Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Steven Checo

22, of New York City, New York.
Checo was killed in action when his unit came under attack from hostile forces. Checo was a member of the 504th Infantry, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Died on December 20, 2002.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Sgt. Steven Checo.


A Tribute in Honor of: SGT Steven Checo
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

"John, you were the first Soldier I knew that we lost. Soldiers lining the road to the flightline, watching your casket go by, I prayed I would never experience that again. Unfortunately this wasn't the last time. It never gets easier, I just got better at hiding the pain. You are missed. I hope we live a life worthy of your sacrifice."
Ranger Zman of Fort Benning, GA

"John, you were the first Soldier I knew that we lost. Soldiers lining the road to the flightline, watching your casket go by, I prayed I would never experience that again. Unfortunately this wasn't the last time. It never gets easier, I just got better at hiding the pain. You are missed. I hope we live a life worthy of your sacrifice."
Ranger Zman of Fort Benning, GA

"Thank you for your bravery and sacrifice brother. I am a father, of three beautiful children. They are my gift. I was deployed with the 504th during those terrible events. I also wasn't a father yet... Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Lost, Never forgotten."
Fmr. SGT. Lake of NN, Va.

"SGT. Checo,Steven
I had the honor of serving with you in OEF. I was a medic attached to your unit. Although I didn't know you well. We did have a brief encounter while in country. You bummed a cigarette off me one night. We spoke briefly about where we were from and couldn't wait to go home. Almost 13 yrs later I still think about you and the ultimate price you paid for our freedom. You are a constant reminder of true hero and why we fought for our country. I wear a tattoo of a cross with the initials OEF on my arm in honor of You! Strike Force! Airborne! My deep condolences to your family. RIP"
Adrian Albarracin of Miami,Fl

"I never knew you, but was present on that fateful night. I think of you often."
MD of Boulder, CO, USA

"I never knew you, but was present on that fateful night. I think of you often."
MD of Boulder, CO, USA

"I have remembered that night every day for the last 12 years. I was one of the medics that flew with SGT Checo to the Khost support hospital. He died in friendly hands. God bless."
Ryan of Las Vegas

"I knew Steven Checo for a couple years back in 1999-2002. I had the honor of meeting him and he kept in touch with letters. One day an article from a newspaper was handed to me, my mother recognized the name. I fell to my knees and cried. It's now 9/17/2014 and he still crosses my mind, he'll always be in my heart. Thank you Steve. I'll never forget you. God bless your family"
Bethany of Elizabeth, NJ

"I remember when I first got to the unit. He wasn't there, but EVERYONE knew who he was already, as he spend time overseas and came back to us. Before we even knew he was coming back, everyone in the unit would always be like, "Remember Checo? Yeah, that crazy *!" I always wondered about this "Checo," as everyone always talked about him. When we received word that he would be coming back, the entire company...probably battalion (I know the Bat Commander had to be happy) was excited. That's when I realized how special he was. I am proud to have served, not only in this Hero's company, but platoon and proud to have served with this strong warrior and patriot in Afghanistan whom gave his life for this country. You will NEVER be forgotten."
Brendan Owens of Pittsburgh, PA

"I am a cousin of the Rodriguez Quevedos, i remember seeing Steven, Jennifer and their brother Eric growing up. Playing at my aunt's house in Manhattan, I remember Steven playing soldier. That is all he wanted to be. Today, the day after the evil Osama Bin Ladin has been killed, I remember you and how sad the family, the extended family was when you were shot and killed. I remember hearing about your father rejecting the phone calls and money from President George W. Bush and thinking if it was my son, I would have done the same. We will never forget you Steven, none of us."
Miriam Rodriguez Lavandier of Crestview, Florida

"Almost everyday I come across soldiers who had the honor to serve with you. You certainly took our last name to the highest level; therefore, I wear the same last name with pride to honor your name for your sacrifice and service to this great nation. A Co. 1st BN Psychology Operations "First with the finest" - "Primero con los mejores""
SGT Checo, Louis of Fort Bragg, NC

"It has been a while since I left a post here. I have worn your name and information on my wrist for 5 years now as a reminder that on my Birthday, 20DEC, while my family and friends celebrate my birth, yours mourn. On this memorial day I want to thank you and your family for the sacrifice made so that others can live free.

I will keep you in my heart and mind as I now go to Afghanistan to serve. Be well and God Bless.

John 15:13"
2LT Douglas Meyer of Fort Campbell, KY

"hey brother its been 7 years today since you left us. collin texted me today and i'm sure others and asked for a minute for every one to remember you. i think of you always as well as others. you will never be forgotten and will always be in my heart brother."
former sgt. clint harris of ohio

"It's been 7 years since I heard the news. Although we were cousins and we never had a chance to meet in person. I heard many great things about you from people I met overseas. Brother, here I am at Fort Bragg with 4th PSYOPS Group working towards the same mission that you were once part of.
Brother, RIP & watchover your friends who miss you dearly."
SGT Louis Checo of Fort Bragg

"6 years bro..I'm back over here so watch over me Sancho. I know you and Gabel have our backs. Miss you guys
Strike Hold"
Daniel of Iraq

Hardly a day goes by that I don't think about you or the times we had. You are missed more than words can explain. I have few if any regrets in life, but not being there with you that night still is one that will always be with me. Just know that your memory still lives very strong in the hearts and minds of those that served with you."
Collin of Franklin, Ct

"6 years today. Never forget."
Daniel I. of Ewa Beach, HI

"I am so sorry to hear that my old friend from junior high school is gone. Though we lost touch after graduating from middle school, I remember him fondly. I am very happy to have known you for that short period of time. I am also very proud to say that once you were my friend. Your sacrifice for this country shall not be forgotten old friend, I will strive to be a better citizen and not take our liberties for granted as many do now a days. I am eternally grateful, and will always keep you in my thoughts and prayers..."Damn! only the good die young" We will miss you buddy!"
Leonel Benedicto of New York, N.Y/USA

"Even after 5 years I can still hear your voice and picture you like it was yesterday. Your memorial bracelet has been on my wrist the whole time and every time someone asks they hear what a great guy you were. You will never be forgotten brother. See you when we see you."
Bart Barcelou of Louisville, KY

"its been a long time brother,god i miss you ,i always think about you and talk about you to others,i wear your name on a bracelet that the konows had made and sent to me. people always ask me what the bracelets for and i am always proud to tell them about you and the kind of person you are and how much you are missed,you will always be in my heart and mind and never be forgotten."
former sgt.clint harris

"5 years brother. Still feels like yesterday to me. My heart still hurts to think of that day but your at peace now. I'm going back over soon so watch over me. I'll need all the help I can get. I still wonder to this day why you? Why does God always have to take the good guys? I guess I'll never understand why? I'm just glad that I'll have a great paratrooper up there watching over me. Miss Ya "Sancho"
Sgt. Daniel Brown
Dco 2-504 Oct 2000-Mar 2003
"Strike Hold"
"Airborne All The Way""
Daniel Brown of Vernon,Texas

"My thoughts are with you and your family. Thank you for your service to our country. AIRBORNE!"
-fellow Paratrooper of NORCAL

"To the family and friends,
I would like to extend my deepest sympathies. Losing a loved on is the hardest thing in life. I am writing to not only express my sorrow for you but to let you know about a memorial I am working on. I am creating a quilt to honor the fallen soldiers from the New York City Area. Each soldier will have a panel created. I am inviting the friends and families to get involved. If you are interested or would like some more information please contact me at nycfallensoldiers@yahoo.com"
Esther Kabalkin of Staten Island, NY


"I had been in Afghanistan only a month when Sgt. Checo died. After we heard that some soldiers died, his was the first name I heard, and his name stuck with me ever since. I remember seeing his picture in the chow hall in Bagram months later. I soon realized I couldn't remember every name or honor each soldier as personally as I would like to. So I decided that I would remember him, and all that I know about him each time another soldier died and each December. His name is listed in a book of fallen soldiers at my church and I pray for him and his family. I find strength in that I know the memory of him reminds me to train hard and live life knowing that no one is promised tomorrow. While it is good to know people say "they will not be forgotten" I think it is better to say Steve will always be remembered by me. Due to injury I haven't been able to return to war and I feel like a bench warmer. As a police officer in upstate NY I work every day and think that Steve is there with me watching my 6 from above. To his family I am sorry for your loss. Flags are flown at half mast sometimes to honor the fallen, but most of the time the flag is at the top of the pole, only because of Steve and men and women like him."
MSG Englert of Upstate NY

"To the family of:Steven Checo 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"

"May 19, 2007 (Armed Forces Day)
To the family of Steven Checo. Steven 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 just happened to run across this page looking for information on D Company, It brought back so many memories of that night so many years ago, I was in the compound watching the hole fight take place a mere few miles away. I am glad that someone has set up a website to honor our fallen brother who will always be remembered fondly. I was never able to pay my respects to Steven but maybe this is my chance, he will always be missed."
Marc Moore of Dysart Ia

"I remember all the times we shared(earning both wings together, partying in seoul, your drill sgt young impressions of him calling me dickhead) you were right. I came back in the army afterall steve. Its not the same though. I miss you."
Spc Mowrer, Claude J. of Ft. Lee, Va.

"I still remember that day that i found out that checo was killed. 4 yrs has it been that long. I can still remember that night flying back home that night from bagram. We love and miss him everyday."
Sgt. Miguel Figueora of Dover, De

"I rememeber when the news reached us in Bagram.That day still haunts me adn it's been a few years since that day. I have alot of respect for soldiers in the 504TH PIR. I spent so much of m deployment with 504th and 505th PIR. I admired everything that they did and went through. I probably walked passed Steven many times. I know that his unit misses him on a daily basis. I can only imagine the loss adn emptiness his family feels. My condolences to his family. I feel for your loss. Stay strong and know that Steven isn't forgotten. RIP my fellow paratrooper."

"4 years..... Wow... sure doesn't seem like it. Words can't describe how much we all miss you. I only got the oppertunity to get to know you for just a few months, but I can truely understand where Brown, Smitty, Bart and the Konow's are coming from. Though my time was short in Dco... I still think about you and the rest of the guys. You, Smitty, Carson and Colin, Bart, and Brown you worked my tail off... but you guys treated me with the upmost respect at the end of the night... and I thank you for the memories."
Robert "Wes" Agee of Houston , TX

"I didn't know Steven, but I was sent to his webpage.. I support the troops 100%, and I have very deep feelings for the fallin soldiers, may God be with you and everyone he loved. "Thanks Steven for being our hero!"
lisa of Reidsville, NC

"4 years Bro'. I still think about you and Dco everyday. I can still hear your voice and that accent. I know you're wings are still protecting all of your Dco boys who are still in the fight. I miss you "Sancho"
Daniel Brown
Daniel Brown of Vernon,Tx

My name is Sgt. Hernandez. I was one of the medics assisting Sgt. Checo that night D.CO came under fire. It hurts me beyond compare when November/December come around. That night replays in my head over and over. I dont think I will ever lose that feeling of him digging his nail into my hand as I held on to him during his last moments. Sgt Checo was my first real life trauma patient, and till this day It hurts to know we lost him. He will always have a place in my heart.


email: doc1504@military.com
Doc. Hernandez of Ft. Irwin, CA

"Wanted to make everyone aware that a page has been created in Steven's honor on Myspace by my older borther Erik and I. The address is http://www.myspace.com/sgtcheco
So if any of you guys have a myspace page u can visit Steven's and see some pictures of him at boot camp, some from his tour in Korea and finally the last pictures he took in Afghanistan."
Jennifer Checo of Tampa, Florida

"Dear Steven,
I miss you so much . I remember when we (all the primos/as) would get together in tio's house at 191st and have dance contest's .It ws so much fun. Mio and evrryone always looked forward to the weekends so we could cut up and eat up all the food. I remember the minute when Mio called and told me to turn on CNN i could not belive what I was seeing or hearing. RIP- you are in a better place. You passed doing the thing you loved the most- Making the country safe for others. Love u Cuz, Mari"
Marisol Cardona Ortiz of Hampton,VA

"Hey Susio, it's D Ray only I'm not D anymore. I want you to know that you were one of the few people that out ranked me that was nice to me and I will never forget you. I'll see you again someday."
Jordan Ray of Victoria, Virginia

"On the day which we celebrate our nations birthday, and what that flag that flies means I can't help but think of those who served so that it can fly. Not a day goes by that I don't look at that flag and thank God that I was born in this great country. It is because of boys like Steven that I can do this. I wear Stevens name on my wrist engraved into a Killed In Action bracelet. It serves as a reminder to me everyday what it costs to be free and the great men who fell. Thank you."
Douglas Meyer of Ellicott City, MD

"I would love to write/befriend any friend of Checo's that served w/him in the army (who is say in need of some1 to talk to/currently deployed). To share stories, swap memories and so forth. This was presented to me (through the sponsor-a-buddy-system)as a great idea for former friends of a beloved passed soldier to keep the memory alive in that aspect.It will mark the 4th yr anniversary in 6 months and I have always thought of doing this but wondered if any1 would be interested."
Betty of bet_yes111@hotmail.com

"I just recently found out about Checo's death from a former member of Delta Co and my heart goes out to Steven's family. I served in Delta CO and remember when Checo first joined the Co. I never saw him without an infectious smile and warm attitude. You will be missed and remembered by all who knew you. Airborne All the Way!"
Estrada, Ruben of San Antonio, TX

"I don't really know what to say but I am compelled to leave a message here for a fallen paratrooper and his family. I served in Afghanistan with the 82d Airborne, Task Force Panther from June-December of 2002. The day that SGT Checo was KIA, my unit, 3/505 was boarding our "Freedom Bird" to come home. I remember dreaming about that moment throughout my deployment and I remember wanting so bad to know what it was going to feel like to leave that place. SGT Steven Checo does not have to dream about his "Freedom Bird" because he has taken that long flight home already. He is up there and is waiting on his family and friends to join him. God Bless!

Michael Nelson-19th SFG(A) of Utah

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

"3 years. It still seems like yesterday since God called you home. My life has been has been better since that day you came back to Dco. I met you the night you left to go home before you left to Korea. One year later you came back. I still remember how you always called me "Mijo" and I called you "Sancho". I just came back from Iraq and I know you were watching over me. Thank You. I was in Doha and I ran into Bolo. I immediatly thought of my days with Dco and the day I said goodbye to you. I will never let anybody forget the sacrifice you made. You will always be my hero. I miss you so much bro. I just hope that I can be half as good as a man as you were so we can see each other in Heaven.
Strike Hold
Airborne All the Way
Daniel Brown of Vernon,Tx

"It doesn't seem like 3 years. I think of you everyday, and everyday I wear the reminder on my wrist that lets people know about the sacrifice you made for your country. My heart goes out to your family, and to all of us who loved you. I know I’ll see you again in heaven, and we can laugh it up just like old times! I can’t wait…Later Checo,

Justin Smith of Trumann, Ar

"To the family of Steven Checo,

Every day, especially on this day, I'll not forget the sad message I received, after coming back from a mission in Afghanistan, that Steven is dead. I had the honor and privilege to serve with him in the same company, when he was a Privat and later as a NCO. He'll be missed but never forgotten.

Steven Checo RIP."
SSG Axel Schulz of Dco 2-504 PIR, Ft Bragg

"3 years morrow. Yet still feels like yesterday. You still brighten up my world though now its just with the thought of you. Thank the broken road that lead me to you the same one that took you from me too. Theres still no1 that can quite fit those big shoes.I wish your family did not know the pain of experiencing that not every1 comes home for the holidays. May that be alleviated and let solace be provided if even in the smallest of ways. I think of them at this time. Sometimes i can't keep my eyes of your pictures and then sometimes i try to find you in other people which one is worst- i guess knowing that dissapointment is inevitable cause their is only one you.Your in every song, every smile and every beautiful detail. I know this time of year isn't easy and I guess I wanted those who love you to know they are not alone in that aspect. I laugh when i hear adam sandlers xmas song/reminds me of u. I hold on to ur "don't be mad get glad!" philosophy.I hope this is helpful and right."
always in constant loving memory

"He was and will 4eva be the most generous, giving, respectful, altruistic, witty, sweethearted, proud - and well he should have been soul I've known. If only I could have been there for you more. great job to his family on preserving his memory. There is this site that dedicates memorials in the hometowns, one for him at Inwood park, by his fave thinking spot would deem fit."
jusb4realnubgnins@hotmail.com of NY

"A simple description: "THE GREATEST MAN YOU COULD HAVE EVER KNOWN." I never got to tell u what i'm sure u already knew. U were, are and always will be The best gift and most beautiful person that could have came from this world. Some ppl are not as lucky enough to go a lifetime and encounter such but I was. I thank god every day for letting me have known you. I hold ur family in my prayers. The day I saw a veteran stand in the middle of the road and wave a flag for you - well there just isn't someone more deserving of that honor and glory then u. Behold his memmories for he is truly a treasure and the good that came from him is overwhelming just read the legacy and mark he has left behind. Much respect to his family for giving us the priveledge. mi heroe siempre."
bet_yes111@hotmail.com of Jersey city, NJ

"I visit this site atleast once a month to see if any new messages have been posted. As many times as I've been here I never had the courage nor strength to post a message of my own. I am Steven's sister and I just wanted to Thank and Acknowledge everyones message and sympathy towards my family. I'm touched to hear how much of an impact my brother has made in so many of your lives. It gives me a peace of mind to know Steven didn't die in vain and that he's just not another name to the long list of men and women who sacraficed their lives for our freedom.
If there is anyone who would like to contact my family you can do so by sending me an email at checo21j@yahoo.com
I would greatly appreciate recieving any emails from anyone who knew my brother on a personal level."
Jennifer Checo of Tampa, Florida

"I am currently a freshman in the AROTC program at the Military College of Vermont, Norwich University. I have always been a very patriotic person and always appreciated what men and women like Steven do. I decided that I wanted to buy a KIA braclet to show my support. I chose to pick someone to be on that braclet that I was in someway connected to. I searched to find those KIA on December 20th during this war in Iraq. I did this because 12-20 is my birthday, and I wanted to remind myself that while I may be celebrating a birthday, many others are mourning the loss of a loved one to this noble cause. I saw this as a sacred connection, Steven giving his life, for my freedom, on the same day that I celebrate my birth. I am so sorry for what happened to Steven, but I want it to be known that for every person that disrespects this war and those who die for it, there are many more like me who realize and appreciate Steven's sacrifice. My love and prayers are with you and your family Steven, R.I.P."
T. Douglas Edward Meyer, Jr. of Ellicott City, MD/ USA

I would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

"Airborne All The Way!"

"I remember back in December of 2001 when Steven was killed. Though I never knew him, for some reason, he touched my heart. Maybe it was because we were right around the same age, or maybe because I grew up near where his family lived in Elizabeth, NJ. Everytime they mentioned something about him on the news, I would stop what I was doing and give my undivided attention. Then on 9/11/04, one of our local radio stations was naming all of the soldiers that had been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq during the commercial breaks. I was very surprised that as soon as I turned on the radio that day, the first name I heard was "Steven Checo". They had been calling names for hours and I just happened to turn on the radio right at that moment.
The following month, I met a guy and when I reached to shake his hand, he had a tattoo on his right forearm with the unit shield on it and the words "In memory of Steven Checo". The guy I met was Sgt. John Irwin. He fought beside Checo in Afghanistan as his gunner. I don't know if there is a higher purpose for John and I meeting, or if it was just coincidence, but it's now a year later and we will be getting married next fall. He often talks about Checo and there's a picture of John and Steven hanging up in our home. John returned to Afghanistan for another deployment in April 2005. Shortly after he got there, he returned to Shkin to put some closure to that chapter in his life. He continues to drive on and not a day goes by that he wouldn't give his own life for our country. I wish I knew Steven, but somehow, I think do. In my heart, I feel he's the one that lead me to John.
God Bless You and you will always remain in my heart and prayers!!"
Brenda Kain of Hope Mills, NC

"To the Checo Family, I just found this site and read all the touching tributes to your Steven. What a great man and fine soldier he was. I wish to offer to you my deepest condolences. The picture of Steven with the WTC Tribute Lights really hit home. Your Steven has helped to prevent another 9/11. Being in NY you all know what I mean. Steven will always be remembered and honored. When they put the lights on again this year I will think of your Steven as well as all the other soldiers and victims of that horrible attack. We will be praying for you all. May God Bless you all, and God Bless Steven."
Mary Ghaney of Brooklyn, New York


"I recently returned to Afghanistan a few weeks ago and was touched by seeing a wall in honor of Steven in Bagram. I served with him as a fellow Devil in Ft. Bragg. It's still hard to believe that he is gone, but will always remember him as a brother who always wanted to make a difference and made a big sacrifice for all he believed in. My prayers go out to his family and to him for the rest of my life. White Devils all the way...."
SSG Diogenes Navarro of Ft. Bragg, NC

"I recently returned to Afghanistan a few weeks ago and was touched by seeing a wall in honor of Steven in Bagram. I served with him as a fellow Devil in Ft. Bragg. It's still hard to believe that he is gone, but will always remember him as a brother who always wanted to make a difference and made a big sacrifice for all he believed in. My prayers go out to his family and to him for the rest of my life. White Devils all the way...."
SSG Diogenes Navarro of Afghanistan

"Thank you Sgt. Checo for your brave actions in defense of all of us. For taking the fight to those cowards who who do us harm you have made America safer and for that I salute you. God Bless you young soldier and may He grant your loved ones peace. From a very grateful American family."
The Shaw family of Pasadena, Maryland

"It's been almost two years since you were killed in action. So close to the day when family gather together to celebrate Christmas.I cannot even imagine the pain your family felt when told of the news. I did not know you as a friend but could say you were one to your soldier. The morning when the First Sergeant called all sections to the chow tent in Orgun-e and broke the news that you had been KIA. I saw the shock and tears on the faces of infantry men that knew you. This made me feel so much sorrow . The room turned cold and quiet. I will never forget the feeling of that moment. You and your family were in my prayers that night. I've mention your name so many times as to never let no one forget that a Fellow New Yorker ,Paratrooper and soldier had die fighting for the Freedom everyone takes for granted.I'm proud to have met you.
Sgt. Checo you will never be forgotten.

Sgt. Lino ( ATAS CO.) 82ND AVN"
Jaime of Brooklyn , NY

"I was with Steven in basic training, airborne school and through Operation Enduring Freedom. Throughout my time in the military, I have met few people more deserving of our country's honor and gratitude. While many may never know how much they owe Steven for his service and sacrifice, he will always be remembered around the world through the many people he hepled, trained, worked with and those that were lucky enough to condsider him a friend."
Daniel I. of Ewa Beach, Hawaii

"To the Checo family,

I think about Steve very often, and the fact I didn't bring him home haunts me profoundly. He was a fine man, and I am in awe of his courage and that of his men that cold night. I won't forget you."
John Miller of TX

"I had served with Steven since 99 as his driver and then later his gunner. The nigh he left us was a hard one as I was with him on that patrol. It's sometihng that has never left our hearts and minds. All of us that have had the honor of serving with him miss him dearly. For his actions that night, the rest of us are all still here. He sacrificed his life so that the rest of us would return to our friends and family unharmed. To his family, I'm sorry for your loss. Let us never forget the price that is paid for freedom!"
Sgt John Irwin of Dco 2/504 PIR, Ft. Bragg

"To the family and close friends and brothers who served w/ Checo. I was his Gunner, and Section Leader for 3 yrs. He will never be forgotten. I just got back from Iraq where I lost another soldier who was close to me. Its never easy, but I know that soldiers like Checo will always keep us fighting and remind us of what we are fighting for! Strikehold"
SSG Parker, Garrett of 25th ID(L)

"Thanks for stepping forward when America needed you. To the family - Thank you for your contribution to our liberty and freedom. I'm sorry for your tremendous loss."
Ronald Carlson of Montrose, MN

"This old paratrooper will never forget the brotherhood of the greatest division in the world. Although I never ran across Checo, my heart hurts for my brother. May you rest in peace."
Anthony of Denver, CO

"I served wit hSteve in Korea, and had met up with him in Afghanistan. I was proud to have known him and called him a friend. I celebrated his 21st birthday with him, and was the one who told him about the Sept. 11 attacks. i will never forget him, and will always remember him for what he was. A great American, a good person, and a once in a lifetime friend. His family is in my prayers always."
SSG Christopher Landry of Ft Bragg

"We had just arrived in Afghanistan to replace SGT Ckeco's unit when he made the ultimate sacrifice. I remember the teary eyes as we lined the route to pay respect to his body at Baghram Airfield. It brought to us the reality of war and dying in a foreign land.
I realized that we were the defenders of freedom and as we sacririced our lives we were honoring our country and all that it stood for.

We will always rember you SGT Checo.May his soul rest in peace.
In closing I would like to leave this popular phrase: "For those who fought for it, freedom has a taste the protected will never know"."
SSG Avery of Ft. Bragg, NC

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

"To the family of Steven Checo
He was a good man and till this day he is dearly missed. I will forever miss him and let his name never be forgotten. R.I.P my friend."
Spc (P) Figueora , Miguel of Hohenfels, Germany

"To the family of Steve
I served with Steve for about 4 years and I can't recall a time that Steve didn't have a smile on his face. He always had a kind word for the soldier who was having a rough time. Other soldiers were constantly seeking out Steve's advice or words of wisdom. I just want you to know what a brave and great soldier, and person Steve was. I think about Dec 21 everyday and I always try to mention his name to people when they thank me for serving. I tell them not to thank me, but to be thankful for the men who lost their lives defending our nation. Steve, you are missed."
SPC Brown, Brian of Giebelstadt, Germany

"Steve, even now, over a year later, thinking of the night we lost you brings tears and heartache. You were one of the best friends I've had since joining the Army. We were together from the beginning in '99. We went through so much together. I can remember the night you got hit like it was yesterday. I was there you know, when they brought you in to the hospital. I was one tent over from you. I would give anything in this world to have known it was you so that I could have been with you. Bro your loss hurts so bad, but you did good that night. If not for you, maybe alot more would have died. We went to Iraq you know, and I know you were looking out for us. Your Dogs in D.Co.. We took some hits, yeah, but we had no fatalitys, and there were countless times when many of us should be dead over and over, and I believe you were still looking out for us. Thanks brother. On the anniversary of when you got hit, we had a small memorial service for you, and everyone who knew you talked about what a great guy you were and how we missed you and wished you could be with us. You will NEVER be forgotten Steve. If you could have seen what it was like when you were gone you wouldn't believe it. The few of us who were near the hospital went in and prayed over you, but I could only cry. When we came out I watched a grown man drop to the grown and bawl in front of everybody. He was a private. But you weren't just a Sgt. You were a friend above everything else. Officers, enlisted, and even Afghan interpereters cried when we learned you were gone. You touched so many lives without even knowing it and for that we all thank you. Foster, Imak, Brown and myself carried you out and put you on the chopper to go to Bagram, and all we could all do was cry as we watched a great soldier, a great American, and most of all, a great friend fly off into the sun and into a better place forever. I'll never forget you brother. You will be in our hearts always. Keep a good eye out bro, the show's not over for us yet. All your friends in D.Co. 2/504. "White Devils""
Sgt Bart Barcelou of Fort Bragg, NC

"I also had the pleasure to serve with SGT. Steven Checo. To the family of this great paratrooper, your son will never be forgotten. He always had something great to say to cheer me and other soldiers up after a tough day, and I'm a better person to have known him. Your son has better so many peoples life and I wanted you to know. My prayers will always be with you. God bless you. D/2-504 "All the way.""
Daniel Warner of Milo, Maine

"I didn't know SGT Checo but I was in Bagram when his body was carried to the C-17 for his trip home. What I saw that night inspired me to write this email home to my family.

I don't know his name, I don't even know where he was from. I do know
that he was my brother. A US soldier just like I am. As I stood there
at the position of attention in that brisk Afghan wind on a cold
December night just a few days before Christmas, I relized that my
purpose here is bigger than me bigger than any of us. As his body was
carried past hundreds of fellow soldiers lined up on both sides of the
road who came not because they were ordered to but because they wanted
to be there to honor their brother. A brother who gave his life for
his country so that his family, his friends, his country could be
free. It was probably the most important thing I have done over here.
It didn't seem like much, just one face out of hundreds, but it meant
something to me as I am sure it did to each soldier. It was a site to
see, soldiers from all the units and from differents countries lined
the side of the road leading to the aircraft that would take his body
home. Reality hit hard, we are still at war, people are still dieing,
what we are doing is dangerous work, but it needs to be done. We will
continue to agressively confront the enemy and we will win this war on
Terrorism so that all of our families, friends and our countries can
continue to live free. What my fellow soldier, my brother in arms did
for his country was the ultimate sacriface. He will not be forgoten.
Enjoy your holidays and everyday that you are Americans because the
price paid for our freedom has been high, a price that we as soldiers
are willing to accept and take on.

My family was so moved by this email that they sent it to the Birmingham News(Birmingham, Alabama) where it appeared on the editorial page on Christmas Day 2002. The life of SGT Steven Checo and his service for his country will never be forgotten."
SSG Andrew L. Rush of 20th SFG(A), Birmingham, Alabama

"This man was a real man. He was a decorated and brave soldier that took care of his troops and risked his life fighting to defend them.

My family sleeps safer due to him. My prayers and thanks to his family for raising such a wonderful man."
The Estes Family of Phoenix, AZ

"Thank you for your service. May you rest in peace and shine on the rest!"
Hooligan 6 of USA

"Thank you Steven Checo, 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

"I served with Steven in Afghanistan.This has been a long hard year for me. My love and prayers go out to his family. Steven was a great paratrooper, a great friend and most of all a great human being. Rest In Peace Mi Amigo. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten. Dco 2-504"
Daniel Brown of Vernon Tx

"It's been a year now since we all a dear friend,son ,and brother.I served most of my army time with Steven and had countless good times and many laughs.Not a day goes by that i dont think about him.He is in my mind and heart forever,and i miss him badly.My thoughts go out to his family at this especially tough time of year."
Collin Konow of Franklin,Ct

"I have a photograph of a tribute to Steven written on a wall located inside the Khandahar Afghanistan air terminal. I took this picture during my deployment to Afghanistan. I would like to pass it on to Steven's family."
CPT Michael J. Fuller

"I was serving in afghanistan with the 1st battalion 505th P.I.R. when we heard SGT. Checo was shot. It was a great loss to the unit and the U.S. Army. God speed and Airborne all the way."
SGT. Cesar R. Garcia

"I really appreciate how people don't forget about our fallen heroes. Steven was a great cousin he loved his family and loved his job, which was protecting our country. Steven we all miss you dearly and we well never forget aswell as others who didn't know you but honor your sacrifice...I miss you cuz "rest in gods hands""
Jeffrey Ferrand of Massachusetts

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Steven Checo:
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 Steven 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 Sgt. Steven Checo:
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 Steven, 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