Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

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

Marine Lance Cpl. Antonio J. Sledd

20, of Hillsborough, Florida.
Sledd died in Kuwait from wounds received in action while participating in an urban exercise as part of Exercise Eager Mace. He was assigned to Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Camp Pendleton, California. Died on October 8, 2002.

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

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"Always in our hearts...you are missed, Tony.
May 28, 2023"
Aileen Henderson of Tampa, Florida

"I will be riding my Harley in the Riverside, Ca West Coast Thunder Memorial Day Ride this coming Monday. I have received a memorial dog tag in honor of Antonio J. Sledd from the Rear Area Support Foundation and will be wearing that on the ride in remembrance of his honorable service to our Country. From a 30 year career law enforcement officer, I salute you! God Bless you our fallen Marine Hero. Thank you for your patriotic duty and God Speed to all your loved ones at home."
Jeff Talbott of Riverside, Ca/USA

"Tony Sledd Shoolarship Foundation was set up in 2003 with the Florida, Tampa Hillsborough School Education Foundation. Every year students from the Gaither High submit their application and two students are selected and funded to go to HCC and start their education. In that way 2 students get to live Tony's dream to go college. Tony promises his mother that after he finish his four years tour with the Marines he will go back to college to be a teacher as he always like to work with children's. Every year we celebrate Tony's life by sending two student to college. Help us to keep Tony's dream alive by donating monies to the Hillsborough Tony Sledd Schoolarship Foundation. Keep Tony Sledd in your prayers May God Bless America and the brave men's that serve and protect our country."
Norma Figueroa of Pueblo, Colorado

"I did the "Run for the Fallen" race yesterday. Antonio J. Sledd was the serviceman on my bib that I ran for. Wanted to let you know that it truly was an honor to run on your behalf…god bless!!"
Dennis Hudlett of Tampa, FL

"Thinking of Tony today, and remembering his family in prayers."
a Marine Mom of Ohio

"Remembering you today, Marine... Semper Fi and God Bless you."
LTC (Ret) Joseph Keary of Ft Riley, KS

"i did not know tony or mikey but for the short time i knew their mother i can honestly say there were no two sons more loved or more important to their mother than those two."
a woman marine of clearwater, florida

"The Price of Freedom is not Free."

"Thinking of you today, it was nine years ago. Time keeps passing, but we'll never forget."
SSgt Brian J. Griffin of Okinawa, Japan

"As the anniversary of his final sacrifice approaches, I again remember the loss of this fine young Marine. L/Cpl Sledd was the best this Nation has to offer - proud, confident, well trained, intelligent and filled with self-service. Your untimely death is a loss to your family, friends and countrymen and women. But, you did not die in vain - the people of iraq are free today, as a result of your sacrifice and your comrades. I will be praying for you and your family on 8 October; as always you will be in my thoughts and prayers. Semper Fi, Marine!"
LTC (Ret) Joseph G. Keary of Fort Riley, KS, USA

"Remembering you on Memorial day, all this time later. 1033"
Josh of Ky

"http://www.educationfoundation.com/ Scholarship Spolight: Honoring Corporal Antonio James “Tony Sledd” - Big T
Antonio James Sledd joined the Marine Corps and was the first Marine kilIed in the actual war in the Middle East. During that week, VA Hospital friends, families and co-workers collected monies and decided to open the Antonio J. Sledd scholarship trust fund. This money is used to award annual college scholarships to select Gaither High students. One of Tony’s goals was to go back to college. Thru this scholarship, students from Gaither High School will live and carry out Tony’s dream. Gaither High School also proudly displays the flag that flew for Tony at half-mast over the Capitol. From the classrooms and hallways of Gaither High, Tony dreamed about his future. Through this scholarship in his memory, I know he is smiling -- just knowing that other Gaither students will be helped to realize their dreams. Gaither High school honored Tony’s ultimate sacrifice by placing a plaque that was mounted on a beautiful rock remembering Tony at the football field. Once in a while, I hear my friends who have children attending Gaither High School, talk about the moment of silence honoring Tony Sledd prior to the start of football games.
It is comforting to know that Tony’s Marine Lima Company still thinks of Tony as a man with potential leadership skills and a great man who died defending our Country. As his mother, I know he was a very positive, goal-focused leader. I asked him many times to leave the Marines because I was so afraid he might get killed. He refused to leave and told me he was proud to be a Marine and he always thought highly about the Marines, and the fellow Marines with whom he so proudly served.
As his mother, I am representing all of his family and friends that still love and miss Tony – or “Big T” – that is how he signed his e-mails from overseas – “Big T.”
My husband and I always felt blessed by God for allowing us to have our precious gifts of life, our twins, “Tony and Mikey” – they have brought us such joy. Tony always told me he would make me a proud mother – but, we were always proud of them -- from the day they were born -- and of the men they became. My husband and I wanted to keep Tony’s Legacy alive so we agreed to pay the total amount for the endowment. I want to recognize the James A. Haley VA Hospital staff, friends, and co-workers for supporting this initiative by making contributions thru the CFC initially and now through the endowment using direct deposit.
During a Veterans Day parade in Hillsborough County, Tony Sledd and his family were honored. While at the parade, people were screaming, “Tony Sledd will live forever.” One of the local motorcycle clubs had embroidered patches with the following message, “Love BIG T.”
I know now my son did not die in vain and indeed he touched many lives. The Hillsborough School Board also honored 4 soldiers that died during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom….Tony was one of those soldiers. The Roy Haney Park where Tony grew up and attended summer camp and later volunteered and became an employee of the summer camp program honored our fallen Hero Tony Sleed by submitting a petition to the Commissioner of the Hillsborough park requesting that the baseball park where Tony played baseball while a little kid and became a coach, be called “Tony Sledd Baseball Park.” The ceremony took place on October 13, 2003. The local news presented a special report on Tony’s accomplishments at the park and during the ceremony, 21 balloons were released in honor of our Beloved Marine Tony Sledd who would have been 21 years old that year along with presentation of the plaque with “Tony Sledd Baseball Park” inscribed. During the ceremony and presentation of the colors, two of the 6 flags came down. All of Tony’s friend from childhood were there and they all looked at the Flags down on the ground and smiled, saying …”That is Tony” - he wanted to make sure we all knew that he was there with us in spirit and grateful for the honor. He always told me he could not wait until his 21st birthday so he could be old enough to make his own decisions. But I still think Tony had it all, lived his life doing what he thought was best, achieving across his earth time, both love and peace. It is very obvious to me as I look back and see his accomplishments in life and how he touched so many other lives in his short 20 years on earth.
Tony lives in our hearts. Never does a day go by without our family talking about him, feeling close to his soul, and remembering his sense of humor, his candid smile, his short sweet answers, his jokes and his typical greeting, “Honey, I’m home.” That is how I want our son to be remembered. It has been written:

To live in hearts,
We leave behind
Is not to die.

As twins, Tony and Mikey naturally thought they would share their futures together. Tony was known for saying he “had Mikey’s back covered” – meaning he was watching out for him. Tony always wanted to serve his country. So, first they were going to spend four years in the Marine Corps gaining life experience and protecting their country. Then they were going to attend the University of Arkansas to major in Criminology – next, enter the police academy to become police officers – and later, pursue careers with the FBI.
Tony, a self-determined and self-confident young man, became one of our fallen heroes dying prior to the war -- paying the ultimate price doing what he wanted to do -- protecting innocent people from ruthless terrorists. May God Bless America and all the young heroes behind the enemy line who are willing to pay the ultimate price, and like Tony were willing to die to protect their Country and our freedom. Please hold these heroes, their families, and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers. As it has been said -- “Those who have died for their Country will never be forgotten. Their sacrifice will live on forever in the hearts of all who cherish freedom.”
On behalf of my husband, Tom, and son, Mikey, we wish to express our gratitude for remembering our son and for the donation to the Antonio J. Sledd Scholarship trust fund. Tony, always will be with us in spirit -- We will always love you “Big T.”"
Norma Figueroa of Tampa, Florida

"You will never be forgotten brother. Semper Fi"
Sgt Carlos C. Farrington Charlie 1/11 of Durham, North Carolina

"Hey my name is Marysol and i love the Marines . i have been assiqned to Antonio J Sledd for a report and i am devistated to the fact that he has been killed at such a younq aqe .i am so glad that he risked his life to save our country from beinq harmed . when i first saw his picture, i felt like as if i knew him from somewhere . i felt so sad .and i literally started to cry durinq class !i cant imaqine a 14 year old cryinq in class for jus havinq just a glance at a picture of a true Marine .i am proud to say that Antonio J Sledd has touched my heart in a way that i hav never imaqined anythinq ever would ."
Marysol Lerma of Winter Haven, Florida

"my name is matthew john huber jr. i am now eight years old and i was just a baby when you paid the ultimate sacrifice for me. my dad was there and he tells me the story and how you gave your all for me. my dad is cpl huber. i want to tell the Sledd family thank you, and thank you to all of you Marines. my dad and i will always remember you all and hold you in our hearts. Semper fidelis! Matthew J. Huber Jr."
Matthew J. Huber Jr. of goshen in us

"”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

"I was the Executive Officer of the US Army Hospital in Kuwait when LCpl Sledd was brought in. There is never a day I do not remember him, his family and comrades in my prayers. I am currently deployed to Kosovo, and on October 8th, I remembered him and his sacrifice for America and his fellow men and women... Semper Fi, Marine!"
LTC Joseph G. Keary of Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo

"To the family of Antonio. I Appologize for not writing sooner, I was unaware of this site. I will always remember Sledd as an all around good guy who always seemed to have a positive attitude. He is and always will be in my prayers and in my heart."
Sgt Brian S. Amy of Camp Lejeune, NC

"I had supper with the guys of L.co a number of times. I talked with Shedd a day before about a future in law enforcement,and he seemed to like that idea or be a JU probation offficer.I am a judge in Alabama and I think about Shedd and these young heros everyday. This nation will only stay free as long as these men keep willing to pay such a price for freedom.tim riley ,LTC alarng and state court judge."
LTC Tim Riley of albertville,alabama

"We wont forget!"
2nd plt of 3/1 lima

"here is to sledd and all of the lima warriors of 3/1, especially 1st platoon. i miss you guys and there is not a day that goes by when i dont think about the days we had. you guys we always be family to me. sledd, i will always miss you and keep you in my memories, you were my boy and will always be. take care and god bless.

anyone from lima 3/1 1st platoon, if possible please contact me Cpl armando j garcia (aka lil gunner)830 734-4556"
armando j garcia of del rio tx

"Dear Sledd Family,

I wanted to take a moment to say hello to you all and I hope you are all doing well. I am SSgt Williams. I was a squad leader in your son's platoon the day he was killed. You can contact me at awilliams65@ec.rr.com I hope you all are doing well and I Still Remember. I alwyas will.

SSgt Williams
Lima Warrior"
SSgt Williams of Jacksonville, NC

"if i only knew this wonderful seb site in dedication to my brother was set up i would have responded years ago. god bless you and your family. if possible, please contact me at 830 734 4556. Corporal Armando Garcia Lima Co 3/1 1999-2003 1st platton 1st squad. Sepmer Fi. Falaka Island will never leave my heart and neither will Sledd"
armando j garcia of del rio, tx, 78840

"sledd was a good marine with a kind heart. i was there the day it happened and believe that the bastards that did it got what they deserved. r.i.p cpl. sledd. semper fi. forever"
cpl. everett douglas of modesto, ca/usa

"May 19, 2007 (Armed Forces Day)
To the family of Antonio J. Sledd. Antonio 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

"Cpl. Sledd my brother! I was here again thinking of you and our Corps. I sure do miss the Corps. Jarhead, i am going to be married next week, on Valentines Day. I thank you for your ultimate sacrifice that day, and all my Marines that lay down for my family and country. we will never be able to say enough, or thank you enough.
God Speed! SEMPER FIDELIS!!!!!!!!!"

"Semper Fidelis Marine.
We remember.
God Speed!!!"
Lima Co.

"Semper Fidelis Marine.
We remember.
God Speed!!!"
Lima Co.

"Hey Brother, It's been a long damn time, Everyday I think of you, and the rest of the boys from 1st Plt, i hope your all having a few beers and a few good laughs. I'm sorry Gwin lied on ur page dude, he was always pretty low, but him lying to ur family that is beyond low."
Cpl. Paul of Stafford, Va


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.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"to the Sledd family,
Although it has been awhile since Sledd was killed, I think i can count the number of days that has went by on my hand that i haven't thought about him and that day. i Just wanted you to know you were in my prayers. Semper Fi."
Sgt Williams of Lima Warrior always

"To the family of LCpl. Sledd:
Tonight, March 15, 2005, I have just happened upon the memorial for your loved one, Your Marine. I found it going through some stuff of my own Marine's personal effects.

Like you, I suffer a great loss. I am very sorry for your loss, and I pray you are healing. I thank you for your son's service to our country. My prayers are with you this moment. God bless you all.

I just felt the need to reach out to you. Your baby was born on June 7, 1982. Mine on July 1, 1982.

I wonder if they knew each other at Camp Pendleton? I wonder how you are now? Please accept my very sincere condolences. They come from the depths of my soul."
De'on Miller, Proud Mom of L.Cpl. Aaron C. Austin, USMC, KIA April 26, 2004 Fallujah, Iraq of Lovington, NM, USA

"Semper Fidelis, still today i think about the ultimate sacrifice that was so unselfishly paid by both my fellow Marine who i was proud to serve with, and Cpl Sledds family. i send my best and remind you that we have not forgotten, and you are all in our thoughts and prayers! Semper Fidelis!!"
Matthew Huber of Elkhart In. United States of America

"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

"To the family of Toni,

He was and is still one of the finest marines I ever served with. Thanks you Toni for your sacrafice and I think of you and your family every day. You are all in my prayers."
Doc I, Lima Company Corpsman of Camp Pendleton, California

"Semper Fi...

God Bless you Antonio."
Laura (Martin)Wilkinson of California MD

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

"Antonio J. Sledd was a good Marine, friend and was like a brother to me. We served in the same platoon in Lima 3/1 I was there the day that he was killed for our country and our way of life. His death yes tragic made sure that hundreds of thousands of others may have their freedoms most take for granted. Its said that, " For those who have fought for it freedom has a sweetness the protected will never know." In Iraq i thought about you brother and not one day passes that i dont think about you and the fun times we had together. You are tatted on my arm so may everyone know that you made an impression on my life and you will never be forgotten."
William Gwin USMC of Camp Pendleton

"Semper Fi and RIP brother!"
Mike (USMC) of Indianapolis Indiana

"Thank you for your service, you have brought freedom to a Country who some take for granted. Your life, and those that have fallen beside you will never be forgotten in my heart. Thank you."
Darrell Shannon of Friendswood, TX

"An outfit like the Marines are only as tough and feared by the enemy as they are, due to the type of trainign that took Antonio Sledd. He died for this country the same as if he had lost his young life in Iraq.

My family is so very grateful for the service of this Marine. Our prayers go to his family."
The Estes Family of Phoenix, AZ

"Thank you Antonio Sledd, 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

"Sledd I just just want you to know that you and your family in our thoughts and prayers not just during this holiday season, but everyday. Semper Fi brother"
a lima warrior

"To the family and friends of Lance Cpl. Antonio Sledd:
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 Antonio 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 Lance Cpl. Antonio Sledd:
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 Antonio, 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