Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

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

Army Warrant Officer Adrian B. Stump

22, of Pendleton, Oregon.
Stump died southwest of Deh Chopan, Afghanistan, when his CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed. He was assigned to the Army National Guard's 113th Aviation Regiment, Pendleton, Oregon. Died on September 25, 2005.

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"How I miss you. Found out the wrong way and my heart is broken. I think of you every day and see your face in the clouds. Rest in Peace I love you always have."
Stephanie J. Smith of Vancouver, Washington

"Jerry & Anne.
Ten years, this year, and I still remember exactly where I was when I heard that devastating news. I was home alone, watching tv. I went into shock. It was 5 after 5. Kerry got home from work at 5:15. That 10 minutes seemed like 10 hours. He knew that something dreadful had happened. I remember him switching channels looking for the report. It was on every channel. He needed to keep looking and watching because "it had to be wrong"
"Not our "Adrian". I remember it like it was yesterday.
Our lives changed that day as I know yours did, too. To lose a loved family member is the worst hurt. I lost my dad when I was 16 and my sister when she was 20, both to car accidents. But, to lose a child is the worst, most devastating hurt a person's heart can feel. The heart can mend, but never heal from the loss of a child.
Reading all the heartfelt posts takes me back many years. Adrian was crazy, always so full of life. I think of all the camping trips, cutting Christmas trees, the kids riding 4 wheelers, "its a full moon tonight"!, throwing sticks for Bailey, the sweats, etc. The list is so long! All those memories and more, Adrian was right there to help out, do any chore, run any errand, any task he was asked to do. And he would always do it with a joke or a smile.
When Kerry went to Alaska and I was left to take care of the highway house, all's I had to do was call AMD he and Riley were there for me. Of course they didn't mind riding the riding lawnmower! And when we moved, the boys and Jerry were there to help, as always.
You two taught you're children all the right things. You had your own style. Jerry- robust, straight forward, full of life, vim, vigor, and that sexy smile,and gentle love. Anne- kind, sweet, gentle and caring, with lots of love and a warm smile.

How could their kids be anything but who they are. All of these testimonies are not only tributes to Adrian, but tributes to you both and the job you did as parents with all of your kids. In good times and the hard times, thru it all your message of respect, honor, helping others and always love... they all held true. Your children are testimonies of that.

Riley, Julie and Molly
As you and our girls got older, we drifted apart. Then we moved away and we let the distance separate us even further. In trying to find our new ways our old ways began to suffer. Kerry and I are very sorry for letting that happen. We missed out on getting to continue to watch you grow into adults and now married and having babies. We missed out. In reading the testimonials of your brother's friends, comrades and other loved ones we see he continued to grow and know the direction he wanted to take in life. I remember him talking about flying as a young boy. He was never afraid to pursue that dream. When he would come over to help me at the highway house with the yard and the horses we talked a lot about it. He was so proud of his accomplishments, but not boastful. I was in awe of him being so young, but so driven. Your parents gave you that gift. They gave you all wings so you could leave the nest and still find your way hack home. That is the ultimate gift of love, but yet so hard to give. I know you will do the same for your children

You all have been a huge part of our lives and family. We think and talk of you often. We would live to help out in any way. We are so sorry for your loss. Every time Shelley and I look at the stars we look for our Adrian star. I don't look at a flag without thinking of him. He has impacted so many lives. You must be very proud."
Kerry and Noel Reed of Albany, Oregon by way of Pendleton, OR

"Hey Bro,
I remember when I found out, I was in Kuwait. I cried liked a baby. As soon as I got back I went and saw Dave. Anyways I wear you on my wrist everyday. Take care"
Spencer Greene of Ewa Beach, HI

"Thinking of you today and always...can't believe it's been 6 years! The one thing I can always count on is smiles when I think back to all off my memories with you and the whole family...i love you like a brother Adrian...miss you!"
Shelley Reed of Albany, by way of Pendleton, OR

"I found that picture of all of us kids recently, Adrian. Out at fall river, lined up next to each other in the heat of the Sunriver Summer, it must have been a day trip during one of the many 4th of July parties at Tillie's house..you guys would set up the big tent and be "spark man" to entertain the girls. Thankful to have made such precious memories with the Sumps. Love you man,
Thinking of you 5 years later.."
Blair Taylor of Bend, Oregon

"Adrian, Just can't believe you have been gone for five years. The entire Sylvester family thinks of you so often and we miss you so, so much. Hope you are taking good care of my dad up there. We love you and are so happy we have so many fun and fond memories of our family times together. :)"
Becki Sylvester of Sunriver Oregon

"dear adrian,
i find myself after 5 years still looking up your name and looking at the smile i remember u always gave me. its been 5 years and i miss u so much.

ill never forget the times we had you riley and me at lost lake or at ur house. u have taught me alot in my life, live with love and care for others jus like u did and ill never forget you man ur my hero always bro (all in)"
Dillon Wallace of Pendlton oregon

"You are on my mind today Adrian Bovey. Miles wrote a poem about you for his Language Arts class. We miss you so much and think of you often:("
Becki Sylvester of Sunriver Oregon

"Adrian. I googled your name and found this site. I still often think about you. Thank you so much for going over there and doing what I never had the guts to do. Every time I see Riley or any of your Family for that matter, I will always remember you bro.

You are sorely missed old friend."
Chris of Pendleton, Oregon/USA

"Best friend a man could ever have. I'll be waiting to see you agian bro"
Ryan Prinkey of Euegene or

"Re: WO1 Adrian B Stump

I represent PRAYER SHAWLS 4 FALLEN SOLDIERS (PS4FS), an organization that since October 2007 has sent over 2,800 prayer shawls to military families who have lost a loved one. We are an organization of over 240 groups from all over the country. We make every effort to reach families even when post cards are returned after they have moved. Would you kindly send me a contact email/address so that we may send a loving hand-made prayer shawl to the family? Thank you!

Cozette Haggerty, Prayer Shawls 4 Fallen Soldiers
Email: ps4fs@charter.net
Website Address: http://webpages.charter.net/ps4fs/shawls"
Cozette Haggerty of Wilbraham, Mass.

"I was in the ARMY...I thank You!!! Everyday I thank The TROOPS...GOD BLESS THE U.S.A.!!!"
Mike Radman of Miami, Florida,U.S.A.

"To the Family of Adrian Stump. I am SSG Davis, and served with him in Afghanistan. I did not know him well, but will always remember him for the sacrifice that he made. I hope that you have peace in your hearts as you remember him for he is a hero. My thoughts and prayers go out to you, and know that he will never be forgotten. SSG Davis"
Jerry Davis of Fort Hood, TX

"its been 3 years! i cant believe it, it still feels like yesterday that i walked through the front door to hear my dad say you had died. we still miss you soo much. think about you everyday. I still catch myself wondering how long until you will come home or see a man in the store that has the same body build as you and think to myself oh look its adrian than it hits me that its not you.
well i just wanted to post something saying i miss you soo much and it still hurts so much!!! Love you Lots"
Erin Thompson

"LET ER BUCK ! ! !"

Like many of our brothers-in-arms, I had the opportunity to share some laughter with you in flight school. To this day, I still remember your laughter and charisma. I know you are watching over us aviators serving overseas. We are honoring your sacrifice and continuing the fight."
Solo of Balad, Iraq

"It blanked out my a*s*s* word with one of these *...guess i should have said butt instead!"
Talia of NZ

"Hi Adrian, what's this...a deli meat?
God I miss you and Riley doing *special* lamb on the trampoline...and the way you guys would ask Julie if she still liked Carson Daly, or if I still liked the Vervepipe. and you calling me and dempsi's name just to see your * pressed to the window.
Every day I think of you over here, in everything that is naturally beautiful. I KNOW you put it here for me to see."
Talia Filipek of New Zealand

"Dear Adrian, I think of you often and I am grateful to have wonderful memories of you and having the chance to know you. You are truly missed by Sarah and I and you and your family are in our hearts and prayers always. "You will never be forgotten""
CW2 Will Forrester of Baghdad, Iraq

"To the family of:Adrian B. Stump 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"

"Adrian, We see you in the stars and miss you every day. It's hard to believe it's been more than two years since you left us. I laugh so often when I remember how funny you were and cry pretty often too. We love you and miss you and thank you for being so brave and giving your life for all of us."
Becki Sylvester of Bend Oregon

"Dear Adrian thanks for all the great times when we were kids hanging out all the time playing paintball blowing up lego men with blackcats. THanks ALOT I always think of YOU every day!!"

"October 7, 2007
To the family of Warrant Officer Adrian B. Stump:
Adrian 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."
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy of Nevada

"Adrian! The sun is setting out my window right now, the sky is so beautiful. Thank you.

I miss you so much cuz,
Love Talia"
Talia of Corvallis, OR

"A year and a half later and I still can't believe you're gone. I think of you often and miss you just the same. I miss your laughter, jokes, and movie quotes...Heavyweights in particular. Thank you for your sacrifice Adrian. You and your family will be in my prayers always."
Jacqueline Herman of Pendleton, OR

"Just thinkin about you today Adrian-
Actually think of you often-
Miss you!
We were laughn about lunch during Drill- Good times-"
Kelley of m-f or

"Dear Adrian and Family,

I am proud to say, I have the great and wonderful experience of knowing "Stump". I attended WOCC school and was roomed next to him. He had a knack of bringing humor to an otherwise miserable situation. I don’t know how anyone could have that much energy after such long days in WOCC school. After WOCC I attended IERW with Adrian, and that was when he really stepped-up his humor. I guess he had that wig for some time, he had pictures from every ware with that thing on! I was in Chinook AQC when I heard what happen, it's still hard to believe. I know Adrian loved his family very much ,that was easy to see. I know he loved to fly also, I just hope he knew how much he means and brought to all that knew him!

Thomas L. Seal
Maintenance Test Pilot"
CW2 Thomas Seal of Lexington, Oklahoma

"Adrian, I thank you with everything I have for your sacrifice. I never knew you personally as I was a grade or two behind you in school; but I knew who you were and I was impressed by you. I believe you are up there, watching us as we continue to fight and protecting us from dangers unseen. Thank you.

To the Stump family, It hurt to learn of Adrian's death even though he was not a personal friend of mine. I don't know if you remember me Mrs. Stump but i was in your homeroom class at Sunridge Middle School. I remember seeing Adrian in the mornings before school started and throughout the day between classes. He was always friendly and certainly had a great sense of humor. I am out in Iraq right now as a Field Military Police Officer with the Marine Corps and just wanted to let you know I am fighting because of what your son did. I am proud of him and I am proud of you all. You are a family who answered the call and marched towards the sound of battle while the majority fled from it. I hear more of your sons have since joined the fight and I salute them for their courage. May God watch over them and protect them from harm and may they continue to send terror packing on the short road to hell. Semper Fi."
Lcpl Eric Franke (USMC) of Al Taqquaddum, Iraq

I would like to say thank you to you and the other men who were on that Chinook with you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy."
Mike Casey of El Paso, Texas

"I was walking through our mall today and our local army recruiters had a memorial set up for all of the fallen soldiers, those missing and those who have passed. There was a quilt hanging on display...it had the pictures of those Oregon National Guardsmen who have passed. Walking by, it stopped me in my tracks because it made it that much more real that in Albany, OR (a place I dont know if Adrian has ever even been to) a quilt hangs with our hero Adrian on it. It brought tears to my eyes, much like now as I write this.

I was in Arizona when a year passed, for that I apologize to the Stump family for not calling/writing to let you know I care. I have been thinking alot about all of you, and of Adrian. I see the star that shines red, white and blue all the time...and I know you're up there smiling! I want you, and the Stump family to know you will NEVER be forgotten. We love and miss you!-The Reed Family"

"The world is a far lesser place because of your patriotism and heroism. God Speed, Forever in Flight.

CW2 Christopher Koth of Illesheim, Germany

"My first meeting of Adrian was during a hunting trip I took with my foster father, I knew of Adrian's dad so I know someone other then my father. I was so excited about going hunting with my father, Somthing about spending time with one's father is very grounding and very humble.
When we arrived in Ukiah I meet Adrian. Right off the bat he was smiling, very outgoing and very funny. His younger brother Riley was there as other people of whom I did not know. Adrian helped me and my father put up or tent, and of course my father knew him so they were talking about nothing in paticular, but we all were laughing becuase we were having trouble putting up the tent.
Later in the night as all of us men were laughing and having a cold beverage. :) Adrian was out there with us around the fire laughing about everything that was being said. That night it snowed, we woke up and there was about 8 inches of new snow. As I awoke I could hear Adrians dad trying to get his boy's up, and I could hear adrian not wanting too, becuase it was too cold. I laughed.
Later that day I found myself amazed once again becuase of adrian's desire to help wihtout being asked. I myself love hunting, but I hate packing out. Adrian on the other hand was happy and very willing. So here we are, me who was 22 at the time and adrian who was 16, going down a mountain with some elk quaters on his back. Three to be excate. I carried adrians gun and my own... as well. We started down the hill adrian started to loose his footing. So I tied a rope off on his pack and pulled back as he was walking down the hill.
Now to anyone who did not know what was going on. they would have seen this man holding a rob in one hand and guns in the other hand, with a young man up front with meat on his back. It was very comical.
it tooks us about two hours to get down from the top. All the way down we were laughing and having a good time. We joked about girls, cars, and us walking down this damn hill..... as we got to the bottom we thought ahh.... finally easy ground... and then one final challenge, something both of us started to laugh about... a river...so we rested and tried to figure out how to cross.... then we came up with a couple of logs... but when that failed... we just started to walk across in the freezing water. As we finaly got to the other side we both looked from where we came... and laughed again.. and agreed that next time.....we'll get the meat at the store.... That night I as well as the other men at the camp ground found out that Adrian had asked his father for a gift for his 17th birthday. The only thing he wanted was his dads signature, so he could join the National Gaurd. I as well as all other men were already proud of adrian then..... then in the months and years to come... that pride grew more and more.

I tell this story becuase I wanted you all to know that in one weekend, I became good freinds with this man, and that when faced with dificulties Adrian would just laugh and figure it out. It is becuase of him and many other like him I am proud to have my two younger brothers join the Gaurd. I know they would have like Adrian.

"I am proud of you adrian""
Jeremiah Jones of Pendleton, Oregon, USA

"To the friends and family of Adrian B. Stump. It is with heavy heart that I write these few words to you to express my heartfelt gratitude to the ultimate sacrifice that your loving son performed while on this earth. It is men and women like Adrian that our country will continue to live free and to that we have those who went before Adrian and those who will follow to thank. I know that the future seems difficult for you, but rest assured that God had a “mission” for Adrian and Adrian fulfilled it with the utmost patriotism and love for is fellow countrymen. May God rest his soul.

Thank you,"
Dennis Eyberg of Cary, NC USA

"To the parents of Adrian,

I met Adrian during flight school, he always had an infectious attitude to put a smile on your face. I remember his 21st birthday, he and few other friends from our class took him out in Dothan, I don't think I ever laughed as much as I did that night. Adrian always had a positive attitude about everything. To Adrian, you will be missed, sometimes I can't believe it is true, I wish it wasn't. Wherever you are I hope you have peace. Miss you bro."
CW2 Willemin of K-16, Seoul, South Korea

"To the family of Adrian Stump:
It is 5 AM here in Ohio, and, for some reason, I could not sleep tonight. As I wandered downstairs looking for something to do, I saw the American flag sent to our family by a young man we care very much about, William Webb. It was flown aboard a mission on September 11, 2005, in Afghanistan. I was honored when we received the flag, that Bill remembered us. At the time, I was troubled by the fact that one of the crew was marked as KIA. Tonight, as I looked at the flag, I pulled out the certificate and searched on line for more information. At first, I thought it was the first name, Daniel Manciu, but all internet mentions of his name did not list him as KIA. I then found a sight that listed casualties for Operation Endearing Freedom, and, sadly, found Adrian's name which matched a name on the certificate. As I read the notes to you on this site, he became a real person to me, someone's son, someone's friend, someone's comrade in arms. He was obviously a vibrant young man, loved by many, missed by all. He has left at way too young of an age, but obviously he has touched many lives, and will be long remembered. I never had the pleasure of meeting Adrian, but I can assure you that I will never forget him. When I proudly fly this flag, I will be honoring Adrian. May God bless Adrian, and you, his family. I am sure that this was a very difficult Christmas season for you. Please know that there are people who are praying for you when you are not even aware, who appreciate your loss, and the life of your son and brother."
Gary W. Mull of Canton, Ohio

"Dear Anne, What an honor and privilege to meet you on Veteran's Day at Shirley's house in the Tri-Cities. I think it was easy to recognize that you and I have very recent pain. My Chad was taken at Ramadi in June. Looking into your eyes was a haunting experience for me, because I know your pain, I feel it deeply. I just want you to know that if ever you need me, to talk, to cry, to laugh, whatever, I would be so very happy to be there for you. I think you are doing well. I don't know that time makes it easier, no matter what "they" say. I think it makes it different, but the mirror will always be cracked and the puzzle will never show the whole picture again. I will think of you often, and hope for healing to take place, a little more every day. Please know that I am here, whenever you may need me. Thank you for the service of your son to our country, and thank you and your family for your sacrifice for us all. On our Chad's head stone is the phrase, "Not In Vain". And in spite of the pain we are feeling, that statement is still true...to make it a sacrifice worth living through, we must believe, as did our sons, that it was NOT IN VAIN."
Cindy Maynard, proud Marine mother of LCpl Chad B. Maynard and Corporal Jacob N. Maynard of Kennewick, Washington

"Thank-you Adrian I will hang a flag for you today.......and thanks to all of you Vets (my father included) that are willing to fight for your country and your fellow country men.........no words can ever say how much it means to us. We love you"
Linda Schleede Hansen of Sunriver Oregon

"As a mom of five young children, I am so grateful for the sacrifice of this brave solder Adrian B. Stump. You are loved by many. Words can not express the emotion. He payed the ultimate price for our freedom and the freedom of so many other people who suffered under the rule of Sadaam. May God be with his family in this time of sorrow and may you find comfort in the fact that we think about Adrian's sacrifice for the love of his country. May we NEVER forget! Thank you!"
Jill Hughes of Houston TX

"Some time has past now and I want all you Stumps to know you are still in my thoughts and prayers everyday. I know the pain is not ever going to go away but I want you guys to know that even if not as many people are around fussing we are all still very much thinking about you and your pain. Adrian will be in our hearts forever as you all will be. Jerry,Anne, Riley, Julie, Molly and Alex, I love you all so much and I wish so bad I could take all your pain away.I have a freind that was in the service and when I told him about Adrian he said the following to me.............Do not cry on my grave for the life I have given,but rather enjoy the life I have given you in my honor............... I think that says it all.......I love you all.....Linda"
Linda Schleede/Hansen of Sunriver oregon

"Dearest Adrian~
I know that you are with us always, I know that if I were to go outside and look up at the stars right now you would be the biggest and brightest one because that is who you are. You are a beacon of light and inspiration to all that knew you and even more now to those who may not of. You are a strong example of leadership and love and I am so blessed to have known you and been able to call you friend. Please watch over your brothers who are still overseas as I know you are, and please bring my husband home safe and soon. Thank you my dear angel friend."
Ericka Monique Sweet of Pendleton Oregon, USA

"Something everyone can appreciate:

My dad was giving a speech to the International Association of Aeronautical Mechanics Union (I believe that was its title), the biggest union of its kind in the U.S. After my dad had finished his speech, the host of the event went to the podium and began talking about Adrian, his death, and his impact. Upon finishing, the enormous crowd rose to their feet and gave Adrian a standing ovation which lasted minutes.

Adrian inspires people who don't even know him. If you are human, you love Adrian. Just thought that all of you would appreciate this story.

And thanks to all who attended Adrian's service. He would have absolutely loved it! Keep Adrian in your thoughts and hearts until your own death, as he would have done the same for you."
Harry Beckwith of Santa Clara, CA

"The Stump Clan-
hey guys I wish I could've been at the funeral, you were in our thoughts and preyers the days before, of and still are in our prayers, some people might think that in all our mayhem we might have forgotten about your mayhem, well we didnt we thought about you guys everyday. As much as I wanted to be at the funeral I couldnt get myself too leave my brother too come to it.

Adrian--I loved you soo much, you were like a big brother too me, never mean too anyone always made everyone think they were awesomest person alive, like they were perfect in your eyes. I envy you for that, I envy you for the fact that you found what you wanted to die doing and did that, you are trully a hero. there wasnt a day taht went by that I didnt think of you and there wont be a day that goes for the rest of my life that I wont think of you, you left an imprint on my heart that will never be erased even if i wanted it too. I was soo excited when you would tell me about how you were coming home for Christmas and couldnt wait to be with your family. it makes me sad too think of all the times you would tell me you wanted to be up at the lake or Emigrant with us, but now I seee that you are at all those places you are the sun in the sky they wind in the air you are the clap of thunder above us, you are the sand beneath our feet, you are in my heart and life forever!!!"
Erin Kate Thompson of Pendleton Oregon, U.S

"Riley, I'm so sorry I left your name off our entry, I guess I'm a little flustered and not quite thinking straight yet. We love you, Becki.
PS: Miles had a blast hunting yesterday. Thanks for showing him such a great time."
Becki Sylvester of Bend OR

"Jerry, Anne, Julie, Molly, Alex & Rocky,
On July 9, 1983 a baby boy entered this world. I remember so well this little blonde cherub with an easy smile, his trademark smile, and a feisty nature. One could see what an enormous delight he was to his proud parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

The little cherub quickly grew into an adventurous young lad who loved to camp and hunt and fish, to ski, and to ride anything on wheels. He loved the fresh air and the tall mountains, the rivers and the streams, the animals and the birds. It was the boy’s parents who encouraged him to be bold and self-confident by introducing him to the great outdoors with all of its wonders and challenges. And I remember how the young lad embraced it all with unbounded joy, and with that quick and easy smile.

In a few short years, the boy was joined by a brother and two sisters. Oh, what fun! Now, he had someone to play, fight, wrestle and argue with. Of course, like every healthy, normal older brother, he delighted in antagonizing his younger brother and sisters. He loved playing practical jokes and was a natural comedian. I know there were times when his parents wondered how soon their hair would turn gray; but then he would flash his easy smile, and they would know there was no meanness in their son’s heart, that it all was just the way an older brother loves.

I watched as the boy grew up in a loving home. He always had the support and guidance of people who loved him and cared about him, people who wanted him to live to the fullest whatever life had to offer. They encouraged him to go after what he wanted and follow his dreams.

That loving family also gave the boy something that he practiced all his life: the gifts of kindness and compassion. Whether someone was young or old, or in between, he treated them with respect and consideration. All who knew him will agree with me when I say that, plain and simple, this young man was just a nice guy who was a pleasure to talk to, and who never failed to flash his easy smile.

As the boy grew and matured, he discovered he did have a dream, something he had to pursue. That dream was to fly. Now, all young men have dreams; most forget them or abandon them for life’s practicalities. But not this young man. This dream of his was more than a dream. It was a passion, a life’s passion, one that any young man worth his salt could not ignore and had to follow.

I do not know how this young man found this dream. Maybe from that helicopter ride at age 14. Maybe it came from watching the eagles and hawks soar through the sky and feeling his heart ache to join them, to feel the warmth of the sun on his face and the wind under his wings, and to experience total freedom from gravity itself. Maybe he thought that, by learning to fly, he could help others in need. And maybe, it was just because he loved an adventure and flying is one of those great adventures that have captivated so many down through the ages.

Thus, it was no surprise to me that, when the young man finished school, he immediately took steps to realize his dream. He dedicated himself totally, studying hard and working hard. He was a joy to his instructors, eager to learn and soak up all the knowledge and information he could. And he had no fear, embracing every opportunity with gusto and enthusiasm, and that wonderful smile.

If anyone had doubts before, there were none now. The cherub had grown to be a boy, and the boy to be a young man. However, they were gone now, and in their place was a man – still young and seeking adventure, but also a mature and responsible man ready to face life’s challenges.

I know that, once he completed his training and actually started flying, it was the BIGGEST thrill this young man had ever experienced. No adrenaline rush he had ever had before could hold a candle to the feelings of joy and freedom and competence he had when he piloted his aircraft. Of course, this only confirmed what he already had known. To fly was why he was born. Thus, every time he flew, he experienced what perhaps few of us have – to know oneself and to fulfill that self completely and no doubt, every time he flew, there was that smile.

However, this young man that everyone thought of as kind and considerate and who had found his joy in life, this young man also was aware that many people in the world do not have the freedoms and liberties that he and his countrymen enjoy. Despite the enormous danger, he stepped forward and accepted the responsibility of helping them make a better life for themselves. He was anxious and eager to go. In fact, he had to work extra hard and get special permission to go.

The young man left for Afghanistan with a deep conviction in the rightness of what he was doing, a handmade quilt from his mama, and that easy smile. He kept in constant contact with his family and friends, but never burdened them with whatever unpleasantness he found in war. His messages always were he was doing great and getting the bad guys. He sent emails and pictures and always there was that easy smile. He entertained his comrades just as he had always entertained his family and friends. He could easily have been a Jim Carey double and he had a knack for lightening a person’s load with his dancing, songs and crazy antics.

On September 25, 2005, the world lost that smile. On that day, Warrant Office I Adrian Bove Stump made the ultimate sacrifice when his helicopter went down. He and his comrades served their nation with dedication and pride, and he died doing what he loved. While this fact does not mitigate the loss of such a magnificent young man, it may make our grief a bit easier to bear.

Recently a group of students were asked to list what they thought were the present “Seven Wonders of the World.” The following received the most votes: Egypt’s Great Pyramids, The Taj Mahal, The Grand Canyon, The Panama Canal, The Empire State Building, St. Peters Basilica and China’s Great Wall.

While gathering the votes, the teacher noticed that one student had not yet finished her paper. She asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The girl replied, “Yes a little. I couldn’t quite make up my mind because there are so many.” The teacher said, “Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help.” The girl hesitated, then read, “I think the Seven Wonders of the World are: To see … to hear … to touch … to taste … to feel … to laugh … and to love.” The room was absolutely silent.

The most precious things in life cannot be built by hand or bought by man. Rather, it is the things we overlook as simple and ordinary, and that we take for granted, that are truly the things that are the most wondrous.
We are all indeed lucky to have lived, laughed, seen, touched and loved with Adrian. Who he was and the way he lived his life can and did inspire us all. And so it should be.

On the day he died, Adrian earned a new set of wings - the golden wings of an angel. We can know that he is in a beautiful place, now, and probably already on a new adventure. Or, perhaps he has a new responsibility. Just as there are angels whose purpose is to bend down to the grass and whisper “Grow”, perhaps it is Adrian’s new assignment to whisper in the ears of baby birds, “Fly”.

Forever more when I watch a bird soar overhead, I will believe that it is Adrian looking down and keeping an eye on all of us; and, no doubt, on his face will be that easy smile.

God bless you Adrian, and may you rest in peace.

Adrian's celebration of life on Saturday was the most special event we have ever attended. We are so proud of your hero and we wish you all peace and tranquility.
With Love, Becki, Tad, Blair & Miles Sylvester"
The Sylvester's of Bend, OR

"The celebration of life for Adrian Stump was truely amazing. Over 1500 people were there to pay their respects to an amazing American Hero, beloved son, brother, friend, student, pilot, leader and overall incredible soul. Learning about the true character of such a special person has made me want to become a better person. The stories and fond memories of Adrian touched my heart deeply. I think anyone who knew him was truely blessed...I know his legacy will live on forever. I wish there was anything we could do to help...but as Valerie Foquette said, there is nothing more we can do than to say, "I'm sorry". And I am truely, deeply sorry. God Bless the Stump family for their incredible spirit,love and strength."
Julie Thompson of Pendleton, OR

"Dear Jerry, Anne and Family-

My sister in law, Meg Capps was visiting me in Texas when we heard the devastating news about Adrian. I knew you both briefly when I lived in Pendleton and my heart sank when I heard. My husband, Rob, is in the Army and is headed over to Iraq in December. I just wanted you to know that your son is a HERO, just like all of our soldiers who give their time and lives to making this world a better place for all of us. I thank you for standing by Adrian as a family of a soldier and allowing him to serve our great nation.
You are heros of our country too."
Emily (Capps) Estey of Harker Heights, Texas

"Dear Precious Stump Family,
I do not know you personally, but we are part of the same family. I also have a 22 year old son over there. He is in Iraq and has a long way to go before coming home. I have read all these messages and it sounds like our boys share so many of the same wonderful qualities and values. We know your brother John and his family in Wenatchee. John and I were just sharing stories about our "heroes" only a few weeks ago when he was here in Hawaii on business. I only learned of Adrian's death a few days ago, because everyone was trying to protect me, I think. The news hit me hard, for sure, but I immediately thought of you. Though your pain is indescribable, I know from experience that it does help knowing that so many are sharing your sorrow and lifting you up in prayer. It is true that the best of the best are our sons and daughters; brothers and sisters; fathers and mothers and husbands and wives are serving this country in this herculean effort to save the world from an evil and wicked enemy. We will never really understand why God takes those we need the most at home to raise up the next generation of fabulous grandchildren and future heroes. Before he left, my son was describing how he would fight for God in His army here on Earth should he be here when that time came. He was hoping he would be. He described in great detail how he would heroically help the world to overcome the tide of evil and secretly show thousands to safety, hope and life. What he didn't realize at the time was that he was going off to do just that. When I read these other messages I can see how your son and brother touched probably thousands of lives that he wouldn't otherwise have done had he stayed home where it was "safe". It is only safe, though, because he did what he did and our other heroes are doing what they are doing. The people in Afghanistan and Iraq have hope for their children, now. They have hope for their countries. They are watching and learning from the examples our best of the best are portraying and the standards they are setting. A hundred thousand small successes add up to giant successes. I have read how the police forces in both of those countries have grown from being weak, inefficient and cowardly to being bold, effective, skilled and quite courageous due to the training and examples of our troops. The people have come to trust our integrity and sincerity and now give up the evil doers with boldness. Your son was a big part of that. Your son's heart was big and still beats as part of the collective heart of our great nation that goes out to the rest of the world and rings true, because it still beats for God and all that is right. I believe that God is building His Heavenly Army that my son was speaking of, and I think he is choosing the best of our best to command it. While he can't come back to you, you can go to him and that is a hope that free people are able to have. I know your pain is great. May it be tempered with pride. His death is not hollow. His spirit is very much alive and strengthens all of us, which strengthens our nation. That, in turn, strengthens Afghanistan and Iraq, which strengthens the whole Middle East, which strenghthens the world. His heart beats on.....and on......and on.
I pray for God's comfort and strength for all of you, and especially for you, Adrian's Mom. I am right there with you. I am flying my flag for Adrian.

With the Utmost Honor, Gratitude, and Sincerest Sympathy,

Dee Peterson/Band of Mothers"
Dee Petersn of Kihei, Hawaii, USA

"To the fmaily of Adrian~
I just wanted to write and say that knowing Adrian has made me a better person. At Drill he was always such a positive ray of light. Him and the other "goofy guys" would always have my friend and I cracking up at lunch. He always put 100% into everything he did in the Guard. He was very special and I know that he will be missed very much by anyone that his life touched. God Bless!"
Stephanie Brown (Girton) of Milton-Freewater, OR

"Stump, I knew you since we showed up at AIT. We ran the forced march for Charlie company and kicked all hell loose. You were always an inspiration to me of how people should treat others, and I never would have guessed that I'd see you again at flight school. I don't know what happened, but I know you didn't deserve it. One day in heaven we'll figure it all out. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts always dude. I WILL miss you."
WO1 Adam Schenck of Madison, WI

"Stump Family,
I just wanted to leave a quick message to you all in honor of Adrian. I was his Instructor Pilot and taught him how to fly the Chinook this past fall. His can-do attitude and motivation made him excel in the course and in his early career as a pilot. We developed a great friendship during our 10 week time together and kept in touch even after he arrived in Afghanistan. I had already been deployed there and was trying to help in any way I could to prepare and make life a little easier. His passing was a shock and certainly reminds us just how precious life is. This war we’re fighting is tough and the sacrifice is real as you unfortunately know. Adrian was great soldier and will be missed by all of us in the Chinook community. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this tough time. Adrian will always be in my thoughts and it was an honor to call him a fellow Hooker. God Bless - CW3 John Ketcham"
John Ketcham of Ft. Rucker, Al.

"Jerry, Anne, Riley, Julie, Molly - Our thoughts and prayers are with you and have been the last two weeks. We realize nothing can make this better, but we feel honored having met Adrian and having your family in our lives. He is a hero to all of us. Jerry - you have given your kids such a zest for life that it inspired us with our kids. Anne - your quiet loving way was a wonderful influence for me starting out as a parent all those years ago. Adrian was blessed with a wonderful family and you were blessed with a wonderful son. Thank you for sharing."
Galen, JoLynn, Danielle, Quinlan, Caleb and Shannon Anderson of McKenzie River, OR

"Dear family,
My sister is in the same unit as Adrian. At this time I would like to express my families deepest sympathy. I don't know what it would feel like if my sister had died. I would like to share that my sister also sends her sympathies. His death hit her hard. He was an impact on her life
To Adrian,
thank you for serving, I am so grateful of the sacrifice you made. Thank you for the noble way you lived."
Linda Primm of West Richland OR

I guess time goes by alot faster then we all think it does.And its even worse when someone dies.
I cant honestly find the words to say what I'm feeling.I guess I want to wake up and have this all be a dream.But I know that isnt true.I hate that feeling...When you know no matter how much you wish and hope that when someones gone they wont come back no matter how bad you want it.And its times like these when you come to find out that you think alot about yourself when someone dies.Like how you feel, and how you miss them,and how much you want them back.And you dont want to hear that you should think about others because they dont know how you feel.I know we all miss you and I honestly wish you could read this.And still I write this because it makes my heart feel closer to you.Mums got all these pictures of you and I when I was just like 5 or 6 and you were like 12 and I was so sure that you were my boy friend.I guess its funny once you think back on it,How untill you lose someone you dont take those little moments to heart.Iam truely happy you fallowed your dreams and did what you loved.Life is life and it only matters if you make it worth living.And once you die,Its what you leave behind that helps others move on.You'll never be forgotten.Not like we could forget you.Thinking back on all this ,I am glade you died doing what you love because if your going to die then I want you to die satisfied.You were the best boy friend anyone could wish for Adrian.
With Love
Karleen R. Hansen"
Karleen R. Hansen of Sunriver,Oregon,Us

"If there is a heaven, I know you are there. And if I can become half the man at the end of my life as you were throughout all of your's, I will certainly see you there.

I love you, Adrian.

The world would be such a better place if we could just have more people like you. But that is what makes you so special; people like you are a precious few.

I envy you even more now than before: You don't have to endure pain anymore, this painful and burdensome existence that all humans share. The ones you have left behind know very well that we, one day, will die, and at least for me, that prospect is so scary. But you stared death in the face and it didn't scare you a bit. Perhaps death didn't even cross your mind. Oh, how I wish I could lead life like that! Staring death in the face and giving it the finger!

You are an inspiration, the best cousin one could ask for, and god damn I miss you. I will never forget you, Adrian. You will never be dead to me. Never. You will always be alive in my heart, as you will, no doubt, in so many others.

Any others that have met a similar fate, my heart goes out to you and your families as well."
Harry Beckwith of Santa Clara, CA

"Dear Stump Family~ Jerry, Anne, Riley, Julie, Molly, and Alex.
I have known Adrian since Jr. High, my first memory of him was sitting across from him in Science class and he was busy drawing pictues of Chinooks and Black Hawks and explaining to me how excited he was that one day he was going to join the Army and be a pilot, that is all he wanted to do. Adrian knew his purpose in life and I know that he fulfilled it, I know for a fact how happy he was to be serving overseas, and that he passed exactly the way he wanted to. Adrian and my husband were serving when the accident happend,and he asked me to let you know how special a person he was and that being there is not the same without his unique and positive spirit guiding them. Adrian was the one who convinced my husband to join up with him and they went on many a flying trip together, he was a dear friend and a special Army brother. We will love and remember him always."
Scott and Ericka Sweet of Pendleton Oregon, USA

"Dear Stump Family;

We just wanted to tell you how proud we are to have known Adrian.

Jeremy will miss his pal greatly as will I. Adrian was a wonderful friend to him and all the younger boys in the neighborhood. I can still remember the day Jeremy came home from across the street, so proud because Adrian and Riley had tought him how to remember North, South, East, and West.

We have missed living across the street from you all, and Jeremy has missed the time he has spent in your home.

Our prayers are with you all."
Dawn and Jeremy Henderson of Pendleton, OR

"Dear Stump Family,
You are in our thoughts and prayers. We are so very proud to have known Adrian, and to hear him and Isaac talk about flying, one would think there was no greater honor in the world. We are so glad he was able to do what he loved and believed in, though we are incredibly sorry for your loss. I am so glad that through Alex we have come to know your family, and know that you will all be in our hearts as we face the future."
Isaac and Emily (Muller) Callender of Livingston. MT/Pendleton, OR

"To the Family of Adrian Stump,
My name is Troy Thompson and I met Adrian at the Conus Replacement Center (CRC) at Ft Benning Georgia last March. I had the pleasure of going out to dinner a couple of times with Adrian while we were at the CRC. I found him to be a very friendly, positive individual with a good sense of humor.

Like most pilots Adrian loved to fly. He spoke of it often but I never found it to be boastful. He took his profession and responsibilities seriously. Adrian was frequently reviewing pocket study guides during downtime of our training.

I'm a nurse in the ICU with the 249th General Hospital at Bagram, Afghanistan. Shortly after our arrival to Afghanistan in April I emailed Adrian and asked if he would fly a flag on a mission for my son Morgen who was born April 27th, 2005. True to his word I received the flag about a month later dedicated to Morgen and signed by Adrain and the rest of the crew. Because of the deployment I have never seen my son. I hope he grows up to be a man with the character of Adrian.

Troy Thompson
Major, Army Nurse
249th General Hospital/ICU
Bagram, Afghanistan"
Troy Thompson of Ft Lewis, WA

"Adrian, I know you cant read this but maybe God will get it too you, he works in mysterious ways, so anyways, I love and miss you, one of the soldiers said that when you died part of us died too and that is very true, when I found out you were gone it felt as if someone had ripped my heart out, my world was turned upside down inside out and backwards. you will never be forgotten you had a way of making a bad day into a good day by simply saying hi, you could look at someone and make them know that the world isnt as bad of a place as everyone thinks it is. you loved what you did and died doing that. I miss you past the sun moon and stars a billion miles--I love you Adnan, Erin Kate (your "little sis")"
Erin Thompson of Pendleton Oregon, United States

"As I read the words and feelings people have expressed on this page...I had a rollercoaster of tears and smiles. I am deeply sorry for what you're enduring and I can only hope that you have a few of the same smiles when reading these. The kind of person you have raised Adrian to be could never be taken from you and he will be with you always. He is an amazing MAN and I am so thankful that my days on earth were graced with him and with your family. I am a better person for knowing The Stump family. I want you all to know that you are in my heart and mind, loving and praying for you. I love you guys and will see you soon!"
Shelley Reed of Albany, by way of Pendleton OR

"No words can really express how sorry I am to learn your 22 year old son has gone to heaven along with my cousin Army Sgt. Patrick D. Stewart."
Tiffany Nahhas of Placerville, CA USA

"27 September 2005

Dear Stumps – Jerry, Anne, Riley, Julie, Molly and Alex,

We want you to know that we are here for you now, a year from now and for the rest of our lives. Nothing prepared us for the news of Adrian’s death and we are equally unprepared to be void of the privilege of seeing and spending time with him in the future. Beth and I, as well as the entire Naughton family are extremely fond of him and your family. It hurts us to think of what you must be going through not to mention our own sorrow. Words cannot describe our sympathy and you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Jerry and Anne - You are the most loving people we know and we admire your dedication to family and your children. For as long as we’ve known you, we have observed that your kids (and their friends) choose to be around you over other activities. Not many parents get to experience that and we hope to be so fortunate. If we could do half as good as you with raising our children (your God children), we’ll have it made. It seems you do it naturally and with out effort and we envy that about you. Adrian is a fine example of what loving parents can achieve. Your family is what’s right in this world, an example for all to follow.

From the day we met Adrian we realized he was a caring, loving, respectful and sincere person and we will miss his unbelievably positive attitude, his bright smile, his slang, his jokes and imitations. He possesses a drive for success that is unusual for such a young person. Never have we met a person that was so focused on a goal at such a young age. Or a person with the heart to spend his time accomplishing worldly tasks like changing a war ridden country’s way of life half way around the globe, and risking his life to do it because he believed it was right. And at an age when most of us had no serious aspirations of our own; we admire that. No doubt, he saved hundreds, if not thousands of lives over there and he made life better for people whom he never knew. Nevertheless, he didn’t realize how he made the world a better place with out the uniform; just being Adrian was enough and the world is a worse place with out him.

Adrian is someone that will always be looked up to by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. We have been so blessed to have known him as closely and for as long as we have. He’ll always be remembered by us - and everyone that knew him as “One of the Stump kids,” which is to say he is an exceptional human being.

We miss you guys and we will see you soon. Take care.


Rob, Beth and Family"
Rob Naughton of Bend, Oregon and Pendleton, Oregon

"I wanted to express our families sincerest condolences at the loss of your wonderful son. Our hearts are heavy during this time and our thoughts and prayers are with each of you. We were honored to get to know Adrian over past 6 months. He truly was a blessing and we will miss that wonderful smile of his. My daughter looked forward to each time she was able to chat with him on MSN and I was so thankful they were introduced, I know she, along with rest of us are truly better people for getting to know him. He was a ray of sunshine and brought smiles to those he touched. We will miss seeing him on our web cam, and all the laughter he brought with him.
May God Bless and comfort you during this time and may his memories be close to your heart forever. "Adrian we will never forget you"
God's Blessings"
The McLean Family of Grandview, WA

leonard t. wahl of VALLEY STREAM NY

"To Adrian'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 son returned safely from Afghanistan, only to lose his life in Iraq. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your soldier's bravery and sacrifice. Our sons are true heroes!

By His Grace,

Gloria Caldas
Proud Mother of Fallen Hero
Capt. Ernesto "The Big Ern" Blanco-Caldas
82nd Airborne, KIA Iraq 12/28/2003
San Antonio, Texas

I love you, you are such a beautiful person. Your warm heart and generousity will never be forgotten. Your smile will be in my soul for the rest of my life. I will always remember our moments of laughter, you always knew just the right way to make everyones day. You truly are my hero. I love you adrian"
Dempsi Filipek of Portland, Oregon

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

"Thank you Adrian Stump, 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 Warrant Officer Adrian Stump:
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 Adrian 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 Warrant Officer Adrian Stump:
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 Adrian, 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