Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Josiah H. Vandertulip

21, of Irving, Texas.
Vandertulip died in Baghdad, Iraq, when his dismounted patrol came under enemy fire. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Died on October 14, 2004.

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"Your name is a staple in our household. Angela misses you dearly. We are taking Declan to visit you here in a bit and though he's too young to understand right now, we hope to make every Memorial Day meaningful by remembering and hongoing you and all the fallen.

I want you to know you're a big reason Angela and I are together. Your playful words on the side of the mountain that night in Oklahoma haunted me for years. I thought of them often and, ultimately, they're why I reached out to her. Now we're married. Funny how things work sometimes. Thank you brother. Rest well."
Justin Horn of Ft worth, Tx

"FOB Headhunter"
of forney tx

"To the family and friends of SPC Vandertulip"
It has been 8 yrs since I last saw Josiah in Iraq, I had the honor of serving w/ Josiah and 1/9 Cav.in Baghdad. Every year on Memorial Day I try to explain to my kids how blessed we are because Josiah put his country's needs before his own. Tomorrow the country will remember Josiah Vandertulip, Charles Kitowski and the countless numbers of veterans that made the ultimate sacrifice. I honor their parents and siblings, may god have grace on all of you and please know that the our thoughts and prayers are with you today and every day. Sincerely, The Cardona Family"
SFC Ed Cardona of Rockwall Tx

"I met Josiah almost 10 yrs ago at Irving High!He was sweet & funny! He later became my boyfriend & he was the sweetest nicest soul in the world! We didnt date long but he will always have a place in my heart... May god bless ur soul & family... Love ya buddy!! Save a seat for me! Can't wait to hear ur jokes & catch u up on new South Park!! Mm Kay!"
Crystal Becerra/McDonald of Irving TX

"I have to share with you that when I first met Josiah, I told him immediately that I would name my first son "Josiah" because of how much I loved that name. I wrote to you a few years ago as "Marcie Davis" but I have since been married (and now divorced) and have a son, Josiah. I also wrote to you that the last time I spoke to your Josiah was October 13. My son, Josiah, was born October 13, 2009. That was certainly not intentional as he was 10 days past his due date. I've often thought of your Josiah and think of the strength in his name that I thought so much of. He is remembered."
Marcie Duncan of Princeton, TX USofA

"Josiah was a dear friend, a bright young man, and an inspiration to all who knew him. His non-condescending manner, his attention to friendship development, and his unassuming nature were only the tip of his iceberg. I cried when I got the news, through a friend, that he had been taken from us. I would much rather he be here than me, for I believe the type of man that he was, this world could use alot more of.

We serve an amazing, all knowing, all powerful God, one who holds the world and our thoughts in the folds of his hands and our prayers in his heart. I thank that God that I had the distinct and awesome pleasure to count Josiah as a brother in Christ and a friend. I miss him now, and honor him always.

To the Vandertulip family, thank you for Josiah, for raising him to be the man that he was. God bless your family.

May we all stand vigilant and alert, so that a man with such character, integrity, and courage such as Josiah, did not offer his life in vain.

Support your service personnel....."
Jared Taylor Holt of Cedar Hill/Irving, TX

"I grew up in Irving but never had the honor of meeting Josiah. He will not be forgotten."
Patrick Thuemmel of Coppell, TX

"Just wanted to say how much I miss Josiah and my heart will always be with him."
Rachel of Riverside, California

"I had the honor of serving with Josiah in baghdad. I was part of his Jlens team. He was one of the funniest people Ive ever known, and one of the greatest soldiers. Not a day goes by that I dont think of him and smile. Josiah, you'll be missed my brother, but never forgotten."
Steve Potter of Grayland, WA U.S.A

"Josiah.
I knew him from elementary until the day he left us. I remember talking to him online only a day or two before I was told of his death. I miss him still to this day and will always remember the impact he had on my life as a friend and brother in Christ. He was a hero in every way. Everything that lead to his death he volunteered for and that was what made him so amazing. We love you Josiah and you will always be missed and remembered but never forgotten. We love you."
lucas ashley of irving/odessa texas

"Will be remembering him and his family this weekend. God bless our service men and women. Thank you all for serving."
Chad Jacobs of Red Oak, TX

"SSG Dettloff, you and I both had to fight this demon. He was your's as a squad leader, but he was mine as a team leader. I hope you remember what happened when I called you and you told me what happened. My fist still does not look right. Either way, we are all still here, physically or not. We are all brothers and we will not forget!"
Eli

"I am so sorry, bro. I still feel like I didn't train you enough or something, but what is done is done. Thank you so much for your sacrafice. I still think about you all the time so you will live on. My friend, keep it sleazy,
SSG Riddle"
Eli Riddle of Phoenix, AZ

"My name is SSG James Dettloff. I was the first Squad-Leader Josiah ever had in the "line" Army when he arrived in Korea. I was a young, cocky "buck" Sergeant at the time. I remember that I was immediately impressed with his dedication, motivation, and attention to detail; qualities that we, as Non-Commissioned Officers all to often have to work tirelessly to instill in our new Soldiers. He made his mistakes, of-course, as all Soldiers do, but he tried so hard every time to never, ever make that same mistake again. He was always working to improve himself as a Soldier and was always there to give the Squad a good laugh. We were the "Thundergods" and we were the best in our Battalion. We (myself and my two Team-Leaders) could never have done this without the hard-work and dedication of our Soldiers; especially Josiah. Josiah was absolutely everything a Leader could ever ask for in a Soldier and everything a person could ask for in a friend. He was then, and still is, the absolute very best Soldier I have ever had the honor to lead and train and I miss him more than I know how to describe everyday. When I found out I was going to be stationed at Ft. Hood, TX after Korea; Josiah offered to take me to the river float and some of the other great activities that he knew about when he got there. I deployed to OIF 1 with 4th Infantry Division as soon as I as I got to Hood. Josiah was assigned to 1st Cavalry Div. when he arrived and they were on the opposite deployment schedule as us, so he was already spooling up to deploy when I got back and we never had the chance to get together. I did have the chance to by him lunch from "Applebee's" the day before he shipped. We only had a short time for lunch so I picked up the food and brought it to his barracks room to eat. All of his personal belongings were already packed up and secured. We talked about life in Korea and caught up a little and I told him what I could of Iraq. Then it was time to go back to work. That was the last time I ever spoke to Josiah. It is a small comfort to me that I was able to see him this last time in a more personal capacity and maybe I bought him last good "civilian" meal before he shipped. When another of our old Platoon-mates from Korea called me with the news of his death, I was devastated. I could not not believe it; I racked my brain for anything I missed when training him. I thought, "Was it my fault; did I not train him well enough? What did I miss?" I felt and still do feel responsible for this greatest of men and I hurt everytime I think of him and he is always in the back of my mind. The pain of his loss is as fresh to me now as that first day I heard. I often wish for an entire Squad of men of Josiah's character; I wish I could have deployed with him, he was the best. I've never had a lot of friends and feel I was lucky to have been able to call him one of them and hope he considered me the same, not just his Leader. I know now that I did give him my very best, and even if I was with him that fateful day, likely there is nothing I could have done differently than his Leadership did; but I still feel responsible to him and will forever honor his life and Service. He a was great Soldier, great Patriot and American, but more importantly a great friend that put all of his fellows and comrades before himself. I am now a Drill Sergeant, training our newest Infantrymen on Sandhill, at Ft. Benning, GA. I often use Josiah's courage and dedication to duty and his comrades as an example for my recruits to aspire to and have posted his picture and actions on my memorial space on the wall in my bay. I cannot imagine your pain and loss and can offer only my humblest condolences; I hope that my faithful memory of him and the awe my recruits feel when I tell them about Josiah offers some comfort. Josiah was the greatest I have had the privilage to know and train and I loved him as a Brother.

Josiah; Rest easy, we've got the watch Brother."
SSG James F. Dettloff of Ft. Benning, Georgia

"September 29, 2008
To the family of Spc. Josiah H. Vandertulip:
Josiah 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

"Josiah was a great Soldier. He will always be remembered for his sense of humor and his kindness. For all of the guys in his Basic Training Unit I would like to thank his family that we were able to know him. We remember him even now. We fight for him."
2 LT Matt Pritchett of matt.pritchett@us.army.mil

"Josiah was the first brand new soldiers I recieved as a dismounted team leader in Korea. He was one of the Best soldiers I have had the honor to train and work with. He loved being a soldier as much as any guy I have met. He was a great leader in the absence of his superiors. I could always count on him to make sure the mission was accomplished. I watched him change over the year I had him from a goofy kid, to a hard charging soldier. I can't even imagine the pain you must feel inside. I know I was crushed when I found out. Of all the soldiers I know, I never thought he would be taken. He spoke so highly of you, his family. I wish I would have got to know more than just what you looked like from the web cam in Korea. My hopes and prayers go out to you. God bless."
SGT Nickolas Faul of Columbus, GA

"heya buddy,
been about 3 years now. man i still remember running into you at the PX, movie theater etc man. i miss you brother. the last time i talked to you was the day before you deployed. i still remember the dvd collection competition we had in korea lol man, save me a seat up there, ill bring the collection to you soon brother. miss ya"
wang of LA, Cali

"I will pray for you both and everyday for Josiah. Tomorrow is my 51st birthday but I'm going to celebrate the life of your wonderful son. I have several kids serving in all areas of the military and I can't imagine what losing them would be like. I see Josiah as he is in the picture. Beautiful. Happy. and full of life. I cherish every one of my soldiers and will forever count Josiah in the ranks with my own kids. God Bless you."
Cindy & Michael Brown of Fort Worth, Tx. USA

"To the Vandrertulip family from the Wahl family. Enjoyed our conversation Robert. I am deeply sadden for Josiah. He wa a brother to our son as Gregory felt of your son. sadly, neither knew one another. Today both are together with all our FALLEN SOLDIERS. JOSIAH IS VERY MUCH WITH YOU NOW. ONE ONLY NEEDS TO REFLECT ON THE VERY FOND AND PRECIOUS MEMORABLE TIMES YOU EACH SHARED TOGETHER WITH HIM. Trust me on this: all your doing with a scholarship honring him and working on a bill ( to stop others from profitting off of your son and all our fallen) Josiah watching over you. No matter how many children parents have? Losing a children is very hard to get over. Josiah is remembered today and all the tomorrow. he is in my heart and prays as your family."
leonard_wahl@hotmail.com of Spring, Texas

"Josiah H. Vandertulip is a hero and Irving texas will never forget his sacrifice for us all. God bless the family and loved ones and know he is in God's loving hands."
Carla Weaver of Irving, Texas

"Today I carried the picture of Josiah Vandertulip in a silent vigil commeorating the sacrifice of the fallen of the war in Iraq. We were in the town of Lewes, Delaware, a Dutch settlement of the l630's. It was settled by a Dutchman named deVries. My family name is deVries. I believe there was a connection to Spc. Vandertulip. His name will be on my heart forever and my prayers will be for him and with his family. The pain of their loss is beyond my imagination.
God bless you all."
Maria Klocko of Milford, DE 19963

"To the family of: Josiah H. Vandertulip I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully, we will 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, Gateway Community Church, 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ,"
Polly Ballew of Covington,Ga

"Please accept my deepest sympathies, and my sincerest apologies for being
unable to attend memorial services. I'll always cherish the few & distant memories.
I've got a picture of him from the paper on my office wall with all my other pictures
of my kids. I'm proud to have known him and am grateful for his service and that
of his brother also."
Chad Jacobs of Dallas, TX

"All of us grieve with you, the family and friends of Josiah, for your loss and we thank you, on behalf of Josiah, for his sacrifice and bravery. He represents the best of America and the best of humanity."
Jon Austin of Minneapolis, MN

"To Josiah's family. Having lost a sister recently, I understand the pain of losing a loved one. Three years ago here in Chicago, we started a run called "The freedom run" Which is a tribute to the fallen soldiers of the middle east conflicts. A lot of people donated time and money to build a memorial wall. Like the Viet Nam wall. If someone purchases a dog tag with a fallen soldiers name on it. It helps pay for a name on the memorial wall. This year I purchased a dog tag at random. Josiah's name is on it. Even though I never knew him, I wear his dog tag along with my sisters. I know you're proud of him. Even though I'm a stranger. So am I."
Joe Chickerillo jr of Chicago, Il

"Josiah was a good friend to me. He never failed to make me laugh as he was half a world away fighting to protect us. I cry today because I miss him, but I smile today in admiration of him. I find it necessary to tell the following story...The last time I spoke to him, October 13, 2004, I was asking him what I could send him in a care package. His simple request, of all the things in this world...Campbell's soup. I'll never forget how he could make life so simple and enjoy it all at one time. My love and prayers are to everyone that knew him, and to those who didn't get the blessed opportunity to get to know him. We miss you and love you dearly, Josiah...enjoy God's soup."
Marcie Davis of Denton, TX USofA

"To the Parents and Loved Ones of Josiah Vandertulip - I knew Robert and Louise more than 25 years ago growing up in El Paso, never knew Josiah, but nonetheless was grief stricken for you all when I read his obituary in the Dallas Morning News. May God grant him eternal rest. On this Memorial Day 2005 I pray for your comfort and offer my deepest gratitude for Josiah's sacrifice in service to his country. What an extraordinary young man he must have been. God bless you for raising a patriot and allowing him to follow his heart."
Carolyn Smith Hankins of Ennis, TX

"To The Parents, Family and Friends of Josiah: I just watched a segment on CNN and felt I had to let you know how much we appreciate the ultimate sacrifice your son made so we can keep the freedoms we all cherish. In describing him, I could tell what a wonderful and loving son you raised. Thank you Josiah, you are a true hero. I will remember all of you in my prayers."
Diana Crea of East Liverpool, Ohio

""I just want to Josiah you will never be forgotten and thank you, for you have paid the ultimate sacrifice for your country. And to the Vandertulip family, our prayers our with you.""
Justin Spurgeon of Irving, LCpl, USMC of Fallujah, Iraq

"I never really knew Josiah I saw him in the halls at school and I always heard of his awards over the intercom, but when I found out about his death it hit my heart like a ton of bricks! I miss him even though a I never hung out with him! I pray for him and all the other troops over there eveyday and his family! And I still ask everyday why him? I Hope he knows I love him and what he did for us even though I never said a word to him! RIP Josiah!"
Ashley of Irving, TX

"I never really knew Josiah I saw him in the halls at school and I always heard of his awards over the intercom, but when I found out about his death it hit my heart like a ton of bricks! I miss him even though a I never hung out with him! I pray for him and all the other troops over there eveyday and his family! And I still ask everydday why him? I ope he knows I love him and what he did for us even though I never said a word to him! RIP Josiah!"
Ashley of Irving, TX

"Josiah was known to me from his Mother's womb. I have a photo of him in a baby carrier next to Brooke, my daughter, when they were 2 months and one month respectively. How will I ever forget his winning smile and him playing Ninja Turtles in the sewer at the end of the street with my kids? My memories of him and all of the years of fun will not diminish. My joy in all of this comes from the knowledge that he is with the Lord. I am thankful that he was willing to serve and maintain our ability to be free. I celebrate "Siah" and he will be missed. Much love to Louise, Robert, and the entire Vandertulip family from the Foster's."
Debby Foster Kisinger of The Colony, Texas

"This is Josiah's older sister and I just wanted to thank everyone for your kind words. They are very comforting to our family. Thank you."
Asa Vandertulip of Irving, TX

"To all of you he left behind- I know your grief is great and you will miss him- but remember this- God is always in control- Josiah is with him now- no more pain or sacrifice for Josiah- his time has passed here but he will be busy in our lord's army. To have loved him is so wonderful and your heart will remain full of him.
From The Kucinskas Family
Tennessee"
Linda Kucinskas of Missile Defense CDM

"To all of you he left behind- I know your grief is great and you will miss him- but remember this- God is always in control- Josiah is with him now- no more pain or sacrifice for Josiah- his time has passed here but he will be busy in our lord's army. To have loved him is so wonderful and your heart will remain full of him.
From The Kucinskas Family
Tennessee"
Linda Kucinskas of Missile Defense CDM

"On Behalf OF josiah
Good things you have done for our country. We went to high school together and left for basic training at the same time. Thanks for doing what you did to support our country and freedom. Im here in iraq as well and i wish things could have been different. Just know that you have helped to make the world a better place."
Robert Price of Baghdad internation Airport, Iraq

""A Soldier Gone but Not Forgotten"

On behalf of Military Room 10, we offer our condolences to Josiah's family and friends. He was a wonderful person and always knew how to brighten and liven the room up. He will be remembered for proudly serving our country, but most of all he will be remembered in military room 10 for being such a good guy.
We miss him dearly, Shawna, Gwen, Jen, Marla and all of the other regulars in the room."
Shawna of Anaheim, CA

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

"What can you say about someone as heroic and beautiful as Josiah? I Love you, you will be very missed, never forgotten. Much love to all the Vandertulips."
Jenny of Irving, 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, Josiah, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you ALWAYS. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"To Josiah'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. We have lost yet another son of Texas.

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 Josiah'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

"My deepest sympathy, our family has also suffered the loss of a precious life in this battle for freedom. May God bless you and help you through this time. Forever in our hearts a HERO Josiah H. Vandertulip."
Amy & Aaron Monier of Waterford, MI.

"Thank you Josiah Vandertulip, 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 Spc. Josiah Vandertulip:
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 Josiah 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 Spc. Josiah Vandertulip:
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 Josiah, 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