Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Frances M. Vega

20, of Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico.
Vega was on board a CH-47 Chinook Helicopter when it went down in Al Fallujah, Iraq. The cause of the incident is unknown and an investigation is underway. She was assigned to the 151st Adjutant General Postal Detachment 3, Fort Hood, Texas. Died on November 2, 2003.

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"I miss you Francis, we met at Ft.Jackson, SC postal all branches tech school. My heart cried when I found out you passed. You served your country proud, may you rest sweet friend."
Minnie Mylina Potter of Phoenix, AZ

"God Bless you PVT Benitez...RIP. Basic training, AIT, Postal School and finally Iraq. I'll never forget you!!"
Terri Clines of Wiesbaden, Germany

"This day (Memorial Day 2016) is for you. I think of you all the time but today especially. You were only 20 years old when you left us and it's a shame at how much you have missed. You are truly missed."
Christian Benitez of Puerto Rico

"Well I know you see what has gone on with my life... I know you're still protecting me no matter what. But I guess she broke her promise to you... Help me find peace ma..."
Nicky of Florida

"I love you mami😘🌹❤️🇵🇷💪🏼"
Dad of Puerto Rico

"Soldados del Ejercito Celestial. Gracias por tu servicio y sacrificios. Tu nombre lo recuerdo con Honor."
1SG Jonay Medina of Ft Jackson, SC

"Thanks to all my daughter was and still a beautiful person I remember her every day and thank you for showing all the love for her."
Wanda (mom or Ma) of Toa baja

"Hey lady. Today a friend of mine has gone to the other side. Look out for him yea. I love you and I miss you.
My heart is tore up....wish I had the chance to talk to you and him one more time. xo"
Meli of cali

"I never knew you personally. Your postal unit and some of my unit were all in the same building. I just remember seeing you and your friends in passing in the halls. You were always laughing. I still remember learning of your passing like it was yesterday. You will never be forgotten. God Bless the Vega family"
Lashanda of Tuscaloosa, AL/US

"God bless your family Frances. Though I never met you, I was privileged to meet your parents last year when I visited Puerto Rico. You may be gone, but we continue to remember and honor your sacrifice. I am proud to be marching in the Gold Star families event tomorrow in memory and honor of you. May God hold you in the palm of his hand."
Erin Panas of Montgomery, AL

"it still hurts like it was Yesterday... I'll never forget that day and the look on your face when you threw up the deuces!!
Truly missed"
Katrina Nicole 2.19.15 of Chicago

"11 years. Wow! It doesn't get any easier but your memory still remains. I think about you every day... and I mean everyday! Que lo Dios te bendiga te adoro"
Christian Benitez of Sam Houston, TX

"Franmi te extraño un mundo mami!!! Its friday Sept 19, 2014 and not a minute goes by that I dont think about you. I MISS EVERYTHING from the way you laughed to the way you even teased me. Iwent the other day to see you and all I could thnk about Is how mucb ive changed and grown and wondering if you im making you proud. Its crazy how my sons never meet you but knows everything about you. We always walk up the stairs before hitting our rooms an he says dejame dale un beso a titi frances mami and we go and give your portrait a kiss. Me and my son just the other day had a conversation about you because it was your birthday he asked me if we could go and sing happy birthday too you and my response was we cant dereck but if we sing really loud she can hear us so in the middle of the kitchen as loud as we could with my eyes filled with tears of joy and sadness we sang happy bday to her. Everyday you are very present in my sons life and that will never change I always ask him dereck tu me amas and he says mami te amo hasta donde esta titi Frances y papa Dios. TE AMO MI AMOR WITH ALL MY HEART."
Jeannette (sister) of toa baja puerto rico

"Happy birthday Frances. I still think about you and miss you often... Dios te bendiga."
Christian Benitez of Sam Houston, TX

"Hola, Yo trabaje en Iraq desde el 2008 hasta el 2013, durante los anos 2008 y 2011, siempre visitaba el Post Office que fue nombrado con tu nombre, Soy Dominicano y me llamo la atención ver tu nombre hispano. Que Dios te tenga en tu santo seno. Fuiste valiente y con mucho coraje estuviste en un campo de batalla, luchando por tu nación. Me llena de orgullo dejar este mensaje, mis mas sentido pésame para toda la familia, espero que Dios los llene de bendiciones y mucha fuerza ya que la perdida de un hijo es dificil aceptar. Eddie Correa un hermano dominicano"
Eddie of Houston, Texas

"Just thinking of what a very sweet girl Francis was when she and my daughter were growing up in Cali and WA, army brats :). They did everything together in school and would fight for one another. I remember having to go up to the school on at least a couple of occasions to see them both sitting in the office looking like, well, we were just sticking up for one or the other..lol. I did not even have to ask what was the problem (I knew) that is how it always went. They would always defending one from some bully in school. Danielle and Francis did lots of things together, they especially loved to dance, and skate, especially dance. They were great dancers and would make up dance routines and do them at school events :). Often times her family would take Danielle along on trips with them places and have sleep overs often. Danielle loved Francis very much and she loved Danielle lots as well. I am so very deeply, hurt and sorry for our loss. Francis was a very dear and special young lady and it is a very proud thing to know that she grew up to be a very strong and beautiful woman of Character and Bravery. I thank God for her and her family, a very close knit and loving family. They were blessed to have a wonderful daughter like her. We all were/are blessed that she was such an important part of our lives.. a very special young lady in deed. My love and sincere heartfelt condolences go out to all of the people here, her family, friends, and relatives, all those whom she touched with the pureness of her gentle spirit. May peace be with you, and may our hearts continue to mend by the love she filled them with. God's Blessings and peace be restored~*~*"
Kimberly of Tacoma, WA. USA

"Hey Vega,
Just thinking about you and the short time we had together. 10 years is a long time, you gave up so much. We all miss and love you. You will not be forgotten...

Forever in my heart, and until we meet again,

Gilberto "Tito" Molina of Chicago, IL"
Gilberto Molina of chicago

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY NENA!!!!"
CHRISTIAN J BENITEZ of Italy

"A hero will never be forgotten and it's an honor knowing of you. 10 years later your soul is still making a difference in all of us. Your soul touched mine a few days ago, I'm honored to had an honor to hold your flag and to get to know a true hero. Wanda you and your husband raised a great Daughter and a hero. She is proud to be your Daughter and her soul is still watching over you. God Bless everyone in the world."
Adrian Petrus of Brentwood Md

"Almost 10 years later and I still hear new information on exactly what happened that day. Sometimes the smallest actions in life make a big difference. Since that day I told myself I would be a pilot in remembrance, and I finally reached that goal a few months ago.

The void you left can never be filled, but I'd like everyone to know that her sacrifice, along with everyone else's in that 47 made a huge contribution and changed the way the Army aviation community does business. That day will never be forgotten, and neither will you. You saved countless lives whether you know it or not."
Angel of Florida

"FRANCES!!!! So many years have passed but you are never ever forgotten. Thank you for what you gave up! God bless your family and those affected by your absence."
CJB of San Antonio, TX

"Can't believe it's been 10 yrs. already! Still remember basic training with you and how many things we had in common. I remember our last conversation before we both deployed, and how we should go salsa dancing when we get back. You were such a beautiful, bright person that everyone seemed to gravitate to! After all this time I still can't get over that you're actually gone. It seems like yesterday when I got to Iraq, and I was watching the news about the helicopter that you were in went down. It saddens me that your life was cut short, but it was not in vain. I just wanted to stop by to say I was thinking about you and miss your smiling face! Love you friend!"
Bermudez of Ft. Hood, Tx.

"Rest in peace."
of Texas

"Para Mi Amiga...

Una palabra no dice nada
y al mismo tiempo lo esconde todo
igual que el viento que esconde el agua
como las flores que esconde el lodo.

Una mirada no dice nada
y al mismo tiempo lo dice todo
como la lluvia sobre tu cara
o el viejo mapa de algun tesoro.

Una verdad no dice nada
y al mismo tiempo lo esconde todo
como una hoguera que no se apaga
como una piedra que nace polvo.

Si un dia me faltas no sere nada
y al mismo tiempo lo sere todo
porque en tus ojos estan mis alas
y esta la orilla donde me ahogo,
porque en tus ojos estan mis alas
y esta la orilla donde me ahogo."

"Vega, There is not a day that goes by that you are not on my mind. I can remember the many conversations that we had with Kat and others, while working on the tarmac in BIAP, in the blazing heat. You are so special to so many...your smile always made our rough days in the sandbox better. You have truly made an impact in my life, and I thank you for it. It was a true honor and a pleasure to have served with the great soldiers of the 151ST Postal Co, and most of all, you; France Marie Vega. Until we meet again...

With Love"
Gilberto "Tito" Molina of Chicago, IL

"Remembering Frances M. Vega today, 02 Nov 2012. May God continue to comfort and keep her family."
Mary Bunn of Norfolk, VA

"I think about your smile and your infectious laugh Vega. You will never be forgotten. Your spirit has carried on in so many people you have touched. I am grateful to have known you and called you friend!!!"
W.Buie of Texas

"My dear PR, I've missed you dearly for soo many years. You always knew how to light up a room. I write to you not on your day of death, I write to you on your day of retribution and remembrance. I always loved it when we would do the goofiest things together. I miss you."
Aniko Janutolo of Florence, KY

"7/24/12.. Still hurts; saw pictures of you on the internet that I took in Iraq. I googled you and they popped up; I remember when you said "if I died nobody would make a big deal out of it" well guess what friend, your a big deal we miss u."
Katrina of Chicago

"Benitez- my dear friend. I think of you every year and miss you. I remember meeting you at Postal School at Ft Jackson. I remember your beautiful smile and attitude like mine. Your spunk and energy for life amazed me. I remember helping you get your first black beret before reporting to your first duty station. I knew I would see you again later in life and wished you good luck as I PCs'd to Germany. We met again in Iraq- doing mail of course. We laughed and joked about the crazy challenges we faced daily. You were still as crazy as before. Thank you for being my friend. I was so deeply saddened the day you passed. I can remember the memorial your platoon set up for you at the JMMT. I still cry every time I think of you but I know you are at peace. Thanks for being a special and caring person to me. You will never be forgotten. EVER."
Sheree- fmr SPC Russell of San Bernardino, CA

"I always heard that with time it will heal my pain... well it's been 8 years and it still hurts; I can't forget that day you walked a way from me for the last time saying "don't do anything I wouldn't do Nicole" I miss you and think of you often."
Katrina

"I know you are still watching me... so many years have past and it still feels unreal, but through my trials and tribulations I know you are there with me, guiding me every step of the way. TQM"
NIXON ROSADO of FLORIDA

"Never forgotten"
SGT Bowers of Oro Valley, AZ

"There's not a day that passes that I don't think about you I wonder how things would have been I'd you were here by my side. I miss your smile your laughter but most of all your strength. As I lie down to sleep next to my son i can't imagine how he will never meet the person who was my best friend and my sister. Franmi t amo con todo Mi corazon and you will never be forgotten."
Jeannette of Puerto rico

"To the Benitez family,
May God bless you all. Stay strong! I now she was a special young lady."
DS of NY,NY

"May God bless and keep the family and friends of Frances Vega."
Mary B of Norfolk, VA USA

"Frances,
I cannot believe it has been 7 years since you were taken from us. I can close my eyes and see you as clearly as if you stood before me. It was an honor to know you and to serve with you. Veterans day is this week and for those of us who serve and whom have lost fellow brothers and sisters this day is truely meaningful.
All gave some and some gave all. You are an American Hero and will always be remembered."
SFC Lachelle Robinson of Austin, TX

"SPEECH

MEMORIALIZATION IN HONOR OF FRANCES


INTRODUCTION – Thank you all very much. Distinguished guest, COL Domingo Family members, Friends and Fellow citizens: what a privilege is to be here today and what an honor it is to speak to you on this occasion so very important for Frances Marie Benitez Vega. (SPC VEGA), our family, Fort Buchanan and the military community in general.

INTRODUCE MYSELF- I am MSG ORLANDO BENITEZ (RETIRED) but for Frances I was simply “DAD” she had a particular way to say that word I and boy do I missed it.

Frances had many good qualities

F- FRIENDLY – smiley face

R- RESPECTFUL – of others and demanded the same treatment

A- AFFECTIONATE- like personal contact, she like to embrace love ones

N- NATURAL – what you see is what you get no hidden agenda

C- CHARACTER – strong and could always be trusted to do the right thing

E- ENTHUSIATIC – full of energy and positive attitude

S- SENSIBLE- she hurt for others


FRANCES BEST PERSONAL ATTRIBUTE WAS CARING- SHE CARE DEEPLY FOR OTHERS. SHE WAS ALWAYS THERE TO HELP OUT THOSE IN NEED.

FRANCES WAS A GOOD SOLDIER, A GREAT DAUGHTER, BUT MOST
OF ALL SHE WAS A GREAT HUMAN BEING


TODAY A GREAT HONOR IS BESTOWED UPON A DAUGHTER,
FROM THIS POINT ON SHE WILL BE THE SYMBOL OF ALL THOSE
PATRIOTS THAT GAVE THEIR LIFE SO OTHERS LIKE YOU AND ME
CAN HAVE FREEDOM AND LIBERTY. TODAY AS WE CELEBRATE THAT SAME FREEDOM PLEASE LETS CONTINUE TO
HONOR THEM, TO PRAISE THEM AND TO REMEMBER THEM.

TO THE FAMILIES OF ALL THE SOLDIERS THAT HAVE LOST THEIR LIFE IN THE WAR AGAINST TERRORISM OUR DEEPEST CONDOLENCES. WE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THE PROMPT END TO THE WAR SO THAT ALL SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF AMERICA CAN RETURN SAFE AND SOUND TO THEIR LOVE ONES


TO SSG KATRINA NEWTON FRANCES TRUE FRIEND AND NOW ARE ADOPTED DAUGHTER THANKS FOR BEEN THERE FOR HER AND FOR US. THIS SOLDIER LEFT IRAK AND CAME DIRECTLY TO PUERTO RICO FORGOING HER FAMILY WHEN FRANCES DIED TO BE HERE WITH US. SHE TRAVELED FOR TWO DAYS NON STOPPED AND PAY HER OWN WAY JUST TO SHOW HER SUPPORT AND THAT IN MY BOOK IS THE TRUE SPIRIT OF MILITARY BROTHERHOOD. KATRINA WE LOVE YOU.

OUR THANKS GO OUT TO ALL OF THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN THERE
FOR OUR FAMILY IN OUR TIME A GRIEF. WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOU.


OUR THANKS GO OUT TO FACULTY AND ADMINISTRATION OF ANTILLES HIGH SCHOOL THEY CONTINUOUSLY FIND WAYS TO HONOR FRANCES AND FOR THAT WE ARE VERY GRATEFUL

TO OUR FORT BUCHANAN MILITARY FAMILY THERE ARE NO WORDS THE DESCRIBE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE FOR FRANCES AND OUR FAMILY AND FOR THAT WE ARE ETERNALLY IN DEBT WITH YOU ALL.

SPECIAL THANKS TO MRS. GRISEL __________________FOR HAVING THE INITIATIVE FOR THIS MEMORIAL. WE LOVE YOU

TO ALL OUR FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS WITHOUT YOU WE WOULD NOT BE HERE TODAY. THANK YOU FOR BEEN THERE FOR US UNCONDITIONALLY.

TO OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS CURRENTLY SERVING IN THE ARM ED FORCES LET IT BE KNOWN THE YOU HAVE ARE UNWAVERING SUPPORT.

LASTLY IN OUR HOUSE WE HAVE MANY PICTURES OF FRANCES THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE BUT THE BIGGEST ONE IS A PAINTING OF HER SENT TO US BY AN UNKNOWN ARTIST. THE PAINTING HAS THIS SCRIPTURE:


LORD I HAVE STOOD MY WATCH THIS DAY
I HAVE KEPT OUR ENEMY AT BAY
GOD AND COUNTRY I SERVE SO I SWORE
FOR PEACE TODAY AND EVERMORE

A NEW WATCH I PROUDLY STAND
SO GLORIOUS AND BOLD AS GOD TOOK MY HAND
WITH SHIELD AND ARMOR I NOW BEAR A SWORD
MY COMARADES AND I STAND TALL WITH THE LORD

MY EYES ARE FIXED MY PATH IS SURE
MY HEART AND MIND SO BLESSED AND PURE
AS MY GOD NOW DWELLS WITH ME
MY SPIRIT WITH YOU WILL ALWAYS BE


THANK YOU FOR COMING TODAY AND GOD BLESS YOU."
Dad of Toa Baja, PR

"Happy birthday Frances Marie Benitez. You are missed and loved though lost! I still think of you each day I'm on my third deployment.... Still doing this Army thing thanks for your sacrifice and for always being such a dear friend. Rip nena!!!!"
CJ of Bayamon, PR

"To this day, those of us from Ft. Hood who knew Vega and several others aboard that aircraft and all our brothers and sisters in arms that made the ultimate sacrifice, we remember them. We will never forget."
SSG Rafael Rivera of Yongsan, S. Korea

"I meet her while working in the clinic at fort buchanan and it was so sad when i got the news that she had died so young."
Emma

"Darrell thank you for not forgetting my sweet franmi.(wanda Benitez Frances' mon)787-593-7540"
Wanda of PuertoRico

"wANDA TUVE EL HONOR DE PODER VER EL CORREO QUE LLEVA EL NOMBRE DE TU QUERIDA HIJA FRANCES Y SINCERAMENTE LAGRIMAS Y GRATOS RECUERDOS LLEGARON A MI AL VER SU FOTO Y SU SHADOW BOX EN EL CORREO..QUE DIOS LA TENGA EN LA GLORIA Y QUE DIOS LES SIGA BENDICIENDO DE MUCHA SALUD A ORLANDO, JEANETTE Y CLARO A USTED LES QUEREMOS MUCHO...JOSE,LOURDES,CHRISTIAN JOEL CORAL"
JOSE A MENDEZ of CAMP LIBERTY,IRAQ

"Thank you for keeping a live my sweet Franmi
thank you all (787-503-7540"
Wanda Benitez of Toa Baja PR 00934

"Yo Frances,

It's the season to be jolly of 2009 and you just happend to run across my mind while I'm here at work. A lot has changed in my life, but one thing for sure is that I still miss you. I still cry everytime I think of you (like now) and I know your family and friends still have a hard time with you not being there. Our last words still live with me and the journal I kept while we were in Iraq holds a picture of you that I took before I departed Iraq and went back to Germany. This is so hard for me to type this without crying, but I know you are still beautiful and crazy in heaven just like you were in Iraq. I really miss you and love you. Happy holidays to your family and friends and best wishes to all. Your boy forever Simms!"
Darell Simms of Baltimore, Maryland

"”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! Over 1,850 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 some wonderful sponsors who help with the costs, and only want you know that we 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"
Project Compassion - Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"Frances,
I thought about you all day yesterday. It was Veterans Day and you truely gave the ultimate sacrifice. I miss you and think about you a lot. I miss you Puerto Rico!"
SSG Lachelle Robinson of Austin

"I can not ignore this date; (November 2nd) it will forever remain in my mind, for it was the day I lost one of the most important people in my life. But you left me your family to love Orlando, Wanda, and Jeannette thank you for letting them know who was real in your life. I meant what I said I will remain by their side love you always"
Katrina

"Six years today since you have been gone and it's weird that I didn't know you but I still think of you... just playing back that day we crossed paths and how you looked and what you said... I have no hard feelings toward you now... and I show grattitude to you because of what you gave I have my freedom you were so young and yet fearless to embark upon something that ultimately ended your life... YOU ARE A HERO FRANCES.... DIOS TE BENDIGA PARA SIEMPRE"
Esther of Fort Hood,Texas

"Frances - it's been 6 years today since God took you away but I still see you in my mind just you like you were. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you. To the rest of my 151 hooahs, I miss you guys!!"
SGM Kessinger of Fort Bliss

"She was the first person I saw when I went to Baghdad to work for KBR at the mail operation at the airport. She was beautiful, and a hard-worker just doing her job. She seemed to be very popular among everyone - a very well-liked person. Then one day I got back to the hangar and there was a memorial service and they said her helicopter was shot down. I am so sorry for the loss of this young woman. God be with her family."
Holly Mann of Elkhorn Wisconsin

"Its been almost 6 years since you were taken away from us. I miss you and our small Fort Hood / Iraq crew. Kat & Melly, if you guys see this, I hope you're doing great... that goes to 2002-2004 151 AG too!"
Alberto Perez of Laredo, Texas

"I love you always forever in my thoughts"

"Happy Birthday girl..!!!! I know after we graduated we lost communication, but when I found out what happened I was heartbroken, I often look at our Prom pictures & still can't believe you're gone... I know you're in a better place watching over your loved ones...

On what I talk to you about often... YOU KNOW I WILL... PROMISE.

mISS yOU gIRL... 143"
Zaely Carrasquillo of Caguas PR, Killeen TX & Gainesville FL

"Vega,
I know that we did not know each other long, but the time we spent working together in Iraq was enough time for me. You are always in my thought and prayers."
Tito Molina of Chicago

"Hey Frances (Benitez) it's been years since I left a message but I was thinking about you this weekend not just because it's memorial's day I think about you often actually... of the summer when you came to Fort Hood all of 19 years old you were really really skinny wearing a J-Lo jersey the first time I seen you...you used to love to dance loved music loved laughing you had this amazing smile beautiful curly hair... you and your airforce one's... all your memories all the memories we have together I still remember them all every single day of my life! RIP to my Puerto Rican princess!

I love you"
Ricky of S.C.

"It's been many years now, but feels like it was yesterday. I miss seeing your smile in the office or hearing you tell jokes. But I know God has a strong Angel by his side and I know you are up there watching over us. You are truly missed and loved."
CW3 EuGene A. Roberts of Alexandria, VA

"Dear Frances and Family: Even though I did not meet you personally, I knew of you through your uncle Alexis whom I served with in OIF 06-08. In addition my 3 sons studied at Antilles High School, Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico where the softball field is named after you, well deserved. May God have you in His Presence!"
Javier Resto, 1SG (Ret) of San Antonio, Texas / Carolina, Puerto Rico

"i have never forgotten your kindness and the way you were my friend for too short of a time. i brought your memory with me my first tour and now on this tour. keep dancing. i will have you in my thoughts forever."
Sgt Andrew Bowers of Balad Iraq

"November 2, 2008
To the family of Spc. Frances M. Vega:
Frances 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

"It's been five years and I continue to carry my fellow Soldiers in my heart. God bless you today."
Josh Peters of Indianapolis, IN

"HEY FRANCES HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRL...ALMOST 5 YEARS SINCE YOUVE BEEN GONE. ITS BEEN A LONG HARD ROAD 4 EVERY PERSON WHO CAME TO KNOW THE GIRL BEHIND THAT BEAUTIFUL SMILE. WE MET IN AN AKWARD WAY BUT I HAVE NEVER FORGOTTEN ABOUT YOU. I HOPE YOUR RESTING IN PEACE AND WATCHING OVER THOSE YOU LOVE. QUE DIOS TE BENDIGA!"
TIFFANY "TEE" SPENCER of KILLEEN,TX 76542

"Frances Marie Benitez, Tomorrow is your 25th birthday. Another year of your life that was stolen from you. So many things have happened since you've been gone. I miss talking to you outside on the balcony at the B's. I miss everything about you really just being able to see your beautiful smile. Having someone to dance with. I remember the summer of 2002 when you first moved into the Bldg all the guys were talkin bout the new Puerto Rican girl. I remember seeing u for the first time super skinny but u had a huge personality and made everyone laugh. I miss you Beni. I'll never forget you and the impact you have had on many."
Christian Benitez of Bayamon,PR based in Texas

"Hey Frances,

My thoughts turn to you often, and I'm moved by how dearly you are missed by so many. I remember when we met at Antilles High School in Ft.Buchanan, PR. You were in a grade or two below me, so we really wouldn't have gotten well acquainted, but then you joined the softball team. It was then that we eventually became friends. We were two of the all-star players on that team mija. You were the pitcher, I was the catcher, and we were a force to be reckoned with..lol! Damn, how I miss them days. It's crazy to think that you are really no longer with us, and it breaks my heart that you were taken way too soon...pero se que estas de lo más feliz en el cielo con Papa Dios. It was an honor to have known you and play ball at your side. You are gone, but you shall never be forgotten Frances."
Jinelee De Souza of Baltimore, MD/Washington, DC, USA

"Vega - still miss you. I talk about you daily; people ask about you all the time because I have your picture on my desk at work. COL Kennedy asked about you today....I'm here to tell you that no one has forgotten you. We love and miss ya!"
Linda Kessinger of Fort Bliss

"HEY U,

Just wanted to say that when I met you 4 and a half years ago I was very impressed. You weighed about 100 lbs drippin wet, but tough as nails. I now know that nothing in this world is promised and have learned to live everyday to it's fullest. I know you are up there watching over all and I just want to say that your sacrafice is not in vain.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR LIFE AND SERVICE AND KNOW THAT I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU!!"
SGT FOSTER

"PARA LA FAM DE LA SOLDADO VEGA DE LA FAM LAU EL MISMO DIA QUE MURIO ELLA EN EL MISMO LUGAR MURIO NUESTRA HIJA . SENTIMOS MUCHO SU PERDIDA Y COMO USTEDES NOSOTROS .ESTRANAMOS MUCHO A NUESTRA KARINA ELLAS ESTABAN JUNTAS EN EL MISMO LUGAR LES MANDAMOS NUESTRAS SINCERAS CONDOLENCIAS Y SENTIMOS MUCHO EL DOLOR QUE TIENEN . TODOS LOS DIAS ESTRANAMOS MUCHO A NUESTRA HIJA QUE ERA NUESTRO ANGEL Y NUESTRA BABY SE NOS FUE MUY PRONTO"
FAM LAU of LIV CA USA

"Vega, on my 3rd tour in Iraq, I named each of my seven magazines after a friend that was killed of injured on one of my previous tours. Yours was the one I kepted strapped to my butt stock. I was honored to serve with you, and again honored to serve at the very post office they named after you at Camp Liberty Iraq. I remember you as a special person and a great soldier. You were a hard worker and always kept a good attitude. You hair always reminded me of a lion's main.
I volenteered for that third tour hoping to run across the guys who shot down your bird. I lost a couple of friends on that one. No such luck---yet. But I'll be back.
When I train my soldiers in hand to hand combat. I tell them about you. I tell them that they might get the chance to do what you never could--Fight Back. Attacking a transport is a dirty way to fight. My men now know every dirty trick I've learned in the 2 years of my life that I have spent in Combat. Odds are some of them will use those tricks, not just to avenge you but to do something else you didn't have the chance to do---come home alive.
Your sacrafice will allow other soldiers to return to their loved ones again. You will never be forgotten, even by you hardly thought you knew. You are positively effecting the lives of Soldiers you never even met--through me.
When ever I load my weapon I can feel you (or one of the others) looking over my solder. I've already seen some unexplainable things happen and survived things I shouldn't have...Thanks for the help."
Staff Sargant Daniel Sambrano of 2nd Infantry Division

"I am still waiting for you Fra'ma'. It is unexplainable the solitude I feel. But, although I feel such saddness I live through your memories. Frances, you changed my life when you said..."I DO..." WE HAD SOMETHING REAL! People think they(he) might know you but we both know they(he) dont KNOW the real Fra'ma. They(he) have no idea. They think they(he) might have experienced something SPECIAL with you, something like what we had, but NO NEVER...WE WERE IN A DIFFERENT WORLD, "EL MUNDO DE FRANCES Y ABEDNEGO"....OUR WORLD. Fra'ma I know you were lonely over there and that you had to fill that empty felling in your heart. You did what you did and so did I, BUT WE KNOW WHERE OUR HEARTS WERE...WITH EACH OTHER!! "Completamente enamorados!" YOU CHOSE ME AND NO ONE ELSE TO BE YOUR HUSBAND, FOR A REASON. I CHOSE YOU TO BE MY WIFE...MY WIFE...MY WIFE...MY WIFE...MY WIFE...MY FIRST AND LAST, I LOVE YOU. TE AMO FRA'MA'..... ;) "LET ME SEE YOUR MEAN FACE MAMI...GRRRRRRRR!..""
Abednego Vega A.K.A. Frances's Husband of El Mundo de Frances Y Abednego

"Frances, i heard so many good things about you from javi and i was getting ready to meet you. all he did was speak about you the day before your flight because he was so excited that you were coming down and all he could tell me was how much he loved you. I wish i could have met you. Til this day he tells me how special you are and always will be to him. God Bless you and thanks for the sacrifice you gave for us to be where we are today. Thank You. much love"
SFC Caraballo susana of FT. Drum

"I remember the day before she left. We had a birthday party and she went by for a couple of hours and she left early because she was leaving to Iraq the next day. She will be the one to have fun and bring a good vibe wherever she went to. She was one of the first people I met in Ft. Hood, and unfortunatelly the first friend I lost there. Our prayers are with her family always!"
Mary Tejeda of Miami, FL

"Hey girl, feels strange talkin to you now after 4 years have passed. I worked and lived in the same building as you, but you weren't around long enough for me to get to know you very well. Even so, I still remember how crazy you were and made everyone smile.

When you left, a couple of your friends were sent home because they couldn't stay there without you. Some that stayed seemed distant afterwards.

Two years later I got stationed in Puerto Rico and met your mom at the commissary. It was really strange. There isn't much I could say. I've met a few of your friends since I've been stationed here. One of the guys that used to work with your mom and sister works with me now.

It's like even though I can't see you, you are everywhere. I feel guilty sometimes because you were going home right after I came back from mine. I dont even want to imagine what your parents went through.
I'm sure you are in a better place now, being crazy and makin the angel's laugh.

Everything's good here. You left a great impression on everyone and I'm sure I'll be hearing about you again soon. No one will ever forget you."
SGT Angel Medina, formerly of 834 AG Co now of 597 QM Co, Caguas, PR

"FRANCES ...EN SERIO Q AUNQUE NO NOS VEIAMOS DESDE Q YO ERA BN CHIQUITA SIEMPRE ME ACORDABA D TI...Y D JINETT , JENNIFER Y JENITZA...CNDO ME COJIAN D MUÑECA Y ME MAQUILLABAN Y ME PEINABAN...JAJAJA...FUISTE MI BEST FRIEND Y LA PRIMERA D USTEDES Q ME ACEPTO...SE Q ESTAS EN UN LUGAR MEJOR...PERO T EXTRAÑAMOS MUCHO...BESOS
ATT:KAMILA"
Kamila Bonet of PUERTO RICO

"FRANCES
I was thinking of you today, it is the 1st of November 2007 and it has been four years since I seen or talked to you. Even though time continues to pass not a day goes by without me thinking of you and our last conversation that day. I miss you ma and I wish that you were here, your presence is much needed in the lives of those who knew you and loved you. you will never be forgotten I love you always."
KATRINA

"I am a member of a Sons of Union Veterans Camp (Taylor-Wilson Camp #10) in Lynchburg, VA. Obviously, we exist in large part to pay homage to our own male ancestors who served so courageously in the American Civil War from 1861-1865. In 2007, our camp sponsored an American flag during a ceremony honoring a fallen service member who died in either Iraq or Afghanistan in the war on terrorism. The flag we sponsored was in honor of Frances M. Vega. We knew nothing about her at the time but have since learned about her life, military career, and unfortunately, her tragic death. Earlier this year, our camp held a flag dedication ceremony honoring Frances Vega's service to our country. That flag now proudly presides over all of our meetings and Frances Vega is never far from our thoughts."
Kevin of Lynchburg, VA

"Vega, I am at Fort Jackson for training. Today, I saw the plaque that has our AG fallen comrades and your name is 2d in line. I just want you to know that you are still thought of daily in the AG community. I can definately speak for myself and the rest of 151 Postal, you are always on my mind....love ya much!"
Linda Kessinger of Fort Jackson

"Dam I miss you girl.We had so many plans together.Ever since that first day i met you at that pizza place in killeen with your friend i knew that we belonged together.yet now i spend countless hours thinking of what would have happened with us when we came back from that tour,You where unique i have never met anyone else like you.We never got to see each other again after we left camp arifjan and i guess thats how it was ment to be,Even after i spent days looking for you in baghdad and i was staying right down the street from you,yet we never got the chance to say our goodbye's. When i went on leave and didnt hear from you and didnt receive any more letters from you i thought maybe you had forgot about us,but i knew that their was no way that,that could happen so i knew something was wrong and then i saw your face on the stars and stripes a month later and i couldnt believe it.It was like someone had stabbed me in the chest and it still hurts.We were so attached as if we had known each other forever and i guess thats how we knew since the begining that what we had was real.I still have your pictures on my wall and look at them everyday.I will never forget you,you are always on my mind.I love you nena para siempre.And even though life goes on down here and we have to move on you'll always hold that special place in my heart.May you rest in peace.I know your looking down at us.You where an angel.Thank you for all the good times.Love you sweetie."
SGT Guzman,Luis of Orlando,fl

"happy 24th ma. i miss you like the 2nd of november everyday...."
Christian Benitez of TX/PR

"Frances Vega whom I met as Benetiz in June of 2002. You were the first friend I made in Ft Hood. I remember us getting ready in the barax room together, getting ready to go out dancing. We had a blast. I remember thinking how beautiful you are, and what a great, fun personality you have.. Frances... 151st Postal Company is always in my memories and so are you. You are beautiful and I will never forget you."
Alex Conner of Graham, Wa

"Thinking about u ma...been thinking a lot about u...i love you and miss u..."
Melly

"Frances,
I went dancing the other night and it made me think of you. You were the best dancer and just loved to have fun. I remember the Christmas skit that we all did at the Battalion party. I miss you and think of you often."
SSG Lachelle Robinson of Austin, TX

"Hello SPC Vega,
Although we never did see eye to eye, and I was not your favorite squad leader, I still miss you and think about you all the time. You will always be in my heart and thoughts. My condolences go out to your family. To all the family who served in 151 Postal Company in the Iraq theater, I think about all of you.
Sincerely
Cpl Nichols
151 Postal Company
Postal Warriors"
CPL Nichols of Iowa

"MISS FRANCES BENITEZ!

My how time passes. My time out here in Iraq has almost expired. I had a battle buddy out here her name was Selina I know you probably would remember her by face if not by name, she was only 23 years old had a promising future. She and I were much like you and I used to be, always together, dancing, shopping everything you can think of... she went home for her 2 weeks and was killed in a car accident her first week home. I wanted to share this story with you. I feel like hope has been lost, she can make it out here in Iraq but she can't go back to New York and live... crazy! I miss you a lot. Your smile, your sense of humor everything. I wish you could come back."
Alex Ortiz of Iraq, Brooklyn, NY

"I am sorry for the typo error. Please know I am so grateful to the ones who serve our Country. I have nothing but the highest respect for all of our servicemembers.Your friend in Jesus Christ,Polly Ballew"

"To the family of:Francis M. Vega 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"

"Hi Fra'ma'.....toda via te estoy esperando........"
Abednego Vega

"Hi Fra'ma'.....toda via te estoy esperando........"
Abednego Vega of Virginia

"Frances,

Three years have come and gone and not a day goes by that I dont think of you.
I just came back from Iraq myself in July and I like to think you were the angel that helped me back home. I went to see you when I went home to Puerto Rico and I wept when I had to accept that you were actually a real tombstone it never set in until the moment that I had to talk to a tombstone I always avoided going to see you because I thought if I didnt it wouldn't be real.
All the times that we had ran back into my mind and filled my heart I remembered your laugh and beautiful smile, I remembered your love for dancing and how you used to make me dance with you always I remembered how you used to always talk about people and loved to start trouble I also remembered that you NEVER GAVE ME MY RED YANKEES CAP BACK!!!! lol
I love you Nena always always always
my girl Frances Marie Benitez you will always hold my heart RIP Boriquita"
SSG CHRISTIAN J BENITEZ of Fort Hood,TX

"Frances
it's been 3 years but I still see your face on a daily basis. I have our group picture on my desk top and not one day goes by that I don't think of you.
I'm at the SGMs academy now and we (AG personnel) are thinking of putting your picture in the AG room. Every classroom has a theme and of course, I'm on the AG team so I suggested we should put your picture up because I know for a fact that if you were still here, you'd be an NCO by now...
just wanted to say hi...love and miss your crazy self!"
Linda Kessinger of Seguin, Texas

"Well here we go again, it never fails on 2 November I am always thinking of you. I just spoke to your mom she said she was on her way to take you flowers I tried so hard not to cry today but hearing her voice broke me. I am thankful that you were a part of my life as promised I have been there for your family as they have for me. I still miss you very much mami and you remain in my heart. You were taken from us three years today but your memory will never be erased. I Love you always"

"Hey girl.... Wow I've been thinkin of you alot lately, I can't get myself to visit you so I guess this is the next best thing. So I went Iraq as a civi.... and guess what I worked in Camp Victory North, over by the airport.... I went and saw your post office, It's amazing that us in Puerto Rico weren't the only ones how admired you and loved you..... I took pics of the little memorial of you that was inside..... WOW!!!!!! It was a crazy feeling, I went with Joe.... remember him from when we worked at the food court...... Loca..... I wanted to see you before I went out there and I couldn't, I've been back ya desde Junio and still haven't taken you flowers, I'm so Sorry!!!!!! I was lookin at some old pic the other day.... those were some good times, Chillin @ Talos before going out to Laser's..... I miss ya girl..... sabed que hay muchos que senten lo mismo que yo..... You were a remarkable person, and that is why so many people love you and miss you...... Na chica, dejeo..... I promise I'll visit you soon..... TQM"
Yahaira Padilla of Toa Alta, PR

"HAPPY 23RD B-DAY!!!!"

"Never forgotten. I was thinkin about you today. Look down on us. See you after this life is over."
Ben of Kuwait

"Hey mama! I miss you. I was looking through my pics the other day and i came across that pic of you at Dicks resturant...You had such a beautiful smile. God I miss you and I will never forget about you."
Melly of chicago

"like the other female on here i never knew you either. but i saw your face in the postal office, it is a very beautiful picture of you , i think you must have been even prettier in real life. i saw your face every time i went to mail something home and each time i thought of my kids. i thought of how hard it must have been for your mother to lose you, i have a daughter and i could never bear that. you may never know but your face and your spirit motivated me to do my job to the best of my ability and to rep for female soldiers everywhere, you did not die in vain, ma. your face motivated me to keep my head up and get home to my kids because females are not only soldiers but also mothers , wives , daughters, sisters etc. thank you so much for the drive you gave me , after i saw your face i knew i had to make it."
carmen pugh of ft.bragg, nc

"Babygirl,

We miss you so much. You will always be alive in my heart. We love you. Rest in Peace

Goldie(STL) and Benjamin"
Jarrod Benjamin of Camp Arifjan, Kuwait

"Frances - my thoughts often drift back to you. We had our Women's History Month Observance and they played "hero" and I thought of you the whole song and even talked to some other soldiers about you afterwards. I know you can't read this but it helps those of us who knew you. love and miss ya"
Linda Kessinger of Fort Bliss

"linda" your were so special i could never forget you. I remember the time a saw you for the first time we were at a salsa concert in fort hood and i saw you dancing salsa and i told myself i have to dance with you , the i went and talk to you and ask you to dance salsa with me that night we had so much fun, after that night we used to live in patton's inn , you, katrina,Gutierrez, all having fun and dacing salsa.I remember was in Baquba went i found out about what happen to you and i just started crying and i remember that i told gutierrez(chris) and all the other guys we were devastated. this message is for your familly to know that we are with you in prayers , that i never forget about you , you were such a beautifull person , que Dios te bendiga frances a ti y tu familia .
con mucho carino tu amigo Hector (EL Dominicano salsero)"
Hector Correa(El Dominicano) of Fort Hood ,TX

"My lady Beni AKA Benitez, Flaca, I will never forget you. God how could I? It all started in 02 when I seen you standing outside on the balcony of the barracks BLDG 16009 Fort Hood,Texas. All of us were getting ready to go out clubbing and I came out decked out reppin PR to the fullest "pa que tu lo sepa" that's when I heard you say " I like that hat pa where are you from?" I teased you by replying back to you "how does a black girl know spanish?" Yeah you almost killed me for that but we instantly clicked when you gave me that fiesty attitude and say... "Morena??? Que? Soy Boricua!!!" That night we went out dancing Salsa all night. After that we chilled all the time... I remember the nights we used to talk until I fell asleep in you're room. I still have all those stupid pictures we took at the mall in Killeen. You used to hate when I would tease you about all those dumb hats you wore. And how you used to borrow mine and NEVA give em' back. The times we would go to La Garitas and eat Puerto Rican food and talk about home. You were the closest thing to a best friend I've had since I been at Hood sweet once I got to know you...but you didn't take crap from nobody... I remember in 02 when me you and Vargas (rip mami) all went back to PR for the holidays! And then there's the last time I ever seen you alive. Back at Hood the morning I deployed. You gave me those beads with the flag on em' I keep those in my bible with your picture. I miss you ma. And all the times we shared we always be fresh in my mind and engraved in my heart. Not many people gave you a chance but I got to know FRANCES! Someone who was ALWAYS laughing and smiling always jokin on people... And loved to dance! Save a dance for me up there... 4357 (you know what that means)"
Sgt. Christian Benitez of Camp Arifjan,Kuwait FROM PR

"I didn't get a chance to meet you. I never knew who you were. I saw your painting in the post office in bagdhad. They dedicated that building to you. When I saw your painting my heart ached. I could feel your spirit. You were so beautiful inside and out. I never met you but I felt for a few moments your wonderful spirit. I know you are an angel now so please look after those people who miss and love you so much."
Tonesha of Augusta, GA

"Ms. Vega!!

It's me again....I can not believe how long it's been. It seems like yesterday when I saw you leave from Ft. Hood rubbing on my belly. I think about you all the time,and I miss you much. I just wanted to let you know you are truly missed and never forgoten! Love and Miss you Much!!:)"
Ashley Weatherspoon of Germany (151 Postal 4ever)

"Well today is 2 Nov 05 and it still feels like you were taken yesterday I still remember you waking me up and sayin mami "I'm leaving be good don't do anything that I wouldn't do" I hear that voice everyday and that day plays back over and over again. It has been very hard especially on your birthday's and this day it's the worst I thought I got stronger and that I excepted you were gone but I haven't. I miss you I don't have anyone who relates to me the way you did, Yea we had some bad times but you were truly my bestfriend and I don't care what anyone says or thinks I knew frances marie Benitez and I will always remember you and love you, as promised I've been there for your family and I will continue to do so. I miss you Mami"
Katrina

"frances and to all those soldiers we have lost.we miss you and we love you so much.we will never forget you.you've got our heart.love you always."
brenda of mountain view,california

"Hey mama! Yo its been a while since i have written in here. I want you to know that i think about you a lot. Today more then ever!!! I miss you baby girl!!! I miss you sooooo much! Right i would really love to see your smile. You were so pretty. I pray to God that the day i pass away i get to see you once again. Right now i am in new orleans.... and so many memories came to mind about our deployment to iraq....yo someone is rushing me off... but know that i will never forget you. I love you"
Melly of Chi Town

"Frances,

Almost two years since you were taken from friends and family that loved you the most I have shared the same pain since my sister was taken from me. I still think of how crazy you were and how much she loved you. I will never forget the night she called home and I answered the phone and got terrified because she was crying hysterically and then she told me you were gone. And all those days we played softball after school and you and her having that dance team came back...all the nights you stayed @ our house and especially that one night I locked you guys out lol. Today would be your 22nd b-day and a month from now you will be out of our lives for already two years. We miss you. Please tell my sister I love her and we miss her."
Jeanette Vargas of Caguas,PR/ Ft. Hood,TX

"Happy Bday! U will never be forgotten!"
AS

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMI
Frances,
I still think of you each day and I am sorry that you can't be here to invite the 22nd year of you're life. I am blessed to of known you although you couldn't stay you are not forgotten."
Frances Veinez of Bayamon,Puerto Rico

"GIRL I MISS YOU SO MUCH. I COULDN'T EVEN PULL MYSELF TOGETHER THE DAY I HEARD THAT YOU HAD PASSED. I STILL REMEMBER THE HUGS AND THE LAST WORDS YOU SAID TO ME BEFORE I LEFT IRAQ TO GO BACK TO GERMANY. I WISH YOU WE COULD HAVE KEPT OUR PROMISE TO ONE ANOTHER BUT GOD GAVE YOU THOSE WINGS AND NOW YOU ARE IN HEAVEN. I MISS YOU AND LOVE. YOUR BOY 4EVER SIMMS"
DARELL SIMMS of BALTIMORE, MD

"Frances,
I will always think of you and your smiling face! You and your love for dancing! I miss you"
Lachelle Robinson of Austin, Texas

"Frances M. Benitez
Te conoci cuando entrastes a Buchanan en 10mo grado. Cojiamos todas las clases juntas, vacilabamos, nos reiamos en las clases eramos un tripeo juntas. Ese año te conoci como persona, amiga y hermana. Eres tremenda, desafortunadamente ese año me fui de la escuela y no tuvimos mas contacto. Al enterarme de la noticia se me partio el corazón, pero se q estas con Dios en el cielo. Ya q personas como tu se ganan el cielo y mucho mas. Siempre busque como hacer contacto contigo pero nunca lo logre , pero gracias a ti descubrir q es la amistad. Me uno al dolor de la familia Benitez Vega y a todas las familias de soldados caidos..."
Elena Román of Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico

"May God Bless you and your family. HERO

with love"
A.S of tx

"Vega, It's been a while now since you left us. We didn't know each other except professionaly, but I will never forget you. I still get choked up thinking about your memory. I have been with 151 for 4 years now. It is hard for me to express the greif that I felt and still feel. You will always be a Postal Warrior and a part of the 151 family. Out of all the people I have seen come and go in this company you hang in my mind. For your family, I give my condolences. I know they must still feel the void in their life. I know your father must feel some pride knowing you died for your country but that won't replace the void in your family. The service we had at Fort Hood in your memory was beautiful. It was hard for everyone though. You touched everone in 151. You will never be forgotten."
SGT Phillip Barks of Fort Hood, TX

"Vega, it's been over a year now and I still have you on my mind like it was yesterday. Your pictures will forever stay on my wall. We had a ceremony at 151 and we posted two huge pictures of you in the admin area. You will be in our hearts forever."
Linda Kessinger of Fort Hood

"Vega,
I'll never forget the day that they told me that you were gone. I was in shocked, I must have went crazy. It's now a year later and I still think about you, I still look at some pics that you took when we all went to cookouts. I'm going to miss you dancing around every where. Till this day you are still missed. I Love and miss you very much. One day we will meet again! "151 Postal Company""
Ashley of Ft. Hood, TX

"I was checking into the 151st Postal Company when I came across an Article on SPC Vega. I was shocked. My deepest sympathies to the family of SPC Frances Vega. Its been a long time since I Served with the 151st but I will never forget her Name. She and her family will be in my prayers. God Bless You. I am sorry for your tragedy."
SPC Brad Abbott of FOB WarHorse, 1st Infantry, Baqubah Iraq

"It is so hard to find the words to express what I feel mama.... the last time I saw you, you were on a hum v on your way to another site. If I would have known that that would be the last time I would see you, I would have held you longer. Frances, I miss you! I miss those days we use to tan on top of buildings in iraq and talk for hours. Who tans on top of buildings in the middle of a war? lol
Frances I will never forget you. Because of you I have someone very special in my life and I promise you that I will always be there for her. I will walk like ace ventura while she looks for her ball. lol

I love you girl! Don't forget that!!!"
Melissa (Melly) of Chi- Town

"Cuando me entere de lo sucedido no lo podia creer haberte tenido tan cerca y no haberte visto,despues de tanto tiempo pues recuerdo cuando tu y tu hermana se quedaban en mi casa a pasar la noche con mis hijas,oro a Dios por fortaleza para tu familia y a ti se que estas en un lugar lindo Dios los bendiga,eres un orgullo."
Mayra Goicuria of Ft,Hood TX

"to frances and family its been a long time but i still remember you and your family like it was yesterday. and i still remember when i used to watch you and your sis when your parents went out. you where always so happy and so wild and that was what made you. and its never forgotten, i too was in the army and i just got out not to long ago and in my heart you are the greatest hero and everyone will always know you for that. to your mom and and dad nothing but all my love go out to them and i know its hard because as p.r. we love our children and our parents but what your daughter has done for our country will never be forgotten she was an awesome girl with the best personality just like her momma! que dios los bendiga a todos and remember your not forgotten..."
ismayra goicuria ( beba) of Ft.Hood, TX

"Frances,
Mami, from the moment I saw you in the club in South Carolina I knew you were special. You were the only one who would laugh at my jokes. Ricky and Luis Rosario were scared to tell me the news because they knew how hard I would take it. I love you and I miss you so much. I will never forget you and the impact that you had on my life. I can still hear your voice sometimes..."Econ what, Econ what!!!" Que Dios te bendiga."
Ramon Ruiz of South Carolina

"Happy 21st Birthday!!!

Frances,

I think about you everyday, but I can't help but endlessly think of you today, and although I know it is a sin to ask God why? I ask why you can't be here to invite the 21st year into your life, this should have been the time you have waited for your whole life and it saddens be that you are not here to share this day with your family and friends, in June I had to go through the same thing, as you know Seli would have turned 20.

I miss you both, and I want you to know that I love you."
Pvt. Jeanette Vargas of Caguas,Puerto Rico/ Ft. Hood,Texas

"Frances,
I know that we didn't get along that well, but when I learned that you were gone, I sighed and even cried to myself alittle, I am sorry that you had to be taken away from you're family, I think about you everyday, and feel blessed to of known you for the short day that we spent together."
of Ft. Hood,Texas

"En Honor a Frances,

Siempre me acuerdare de ti cuando estabasmos en el mismo BN, de tu alegria y de tu forma de ser. Siempre me acuerdo la ultima que te vi y hablamos cuando yo fui desde Tikrit a Bagdad a buscar el correo. Ahora yo me estoy preparando para mi segundo tour a Iraq, que Dios le de fuerza a tu familia y que Dios te bendiga alla en el cielo.
Con mucho carino,
SGT Caraballo (C-LO)"
Jose R. Caraballo of Ft. Bragg, NC

"To: Frances Vega's Family and Friends,

I would like to invite you all to visit the special site that I made in memory of Frances M. Benitez Vega, she was a good friend of mine and I miss her tremendously! the site is:
http://www.PartingWishes.com
Please feel free to leave messages and send me pictures you want added to the site."
Sgt. Frances Veinez of Bayamon,Puerto Rico/Ft.Hood,Texas

"Happy Memorial Day!"

"Frances,

Usted y Selian A. Diaz se pierde tan tanto, cada vez que veo uno de sus retratos que pienso acerca del sacrificio que usted cada tuvo que hacer, pierdo a mis chicas puertorriqueñas que bailan y ríense toda la noche, yo pierdo ir a partidos con usted los dos.

Ninguna cantidad de tiempo borrará su memoria, te quiero Frances.

Puerto Rico para siempre, Boricua0808"
Selina A. Grado of Fort Hood,Tx./IRAQ

"Frances y Familia,

Vine a su sitio cuando encontré que mi hija era uno de sus amigos cercanos, cuando atravesé algunos de sus pertenencias yo encontré un retrato de usted y su quiero alcanzar algunos de su familia para que yo lo pueda dar a ellos.

Estaba triste cuando mi hija Selian A. Diaz unió al Ejército y dejó su amado Puerto Rico, pero en el fin yo visto que ella estaba contento con sus elecciones, y cuando una madre que usted tiene que aceptar eso, yo puedo sólo se imagina cómo que su madre y padre sentían cuando ellos aprendieron acerca de su muerte, la única cosa que puedo decir es que sé cómo se siente.

Selian que pierde era lo peor en mi vida, y si usted y ella era como bueno de amigos como yo entiendo entonces que usted es ambas espalda feliz aquí en relajar de Puerto Rico, usted ambos hecho no apenas los que lo supieron feliz, pero el resto de América también, yo soy sólo arrepentido para lo que su trabajo lo costó.

Gracias para mi libertad y dice mi Seli, que adoro y pierdo su tanto, cuida del uno al otro. Cada vez que miro en el cielo que yo me imaginaré usted dos portorriqueñas. ..Dancing"
The mother of Selian A.Diaz of Caguas,Puerto Rico

"Benitez,

Man I can't believe i'm leaving you a message,in your memory, a million times over i'm asking myself why you had to leave my side, since you came to Ft. Hood you were my girl, I miss you being goofy and always wanting to dance, even when you used to talk about people loud enough for them to hear you:) there is nothing that I wouldn't do if I could to bring you back, I hope time heals all the pain from your absence although,it will never being you back.

I love you very much!"
Angelina Estrada of Fort Hood,Tx.

"a million times we've needed you, a million times we've cried. If love alone could've saved you, you never would have died. In life we loved you dearly, in death we love you still. In our hearts you hold a place, no one else will ever fill. It broke our hearts to lose you, but you didn't go alone. Part of us went with you the day God took you home. We miss you and think of you everyday....you will always hold a special place in our hearts."
151 Postal Warriors of Fort Hood

"Vega - I truly miss you very much but I know you are in a better place and watching us from above."
1SG Kessinger of Fort Hood

"Aun no he podido olvidarte y creo que nunca te olvidare, tu sonrisa, la manera que bailabas, tu acento boricua, tu hermosura, la belleza que llevabas por dentro, la manera que sabias como ser una amiga verdadera creo que nunca tendras repuesto. Se que estas en el cielo bailandole a dios peleandote con los angeles que se te queden viendo. Eras como mi hermanita.... como mi angelito guardian, aunque se que te vere algun dia te extrano mucho. mis condolencias a toda tu familia. "charge it to the game" Love ya, -tu gallito mexicano de peala, beto Friends For Ever"
Alberto Perez of Ft. Hood, TX

"Frances M.Vega,

I wanted to visit this site to tell you and your family how sorry I am about your loss, you were an Angel on earth.

I send my condolences to your husband as well.

You know us Boricuas gotta stick together, we had fun chillin on the weekends and having dance-offs
you were nice at Salsa :) You were a good friend to me and my wife. who would have ever thought both of you would be gone,and that you would accompany one another in Heaven?

I know that if she's with you you're both laughing and dancing to Merengue on a cloud. Dios Bendiga

R.I.P.

Spc.Frances M.Vega
A.K.A. "DAT GIRL BENITEZ"

Spc.Selian A. Diaz
A.K.A. "PRETTY-RICAN" (ILOVEYOUMAMA)"
DIAZ of Caguas,Puerto Rico/Ft.Hood,TX.

""Francis M. Vega-Benitez"


Well Frances, what's sup? So you would say when you saw me in 1 of all the classes we had together, at Antilles High School back in 2000. Well we graduated and then ventured off to the commissary on post, to work a little part time job (bagging) that paid fairly at the time! Crazy idea I had to join the army and get stationed on Ft Hood TX, and not very shortly you arrived to serve your tour of duty as well. I know you were an angel, though your short stay on earth touched and moved many as myself. We had nothing but good times from school,working on post, to clubbin and you joking on people (always)! It still has'nt soaked in yet, that your gone physically but not in mind and soul. I know wherever you are at looking down on us, your smiling and laughing as usual, I hope your happy and I know your parents are proud of you everyday they wake up. Fuistes una verdadera amiga y nunca me olvidare de ti, que descanses en paz y pronto nos veremos."
Winner of Panama City, Panama

"Frances & Family,

Just last week I layed my baby sister to rest in Puerto Rico where you rest in peace as well, I wanted to visit your memorial to send my condolences to a Fallen Boricua, and also to tell you to give my sister a hug and kiss for my mother and father, some say it gets easier everyday, I think the only ones who say that, never lost someone like we had to lose you and my sister.

IN MEMORY OF TWO FALLEN BORICUAS!!!!!
FRANCES M. VEGA & SELIAN A. DIAZ"
Jeanette Vargas of Caguas,Puerto Rico

"El pesame a la familia Vega. Que Dios les de conformidad, tranquilidad y todos estamos en su deuda por el servicio que su hija le brindio a su pais. Que Dios la tenga en su reino!"
Robinson Perez of Brooklyn, New York

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

"Frances,
I would have never thought you had the courage, but then again you were always tough. I remember back in high school at Antilles you were like the only girl to play ball with us (you know who we are). You were also a very good friend...I have nothing but good memories of you which is all I can have. Can't say nothing more than I love you and you will always be a hero."
Gabriel Maybank of Augusta, Ga/US

"FRANCES,

I know that I do not know you personally,but I was in the same unit as someone who did know you who is now dead herself, I can't tell you how many things change when someone you have seen everyday for a year is gone, I am proud to serve at the same base as you.
you are what a soldier should be,you died for my freedom and my family's freedom and I can't thank you, or the other's who died enough, in memory of you and SGT.Monicka R.Torres."
Nuray Moore of Iraq

"Frances M. Vega-Benitez,

From the time that i met you until the time that i last seen you i liked you.
being in the Army with someone like you was an honor, you were the kind of soldier that took pride in the service.
you were so young and gifted.
I remember when you would come to my room and teach me all the dances they were doing in the videos. Even in Iraq you carried that energy and sprit.
I LOVED YOU then, and I miss you now,
when i put my uniform on for the next 3 years that i'm in the Army i will wear it with pride for you. eventhough the rest of us suffured with the poverty of Iraq you never came home,and that is a REAL HERO!!!!!!!!

I LOVE YOU BORICUA!"
SGT.Christian Benitez of Bayamon,Puerto Rico/Iraq

"my girl vega!!!! i miss u"
lina of PUERTO RICO BABY

"I remember the first time I met you ... you had a big smile on your face and had so much energy =) I didn't have a sister and I was hoping you'd fill in that spot as my sister-in-law. You always made my brother happy and he misses you so much. We got along so great, sharing a few stories about different things, dancing along to dance videos, listening to music. I wish we could've had more time to spend together. I miss you and I love you. Rest in Peace."
Bianca M. Vega of Alexandria, VA

"The greatest sacrifice a hispanic soldier can do is to separate from his family. Especially, from the ones left behind in our native countries. However, the feeling of just knowing that our families have the freedom to enjoy life thanks to our service in the military fills our hearts of pride and motivation. It gives us a reason to work harder and be the best at what we do. Soldiers like Specialist Frances Vega are the reason why the United States is the greatest country in the world. The diversity in the Armed Forces today has helped us realize that we are on this together, and it give us the deepest feeling of pride and strength to fight for the freedom we love.

To the Vega family I want to give my deepest and most sincere condolences. Specialist Frances Vega will always be a heroe in the hearts of the American people. Especially, in the hearts of the hispanic and latin American soldiers that served and continue to serve today in the Armed Forces.
May God have her on his glory and continue to give all of us strength to understand your lost and his gain. Never loose your FAITH!!!"
MSG Julio Candelario of El Paso, Texas USA

"To Frances Vega family and friends. I will never forget your sacrifce in defense of our freedoms. You are a REAL hero."
Alejandro Quilez Bonelli of San Juan, P R / USA

"To Frances' Family,
Your daughter did not die in vain. She was defending the lives of americans and we owe her forever. She was doing something to make the world a better place, always remember that."
mark reif of winchester, VA USA

"REST IN PEACE FRANCES, ALTHOUGH I KNEW YOU A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, YOU WERE COOL TO HANG WITH ESPECIALLY DANCE WITH:) AND I WILL MISS YOU! REPRESENT PUERTO RICO IN THE SKY,LIKE YOU DID HERE ON EARTH..."
Sgt Riviaira AkA Esco of IRAQ

"To Spc Vega's Family:
Though we are strangers, we want you to know how sorry we are your Frances was taken from you. She is our hero. You are in our hearts. We will never forget."
Carol & Larry Miller of Tampa, Florida (2/24/04)

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

"Rest in peace brave soldier!"
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"Light a candle for your soldier.

http://www.militarychapel.org/guestbook/guestbook.html"

"Frances Vega, you are a hero to me. Though I never knew you, my brother, Steven Conover, died in the same helicopter attack. I am sorry for your familys loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers."
Corrie Simpson of Wilmington, Ohio, USA

"Frances,
Several months have passed since we last saw each other. I heard you had passed away, but it took me a few weeks to actually soak that. Thank you so much for bringing a smile to my face and for always letting me know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. You are truly a "messenger from God." You have the energy for 10 people and I want you to know that you will live in my heart forever. We will see each other again. To me, you will always be my hero. You passed away doing what you enjoyed the most...serving in the US Army. A picture of you and your beautiful smile lives in me forever. I will never forget the good times we shared in Antilles High School, Puerto Rico. I will never forget you. Jeannette, this is tough baby. You have to always remember though, that she passed away happy. Keep your head up high and always remember that I'm here for you."
Sasha Davila of Miami, FL

"For Frances a good soldier and a great friend. It has been two months since i seen you last, i would have never thought that would be the last time i seen your smile i just want to take this time to say how grateful i am to be your bestfriend. Although i miss all of our late night talks and the good times we had, i will go on and continue to honor you in everyway. I will never forget you my battle buddie i know you are with God and i will await the day that i see you again i miss you Frances and your forever in my heart. Don't worry about your family i will be there for them whenever they need rest now my little island girl
I LOVE YOU"
KATRINA of CHICAGO, IL

"Thank you Frances Vega, 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

"Que el señor la tenga en el cielo.
QMSN Vega Raymond"
Raymond Vega of Norfolk Virginia

"To the family and friends of Spc. Frances Vega:
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 Frances 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 Spc. Frances Vega:
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 Frances, 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