Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Cpl. Ramona M. Valdez

20, of Bronx, New York.
Valdez died while traveling in a convoy that was attacked by a suicide, vehicle-borne, improvised explosive device in Fallujah, Iraq. She was assigned to Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Died on June 23, 2005.

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"Ramona you are an American military hero. You paid the ultimate price for the oath that you took. People that have never served don't realize what that oath means. I thank you and send my condolences to the family of this Hero. RIP Ramon M. Valdez"
Helen US Army of Altoona, Pa

"Rest in peace my sister."
Sgt Gonzalez 2007-present of New Orleans, LA

"It's been nearly 10 years Valdez, this world is definitely a little less bright without you in it. I went to a USMC event the other night and saw lots of people from my time in the Corps. The ranks were impressive. I've got no doubt you would have been at the top by now. When it's my time, go ahead and volunteer for guard duty that day. Love always"
Rhiannon Reese (Feehly) LCpl USMC ret. of Woodstock, MD USA

"Oh how I miss you girl....I have so many memories of this you warrior from back home in the Bronx. I met her at the Recruiting station in the Bronx along side Estee Franco and so many people that I miss from that year (2002). The world is such a crazy place, I remember being stationed right next to her COM company and sharing the same motor pool. Every so often I would drop by just to shot the * with her and just catch up. Funny story happened one day that she invited me to Wilmington but I was unable to get into the club (I think it was called hammer shark or something) because I was wearing a sweat suit so I told all of them to just go in and I stayed sleeping in the car in the parking lot lol. I found out shortly before deploying my second time out there that she was overseas and immediately did not feel comfortable. An old buddy of mine (Manny Rodriguez) then reached out to me to let me know about this and I was floored. I deployed to Blue Diamond being so pissed off at everyone that I was encountering over there and remember patrolling through areas that you could tell an IED or explosion had occurred and getting overwhelmed with anger thinking that it was one of the individuals that was around us that was responsible. I became really emotional when I walked into the chapel one day and saw the leaflets that had her picture and realized that she was killed nearby. I was so heartbroken and after all of these years feel as though she was the most impacting loss I had my entire 8 1/2 years in the Corps (and believe me I lost a few out there). You are gone but not forgotten sis. I miss you very much. Estee if you or any other Marine that came out of or dep reads this, reach out to me at olivok22@gmail.com I would love to hear from you and grab a drink."
Sgt. Kelvin Olivo (2002-2010) of Bronx NY

"Thank you for the service and sacrafice. My condolences to your friends and family. RIP"
Jeffrey K. Heck USAF 82-86 of Columbus, Ohio

"CPL Valdez, Its been a while since I have left a message for you here. Just wanted you to know that I thought you were a professional Marine when you were working with me in the COC. Its funny< I could never tell when you may have been upset or had anything on your mind troubling you because you were always smiling< I will neber forget your smiles because they did help me when I was having a bad day. Sometimes I wish you were still around to make my day better when things were getting to heavy for me in the work load and paperwork. Just wanted to say that I miss you and that I will never forget your smiles because it did make others smiles believe it or not,
Talk to you soon."
SSGT Timothy L Wright (RET) of Hilo, Hawaii

"I was a contractor in Ar Ramadi supporting the US Marines. I worked with Cpl Valdez. Every memorial day, I specifically recall Cpl Valdez. She was just one of those special people that you knew where going to do well in life. It was quite a shock to hear she died in the line of duty. I had talked/worked with her just three days prior. I will continue to remember her every memorial day."
Lance Lehman of Tampa, FL

"I just stumbled upon your page and I can't believe this. I remember you when we were poolees. Girl you were the funniest chick I knew, always smiling, always happy. I remember that day we all got beat cause my lazy butt decided to be late and Sgt Martinez (now retired) made us stand in the hallway and hold that damn rod for like forever it seemed like. You are TRULY missed. You are now truly an angel in heaven, god bless your family and you are missed!"
Sicilia Vera of Bronx, NY

"I didn't know you well but you haven't been forgotten...no one that day has been or will ever be. Semper Fi."
Jennifer Shivley of Georgia

"Missing you....Always :)"
Kellee Williams of Delray Beach, FL

"I still remember the day that Platoon 4027 was formed. We were all a bunch of different people from different places, all placed in the same squad bay. Those 13 weeks was the best time of our lives. We were becoming Marines but more importantly than that, we were making lifelong friends. We had a small group that we talked to and I will never forget your smile. I remember when we saw each other in Fallujah right outside my room and we talked and laughed and played catch up for the last 3 years of our careers. I will never forget that conversation. That was the last long conversation we had and one that I replay in my head constantly, but I think you already know that. I can't tell you how much I miss you. I love you Ramona"
Angie of Kissimmee, Fl

"Miss You!!!!
You are at least with Jesus now celebrating his B-day. We all here will meet you sooner or later.
SSgt Wright, T.L"
Timothy Wright of Hawaii

"Dear Madelyn,

I remember growing up with you in NY. We used to play in the hallways until we got yelled at by our parents and/or neighbors. Those were the best times of my life. You might be gone in the physical form but your vibrant spirit will always live on."
Your cuz, Mitch of Indianapolis, IN

"Hey girl, I still remember eating dinner with you the night before the convoy. I was in shock when I heard what happened. I went out the next day and was so scared but knew that was the right thing to do, to show the Iraqis that we were still going out and doing our job. I miss you friend. You did not die in vain and are never forgotten..."
Estrella Hill of Dallas, Texas

"June 23, 2009
To the family of Cpl. Ramona M. Valdez:
Ramona 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 knew Ramona from the recruiting station in the Bronx on Fordham road. We were poolees together. I can remember seeing her hang from the pull up bar in an effort to get stronger. Or, seeing her in the long hallway crunching so she'd be fit to go to the island. We used to go running around the park with the recruiters and other poolees and unlike a lot of the other poolees, she never quit.
She shipped out to boot camp before I did. Unfortunately, I didn't know until I came to the office one day and I was told that she, along with a few others, had already left a few days prior.
That was the last I heard of her until I read about her in the Marine Corps times and well as the Bronx News.
I was shocked not only to see that someone I knew from back home had become a casualty but also because it was her!!!! I called the recruiters office and spoke to her recruiter, who was my recruiter too, SSgt Rodriguez, (Now GySgt Rodriguez) and he was very upset about the news. He explained to me about how emotional he had been when he found out. Indeed, Valdez will leave a lasting impression to everyone she came into contact with. The world is a worse place without her in it.
To her family, I offer my sincere and deepest condolences as I know that nothing that anyone does or says could ever fill the hole that has been left by the death of a child, a sister, a wife, an aunt and a best friend.
I, Joaquin Rivera, am a member of a website called, togetherweserved.com. It is a Marine Corps website. I have created a rememberance profile for our fallen sister, Cpl. Ramona Valdez in honor of her life before the Corps, during and after.
She is also on my list of Honored Marines.
If any Marine or family member reads this and would like to help me to fill in the blanks of her Marine Corps career,(i.e. boot camp platoon number, MOS number, MOS school location, duty stations, pictures, etc) please e-mail me at jrivera5811@yahoo.com. I would greatly appreciate it.
As it stands now, approximately 66 past or present Marines have visited her profile and 11 of which have decided to keep her as their friend. Most of which do not even know her. They honor her sacrifice. I receive mail from other Marines saying, thank you and happy birthday on November 10th. We can make sure that she lives forever!
Let's all help in keeping Valdez' memory alive.
Semper Fidelis to her mother, father, sister, nephews and husband.
J.Rivera
Bronx, New York
Cpl- 5811/USMC 2002-2006"

"Madelin, Madelin, Madelin---i still think of you often and I miss you dearly. You will always hold such a near and dear piece of my heart. I often pull out your pictures and smile at all the memories we shared. You touched so many lives. I love you, my friend."
Kellee Williams of Indianapolis, Indiana

"why!!she was such a good motivated person..she always did what was riight..nd she will ALWAYS be in OUR heartS for sure!!!!!!RIP MY LOVE!I LOVE YOU"
yamilex of bronx ny usa

"why!!she was such a good motivated person..she always did what was riight..nd she will ALWAYS be in my heart for sure!!!!!!"
yamilex of bronx ny usa

"Cpl Valdez,

I have no idea what to say except thank you. The first thing I did when I got back from that tour was go to the tattoo parlor and memorialize your sacrifice forever. I got a triangle of celtic knots, each point representing each of you that were close to me. You, Holly, and Chris. It is so hard, on this 233rd Marine Corps birthday to have found this site. It was hard enough back then to come to grips with your death, so impossible to imagine, so unable to find closure. It is in my mind and in my heart that I am glad not to have closure, so as to never forgot the sacrifice that you all made to enable me to go on. I miss you and think about you all the time. Oh, the tattoo I got is on my wrist and is the only one that I have that can be seen most of the time. I did this purposefully to prompt people to allow me to tell the story of your unending commitment and love for us all and this is something that NONE OF US will ever forget. Thank you and God bless you and your family forever."
Cpl Sitton, Joshua D of Bethesda, MD

"To family and friends,
I had the pleasure with working with Madeline when arrived at Camp Lejeune...She was a strong individual and very determined. We also hung out during the weekends, got to know her very well. My condolences to her family....May she rest in peace, with luv....."
May of jacksonville, fl

"I served with Cpl Valdez in Iraq. Feb-June 2005.
I was their a little longer but she was one hell of a Marine.
Cpl Valdez being a female did and out did us male Marines when we were trying to see all females fail.
Cpl Valdez grapped a rope after a run and threw it to me ans Said, (Tell me who won now)!!!!
I still have that rope and will always keep it.
You ran hard then and you still today.
Miss you, SSgt Wright, Timothy L, (USMC)RET"
Wright, Timothy of Hawaii

"To the family of Cpl Valdez,
I remember the the first day I walked in to the Bronx recruiting office and the first face I recall seeing was that of your loving daughter. Her smile was remarkable and she was such a kind person. I still have the letter she wrote me while I was away at boot camp & till this day I read it. She was an excellent marine and sincere person whom will always live in our hearts. She always smiled in the face of adversity and that's how I want to remember her. All of you are always in my prayers...God Bless!"
Sgt Rodriguez (Benique) of Chula Vista, California

"Semper Fi"
Cpl Arde

"To the Loving Family of Ramona M. Valdez,

Though some time has past, her memory still lives dearly in my day to day life. As a Recruiter in the Bronx, I had the honor & pleasure in assisting in Ramona's initial training & preperation for Boot Camp. She was always full of life and seemed to give off a vibe that could lift the spirit of anyone around her. Her determination to become a U.S. Marine was apparent from the very beginning. As far as I'm concerned, she never once listened to individuals trying to convince her otherwise. Given the opportunity, Ramona could have accomplished anything she set her mind to. She was one of the best examples of what it takes to be a U.S. Marine & the Marine Corps is at a lost today without her. I am saddened at such a traggic loss to my Marine Corp Family. She was a fellow Marine, a friend, but most of all, she was my Sister by trade. I am Proud to have known her and will never forget her so long as I live. My heart and prayers go out to her Mother & Loved ones. I will always be here for you."
Sergeant Manuel A. Martinez - Veteran/ USMC of Bronx, New York/ USA

"dear madelin,
damn cuz, its been what 2 years?? and i miss you so much not only as a cousin but as a best friend you was to me.i miss those days when u use to come and help me wit my homework man those were the days, and those new years days wen we use to throw them parties ha man i miss u so much i dont no why (he) had to take u from us..we will always remember u madelin...RIP girl"
willie of bronx,ny

"To the family and friends,
I would like to extend my deepest sympathies. Losing a loved on is the hardest thing in life. I am writing to not only express my sorrow for you but to let you know about a memorial I am working on. I am creating a quilt to honor the fallen soldiers from the New York City Area. Each soldier will have a panel created. I am inviting the friends and families to get involved. If you are interested or would like some more information please contact me at nycfallensoldiers@yahoo.com"
Esther Kabalkin of Staten Island, NY

"Ramona and I went to Jane Addams H.S. together and I remember her as a funny, very friendly and outspoken person. I was deeply saddend to read about her death in a magazine. It brought tears to my eyes and pain to my heart. My condolences go out to her family and friends. You are among the angels now. Rest in peace."
HM3 Melissa I. Rivera of Bronx, N.Y.

"2 years have passed and I still think of you often. Only to speak to you once again. Te amo y te hecho de menos Madelin."
Kellee Williams-Robinson of Indianapolis, IN

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"
Eduardo Gomez Saladin of Elkton, MD

"To the family of Cpl Valdez,

My heart goes out to you. I learned of your loss through the newspaper and my heart sunk. You should be proud of the young lady you raised. She was always full of life, and her attitude was infectious. Cpl Valdez always carried herself with pride and never hesitated to let people know how she felt. I only had the pleasure of serving with her for 7 short months, but I am glad I had the opportunity. She will be greatly missed. God bless her and her family.
Semper Fi"
SSGT Luke of Chicago il

"ME AND VALDEZ HAD GOTTA REAL CLOSE OVER IN IRAQ.WE TALK ABOUT ALOT OF THINGS.SHE TOOK CARE OF ME WHEN I WAS SICK.SHE TOLD ME THAT DAY BEFORE WE LEFT THAT SHE ALWAYS FELT SAFE AROUND ME.I WILL NEVER 4 GET HER.I MISS HER DEARLY.I THINK ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT HAPPEN IN IRAQ ALL THE TIME.ITS NOT A DAY THAT GOES BY THAT I DON'T THINK ABOUT HER AND MY FRIENDS.SHE IS A BRAVE PERSON AND SHE IS OUR (THE FEMALE MARINES) HERO.THANKS RAMONA WE LOVE AND MISS U."
DOMINICKA L. BROWN of CAMP LEJEUNE,NC,USA

"We new you as a great person who dedicated everything to others. Always had fun and chilled. Que Dios te bendiga a ti y a tu familia aqui y en Santo Domingo."
Sgt. Acosta, Manny Y Nadia Llaury of West Palm Beach, Florida

"I am deeply struck by this news. I have been out of the marines for a year now. I happened to be searching the net for friends and I got in touch with Cpl Munirah White who told me the bad news. Ramona and I met each other in bootcamp and we were also roomates in 29 Palms. She gave me some of the best advice and great words of encouragement in times of need. Not a day went by where she did not smile. She had a beautiful heart and spirit that just glowed. I am still in shock but I can say that crossing her path was a blessing. You meet different people in life for different reasons. Ramona inspired me. God Bless everyone that feels pain from this loss."
Alexis Martin of Southern Pines, North Carolina

"To the family of:Ramono M. Valdez I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief and you have my thoughts and prayers. She died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga"

"Family of Cpl Valdez,
Ramona was a great friend in Iraq, because of her most of us got to talk to our families when we were in Fallujah.
She was always worried about everyone else.
We met during a driving course to prepare for the deployment.I was the one that dropped her off at the buses that would take her to the airport, she was all smiles not a worry in her mind.
I was also on the truck with her when it happened and not a day goes by that I don't think about her.
I am so sorry for what happened and sorry to be here when she is not.
Ramona was a great person inside out and I will remember her advice and laughter for the rest of my life.

Your daughter, sister, cousin, friend will never be forgotton, she made an impact on many of our lives.
We love her very much....."
Cpl Teresa T Fernandez of Colts Neck,NJ USMC

"To the family of Cpl Valdez,
I went to bootcamp with Cpl Valdez and today I ran into our former Guide Cpl Deleon (fka Rct Pinal) She sadly informed me of Ramona's passing and all day long I thought about her. I remember the inseperable Valdez and Franco, and how laugh out loud crazy she was. But most of all, I remember that she was always out to help others before herself. She listened when you talked, gave good advice, and was an all around comedian. She could never keep a straight face. During square away time she would strut and dance around in her shower shoes to some beat in her head and try to get others to join her. My aching heart goes to her family, whom she fiercly loved. I am truly sorry for your loss."
Cpl Joyce (Rct. Daniel) of Camp Pendleton, Ca

"My dear Dominican Sister, you are a hero to me and our people. I sincerly hope that you are in a better place."
Carlos E. Beato of Queens, NY

"My condolences to the Valdez Family.I am choked up with sadness.I was truly shocked when i saw the picture in nytimes yesterday.On behalf of my family we are very sadden of her passing.Our tearful salute to Ramona.The Thompson Family -Mt Vernon USA"
D.Thompson of Mt Vernon NY USA

"I was shocked when Heard the news.
I went with her in the same car to NYC to visit our family on 96's and she would talk highly about her mom and sister. I was in Iraq too when this happened but I did not know that I had lost a friend until coming back home and someone who worked with her told me.
I was a good friend of hers when she first came to 10 mar but was there for only a few months before going to 6th mar for deployment to Afghanistan. She was a great Marine and a great friend I wish the best to her Mom and Sister. She was a hero and always will be. Con mucho carino.
Sgt Juan G Cruz
Brooklyn Ny
2nd Mar Reg"
Juan G Cruz of Jacksonville NC USA

"Madelin,
Tu siempre fuiste mi hermana, mi prima y mi amiguita.......Siempre te extrañare amor mio. Tu adios nos ha dejado un tremendo vacio en nuestro corazon."
Estherling Arvelo-Pimentel of Indianapolis, IN

"Dear Family of Ramona,

Ramona was a very good friend of mine, the closest thing I had to a little sister. She always had a smile, was always willing to listen. I remember her happy voice when we practiced with the church praise team, how happy she was buying gifts online for her family. She touched many lives during her short time here, and losing her has been very hard. I know that she's in a better place, in the arms of her Savior. My thoughts and prayers are with you, and her memory will be with me always."
Sgt Keith Palka, G6 HQBN 2dMarDiv of Camp Blue Diamond, Iraq

"Familia Valdez:
Es dificil encontrar las palabras para expresar la enorme gratitud que siento por el sacrificio de su hija.
Que Dios todopoderoso la tenga en su gloria."
Ramon Zuniga of San Diego CA

"To the family of Cpl Valdez:

It is always hard to hear about the casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, Ramonas hit home because she was from new york and i met her at a party years ago. I am deeply sorry for your families loss. She remains in our hearts and prayers. It is hard to explain to my nieces that I will be in Iraq in the next 90 days. Although its hard to support the war, marines do it honor of people like Cpl Valdez. People who sacrificed their lives to protect others. She is a hero to us all and we will honor her memory by continuing to fight until the mission is complete. We will not let her be forgotten. Once again, im sorry for your families loss."
LCpl Santiago of Brooklyn, NY

"TO THE FAMILY OF CPL. RAMONA M VALDEZ. MY NAME IS CPL. PAUL VALDEZ I ALSO SERVED IN IRAQ ON 2004.IM SORRY THAT SHE IS NO LONGER WITH YOU. RAMONA AND ANY OTHER VALDEZ THAT HAS PAST AWAY WILL ALWAY LIVE AS LONG AS THERES A VALDEZ LIVING."
CPL. PAUL VALDEZ of SYLMAR, CA

"My name is Edwin Ortega, I am proud to have been Cpl Ramona Valdez's Battery First Sergeant at Headquarters Battery, Tenth Marines. I retired from the Marine Corps while Ramona was deployed and was so hurt to hear that she will no longer be with us. I still remember her competing in front of me on the Meritorious Corporal board, which she won and was honored to promote her to Corporal. She will always be a sharp young lady and have that beautiful personality. I will truly miss you and my sincere condolences to the family.

Please accept my apologies for not leaving a message sooner.

Semper Fi,

E. Ortega
1stSgt USMC Ret
Steelrain SgtMaj
EHerc@worldnet.att.net"
Edwin Ortega of Laurel, Maryland

"I do not know Mrs. Valdez but as a Dominican living in Washington Heights it breaks my heart to hear stories like this. Mrs. Valdez represents many of our TRUE DOMINICAN HEROES looking for the American Dream.
People it is time to Educate our youth and ourselves. In AMERICA we can conquer anything with an EDUCATION. It should be our priority to encourage our youth to pursue the TRUE AMERICAN DREAM as PROFESSIONALS (Doctors, lawyers, etc.). My Blessings and condolences goes out to her family and husband."
Kelvin of New York, NY

"I'm a reporter with The New York Times, and have just returned from Fallujah to finish a lengthy article about the June 23rd convoy attack and would like to speak with family and friends of Cpl. Valdez, including Cpl Franco, Estefani Valdez, Cpl. Aguirre, Lcpl Norris and Cpl. White. I can be reached at 212-556-4234, or by email at mmoss@nytimes.com. Thank you in advance for your help. Sincerely, Michael Moss, The New York Times."
Michael Moss of New York City

"Cpl Valdez was a good friend of mine i worked with her day in and out until my contract ended with the Marines. Valdez was a great person who i respected and cared about. Valdez was a great friend who would do anything to help anyone. I helped her mold into a outstanding Marine and Non Commissioned Officer. I was very surprised, saddend, and mad when I got got the news from N.C. I wish the best for the family of Ramona M. Valdez and i am very sorry for their loss, and i hope they know although her life was cut very short she's now in a better place watching over them. i'm sorry and God Bless"
David St. Laurent of Pawtucket, Rhode Island

"Madelin was a close and good friend of mine. We worked together in the states and in iraq. it was hard for me to hear about what happened, i found out 2 wks after, i was still in the hospital. it was and still is very hard to take in.i have many great memories of valdez. i will never forget her.the memories that i have of her even up to that day,she was always smiling, and had had a great spirit. she'll always be in my heart. we miss you valdez, y que descanses en paz."
laura bringas of phx az

"REST IN PEACE..WE WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU..MAD LOVE...BRONX, NY....LOPEZ, CYNTHIA, UNITED STATES NAVY"
cynthia lopez of ATSUGI, JAPAN

"Mis mas sinceras condolencias a la familia y amistades de Ramona(Madeline). Tuve el placer de conocer a Madeline y su familia, siempre me trataron muy bien. Sin duda alguna lo que mas recuerdo de ella es su gran sonrisa y de su buen sentido de humor. Descansa en paz y gracias por ir a una guerra que no todos se atreven a pelearla. We'll never forget you."
Edgardo J. Miní (Nino) of Miami, FL

"Dear Family of Ramona Valdez: I lost my son, Marine LCpl Chad Maynard, on June 15, 2005 in Ramadi. When I heard the news about your daughter, it was like I was reliving that day all over again. It's hard for me to type this even now. I'm so sorry for your loss. On the temporary head stone on my son's grave is the saying, "Not In Vain". That is truly what my son believed and what we, as his family, have to believe every day. Please know that I feel your pain and loss, and I cry with you. They say time eases the pain, and I guess they may be right, but with every new report, I feel the ache of missing my son so much. Always remember, you are not alone. There are others who love you and care about you and know exactly what you are going through. Thank you for your daughter and her service to us all."
Cindy Maynard, mother of Marine LCpl Chad Maynard and Marine Cpl Jacob Maynard of Kennewick, WA

"Ramona Valdez or PFC Valdez at the time attended MOS School with myself in Twentynine Palms, Ca. We were roomates in fact. She was always smiling and with her it was never a dull moment. In fact she was the one that taught me how to dance to Latin Music. The times we spent were numerous. We'd go to the movies and all, even drove all the way to LA one time just to hang out. I tried my best to get in touch with her and I failed each time, and before I could try again I read about the incident in the Marine Times. It broke my heart to see. She was so young, but God's will was done. I wish that I could console her mother, but I'm too far away. Best wishes to the family and trust in God he knows best."
Munirah White, Cpl USMC of MSG DET Abu Dhabi, UAE

"Cpl Valdez and I were in bootcamp together also. It's hard not to smile whenever I think of her--her smile was contagious. That's why the drill instructors dubbed her "Smiley". My best memory of her is when she got the drill instructors laughing--even they couldn't keep a straight face around her by the end of bootcamp. When I had run into her last, she still seemed so happy being married and helping her family. Cpl Valdez, you will not be forgotten. I am sure you are smiling down upon us from Heaven right now."
Cpl Angela J. Gettman (fka:recruit Sanchez A) of Camp Lejeune, NC

"Valedez was a great person who will be missed by many. My heart goes out the her family, she was such a great inspiration to all. She was always such a positive person who was willing to help anyone at anytime. Ramona always found a way to make everyone laugh. I am honered to have been able to work with her she was a great Marine who worked very hard. She will truly be missed!"
Tara Lutes of Jacksonville, NC

"Corporal Ramona M. Valdez is in my prayers. Her rank of Corporal was earned and deserved. I appologize for the mistake in the previous posting"
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, California USA

"To the family and friends of Lance Corporal Ramona M. Valdez,

Those we hold most dear, never truly leave us. May you find comfort in love's everlasting connection.

In the Support section of this web site you will find links to many groups that support you at this crucial time. The Marine Comfort Quilt group would be honored to send a quilt to the next of kin. There are many, loving and caring Americans from all over the United States that will never forget the sacrifice that your loved one has made for our Freedom. Please use our link and register so we can send you our "Love Stitched Together."

Proud Marine Mom and Proud Member of Marine Comfort Quilts "
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, California USA

"I met valdez and franco in bootcamp. After mct we all went our seperate ways. I saw her a few weeks before she left. i gave her my number and she called before she left. I opened the newspaper last week and i saw her picture under the headlines. i broke down in tears immeadiately. She was such a wonderful person. she was always happy and it rubbed off. i remember when we were rack mates in bootcamp and we were told that we functioned off of 1 brain cell. i am going to miss you. Cpl.Caraballo-Vega.L"
lily caraballo of Jacksonville, NC

"Madelin.....Words cannot express the grief I feel in hearing about your tragic death. We have been friends for so many years. I will never understand why such a beautiful, loving, caring, honest, loyal, cheerful, happy person could be taken away. I will miss you dearly."
Kellee Williams of Indianapolis, IN

"Madelin.....Words cannot express the grief I feel in hearing about your tragic death. We have been friends for so many years. I will never understand why such a beautiful, loving, caring, honest, loyal, cheerful, happy person could be taken away. I will miss you dearly."
Kellee Williams of Indianapolis, IN

"I knew Ramona from high school. She was a very sweet and caring person. My husnad is leaving to Iraq tomorrow and of course I don't want him to go but that is his job. To fight for our wonderful country, just as Ramona did. I pray for the lose of her family, for my husband and for all the soilders fighting in Iraq. "God bless you all."
Ivette of Cherry Point, NC

"Dear Family and Friends of Ramona, I was in tears reading of her death and watching the events on TV. I didn't know Ramona, but know she is a true American Hero. Please know that all of you and Ramona are in our prayers. Ramona will never be forgotten. May God Bless All of You"
Mary Ghaney of Brooklyn, New York

"Ramona was the best friend anybody could have. I should know since she was my best friend, like a sister. Ramona and I went to the Recruting Station, swore in, singed up and went to boot camp together. After boot camp we went our separete ways, she went to Camp Lejuene and I went to Okinawa. But we always stayed close, talking every weekend and seeing eachother everytime we went home. The last time I saw her was last November, I wanted to see her before she left to Iraq. When I got the news about her death it was like I lost a piece of me. I still think that the phone is going to ring and they will tell us it was all a mistake and she's fine. But I know she's in a better place right now where war will not disturb her piece. We used to say we were like a coin, two different faces but perfect when it came together. Now I've lost my other side. I was looking at our pictures today from our going away party and boot camp graduation, my girl always had the biggest smile in the room, that's how I will remember her.
Ramona, you will always stay in our hearts, we'll always miss and love you."
Cpl Estee Franco of Bronx, NY/ Okinawa, Japan

"Semper Fi Ramona

Te veo en la otra vida"
C.L. McGrath, Cpl. of USMC

"I remember Cpl Valdez when She was in the DEP program. She fought hard to be a Marine. She would work out every day with myself and other poolees to get her crunches up so she could become a Marine. Some people thought she would give up. But She proved all of them wrong. She had so many goals she wanted to accomplish, and she did She was a fighter, She was a person who never gave up despite other opinions. She was the Ideal Marine and it kills me to know that a coward took such a beautiful person and a beautiful soul away from us. My heart goes out to her Mom and family. If you ever read this know that your daughter beat all odds and became something she wanted to be and that was a Marine. Your brothers and Sisters in the Marine Corps will miss you dearly. I still have your letter and Estee's letter from bootcamp Ramona. We will miss you."
Cpl Omi Aguirre

"Thank You Ramona for your heroism. You can rest peacefully now, for you are truey safe at last. My heart aches with your family for their loss."
Melissa Macchi, (cousin of PFC Mark Barbret from Shelby Twp., MI, killed 10/14/04,) of Roseville, MI

"To Magdalena (name she went by)… I just saw the news this morning and found out about your death. First of all, as a good friend that you were… I give thanks for everything you did for us (your friends) in this life. I remember so many things about you and I still can’t believe you are gone. But it’s better to remember good memories and smile of how of a good friend you were. My wife Sandra and I will pray for you… knowing that you rest in a better place. “La Valdez”…Cuidate mucho y descansa en Paz…
De Luis y Sandra Llaury.
P.S.: If anybody has any information on how to contact her family, it will be greatly appreciated. I have enclosed my e-mail address in this message.
Luisllaury@hotmail.com"
Luis Llaury of killeen, Texas . US

"All of my prayers and deepest simpathy goes to Ramona's family, my daughter just made it back from the war, I could not even try to begin to understand the pain you must be going thru, but Ramona is in a better place now, and everyone should be proud of her accomplisments and her sense of duty to our country."
Juan Hernandez of San Francisco CA

"En Paz Descanse! y mis mayores pesame a la familia Valdez. Ramona was a friend of mine from J.A.Vocational HS. I will always remember her smile, her laughs and always Smart. siempre bien sincera y sonriente. Cuando vi la noticia no lo creia, fue cuando despues fui al Yearbook de la escuela y vi quien era , y me puse a llorar , porque yo tambien estaba en la milicia pero en el Navy, tambienn tengo 20 años y firme a los 17, yo se que se siente, porque como pienso, tambien uno no sabe si yo hubiese estado hay tambien hubiese podido ser uno de nosotros. Siento en mi alma el dolor de una madre, hermana, y tambien de su esposo. siempre estara en nuestro corazones, y en nuestras oraciones. Me gustaria saber cuando es la misa y en donde, me gustaria estar presente en ese momento. Gracias"
Leonela Sanchez of Bronx, New York

"Ramona I was just looking at our Junior High school picture from 145 I wish could have seen you for the last time. I could not hold back the tears because I still got the picture you gave me in 1997. I will always remember you, you will not be forgotten one day we will met again. Con todo corazon me duele escribir esto pero que Dios te tenga en sus gloria."
Diana of Bronx NY

"I worked with Cpl Valdez from her entry into the Fleet Marine Force until she left for Iraq, at which time my enlistment with the Marine Corps ended. I had the opportunity to help teach her to be a leader and a Non-Commissioned Officer. Needless to say, I was heart-broken to hear of her death. We talked on several occasions of the situation in Iraq, and we both viewed the US invasion of Iraq as completely sensless. Although Ramona did not support the cause, she still answered her countrys' call when called upon. For that she is a true American hero and an outstanding Marine. My heart goes out to the Valdez family. God bless you!"
Michael Bunton of Dallas, TX

"I have never met Ramona, but on Friday when she was first reported missing, the story his home. I often read about soldiers and marines in the war dying for our country, but nothing has touched me as this story. Ramona was my boyfriends cousin. They grew up together. When he called me Saturday morning to tell me that his cousin was dead, my heart broke. She was two days short of turning 21. She had so much promise and a full life ahead of her. My heart goes to all the fallen soldiers who died in the service of our country. My heart goes out to Ramona's mother, sister, husband and family."
Lana Lerner of Brooklyn, New York

"I worked with Cpl Valdez for over a year and a half when we were still at 10th Marines together and she will be sorely missed. She was a true inspiration to all those around her and took pride in what she knew and didn't hesitate to pass on her knowledge. I speak for all of us here (in Iraq) that knew her when I say we feel your loss and you will be in our thoughts and prayers. Even though we mourn the loss of her we should also celebrate her life and appreciate the ultimate sacrifice she has made for her country. God Bless you and your family."
Lcpl Jennifer L. Norris of Camp Blue Diamond, Iraq

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

"Two weeks ago we lost our dear nephew, Lance Corporal Dustin Birch in Iraq. In the New Testament there are the parables of the Lost Coin, the Lost Sheep and the Lost Son (the prodigal). I believe these writings were included to bring comfort to those who have lost someone/something in their lives also. To assure all that everything lost - everyone lost, including your Ramona - will be found once again. In Luke the Savior tells us that He "came to save that which was lost." May these words bring comfort to you - along with the knowledge that all of our prayers - and gratitude for your family's sacrifice are lasting. “These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we attain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article
as freedom should not be highly rated.”

THE AMERICAN CRISIS
by Thomas Paine, published December 19, 1776"
Kirkham's of Salt Lake City, Utah

"We are deeply sorry for your loss. America will forever honor your Hero.
The Courage, Honor, and Valor that your Hero showed will always be remembered.
We are grateful for the sacrifice that was made and we will NEVER FORGET.
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

"I did not have the privilege of knowing Ramona M. Valdez personally but I want her family to know she and her comrads are constantly in my prayers, asking our Father to protect and give them victory over terrorism. I am forever grateful for her sacrifice and for yours."
Elaine Hardin of Greenville, SC

"TO THE VALDEZ FAMILY FROM THE WAHL FAMILY. OUR FAMILY IS DEEPLY SADDEN OF THE LOST TO RAMONA. ONE SERVING OUR COUNTRY HAS NOT GIVEN ONE'S LIFE IN VAIN. RAMONA WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED TODAY AND FOREVER, NEVER EVER TO BE FORGOTTEN. RAMONA HAS TOUCHED THE HEARTS OF SO MANY. TO THOSE IN THE COMMUNITY, FRIENDS, NEIGHBOR'S, BROTHER'S, SISTER'S THAT SERVED WITH RAMONA IN OUR ARMED FORCES,THOSE IN IRAQ AND RAMONA'S LOVING FAMILY. I AM EXTREMELY, THANKFUL AND GRATEFUL tHAT OUR SON SERVED ALONG SIDE RAMONA. I REALIZE SERVING IN TWO DIFFERENT BRANCHES OF SERVISE. NEITHER KNEW ONE ANOTHER. YET, BOTH WATCHING OVER ONE ANOTHER'S UNITS AS FAMILY. THE REASON OUR MILITARY IS RESPECTED IN THE WORLD. I OFTEN MAKE A TRIP TO THE WORLD TRADE CENTER. 911, NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN! AN RAMONA MADE A DIFFERENCE. AMERICA IS ALOT SAFER SINCE 911. RAMONA AND ALL OUR MILITARY DID IT TOGETHER AS A FAMILY. TO PROTECT OUR LIBERTY AND FREEDOM. RAMONA IS A TUE AMERICAN HERO AND A GREAT PART OF WORLD HISTORY. IN THE COMING DAYS MANY WILL COME TO SHOW RESPECT AND LOVE FOR RAMONA. IT MAY NOT TAKE THE PAIN FROM YOUR LOST. IT IS A COMFORT TO KNOW WE CARE. THAT RAMONA WAS NOT FORGOTTEN! WE LOST OUR SON LAST YEAR. AN MANY OF THE FALLEN FAMILIES WILL REACH OUT TO YOUR'S. GOD BLESS!"
LEONARD WAHL of VALLEY STREAM NY

"Thank you Ramona Valdez, 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 Cpl. Ramona Valdez:
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 Ramona for the sacrifice she has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Cpl. Ramona Valdez:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. She will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Ramona, 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