Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

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

Army Spc. Wesley R. Wells

21, of Libertyville, Illinois.
Wells died in Naka, Afghanistan, when his observation post was fired on by anti-coalition militia forces. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Died on September 20, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. Wesley R. Wells.


Contributions to the Families of the Fallen


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

Please report inappropriate messages


Hey brother it's Remy. I just wanted to say I miss you buddy! You were always there for me and never have up on me. You are an inspiration, you always have been! You are and always been a role model for me of how a man should be so carrying and loving. That 1st day you got to A CO 2/27 WOLFHOUNDS 3rd PLT COBRAS you had me rolling! Yea that goofey ol smile always made me laugh. From weapons squad with Hoover, Gas, and O'Neal to the line squad you made my time better. I miss you and thank of you all the time! So many times I think it shoulda been me. You've always been a stand up guy and the heart I think everyone needs. You will never be forgotten brother, and I will try my best not to let you down and to live my life as a father and husband the way I know you would! I miss you and I'm so looking forward to seeing you soon! I love you bro take care. If any of y'all wanna get a hold of me my email is remyinfhi103@gmail..com"
Nathan Remigio of Kansas

"Still makes me cry too."

"To the family of PFC Wesley R. Wells, my name is Gerry Cashiola, from Houston, Tx. Tomorrow I will marching in the 76th annual commemorative Bataan Death March in White Sands Missile Range, NM. I am marching in his honor as a fallen hero! I will be wearing a yellow ribbon with his name on it! May God bless him for his service to our country, and the ultimate price he paid! I stand in salute of him, and will bow in his remembrance as I cross the finish line!"
Gerry Cashiola of Houston, Texas

"Well man its Vets Day again and my only thoughts are of you. You were the only one who makes this day special. Every handshake and pat on the back I get is for you brother. I miss you."
James Clements of Bay City, MI

"There really is nothing I can say about Wesley that can sum up how great a person he was and how badly it felt to lose him. I consider myself fortunate to have known him as a friend and as a fellow soldier. We are coming up on the 10th anniversary of his loss and I can still remember every detail of that morning from the sounds of the fight to the taste of the air. He was a great person, friend and soldier and I miss him greatly. I will never forget him."
Luke McCauley of Cushing, Ok

"Wes, you're still remembered."
Melissa of California

"It's 8 years today Wes. We miss you. Every day I think about this day and how it could of been different and I come to the same conclussion. You served with honor and dignity, and that's all that really matters at the end of the day. Where ever you are I know you're standing tall, taller than any of us. I'm proud to have served by your side. GFY brother."
Jensen, Joseph S. of Highland, CA

"This has been a long time coming. I'm sorry. It has taken me a really long time to come to losing him. Wesley was an amazing man. I was going through so much in my life when I met him. Nobody to turn to and no support from anyone he made it his mission to bring me out of the darkness I was in. We talked for hours and shared all kinds of information. I talked to him about how it was for me as a Sgt. and he asked about how my soldiers thought about me. He would stand and watch me play cards for hours and believed I was great at it. He made me promise I would try and do it for a living.
When I met him I felt lost and so alone. His silly attitude and his belief in why he was there changed me. He always had a kind heart. Talked about his wife and family all the time. I even got to talk to his mother on the phone 2 times and he had told her I was going to come to visit there. When we lost him I had lost the brightest light in my life. It took me over a year to come to terms with things. Since then I know how important he was to me. He was my guardian angel here. He showed me a better way to be. I have lived my life everyday to make sure he knows that he has changed mine. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of him and pray to him.
I am sorry I could not see his mother and widow when they came to see us when we got back.

I am out of the army now and making a life for myself. To this day there is no man I have ever met that will have an effect like him.

I miss you brother and will always have you in my heart."
Brendan m. Nohsey of San Antonio

"It shows how many peoples' lives Wells touched just by reading the comments on here. As so many have said, there is no way to ever forget Wells's smile nor his character. He was a genuinely great guy and is missed by so many. He always brightened everyone's day. Thank you to his parents for raising such an awesome soldier. It's been almost 7 years and we will never forget! Rest in peace Wells. They say the good die young, and this shows it must be true. Lastly, I served with Wesley his entire time in the 25th ID. He is an unforgettable man."
SGT Derrick Styles of Newport, TN

"I knew Wesley as a young one through my younger brother, Mark. What I remember most about him was his smile- very genuine, infectious, and playful! I also remember how he had such a good nature. I think about Wesley quite a bit; his life story touched more people than you may know."
Beth Lee of Libertyville/Chicago, IL

"To the Well's family, your son/husband had the goofiest smile, but he had the biggest heart and greatest intentions in life. A good soul who would brighten up everyone's day.

Hey Wells, how's it going fellow Wolfhound? For some odd reason I was thinking about you and type your name on google. I was surprised to find this page and let me tell you something bro, it's been a long time since I talked to you. Last time we talk was in 2002.

I remember being your first team leader in Alpha Company 2-27, 3rd platoon, Cobras. Your first day, you came in with that goofy smile that I still remember today. Welcoming the new guy to our infantry platoon , I had to smoke your behind cause you were the new guy. Still remember your first run for morning P.T., you fell back plenty of times and didn't complete the run with the rest of the squad, but you made it. You had that never quit attitude. However, I was task by our squad leader, Crazy Sgt. S, to smoke you till you threw up. Wells, the next hour I smoked the hell out of you, but you kept that goofy smile the whole time while screaming cadence. After the smoke session, you asked me how to better yourself. We would run in the evenings to get yourself in running shape and you did get better, but you still can't outrun me. (I read Bolland's entry, I hope I wasn't the guy who forgot my lunch money)

You had a friendly personality and cared about others a lot. You wanted to know about my relationship with my long distance girlfriend and always wanted to find ways to pick up them local girls in Hawaii. I still can't believe you ask me to take you to the club after the first day you landed in our platoon, but i took you anyways and it was like a kid stepping foot in Disneyland for the first time. Your eyes wide open with that goofy smile.

Bro, I hope you are doing good up in those clouds. Look down and keep a safe eyes for your fellow Wolfhounds and American military men/women.

See you next lifetime. G-F-Y!!!! (This is from Clements entry, haven't heard G-F-Y for a long time.)"
Fromer Spc. K. Tep of Long Beach, CA

"im sorry for your loss. the pain will go away and in time healing will set in, im sorry again for your loss."
rosanna dover of marion illinois

"Its August now, next month will be another year, I have read everything on this page, Wes was everything you people say he is, I just wish there was some way to let him read all of this. He was a great guy, you didn't have to know him very long to know that. He was everything that is good about soldiers. He will forever be missed. He was the first friend I lost in combat, but wasn't the last. I hope that in some way they know how much we appreciate them making the sacrifice so that the rest of us could come home, and for anyone who knew him, if he had to choose, he would have died before allowing any harm come to his brothers, he is forever in our hearts and minds. Any of our brothers can reach me at itisgood2bme2000 at yahoo dot com."
SGT David Chapman, USArmy Med/Retired of Kings Mtn, North Carolina

"SPC Wells was a great Soldier with a heart of gold....reading all the messages on this wall bears witness to that. We will never forget this young patriot. As I give a Memorial Day speech on Monday, the very first name and story that this town will hear will be that of SPC Wesley R. Wells and his smile. I am blessed and honored to have served with this man."
MAJ Cardone of Starkville, MS

"You are not forgotten and are missed greatly! Ken speaks of you often and has never forgotten that horrible day. I just can not put into words how much you are thought of by him.Ever soldier that has come through BCT while he has been a DS has been trained with you in mind. Bless you Wolfhound.. rest in peace."
Tina Parent wife of SFC Kenneth Parent of Ft Jackson SC

"Hey man, I remember walking through your convoy and shaking your hand, and giving you some friendly banter. I did not know that would be the last time I would see you. When I heard the 9 line over the radio, my heart dropped. I am sorry man!"
Sgt Parenteau US Army of Great Falls, MT USA

"just stopped by to say you are not forgotten! it's been a long time Wolfhound...."
SFC Baker of back in Hawaii

"hey wes,

It has been six years now and i just wanted to stop by and say hi. you will always be remembered.

Donald Hayes
Donny of Owensboro ky

"Dear Wes,
How I truly miss you. I remember how non-judgemental you were, and how you would embrace anyone regardless of their lifestyle or personal views. I miss all of us talking and laughing in your kitchen with those birds your Mother had. I was also happy to have met your wife at Mickey Finn's where we gathered to remember you. I will never forget you, and will always remember that smile of yours that was never ending. How I wish more people were as genuine as you. Thanks for leaving us your light and may God embrace you as you did us. My deepest and most sincere condolences to your Family. I thank your sister, Tiffany, for introducing me to you and your wonderful family. I am blessed, happy, and fortunate to have known you. I miss you Wes!
Que Dios te bendiga,
RayMundo De Acosta
RayMundo De Acosta (formerly of Vernon Hills, IL) of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

"Hey all- just found this website dedicated to Wes. He was a great guy, always a goofball. I served with him his entire time in A-Co. Unfortunetly I was also there to pull him off the base of that godforsaken hill that early morning. I was also given the honor of writing and reading his eulogy at Oregun-E. The hardest thing I've ever had to do was meet his mother and family at his grave in Gurnee. Not a day goes by that I dont think of the price that Wes paid for our Freedom. Gone but not Forgotten (W.R Wells).
If anyone else that served with or is friends or family of Wes, feel free to contact me: frankcamden@yahoo.com. (my response may be delayed becuase I am currently a civillian contractor in Afghanistan."
Frank Camden Jr of (somewhere) Afghanistan

"I was a Squad Leader in the Platoon that rolled on QRF the day Wes was hurt, I wear a bracelet in his remembrance everyday, and NEVER remove it. I talked with Wes a lot around the FOB, and prior to deployment. Everything from reenlistment, to what it was going to be like being married and deployed. I miss him. I'm not a native of Illinois, but I live here now, and I visit Wes on the Middle East Conflicts Memorial Wall at least twice a year. He will never be forgotten."
SSG John Stoor of Pekin, Illinois

"Hey wassup Wes it has been over 5 years now since your short departure and there isn't a day that goes bye where i don't think about you man i love and miss you dearly and i know that you are looking down at meeh still... watching over me and my family... though i am in a different uniform now i still and will always be a wolfhound for life, son. you are the reason that i love the military and the reason why i am still in it. the ultimate sacrifice that you made that day in the GHAN... i love you man.... until we meet again bro i'll see you when i get up to the pearly gates.... hoooahhh!!!!!"
Tapuni Uli of San Diego, Ca

"hey Wells it's been 5 years since that cold morning in naka this is Fanning i was Wells AG in naka i just wanna say you will live on in our minds forever
Robert Fanning of sevierville tn

"Hey Wes,

It will be Five years since you were taken from us in a few hours. So I wanted to stop by just to say that I think about you all the time and we all miss you. I know your in a better place but I would have traded places with you if I could have. You had so much going for you and it just wasn't fair that you were taken from this world so early. It has been a while since i got on here but i will never forget. To any of Wes's family i would love to visit him but don't know where to go. If anyone can tell me please contact me. dnld_hayes@yahoo.com"
Donald Hayes of Owensboro, Ky

"Wes you are never forgotten i remember when we were in high school together and hanging out at your house."
Sgt Wiegold, Mark USMC of MCAS Yuma, AZ

"To everyone that reads this web site. I served with Wesley in 3rd Plt for three years but was not there on that sad day. I learned many things about Wesley in that time, but it is only now 5 years later that I have realized one very important thing about him. On 1-27-09 I had the privlage of having a dream about Wesley and thinking of the time I shared with him.
I really don't know the proper way to explain this so if I offend anyone I am deeply sorry.
When you join the infantry it has a side effect that most soldiers experience with out even knowing it. After completing basic training all soldiers are different people then when they started, some better, some worse. Most men in the infantry lose a part of themselves and thier hearts grow a little colder from the training and the way you are treated when your the new guy. I have seen men grow to resent others for things they do and say when they "welcome" you to the unit. I've also seen a few men with the goal of mentaly hurting new guys to make themselves look and feel stronger, this sadly is just a fact of life in the infantry.
I remember Wesleys first day in the unit and it was no different for him. The E-4's of the plt had no problem "welcoming" him with push ups and mule kicks and many other exercises. I've seen people almost break over alot less. The thing is, every one was done "welcoming" Wes after a very short time and I never gave any thought as to why until now. You see, Wes never lost that part of himself and he always had a big heart. No matter how hard of a time people gave him, he was always willing to be the best friend any of us ever had. I seen a soldier make Wesly empty his entire room and return everything to where it was over and over until he was able to do it in under 5 minutes, this lasted for about 2 and a half hours. I expected Wesley to hate this guy for making him do this for no reason at all, ( it would be real hard for me not hate this guy for doing that ). Not only was this not the case, but later that very same day Wesly paid for that mans lunch because he had no money. Now I understand why people stoped giving him a hard time so quickly. No matter how bad of a mood you were in, Wesley could always cheer you up.(and he liked to)
Wesley, I miss you Brother, I'll see you when I get there."
Jason Bolland of Warsaw, Indiana

"I had the privilege of knowing and serving with Wells during his time in Aco 2-27 25th ID. He was a great friend and someone to always make you laugh. He was a great soldier and a hell of a guy. Someday we'll all swap stories of how we got to heaven.

+++My best memories of Wells are kept in my heart and not to be shared with those who didn't know him.+++

Much love to his family, and friends alike. I know he's lookin' down from heaven with that goofy smile right now as i write this.

To him i say, "Yo bud, member that time we took turns coming up with goofy * nicknames? I bet you didn't expect DW to stick eh?"....I'll never forget you man, never. You'll always have a place in my heart and I'll think of you when i'm lookin down my sights. Peace out buddy, We'll meet up again."

PS....tell that POS medic of ours up their in heaven i said, "whassup and GFY!"
I'll c u when i'm called. Until then keep the beer on ice and get ready for the party.

My sincerest condolences to all those soldiers from 2-27 who passed through the pearly gates. When i'm there you'll know, because heaven will echo with a loud and proud G-F-Y!!

Spc. James M Clements 2-27inf 25th ID


Much Love!"
SPC James Clements of Bay City, MI

"To Wes and his family,
I got to Afghanistan in July of '04... My nerves kept a lump in my throat as I arrived for my first deployment. I remember the first day I met my platoon like it was yesterday... The cold, untrusting eyes of soldiers who'd been in country for 6 months, staring at me, a fresh cherry straight from basic into a warzone. The first smiling face I saw was Wesley. As soon as he saw me, on the stairs of our room alone with that 'deer in the headlights' look in my eyes, he immediately came over to make me feel welcome. From that moment on I was at ease. He let me know that what ever I needed, he'd be there, as he was for any guy that knew him.
That day in Naka we were farther north, patrolling the village around a government compound. We got the call over the radio that Wes had been hit and immediately were on the road in 3rd platoon's direction. It's still fresh in my mind the sight of that body bag in the road, medivac swooping down to bring a fallen hero back to his family. It felt like there was a brick in the bottom of my stomach, feeling the harsh reality of where I was for the first time. I knew then that it didn't matter who you were, even the best soldier could go at any time.
I know that Wes' spirit will live on through all of us that knew him. I now strive to be better, more considerate because of Wes. I feel like I have to pass on that feeling of comfort and hospitality that he passed on to me.
We love you Wes... and to his family, thank you for giving us all the pleasure of knowing him. My deepest condolenses, I know your hearts still ache. Tears still well in my eyes when I think of Wes.
Thank You"
Specialist Peter A. Mills 2nd Platoon A co 2-27 of Riverside, RI

"To the Family of Wesley Wells,

My name is Scott Roth, I knew Tiffany and Wes from High School, and was one of the many kids Wes saw, and probobly got into a bit of trouble with at various places around town. I had joined the Marines, not really knowing what I wanted from life, and I remember Wes asking how I liked it. It was a great thing to serve your country, and helps you find out who you really are. I came back from Iraq, and moved back to Libertyville, only to hear of Wes's death. I offer my deepest condolences to all of you, for losing a son, brother, and husband. Wes may have fallen, but he has also risen, as a true warrior and hero.

God Bless You All."
Scott Roth of Gurnee, Illinois

"Hey Wes,
The first day i got to 3rd Platoon you let me borrow you Pt shirt cause i didn't have one yet. When i was there for a while i would steal you wooden fish and hide it to mess with you, but it was all in good fun cause you could have just beat me up anytime you wanted but you didn't you just laughed about it after you got it back. You were always smiling no matter what and you are such a great guy. I still have that piece of candy i told i would save for you in the cigar box you gave me. Im going to keep it until i have a the means to visit you and give it to you. i miss you man."
Spc. Donald R. Hayes of Owensboro, KY

"Veterans Day, 2007
To the family of Spc. Wesley R. Wells:
Wesley 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

"Hi huny i love u so much and i miss u so much, I just found this site as i read everybody's letter i want to thank u all for thinking about my husband and for the prayers.Huny i love u ..."
Jonalyn Wells of Waialua, hawaii,u.s.a

"To the family of Wes,
I attended the Fallen Heroes Memorial today at Western Illinois University where I and four other of my fellow soldiers presented the colors at his ceremony. My connection to Wes was limited and only connection was I met him a couple times since he took my sister to homecoming. I however remembered his name and took special note to go find the drawing the artist made of him. I'm very sorry for your loss but I thought it would comfort you to know that even people with the slightest connection to Wes still have not forgotten him."
CDT/1LT Nardelli, James A. of Libertyville/Macomb, Illinois

"To the family of:Wesley R. Wells 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"

"When I Think of Wesley the first thing I remember is the time he told me that he had tickets to Aerosmith and that I was going. Thats what I tell people when I talk about Wesley. That was just so him Spontaneous, Bright eyed, unselfish, Charismatic, Genuine Wes. Two crazy kids running around the streets of Libertyville without any boundary's. I didn't have too many freinds in Highschool but I didn't have to with Wes around. I would come to the house and he would start an adventure that would last all day into the night. It was so exciting being around him because you would never know what would happen next. I can Definitely say that I stood on a shoulder of a giant. All it took was one look at the sparkel in his eye and you where instantly hooked. I think his best quality was that he made people feel good about themselves. That is the most beautiful charasteristic a human being can have. I am a better person for knowing him. To my best Friend, a soul like that can never die. Untill we meet again I will remember you with honor, pride, and good times. Thanks for being there when I needed a friend. To the Family, my deepest Condolences, Please contact me any time I would love to share some great memories I have of Wes. There are so many I would need my own website. Sincerely brett.chase@latimes.com"
Brett Chase of Vernon Hills IL

"To the family of Wesley Wells:

My name is Tapuni M. Uli, Wesley was in Third Plt. and I was in First Plt. I remember when Wesley first got to the unit and was thrown in Third Plt. He loved it and used to always talk about how his Plt. is the best and would always argue with me. He was one of my all time true friend, brother, and hero's in my life. He used to always come to me and ask me about marriage like i knew a lot about it. I mean i knew a little bit about it. I got married about a month before he did. but he knew that me and my wife has been together for about 3 years pryor to getting married and just asked me for some advice. i remember talking to him about his wife and the different types of stress that she use to put him thru. and he use to put himself thru. i miss him so much and just wanted to let his sisters and his mom and dad know that wesley was a true american hero and is my inspiration to achieve the highest goals that i set for myself and do it because it's the right thing to do and that he's looking down at meeh cheering me on. to wesley i love you man and will cherish your ultimate sacrifice to the day i die or shall i say till the day we are reunited in teh kindom of heaven. i miss you so much man. you were always there for meeh when i needed someone to talk to and to my fellow brother wolfhounds. hooooahhh
we lost a good friend and brother that day but his legacy shall shine forever!!!!!

Tapuni Misa Uli, Jr.
Tapuni Uli of Honolulu,Hi

"My name is CPT Jermaine Hampton, I was Wesley's Executive Officer in A Co. 2-27 at the time when the Lord called him. Wesley had a heart of gold and it was as big as I ever saw. He was always willing to help out and put in more than his share of effort into whatever the task was. I remember talking with Wesley about the Marine Corps a lot because my first 4 yrs of service was in the Marine Corps and he had an uncle, whom he was extremely proud of, that served in the Corps. He would recall his uncle's stories of the Corps and wanted to hear of mine. I enjoyed talking and spending time with Wells. Wesley a true hero always gave of himself selflessly, I thank his family for raising a fine man and I'm proud to have known him. He's an angel that went home sooner than we hoped. We'll meet again someday, Brother."
Jermaine Hampton, CPT, IN of Manhattan, KS


"2 Wolfhounds. Valiant to the end.

SPC Johnson of Martinez, CA

"Spec. Wells
I did not know you, but you are my brother. I morn your loss with those that did know and soldier with you. I too was a Wolfhound, 4/27 Charlie Co. 91-94
Heros never die, they live on in our memories."
A brother 'hound of Florida

"To the memory of Wes....

Im so sorry, it has taken me a long time to deal with this. In 5 more months itwill havebeen 2 years since that day in Naka where we lost a dear brother and Wolfhound. I still cant even put that year behind me, i still feel like im there. That morning was a bone chilling cold, not a thread of clothing would keep you warm. We had to huddle up in our positions on the O.P's and trucks. I rememberthis specifically because ofthe fact that i was wraped up in a blanket with wes pulling guard on a gun truck behind a 50 cal. All we did was talk n smoke. Actually i was smoking while he was telling me to quit. Not something i wanted to hear first thingin the morning. It had been a long nite and we were all tired, just waiting for the sun to come up. I remember wes asking me how marriage and kids were. I told him to take it a day at a time because u never know what tomarrow may bring. Told him about my daughter and how much i loved n missed playing with her, He told me about his christmas plans and how much he was excited to be seeing josaline. He had that goofy look on his face. That was the last time i talked to him. A couple of hours later my team and i was on top of a moutain where we watched his position take fire. We were to far away to do anything. We ran down to the trucks where we took control of another vehicle. Me and sgt clarke moved down to securte the lz for the medivac. I remember a vehicle bringing down wes on a stretcher. 4 of us took wes down to the medivac, it wasnt till then that i realized that wes had been killed. I was angry. I still am. It aint fair. Wes is the definition of a true american hero, nothing else can describe him better. I miss him badly. Im proud to have been his friend. Im sorry it has taken me so long to say anything. Once a Wolfhound allways a legend. Please feelfree to contact me at www.h8eraid2001@yahoo.com"
Spc. Joseph Jensen of Schofield Barracks, HI

"My name is Cameron Schilling and I have started “Portrait of a Soldier” which donates a portrait sketch of every Illinois soldier who has fallen in Iraq or Afghanistan. All 122 sketches will be on display for a Memorial Day Presentation in Chicago, Illinois on May 26-31 at the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. After the ceremony the sketches will be given to the immediate families of the Illinois soldiers. I would invite any friends or family members to come and honor these men and women from Illinois who have given their lives to our country. For more information please contact OperationHomeFront.org at 866-417-8889 which is an organization headed by the Lt. Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois who is in charge of the Memorial Day Presentation. Thank You.

Please check out www.portraitofasoldier.org
To contact Cameron email cameronschilling84@hotmail.com
To contact Operation Home Front call 866-417-8889"
Cameron Schilling of Charleston, Illinois

"TO the honored family of our fallen brother, Wesley R Wells: I will never forget your son, although I never knew him in life. His name and the date of his death will forever be printed on my heart. I remember looking down at his id tag and seeing he was roman catholic - i quickly said a hail mary, as there was no priest around - and we then cleaned him up as best we could while waiting for air support to transport him to the main base in Bagram to start his journey home to his family... i still remember the other two soldiers who came in later that day with the fate of being sent home - Tony Oales and Robert Gooden ( think i spelled his last name correct )... I want you to know i will never never never forget your son and the sacrafice he made for each of us. He will always remain in my heart as a brother. I know i never knew him in life, but i do feel pain at his death, and i feel honored to have washed his face before sending him home to you... I will never forget your son and brother"
SSG Jeanette Birdell ( was at FST - FOB Salerno) of Kansas City, MO

"Heather and Tiffany,

I came across this news while doing a research assignment as an Army ROTC student at Northern Arizona University. Although we only met for a few days a long time ago (March of 1996 in Arizona), I remembered your names and the fact that you were from Libertyville. I'm not sure you'll get this or not, seeing as how it's been a while, but regardless, I'm so sorry for your loss. Every loss is tough, but when there is a name attached that has significance, it's even more heartfelt. Your brother was a hero and was doing an amazing service for people he had no connection to.

God bless your family. Your loss is still fresh but hopefully you will find relief with time.

Take care,
Greg B."
Greg B. of Flagstaff, AZ

"My name is Cameron Schilling. I am a college student from central Illinois. I am the first generation of my family not to serve his country. I am extremely grateful for the sacrifice you and your loved one has given for the United States. I am disappointed by the way the news media has covered this war and the deaths of our youth. The media has stopped listing the names of the soldiers killed in Iraq and people only talk about the soldiers when we reach a specific milestone in deaths. If you just started watching the news today you would not even know there is a war going on. Partisan politics have replaced coverage of our young generation who have traveled to a foreign land in the name of the United States. Whether you believe the war in Iraq is wrong, right, justified or not everyone should pay even just a little more attention to what these young men and women are sacrificing. This is what I would like to do. I want to do my part in honoring these soldiers and their memories. Along with being a college student I am also a budding artist. I draw pencil portraits of local people in my community. I want to offer a pencil portrait sketch to the immediate family of every Illinois soldier killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Please contact me at cameronschilling84@hotmail.com."
Cameron of Illinois

"To Joani and Wes,
I am a friend of Brian/Carrie/Blaire Doherty, I am just so sorry for your loss, I can't even imagine. I had personl experiences with 9/11 and Wes was defending us all and our country, what a hero! You can't ask for anything else, so brave, smart, great friend to many and believed in our nation. My thoughts are with you and your family."
Michael Kramer of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

"My name is Mike Carlson and I grew up in the same neighborhood as Wes and his sisters. I hadn't talked to Wes since he was a little kid. I just want to say to his family and friends how sorry I am and I how proud I am of him. I am humbled to know that the little kid from down the street grew up to be a true American Hero. We can't thank you enough Wesley."
Mike Carlson of Libertyvillle IL, USA

"To Wes' Family

My name is Brian Ward. Please forgive me for taking so long to write the family. I learned of Wes' passing after it happen, however I just recently found this site. I want to express my heart-felt condolences. Wes and I went to school together and played baseball together when we were little. Not to mention playing basketball at St. Joe’s. Wes was definitely an original. He never feared expressing himself or what others would think of him, which truly set him apart from the rest. Although I never saw him again after the family moved from Libertyville, I can still remember Wes for his unique personality. I pray for your family that you may understand that Wes gave his life with dignity so all of us may enjoy freedom. In honor of Wes and all the fallen soldiers, I leave this poem I wrote:

Fallen Soldiers in the front line
Thank you for giving your life to save mine.

I praise you everyday
For the ultimate sacrifice you gave.

Similar to Jesus in your own right
We admire your courage and your might.

Let God be with your family
And allow all Americans to remember your glory.

Let your family know in their mind
That you gave your life to save mine.

When you go home tonight;
Home to the glory of the heavens;
We will always remember you sacrifice
And hope to God no one else has to give their life

Thank You Fallen Soldiers.

God Bless Wes!!"
Brian Ward of Libertyville, IL USA

"If any of Wesleys family wants to contact me please email me at nicholas.cox@us.army.mil

thank you
Nicholas Cox of Mililani, HI

"My name is SSG Nicholas Cox and I was the Squad Leader for Wesley. I just want to say to his family that I'm sorry for their loss. When I found out the news I was on leave in Hawaii with my wife and 2 year old daughter. There is not a day that goes by where I do not think about Wes and wish I could have been there for him. If there was ANYTHING I could have done for him I would have. Wesley was a great soldier and a true American hero. I had the privlage to work with him as soon as he came in the Army. I am really devistated by what happened to young Wes. I just wanted to appologise to everyone but I feel so responsible for what happened and maybe if I would have been there, things would have been different. It was an honor to serve with Wes and I would rather have 1 of him than 1000 other soldiers. To Wesleys family, I just want to say thank you for raising such a great American hero. In loving memory of SPC Wesley R. Wells, Thank you and God bless,

SSG Nicholas Cox"
Nicholas Cox of Mililani, HI

"Oh My God-I don't even know where to begin. I have known Wes since we were in high school-I was 15 he was 16. We were inseperable since the day I met him-even going to the same "bad kids" school together!!! I just found out the other day what happened and I am at a loss of words. I LOVED Wes so much-he was like my brother and my best friend. He helped me through so many hard times (was very protective of every guy I dated!) and made me laugh so hard I would cry. Well-today my tears are of a different kind. To his family-his sisters-I cannot describe my sympathy for you. I kept wondering why my emails were getting sent back unreturned...and now I know why. I apologize if this message is erratic-I really can't process this in my head right now. See I remember Wes when he was such a big goof-when we would rent like five movies and get all this junk food and stay up until like 4 a.m and then sleep for awhile..just to wake up and go straight to the tanning salons!!! My whole family loved him and so did I. To his beautiful wife..Im so sorry that I never got to meet you. You must be a very special woman! I remember the last time I saw him I gave him the biggest bear hug I could muster. His face would...to this day...would linger in my head and I would laugh at all the silly stuff we would do and I missed him so much! I would constantly wonder when the next time I would see him and meet his wife. Please-if anybody from his family read this please email me. MBrouillette4784@hotmail.com. To Tiffany-Wes LOVED you so much...he would always brag about you..say how pretty you were. One time..at Allendale...we got into a huge fight and I threw my history book at him. He threatened Tiffany on me!!! And then..five minutes later...we made up and it was like nothing happened. That's the way it was with him. He was full of laughter, smiles and sympathy. He will always be remembered and always cherished. I love you Wes..miss you big time buddy."
Monique Brouillette of Mundelein, IL

"hi my name is don miller i was classmates with wes he was a really unique kid and very fun to be around . my condolences to the family"
don miller of vernon hills ,il

"To Wes' Family,
Forgive me for taking so long to write. I heard of Wes' passing some time ago but have just now come upon this site. I am in the 25th ID currently in Iraq. Back in Hawaii, Wes and I attended a lot of the same gatherings to try and turn our lives around. I'll sorely miss him. I remember when we'd all get together around a bon fire on the North Shore, tell stories and stay up late at night just enjoying life. He had a great sense of humor and was a joy to be around.
As I sit here at my computer in Iraq, I know that my return to Hawaii will be a somber moment because one of my brothers is not returning. My heart goes out to you and your family! I miss him too!! If I can do anything for you, AT ALL, please do not hesitate to ask!! jason.dunn1@us.army.mil"
SGT Jason Dunn of 1-14 Inf, 25th ID(L), Kirkuk Iraq

"If the parants of SPC Ray Hutchinson 502 INF 101st Airborne DIV KIA in Iraq 12-07-03 can contact me. My son SGT Joseph Leonard loved your son and we have his picture on our china cabinet ( the both of them in Mosul just days before Ray went to the Lord. I have often wanted to contact you but I am not sure if you wanted me to do so. I have many chances to speak about the war and I wish that I could tell Rays story but I would not do so with out your blessing. If you could contact my, if you want I would love the chance to talk to you. )770-443-5777 home 404-512-3990"
Tommy Leonard Sr of Dallas GA.30157

"We are so sorry for the loss you have experienced. Our son is in the 2-27th, fighting in Afghanistan, so we know the fear that every parent feels. Your soldier was a brave man, fighting in a good cause, but I know that may be little comfort when you experience such a loss. All our thoughts and sympathies are with you."
Paul and Friederike Wiese of Vacaville, California

"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"

"To Wesley's family,
My sincerest condolences on your loss. I know your pain as I also lost my son in Afghanistan on the same day as Wesley was lost. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time. He will always be remembered as a hero by all of Amwerica."
Terry A. Ward mother of SSG. Tony Bruce Olaes of Westminster, S.C.

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

"Dear Joani- I am so sorry for your loss. Even though I never met him, I knew a lot about him through you and Dick.He was a very courageous young man who with your help especially and others had turned his life around in a Good Orderly Direction. You were a tremendous power of example to him and I know he loved you very much. My prayers will always be with you and him,for my faith tells me he is now one with the Spirit. He put his life on the line for us for a very noble cause-Freedom,Liberty and Peace. For that I will always be extremely grateful for his sacrifice. God Bless our troops for fighting this terrible evil in such far away lands."
John Dickinson of New York City,New York

"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

"I am so sorry for your loss. We too lost a loved one in Aug 2004. We feel your pain. I will keep you in my prayers and may God's peace be with you always."
V Torres of San Antonio, Texas

"To the family of Spc. Wesley Wells, our heartfelt prayers are with you. He gave his life on foreign soil that we might be free in America. He has entered the Hall of Heroes. Thank you for sharing your loved one with our country. Our grandson , LCpl Juston Thacker, gave his life in Afghan on 6/24/04 so we share your hurt pain and pride that we knew such brave men."
Tom Sisk of Princeton, WV

"Dear Joani, Tiffany, Heather, and Jonalyn:

Wes was like a son to me. During the time I had to know him he made me a better person and in his passing his blessings are still lifting my soul... That smile, how could anyone ever forget that smile?

Wes and I laughed a lot and cried some too during the times we walked along life's path together. Wes was one of the funniest guys I’ve ever known. His observations of life in along with his ability to laugh at himself are character traits that I will never forget and are ones I try to nourish in myself. I just loved being around him.

I talk to Wes at night now during my prayers before bed and sometimes during the day. This helps me with my grief because I know that Wes isn’t gone, he’s just in another place, a much, much better place and I know that he can hear me. When I do this, it helps me smile again.

I am sad now only because for the time being I can’t sit with Wes, listen to music with him, go places with him, and laugh out loud with him as we watch life go by together, but in terms of faith and believing in eternity, I know that I’ll see him again tomorrow and this somehow makes all the grief I feel right now more bearable.

Emotionally I did not know how I would make it through the services for Wes, but all four of you showed me how; through your quiet grace, strength, dignity, and composure; I got the strength I needed from each of you… surely a gift from God during some of the most difficult days you will ever experience.

I will remember Wes for the man he had become, one of the best friends I ever had, his incredible bravery, his ability to laugh in the face of adversity, his talent for tackling his problems head on, and for the ultimate sacrifice he made for everyone in this country and in the free world who draws a breath and holds their freedom dear.

Joani and family, please accept me and my family’s deepest sympathies on the passing of Wes. He is a true, BORN IN THE U.S.A. HERO and will never be forgotten."
Brian Doherty & Family of Vernon Hills, Illinois U.S.A.

"To tiffany and family, im very sorry for your loss, my thoughts and prayers will always be with you. He was a son, brother and a Hero. Love always"
Adam Garvanian of Vernon Hills, Il

"Dear Wesley's Family,
I too am a mother of and Army soldier killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. One year ago Aug. 31. 2003 in Shkin. Pfc. Adam L. Thomas was on his second tour. I'm sorry for what happened to your son and what now lies ahead. I wish I could tell you time heals this pain, but as I hear of another soldier killed exespecally Afghanistan it hits me like it was yesterday. I pray for you to have strengh as this will be the hardest thing you will ever have to go through. If you ever need anything just contact me even just to talk about your son. Remember Wesley is an American Hero for all that he gave for Our Country. God be with you. I saw you at the Gold Star Mothers Memorial in Chicago and you made me proud that you attended in honor of your son."
Ellen Thomas of Burbank, Illinois

My deepest sympathies to you and yours. I remember Wes very well. There is a special place in my heart for you. My condolences.
Marcy Lucchesi of Buffalo Grove, IL

"Family and Friends of Wesley:

Thank God that we have people like Wes who put their lives on the line for a higher cause. Please know his sacrifice does not go unnoticed. God rest his soul and give you strength to endure."
of Belmont, CA (formerly of Libertyville, IL)

"Dear Joani,
I am Lynn & Brian Doherty's sister, Patty. Brian & Lynn thought the world of Wes and I am so sorry for the loss of your dear son. I have a son, age 6 and cannot imagine your pain. He was obviously a brave man and a dedicated soldier. My two dear friends Ken & Jennifer Lewis were killed on 9/11; they were flight attendants on AA # 77 which was crashed into the Pentagon. Wes was avenging that terrible attack that took my friends' lives along with 3000 other Americans and our freedom as we knew it before that day. He is a hero and he was fighting for all of us. God Bless you and give you strength. Love, Patty"
Patty Hess of Waterford, Va.

"We only know of Wesley through our grandson but we are deeply grateful for his service and ultimate sacrifice. May God bless Wesley ,family and friends."
Don & Ann Beck of West Bend ,WI

My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. I remember watching Wes turn his life around for A better furture. I will miss Wes, but his spirit will always live on."
Mike Lemke of Lincoln, Ne. 68521

"To the family of Wesley,
Though I don't know you personally, my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of your loss. I grieve for all fallen soldiers but especially one so close to my extended family. May God keep thee and hold thee during this time of pain and loss."
Genevieve M. Wimp-McCann of Waukegan, IL

"To Wesley's Family and Friends. . .

I want to share my deepest sorrow in the loss of Wesley. He was an honored soldier, and his spirit will never be forgotten.

My son Christopher Todd Garrett is stationed in Afganistan and is in the same unit that Westley was in.
Todd sent me the following email, and I wanted to share his thoughts with you.

In his email, Todd wrote:

"Dad, we lost a really great soldier the other day. Today was pretty emotional at the memorial service where I am at. Spc Wells was 20 years old, and his plans upon returning to Hawaii was to get out of the Army and move with his wife back to his hometown near Chicago. There they were going to start a family. It was hard for all of us today. . . . especially when we had roll call and Wesley wasn't there to answer when his name was called . . . followed by taps. He was a great guy and will be missed. I don't really express my spiritual side, however if you get a chance to say a prayer for Wesley, it would be greatly appreciated. He was a true 2-27 Wolfhound, thanks guys."
Dad, just know that I love and miss you all ... Love, Todd

Joani and Wes, my deepest condolences to you and your family on your loss . . . Wesley will be in my thoughts and prayers.

If you would like to visit by phone, please feel free to give me a call:

Jim Garrett

(O) 708 895 8200
(H) 708 283 1988
email JGarr1344@AOL.COM"
Jim Garrett of Olympia Fields, IL

"For Joani & Wes,
Joani, you are a wonderful mother and friend who has endured tremendous hardships. Through all your troubled times you have held your faith and will be the example of love's detirmination for all the people who know you. The sacrifice that Wes has made was in his beliefs to "do-right". What I will always remember will be Wesley's smile while helping others. The sacrifice that Wes made as a hero is also your honor. I thank you for your gift of freedom and love. May the faithful warrior find peace and grace in God's home. I will always remember Wesley R. Wells in my heart forever. Wes is a friend and hero for myself and a nation. "Wes...I will see you on the other side".
With love and admiration,"
Martin L. Willis of Lake Bluff, Illinois, USA

"Joani –

It is my belief that God does not take people from us, that He receives them. My thoughts and prayers are with you today and always. You have been a gift in my life. May God hold you in His arms until you are able to stand alone."
Cheryl Vassau of Lake Villa, IL.


I am so gratful to know you and to have known Wes- he always made me laugh- his spirit will always be alive amongst us. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers and you are loved.

Wesley- I know you will be wathcing over us from the heavens - thank you for the man you were to us in person and the man you will continue to be through our memories and stories of you. You are a true hero in so many ways."
Carmela Richeson of Libertyville, IL USA

"To the Family and Friends of SPC Wesley R. Wells. Our prayers and thoughts are with you in your time of sorrow and great loss. May you find the strength to go on. Wesley will be in our prayers.

The parents of SGT Daniel Lee Galvan, KIA in Afghanistan 8-12-2004

Ernest & Nelda Galvan, and Family"
Blas E. Galvan of Moore, Oklahoma

"to Joani, and Wes---
your brilliant,luminous spirits shall
always prevail...
as will Wesley's vision of freedom and
I love you both---God grant us the courage to go on..."
Lynn Doherty of Lake Bluff , Illinois

"To Joani, Wes' great mom:

I love you and will do anything I can to help with our terrible loss. I miss Wes so much, kept hoping some mistake was made, that it wasn't true. Please let me help anytime, anyway."
Dick Schmitz of Libertyville, IL

"To Wesley'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 prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your soldier's bravery and sacrifice.


The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
Gloria Caldas (The Big Ern's Mom) of San Antonio, TX

"To Wesley's Family:
There are no words to express the sorrow we feel for your loss. May God bless you and help you through this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"To the family of Spc Wesley Wells:
We understand your pain and sorrow.We will lift your family up in prayer. Wesley is a hero to us all. We appreciate the sacrifices our military personnel are willing to make. Freedom is not free.Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
The family of LCpl Juston Thacker KIA 6/24/04 Afghanistan
If we can help please do not hesitate to contact us @ lcpljustontthacker.com"
T E Sisk of Princeton WV

"Thank you Wesley Wells, 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 Spc. Wesley Wells:
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 Wesley 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 Spc. Wesley Wells:
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 Wesley, 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