Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

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

Navy Photographer's Mate 1st Class (SEAL) David M. Tapper

32, of Camden County, New Jersey.
Tapper died of wounds received in action in Afghanistan. Died on August 20, 2003.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Navy Photographer's Mate 1st Class (SEAL) David M. Tapper.


Contributions to the Families of the Fallen


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

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"My deepest condolences to Dave’s family. I’m sorry it’s taken so long to find this page. I first went to school with David in 1978 in 2nd grade. Waterford School #6. The next year we both went to 3rd grade at Atco Elementary then onto Thomas Richard’s and Edgewood High School. I wish we had been closer, as when we were young I remember him fondly but by high school we just passed in the halls with a smile, a nod. I too went into the service, joining the Air Force after going to Camden County College. My son in law is active duty Navy and I now have my 1st grandchild. Godspeed to David & the Tapper family. I haven’t seen him since high school, but he knew my name and I knew his. Thank you."
Daniel Wiedemann of Allentown, PA

"”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 2,000 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 some wonderful sponsors who help with the costs, and only want you know that we 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 of Manti, Utah USA

""To the family of David M. Tapper ,I am so sorry for the loss of your love one.He died a hero.May you know the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Hopefully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need someone to pray with you or talk to please call or write my pastor at Gateway Community Church,Rev John B Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd. Covington Ga. 30016 phone 770-787-1015""

"Tapper I cant believe it is going to be another year gone by, hope your family is doing well, God Bless"
Suzi of San Diego CA

"December 8, 2007
To the family of Photographer's Mate 1st Class (SEAL) David M. Tapper:
David gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"I had the pleasure of meeting and hugging David’s mom, Judith Tapper, earlier this month during the reading of the names at the Vietnam Memorial on Veterans Day. My heart and prayers go out to her, David’s father, David's wife Tracy, their four children and everyone who has every known David. I regret that I never had the opportunity to meet David myself. He was, and will always be, a great American. He served his country with honor. David will always be missed, but NEVER FORGOTTEN."
Jerry Harding of Alexandria, VA

"My heart breaks for you all in the tragic loss of your beloved son, father, husband, and brother. I didn't know David, but know that his service to his country was not in vain, love knows no boundaries.

May the good Lord help you during this time of sorrow and know that David will always be with you!

Much Love,
PJ of St. Louis

"I'm very proud to have known you even though it has been years since I last saw you as a kid in Sea Isle City. I only wish I would have had a chance to have known you as an adult and fellow shipmate. My condololences go out to all of your family and friends."
Robert Wilkinson CTT1(SW) USN Retired of Dahlgren Virginia

"You are sorely missed brother. You will never be forgotten. Farewell, and may we meet again in happier times."
Chris Regan of San Deigo

"Farewell, departed Shipmate. You are a legacy to your family, the Navy, and the nation."
Chief Justin Smith of Washington, D.C.

"I've known Dave since we were about 5 years old. I can still remember all the fun times that we had down the shore when we were little, riding the dirtbikes at "The Pit", Disney World Vacation, and many more to mention. When Dave enlisted in the Navy I didn't get to see him that much anymore other than a few times here and there. After about 8 or 9 years he had stopped by my house out of the blue and we talked for hours about all the stuff we did in our childhood. It was just like old times. Then a few months later I recieved the bad news of what had happened. Dave you are a true friend, you accomplished alot in your short life, and you will never be forgotten. I know you wouldn't consider yourself a "Hero" and that it was just a job you were passionate about, but a hero is someone that accomplished something that made a difference in peoples lives and you definatly did that my friend.
My heart goes out to his family, friends and everyone else Dave has touched in his life."
Marc Morici of Atco, NJ

"Fair Winds and following seas, Shipmate.
Thank you to the Tapper family for your son. We are a better Navy to have known him."
AT1 K Reilly of Washington, DC

I would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy."
Mike Casey of El Paso, Texas

"To the family of Dave Tapper,

I remember Dave from Navy Photo School in Pensacola. Dave was so excited about going into the SEALs. There was no other direction that his life could take. It had to be Navy SEALs.
I was not surprised when I talked to Daves sister and she had told me that he and Greg had made the team.
Even though I knew Dave a short time, I know that Dave left us doing the job that he wanted to do and had been chosen to do. He has completed his mission and has returned home.
I have never met Daves family but it is for them that I pray for. I grieve for your loss and I am honored to have known Dave."
Ray Kraszyk PH of Valparaiso, Indiana

"Of all people in this country being aided financially by the government, David's family should be first on the list. There is no question in my mind that his family should be given the same as the families from 9/11 and I have written my senators stating this fact! God Bless David's family and God Bless this hero who gave his life so I could continue to live free."
Jan St. John of Norfolk, Virginia

"A small thank you from a grateful nation. May you rest in God's good graces...Thank you. Rest easy knowing that your passion and patriotism still burns in the hearts of many of the countrymen that you fought and sacrificed for."
Kenneth J Christian of Annapolis

"To David's Family and Friends,

One can see by all the different cities and towns listed by the posters here, that we truly are a grateful nation. Grateful for heroes like David, grateful to his family for sharing him with us, so that we might be a safer nation."
Ken McCarty of Berlin

"To the family and friends,

Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your loved ones bravery and sacrifice. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. Your loved one is a hero. Greater love have no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13.

God bless you.

Home Front Ministries
Shepherd of the Hills Church
Porter Ranch, CA"

"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

"Photographer's Mate Tapper, goodbye sailor and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas


"To the Tapper Family: I am so sorry for the loss of your loved one. I will NEVER FORGET David and what he did for his country. He is an AMERICAN HERO now and always. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. David: THANK YOU. May you rest in peace. God Bless."
Jessica of Rio Vista,CA

"Almost seven months have gone by, yet the loss is still so profound. Dave Tapper's entire family should know that he is thought of daily and remembered by friends as a man of integrity, honor and values. He was always an amazing friend and although I hadn't seen him for a couple of years before his death, the knowledge that he no longer walks the earth along with us saddens me deeply. The fact that he walks on streets of gold now with Our Saviour is a comforting one and I look forward to someday seeing him again. May God Bless you all, until the day you see him again as well."
Kristen Goerlitz- Torres of Berlin, NJ

"Thank you to David M.Tapper for making me feel safe at night. I may only be 13 and I do not really have a sense of honor, but it gives me pride to say that you are A True American Soldier. I honor you for that. To the loved ones of David M.Tapper I hope my words could bring you some comfort. He was a great man. America will remember him for a long time."
Elyse Kimble of Fostoria,OH

"David Tapper accomplished more in his life than than most can dream of. He gave his life for the safety of every American. Every parent should be aware of this as they put their kids to bed at night. They should look at them and know that real life heroes are protecting them. God Bless this man and his family."
The Estes Family of Phoenix, AZ

"Thank you David Tapper, 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

"My heart and prayers, goes out to the friends and family of our fallen naval brother. Our dedication is unseen and unspoken, but we must dig deep down into the bag of courage so that we as, U.S. navy photographers can record history of our military victories and defeats with the upmost pride, professionalism, and honor. His memory and patriotism will never be forgotten."
Rich Abasolo, PH1(A/C, DV) Ret. of Lubbock, TX

"David you are truly missed....we think of you every day. I am so proud to call you family. Till we meet again...."
Beth Megronigle of Doylestown, PA USA

"Few words can offer comfort to a family who loses their only son and brother, to a wife who loses her husband, or to a child who loses their father.

On August 20th I felt the price of Enduring Freedom –in the life of one of my most trusted friends.

Dave Tapper was a person who was always the first to volunteer, always the first to extend a helping hand and, for me, the first casualty felt in a war that many believe is already won.

Our community and our nation has lost a true hero – a man who has sacrificed his life for our country, a husband and loving father, a friend who rarely missed an opportunity to catch-up with the people who meant the most to him.

Dave always appreciated those who he experienced life with. The holidays belonged to his family and friends who never had to pull him in many directions because he always found the time to “stop by.” He appealed to many of us in different ways.

It has been said that people living deeply have no fear of death. I can assure you that Dave lived deeper than most, laughed often and achieved a great deal.

We try to make sense of his loss. We are angry, confused, vengeful and deeply saddened. We ask why but receive no answers. We want the truth that may never surface. We want to know if the life of our friend was worth it.

Dave and I had the opportunity to sit down a few moths ago after he completed his first tour in Afghanistan. He came back with stories of a people living in constant fear and confusion with little regard for the things we often take for granted.

David cared. That’s important to remember now, as we mourn his passing. He cared and believed in what he was doing. I am confident that his fellow teammates would agree.

I never had to ask him why he joined the Navy. I’d probably hear in response, “What else was I going to do?” Or “Where else can you see the world and get paid for it?” Modest, as always.

But I will always know that his reasons were genuine, his focus was precise, and his purpose was defined.

And I will never forget the miles that we ran side by side as friends and teammates. The drives to the shore or “the dungeon” before the wicker furniture. Your wedding – I remember most of it, I swear.

To me and the many, many friends you have made throughout the years I promise you will be remembered by us as a great friend, an honored sailor and a hero."
Chris Sasse of Atco, NJ

"To the family and friends of Petty Officer 1st Class David Tapper:
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 David 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 Petty Officer 1st Class David Tapper:
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 David, 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