Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

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

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew G. Axelson

29, of Cupertino, California.
Axelson died while conducting counter-terrorism operations in Kunar province, Afghanistan. Coalition forces located the service member while conducting a combat search and rescue operation July 10, 2005 in Kunar province. He was assigned to SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew G. Axelson.


Contributions to the Families of the Fallen


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

Please report inappropriate messages

"A deep appreciation for your sacrifice on this day of remembrance ."
Leimbach-Glass family of Central City , NE.

"Thank you so much for your service and sacrifice for our country. My condolences to your friends, family and fellow comrades. Fair winds and following seas."
jeffrey k. Heck USAF 82-86 of columbus ohio

"I have never been so proud of a Chico State University graduate. Matt Axelson is a true hero, and an inspiration to everyone around the world. God bless you."
Robert B. of Chico, California

"Memorial Day 2013, today I remember warriors, gentlemen, quite men that do the impossible to preserve our freedom. May God bless you and your families
Thank you, all of them; thank you for your service."

"What Hero's....Axe, Mike, Danny and Marcus God be with you always and forever."
Anthony Bubrowski of Drums, Pa

"To the family of Matthew, I am so sorry for you loss. I cannot imagine the pain that you have gone through. I never knew him but he sounds like he was more than just a special person he was exceptional. I am sure that he is by your side in spirit wherever you may be. You will always be reminded of him with the little day to day stuff. Maybe someone walks by you with the same kind of cologne that he wore, and you think to yourself , " Man that reminds me of him!" Or you remember some crazy thing that he did when he was young. Those will be the times when you know he is there, watching you. He will be there for you, in the saddest of times, and the most joyous of times. You must be so proud of him and the person he was, but I'm thinking he would be proud of you too. My deepest sympathies for your loss."
Cheryl of Fishers, IN. USA

"Another year passed by...
You and your SEAL brothers will be never forgotten..."
felipe espinosa of amstelveen, the netherlands

"To the Family of Matthew G. Axelson,
While following up on some recent Honors to a local Hero, LT Michael P. Murphy, of Patchogue, NY, I became aware of his teammates, and fellow heros, one of which has the same last name (and not such a common name) as my own. My feelings suddenly became that much more personal. I wish to extend my deepest sympathy, and wish to say I am honored to share the Axelson name. Being a Veteran myself, and recently becoming involved with the Patriot Guard Riders, there seems to never be enough words or deeds to honor such true American Heros as Matthew, but one can only try. Thank you for Matthew's service to our country."
Michael Axelson Jr of West Babylon, NY, USA

"I have just completed the book, "Lone Survivor" and words cannot fully express my deep appreciation and admiration for the sacrifices made by Matthew, Danny, Michael, and the many others who have given their lives in this war on terrorism. I will continue to tell others the story I read of these heroes, but let's remember there are more American military heroes still out there who give so much every day. Please remember to pray for them and for their families. God bless them always..."
John A. Huizar of Laguna Niguel, CA

"RIP Sailor....You and your brothers will never be forgotten"
Frank H GMMC - Ret. of Erie Pa.

"I just became aware of the loss of Matthew Axelson and I am very touched by his story.

To his Mom & Dad; your raised a fine young man. It is obvious he was raised in a home full of love and with a "good moral compass" You must miss him terribly.

To his wife Cindy; Each photo of you and Matt has you looking at him with such loving eyes. You loved him so......which must make losing him all the more difficult to bear. When loss and lonelyness bear down on you remember the good things about your brief time with Matt

I wish I were bright enough to find the words to tell you how much you and Matt's story touched me.

I wish you peace, the courage to deal with the loss of your husband and I hope you can love again in the future

May God grant you serenity until you are in Matt's arms again"
Russ Adams of Dallas, Tx

"happy birthday matt. you are always remembered..."
rasmia of philippines

"I'm a young man, and I read the Book, Lone Survivor. This book inspired me to do more than I could ever do. Matt was easily one of the bravest characters in the book, he would never quit. I can only hope that I could be a qaurter of the man that Matt was, but I will try to be that quarter. For his family, I cannot inderstand your pain, but I thank him from my heart because he died trying to kill the people that killed my uncle... Thank you so much for raising such a great man Mr. and Mrs. Axelson"
Ben Tillier of Wilmington NC

"I did not know Matt, but today I received my Hero Bracelet with his name. I will wear it proudly and he will not be forgotten."
Terry Nettles of Lancaster, Ohio

""It is the Soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us Freedom of the Press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us Freedom of Speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the Freedom to demonstrate.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer,
Who has given us the right to a fair trial;
And it is the Soldier--who salutes the flag,
Who serves the flag, and
Whose coffin is draped by the flag--
Who allows the protester to burn the flag."
By Charles M. Province:

Thank you so much for your sacrifice brother."
MACS(SW) Terry Cole, USN of San Diego Ca.

"Corky - I am so sorry for your loss. Your son is a true American hero. Thank you for raising such a wonderful man."
Smith of MD

"today is june 25th here in my country...its evening of june 24th there in US...happy birthday matt...you are always remembered....you and your comrades are always with me...everyday...thanks for your sacrifice"
rasmia of philippines

"Thanks for your service and your sacrifice
for all our freedom and future. Even over here in Germany you wont´t be forgotten.
JOE of Germany

"To the family:
You guys are in my thoughts and prayers still nearly each and every day. It is an honor to have known and grown with him."
Alison Foster (FBCLA & MVHS '93)

"To the family of Matthew, I am deeply saddened over your loved ones loss. Although I never personally knew him doesn't make it any easier to see one of your patriotic brothers suffer the ultimate sacrifice. My condolences go out to his family and loved ones; Matthew you are a hero brother.
BUCS(SCW) Troy A Doyle (Retired)"
Troy of Los Angeles, Ca

"to the family of matthew, his courage and heroism will never be forgotten...when i came across an article about operation red wing i researched every detail of it on the internet...and from that day on, not a day passed by that i do not utter a silent prayer for him and the rest of his brothers at arms who perished on that hindu kush mountain. i want you to know that until my dying days i will never forget those men who served and defended the freedoms not only of the united states but also its allied countries. i will be always be grateful to them for their selfless acts so that we may live free. their story serves as an inspiration to many, not only to the americans but also to the people around the globe who value freedom. i am not an american and i am living here in southeast asia. thanks to his parents for raising such a fine man. rest in peace matt."
rasmia of philippines

Henry Hill of Spain - Europe

"My heartfelt condolences go out to the Axelson family and all of the families who have loved ones over seas. I just wish that every American could know and understand the heroism and sacrifice that occurs each and every day of this ongoing war. I know not of Matt or the Axelson family, but feel a very strong love for all of you. My young son will learn of this story some day, and I can only hope that he grows up to be half the man of Matt. I love you all, and thank you so much for your sacrifices. Matt.... rest in peace."
Richard Cobb of Greenville SC

"I just wanted to thank you all for your kind words about Matt and the boys. My family and I are so proud of his life. The city of Cupertino built a memorial to all veterans and used a statue depicting Matt and James Suh as its center piece. It is a great honor. Thanks to all of you for serving or having served on our behalf."
Jeffrey Axelson (Brother) of Cupertino, Ca

"I want to say thank you for all you did to uphold what America is all about. I just finished the book "Lone Survivor" and all can I say-Danny, Axe, Mike and the rest that perished on that mountain that day-you guys were what all Americans should dream to be. Going to a place 8000 miles away from home to fight the very people who attacked us is beyond more than most can comprehend. I rest easy knowing my family can sleep at night thanks to hero's like these guys and HOOYAH to them and their family's. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!"
Unknown of Parachute, CO USA

"To the Axelson family,

I have been deeply moved after reading Lone Survivor. From Marcus' descriptions of Matthew, he was a man that looked out for all of us in this country. A complete stranger like myself can see the type of guy he was just by looking at pictures of him. Every good person in this world suffered a devastating blow the day all of those patriots gave their lives for us and each other. I will never forget all of those guys, but especially Matthew. I wish I could have met him and bought him a beer to thank him for his service. I know he will forever be a gaurdian angel to us in heaven just as he was here on earth to the United States. I consider him and his team to be some of the finest people that this country has ever produced. God Bless!"
Matt Reames of Baton Rouge, LA

"To the Axelson family,

I never met Matt -- I wish I had however, I'm not sure if you all realize how inspiring he is to so many people, many complete stangers like myself -- I now wear a bracelet with his name as a reminder of his sacrifice, and to remind myself that I've never really had a bad day in my entire life (compared to the Matt and his team-mates) Hope I'll someday be half the man that Matt was."
GregB of Ocean City, NJ

"December 9, 2007
To the family of Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew G. Axelson:
Matthew 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

"I was with you all in spirit from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and had my own memorial service for Matt and all the other men who were killed that fateful day. I am kept abreast of all your news from David, my son, and from Rob's contact with Cindy. Knowing a few members of SEAL Team One, I know that Matt was one of the best. I hope that one day I will be able to meet you all"
Maggie Noyes-Smith of Aalbuquerque, NM 87109

"We very much appreciate what your son did for our country and for our freedom."
David Bigio of Miami, FL

"I didn't know Matt, Danny, Mikey, or Marcus but my heart feels with such pride and love for those four men. I thank god that there are men in this world who fight with honor, strength and valor. Those who put themselves in the line of fire to protect this great country and our freedoms. I hope that everyone out there says a prayer for those we have lost and those who are still standing tall protecting us. To Matt's family and friends & to all the other who have lost their loved ones, may your hearts start to heal with the knowledge that their deaths were not in vain and that those young brave men have touched millions of hearts and souls."
stacy toppen of montclair ca

This horrible day will live in America's memory forever. We must also remember the brave men and women, who,on a daily basis fight and die so it will not happen again. Our brave soldiers go far from home and loved ones to fight to keep us free. Tell their stories of courage and sacrifice as was done with my Dad(WWll). He could never tell me, I was 3 when he died. I'm sure Dad,Matt,Danny,Mikey and all the fallen are tellin' war stories now. May all our heros find peace with God. To the Family- your heros are missed and prayed for daily by a grateful nation. May God's Love comfort you."
Janelle K Cook of Bedford, TX. USA

"Although I only know Matt from Marcus’s book, I wanted to send you my prayers on this day September 11th in honor of Matt’s service and sacrifices. Today, as everyday, I remember those who fight for my freedom and swell up with pride when I think about great people in this world like Matt and his team.

I hope the families are doing well and again, send my prayers."
kendradeetaylor@yahoo.com of Houston, TX

"Even though I only know Matthew from Marcus Luttrel's book, I had to stop here and express my condolences. Heaven is greater by one more hero today. God bless you and yours."
Former Navy of California

"To the family of Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Axelson: I am sorry to say that I just became aware recently of your loss. No amount of words from me can thank you enough for the sacrifice you have made for our country. I believe there must be a very special place in heaven for patriots like Matthew. I am going to pay my respects to Matthew's grave the next time I get up to Northern
David Craton of Anaheim, Calif.

"Good man. His acrifice will never will be forgotten."
Rocky Sjugih of Wilmington, North Carolina

"THANK YOU MATT! You will not be forgotten!"

"Rest in peace, bro. Your sacrifice will not be forgotten."
Janet of Florida

"You all deserve metals of honor in my book – ten fold! Thank you for laying your lives on the line for me!

To the families of those who have passed and to Marcus and your family – May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well-lived. As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life’s routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends. Your courage and actions are appreciated more words could possible say. I send love and loads of prayers to you all. I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re going through, but if there is anything I can do, please do not hesitate to contact me. Again, thank you for all you have done – It’s because of all of you that we live in the greatest country in the world!

**Lone Survivor is a fantastic read, an amazing story! – Emotional, stressful, full of teamwork and pride for U.S.A – my heart aches for these boys and their loved ones carrying on their legacies.

Many prayers,

Kendra, Houston, TX
Kendra D. Taylor of Houston, TX

"It is with a heavy heart I write thank you to your family. It was an incredible sacrifice and one that I will never forget. Your devotion to the team and country is one that makes me proud to be an American. Thank you!"
Stone of Chaska, MN, USA

"Hello, I was in BUD/S with Matt, and just wanted to give my regards to his family. Matt was a great man, and it is a shame what happened to him. I'm very sorry for your loss, he will not be forgotten. RIP Matt."
Nick of Burlington, NC

""If you are able,
save them a place
inside of you
and save one backward glance
when you are leaving
for the places they can
no longer go.
Be not ashamed to say
you loved them,
though you may
or may not have always.
Take what they have left
and what they have taught you
with their dying
and keep it with your own.
And in that time
when men decide and feel safe
to call the war insane,
take one moment to embrace
those gentle heroes
you left behind.
"Major Michael Davis O'Donnell
1 January 1970
Dak To, Vietnam."
America has been built on the blood
of Heros and Brave Men of Honor.
Thank you for your service and my
freedom.. May God bring comfort
to your loved ones.
You shall never be forgotten by
a grateful nation.""
William D. Taylor of Bonita Springs Florida

"Matt - You will be missed and always a fellow Matador."
Chris Birgers of Cupertino, California / US

"To The Family of Petty Officer Axelson

On behalf of the entire membership of the National Sonar Association, we wish our deepest condolences to the family. Matthew was given the Fleet ASW Honor Graduate Award in April 2001 by our National Sonar Association. We would like to change the Award to the Matthew G. Axelson Award with the family's permission. I can be contacted in La Vergne, TN"
Robert St. John - President of National Sonar Association, LaVergne, TN

"Matt, you are missed for sure. Your sacrifice is tremendous. I look forward to having a cold beer with you by the Gates....."
Aaron Toews of San Jose, CA USA

"To Mrs. and Mr. Axelson
Dear Corky, this is your old peer - Anna Szymkow from Polkomtel, and I would like to express my condolences, strait from the dippest corner of my heart. I grieve with you and pray that God will walk you through this traumatic experience of a loss of your son, Matt. I hope that the Lord will provide you with peace and maintain love within your heart, so that all of your friends will be able to see a smile on your face - the same smile I remember when you were bringing a Samuel Adams gift onto my desk. I would be more than happy to hear from you, if this not too much to ask.
With love
p.s. My son, Blake is also a sailor of US Navy."
Anna of Warsaw, Poland

"You were like a big brother to me Matt, Youll be dearly missed"
Jon Vosovic of Irvine, CA.

I would like to say thank you to you and your fellow team mates for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy."
Mike C. of El Paso, TX

"I wear your sons bracelet with pride and gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice he made for me and my family. My husband is in the USAF and he purchased the bracelet with your sons name on it for me and I am honored and humbled and priveleged to wear it."
Mrs. Ross Rosenberg of Patrick AFB, FL

"From one sailor to another...May you rest in peace. For the family of Matt, I am sorry for your loss. Even though we are of no relation, I am proud to share the same name as a true American Hero."
Art Axelson of Mays Landing, NJ, USA

"Not a day goes by without thinking of you. The times growing up and sharing the Team experience together. Thanks again for making the ultimate sacrifice...look forward to spending time with you again....upstairs."
Ross of Lake Tahoe, CA / USA

"To the family of:Matthew G Axelson I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will 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 Axelsons.
I went thru BUD/s with Matt. I am very sorry for your loss, we lost alot of good friends that day."
BUD/s Class 237 of Va Beach, Va


lyne clark of chico california

"From one family to another who share the same loss our son and brother was with your son during this tragic loss May God Bless Your Family, Love the Dietz Family."
Dan, Cindy, Tiffany, Eric Dietz of Littleton, Colorado

""To the Family of Matthew Axelson,
You are in our hearts and prayers. Know that your son is in the arms of God with our other brave soldiers.

God Bless you and your family,
Sheldon and Loretta Bridges
proud parents of SSGT Steven H Bridges
Sheldon & Loretta of Tracy, CA USA

US Navy Sailor

"To the family of Matthew G Axelson /
we are so very sorry for your loss. We hope you know how much his service meant to us in the USA. He was a brave man / and he will not be forgotten - nor you his family."
Ones who care in the USA

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

"I can remember as if it was yesterday the worst day of my life, when three men in dress blues came and told me that my husband was dead. I can't imagine how it was for the family of Matthew to not know where he was for weeks. I am real sorry for your lost. It is nice to find comfort to know that they died doing what they loved, but is hard to let go such outstanding , special, and incredible men like Matthew Axelson ,my husband(Danny Dietz) and all others that died on that day.....they can't never be replace. These men were fighting together to find their way back to us...up to their last breath.
To all of Axelson's family, Please fell free to contact me. Dietzml@yahoo.com

MRS. Dietz ( Maria)"
Maria of Virginia beach,va

"Thank you Matthew Axelson, 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 Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Axelson:
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 Matthew 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 Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Axelson:
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 Matthew, 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