Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Ryan D. Foraker

31, of Logan, Ohio.
Foraker was reported missing from his unit in Guantanamo, Cuba, on September 24, 2002. Exhaustive ground, sea, and air searches were conducted in an effort to locate him but were unsuccessful. Foraker's clothes and personal effects were found near the water's edge, leading the investigating officer, absent any evidence to the contrary, to determine that Foraker had died in the waters of Guantanamo Bay. An extensive criminal investigation uncovered no reason to suspect foul play. Foraker was assigned to the 342nd Military Police Company, U.S. Army Reserve, Columbus, Ohio. Declared deceased on November 1, 2002.

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"As a follow up, I failed to include my contact information when I left my last message concerning my father. So again, if anyone knew or has stories of my father, you may contact me below:
Instagram: ArtisticMaryMayhem
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100049325443830

Email: marygast2021@gmail.com

Again, thank you all so much!"
Mary Ann Gast of Ashland, OH

"Hello, I am the youngest daughter of Sgt. Ryan Foraker. Due to many circumstances regarding the disappearance of my father, my mother, my sister and myself moved out of Ohio and chose to forget about everything and start over. However, after recently moving back to Ohio and getting married, I decided to try and find out anything I could regarding him for the sake of closure and simply to know more about the man my mother barely spoke of. I have been visiting his memorial in Sunbury, OH and noticed how many people have seemingly left behind coins for him. I am very very thankful to everyone that does and keeps his memory alive and well. Additionally, if anyone should read this and they knew my father or even just had a few stories to tell of him, I'd love to be in contact with them as stories are the only thing I really have of him and so I cherish every one. Again, thank you all so much for showing your love and support to my father."
Mary Ann Gast of Ashland, OH

"To Ryan's Family and Friends I served with Ryan in Desert Storm, I am a founding member of the 5th Engineer Battalion Desert Storm Veterans Group, I want his family to know that Ryans name and date of passing is read aloud at our annual reunion in the "Toast to our fallin" a member of Ryan's unit Bco 5th volunteers to stand and read aloud that units fallin names at the 2018 reunion Ryan's 1st Sgt from 90-91 attended and read his name aloud . https://www.facebook.com/groups/5thengineerbattaliondesertstormvets. also https://www.facebook.com/groups/130183257051826"
William Archer SSG Ret: of Rolla Mo USA

"I continue to learn about Sergeant Foraker'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 Sgt Foraker 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

"I was assigned to the 342nd as my first unit in the army in 2000. I served SSG Foraker he was a great NCO. He taught me a lot of things. I remember in 2001 we were on our annual training at Fort AP Hill Va. we stood a security detail working a gate one night and he was telling me all about his time in desert storm where he served a combat engineer. He was telling me about how they stood security over there. He was great to work with. Now I have left the army and work for the coast guard where I have my own team now that i supervise. I strive to be as a good of an NCO as he was. This memorial day remember him and the sacrifice he gave to this country"
Hal Robinson of Tampa Fl

"My name is Brandon Langford. I was with Naval security the night SSGT Foraker was reported missing. He was greatly respected and am sure he is sorely missed. The rest of my tenure at Gitmo was spent patrolling the coastal waters from the shore as well as from patrol boats. I know it won't bring him back, but I never stopped looking for him, all the way until I was transferred. I was the responding investigator when it was reported it it has never left my thoughts. My thoughts are with the family of this greatly respected soldier."
Brandon Langford- brandonlangford1992@yahoo.com of Oak Harbor, Washington

"Ryan was my cousin. I was 17 when he was born. I pray for his eternal soul daily.I would love to speak to the brothers of this fallen hero.Please contact your aunts Margie and Sally They are very concerned and love you all."
Cheryl Rohl Jones of Aurora, Ohio

"SSgt Foraker was my team leader and friend. I still have the CD he made me that year in a box along with several pictures of him and I. The day we went out looking for him will always be burned in my memory. It was cold, windy, and dark with a hurricane rolling in. He was one of the nicest people I know and was so excited to be serving his country. He was and will be missed by all the people his life touched"
Shaun Semran of Zanesville, Ohio

"I found a memorial card with Ryan's name and information about a year ago and I wanted to express my gratitude for his service to our country and wish that God may bless his family."
Nathan of Dayton, OH

"”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to the hero’s Mother, Father and/or spouse. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Almost 2,100 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
This is a gift! We have wonderful sponsors who help with the costs, and want you know that everyone here at Project Compassion does and will always CARE.
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com or go to www.heropaintings.com . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Project Compassion - Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"I am Ryan's younger brother and just found out about this site .I want to thank you all for your kind words you have written on here about and for Ryan.It has now been 7 long years since Ryans disappearance.I want to say that I miss you brother and I will never give up hope of your return even though the glimmer of hope seems dimmer every day I will never let it go.I love you brother.For those of you interested keep an eye in the logan ohio news paper there is going to be an article about Ryans dissappearance with an interveiw with our parents.Again thank you and God bless you all.11/5/09"
Joe C. Foraker of Somerset, Ohio

"I never want to forget the sacrifices of so many young men and women. I am so proud it makes me cry. I understand in theroy only that war is a part of human nature but so is love and caring. I wish I could take the families pain away but I can't. I am committed to loving ALL people, myself and our environment. I am committed to working on my happiness everyday because so many have died for my freedom to live my life. Thank you is not enough but it is all I have. All my love and respect. ogersteiner@yahoo.com"
Scott Steiner of Columbus, OH

"my name is steve spofford (aka) check and rage* i was ssgt ryan forakers specialist we lived togeather and searved togeather in the 342nd.he was the first call i got when deployed and my room mate at dix and gtmo. my self and another were the last to see him. i was also one of the people who were in the search party after his missing. i deeply regret the loss of my ssgt. i am proud to have served, lived, and became such a good friend with such a great man. his dedication to his family and his men made him a rareity in the army. he helped me through verry tough times and i with him. i wish i could have prevented his loss. we spoke often about mary and olivia his youngins. he was 100% commited to his wife also a rareity in the military. some day i hope to link up with his family and ask for forgivness that i wasent there that night to keep safe my friend and my ssgt. i keep his picture on my wall to never let me forget that my time in the army cost so much and affected so many. i will never forget the time i spent with such a great man as ssgt ryan d.foraker."
steve spofford of bellecenter ,ohio

"Ryan, I have never forgotten you. I served with Ryan in the 342nd MP Co out of Columbus, Ohio and Troy, Ohio. I remember Ryan, or SSG Foraker as I knew him, as a good NCO who had a passion for training troops and for his integrity. I remember the exact moment we knew something was wrong. He didnt show up for duty, and that was something he never did. I was a part of the search team from our company that went looking for any sign of him along the coast near Camp Delta. It rained a cold rain that day and though we didn't find anything, I held out hope for a long time that he would be found. Cuba never had a better hero call GITMO his final resting place than SSG Ryan Foraker. Peace be with you. -Sgt. Winters"
SGT Winters, Mark A., 342nd MP Co (EG)1997-2005 of Dayton, Ohio

"hey ssg foraker well its been six years and im back down here on another deployment. this time with coast guard rather than with the army. I was out at the camp last week and thought about you. you were a great NCO and i learned so much form you during the time that i served with you in 342nd. you will always be remembered."
PS3 Hollister Robison of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Ryan Foraker:
I join you in your sorrow. Though I know not the man I grieve for your loss. Our parish in Bowie, Maryland has undertaken the privilege of praying for our fallen heroes. Please know this special hero and his family are in my prayers. Sincerely ~ Gisel Kelly"
Gisel Kelly of Bowie, Maryland

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Ryan Foraker:
I join you in your sorrow. Though I know not the man I grieve for your loss. Our parish in Bowie, Maryland has undertaken the privilege of praying for our fallen heroes. Please know this special hero and his family are in my prayers. Sincerely ~ Gisel Kelly"
Gisel Kelly of Bowie, Maryland

"December 9, 2007
To the family of Sgt. Ryan D. Foraker:
Ryan 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 SSG Foraker that night. I remember it to this day. I sat out by the ocean that night and spoke with him. I have not to this day given my regrets to his family, and I feel remiss. even years later the memory of this wonderful man is with me. Know that he is not forgotten. He was a good man.

PFC John Spoerl, 342nd MP CO (EG) of Denver, Colorado, USA

"In January, 2002, I was one of five or six linguists deployed from Ft Hood, TX attatched to a local MP company, the 95th MP's I think, for the Fundamental Justice detainee transport mission. We served the MP's as interpreters on the flights that brought the detainees to Cuba. After a month or so, the 95th guys returned to Ft Hood, but we linguists were kept on the job for about another 5 months. The 342nd was the unit that came in to replace our 95th MP's. It was an odd deployment in that we didn't stay in any one place very long, and there was a lot of downtime. We linguists spent some of our time at Ft Dix, NJ, but a lot of it was spent doing housekeeping translation at the detainee facility at Gitmo, initially Camp X-ray, but later Camp Delta. Ryan Foraker was one of the few 342nd soldiers who took an interest in me; he made sure at Ft Dix that I got out of the barracks some. I had no transportation in New Jersey, and no duties to speak of, so the days tended to get long. The two of us made a day trip to Washington's Crossing near Trenton once in his funky old truck; very enjoyable. In Cuba the situation was a bit different; I was the one getting out and about. I got hold of a bicycle, and did a lot of exploring. There's a lot to see there on Gitmo. Early on, on a bike trip to Windmill Beach, I discovered a spot that had at one time apparently been a swimming area. Like most of the Gitmo coastline, it was a limestone cliff, maybe 20-30 feet above the water. This spot was pretty scenic; there were crevices that the waves would go crashing into, with the water shooting up at the end, and there was an old rusted-out ladder lying on the rocks below which had evidently once been bolted to the rock to allow people to climb down to water level. Later, they built Camp Delta nearby. The cliff and the old swimming area were within a stone's throw of the plywood barracks area, Camp Liberty I think they called it, that was put up to house the personnel working Camp Delta. I showed a couple of the 342nd guys that spot, since it was picturesque and close to where they were living, and Ryan was one of them. I was redeployed to Ft Hood in late July of that year, and you can imagine my reaction in November or so when I happened to open the Army Times homepage and find him declared dead. It appears it happened at that old swimming area. I've wondered many times if things would be different if I hadn't taken him over there to show him that spot. He was a good soldier and a good man, and I think about him from time to time."
Daniel Blackman of Augusta, GA

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, TX

"To the family of a soldier I served with, I a saddened by your loss everyday. I served in the 342nd with Staff Sergent Foraker. Not a day goes by that I don't think of Sergeant Foraker. Sergeant Foraker was a great guy to serve with. I had many great days with him. He was the only one who would take the time to show me how to properly use, fire, break down and clean the M9 pistol. Sergeant Foraker even shared his chewing tabbaccer with me. But Guess the joke was on me, for Sergeant Foraker would put the chew that he just took out of his lip back in the can to save it for later.
To Staff Sergeant Foraker, You may have left us here on Earth but now you are serveing in Gods Army in the promise land. Thanks for the sacrifices you made here on earth for us all to have freedom."
Eddward Fitzgerald of Marysville, Ohio

"Thanks for creating this site for remembering "All the Heroes", that have fallen in the line of duty protecting the liberties and rights of all."
James Foraker of Warren, Oklahoma

"Ryan was a devout servant of God and Country. He loved his wife & children. He was lost while in the service of the Nation he loved. Next to Christ his memory receives no higher honor than the praise of his countrymen. Thank you all for your kind words. Eddie Foraker - Ryan's older brother."
Carl E. Foraker of Williamsburg, Virginia

"I am very saddened by the loss of Ryan D. Foraker under mysterious circumstances at the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp. What has happened to our country?"
Marge Rowland of Reston VA

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

"Ryan, I kristina thank you for serving our country. I think that it is one of the best things any one could do."
kristina johnson of vermilion ohio

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

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

"We are very grateful for the service of Sgt. Foraker. He served his nation during a time of war and worked a post that had so many challenges and demands. His work made us all safer."
The Estes Family of Phoenix, AZ

"Thank you Ryan Foraker, 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 Sgt. Ryan Foraker:
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 Ryan 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. Ryan Foraker:
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 Ryan, 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