt. Wolf 21-India, this is Wolf 21-Sierra....Echo Oscar Mike....Out."
John Trigg of San Antonio, Texas

"SO LONG

There are many who have lost their lives to protect the people of this country. To give us freedom and independance. They risked it all for us, mere strangers, yet one huge family united by these circumstances. My brother 1st Sgt Ernest Utt was among the fallen in this present sacrafice. To say he was honorable doesn't even begin to describe the man he was. In my eyes as in so many others;his wife,children,father, brother,soldiers and friends he was a 100% true American Hereo. In twenty-four hours a day he managed to take care of his men, wife, children and cars with ease, as if it was such a simplicity in his life. As a brother to me he was so funny, so rotten, and so loving all rolled into one. His commitments and accomplishments throughout his life has made me so proud to be his sister.
Now tomorrow I shall go see him in his resting place, not for the last time, but for many visits to come. I will not say good-bye to him,because I know we shall meet again; in another place, in another time. I will simply commend him for a job well done and crack some joke to ease the loss. It will be so long for now Ernest,for our best times together are yet to come. May you rest in peace my brother, my hero...so long...so long


I wrote this the day of Ernest's funeral. I am deeply touched by all the support everyone has given the family. Ernest will forever live on in all of our hearts. We all have such wonderful memories that he will stat living forever. With my deepest appreciation to all the men and women of this country who serve our military to make each day a better one."
Donna Gioti (Ernest's sister) of St. Pete, Florida

"My Prayers are with you. I'm so sorry for your loss. Ernest Jr. would be a second cousin to my late husband Kenny Utt"
Marjorie J. Utt of Belle Plaine, KS

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

"GOD WILL CARRY YOU!
WORDS OF COMFORT BY: EMILY MATTHEWS
The Lord will never leave us
nor forsake us,
He promised He'd be with us
through it all.
It often seems
He's walking right beside us
As He guides us through our problems,
large and small.
But there are times
we just can't feel His presence,
When the road's so rough,
we need Him all the more-
We wonder why we're so alone and helpless,
Why His hand's not there to lead us as before...
But if we listen quietly,
He'll tell us,
"Take a moment
and remember what I said:
If you fail to see me
walking right beside you,
It's because I have you
in my arms instead-
For together, we will cross
the highest mountain,
Together we will face a stormy sea,
You never are alone,
you're never helpless!
I'll carry you-
let go and lean on me."
To the UTT Family-I ran across this and I thought I would share you know how much you mean to me, and how much I really care! Again Love you all!!!!"
Ms. Thang of Lancaster, Pa-US

"hello mr. utt sorry i never met you but i will see you soon take care."
angela ismael of ft hood tx

"Ernest, Denise, and children, You are in my every thought and prayer and I assure you that Ernest is now safe. I learned so much from your whole family that will help me and my family as we continue our career with Dean in the military. Dean and I looked up to Ernest because he was so kind to us when when we were in need. I thank him for teaching my husband just a little about cars, and about life. Denise you are my mentor and my dearest friend I will always be here even if miles separate us. I love you guys like family I always will. I know how strong Ernest made you and I hope that I can be half as strong. I see now why it is so important to not sweat the little things and to just live, so for that I thank him. That may be the biggest lesson I really needed to learn. I will cherish the time I have left with you here in Texas and look forward to visiting you in the future. The Utt family is a special family and you will never be forgotten. Please know that I am here and that I will look froward to staying in contact.
From my husband he says this" Denise although we may never be able to answer many of our questions we can look at his smile and know the answer. He was someome I looked up to and will continue my career with those same expectations he always told me to have. I will pray for you and your family and I will continue my mission strong because that is the way he would have liked it."

Our Love and Support,
Sgt Tracy, Monica, Nathaniel, Matthew, and Alexander. HOOAH!!!"
Monica Tracy of Ft. Hood, TX USA

"Ernest you made me laugh and I have enjoyed our friendship with you and your beautiful wife. She is a fantastic person and I will help her any way we can.You will be missed deeply"
Denise Higgins & 1SG Higgins of Fort Hood, Tx.

"Dearest Boys I am thinking of you and praying for you. Remember to talk to God when you need him. Zania sends her love. Hopefully i will see you soon. Love always"
Aunt Falaq of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, USA

"My best friend, my mentor, my brother you will forever be in my heart, I know that you are up there training your NCO's looking over me now, continue to guide me, Denise and the boys I am but a phone call away. my prayers are with you. Much love."
STAFF SERGEANT MICHAEL L. WEBB of WACO, TEXAS, USA

"1SG Utt: You gave me the honor of leading soldiers in your Battery. You always provided unselfish support and mentoring to me. You gave me that chance to be a Chief. I miss you.

PACESETTERS!"
of Fort Hood, Texas

"Uncle Ernest,
I miss you already!!!! We had alot of fun together, and I love you!!!!! Boys: you can write me at moms's e-mail 032473@comcast.net love you toooo!"
Your niece Brooke of Lancaster,Pa-US

"To the entire family of Ernest Utt!! I can't find the words to describe how much of a person he was, but he will be sadly missed by everyone! Denise, and kids-- if you need me I'm a call away, and there's nothing that will keep that line busy for you!! I'll see you Thursday and until then stay strong, and remember Denise aren't you suppose to be in the kitchen w/your shoes off??? Oh yeah I'll bring you some Coffee!! Love you all!!!!!"
Jenni of Lancaster,Pa-US

"Christopher, DeTerrian, and Jakob,
We love you. We are praying for you.
This is a sad time, but keep your heads up and be strong."
Your Aunt Pooda ,and cousins: Safia,Kayya,Nay,Moo,Fussy, Ibby and Sean of Columbia,SC/ USA

"To Ernie's family: It is so hard to find the words to describe the incredible sadness in knowing that the same Ernie who gave me many wonderful highschool memories and grew up to become such an honorable man, awesome husband and Dad is now gone. May you find comfort in knowing that Ernie is in heaven, in the very place that we all want to be when God calls us home. If only the rest of the world had Ernie's kind of heart, we wouldn't be at war, and it would definately be a better place for all. May Ernie's legacy and views of life live on through his children, and through each of us whose life he has touched. One of Ernie's quotes that has been fundamental throughout my life, when life gets hectic, and has helped to set my priorities straight, is to "always make time for fun". Herbie, many prayers and hugs are coming to you, too. God Bless!"
Jane McNally (German) of Largo, FL

"Christopher, DeTerrian, and Jakob, I love you all and I will be with you soon. Hang in there and be strong."
Mom of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, USA

"Denise, DeTerrian, William, Jacob and Jordan, we are devastated,and we are deeply sorry for your great loss.
But I just want to make mention a few things from my heart.


On behalf of my Husband Frank Di Serafino, My children, Kathleen Kennedy, and Quentyn Kennedy. Ernie and us were Family. I met Ernie perhaps Twenty-four years ago and I became Ernie's Aunt and when I met Denise, I became her Aunt. We are deeply sadden.
Ernie was a good Father, provider, role model, and leader to his children, his sons, De Terrian and William and Jacob my great great nephews and a good Husband to Denise. Ernie actions spoke louder then words. Ernie was a God Send.

Ernest had a relationship with his brother Jordan, that was absolutely superb. Jordan stood by Ernie, and Ernie stood by Jordan. All of us will suffer an immense loss.
Ernie was statinoned in Barstow, California, when we first met. We had some fun times.
There will always be a place in my heart for Ernie Utt.

We are in low spirits, but we will always love Ernie.
Ernie was loved by us the very first time we met.

Ernie was God's Child, he was good, and we will pray for you.

All my Love,


Aunt RUTH"
Ruth K. Di Serafino of Springfield, PA USA

"To the family of Sgt. Utt, while it is still fresh in you memory all of this will still hurt deeply. It doesn't get any easier at the beginning but through God's strength you will make it. We know personally because we are the parents of Spec. Justin W. Johnson-kia in Baghdad on April 10...he was the first in 1/82 Call if you need to talk- 706-295-0346 we are here for you."
Jan Johnson of Rome, Georgia

"To Ernest'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

"To Ernest'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 his bravery and sacrifice.

Sincerely,

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

"Thank you Ernest Utt, 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 1st Sgt. Ernest Utt:
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 Ernest 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 1st Sgt. Ernest Utt:
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 Ernest, 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