Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

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

Army Staff Sgt. Heathe N. Craig

28, of Severn, Maryland.
Craig died when his UH-60 helicopter hoist malfunctioned while attempting to evacuate Pfc. Bradbury during combat operations. He was assigned to the 159th Air Ambulance Medical Company, Wiesbaden, Germany. Died on June 21, 2006.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Staff Sgt. Heathe N. Craig.


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"Hi my dad knows you and he has a picture of You in his locker you guys servered 2/2 INF his name is Ed Hammatt ram rod/all day every day.Much love.to Judy,Heath and the kids.We love and miss all of you"
Will Hammatt of NC

"Today is March 11 2013. As i was walking home I was walking through War vets park in Olean New York. Every time I go to that park I make sure the Memorial looks good. I stopped to read the names as I normally do but I decided to write down a few names, yours included. After getting home for a few hours I read the writings of your friends, family or just people like me. Thank you for what you did for this country but I'm sorry you had to. Even though I'm just a high school student I always felt like joining the Army after. But after reading the great things that you have done I decided to become a medic so that I can bring heroes like you back to their families."
Abram Webster of Olean New York U.S.

"To Heathe and Judy, I remember the good weekends hanging out in Ft. Leavenworth. Working in the USDB with you was great. You were always happy and I enjoyed our days just laughing at everything we could. Weekend bar b-q was great especially the good beer you brought over. I really wish we could have stayed in contact after I left Leavenworth. I am proud to have called you my friend and honored to know you. You bravery is no surprise. You were always willing to help no matter what. I know that you have changed the lives of many and we will always remember you. May God bless your family and keep an eye on us up there with Him."
Mike Green of Houston, TX

"Still think of you often. Thank you for letting me help."
MSgt Blue of Olean, NY

"Hi Heathe,
I have no words to describe how I am feeling as I write this message to you. You see, today I went to the hospital that has been erected in your name here in Bagram; I had gone there to get some labs done and as I aproached the main entrance, my heart collapesed as I saw your picture memorial on the wall. I had passed by it several times but until today it had not done to me that it was you, the fallen hero for whom this facility has been dedicated. It blew my mind as I had just seen you at Ft. Rucker going through Fly Medic School, less than two years before your miss fortune. I will always remember you with a smile. Right now I just remembered Judy and me(back in FT. Leavenworth)sneaking out to get some frozen custard Pie In The Sky and you callinf us fatties. I know you are in heaven doing great things and putting angels on extra duty to keep us safe as we continue to fight this war-You wouldn't have it any other way.
And by the way...I know you know this but, I'm going to tell you anyway: I did get back in and became an officer- Who would've Thonk it? LOl
Be in peace my brother. My prayers will always be with you and your family."
1LT Claudia Pena of Bagram, Afghanistan

"Hey Craig this is SFC Kelly, your first PSG from 2/2 Infantry in Vilseck Germany. It took me a long time to write to you after I learned of your demise. I was in denile. We'd lost Johnny Perelaz Jr. and now you. To lose both of you has been tough for me because I new you were going to go out and great things. I immediately thought about Judy and the children. I know they will be brought up knowing they had a great father who was an outstanding Soldier. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of your growth in the military. Craig when I learned how everything happened, I wasn't surprised because of your can do attitude. My Brother you are truly missed by many. I'm sure that you and Johnny are on the High Ground running things. May God continue to bless and uplift Judy and the kids. I love you Heathe."
SFC Peter J. Kelly of Ft. Hood, Tx.

"Happy Birthday my friend, I sure wish we were playing football again on that nice grass in Wiesbaden. Watchin Judy chasing the kids around taunting the Military Police on the other sideline. Listening to Christian Roberts and his wife Shelly mock them like crazy. We miss you, nearly every memory you gave us brought smiles, laughter and a sense of values. Your children are reflecting you every single day. Happy Birthday and God Bless you Heathe."
D. Gonzales of Dubai, UAE


I remember that day/night well. It was time for shift change in the "double stack" (TOC)! My fellow ops buddy told me I was going to need to wait outside and then I heard the news. A tear rolled down my face because a night or two before you had told me how much you disliked hoist mission especially at night, but you went again but this time it was just a little different. I have a bracelet for you and it means so much."
Mariha of Boise, Idaho

"Heathe, its been almost 4 years. It still hurts so much to feel you gone. The whole family is still hurting and struggling every day. We love you and we miss you terribly. You are our true hero and we will always make sure that your kids know that. I am incredibly proud to have had you in my life. I love you brother."
Hanna Tiffany of Hohenfels, Germany

"SSG Heathe N. Craig; I never had the pleasure of meeting you. I went to school with your Father. I know he is very proud of you. Thank you for your incredible sacrifice. We will be forever grateful to you, and to God for having had you here on Earth. God Bless the Craig family. Love, Respect, and Prayers to you all."
Edward J. Walker, Jr. of Honolulu, Hawaii

"Staff Sergeant Craig's name showed up when I allowed the Whitehouse Commission on Remembrance to select a name for my facebook profile. I am honored to dedicate my facebook profile to his memory this memorial day. (www.facebook.com/millerted)"
Ted Miller, CAPT, USN, Ret. of Richland, WA


It has been a while... We still think about you. You touched all of our lives. Daddy Hartman loved you about the same as Ramey. Can't compare the love of a Plat Daddy to a Crew Dog, it's seems the same to me. We can't come close to that love, but believe me, we did love you. You got the DFC... not enough in my frame of thought. You did more than any DUSTOFF'er could think or dream of... Well, it doesn't matter anyway. You did what we all couldn't even imagine. DUSTOFF will take care of the family... No matter what. To Judy: Never let the kids foget Heathe. I never will nor will my family. Heath and Judith showed my family and I so much... anyone who new him or even knew his name is a better person for it."
Bart Prouty, Jr. of Yakima, WA "DUSTOFF"

I went through Combat Medic school with you so long ago. I saw your face on TV during the CBS Evening News and my heart stopped. You were my buddy and made school so much fun. I will never forget you. Rest in peace and God bless your family"
Heather Covington Lorenz, RN, CCRN of San Antonio, TX

"Für Heath!Wir werden immer an Dich denken und werden Dich niemals vergessen!Du warst ein super Freund und Bruder für mich und meine Familie.Heath Du wirst immer einen Platz in unseren Herzen haben! Toto,Rike,Robin,Ronja und Maya"
Toto of Germany

"In June of 2006 one of our snipers, SGT Russ Durgin, was killed in action in the Korengal Valley in Northeastern Afghanistan. The remainder of SGT Durgin's element recovered his body, but faced great difficulty evacuating him because the place he died was so steep and rocky. Despite the continuing presence of the enemy in the area, and despite the treacherous flying conditions, the brave crew from 159th Aerial MEDEVAC came in to take our man home. Heathe Craig was lowered on a jungle penetrator, but found it impossible to afix SGT Durgin to the device to get him up to the helicopter. Instead, SGT Craig strapped himself onto the JP, and SGT Boin and CPL Sheiko placed Russ Durgin in his arms. SGT Craig carried him up to the helicopter, cradling him in his arms the whole way.

It is hard to describe the danger SGT Craig faced to do this, an act that was fully voluntary and was conducted for the purest of reasons -- to bring his brother home.

There are not words to express my appreciation for that act of heroism and tender compassion.

SGT Craig died just days later, performing a similar act of heroism north of Naray, in Nuristan.

None of us was surprised to hear he was at it again. But all of us were heartbroken.

To those of you who loved SSG Craig: This was a great soldier. He gave his life that others may live. Mourn him, and yet be proud.

God Bless You."
Chris Cavoli of Germany

"SSG Craig
We helped save lives together. You came to our Forward Surgical Team many, many times way out there in Paktika, and I was always relieved when I'd greet the bird in the middle of the night, and you were the one that jumped out. Always, you were totally devoted to your patient, regardless of nationality, and there was never any question that you were the man to have on those Dustoff birds for that long flight back to Bagram. Your fellow Flight Medics respected you, and mourned your loss as we all did. Rest in peace, Brother."
CPT Jeff Robbins of Philadelphia, PA, USA


I always knew you were an extraordinary Soldier when you worked for me at the USDB health clinic, you were always striving to be the best. May God bless you and your family, see you at the final formation"
SFC Godines

"To the family of:Heathe N. Craig 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"

"Heathe, Today is May 28, 2008. Monday, May 26, Memorial Day, We were in Bradford, Pa. to receive your Distinguished Flying Cross. It was a very nice service. I am very proud of you and miss you so much. Judy also sent me a picture out of Stars and Stripes, of Jonas accepting the same award for you in Manheim, Germany. He looks so happy and proud. He will remember that day forever, as I will. Everyone thinks of you and miss you. Please keep a watchful eye on all of us and know that I will be with you again someday. I Love You, your proud father"
Jeffrey Craig of Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

"Heathe, I think of u often. I remember when u were a little boy and I watched your brother and You while your mom was at work. you both were great kids, except when you gave me a pet. it was a dead frog..lol i think you were like 4 at the time. good lord I think you did give me a few gray hairs. god i miss you. I hope your son grows up to know how much everyone loves you."
aunt Jennifer of Pittsburgh,pa

"Heathe, Man we miss you!
You were always the go to guy for everything. I like many others on this page have had the pleasure of spending time with this great Medic Soldier Husband Father and Friend.
My first experience meeting Heathe was walking up to him as he had his back to me, like some of you all ready know looks can be deceiving. So Im expecting a well seasoned SFC but instead I get a very young faced SGT with his coffee cup of course, ready to go on our scheduled flight no complaints. That was the thing about him he was always about the mission and of course family, because after the flight Judy and the Kids arrived.
I will always remember him.
Hallo Judy Wir denken an dich immer."
CW2 Michael Espinoza of Brick, NJ

"You are in our hearts and though my family could not meet you and shake hands we feel like we know you. Your dad has made our lives so blessed here in NY. Without my husband meeting him by chance one day I would never know the story of such a brave strong man. Know that your story will never be forgot and it will live on in the hearts and minds of many. Your dad told me that it's not the date in front or behind the dash its what happened during the time the dash represents that counts. Knowing your family in PA/NY tells me that you filled your dash and helped fill theirs. Thank you for all you did in the time you served."
SSG Van Booth and Family (Melissa, Caden, and Liberty) of Olean, NY

"September 11, 2007
To the family of Staff Sgt. Heathe N. Craig:
Heathe 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 would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy. You are a true hero-despite the danger to your own life, you tried to save a fellow soldier. You are the epitome of what a soldier and NCO should be."
Mike C. of El Paso, Texas

"I didn't personally know him but the amount of respect I have for him is without end. He passed trying to save "Brad"."

"God Bless..."
Jill Desmond, widow Sgt. Dennis J Boles of Homosassa, FL USA

"To my awesome cousin Heathe Craig! I will miss you!! You are a TRUE hero!!! Love, Shelly"
Shelly of Smethport, Pa

"To the family of Heath N. Craig, my son, SFC Jared C. Monti was with your son the day he died. Jared was the one who managed to save one soldier & that soldier's father-in-law credits both Jared & Heath for saving Derek's life. Heath along with the others that died that awful day, are in my thoughts & prayers constantly. Our sons are true heroes. Hearing hero doesn't make me feel any better as I'm sure it doesn't help you either. I take it one day at a time, minute to minute & hour to hour everyday. Hopefully someday we can all make sense of all this & find a some peace of mind.
I don't believe there is any such thing as "closure" & whoever came up with that phrase have not been where we are. I think we just have to find a way to live with it. God bless & may THEY: Heath N. Craig, Jared C. Monti, Patrick Lybert & Brian Bradbury rest in peace. My tears are not just for my son but for all that have died in this most unholy war. God bless you & know that I and many others think of you & pray for you. Keep the faith as difficult as that may seem.

I loving memory of your son,
Janet Monti

e-mail Rossjanete@aol.com"
Janet Monti of Winterville, NC

You are a brother a friend and forever family. Thanks for all the memories and being there when it seemed that things were virtually impossible. Your actions and life will forever be embedded in our hearts. You will never be forgotten. MAY GOD BLESS THE CRAIG FAMILY."
SGT PERDUE, DANA of 159th Med Co. Afghanistan

"Hey Babe,
I miss you soooo much. I can´t bare looking at the kids, knowing you´ll never get to see their smiles again. We miss you sooooo much. If it weren´t for the kids, I couldn´t do this.
I feel like my heart exploded. What am I going to do without you? Why?
We love you, ALWAYS !!!"
Judy, Jonas and Leona of craigjudyj@msn.com

"Wir werden Dich nie vergessen! Du warst der beste Schwiegersohn den man sich wünschen kann!"
Mama und Papa of Hilpoltstein, Germany

"Dear Heathe:

If I could, I would thank you for being there and saving the life of my son-in-law Derek James.

If it weren't for you putting your life on the line, Derek would not have made it home this past July, alive, after being wounded in the fire fight.

Derek is OK now, despite what he saw, and back with the 10th Mountain in Afghanistan.

We miss Derek as well I as I do Heathe, although I have never had the pleasure of meeting Heathe in person. If it weren't for him, we would not have Derek with us today.

There are no words that I can say to ease your pain other than thank god for people like Heathe. Heathe was there when Derek needed him the most.

If there is anything I can ever do for the Craig Family, all you need to do is call.

Bob Crown of Coshocton, Ohio

"Dear Heathe,

Every night I think about you before I go to sleep...I can't watch movies that have anything that reminds me of you. I miss you greatly...
The night that I heard of your death I screamed, fell..I miss you..I just wish there was some sign you could give me that said you are happy. You leave me in the rain calling out your name...You left me with only Adam to consolt to, I feel the need to just cling to him..I don't know what I would do if I would loose him too."
Little Sister of Eldred, PA/US

"Dear Heathe,
man the news really bothered me. The day I left Germany I saw your sister and sister -in- law walking by the the apartments you first lived in. I knew something was wrong cause the looks on there face was filled with sorrow. as I was leaving the apartment to finally say goodbye to Germany, I heard the news. I was in total shock. I still can't get it through my head that i will not enjoy the times that we shared together again. From drinking dark beer to playing xbox are just the silly conversations we had from time to time. It really hurts my heart you were to much of a nice guy. I miss you and may God bless your family."
SPC(P) Gabriel Jarbath of Brooklyn, NewYork USA

It has taken me some time to find the words. It's been hard without you. You were a brother to all of us and we will never forget you.
You said that you didn't want to be a hero, but you are. Not only to us, but to all those boys you picked up in those mountians, too.
You were always there for me, always helping me back in Germany and here in Afghanistan once I got here. No matter what it was you were there and willing to help. I will never forget my first weekend in Germany when we drank too many beers watching hockey while the wives took the kids to the park. Thanks for teaching me the little things about being a flight medic. Thanks for everything.
When we get back, there will be many a glass raised in your name. You will be with us all in our hearts."
SGT Bart Prouty, Jr. of 159th Med Co (AA), "DUSTOFF" Afghanistan

"Dear Judith,

I wish you wouldn´t have to go through this unbelievable pain you carry around with you right now.It takes time to learn how to live with it Judith. I feel with you and know exactly how you feel right now.You are in my thoughts and prayers. If you need any help just give me a call.Thanks to you and your family for the wonderful message you left on Marvins page.I always hoped I never have to leave a message like this for you or anyone else I know.I´m very sorry for your loss of your loving husband Heathe.God bless you and your family."
Nadja Sprayberry of Milton, Florida

"I am so glad that sooo many people cared about Heathe. He was such a special person and will always leave an empty place in our family. No one will be able to replace him or even come close. I will make sure that Jonas and Leona will always know who their father was. What a great guy and awesome soldier. I hope that his death wasnt for nothing. Please dont ever forget him, he doesnt deserve that. I will always miss and love you "heathcliff". Your sister-in-law
Hanna of Schweinfurt, Germany

"Heathe, your sacrifice will live in my heart forever and ever...surely you are with a greater being above. Your family is surely honored to have you in their lives...and I hope that your memories bring them comfort in their times of greif and sarrow. To the wife and Children of Heathe...please hang in there..God will take care of you and bring peace into your life in a time of heart break and loss. I wish the Craig family all of the best, may God Bless your hearts!"
JC of NY

"To SSG Craig's family and friends,
Heathe was one of the nicest individuals i have ever had the pleasure to work with in Afghanistan, his jokes, great sense of humor, and over all kindness will be greatly missed. It was a very sad day to hear that Heathe was killed. He will forever be remembered by his fellow "DUSTOFF" family. May god be with you and your family Heathe, we miss you."
CW2 JASON LACROSSE of 45th Med Co (AA) Ansbach, Germany

Please KNOW so many people share your sadness,
and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief.
Our nations HERO, Heathe will be remembered by name.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Pat & Sandi Breckenridge / Montana
May we always remember: FREEDOM ISN'T FREE!

NO greater gift can one give - than to try to save another's life."

"Thank you Heathe Craig, 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 Staff Sgt. Heathe Craig:
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 Heathe 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 Staff Sgt. Heathe Craig:
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 Heathe, 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