Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Kurtis D. K. Arcala

22, of Palmer, Alaska.
Arcala died in Tikrit, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his position during convoy escort operations. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia. Died on September 11, 2005.

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"Yes, itís been 15 years now that your life was taken by an IED in Iraq, fighting for freedom for a country that still is unsettled. Your honor, service and sacrifice will never be forgotten. God bless your family and friends as they carry on without you physically in their lives but will always carry love for you in their hearts 💕. 9/11/2020"
Cheryl Keep of Ellsworth, Maine, USA

"Yes, itís been 15 years now that your life was taken by an IED in Iraq, fighting for freedom for a country that still is unsettled. Your honor, service and sacrifice will never be forgotten. God bless your family and friends as they carry on without you physically in their lives but will always carry love for you in their hearts 💕"
Cheryl Keep of Ellsworth, Maine, USA

"Well, it is actually 15 years in September of this year (please forgive my typing error in 2016ís message when it should have been 11 years not 15) since your life was taken way too soon by an IED in Tikrit, Iraq. I just want to say that your sacrifice and service to our country and for your fellow servicemen/women will not be forgotten by our family. Our hearts still feel the loss but we know you now rest in the arms of our Lord and yours❣️
Always remembered by the Keep family,"
Cheryl Keep of Ellsworth, Maine

"Well, it is actually 15 years in September of this year (please forgive my typing error in 2016ís message when it should have been 11 years not 15) since your life was taken way too soon by an IED in Tikrit, Iraq. I just want to say that your sacrifice and service to our country and for your fellow servicemen/women will not be forgotten by our family. Our hearts still feel the loss but we know you now rest in the arms of our Lord and yours❣️
Always remembered by the Keep family,"
Cheryl Keep of Ellsworth, Maine

"15 years have passed since your sacrifice, Kurtis, and the Keep family has not forgotten. What a hard anniversary for your family. Not that any year is easy. I pray your family has strengthened in your absence through these years. They have a lot to be proud of! I salute you!
In remembrance of you,
Cheryl Keep
Cheryl Keep of Grand Bay, Alabama

"Hey Kurt,
Its Spoon again..its been 10 years and I still miss you. Your picture hangs in my family room and all my kids know who are, even though they never met you. I still hear your voice in my head, keeping me safe or giving me bad advice about women."
SFC James Wotherspoon of E Troop, 2-1 CAV, !SBCT, 4ID, Fort Carson, CO

"To Kurtis's family, friends and fellow soldiers:
It's been 10 years since you last saw his smile, heard his voice, shared a meal or joke together. I pray that with the tears that fall remembering such a brave and generous young man God will change many of those tears into smiles with your wonderful memories of him. RIP Kurt (I'm sure you are) and God bless the rest of those who had the pleasure of loving and knowing you. Your sacrifice is not forgotten."
Cheryl Keep of Ellsworth, Maine, USA

"Hey Kurt,I was going through old pictures yet again. you always knew how to keep that smile. I think about you every once and again. my Barracks body guard! i keep your pictures and always remember to "hang loose" as you would say! your always thought about! <3"
SPC Dejesus(then) of FT. Detrick, MD

"Hey Kurt..its year five since you left us. Still feels fresh, think about you every day. I am still fighting the same fight- trying to train and bring home the kids they are sending us. Miss you man."
SSG Spoon of Ft Benning, GA

"Kurt, another year has passed and you loss is still felt as deeply as this day 7 years ago. You may be gone but you still march on the the hearts of all the people you touched in your short time on this earth. Soldier on Kurt we will all see you at the mass formation on the other side..."
Rick Talbot of Buffalo, NY


We were buddies in high school, and I have a few great memories with you in them. And although we were never close, we shared many close friends, and hence, losing you was painful as I could feel it through those that we shared bonds with.

It's 5:30am on Memorial Day, 2012. I know today is a day when, as a serviceman of the US military, people will thank me for my service to this country just like every year on this day. But when I'm thanked, I want you to know the only man I think of is you. You gave everything, and I can't tell you how much your sacrifice means to me."
Robert Baldwin of Anchorage, AK

"KURTIS! just reminiscing about our days on the soccer field...miss ya bud!"
Drew Collins of wasilla alaska

"Hey Kurt, It's Memorial day 2011 as with everyday i am thinking about you. Today is your day. Im sorry you cant be here with the rest of us but thank you for being my hero. Happy Memorial Day buddy! I'll be having a drink for you."
Bryan of Colorado Springs,Colorado

"i miss you so much man. im so sorry i didnt stop it from happening. that morning will forever replay in my head. i wish i could rewind and stop it. to arcalas family i am truly sorry he did not come home. he is without a doubt one of the greatest soldiers i served with. i tattooed his name in dogtags on my wrist so i see it everyday. though i cry every time i see it, the picture i took of him the day he was promoted to sgt is used for his memorial photo, and it makes me happy i took it. it is the most meaning full picture i have ever taken or will ever take. HE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. HE WILL FOREVER BE MISSED AND FOREVER BE LOVED."
ariel olson of detroit, michigan

"My mother, LCDR Deborah Redman, assisted in the care of this young hero, SGT Kurtis Arcala, and as he crossed over, she simply held his hand and talked sweetly to his soul. May you rest in peace, and may those whose lives you've touched, never forget."
Fiora McRae of San Antonio, Texas

"To Kurtis Arcala's family--our family first learned of Kurt from our son, Adam, who was stationed in Tikrit with him. Our son came home and yours didn't. My heart aches for you but know that the love and laughter from him to those that served with him will never be forgotten and his sacrifice to all Americans in the service of his country will not be forgotten by our family. In love and honor from our family veterans to you, Kurtis' family, God bless you and keep you in his loving hands."
Cheryl & Dan Keep of Canfield, OH

"Hey Kurt, its been 5 years since we lost you but 1st Platoon still keeps your memory alive. We are on our 4th tour here and are hosting our annual BBQ in your memory. We love and miss you brother."
SSG James Wotherspoon of Baghdad, Iraq

"Kurtis you were my brother raised in another family. I can't think of adolescents without thinking about you. I hope that you are happy and smiling by the side of God. I'm sorry we lost touch in the end, but I think of you every day."
Travis of Powell, WY

"Kurt, It's been a long time. I think about you a lot. I have plaque on the wall at my house with your memorial bracelet as the center piece. There were a lot of people who loved you. I can still hear your laugh it still hurts to think about it. I was the one who was supposed to be there and you know what i mean. I wasn't loved the way you were and by any means but you where a rock on which people could hang onto. To all those who had the honor of knowing you were blessed. I tell everyone i can about your story so it lives on forever. You will be immortalized in time in memory. I'm sorry buddy. It's a shame such a phenomenal leader and soldier was taken. RIP my friend. See you some day...im sure."
Anonymous of Ft Carson, CO

"I never want to forget the sacrifices of so many young men and women. I am so proud it makes me cry. I understand in theory only that war is a part of human nature but so is love and caring. I wish I could take the families pain away but I can't. I am committed to loving ALL people, myself and our environment. I am committed to working on my happiness everyday because so many have died for my freedom to live my life. Thank you is not enough but it is all I have. All my love and respect. ogersteiner@yahoo.com"
Scott E. Steiner of Worthington, OH

"Hey buddy. Its four years later and I find myself over here again. There hasn't been a day that goes by that I don't think about you bro. I’m not sure if I will ever be able to put into words how much your memory means to me. I don't take of the memorial bracelet for fear of losing it, and with it you. Anyone that ever asks about you, I tell them what an amazing guy you were. How you looked out for me when I showed up to Cold Steel. I tell them about Hayden's car, about nights in Savannah, about coming back from gunnery, about a great man, a great American, and a great friend. I tell people how special you were, how at your memorial every man in the Company, most veterans of multiple deployments, wept for your lose. I want you and your family to know that even after all this time you, and they, are not forgotten. To the Berberich family: If there is anything I can ever do for you please don't hesitate to ask. Email: papasmith28@hotmail.com"
SGT Thomas Smith of Camp Taji, Iraq

"Kurt, I still think of you every day. You were my roommate and my good friend. We served in OIF 1 and OIF 3 together. Every September 11th, I organize a Charlie company Bar-B-Q in your memory. I love you man...and I can still hear your voice like you are right next to me."
SSG Wotherspoon of C co 2/7 INF, FSGA

"Thank you Kurtis, and Kurtis's family for their great sacrafice. Kurtis you are still a large part of our community, and are greatly missed amongst your friends and family. Jason loves you and I feel like I know you because of him. You died doing what you thought was right, and with honor. Keep watching out for Jason, and your family. Thank You..."
Sunni of Sutton, Alaska, USA

"Dear the Family of Kurtis "Kurt" Arcala,
I was stationed at Ft. Stewart with Kurtis. I actually met him through my husband who was in Kurt's unit.Kurtis was not only a friend, but if it was not for him my husband might not be here today. When it came time for everyone to take their leave from Iraq Kurtis switched dates with my husband so we could go home and get married. Which was at the end of August. This put Kurtis on that mission instead of my husband. Everyday I think of Kurtis. Even more so now that we have a little boy of our own.I can never imagine what it is that you go through. But we wanted to let you know you are in our hearts and our prayers."
The Hargroves of Orlando, Florida

"Hi, in my high school we're making cards for the run for the fallen run, and i wanted to remind you, that none of them are forgotten."
Desiree of Pennsylvania

"To the family of:Kurtis D. K. Arcala I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief. He died a hero defending freedom and we are so grateful for anyone defending our freedom.
Know that I am praying for the peace of God that surpasses all understanding for you and that one day we will all meet in Heaven where we will rest in the arms of Jesus.
If you need someone to talk to or someone to pray with please call my Pastor at Gateway Community Church, Reverand John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd Covington Ga. 30016 Phone 770- 787- 1015 (fax)770-787-8215.Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew"

"March 28, 2008
To the family of Sgt. Kurtis D.K. Arcala:
Kurtis 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

"To the family of Kurtis Arcala my prayers are with you at this time of grief. Kurtis will always be remembered for the great sacrifice that he gave for this country, his life."
Kara of Pocatello, ID

"Kurt was one of my best friends in Ft. Stewart. He was in my first platoon (3rd Plt, C co, 3-69AR). He was one of those guys that everyone loves. I have never met anyone that had anything but a kind word about Kurt. So much love man. You will be missed."
Sgt. Thomas Smith of Fort Huachuca, AZ

"I graduated just across town from Kurtis at Colony High School in 2001. I probably played him in sports and saw him around town. Your loss really hit home. I leave for Iraq tomorrow and want you to know that your memory and sacrifice lives on Brother. You did the Valley, the State, and America pround. I pray I can live up to your dedication to service. RIP.

2LT Brad Krauss
CHS c/o 2001
USMA c/o 2005
3-2 SBCT Ft. Lewis, WA"
Brad Krauss of Ft. Lewis, WA

"If I can do anything for the family of Kurtis, let me know. Though i did not know him, I also spent some time in the Army at Fort Stewart. I do not know if he had any children, but I would love to send them a gift in his name. God Bless Kurtis and his family for their sacrifice. Your spirit lives on, in the lives of every American that has the hard earned right to be free! ronm@gci.net"
Ron McCallion of Wasilla AK


I did not know you, but after meeting your father and brother I felt compelled as a son of a retired Lt. Colonel and a fellow American to let you know that you did not die in vain, but for a country that holds you up as a GREAT AMERICAN HERO. More young people could learn from your unselfish example....THANK YOU and GOD BLESS!"
Dan Check of Palmer, Ak

"I am so sorry for your loss. I lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
My surname is Arcala. I want to know about this soldier, maybe he was part of my family.
thank you very much.
Damian Arcala of Buenos Aires/Argentina

"We bid farewell to family and friends,
in hope that someday well live as brothers.
I pray for the day that all wars will end,
and my fate shall be spared to others.

It was the war to end all wars,
this is what they had said.
after all these years,
Alaska still counts him dead.

I was a true Alaskian,
I wish you could see.
all I ask is,

In war I fought and died,
I thought it did cease.
now under the blue beret,
I died for world peace.

Like Michael Ralph,John Ternapalski, plus the thousands of soldiers before.
on September 11th remember
I died for peace not war.

I was a true Alaskian,
I wish you could see.
all I ask is
michelle thompson of port richey florida

"Although I did not know Kurtis, I am very sorry for the loss of another Arcala. May his name be forever in the hearts of all Americans!"
Thomas J. Arcala Jr. of Westminster, Ca. USA

"arcala family,
we will never forget the name "arcala" he was a good freind of our family member "sgt.michael deliberti" he told us how much of a great guy your son was. he would not stop crying he was in the worst position ever . arcala was like a brother to him they were always by each others side no matter what.he will always be in our heart and love. he will not be forgotten in our heart.we are sorry for your lost as well as michaels. we wish the best to you!"
deliberti family of port richey florida

"i dont know you but you were good freinds with my uncle(sgt.michael deliberti)and when he told me i was so upset i cried for a very long time because you were so young and
good looking and you had your whole life ahead of you . i just wish the best for you and your family."
michelle thompson of port richey florida

"Family of Kurtis Arcala,
I am so sorry for your loss. As we go over the hard times of wars in school, we thought it would be nice to pay our respect to those who are heros to our country. So as i say im sorry im also saying THANK YOU for all of u guys out there being our heros."
Alexis Gruntman of Cotlleville MO, U.S.

"Dear Family of Kurtis, Last night at a candlelight vigil in front of our Federal Building we honoured your son and the three other young men from Alaska, all age 22, who have lost their lives. I want you to know that if you ever visit Ketchikan, If you'd like, I would look forward to showing you about. Our hearts go out to you!!!
Wishing you well!

Perry Aiken Reeve of Ketchikan, Alaska

"I am so sorry to learn of the death of your son. It has been 15 years since I left Palmer Middle School, but I have fond memories of all the students that came through my 7th & 8th grade classes. I remember the Berberich family well. My son now 22 is also currently in Iraq on his second tour. Please know that my heart aches for you and your family. Know that our thoughts and prayers are with your family. America has lost another true HERO. The land of the free because of the BRAVE."
Doris Ayres of Richland, WA

"If anyone reading about Kurtis has a photo of him in his dress uniform, please post it. Thank you"
Blue Star Mother of Missouri

"I offer my deepest sympathy to the Arcala family. I have a son who is 21 and can't even imagine what you are going through. May God give you strength during these difficult times. God bless all the men and women who have given their lives for us."
L of Ma.

"My son grew up with playing soccer with Kurtis so I had the pleasure and honor of watching this smiling boy grow to be a fine young man. I sadly, but proudly, attended the celebration of his life last week. It was heartwrenching for all.
Thank you for a place to honor and pay tribute to all who have served and died to protect our freedoms.
My prayers go out to the families of the military everywhere.
When Kurtis gave up his seat to another soldier last month, he told his Mom he'd be home in September. I don't believe he meant it would be his final trip home. God rest his soul. God bless your loving family.
Forever in our hearts you will stay, Kurtis."
Terry of Palmer, AK

"To the family of Kurtis Arcala,
It is at times such as these, we can't help remembering our fragile life is. Wishing you strength in the love of family and the warm embrace of friends to help you thru your pain. Know as a nation we mourn with you. Kurtis will be remembered for his ultimate sacrifice for us all. There are no words to describe how thankful we are for Kurtis's dedication, and commitment to our country."
Jana Becker-Marine Mom of Glennallen AK

"I am verry sorry for your loss. My brother Spc. Travis Anderson was KIA 05/13/05. He was in the 7th infantry reg and 3ID as was Kurtis. They were stationed together at Fort Stewart. They are true heros. I will never forget their sacrifice."
Toscha Alcorta of North Pole AK

"To the Arcala Family, I am so sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with all of you. Your Kurtis is a true American Hero who will always be remembered and honored. May God Bless you all and God Bless Kurtis."
Mary Ghaney of Brooklyn, New York

"Arcala was the voice of reason when no one else wanted to be. He was a good man who would do just about anything for his friends. We will all miss him and are better for having know him. On behalf of all of charlie company, we wish you eventual peace on the long journey ahead."
Brooke Dinkins of Ft. Stewart, GA

"I am Very sorry for your loss. Our family will never forget. Our son Mike was KIA March 7, 2005 Ramadi. May you find comfort in the coming days to know others are thinking of you."
Tina Franklin, Mike's Mom of Coudersport, PA, USA

"I am truly sorry for your loss. May you find comfort and strength in God to face the days ahead.

Michele Carter
Sister of CPL Gary Walters
KIA in Baghdad, 24 April 2005"

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


"Thank you Kurtis K. Arcala, 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 Sgt. Kurtis K. Arcala:
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 Kurtis 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 Sgt. Kurtis K. Arcala:
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 Kurtis, 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