Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army 1st Lt. Charles L. Wilkins III

38, of Columbus, Ohio.
Wilkins died near Samarra, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device exploded near his vehicle. He was assigned to the Army National Guard's 216th Engineer Battalion, Hamilton, Ohio. Died on August 20, 2004.

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"Dear Charles,
It was the year 2004; sweltering heat and the normalcy of intermittent sandstorms. I was outside sitting on a bucket, cleaning my rifle. You came by, walking briskly and shaking your head.
“ LT, you okay Sir”?!! I yelled; but you kept walking.
Little did I know, it would be the “very last time” I would ever talk with you and see you. I later learned that you were upset about being placed on that Samarra, mission; it was one none of us wanted to attend; being a hotbed entry point to Fallujah.
Yet, mission after mission, in lieu of barking orders, you would be alongside us enlisted Soldiers; digging a trench, pouring concrete, operating a dozer. Whatever it took to accomplish the mission; you always contributed.
When I arrived at the unit, I didn’t know anyone; you were also new. We formed a bond. You were in law school at Capital University, and I had always wanted to be an attorney. We would often speak about the injustices of the law. You would encourage me….this was your saying..
“Excuses are like *ssholes”; everyone has one”. Get it done. Lol.
It was two weeks later that you died on that mission along with PFC Martin. Never to see you again.
You know Sir, sometimes, when the wind blows and I feel the sweltering heat of the sun.. I can close my eyes and see you shaking your head. ..
You might be glad to know that 17 years post that conversation; I am now in law school. Thanks for “nurturing the seed”.
I was young.. and now old. As I chronically age, the taste of memories languish in the oral cavity of my mind.. some bitter.. some sweet.. Life is short.. Love immediately, forgive quickly...
Miss you my friend.
1LT Charles Wilkins
Date of Death: 2004 AUG
Location: Samarra, Iraq"
Demetrius Anderson of San Diego, CA

"I pray that the family of Lt. Wilkins has a blessed day. Remembering him always - Aug 20, 2018."
Robert Thompson of South Point, OH

"We still do miss Charles. It's been ten long years since he's been gone but we remember what a good friend he was."
Friends from Capital Law of Columbus, Ohio

"This Thanksgiving, I am remembering how thankful I am to have had such a great big brother. I love you so much, and I miss you everyday. Davina"
Davina Wilkins of Phoenix, Arizona

"Although retired now, I am forever gratefull to your kindness and generosity to our Platoon. I am looking after your Mother and Grandmother for you until they join you in heaven. I will never run out of tears that I cry for your memory."
Sfc(ret) Martin Smith of West Portsmouth Oh

"We still miss you Charles."
Your Friends from Capital of Columbus Ohio

"On this Memorial Day, I want to remember and honor 1LT Charles Wilkins a friend and great hero. You have never been forgotten . Your memory and friendship will always be remembered in my family. God bless you and may god look over your family in your absences."
CPT Angel Mallia of Columbus Ohio

"I never want to forget the sacrifices of so many young men and women. I am so proud it makes me cry. I understand in theory only that war is a part of human nature but so is love and caring. I wish I could take the families pain away but I can't. I am committed to loving ALL people, myself and our environment. I am committed to working on my happiness everyday because so many have died for my freedom to live my life. Thank you is not enough but it is all I have. All my love and respect. ogersteiner@yahoo.com"
Scott Steiner of Gahanna, OH / USA

"”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 you. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Over 1,750 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!
Mothers and/or Fathers, of our heroes, please be aware that the Project Compassion sponsors will now help cover the costs of the portraits for you to have one - regardless if the spouse of the hero has one or not!
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 bless you.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Project Compassion
P.O. Box 153
Manti, Utah 84642"
Project Compassion - Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"You will never be forgotten. It seems so much like yesterday."
SSG Joel A. Capell of Columbus Ohio

"You will never be forgotten. It seems so much like yesterday."
SSG Joel A. Capell of Columbus Ohio

"You will never be forgotten. It seems so much like yesterday."
SSG Joel A. Capell of Columbus Ohio

"Please know that Charles is thought about and remembered - he will not be forgotten. I am so sorry for the loss. May he rest in peace.
May 30 2009"

"My Charles was a great young man who gave his life for his country. I thank everyone for your kind thoughts and rememberances."
Charles L Wilkins Jr. of Phoenix, Arizona

"July 16, 2008
To the family of 1st Lt. Charles L. Wilkins, III:
Charles 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"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"The Wilkins Family,

I served with Lt. Wilkins in OIF. Time has passed and I want you to know that I still think of him and I always will. Bless you and Thank you."
Deb Charles of Lucasville, Ohio

"To the Wilkins Family

My name is Stacy MArtin and I never meet Charles but i feel bound to him because he left this world with my Brother Ryan A Martin. I know that they are above Looking down upon the ones they left behind..... please feel free to write me at redferrissales@aol.com"
Stacy Martin of Wooster Ohio

"We still miss you, Charles!"
Your Friends from Capital of Columbus, OH

"I had the honor of serving as a Squad Leader in Lt Wilkins' Platoon in Iraq and not a day goes by that I don't think of him, his family and the many good things that he did for us and that he had a heart of gold. As the current Platoon Sgt for his former Platoon I will always insure his good deeds will not be forgotten."
SSG Martin E. Smith of West Portsmouth Ohio

"To the family of:Charles L Wilkins 111 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"

"To the Family of 1st Lt. Wilkins III,

My name is Robert E. Sigler and I'm from Tiffin, Ohio. Lt. Wilkins was my Lt. in Iraq. At first I was not sure about him because he was a new officer with our platoon. It only took a week to see that he was a vary special man. I miss him so much, he always gave up his time to check up on us. He watched over us in our time of need. I feel bad because we would get mad at him sometimes. He was what a true officer should be. I love him as a good friend. I am sorry that this took place. I thought that you may like to hear from a person who was with Lt. Wilkins. I will always remember him and I still use his advice on things. He will be missed by a lot of people. I know he is in heaven now looking at us.

SPC. Robert E. Sigler 216th/612th Engineer Battalion, OH Army National Guard."
Robert E. Sigler of Tiffin, Ohio/ Seneca County

"My dear Chuck,
You were my Hero in Life. I loved you as I've loved no other. I didn't get the chance to say Goodbye. I always thought we'd have our next chance and someday we'd get it right. I think of you first when I open my eyes to another day and when I close them at night. You are missed more than I can say. You were my soul mate and my best friend. I look to the heavens in hope that you know how much I loved you."
Gigi of Columbus Ohio

"Your bravery and sacrifice will not be forgotten. Thank you for keeping us safe."
Mrs. Arthur's 4th grade class of Nelsonville, Ohio

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

Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Charles, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"Thank you brave soldier for sacrificing your today for my children's safer tomorrow. You have our utmost respect and gratitude. May God provide your family with comfort in their time of sorrow. May you forever rest in Heavenly peace. Neither you nor your sacrifice will be forgotten."
a grateful family in Phoenix, AZ

"To the family of Charles;
Our sincerest condolences for your loss in Charles. Our family has also suffered the loss of a precious life in this battle for freedom. Charles is a true American hero and will always be remembered for his bravery and sacrifice he gave to this country. May God bless you and give you some comfort during this difficult time."
The McClain family--azquail@att.net of Tucson, AZ

"Thank you Charles Wilkins III, 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 1st Lt. Charles Wilkins III:
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 Charles 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 1st Lt. Charles Wilkins III:
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 Charles, 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