Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Nathan J. Vacho

29, of Janesville, Wisconsin.
Vacho died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV during combat operations. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he attached to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. He was assigned to the Army Reserve's 489th Civil Affairs Battalion, Knoxville, Tennessee. Died on May 5, 2006.

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"I met Nathan while in school at Ft. Sam in Texas, we were both from Wisconsin and talked of home. I didn't know him for long but he left an impression on me. He was a good man."
Tim Lanigan of Oregon

"To the family of:Nathan J. Vacho
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""

"Remembering Nathan (cousin)as we pay tribute to the lives lost 10 years ago today at the World Trade Center, 09-11-11"
Sandie Titera of So St Paul, MN

"he was a great loving man"
lola of wisconsin

"airborne baby"

"May 7, 2009
To the family of Sgt. Nathan J. Vacho:
Nathan gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"To the family of Sgt Nathan J. Vacho:

On behalf of all of us at the TRIBUTE TO THE TROOPS, we will never forget your loss."
TTTT of Lindstrom, MN

"I met Nathan at Ft. Bragg. He always had a smile on his face. One day his father, CSM Vacho came to visit while we were training on Army Combatives. When it came time for his father to leave, he went over to the side of the street to watch him leave. Nathan knelt down. I went over to him, put my arm around him, asking him if he was all right. He had tears in his eyes saying he was all right, but it was just so damn hard to say good by. Nathan, you are right my friend, it is damn hard to say good by. You are always in my thoughts and prayer everyday"
SFC Kevin Carman of Union, Mo. USA

"When Nathan was in high school we worked together. One day I was admiring a tie tack Nathan was wearing of a gold fighter jet,a couple of days later he gave me one just like it - I still have it today. I only wear it on special occassions and think about him every time I put it on. I'll see you on the other side my friend.....thank you."
Don Aspseter of Onalaska, Wi

"To the Family and Friends of Nathon Vacho, SSG Vacho IS and will always been in OUR Hearts, a Hero who Served His Country, and Loved what He was doing for His country.

Nathan was My roomate at Ft Dix, the time that I got to spend with Him will always be cherished, and I wish I could have gotten to know Him a lot more, We all will sincerly miss Him, I know He is in Gods wonderful graces now, thank You Nathan for the times You and I shared together, and I look forward to seeing You in Heaven again someday.

May 5th of this year, 2007 was not easy for Me this year, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I had lost a Friend, Battle Buddy and someone to Laugh with, I Miss You My Friend.

Nathan always had a smile on His face, and had good things going on in His life, GOD BLESS YOU BROTHER, YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN!!"
SSG James D. McIntosh of Lakeland Florida

It has been several months now that you have been gone and I still think of the funny jokes and stories that you have. We had a lot of good times and I treasure those memories. I know you are in a better place looking down on us all and I want to thank you for your sacrafice and service. it is men like you whom make it possible to live happy and free. God bless you and keep you close by his side."
SGT Chuck Lovelace of Madison, WI

"To the Family of SGT Nathan Vacho:
We have constructed a memorial to the service men and women from Wisconsin and Illinois who have died in Iraq. Our memorial includes, as of 8/28/06, 162 crosses and Stars of David. We would like your permission to put Nathan's name on one of them. We have called our display "Arlington MidWest." It is our expression of mourning for the indescribable loss you have suffered for our country.

If you would like us to do this, please email me at arlingtonmidwest@yahoo.com.

We invite you to come to visit Arlington MidWest if you can. A friend has put us up on his website so you can see the memorial here:

"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

"SGT Vacho served in the same unit as I do, I was in the convoy with him when he was hit. SGT Vacho was an outstanding NCO. He went out of his way to help any of the soldiers in our company, regardless of whether we were on his team or not. I know he had a deep relationship with his father, who he talked about frequently. He was an outstanding soldier, and I know the US Army would be much better off with more soldiers like him. May he rest in peace and may God be with his family."
David of Powell, TN

"Thank you Nathan for your service, dedication, and patronage. You were my friend, commrade, and fellow care giver. My thoughts and prayers to your family who have strengthened me with their love, laughter, and tears."
Major Cindy Leavitt of Madison, WI

"To the family of Nathan J. Vacho, I am very sorry for your loss. I met Nathan at fire school, Goodfellew AFB in TX 1998. He was a great person to be around, always had a good time and was always fun to be around. My heart is with you all, and you will all be in my prayers."
Wendy of Clarksville, TN

"To the family and friends of SSG Nathan J. Vacho. I'm so very sorry for the loss of Nathan. He was a "OUTSTANDING" person, who always had a smile on his face and a joke to tell that the right time.

I first met Nathan at Ft. Dix, NJ earlier this year and during training, we sat next to each other and was on the same team for each training event in which "we" were able to make things happen!! I remember during a very cold winter night while in New Jersey, when the heater broke down in our tent and nobody could get this thing to work right. Well, it was down for the count, as we all, 13 of us, were in our sleeping bags wondering that next could go wrong with our tent, which was already flooded earlier in the day after a heavy rain and the water was now turning into ice. At this point, everybody was pretty much down, but Nathan came to the rescue and within seconds, he had "EVERYONE" laughing so hard at our situation it was painful!!!

Hell, he was so funny, I started to cry!!!

Well, after we completed our training, we headed back to Ft. Bragg, NC waiting for deployment to Iraq, At this point, we were sent to different units. We were still able to make it out to a Gun Show and hang out a little. He was proud of his children, parents and the lady, who he planned to marry once he got back home.

Nathan will be greatly missed by everybody that knew him in the Army.

I will never forget him and I'm very proud to call him a friend."
SFC Ulysses Bloomberg of Baghdad, Iraq

"There are never enough words to express how we feel or to even begin to understand how you feel. Just know that you are in the hearts of many people at this time. May God bless and keep you in his ever loving arms."
Judy and Richard Busby of Orlando, FL

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

"Thank you Nathan Vacho, 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. Nathan Vacho:
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 Nathan 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. Nathan Vacho:
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 Nathan, 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