Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Pfc. Kenneth G. Vonronn

20, of Bloomingburg, New York.
Vonronn died in Baghdad, Iraq when an improvised explosive device struck his Bradley fighting vehicle. He was assigned to the Army National Guard's Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment, 42nd Infantry Division, New York, New York. Died on January 6, 2005.

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"I was in basic with Vonronn, he was a really funny guy! He was always one to help another soldier out,emotionally or phicically. He wasn't very big, but he'd stand up to the biggest if he thought someone was being treated poorly. I remember on time he knocked this guy out that was always the cause of a lot of corrective training for us. The drill sergeant asked the guy what happened, he said "I fell". And the drill said, " yep, I figured you'd be falling down sooner or later, surprised it took this long". There was a lot of laughing but we all had less punishment after that day. I remember when he died, everyone in out platoon contacted each other, to let one another know. Some men, you will never forget, Vonronn was one. I think about him from time to time and I with his family and friend peace."
Bret Kitchin of Cleceland

"It's coming up on 10 years that we all joined together to go to Iraq with the 69th. I was one of the fillers (an Engineer). I met Ken in a tent at NTC when my back went out and he was the first to my side to offer help and assistance. I want his family to know that he is not forgotten but remembered and honored every day that I live and breath! RIP my Brother my Friend!"
SSG (RET) Dan McFadden of Fountain Co

"Kenny is my cousin but also my hero. I love him with all my heart and miss him so much. Thank you for fighting for our country and giving us your life."
Theresa stephens of New york

"Kenny,
Tomorrow is the sixth and its been 8years now. Feels like yesterday. I'm not sure if you know but I joined in 2010. I'm currently stationed in Ft. Hood. Soon in a few months i'll be headed to Ft. Carson. Every year it gets harder and harder. I remember when you were home last and came to say goodbye to me and my parents. I remember looking at you in my front yard and you were explaining to me where you were going. I want you to know i wear the t-shirts of you a lot. Sometimes to the gym as well it helps me push myself, knowing your right on my chest looking at me in the mirror. I miss you kenny, dearly! Just want you to also know the VonRonn Express they put up at your grave sight is beautiful. I love you kenny, may you R.I.P."
Spc Wyant, Travis (little cousin) of Ft. Hood, TX

"I did not know Kenneth, but I am keeping his memory alive. A few days ago I was blessed to carry out his memory when I received a Hero wristband, with Kenneth's information (ID number) listed on it. To Kenneth's mother Debbie, I promise I will spread the word of the great service your son did for all of us. I wish I had the right words to express my extreme gratification for the sacrifices your son, and family have made for us. Thank you from the depth's of my heart. I will always pass along his memory and hopefully one day pass it along to someone that will continue to carry out my new responsibility. With love always - Nicole"
Nicole of Warwick, NY

"Kenny I can still remeber the time you came home and I ran right into your arms. You were my bestfriend, my big brother almost. You taught me how to play drums and so much more. You use to live with my cousin danny and I would always come over just to see you. I miss you so much, and because of you I have become the person I am. I will always think of you, and you will always be in the hearts of me and so many others. I love and miss you."
Victoria Johnson of pine bush, new york

"Kenny,
I knew you from High School. Today, something made me very aware about our soldiers and what they do for our country. I wanted to say thank you! I will spread my awakening with many others, because my conscience can no longer be ignorant."
Elena Babijtchouk of Pine Bush, New York

"For the first time in six years I couldn't make it up to NY to see Kenny. I just thought it'd be appropriate to to drop by here and say hi. I know that there are so many of us who think of him so often . You're all in our prayers."
Phil Aubrey of Ft. Bragg, NC

"Dear Debbie, Your Kenny and my Louis were in Iraq together and they were close friends. So often we think of you and perhaps you would like to visit. We live near Nyack and I travel to Liberty, where we visit Kenny's grave.You have our entire family's thoughts and prayers. With love,"
Terrie Olander of olander@optonline.net

"Kenney,   I hope all is well with your family. I spread word of your honorable acts and your tradic story at every chance I get. I see your picture often and remember your kindness. I will see it again shortly as it is posted in the reserve center, even though delta company has disband. I wish you well as you have passed.  And remembering so has changed my life. I live life to the fullest, knowing that as has happened to you, can be ended in swiftly and unexpectedly. Thank you for your service, and contribution to this country. I wish Kira and your family the best on this anniversary of your passing. Many join me in the same. I hope you looked down upon us at your funeral, and all was as prestigious as we could offer. I will honor you forever.  Rest in Peace."
SGT Joseph Brooks of Newburgh NY

"I remember the four of us gong out to dinner while you were home on leave just before going back. Kira, Lisa, you, and I. We talked of the army. My experiences from the early 80's. Your experiences from Iraq.

The phone call came in the early hours of January. Lisa and I rushed down to be with Kira. The funeral was amazing. The turnout of ordinary people. Most whom never met you. Such as the Vietnam bikers dressed in their leathers and riding their motorcycles in the cold January air. There to show respect to another brother lost in battle. Something for which their generation never had, and which they made sure you did.

The long drive to the cemetery. The police closed down the interstate for the miles long procession. Police saluting you as the car passed. Saluting a hero on his way to his resting place.

The three blackhawks flying over your service. I am sure your spirit watched them as you stood by the side of your Creator.

We old soldiers, the current generation of soldiers, marines, airman, and navy were all there to honor your courage, duty, and honor. I stood as one old soldier could. At attention and saluting you. An ordinary American called to defend his nation and its people.

May peace be with you as you journey the spirit world. May the hand of our Creator cradle you and Kira in his loving arms. May your spirit fly high.

See you on the other side when my trumpet calls me home."
Doug of Binghamton, NY

"My father was with the 69th when they went. I remember the pain my family felt when we got the news. Every time. I never knew Ken, or the other 18 that were lost. But nearly four years later, I feel as if I have a personal relationship with all of them. We're all members of the 69th family. I think about Ken and the rest of the 69th men constantly, and it is for them that I'll be putting on the uniform very soon. God bless you, and know that I'll carry on the fight for you."
Bill Slack of Mastic Beach, NY

"I didn't know SGT Kenneth VonRonn however, last night, I was gifted with the Hero Band honoring this brave soldier. I am truly humbled to have been given such a gift. The young, 20 yr. old soldier, was killed when a roadside bomb e­xploded under his Bradley fighting vehicle in the village of Awad al-Hussein, north of Baghdad, Iraq.
Thank you, SGT Kenneth VonRonn, for giving your life while defending our freedom.
Thank you, SGT Joseph Brooks, for giving me the honor and passing this responsibility on to me, I will wear it proudly and serve it well!
God, Bless and keep Kenneth with you always. God Bless all of our troops and this great country... I'm so proud to be an American!"
Lori Geer of Washingtonville, NY USA

"Over four years have passed since Kenneth gave his life for our Country. He and his service are NOT forgotten, nor will they ever be. My son is still in the Army and was one of the lucky ones who served in Iraq and returned safely. He still mentions Kenny to me, so I know your son touched his life even though they knew each other only briefly very early on in their service. Just wanted you to know your son has not been forgotten all these years later, may he rest in peace and God bless you all and watch over you."
Matt Szczepkowski of Kaufman, TX USA

"January 4, 2009
To the family of Pfc. Kenneth G. Vonronn:
Kenneth gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"I am Debbie von Ronn Ken's mom and I would like to thank everyone who left a message on this site for Ken. It is very comforting to read these stories about my son. I am so glad so many people got the chance to know him. He was a great son and my hero. I miss him so much at times it hurts. I know this is what he wanted to do. I am very proud of him. Thank you all for your kind words and God Bless the soldiers who are still serving in the war. My prayers are with you all and I know Kenney is looking down on all of you. If anyone would like to e-mail me you can at dvonronn@yahoo.com I would enjoy hearing from you. I love you Kenney you were the best son I could have asked for."
Debbie vonRonn of Walker Valley, NY USA

"From a sister to a brother, Hey ken. You did a brave thing for not only us but for your country. It was something you always wanted to do. You made a very big difference in my life, when you came and gone I just want to let you know that you never leave me, your voice is in the wind, your footsteps still comming up the stairs late at night, all in all, you will never leave me. Your body may have left us, but you will always live on forever. Can't wait to see you in heaven. love always courtney and gina."
courtney and gina of walker valley,ny usa

"To the family of:Kenneth G. Vonronn 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 Gateway Community Church 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga"

"Kenneth,
I would like to say thank you to you and the six other soldiers who were killed in that blast with you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy."
Mike Casey of El Paso, Texas

"Kenneth,
I would like to say thank you to you and the six other soldiers who were killed in that blast with you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy."
Mike Casey of El Paso, Texas

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

"Kenny... Its Ofer. I know you can read this. I just wanted to say hi. I miss U brother. I want you to know that my life has not been the same since your sudden departure. We had come a long way you and I since Ft. hood and Iraq. I hold you near and dear to my heart. Vonnronn Family, friends: My name is Ofer. SPC Maimran. I had the joy of meeting ken, in Camp Smith NY, before our deployment to iraq. And alas becoming friends.He was like a younger brother to me that I did not have. In a sense that is. we alwasy spoke about life and love and what we were going to do when we got home. My deepest sympathies and my heart goes out to all who have had the blessing of knowing Ken during his short but full life. He has still achieved more in his life and been a part of something greater then himself. Thats more than i can say for most people. I wear your name ken on my bracelet each and everday i am awake and alive, and never forget you. And I will never let anyone disrespect you or the cause. or this county. To all the loved ones of our fallen brothers and sisters in arms... never forget that we fight for those who cannot. Including ourselves. God bless all the troops across the world. Bring them home, but god knows that we need them out there... Amen.

SPC "DOC" Maimran,
HHC 1-101 Cavalry US Army National Guard,
Fought under the 69th infantry. Iraq Oct 2004-Sept 2005"
Ofer Maimran of Queens Village, NY

"My brother, It has almost been a year and i miss you so much!! I will never forget the times we shared growing up. Some were unpleasent but most were amazing. I wish you were here so that i could talk to you but doing this i feel so close to you!! My dearest brother I will never forget you and I love you. You will be greatly missed by all!!!!"
Samantha von Ronn of Staten Island New York

"I am hoping that someone who finds this webpage will be able to help me. I am trying to reach the family of this soldier so that I can mail them a flag that was flown in his honor in Charleston, SC. If you have any information on how to reach them please email me at emmylou9@hotmail.com. Thank you!"
Emmy of Charleston, SC

"To the Vonronn family,
I didn't know Ken very well, we trained together in San Antonio. I was in Iraq when I heard the news. My fellow soliders and I were deeply saddened by the news. I am with many of his friends from training. We just want you to know he is sadly missed. He was always a joker. We will miss that smile. *Rest in Peace* my brother in arms. Rest assured we will fight on in your name.
Spc Nault, Spc Timberlake, Spc Wales"

"My condolences to Kira and the rest of the Vonronn family. I just heard of his death from a fellow medic that was with us in TX. I had the pleasure of training with Kenny in TX "Charlie 232". He was incredibly funny. He always smiled even when training was tough. He will truly be missed by many. I will keep you all in prayer. To Kenny, you will be truly missed but I know in heaven you are making someone laugh and making their day brighter. Rest in peace and know that we will always remember you.

Combat Medic Prayer

Oh, Lord I ask for your divine strength to meet the demands of my profession. Help me to be the finest medic, both technically and tactically. If I am called to the battlefield, give me the courage to conserve our fighting forces by providing medical care to all who are in need. If I am called to a mission of peace, give me the strength to lead by caring for those who need my assistance. Finally, Lord help me take care of my own spiritual, physical, and emotional needs. Teach me to trust in your presence and never-failing love. AMEN

With deepest sympathy,

SPC Jennifer Sundquist
HHC 3/126 AVN BN"

"even though i don't know you, my other half did. i know that ya'll are in heaven together watching over us. thanks for having brad's back and helping to keep everyone's spirits up."
Amber Stilley ~fiancee of Sgt.Bradley Bergeron KIA 1-6-05 of Baton Rouge,LA

"Kenny, you always had a way of making us laugh even when we were down.I know that Pat, Steph, Rob, Billy, and I will never forget the memories we share. You are greatly missed, and forever will be. I know your watching over all of us now, but its just not the same. You are a true hero.Kira,I don't know what your going through right now but if you need anything at all please call."
Krystal Bullock of Stone Ridge, New York

"To Kira and the immediate family of Kenneth. Only met him once, when my son introduced us at Basic, but remember him well. My heart hurts for your loss and the thought of losing such a youthful man. A young hero gave his life for freedom, and you can be proud of that forever. May God bless you all and may you all find peace in your heart, knowing he is in a better place now."
Matt Szczepkowski of Kaufman, Texas

"Dear VonRonn's
Kenny, we all miss you. To his family, Kenny was a great guy and he is dearly missed. I was in Basic training with Kenny and also in AIT. He was a great friend to me, and I will never forget him. We lost a great man and soldier on January 6. We love you man."
PFC Eric M. Szczepkowski of Baumholder, Germany 1-6 IN 1AD

"Dear Vonronn's:
Kenny first of all I would like to thank you for serving our country with me. Kira, your husband was a great soldier and an awesome person. I first met Vonronn in basic training, then went to AIT with him. He would always joke around about different things. My prayers are with you and your family. We lost a great 'American Soldier' on 6 Jan 05. I salute you Vonronn and rest in peace."
PFC Whitley, Bryan C. of Washington, D.C.

"To all who knew my nephew Kenny, he had such a sweet smile and the gift for getting you to smile with him. As time goes on, god will help our hearts mend. Kenny was real a hero and we have been blessed to be a part of his life. Deb, KiraJo, Sam, Courtney, and Gina remember he is with Nana and Poppop and they will all help us in our time of pain. Only his body has gone from us, the memories and spirit will live with us in our hearts forever. All my thoughts, prayers and love."
Aunt Bert & Uncle Troy of Napanoch, NY

"To Kenney's family:
My name is Nicole, and my cousin was Sgt. Bradley Bergeron who was also killed with Kenney. I just wanted to let you know our prayers down here are also with your family, our state has suffered greatly with losing 6 on that day with kenney then 2 more 4 days later, i know this is a very difficult time, but my prayers and thoughts are with you, and i have the utmost respect for Kenney. To serve his country and die, makes him a true hero, and i will always be thinking of him, may god bless and i love all of you. you can contact me at pinkypearl24@aol.com"
Nicole of Houma, Louisiana/USA

"I will miss you greatly Kenny, we had fun times running around the back yard together. To Aunt Debbie, Kira, Samantha, Courtny and Gina sorry for your lost and i will always remember the good times that we had togther. I love you Kenny. You will be greatly missed."
April Stephens (cousin) of Monticello, NY

"Dearest Kenny, Kira, Debbie and family,
Thank you Kenny for doing everything you could for all of our country. We appreciate your endevors. I am sorry for your family and hope that they can get through this. We are well aware this is what you wanted to do. May God Bless you and your entire family always. Again thank you!"
Roseann Post of Lake Ariel, Pa., USA

"To the Vonronn Family from the Wahl family. We are deeply sadden by the lost of Kenneth. An our heart and prays are with him and your family. From another fallen soldiers family. These are diffucult and hurting times. Kenneth is an amazing individual, as well as an AMERICAN HERO! He has touched many many lives in his life. For those he has touched. All well remember Kenneth! I am so Thankful to Kenneth, for serving our country. kenneth is the elite of Americans. An all those Americans that are not serving our country. Should be THANKFUL for soldiers that are willing to risk his or her life for us all. These words are diffuclt for myself. I remember my son telling me. Don't feel bad if something should happen to me DAD! The Army and my family is my happiness! That's something I think all serving feel. Your family are in my prays. God Bless!"
Leonard Wahl of Valley Stream Long Island

"Kenny will always be in our hearts, and memories. Our prayers are with Debbie, Ray, Sam, Gina, Courtney and Kira. We can only imagine the loss you are feeling!"
Tom, Tracey, and Jeremy of Elizaville, NY

"How heartbreaking it is to lose such a good person... and that's who Kenny was. I will never forget his smile and the twinkle in his eye that surfaced whenever he made someone laugh. That's what he wanted to do... to make people happy and to make those he loved proud of him. My pride for Kenny and for who he grew up to be, my sorrow at his sacrifice, and the honor I feel for having had him in my life go beyond measure. To his parents, his sisters, and to Kira... you are in my constant prayers. May you turn to God for the peace that only He can bring you.
I will always remember your son, your brother, your husband and hold him in my heart.
With love,"
Amy Green (Kenny's third grade teacher) of Pine Bush, NY, USA

"Kenny's smile and enthusiasm for life will never be forgotten - neither will the obvious love shared by Kenny and his wife Kira as we watched them grow as students at Pine Bush High School. To his family - I cannot and will not ever understand this loss. To Kenny - I am so proud of you - and know you lived your life with integrity and goodness. May God welcome you with open arms."
B. Ganley of Pine Bush, New York

"Kenny was a wonderful nephew He loved coming into the city to see his Aunt Ro and cousins Michelle,Shaun, Kelly and Meri. He was a great kid. He was devoted to his mom and sisters and his wife Kira. He will truly be missed by all We love u and say hi to Uncle George wherever u guys are."
Rosanne Rose of Staten Island, New York

"To his wife I pray god will be with you and hold you in his arms. I know this has to be hard, I couldnt imagine your pain. Just always remember he must of loved you so much to have you as his wife, and remember the good times and that he is truly a HERO and will never be forgotten. God also be with his family during this time, and to his parents/grandparents Thank you for raising such a brave and honorable son..God Bless you"
Betty of Chesapeake, Va

"Thank you Kenneth for defending our great country. Your brave actions will be remembered by my family each day we raise our flag in the front yard. God Bless you and may He grant your loved ones peace at this time. From a very grateful American family."
The Shaw family of Pasadena, Maryland

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

"may his soul restin peace, and may God comfort this brave young mans family."
chris dowling of england

"my thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of spc. vonronn. It seems like just yesterday we were in training together in San Antonio TX, *Rest In Peace Brother* Charlie 232"
Pfc. Sleeper of Merrimack, NH

"To Kenneth'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

"Our thoughts go out to Kenny. A courageous young man we had not yet had the privilege to meet.

All our sympathy, condolences, love and support to his father Ray Vonronn, his wife Kira and other family members.



IN FLANDERS FIELDS: Remembrance Poem

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

LEST WE FORGET.
."
EDDY, SUSAN AND ZOE LUMLEY of BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

"Thank you Kenneth Vonronn, 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 Pfc. Kenneth Vonronn:
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 Kenneth 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 Pfc. Kenneth Vonronn:
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 Kenneth, 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