Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

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

Army Master Sgt. Herbert R. Claunch

58, of Wetumpka, Alabama.
Claunch died in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after collapsing on the floor in his quarters. He was assigned to the Army National Guard, 217th Military Police Company, Prattville, Alabama. Died on April 18, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Master Sgt. Herbert R. Claunch.


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

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"Twenty years you have been gone now. April 18, 2024 was the 20th anniversary of your death. I still miss you more than words can say. You are the only man for me. I will see you in heaven someday soon, dear love. Even after all this time, I still cry sometimes missing you, loving you, caring about you, and longing for my husband, my man, my soulmate, my best friend, and the love of my life. I MISS YOU AND LOVE YOU!! May 1, 2024."
Sherra Claunch

"January 22,2024 To my darling husband, Ronald. I will love you forever, Dear One!!"
Your Loving Wife

"Hello Sweetheart. It is me again. I am old now and regret that I can't grow old with you like we had planned. I thought we both would live till old age and be together until God called us home. But God decided He wanted you to come on home at a younger age. I miss you so much I ache, Dear One! You are my other half, and I have been missing my other half for twenty years now. I know you are in a much better place, but I ache to see you and hold you. I love you more than words can say! You are my precious forever love. There will never be another man for me."
Sherra, Your Wife, Your Love

"October 4, 2021, Hello Sweetheart, it is your wife, Sherra, again. I am sitting here in the early hours of the morning missing you more than words can say. I ache I miss you so. I know you are happy and at peace in heaven, so that does give me great comfort, but I am human, so I miss you here on earth so much, my dear LOVE."
Sherra Claunch

"Hello Sweetheart, I have had you on my heart and mind, as always, and wanted to type you a message. Yesterday was Memorial Day. It was very sad for me. I cried some. It has come and gone now, but my love for you, and my precious memories will never leave. They are with me every minute of every day. I long for your touch, your wonderful caring compliments, cooking, car washing, grass cutting, hard working attitude, your companionship, and most of all your love. I will be with you again someday, Sweetheart. What a glorious day that will be. I LOVE YOU! June 1, 2021."
Your LOVING Wife, Sherra of Alabama, USA

"July 5, 2020"

"I continue to love and miss you, my precious, dear husband. I sit here today with so many memories of our time together on special Holiday times like this. You would be grilling for us, and we would be so happy to be alive and Americans living in the land of the free. Thank you for loving our Country enough to serve for those thirty nine years you were in the Military, my precious Sweetheart. I will see you soon when I arrive in heaven. I LOVE YOU!"
Sherra, your wife

"Today is the sixteenth anniversary of your death, my love. I cried a lot yesterday, so hopefully I will be better today. I still miss you so very much. I ache I Miss you so much! I have so many fond memories of the years we spent together. You are always in my heart and on my mind. I will never love another man, ONLY YOU ALWAYS! Love from your wife on April 18, 2020."

"April 1, 2020. Sweetheart, you would not believe what we are going through right now in our Nation. There is a virus epedemic that is spreading every where and people are dying daily from it. I am staying in because of all of my health issues and age or I would die from it. I miss you so very much, my Precious Love of my Life. I ache I miss you so much. I dreamed about you last night. It seemed so real. I could feel the love I have for you in the dream. I will see you someday soon, Sweetheart. I love you, Sherra"
Sherra Claunch of USA

"Dear Precious Husband, I still miss you more than words can say. You will always be the love of my life. I still cry sometimes I miss you so much. I love you! January 24, 2020"
Sherra Claunch

"June 4, 2017"

"Sweetheart, I am thinking about you today. You will always be the love of my life. I continue to miss you more than words can say. Enjoy heaven. I love you, Sherra"
Sherra Claunch of Oxford

"February 10, 2017.....Ronald, my Love, my Sweetheart, I still miss you so very much. I have been feeling sad today, I am missing you so much, Sweetheart. The children still miss you too. I will see you again someday. Rejoice where you are, and know I am coming. I love you so very much!!"

"I am still missing you and loving you, Sweetheart. I will love you forever and ever. You are my forever Soul Mate. On this Lord's Day, March 20, 2016, the first day of Spring, I am thinking of you, Darling!"
Sherra Claunch of Oxford, Alabama

"You celebrated what would have been your 70th birthday in heaven on Sept. 11th, Sweetheart. I thought about you all day, as I do everyday. You will always be the love of my life. Thank you for being a great husband, father, and Soldier. I appreciate all you did! September 22, 2015."
Sherra, Ronald's wife

"For Mollie who left the message on here. Thank you for caring. My husband Ronald is a 1st Sgt., not Master Sgt. He was a great man!"
Sherra Claunch

"I continue to learn about Master Sergeant Claunch's story, and think about his death often.

I'm reading and learning a lot about Guantanamo, and hope to speak with some people who knew him personally. We need to remember his sacrifice, and I hope you will reach me if you have any stories to contribute to his memory.

email: wetherallm@carleton.edu
phone: 651-500-0640"
Mollie Wetherall of Saint Paul, MN

"Hello Sweetheart, it is me again. I still cry I miss you so much. I was sitting here crying and thinking about you, so I wanted to put this on your page. Thanks for all the precious memories, my sweet love. I will see you again someday when I get to heaven with you. You will always be in my heart!! August 15, 2015"
Sherra Claunch

"Sweetheart, I am sick today and I am sitting here remembering how good you always were to me when I was sick. You always took such good care of me. I didn't get a chance to thank you for that before you left, but it helps me now to say it here. Thanks so much for being so good to me. I love you more than words could ever say. You will be my one and only love until the day I die. Love from your Wife who loves you so much!!"
Sherra Claunch

"Hello Sweetheart, I am missing you so much today. I think of you often. After ten years I still sometimes cry. I still wear my wedding ring. I will always be your wife. I married you for forever. You are my Sweetheart. It was such a joy having you for my wonderful husband those wonderful thirty six years. I know you are at peace and pain free now. That brings me the only comfort I have about your death. I will always love you! Oct. 9, 2014."

"Hello Sweetheart, I am missing you so much today. I think of you often. After ten years I still sometimes cry. I still wear my wedding ring. I will always be your wife. I married you for forever. You are my Sweetheart. It was such a joy having you for my wonderful husband those wonderful thirty six years. I know you are at peace and pain free now. That brings me the only comfort I have about your death. I will always love you! Oct. 9, 2014."

"Hello Sweetheart, today is May 19, 2013. I celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary without you being here on May llth. I thought of you all day long on our special day. Please know I miss you so very much. Someday I will be with you forever and ever in heaven. I love you with all my heart!"
Your Wife

"I am missing you today, my Sweetheart. Please know I will never forget you for as long as I live. There will never be another man for me. You will always be the love of my life. Enjoy your heavenly home, my love!! Today is January 28, 2013"
Ronald's Wife (Sherra) of Oxford, Alabama

"I am missing my Sweetheart tonight. I miss your smile, your love for your family and others, and your caring for me. I will see you again someday, Sweetheart. Today will be our only grandchild's birthday. Abby will be sixteen today. You should see her now, Ronald, she is a beauty. We all miss you so, so much! Love from your wife on August 19, 2012."

"During this Christmas season I am missing my love. He and I both loved Christmas so much. I think of him daily. He was a great husband who always took care of his family. He was a great provider and absolutely loved his children. I still to this day feel that my other half is missing. I do not feel complete without him. Ronald, I miss you, Sweetheart!! December 3, 2011."

"I am especially missing Ronald today. I have been crying a lot lately because I am sick again, and my love is not here with me. He was always so good to me through my cancers, surgeries, sicknesses, and problems. I fight depression often. He was the love of my life. I miss him so very much.....August 8, 2011."
Sherra, Ronald's wife

"im very sorry to find out that msgt claunch has passed. i served with him and others from feb 2 to april 25 1991 in desert storm. what i remember most from then is the "home cooked meals" that his special spice chest provided. i enjoyed serving with him and the others of the 214th. you will be in my thoughts and prayers."
pvt. Hall, michael of garden valley, ca.

"To the family of:Herbert R. Claunch
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" 1-1-11"

"Our children and I will soon celebrate another Christmas without the love of my life, Ronald. Ronald loved Christmas just like a child loves Christmas. It was his favorite time of year. He loved the church services, the gifts, and the food. He loved spending this special time with his family. He loved having the big Christmas dinner at the Armory for the Soldiers and their families. It was so special. I miss him more than words can say. Merry Christmas, Sweetheart, I know you are with Jesus now, and you are at peace for all eternity. Dec. 16, 2010."

"I always looked foward to Christams dinner with my good buddy Ronald, we were best friends and I miss more this time of year, we would come to drill early and drink coffee and plan the days work.. I also saw him weekly at the mill he worked for. Ronald was a great friend and I miss hi so."
1SG Jerry Walker [retired} of Sylacauga Al.

"I would like to say that I appreciate this web site for my dear husband. I would like to say he was a first Sergeant, not a master sergeant as stated on this site, and he had a massive heart attack is why he collapsed on the floor (as stated on this site.) I miss him more than words can say. He is the love of my life, and always will be. His wife, Sherra on July 11, 2010."
Sherra Claunch

"Today is May 11, 2010, what would have been mine and Ronald's forty second wedding anniversary. We married on a beautiful spring day and shared a great life. This post is in tribute to my darling husband on this our special day. I will love you until the day I die and then on and on throughout eternity!!"

"He was and still is a great man and was a pleasure serving under him in the 217th MP Co. He was more than just a 1SGT he was a friend and is greatly missed."
Todd Champagne of Jemison, AL USA

"I would like to extend my heartfelt thoughts, prayers and condolences to the Claunch family, although very belated, but with warmest regards. I served with Ron Claunch for several years in Alexander City, He was a great person, and always took care of the troops. He was and will continue to be a bright star in the hearts and minds of all those with whom he served. Sherra, thank you for everything you have done and continue to do in supporting his memory; from those of us who were part of his extended military family."
SGT Kathrine Nichols (Retired) (katherine.nichols1@us.army.mil) of San Diego, CA

"Today is April 18, 2010. Ronald died six years ago today. I miss him so very much. I have cried and cried this past week. He was my soulmate and the love of my life. Someday we will meet again in heaven. I love my Sweetheart. The last thing we ever said to each other was "I love you". I am so glad of that. Knowing that has carried me through many rough days."
Sherra, His wife

"Here I sit crying again, missing my precious, dear husband. It has been almost six years now, but the pain never goes away. He was truly the love of my life. I feel like half of me is missing. He will always be my one and only man. My sweetheart is gone, but my love for him lives on."
Sherra Claunch of Oxford, Alabama

"Not only was 1SG Claunch a great soldier, he was a great leader who took great care of his soldiers... I was in charge of the medics in GTMO and dealt with him on several occasions... I've never met a 1SG in the U.S. Army with as pleasant of a personality, a warm smile and caring attitude... Most soldiers are too "Macho" to be the kind of leader he was! It was a terrible shock to us all the day he died and the Army definitely suffered a huge loss... My thoughts and prayers go out to his family this Holiday Season and all year long!"
SSG Carder of 384th MP BN Ft Wayne, IN

"It has been some time since I served with the 214th MP CO in Alex City. I had the pleasure of serving with "Claunch". His smile and humor will always be in my memories. I know he is in a better place and we will all meet again. As this Christmas draws near I want the family to know how much "Claunch" was respected and is missed. May God always guide your ways."
SFC Frank Vickery (Ret) of Auburn, Alabama

"Never a week goes by that I don't think about my good friend Claunch, we were in basic training together but didn't know it until we were talking one day after drill, We were in the 214th for many years and Ronald was a true friend of mine, I call on the mill he worked for and every week I'm there I always look for him. I know he is in a better place, but I do miss him a lot."
1sg Jerry Walker, 214th mp co retired

"Robert, you were an inspiration to all of us here at work, I think about you often and miss your smile and laugh. As my son joins the 241th MP, I will think about you more as you watch over him and all the soldiers, friends you have here at the 214th, and from your old workplace Frontier Yarns, I miss you!!"
Chris of Montgomery, Al.

"September 30, 2009
Another of Ronald's birth dates has passed. He was born on September 11. His birthday and all holidays are hard for me to get through because I miss him so. He was truly my soul mate and I miss him so very much. He was a wonderful husband."
Sherra Claunch of Oxford, Alabama

"May 2009
It is now my 8th deployment and every time I cannot help but think of my friend Ron Claunch and his family. They are still in my prayers and his memory will stay with me forever, guiding me to always faithfully serve in all that I do. We still miss you, Ron, but we will never forget!"
Lt Col Ken Tilley of Manas AB, Kyrgyzstan

"Hello this is going to sound crazy my name is Adron H Claunch Jr I think your husband was my brother I have been looking for him since my father died 4 yrs ago and i found out i had a brother. If he was my brother could you please let me know my e mail is aclaunch@nass2.com or clumbsum@yahoo.com Thank you so much."
Adron Herbert Claunch Jr of Ocoee FL

"It is now the Christmas season, 2008.
I miss my precious husband so much during this special time of year. Ronald
always loved Christmas. It is such a loving and giving time of the year. And he was always so loving and so giving. I miss him so very much. To
everyone who comes to this site, I wish you all the very best always. May God
bless you all and May God bless America!"
Sherra Claunch

"Our family just celebrated the memory of Ronald on his birthday, September llth. We put a tribute to him in the newspaper. It said "you were an excellent soldier, you fought a good fight, you kept the faith, you finished the race, you received your crown. You are loved.""
Sherra Claunch of Oxford, Alabama

"My husband, lst Sgt. Ronald Claunch was
a soldier who loved his country, his God
and his loved ones. He had been in the military for thirty nine years at the time of his death. Ronald was probably one of the most patriotic people I have ever known.
He absolutely loved his country. Hundreds came to his funeral and many
spoke of his love for people and for
our great country. He absolutely loved being a soldier. I never once heard him
complain about anything in the military.
He was an American soldier through and
through, and never had any regrets about
joining up or serving. At his funeral he was called a great patriot. That accurately describes my wonderful husband, 1st Sgt. Ronald Claunch!"
Sherra Claunch

"On behalf of and in loving memory of my beloved husband, 1st Sgt. Ronald Claunch, I want to take this opportunity
to thank each and everyone of you for your kind and caring words, thoughts and condolences. Many thanks! I still grieve and cry often (even after four years). He was the love of my life. We were married for thirty six years when he died. God bless you all and God bless America! Patriotically Yours, Sherra Claunch"
Sherra Claunch of Oxford, Alabama

"To the friends and family of Herbert R. Claunch: If you have a photo you would like to have posted on our tribute site, http://www.Zeitlangers.com , please contact webmaster@zeitlangers.com . Thank you."
Don of Wheaton, Il

"That dreadful April 18th, it has been four years already...It is hard to believe that you still cross my mind even today. Like so many have said before about the impact you had on people. i hope that you are kepping them strait up there and please TOP, be easy on those Marines."
Spc/Deputy Jason Freeman (former 217th M.P. Co.) of Ashland, Alabama

"November 18, 2007
To the family of Master Sgt. Herbert R. Claunch:
Herbert 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

""TOP" You were a great Husband, Father, Soldier, leader, and mentor to be around throughout our tour together. During an era that we were away from our families you made us feel as though we were family. This is a tough role to fill, especially when you bring units together from all parts of the county and make them work as a team
On behalf of the 169th MP, Det 2 from New Hampshire, thanks for your leadership and humor during difficult times. I will hold your 1st Sgt Coin close to my heart and I would like to wish you one more "Good Game!" as we would occasionally hear a guard mount formation.
R.I.P “Top” you will never be forgotten."
Sgt. Stephen Dennis (stephendennis14@hotmail.com) of Henniker, NH USA

"To the members of the 217th MPCO, the soldiers attached to us from other units, and all the personnel who served JTFGTMO 4 peace be with you. April 18th is a hard day for me, as it is for Mrs. Claunch and her family. Just remember we are all better men, women, soldiers, warriors, and Americans for having the HONOR to have served under, with, and along side 1SG Claunch. Just remember what he would say to you if he saw you were down...."It's a great day in the bay." So on April 18th for the rest of your lives; raise a glass, say a prayer, and remember OUR First Sergeant. 1SG Herbert R. Claunch

p.s. I love and miss you deeply 1SG. WAR EAGLE"
SFC Charles M Johnson Jr of 1st BN(MP), 200th Regiment Ft. McClellan, AL

"I was serving in Afghanistan when I got word of my friend, Ron Claunch's death in GTMO. He had a bad heart before being activated in 2003 but still willingly served his country. My last words with him was a prayer with him and his wife before he left. Ron will always be remembered by those of us who knew him as a great man."
Ken Tilley, Maj., USAFR of Wetumpka, Alabama

"M/Sgt. Claunch,
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."
Mike Casey of El Paso, Texas

"Your (& our) lose is Heavens gain. I pray the Lord will heal your pain. You will meet with him in the sky, in the sweet by & by. God Bless you & MSG Claunch & he can now rest in peace that he so richly earned while filling the gap, up front, leading the way. A true MAN & HERO ! Thank you for your service & sacrifice TOP !!!"
PSG E7 Claunch of MS

"Top, Thank you from me and my unit, the 119th FA, Michigan Red Lions. You took us in stride and treated us like your own. Having a leader like you, to look out for us really made thing's easier. You are greatly missed. I still wear the 1stSgt coin you gave me. It is on my chain next to my dog tags. SGT Paul Dombrowski. 119th FA/Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."
Paul Dombrowski of Port Huron, Michigan

"aAs a former member of the 217th MP co, and have serving with 1SG Claunch,I want all to know what a great man and leader he was and is to me. He taught me things my Father never had a chance to. I hope to be half the man and mentor he was and will for ever be."
SSG William Saperstein of Co A, 1/167 INF, Baghdad, Iraq

"You were a great friend and always had a smile and a handshake. You will be missed and never forgotten."
1SG Terry Longsworth of Ft. Benning, GA

"It was an honor serving with you Top. You cared for each one of us every day and never hesitated to bring us a smile when we needed it the most. Thank you for making me a better soldier, man, and father. I will miss you deeply."
SGT Ken Williams, 217th MP Company of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

"For what I knew, he was a lovely man. God bless."

"To the family and friends,

Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your loved ones bravery and sacrifice. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. Your loved one is a hero. Greater love have no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13.

God bless you.

Home Front Ministries
Shepherd of the Hills Church
Porter Ranch, CA"

"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

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

"As a member of the 217th MP Company I can honestly say that 1Sgt. Claunch was a great man. He was professional when the situation needed, but if he saw you walking around post or relaxing at the MWR facilities he wouldn't hesitate to stop by and chat. He became a father figure to a lot of us while we've been here in Guantanamo Bay. He always had this funny way of letting you know when you were wrong at doing something just by the way he'd look at you with his head cocked down looking at you over his glasses. He truly was a great man and he will be missed by all the members of this company for a very long time."
Spc. John D. Parsons, Jr. of 217th MP Company, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

"To Herbert's family, I am so sorry for your tragic loss. Please know that many of us appreciate his service and sacrifice for our country."
F. Smith of Pennsylvania

"To Herbert'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

"To Herbert'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 his bravery and sacrifice.


The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne, KIA Iraq 12/28/2003."
Gloria Caldas (his mom) of San Antonio, TX

"RIP Brave Soldier"
The Taylors USMC of NC

"My thoughts & prayers are with you all. I cannot even begin to know your pain but, I do want you to know I am here. My son is serving as well as my daughter's boyfriend & I pray every day & every night to keep all of our soldiers safe & may they return home to their loved ones. I will pray until every last soldier has returned from all foreign lands to the good old USA!"
Brenda M. of Madison, Oh

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

"To the family of Herbert Claunch: I am so sorry for your loss. Herbert is and always will be a hero.He will never be forgotten. God Bless."
Jessica of Rio Vista,CA

"Rest in peace dear soldier. God's blessing to the family of Herbert. He may be gone but he will never be forgotten. Peace to you all."
Candy of Poynette, WI

"Thank you Herbert Claunch, 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 Master Sgt. Herbert Claunch:
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 Herbert 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 Master Sgt. Herbert Claunch:
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 Herbert, 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