Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

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

Army 1st Sgt. Christopher C. Rafferty

37, of Brownsville, Pennsylvania.
Rafferty died in Sharana, Afghanistan, as a result of shrapnel wounds suffered on July 20, while he was coordinating a response to a mortar and possible rocket-propelled grenade attack. Rafferty was assigned to 37th Engineer Battalion, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Died on July 21, 2006.

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"I remember the event well. It was the first time I had this type of experience as a young soldier. When I make the pilgrimage to Arlington I will leave you my bsm's. I made it home every time because you told me to move that night in my head. we did and a mortar landed right where we were standing. Until we meet again brother!"
Wrede of 28326

"He was my first squad leader in the Army at Bco 37th in 1997. A hell of a mentor and example for others to follow."
Joseph Agloro of Kelso WA

"***Ms. Lisa Kleeman, thank you for doing that. Please look me up you can find me on Facebook at Sam Rafferty.just contact me when you can.thank you and everyone else again. Anyone else that would like to contact me or my sister we both have facebooks you can add us on we love any story and anybody that knew our dad. Thank you again to everyone for remembering and keeping him and my family in your thoughts and prayers."
Samantha Rafferty of Columbus Georgia

"Top: I was honored to serve with you as part of the 82nd Engineer Battalion (BLUE BABE). Almost 16 years later, and you are still missed! You were a Soldier's Soldier, and a Consumate Leader - You led by example, and you Loved Your Soldiers. God bless your memory, Brother, and your loving Family. You are NEVER Forgotten.

Pro Deo Et Patria,


"I found something sentimental belonging to someone in his family, last week> I reached out to the military and still waiting to hear back."
Lisa Kleeman of 21117

"Years have gone by and it feels like it was just yesterday that I had the honor to serve with Chris in Panama ( 90-92) One of the most dedicated soldier/ Man I have known. You will never be forgotten Brother."
Estrada, Victor of San Antonio

"Sgt. Rafferty. Its been many years since you past, and many years since I served alongside you. As a brother you'll never be forgotten. My son now wears a KIA bracelet honoring you. May God bless you and your family."
SPC. Joe Simko of Norristown, Pa

"As a mechanic in HHC, I only interacted with 1SG once on guard duty. He literally snuck up on us, scared the crap out of us, and used it as a teaching moment. Guard duty for me was never the same, and not much longer after there was a SoG on duty. Never had an NCO in my short 6 year carrier from outside company spend that much time teaching, and motivate through love instead of force.

There was a ceremony for him when the whole unit returned in March 2007, where one of his daughters spoke. She reminded us about "Rule #1" and thats when I knew despite being a young woman, her dad clearly taught her well, and a feeling of relief came over me knowing they'd be okay, despite such a tragedy, because he was such a loving person clearly he prepared them for life. I cant say enough good about 1SG without saying how bad the rest of the army was in contrast, so I'll leave it at that.

McDonald of Pensacola, FL

"It's been a long time. Served with my brother in Panama 90-92. He was the best soldier I knew. It kills me to find this out 10 years later. RIP Chis."
Travis Smith of Pocatello Idaho

"Senior Drill Sergeant Rafferty. I had the honor to be a new recruit under your direction at Fort Leonard Wood, MO back in February to June of 2000. You were a leader through in through. You made my introduction to the U.S. Army a wake up call. You led by example to the fullest. I will always remember you for what you passed down to me. You and your family will always be in my prayers for as long as I live. I'm sure that our past warriors will take good care of you up there in Heaven. Rest in peace."
Jonathan Scheil of 2-3 Aviation BN, Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, Ga

"Drill Sgt Raff.. I simply refused to believe we lost you.. a man that guaranteed a victory involving a cheetah flip over superman and shaq. You were my first experience in the military being the Senior Drill of my basic and AIT school.. you were incredible -- more real than I thought I'd signed up for, but with your amazing example of how to soldier, I gained the confidence that carried me through my career as a soldier. You are one of so few people I've ever met that really had an effect on my life. Though I wish I'd have had the pleasure to serve with you, there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not thankful I had the brief opportunity to learn from you. Forever proud to have survived KillaMan's DawgPound.... Pvt Dipenza"
Jonathan Dispenza of Buffalo, NY

"Chris...I want to say thank you...I think of you all the time and will never forget the sacrifice you have made. You will live on forever in every heart that you made an impact on. Thank you for talking to me about Sean, when he was killed in Iraq it left a huge hole in heart that, becasue of you I was able to grieve and move forward. We all miss you!"
MSgt Colleen Huey-Garra of Cabot AR

"This is a special day to celebrate our fallen soldiers and friends. Never forget those who served and are serving our country.
I will never forget.
Wendy and family, I severed with Christopher Rafferty when he was in Cco 37th Eng Bn (C)(A). he was my mentor and he still my friend.
Wendy and family if u ever needs anything please count on my help.
Nestor Cabarcas
Nestor Cabarcas of Huntersville, NC

"Rafferty was a father first and a soldier second in my time with him at Fort Bragg he always talked about his kids and we as a group were as tight as we could be I hope the family has confort in knowing how much of a great man your father was and how much we will all miss him"
Scott Knickerbocker of nashville TN

"Rafferty was a father first and a soldier second in my time with him at Fort Bragg he always talked about his kids and we as a group were as tight as we could be I hope the family has confort in knowing how much of a great man your fathe was"
Scott Knickerbocker of nashville TN

"i may not have met you in person but i knew everything about you from your mom SANDY HUSTAVA you will always remain in my heart and you will never be forgeton i love you bro love MERVIN WAYNE GOULD SR.,,,,,your brother."
mervin w gould sr of jamestown,ny

"Chris, I think of you often. The impact you had on your soldiers will forever live on. Wendy...I hope your well. I'll always be here if you ever need anything."
MSgt Colleen Huey-Garra

"always remember his "3" rules 1. Don't %^&%&%& 2. Always have a smart plan for being stupid 3. remember rule # 1 not ever forgotten Hooah!!!!"
37th soldier of san diego ca

"I was a soldier there at the time. I still have issues with it. May the family know they will forever have my protection if needed. uncle willie"
spc of san diego ca

"I love my dad.he is not gone,hes still here.i want everyone to know hes still with us.We are not over his death and never will be.but he is not gone..dont ever forget about him."
Raffs-kid of Fayetteville NC

"Raff WAS my brother. We served togther in many different units to include FT Stewart, Panama, and FT Bragg. I always follwed his advice and was a better soldier for it.I have spent my entire career following his footsteps. He his always remembered and his legacy lives with me. I take every opportunity to tell soldiers about one of the greatest men and soldiers I have ever known."
1SG James Richardson of White Sands Missile Range NM

"Raff was one of a few men that I liked to keep tabs on after we served together in Panama. I caught up with him when he was stationed at Fort Bragg in 97' and it was like old times with us hanging out at hooters gabbing over a huge thing of BBQ wings. I asked him if he was thinking of getting out and he said he was in for the full ride. The man died doing what he was meant to be doing and learning about his death today makes this Christmas a somber one. I was there when his wife had their first daughter,and I was there when they pinned his Sergeant stripes on him and even though we hadn't talked in awhile,his absence in the world will not go unnoticed by me. My profound condoleances for the family and for my Airborne Brother Raff,"I hope that you're still kicking the fourth point of contact wherever you are.""
Cornell Hampton of Brest,France

"To the family of:Christopher C. Rafferty 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"


I had the pleasure to serve with Chris in Bamberg, Kosovo, and in Iraq. He always had the mission foremost in his mind. While we were peers we always had fun. When he became my 1SG we still had fun. Chris will always be a Hero to me and a role model to others. We were not only soldiers we were neighbors and friends."
SFC George Case of FLW. MO

"A great loss to our country and military. Sergeant Rafferty directly effected the lives of hundreds of the finest young people our country has to offer. If each of these effect the lives of hundreds themselves, the legacy he leaves is huge. It felt like a direct punch to the chest when I learned he was gone. He was my go to guy for myself and the Commander when I was 1SG Bravo Company. A great man is gone."
Paul Hooks of Austin, TX

"September 11, 2007
To the family of Christopher C. Rafferty.
Christopher 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

"!SG Rafferty was my first Platoon Sargaent. He made me the NCO that I am today and he was truly someone to look up to. He will be missed."
SGT David Etheridge of 43 CEC, 2/3 ACR Fort Hood, TX

"If you are able,
save them a place
inside of you
and save one backward glance
when you are leaving
for the places they can
no longer go.
Be not ashamed to say
you loved them,
though you may
or may not have always.
Take what they have left
and what they have taught you
with their dying
and keep it with your own.
And in that time
when men decide and feel safe
to call the war insane,
take one moment to embrace
those gentle heroes
you left behind.
Major Michael Davis O'Donnell
1 January 1970
Dak To, Vietnam
America has been built on the blood of Heros and Brave men of Honor. A fellow Veteran thanks this American Hero for his Bravery, His Service to Country, and for the Ultimate Sacrifice he has made.Thank you for our cherished Freedoms your sacrifice has protected. May you rest well in Gods loving embrace Brave Solider, and may God bring peace to your family and loved ones."
William Darby Taylor of Bonita Springs Florida

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

"1SG, you are in my thought and prayers always!"
Colleen Huey-Garra of Little Rock AFB AR

"A million thanks to you for the ultimate sacrifice. The old cliche is so true, "Freedom isn't Free" and your life bears witness to that. To your mother and father and loved ones, I pray that God will grant his GRACE and MERCY on their lives each and every day. You are a true hero and will never be forgotten!!"
keith of paducah, kentucky

I would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country-not just in OEF, but also for your service in Kosovo and Iraq as well. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

"Fortuna Infortuna Forti Una"
(Fortune Or Misfortune Is All The Same To The Man Of Stout Heart"
37th Engrs Motto"

"I served with Chris in Panama and will always hold him in the highest or regards. He was and always will be one of the best soldiers I have ever know and served with. My condolences to his wife and family."
Spc Eric Vongunden (backupbilly) of San Antonio, Texas

"You will always be remembered"
Unknown of Unknown

"Dear Wendy,

I am so sorry! I spoke to Daphne last night and she told me what happened. My heart is with you, your children, and the Chris's family.

Heidi Ratliff-Walker of Lake City, Fl

"I would like to express my heart felt sorrow for you and your whole family's loss. My husband was there that night and he knew your husband. His unit is a support unit.
He told me that he knew your husband and he was a fine man and soldier and that he was greatly missed.

Prayers and God Bless,"
Jose & Karen Rivera of Milwaukee, Wis

"I would like to express my heart felt sorrow at you and your whole family's loss. My husband was there that night and he knew your husband. His unit is a support unit.
He told me that he knew your husband and he was a fine man and soldier and that he was greatly missed.

Prayers and God Bless,"
Jose & Karen Rivera of Milwaukee, Wis

"You were my Mentor! No one was as prepared for anything the Army, the Enemy or Life could throw at you or your troops. You have touched and helped every soldier you have come in contact with. YOU made the difference! YOU are the reason I am where I am today! Other 1SG's ask, "who is this 1SG Rafferty that everyone talks about?""what did he do?". Frankly, you did way more that what you had to, all the time. You made such a diffrence in everyone's lives that I can't continue to explain right now! You have meant so much to me, and to my family. I miss you! We will walk together again my brother!"
SSG Shane P. Uras of 173D Airborne, Bamberg, Germany

"I served with 1SG Rafferty in Alpha Company, 82nd EN BN in Bamberg, Germany. I will remember how he always put soldiers first. He was a hellava leader and the best 1SG I have ever had. When we were in Iraq I recieved a red cross message. 1SG Rafferty hunted me down on the FOB and personally gave me his satelite phone to call home. I was so surprised cause nobody has really cared for my well-being more than 1SG. He was a go to man if you ever had any problems and I always felt comfortable and safe in his presence. You will be missed by all brother."
SSG Brian Livingston of Baghdad, Iraq

""1SG Rafferty was my drill sergeant and later my 1SG during my rotations in Kosovo (K4B) and Iraq (OIFII). It hit me really hard when I learned of his passing.I will always remember his absolute dedication to helping and teaching soldiers. He IS the example of what a leader should be. He was with me through my whole military career. I just got out of the military and still from time to time when I am in a rough spot I think to myself,"what would 1SG do?". I have never had such respect for ANYONE in my life as I do in 1SG Rafferty and how he lived his life. He was and still is my only real hero. I will see you up there some day,1SG, and we'll laugh about old times in Apocalypse Company. For my hero, (SGT) Jason T. Rumbaugh""
Jason T Rumbaugh of Everett, wa

"I can't believe it, I always thought of you as superman. Chris you will be missed. I love you man!"
Christian Davis of Bradenton, Florida

"What a guy... I have a lot of Memories of 1st SGT Rafferty. Indeed he was a father figure to all the troops that served under him. I was shocked and sad to hear of his death, I immediatly thought of when he cheated death when he was involved in a IED in Baquba, Iraq. It seems like the best soildiers are the ones taken away."
Jason Price of PA

"To the family of 1sgt Christopher Rafferty: I only had the pleasure to meet him briefly while supporting his unit at Sharana. I was only 10 feet away from him when he was hit. I clearly remember him standing tall and directing troops while others seeked cover. His courage and composure resulted in the survival of myself and other soldiers there that night. I now wear a bracelet honoring him, and will continue to fight in honor of 1sgt Christopher Rafferty and his family.
SPC. Jason M. Koerner
568th PSD
Task Force Predator
Kandahar, Afghanistan"
Jason Koerner of Afghanistan

"Chris my heart broke when I found out you were killed. I can still remember us sitting down and having lunch together before you left on your deployment. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to know such a great man, a loving husband and father and an exceptional soldier. You will be greatly missed. Wendy, I am so sorry that I never had the opportunity to meet you before Chris passed away, that day at lunch I could tell how much he loved you and the girls. You are always in my thoughts and prayers and I think of you often. God bless..."
Colleen Huey-Garra of Fort Bragg NC

"I can not express my sorrow for the loss of such a great NCO, and person. 1SG Rafferty is the reason that I am where I am in my military career right now. I know that he gave his life doing what he does best and that is taking care of soldiers. I am proud to say that I have had the luxury of serving in both garrison, and combat with him. He will be greatly missed by all the members of A CO 82nd EN BN"
SSG Best of Schofield Barracks, HI

"Thank you Christopher Rafferty, 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 1st Sgt. Christopher Rafferty:
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 Christopher 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 1st Sgt. Christopher Rafferty:
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 Christopher, 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