Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Mark Anthony Zapata

27, of Edinburg, Texas.
Zapata died in Najaf, Iraq as a result of hostile fire. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Died on August 15, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. Mark Anthony Zapata.

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"Zapata Family,
I want to express my condolences for your loss. I may not have personally known SPC Zapata, but he and his LT (2LT Goins) have weighed heavily on my heart for over 11 years. I was one of the Medic there that day, one of the hardest days I had over there. I wish there was more I could have done for both of them and it eats away at me that I couldn't do more. I just want you to know I pray for your Family and think of SPC Zapata often."
Shana (Eittreim) Wilkins of Toano, Va

"You are dearly missed Zapata. You will never be forgotten and will forever be in our hearts dear friend."
Muņoz Family of Fort Benning, GA

"As part of a Memorial Day Ceremony honoring all of the fallen of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, I am honored to read Mark's name. I lost my own son, Neil, on Aug. 13, 2004 when he was KIA."
Diane Santoriello of Verona, PA

"Never will I forget you bro. I still remember that day like it was yesterday. You will always be a part of me. I shed my tears then and I still shed my tears. You weren't just a battle buddy, you were my brother. 2nd PLT. ROUGH RIDERS! Zapata Family please call me 830-499-8360"
Jesus Ramirez of Asherton, Texas USA

"Mark Zapata, it has been almost 9 years since that awful morning in Najaf. I have never stopped thinking of you. You gave up the opportunity to become an MP and chose to come with us to Iraq, never failed to miss a fire truck, and always, always saw the best in people. The world is poorer without you, and it was my great honor to serve beside you.

Sgt Van"
Brian Van Asdall of 46307

"Mark Zapata, it has been almost 9 years since that awful morning in Najaf. I have never stopped thinking of you. You gave up the opportunity to become an MP and chose to come with us to Iraq, never failed to miss a fire truck, and always, always saw the best in people. The world is poorer without you, and it was my great honor to serve beside you.

Sgt Van"
Brian Van Asdall of 46307

"Mark,
I miss you. It just seems like it was yesterday when we were both in C co 1-63 ar 3rd platoon. i couldnt have better friends"
marvin Farmer of blackstone, va

"ITS GOING TO BE 7 YRS SEEN MARK WAS TAKE FROM US, WE MISS HIM LIKE CRAZY, BUT WE KNOW T HAT HE IS SEEN DOWN ON US.. MARK U R AN ANGLE IN HEAVEN LOOKING DOWN AT EVERYONE THAT U CARED ABOUT.. I AM GOING TO GET MARRIED TO A GREAT PERSON HIS NAME IS LV DEVER JR.I MISS TALKING TO U AND HANGGING OUT,U TAKING JAY AND SPENDING TIME WITH HIM. HE GOSE TO UR GRAVE SIGHT AND CHANGES UR FLAGS AND CLEANS UR GRAVE. JAY MISS U LIKE CRAZY. WE LOVE U AND MISS U..."
MARY DEVER (HINOJOSA) of EDINBURG TEXAS /. HIDALGO

"Hi Zapata family.. i am writing to is how everyone is doing.. we miss Mark with all my heart and love him.. J.J number is 322-0975...."
Mary Hinojosa of Edinburg Tx 78541

"Mark i love u and miss u. Happy b-day i wish that u were here with us. Mark the Acadamy next to walmart ask me to go to there school. I an so happy. The only thing is that they don't have sports. I an doing so good in school. I was so sad on ur b-day. Love u."
j.j gutirrez jr. of edinburg. tx

"Thanks JJ...I'm sure Mark loves it! By the way my mom wanted to get ahold of you. She hasn't talked to you in awhile and wants to see how your doing. Give her a call I know she would to hear from you...956-457-2930(Ninfa Zapata)"
Christy Zapata of Edinburg,Tx

"Hey it's me J.J. I just want to say that to have a merry christmas to you and a happy new year.I have mark's christmas present i drew very well."
J.J. GUTIERREZ of EDINBURG

"Hi its me J.J. I have a letter for mark that I am going to put a letter by his grave so maybe u or mr.& mrs. zapata can read it to my long lost dad..I love U ALL EVERY MUCH..Mark u are always in my heart even though it feels that half my heart is gone with out u I try everyday to move on u were a big part of my life.. HEY Christy say Hi to your brother for me....and my MY long lost grandparents.. Mark would always tell me that i was his long lost son.....love u...and my god bless u...."
Jose Juan Gutierrez Jr. of Edinburg TX

"Wow JJ I can't believe how much you've grown. I'm Mark's sister and I remember him always talking about you. He is watching over you and he loved you very much to. I know in my heart that he is proud of you and the person you are becoming. We miss him very much and I'm glad you have memories of him. If you ever want to catch up email me at christyzapata@aol.com
Take care and thank you for remembering my brother it means alot to me and my family. Also, thank for leaving him gifts at the cemetery. I just know he's watching down and loving them!"
Christy Zapata of Edinburg,Tx

"DEAR Zapata Family,
I just wanted like to say thank you for having Mark he was a get person... He took care of me seen i was a baby..Mark would get in form out of town and he would pick me up.. When i found out what happend to Mark I told my parents that they were lieing to me.. I love HIM like if he was my dad..in my eyes he was my dad. The worlds greats dad..Everyday that gose by i prey that he is watching over me.. if he was here he would be very proud of me..I take he my report card every six weeks.. I love and miss him.."
jose juan gutierrez ( jay) of edinburg tx

"HI MY NAME IS JOSE JUAN GUTIERREZ I AM 11 YRS. OLD.. MARK WAS MY BESTFRIEND IN THE WORLD.. HE TOOK CARE OFF ME WHEN I WAS A TODDLER.. MARK ALAWYS CAME FOR ME WHEN HE CAME IN FROM OUT OF TOWN..I AM KNOW IN JR HIGH SCHOOL AND O MISS HIM I PLAY FOOTBALL AND A TOP A STUDENT IN SCHOOL... I KNOW THAT HE IS EVERY PROUD OF ME... I LOVE YOU AND SOMEDAY I WILL SEE YOU AGAIN..."
JOSE JUAN (J,J) of EDINBURG TX -HIDALGO

"Wow it's been six years brother, Hope all is well and ur family is doing good. C U later Carnal"
Luis Vivian (Sgt. 2000-2005) of Mission TX

"It was 6 years ago today that I lost my best friend in the entire world. He knew me better than anyone...he never judged me...never betrayed me...and was always there for me. He was someone who was always there to make me smile and laugh when I needed it the most. Someone that gave me the best advice and with him gone now at times I feel lost. I love him with all my heart and would give anything to spend one more day with him. So it was 6 years ago today that my heart got torn apart and my life changed forever...it was the day I lost my brother, my best friend....my hero
I love you Mark and I miss you like crazy...we all do"
Christy Zapata of Edinburg TX

"mark i miss u brother memories is what i have left of u... love u ......"
Humberto Salinas of holland but in my hart u live

"Happy Memorial Day! Today was a wonderful day with my family sitting around remembering Mark. Love you and we all miss you big brother!"
Christy Zapata of Edinburg TX

"HERE AGAIN STOPING BY TO SEE WHAT MARK'S FRIENDS AND FAMILY WRITE HELLO TO EVERYONE AND CHRISTY,MICHAEL HERE IS MY E-MAIL IN CASE U GUYS COME AND LEAVFE A MESSG JUAN_MAYRA85@HOTMAIL.COM LOVE U GUYS"
JUAN J RAMOS (PICHI) of EDINBURG, TX.

"Mark, we miss you so much. You taught me so much. You were my best friend. It still hurts so much. I try to stay strong though. Its really hard to talk to anyone about you and the stories and life we shared as friends. Mr and Mrs Zapata thank you for Mark. He was very special and can never be replaced. Christy and Michael thanks for being so strong. Mark was a big brother to me and will always be in my heart. Love you all. Feb 2010"
flea of Edinburg, Tx

"I WISH EVERYONE THAT REMEMBERS MARK HAS HIM IN THERE HEART AND NEVER FORGET ALL THE WONDER FULL THINGS HE DID FOR EVERYONE. I REMEMBER WHEN WE USE TO GO PAINTBALL SHOOTING AND LEAVE TO MEXICO TELLING MY MOM WE WHERE GOING TO THE BEACH. WE USUALLY WENT AND COME BACK THE SAME DAY. I WILL REMEMBER U BRO ALL MY LIFE AND ALL THE THINGS U SHOWED ME. I LOVE YOU TIO DANNY, TIA NINFA, MICHAEL, LOVE U CHRISTY STAY STRONG."
JUAN JOSUE RAMOS(PICHI) of EDINBURG, TEXAS

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG BROTHER! WE LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU VERY MUCH AND YOUR FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS. BEING YOUR LIL SISTER IS TRUELY A BLESSING...LOVE YOU LOTS!"
Christy Zapata of Edinburg, TX

"To the Zapata Family, Sorry for ur lose. I served with Mark at Ft. Hood in 2-12 scout platoon, he was a great man, very unselfish and wish i could've spent more time with him. It was always a relieve when we would get in a jam in Iraq, to hear those tanks coming to our rescue. Thank You and the rest of our brothers that have given the ultimate sacrafice. I wear a hero bracelet with ur name on it since we got back from Iraq in 05. We Miss U Bro"
Luis Vivian U.S Army Sgt. (2000-2005) of Mission TX

"Missing You"
Years have past and we still remember that day. The day they came and told us that you had gone away. We never saw it coming, we wished it wasn't true. That day God recieved an angel and that angel was you. We miss you more than ever, your forever in our hearts. Yet with everyday that passes, we still feel torn apart. Daddy still stays up at nights, thinking of you. And mommy sometimes cries not knowing what to do. Michael hides away, keeping to himself. And I try to be strong cause that YOU taught me well. Even though things are different now, one thing remains the same... The love we have for you, now that...will never change."
written by: Christy Zapata of Edinburg, TX

"12/06/09 It was my mom's birthday today and she says all thats missing is you. I know you were there though looking down on us from above. You always look out for us...she knows that in her heart but can't help missing you. We all miss you big brother and we love you very much. It's been 5 years now and it stills hurts...sometimes I feel like I will never be the same, apart of me is missing..."
Christy Zapata of Edinburg, TX

"I still can not believe that you are not here. But the storys are still being told about our days growing up at fort Devens together to my seven year old son mark. You were me and my brothers best friend and we both miss you to much I can't even express it. I hope the family is doing good we miss them to. Love you always."
Talia of San antonio, Texas

"I am the parent of a U.S. Marine. My son served in Najaf at the time your son was killed. It was very hard time for us at that time. We could not attend his services because we were under medication for depression at that time. My condolences to you and your family. I have been in touch with this gentleman who is with the American Legion and is trying to locate your family. A convention will be held at the end of June and would like to honor the family of a fallen hero from South Texas during their convention. He has asked me to try to locate you in his behalf. If you can e-mail your address and phone number at silsalazar71@yahoo.com. Please, it would make me proud that our soldiers did not die in vain. Your son deserves all the recognition in the world for given his life so we can continue living with all the freedoms. Thank you and God Bless you!"
Silvia Salazar of Donna, Texas

"To the family of:Mark Anthony Zapata 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"

"I wanted to thank you for your service and sacrafice for this great country of ours. I was sitting here and thinking of my brother Sgt. Christopher Ramirez k.I.A. 04/14/2004 and All my fallen brothers came to my heart. You are a true hero and one that i will never forget. Rest In Peace. you have a great family and i know you are looking down and watching over them. You are one of Edinburg's great heros."
Simon Ramirez Jr. of Edinburg, Texas

"to the zapata fam this is Humberto Salinas u might remember me well after 4 years Mark is still remembered and i know he is still seeing us from up there.."
Humberto Salinas of Holland Mi 49424

"July 17, 2008
To the family of Spc. Mark Anthony Zapata:
Mark 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

"Dear Familia Zapata.
I learn just recently that "Marcos" Mark has gone to be with our Lord. Mark was my angel.
Christina and Michel, you might not remember us, but we met Mark and all of you in Ft. Devens Ma.
Mark was my angel because he was sent by God and he helped our family. I am very sorry that it took us this long to learn about what happened. I guess we heard about him but never connected the news with Mark. I want you all to know that his picture is now in a special place in my office.
Zapata family, you are always in my prayers, and Mark is always in my heart."
Lulu and Sebastian Calderon of Albuquerque, New Mexico

"YO BROTHER, I JUS FOUND THIS PAGE N I KNEW I HAD TO TELL YOUR STORY. NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW WHAT REALLY HAPPENTO U. BUT TO ALL KNOW THIS...I WAS ZAPS BATTLE BUDDY, COMRADE, AND FRIEND. THERE NOTHING WE WOULDNT DO FOR EACH OTHER. OR THE REST OF ARE CREW. MAN, I MISS U SO MUCH AND I WANT U TO KNOW THAT I COULD NEVER FORGET THAT DAY WHEN THE CALL CAME OVER THE NET AND I SAW YOUR TANK DOWN. I CARRY THE SHRIT YOUR MOM GAVE ME OF U WHERE I GO. CAUSE WE HAD SO MANY PLANS AND DREAMS WE NEVER GOT TO DO. I CAN STILL REMEMBER THAT DAY WHEN U FELL HARD IN THE TANK, BUT LANDED SOFTLY IN THE HANDS OG GOD. IF THERE EVER WAS A SOLDIER WHO BELIEVED IN FREEDOM AND WILLING TO GIVE HIS LIFE FOR OTHER IT WAS YOU. NOW U R A SOLDIER FOR GOD NOW. THANKS FOR ALL THINGS U DID FOR ME N FOR TEACH ME WHAT IT REALLY MENT TO BE A SOLDIER. U WILL ALWAYS BE MY BATTLE BUDDY AND I WILL C U WHEN MY TIME COMES TOO. HASTA LUEGO"
SGT LOPEZ, CARLOS of SACRAMENTO, CA

"I THANK YOU ALL FOR KEEPING MY BROTHER'S SPIRIT ALIVE. HE WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR HEARTS. I KNOW HE'S WATCHING OVER EACH AND EVERYONE OF US...THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS AND BLESSINGS..IT'S WHAT KEEPS ARE FAMILY TOGETHER KNOWING THAT MARK TOUCHED SO MANY LIVES...GOD BLESS YOU ALL..AND NEVER FORGET OUR ANGEL"
CHRISTY ZAPATA of EDINBURG, TX

"My name is MSG Jesse Cortez I served with Spc. Zapata in Vilseck, Germany 1-63 Armor. I just happened to run across this site. Mark and I became friends because we shared the same hobbies, he used to come over my house and eat mexican food that my wife would cook for us (hard to find good mexican food over there) anyways, and listen to Spanish CDs his favorite was (Ramon Ayala) which he recorded a copy for me and my wife, we still have this CD by the way and still listen to it and it feels like he is still among us, and makes us remember the good times we spent together. I talked to Mark when he was on R and R (leave) in Monterrey, Mexico "having a great time" he said, bragging because he knew that I was from there and I would be jealous of him, ha. Mark touched everyone's heart in my family my kids all knew him from their school (Mr. Mark) they used to call him, Mark volunteered his free time there, and my wife thought that he has a great friend and she used to frequently say
"que buen muchacho es". He again called me once he was in Iraq wanting to know if I could do something to get him back to Germany, and in my Company. I told him I couldn't based on his rank, I wish it would've been up to me I would've kept him in Germany since the first time he left.
I was sitting in my hummvee in Hohenfels, Germany in August 04, when I was reading Stars and Stripes (US Forces newspaper overseas) when I learned of his death. I could not believe my own eyes. I felt terrible, useless and saddened all at the same time. I said to myself this is not true. Unfortunately Mark is is no longer with us, but let it be no doubt that he is in a better place right now and one day we will be the one s calling Mark, asking him if we can be in in his Company. Que Dios Te Bendiga Mark y te tenga a su lado eternamente. Familia Zapata fue un placer ver conocido a su hijo. Fue un buen amigo y Soldado.
1SG Jesse Cortez
Comanche 7, 1-63 Armor
Vilseck, Germany"
Jesse Cortez of Norfolk, Virginia USA

"It's gonna be 4 years this coming August and it is still hard to think that you are not with us anymore. You were such a good friend, student, fire fighter, EMS, and everything else you did!! I still have students who come up and tell me they remember you when they see me. Even students now, who have older brothers and sisters, recognize your picture on my wall in school. I still have it close to my desk reminding me how much you loved to volunteer with my music classes. You were so funny and positive! The children just loved it when you were there. Thanks for sharing your musical instruments, your fire fighting equipment, your strobe lights and above all yourself. It was not in vain. The children enjoyed reading your letters so much, they constantly wanted to send you cassettes with the warm wishes and songs. I pray it brought a smile to your face. Thank you for just being you.
I will never forget you. God bless your family!"
Cynthia V. Cantu of Edinburg, Tx. USA

"[25 Feb 08]
We miss you Mark!

I wanted to let everyone know about your willingness to volunteer your skills and time with the Harker Heights Volunteer Fire Department prior to your deployment. We also traveled to the TEEX fire school at Texas A&M for live burn training one weekend. You are still honored and remembered and will not be forgotten. I hope to meet up with you again in heaven. From a fellow firefighter, and soldier:"
CPT John Brushaber of HHVFD, Harker Heights, TX

"IT WAS AN HONOR TO HAVE BEEN YOUR FRIEND AND FELLOW FIREFIGHTER AT EDINBURG FIRE DEPT. IT SADDENS ME DEEPLY TO HAVE LOST YOU! YOU WILL BE MISSED! BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!"
ROBERT SALINAS JR. of FERGUS FALLS MN

"Dear Mark,
My Best Friend I ever had, you have no idea how hard it is to live without your friendship. You changed my life forever, and I thank you for that. You were always helping people, always smiling, and befriending everyone. I miss you so much.
To your family,
I am really sorry for your loss, and I'm sorry it took me this long to find this memorial site. It tears into my soul that I cannot visit my friend in Texas. Your son will always be missed and loved."
Israel Castro Jr. of Pomona, CA

"04/25/2007 I just wanted to keep this page up to date. And thank everyone for there support, in the loss of my Brother. We are now going on our 3rd year without Mark's presence. But still sticking together as a family. Once again thank you everyone for everything and thanks for your Prayers Rememeber Mark always wants to see a smile on everybodys face. Your Brother. Michael Zapata and Family"
Michael Zapata of Edinburg , Tx

"DEAR FRIENDS AND BUD,
MARK YOU HAVE MADE A BIG IMPACT ON MY LIFE, WHEN WE USED TO RUN AROUND AND PLAY. THE TIMES WE WOULD GET ON THE FIRE TRUCK AND RACE TO THE FIRE OR RESCUE SCENE, STAYED UP LATE AT NIGHT JUST TO BE THE FIRST ONES TO THE STATION......I ENTERED THE MILITARY AT AGE 17 TO THE ARMY NATIONAL GUARD, AND STILL SERVING...I SAW YOU HAD INTEREST IN THE MILITARY AND MEET UP WITH YOU AT FORT HOOD DURING THE SUMMER OF '03 AND HUNG OUT FOR A LIL BIT, YOU TOLD ME YOU MIGHT BE ON YOUR WAY TO KOREA TO GET AN MP SLOT, BUT SHORTLY AFTER YOUR UNIT WAS GOING TO DEPLOY TO IRAQ.....IN SUMMER OF 2004(APPRX.)I SAW U AT A BBQ NEXT TO MY RENTED UNCLES HOUSE AND I HAD TO RUN TO WORK(HCSO) GAVE YOU MY EMAIL AND GAVE YOU A HUG AND SAID,"YOU BE SAFE OUT THERE....STAY ALERT,STAY ALIVE." BUD YOU MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE FOR YOUR COUNTRY, US, FAMILY, AND MORE YOUR SOLDIERS AND COMRADS IN ARMS IN THE FIGHT YOU WERE ON THAT DAY IN NAJAF. I SPOKE TO YOUR MOM, SIS, AND BRO B4 I LEFT TO AFGHANISTAN AND KNELT B4 YOUR SHRINE THEY HAVE MADE, ITS WONDERFUL....ITS ALMOST LIKE BEING IN YOUR PRESENCE....I CRIED AND THOUGHT OF WHAT IT WAS TO BE IN COMBAT AND WISH I WAS THERE NEXT TO YOU. ME AND MY LIL BRO HELPED PUT YOU TO REST, I SET MY UNIT CREST AND UNIT PATCH ON YOUR GRAVE, I VISIT YOUR STONE EVERY SO OFTEN AND BRINGS A TEAR TO MY EYE. MARK I LOVE YOU, THANKS, YOU'VE GOT A WONDERFUL SUPPORTING FAMILY. THANKS ZAPATA FAMILY
david.manuel.rodriguez@us.army.mil
STRIKE 1, OUT......"
SGT DAVID M. RODRIGUEZ of EDINBURG, TX/OEF-6 AFHGANISTAN

"When I saw the t-shirt on the news today 10/25/2005, "In memory of Mark Zapata", my jaw hit the floor. I quickly checked to see if it was one of my battle buddies from boot camp in 1989. It was a different Mark Zapata that I went to boot camp with and knew. Though initially relieved, I'm now saddened as this hit close to home. I'm still very sorry for the Mark Anthony Zapata listed here who was killed. My thoughts and condolences go out to the Zapata family."
J. Yeske of Portsmouth, NH, USA

"i dont know Spc.Mark Anthony Zapata, but one morning i was going to work his name was on a sticker in the back of a suv.That name stay in my mind and led me to this site.Spc. Mark A. Zapata not only left his helpful hand in Iraq ,but also in his's country.He maybe gone, but never forgot."
Eddie A of san antonio,tx

"I am native of Iraq, yet it sadden me to see you and many others fall in such horrific conditions."
George Narso of Modesto ca.

"I had the pleasure of serving with Zapata in Iraq and he was a great influence to me. He'll be deeply missed, but never forgot."
of Ft. Hood, Texas

"To the Family of our fallen hero:
My Name is Lupita M. Perez, I attened your son funeral, I was honored to be a part of that. I was home on leave from Iraq and I had heard about the news in our local paper online from Iraq. I too was with 1 Cav, and have served a year in Iraq during the time he was there. I can not begin to express how i feel today, making it back, and many of my brothers and sisters in arms did not. I want to give you my condolence on behalf of my entire family. May you find some confort in knowing that Mark touched the heart of many, and will forever remain in mine. God bless you all, Lupita"
SGT Lupita M. Perez of Elsa, Texas , Hidalgo

"Greater a love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

I want to offer my deepest condolences to the Mark Zapata Family. You are in my thoughts and prayers. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of the events that tragically happened on August 15, 2004. The United States Army lost two exceptional soldiers on that day. One in Mark and the other in 2nd LT James Michael Goins. You see my little cousin Michael was Mark's platoon commander and they tragically laid down their lives for our Nation's fight together. As the 6 month anniversary of their death approaches I know that times have been extremely hard for my family and I am sure yours as well. Please know that you are in our prayers and may God bless and keep you. May he grant you a peace that passes understanding and may you know that Mark and Michael are in a far greater place that we can only imagine. One day we will be able to wrap our arms around them and graciously thank them for the sacrifice they made for our freedom. Until then we have our wonderful memories to carry us through. If you need to talk or need anything please feel free to contact our family.
May God Bless You, Amy Goins"
Amy Goins msamymichelle@hotmail.com of Green Forest, AR

"Dear Mark,
I never knew you, but what I read made me appreciate the sacrifice made by you and your family. As an American, I hope your family can find comfort in the life you led - working for others' benefit not your own. God bless you and your family."
David Traylor of Seattle, WA

"Thank you from myself and my family. Because of you, we, and many more like us, are safer.
As for your family, there are no words other than I am deeply sorry for your loss.
From a former 2/12 Trooper"
Steve Schmoll of Columbia City, Indiana

"Mark had served with my brother, SSG Edward W. Carman (http://www.ssg-ewc.us), who died April 17, 2004, in Iraq. My brother was the first of their unit. I'm very sorry for your loss, although it brings me slight comfort to know that my brother now has friends with him...wherever they are. I'm not many phases ahead of you, but if you need anything, please feel free to email me: joeymcarman@yahoo.com"
Joanna May Carman of Painesville, OH

"DEEPLY SORRY FOR YOUR LOST. NOT EASY LOSING A LOVE ONE. THIS I KNOW! aN WORDS ARE VERY DIFFUCULT TO EXPRESS IN THESE SITUATIONS. mARK IS MORE THEN A SOLDIER AND HERO! YOU KNOW HIM BEST, HE HAS TOUCHED MANY LIVES! AN IT'S THES PEOPLE THAT WILL MISS HIM DEARLY AND HIS FAMILY WILL. aLTHOUGH, I DO NOT KNOW MARK AND YOUR FAMILY. WE ARE FAMILY IN AWAY. WE LOST GREGORY SOME FOUR MONTHS AGO IN IRAQ. AN STILL DEALING WITH HIS LOST. BUT, I KNOW GREGORY LIKE MARK DID EXACTLY THE JOB BOTH ENJOYED. AN OUR SONS IN SOME WAY HAVE TOUCHED AND CHANGED HEARTS IN IRAQ!"
leonard wahl of valley stream ny

"i just wanted to thank everyone for their kind words about my brother. he did everything he could to help others and i'm happy to see that people noticed that. he's a true hero and he will always be in my heart. i love you and miss you big brother... thank you once again everyone. God bless you all and all the slodiers that are still over there, my prayers are with you."
christy zapata of edinburg tx

"SPC Mark Zapata will be missed immensely by my family and I. He was always quick to volunteer his time and energy in order for others to benefit. He visited my daughter's classroom on more than one occasion. This was mainly due to the children asking that he come back. For his hard work and undying love to service, my family always extended our home during special occasions and holidays. We truly enjoyed his presence and will honor his gracing our presence, forever. May God bless his family during this trying time. (henry.medawis@us.army.mil)"
SFC Henry Medawis, III of Fort Carson, CO

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

"On behalf of the family of SPC Shawn Davies, our thoughts and prayers are with you. We also have lost a soldier, and share your pain. May god be with the family and friends of Mark. He will never be forgotten."
Toni Peters of Cleveland OH

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

"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. For the family/friends: May time provide happy loving memories in place of present sorrows. Look to the sky for in the infinite meadows of Heaven the bright shining stars bloom....the forget-me-nots of angels. God bless you and thank you."
a grateful family in Phoenix, AZ

"To Mark's Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your soldier's bravery and sacrifice.

Sincerely,

The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
Gloria Caldas (The Big Ern's Mom) of San Antonio, TX
gloria.caldas@banksterling.com"

"To the family of Mark Zapata;

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

"To Mark'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

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

"To the family and friends of Spc. Mark Zapata:
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 Mark for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Spc. Mark Zapata:
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 Mark, 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