Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Staff Sgt. Darren D. VanKomen

33, of Bluefield, West Virginia.
VanKomen died in Mosul, Iraq, when a suicide bomber entered his dining facility and detonated an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Washington. Died on December 21, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Staff Sgt. Darren D. VanKomen.

Links:

Contributions to the Families of the Fallen

Messages:

Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

Please report inappropriate messages

"It's been 8 years and we all still think about you.. Love you!!!"
Margaret Roberts Anderson of Irrigon, OR

"I didn't know Darren but I heard the story from a good friend of his. He gave me his memorial bracelet in which I will wear everyday. You've touched many lives, even mine."
SAE of GB, TN

"It is 2011 and just days before the 9/11 10 year remembrance. I have been thinking about all the things that changed in my life because of that day and the one thing I will never forget is Darren. I had just talked with him 30 minutes before he left for chow. He was my friend and more so once we got to Mosul. I will always remember him for being one of the people I enjoyed running into on the FOB. I was lucky to have him as a friend that got me through rough days. To his family, I can't imagine how much pain you have endured due to his loss. You too have sacrificed all and I thank you for it and my time with him."
Emmanuel LaBelle of Fort Carson, Co

"I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Darren was a great person with a big heart. I remember Darren from his early years in the Army, when he was still married to Shannon. We all used to hang out together and I will never forget our trip to the beach. May you find comfort in these postings knowing Darren was a good man and will be missed."
Ron West of Spring Lake, NC (Ft. Bragg)

"I am saddened for your loss of a great soldier. Although I did not know him, I do share the name Van Komen and feel that we are probably related somehow. I am thankful for his service and extreme sacrifice for our country. Thank you to the Van Komen family for your sacrifices as well."
Cheri Van Komen Mathews of Reno, Nevada

"I was in 2/14 Cav with SSG VanKomen. I always envied how easily he could run, among others things. He wasn't the type to pull rank on someone just for the fun of it. He always respected everyone as a co-worker first. I think of him often and want to wish his family my heartfelt condolences. His memory will make him live in me for the rest of my life. God bless!"
Jeremy Scott of La Porte City, IA

"Thinking about you this memorial day 4 1/2 years later. I always loved your sense of humor. I hope your family has found comfort in this website. I knew Darren through my husband at the time. They were best friends. Darren, you have a great family, I know they miss you. God bless all of our service men and women, both the fallen and those still standing."
Heather Sargent of Spokane, WA

"I was SGT V platoon SGT when he was in HHC I Corp in Fort Lewis WA. He was a very humble guy. We were playing soccer one day for P.T. and I got kick in the face, and bit through my lip. I cut a vein a was bleeding real bad. SGT V pick me up and flag down a car to take me to the ER. He waited there with me till the Doc sewed me up. Never left my side. I dont remember if I thank him. He was a good man and will be missed."
1SG Ron Elsenheimer of Anchorage, AK

"December 15, 2008
To the family of Staff Sgt. Darren D. VanKomen:
Darren 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

"you know not a day goes by that i dont think of you... i miss you uncle darren"
Brittney of Oceana Wv

"dianne please look up Betty Clemmens in ORofino idaho. that is his mother, might be under JErry Clemmons"
Shannon of lewiston idaho

"To the Vankomen Family, My name is Diana Williams. First of all, let me offer my sincere condolences to you on the loss of Darren. I am co-coordinator for a program called Home of the Brave Quilts Project. Our aim is to provide a quilt to the next of kin of all our fallen heroes from the state of WV. If anyone reading this knows the Vankomen family members and can help I hope you will contact me. The quilts were made by volunteers with love and rememberance."
Diana Williams of Hurricane, WV

"UNCLE DARREN I KNOW WE DIDNT SPEND ALOT OF TIME TOGETHER NOR DID THE WHOLE FAMILY SINCE GRANDPA DEWAYNE PAST, NEVER THE LESS, BOTH OF YOU ARE ON MY MIND DAY AFTER DAY, AND I WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO, AS LONG AS IM BREATHING, AND WHEN I STOP, WE WILL BE JOINED ONCE AGAIN, UNTIL I TAKE MY LAST BREATH REMEMBER UNCLE I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU HONOR YOU AND THANK YOU FOR SHOWING ME HOW TO BE A MAN AND SOILDER IN LIFE, ALSO FOR PROTECTING ALL OF US BACK HOME. U WILL BE MISSED, LOVE YOU UNCLE AND DONT FORGET I'LL SEE U SOON."
JOSHUA WAYNE VAN KOMEN of SPOOKALOO, WA

"UNCLE DARREN I KNOW WE DIDNT SPEND ALOT OF TIME TOGETHER NOR DID THE WHOLE FAMILY SINCE GRANDPA DEWAYNE PAST, NEVER THE LESS, BOTH OF YOU ARE ON MY MIND DAY AFTER DAY, AND I WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO, AS LONG AS IM BREATHING, AND WHEN I STOP, WE WILL BE JOINED ONCE AGAIN, UNTIL I TAKE MY LAST BREATH REMEMBER UNCLE I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU HONOR YOU AND THANK YOU FOR SHOWING ME HOW TO BE A MAN AND SOILDER IN LIFE, ALSO FOR PROTECTING ALL OF US BACK HOME. U WILL BE MISSED, LOVE YOU UNCLE AND DONT FORGET I'LL SEE U SOON."
JOSHUA WAYNE VAN KOMEN of SPOOKALOO, WA

"UNCLE DARREN I KNOW WE DIDNT SPEND ALOT OF TIME TOGETHER NOR DID THE WHOLE FAMILY SINCE GRANDPA DEWAYNE PAST, NEVER THE LESS, BOTH OF YOU ARE ON MY MIND DAY AFTER DAY, AND I WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO, AS LONG AS IM BREATHING, AND WHEN I STOP, WE WILL BE JOINED ONCE AGAIN, UNTIL I TAKE MY LAST BREATH REMEMBER UNCLE I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU HONOR YOU AND THANK YOU FOR SHOWING ME HOW TO BE A MAN AND SOILDER IN LIFE, ALSO FOR PROTECTING ALL OF US BACK HOME. U WILL BE MISSED, LOVE YOU UNCLE AND DONT FORGET I'LL SEE U SOON."
JOSHUA WAYNE VAN KOMEN of SPOOKALOO, WA

"darren was my uncle and i will alwayes remember him

nolan laplante"
nolan of culdesac

"To the family of SSG Vankomen. I met SSG Vankomen the first day I enterd A Trp 2-14 cav. He was a great man. I am sorry for your loss, and cant imagine what you have been though but I am proud to have served with him."
SGT Forbess of 2-14 CAV

"To the family of:Darren D. VanKomen 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

"For Darren's Family, I have forwarded on pictures of Darrens early military career to Pam. Know that my family prays for you as he was a great part of our lives. Please know that we will miss him and we are thinking of you."
Shannon of Lewiston, Idaho

"Darren was not only a great friend, but a big brother to me. I love and miss him very much. We had some great times, and some day we will have more. I love and miss you very much"
Margaret Roberts of Lapwai, Idaho

"it is now august 2005 and i am the 3rd oldest of a family of ten from lewiston idaho, darren was the youngest of our pack. there isnt a day that goes by that i am in sorrow for my brother. I think about him so much because of his love for family and the want of belonging. as the youngest of ten, darren was a baby when I and the older kids enlisted into the armed services ( navy,army ) I never thought he would be the one to give his life for our everyday freedoms that we enjoy. darren your brothers and sisters love and miss you so much . tell dad and debbie we miss them and you so much."
Bill Van Komen of post falls idaho

"it is now august 2005 and i am the 3rd oldest of a family of ten from lewiston idaho, darren was the youngest of our pack. there isnt a day that goes by that i am in sorrow for my brother. i think about him so much because of his love for family and the want of belonging. as the yougnest of ten, darren was a baby when I and the older kids enlosted into the armed services ( navy,army ) i never thought he would be the one to give his life for our everyday freedoms that we enjoy. darren your brothers and sisters love and miss you so much . tell dad and debbie we miss them and you so much."
Bill Van Komen of post falls idaho

"To the Vankomen Family:

You are in my thoughts and prayers for the loss of a great soldier, father and husband. SSG Vankomen was such dedicated NCO who mentored me into the soldier that I am today. When I heard his name announced on the television, I was hoping and praying that name "Darren Vankomen" displayed was not the person who I knew when I was at FT Lewis Washington. But unfortunately when his face was shown my heart sank. SSG Vankomen and I often talked about his dedication and passion for the military and his family. Soldiers like him are scarce and he will be deeply missed."
SSG Janice Putz (Fallis) of Tacoma Washington

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

"To the family of SSG VanKomen:
I was stationed with Darren at Ft Lewis in HHC I Corps. He was a great soilder and I had the utmost respect for him. He taught me so much about how to be a soilder. He lead by example and never took shot cuts.I have so many fond memories of him. I watched his death on the news and didn't know it, only to find out about death today(May 11, 05) It hit me like a ton of bricks. I dont know what to say except that I feel so sorry for you,his family. I will pray for Darren and his family. I want to say more but cant find the words. God Bless SSG VanKomem, his wife, children and family."
Steven Disipio of Olympia, WA

"Darren is & always will be missed by all of us, he was part of our family for many years and brought a lot of joy to the family, especially my sister & niece.We will always remember & appreciate what you did for us. Lots of Love, LaDawn & Roger Peel"
LaDawn & Roger Peel of Cobb, GA USA

"thank you all very much for the kind words toward my brother darren,he will be missed by all of us ,there are 10 siblings in our family and darren was the youngest...........we miss him very much."
david van komen of spanaway washington 98387

"we miss my brother very much ,thank you all for your kind words"
dave van komen of spanaway washington

"we miss my brother very much ,thank you all for your kind words"
dave van komen of spanaway washington

"To the family of Darren VanKomen, we know and feel your pain. He was a true hero and will be remembered. May our Lord give you comfort. We lost our grandson LCpl Juston Thacker also from Bluefield, in Afghan on 6/24/04 in a terrorist battle. These brave men gave their lives to give all of us freedom. We must never forget the cost of freedom. It is bought with the highest price there is, the lives of brave soldiers.website:lcpljustontthacker"
Tom & Dixie Sisk of Princeton,WV

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

"To the Family of Darren VanKomen: I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your loved one. He was a hero, whose bravery and sacrifice will never be forgotten. A salute to a fallen soldier- THANK YOU, DARREN! May you rest peacefully in Heaven."
T. Rexroad of Moorefield, WV

"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 the family of Army Staff Sgt. Darren D. VanKomen: Our family offers our hearfelt condolences for your loss. And eternal gratitude to Darren D. VanKomen for his noble sacrifice. Perhaps the requiem for Abraham Lincolin, written by Walt Whitman applies: "This dust was once the Man. Gentle, plain, just and resolute -- under whose cautious hand, Against the foulest crime in history known in any land or age. Was saved the Union of These States." God Bless Staff Sgt. Darren D. VanKomen on this sad Christmas morning."
Walter of Yonkers, NY, USA

"Thank you Darren VanKomen, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"To the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Darren VanKomen:
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 Darren for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Darren VanKomen:
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 Darren, 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