Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Richard Arriaga

20, of Ganado, Texas.
Arriaga was killed in an ambush by small arms fire and rocket propelled grenade in Tikrit, Iraq. He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 4th Battalion, 42nd Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas. Died on September 18, 2003.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. Richard Arriaga.


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

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"Your legacy lives in our family forever. Richard you were my older brother and I miss you so much. I am now a married man with a family. I have taught my kids how to honor your memory and sacrifice. As we approach the anniversary of the day you died, I am reminded of how fragile life is and how I must cherish every moment. We miss you deeply and think of you often. I hope I continue to make you proud.
Love you,
Joe Manuel Salinas and family!"
Joe Manuel Salinas of Victoria, TX

"15 years later.. I love you and miss you oh so much! The date is February 20, 2019. See you soon Richard."

"I think that is one of the most significant information for me. And i am glad reading your article. crazy kitchen game"
Lucille F. Parham of Los Angeles

"I miss you so much Richard. Wish you could be here to help us out but I am glad you are in a far better place."
Your favorite sister, Winnie of Ganado

I would just like to say thank you to you and the other two soldiers from your unit who were also killed in that attack for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

"Festina Lente"(Make Haste Slowly)
42ns FA Motto"

"Thinking of Richard on this Memorial Day weekend. He was a great soldier and man. It was an honor to serve with him."
CPT Dan Murray of Lawrence, KS

"Hey, daddy I was looking through some letters of yours am moms I found a picture of you then i found a thing were you can put 2 pictures in so i put a photo of you and mom. Thinking about coping the picture and putting it in to a locket.So you'll be with me all the time. I really miss you I cant wait to see you again. love you forever."
bianca arriaga of Grand Parire, tx

"Hey, daddy its bianca I miss you so much I wish that you were here with me helping with my homework after school.I need and want you here with me.If i had to choose one person in the world to see it would be you.I miss and, I love you"
bianca(daughter) of grand parire, tx

"Hey Richard, Bessie here. It's crazy how long it has been since you passed. It honestly doesn't even feel real. Since I only knew you for a short time, my memory of you is very brief but I try to hold onto it as much as I can. I truly do miss you. And I think you would be proud to know that your daughter looks just like you. Bianca Mia is so smart and so beautiful. You're my hero and her hero. We love you. I can't wait to see you again!"
Bessie of Grand Prairie, Tx

"Hi I never saw you but I see pitchers of you and I wish you were still her I have memory's of hiring you say my name and I pray to god every night to tell him to tell you my day 😕 I still think how life would be with you I wish you have not died when the year I was born but you will always be in my heart"
Siana of Ganado tx


"All our Love"
Enrique of lockhart tx

"hay richard, ty for always helping me with my prayors. i know god is very buessy and u had the time and i know ur an angel that can geterdun so i will always ask u for help. ty for all ur help son.u are my hero. u died for a coz tho most civilions will never understand but im not mad about anything and like always if God wishes me to fix it it will be put infont of me. i will continue to make changes for the good and i will always,always! think,pray,love and miss u sooo much son. i wasnt ready to see u go away for so long but help me stay on earth and help me out live cancer agian. well i love u so much and..... LOVE U LIL MAN!"
travis eastlick of duluth mn

"On this veterans day (11-11-12) I reflect on the many men and women we lost in war especially the soldiers assigned to 4-42 FA like Richard Arriaga. This brave soldier volunteered to leave the Brigade TOC and join his comrades assigned to Striker Platoon. He was a model individual with a bright future ahead and allot to live for. I would like for his family to know during before and during our deployment to Iraq SPC Arriaga was one of our most professional young soldier and he meant allot to those of us who served with him. To his mom (Barbara) thank you for allowing him to serve.

CSM(ret)Howell 4-42 FA"

"9 years ago today my heart was pierced with the worst news a mother could ever hear. The knock on the door. My little boy was not going to be walking through the door saying " mom, I'm home" anymore. Every second of the day I think about My Hero, My Son, My Richard. I miss you so very much. I know that you are watching over your sisters , your daughter , and your nephew and nieces. We love you and know that we will see you again someday. Richard please watch over Brandon, Natalie and the girls too. Forever in our hearts my son."
Barbara (mom) of Ganado,Texas

"John 15:13

Matthew 5:9

Nat Alvarez III
Corporal USMC"

"Hey man..still miss you, you were me and Joe Manuel's older brother. Wish you were still here, you'd have fixed everything..still trying to follow in your footsteps. Been doing pretty good myself and its always nice knowing you're watching over me as well. Would love to talk to you again...try to knock some sense into my bro for me haha, and keep my family safe while I'm gone too please. I honestly think about you everyday, I'm about to be 20 just like you were..I don't know what else to say really, I just miss you. Miss your smile and your laugh man, how you'd always protect us from Sherrie when she wanted to try dressing us up lol, I remember you taking Steven home when he was too drunk to walk, I remmeber everything..I remember that chill I felt going down my spine when I heard you had passed. They say only the good die young, and you were the best. Love you Richard."

"Even though we never met, I feel a [small] connection as I attended school with your mother and Aunt long before you were born. I'm sure you were far from ordinary, had much to live for, would have made great contributions to this world, and everyone who knew you would probably say the same. You only lived 20 short years, but you more than likely accomplished more than most people accomplish in a lifetime. More than likely, you brought so much joy into the lives of your family and friends; it is hard to imagine that they can still go on without you. And while their hearts ache, when they think of you and your exceptional life, they most definitely smile. Congratulations on living your life the way we all should..."
Isaac Gonzales of Los Angeles, CA

"Richard, it has been more than eight years and you are not forgotten. One day, I would like to travel and meet your son and tell your wife and mother how brave you were. I don't know how our country is fortunate enough to be blessed with young men and women like you who step up when they are needed. You are a hero of the highest caliber, and you are missed."
David Casper of Benton , KY

"I miss you"
Justin bures of vanderbilt, Texas

"It has been 8years since the good lord called you home. Not a day goes bye that you are not in my thoughts and always in my heart.It still hurts but at least now i know that you are not alone . Please take of yourself and Popo Steve i am sure you both have already gone fishing love you always Aunt lucy"
Lucy Glaze of Ganado,tx USA

"We will never forget you Richie! You took me under your wing and taught me how to be a Proud American Soldier. I Miss You Brother!"
SSG Bryan J Doe of Massachusetts

"A few years ago I left a message on here. Just want you to know that time may pass but your memory remains forever. Much love Richie"
El Chachi of USA

"I love you!"
Maggie (your wife)

"Hello Richard. Like many of the other messages left for you I did not know either. I'm just a reporter for the local newspaper in Jackson County and met your family for a feature story on your life and actions. I can say that I am lucky and proud to have met them to learn about you. May God continue to bless your daughter that she will understand that although her dad is not here today he is a hero to a great many people. I hope your memory never fades away and your actions are never forgotten. God Bless you soldier!!"
Kendrick Callis of Edna, Texas/USA

"because of an organization called warriors weekend that is put on in may in pt. o conner texas i have met a wonderful young man who was with my little boy the night he was called home. i thank god for bringing him into my life. i pray that god will keep him safe in his hands forever."
barbara falcon {richards mom] of ganado texas

"SPC Arriaga,

I was the lead agent for CID who investigated your death. I hope you and your family know how heroic you and your brothers were on 18 Sep 03. Our investigation showed how you and your fellow Soldiers fought together and 3 of you lost your lives.

A day never goes by that you, Thompson and Wright are not in my thoughts. I pray that God will always watch over your family and especially over your daughter.

I hope your family will learn that 5 of the 6 insurgants responsible for your untimely death were in custody when I left in Jan 04. They were sent to trial in 06, in Baghdad, but I do not know the results. I also do not know what happened to the 6th insurgant, but we knew where he was just before I left.

Although we have never met in this life, I hope to meet you in the next. I wish you were home with your family, but you and your brothers will always be heroes of the highest order. I pray that someone told your family what a good man and hero you are (and always will remain).

Vaya Con Dios until we meet one day.
Dave Casper of Garden City, MI

"Para la familia de Arriaga. Its been about seven years since the Good Lord took Richard. I served with him in Iraq. He used to drive us around in the M113 when we had some missions. He was usually smiling, I guess it was because he was always having fun. So sad that a young soldier can go and fight and die for his country but yet he is to young to drink a beer. When he passed I believe his wife had just had a baby. I hope they are doing well. Siempre pensando en ti.
Steban T. Ramos of Copperas Cove, Tx

""To the family of Richard Arriaga ,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""

"wow, i remember the day my aunt was told about his passing. we were actually at another funeral((r.i.p uncle gilbert.)) i didn't know richard too well. but from what i did know and hear about him, he was a great man. its hard enough to forget someone you know. i didn't think it would be like that with someone i barely knew. i just remember a fellow GHS classmate crying at a fb game and didn't know why...well come to find out, she knew Richard too. how crazy is that. i wish i would have known, i probably would have cried with you girl. 5 years 8 months and 4 days later, and i still remember that day like it was yesterday. R.I.P RICHARD ARRIAGA."

"I was a medic with the 4th Infantry Division in Tikrit, Iraq 2003. Infact, I was one of the medics that was there the night of September 18th..part of the team that treated Richard Arriaga after the terrible event that occured. I'm not sure if anyone in his family has any questions about that particular night but I would be more than happy to answer them the best way I know how. I can be reached by email at fthoodmedic4id@yahoo.com I am sorry for your loss and you are in my prayers always."
silent medic of USA

"hey Richard,its your sister lindsey[winnie].bianca mia comes down every now and then.every time she comes she looks more and more like you.she is very smart.lil richard and raina already know alot about you and they also know that bianca is they're cousin.they already know that you are they're uncle.bianca already knows alot about you.she tells us that "that is my daddy" when ever she see's a picture of you .when i think of you i say to my self that you are a brave man.you are our hero and will always be in our hearts.
your sister
winnie or lindsey"
lindsey of ganado, texas

"richard you were my only brother and i miss you.mom,dad ,gordy and me love you so much.sherrie even misses you to.you never got to see lil richard ,raina,or yuor daughter bianca mia.i remember when you would come home and i would be waiting for you on the couch,so we could watch sponge bob together.we love you so much .
your sister,
lindsey of ganado,tx

"Richard Arriaga was a good godbrother and was good to me and loved me like a brother and i miss im and one day i well see him and have fun and play some football"
Angel Cortez of Ganado T.X.

"Richard, you are in my thoughts so often. Your laugh is still in my mind whenever I think back on times that we shared back in Iraq. God bless you Bud."
SSG (Ret.) Gene Montoya 4/42F.A. of Prineville, OR / USA

"March 28, 2008
To the family of Spc. Richard Arriaga:
Richard 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

"Tody is september the 18 2007. It has been 4 years today that God took my little boy home. Not a day goes by that I dont think about him. His sisters talk about their hero all the time.They were just 4&2 at the time. I know he is in abetter place now, where no one can hurt him. Ilove you& miss you my boy. LOVE MOM, LINDSEY, HANA"
Barbara Falcon of Ganado, Texas

"Yo Richie, what's up on the other side lil cuz? You know, I was a few days away from leaving Iraq when Sidebottom woke me up cause I was late for KP and he says to me, "Golf troop got attacked last night. Arriaga's dead." Yeah, he was never much for subtlety. Took a minute to register but you know I was always a musician. Man, I wrote a song in your memory that day...things will be changed around a bit if it ever gets out. Your name doesn't need to be thrown out there on the radio making the ones you love cry every time...I think about you a lot man. Me and some of the boys close to you, like Ribas, talked a lot about you after that news came. We loved you then and we'll love you always. Sucks, at the time I was in trouble and they didn't even let me go to your funeral but what's a silly ritual for the moment you passed on? I'd rather a celebration for the life you lived. I hope that wherever you are, you're happy. I know you're looking out for your wife and kid and you always will. Much love man, and that's for real."
El Chachi of USA

"My dearest Richie it has been 3 long tearful years since you went to be with our lord .Not a day goes by that I don't think of you and wish you were here.But I won't be selfish I will hope to see you one day. Love and Hugs Aunt lucy"
Lucy Eastlick of Ganado,Tx

"hey rich, its me bata, man everyday all i do is cry because we used to be so close when we younger. since we were in the same grade, born the same year and month. but all i think about is that the last time i saw u, we had just turned 17. that makes me feel crappy. im a crappy aunt.it just sucks that, thats the last memory of u that i have. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND MISS YOU. IM SO SORRY THAT THINGS TURNED OUT LIKE THIS. i wish it would all go away."
melissa hernandez (tia Bata) of austin texas

"Hey Richard I miss you alot. we moved to Hobbs New Mexico. We never really talked when I got the chance to maybe I should have sent you more messages well I'll write you later."
Bessie Sowders of Hobbs,New mexico

"I serveed with Richie at Hood and in Iraq. I will never forget the good times we had. You always had a way of cheering me up and making me laugh. I will always remember you! To the family of SPC Arriaga I am sorry for your loss,he will never be forgotten!"
SSG Martin, Jeffery S of Camp Casey Korea

"Hey Richard, I just wanted to say that I miss you and I'll never forget all the crazy times! I love ya cuz!"
Destiny Sless of Louise, Texas, USA

"Hey Richard,It's me Chelsea I know you barely knew me but I knew yaou and I luv ya I can't talk long so Bye"
Chelsea Delgado of Giddings, Tx

"Hey Richard it's me Bessie again I luv ya to the bottom of my heart and when ever me and the other girls got in a fight your problem you had whith when Jr. wouldn't talk to you and he said how he failed his chance to talk to you before you died and that is why I cied during the count down.The last time I saw you was at my B-day party.Jedemias said hi I miss you alot and well Happy Birthday Merry Christmasl and Happy New Years!!!My mom ,my dad, and Chelsea said hi and that they miss you Luv ya you are my hero!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -Bessie"
Bessie Sowders of Giddings, Tx

"Hey Richard Its me Leanna I just wanted to say Merry Christmas, Happy New year and Happy Birthday. I love you from the bottom of my heart, and even though its been two years since you died I still sometimes cry at night because I know that your not coming back. Bianca Mia is now two years old and she knows that you are her daddy. When I show her a picture of you and I say who is this she will say Daddy Richard. Sometimes just out of the blue she will say Nana Daddy Richard. So i give her a picture of you and she will walk around with it in her hand and talk to the picture. Luv ya always your my hero."
Leanna Delgado of Giddings, Tx

"Hey Richard I couldn't go to your funeral because I had a football game. I'm so sad cause' I barely even knew you, and I'm so mad because I missed out on a great person/hero. Love always, you're my hero!!"
kenneth Sowders of Giddings, Tx

"Hey Richard I couldn't go to your funeral because I had a football game. I'm so sad cause' I barely even knew you, and I'm so mad because I missed out on a great person/hero. Love always, you're my hero!!"
kenneth Sowders of Giddings, Tx

"Dear Richard,
I barley even knew you. I didn't even get to go to your funeral, Because I had a football game, I would've canceled it but my dad told me not to. I'll always love you from the bottom of my heart. Love always, you're my hero"
Roman delgado of Giddings, Tx

"Hey Richard I'ts me bessie I know you really don't know me but I know you. I miss you a lot and I wish you were here. I'm here and it's the first of Janurary, oh god well when we were about to do the countdown me, shyanne, Leanna, and Bianca were crying down waterfalls because you weren't there and Everyone didn't seem to care, but in your heart you should always know that we do and When I say "we" I mean Me, Shyanne, Leanna, and Bianca. Luv ya always, You're my hero!!"
Bessie Sowders of Giddings, Tx

"Hey Richard it's me shyanne Well Today is new years eve and I really wish you were here the whole family spent Christmas without you and it hurt really bad knowing you weren't there anymore. Me leanna And Bonx missed you we talked and talked saying how much we missed you and Bonx felt bad because she said you never really KNEW her so I send hugs and kisses from her to you and wish you a happy new year! Your my hero! Love always"
shyanne leigh Ortega of RoundRock,tx

"Well lets see, I have only known you a little while before you left to war, you were a sweet person and I could tell you were very much in love with Maggie. I really havent seen Bianca but I have seen pictures and she is very beautiful. God Bless Richard"
Jessica Bonin of Austin, Tx USA

"Hey Richard It's me shy I'm doing really good and I wanted to talk to you because Somethings on the other hand are going a little shaky , but I just wanted to tell you whats been going on. Well where do I start Aunt Tammie is having a baby oh I can't wait. One more cousin will do it, or should I say one more little boy. Then Dolores just had her sweet sixteen she looked sooooo beautiful if only if only you were there. I hate seeing your army picture, you look so sad and with you being sad I'm sad as well and I miss you so much please guide me through life to make the right decisions.Your my hero"
Shyanne Ortega of Round Rock, Tx

"I was Spc. Arriaga's Gunner on the night of the ambush. Arriaga was a good man, high spirited, and always happy. I donít think I've seen a day where he wasnít. He was a good friend; we always would find something to do to pass the time. I loved him like a brother; he will forever be in my memories and never be forgotten."
Spc. Cross of Bay City, MI

"we miss you and love you, you are like a son to me and Tc. We love you, you are always in our mind."
Francisco & Aracelis Mejorado of Houston, TX

"He was my friend and I miss him, I knew him shortly in Iraq but he made an impact on me, Derrick and everyone else he talked to. Still think of him and the candle that was extinguished too soon."
David Vazquez of El Monte, California

"dear richard,
I miss you,you were always a good cousin.I love you richard,and your always going to be my hero!"
savannah of round rock,tx

"Richard it's shy I miss you so much I pray to you everynight hoping you hear them I wish you would come back, knowing you can't, I still hold your love and care in my heart I just wanted to tell you that the note I gave you was supposed to be for when you came back but I just put it in your hand I miss you and hope to see you in my dreams.Your my hero!!!!"
Shyanne Ortega of Round Rock, tx

"Richie, I miss you so much, I know you are looking down on your beautiful baby girl right now. You are never forgotten."
Jeremy Hafer of Baytown, Tx

"hey richard i didnt get to meet you but i know your parents rosie and richard arriaga and your brothers carlos and joey im family by enis arriaga hes my g-pa.youll always be in my prayers."
rebecca guajardo of freeport, texas

"Just wanted to say that I miss you so much, I wish you were here to help me get through the dayz. I hope and pray that Lil Richie turns out to be like you. And learns how to be as kind and caring as you were. Love Always your sister SHERRIE CORTEZ And Nephew Richard"
Sherrie Cortez of Ganado Texas

"To the family and friends of Richard "Ray Ray" Arriaga:
I knew Ray Ray (as we called him) for a short while. He was one of my AIT and BFIST students when I was an instructor. It was an honor and a pleasure teaching someone who wanted to learn so much about the Army. He will always be remembered as an outstanding soldier, brother-in-arms, and friend. He will be sorely missed."
CW2 Lee Sutton of Fort Irwin, CA

"This is for the family of Richard Arriaga. My name is angel richards and I am a member of American Soldier Memorial project, we stitch a beautiful picture for the family in memory of the fallen soldier. I have just finish one for this family but we dont have an address to mail it to. If anyone could help, that would be greatly appriecated. You can email me at bouncy_tigger@comcast.net. Thank you so much."
angel richards of wixom, MI

"You'll always be remembered. You've touch the hearts of everyone you come in contact with. You'll always be our hero. We love you Richard."
Donna Mae, Shyanne & Savannah of Round Rock, Texas

"I miss you so much and all i can seem to think about is you. Richard you are our hero and i love you so much. I know you are lookig down on Bianca and I but I need you!! Love you always and forever, your wife, maggie arriaga"
Maggie Arriaga of Dime Box Tx

"Richard was all my best friend his sister in law talked about.He will never be forgotten in anyone's heart in Dime Box.We love you Maggie and Beyonca!Richards my Hero!"
Tiffany Dawson of Dime Box,Tx,United States

"Richard Arriaga will be remembered as a hero."
Dolores Arriaga Slater of Suffolk, England

"I really miss my brother-in-law Richard Arriaga because he was a very good person and very good husband to my big sister Maggie Arriaga.He is my Hero."
Leanna Delgado of Giddings Tx U.S.A

"I really miss my brother-in-law Richard Arriaga because he was a very good person a very good husband to my big sister Maggie Arriaga."
Leanna Delgado of Giddings Tx U.S.A

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

"May almighty God comfort Richard and his family, and may his service to this country never be forgotten. God bless America and God bless you Richard."
Miguel A. Lopez of Fresno, California

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

"May Jesus give you strength to go on without the brave soldier. Nothing can bring him back, but the Bible says you can go to where he is someday. In Christ, a mother of a soldier in Iraq"
Barbara iaz of Colorado

"I served with richie at hood and in Iraq. He was a very mature and good natured young man. Not a day goes by that he is not thought of by his fellow fisters still in country. His spirit and bravery will not be forgotten."
SSG Charles W. Henderson of FT Hood, Tx

"May you rest in peace and thank you for your sacrifice for our country."
Marlena of killeen, Tx

"Thank you Richard Arriaga, 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

"Richard is my step-brother. He was a very smart guy. He was very polite and always willing to lend someone a hand. I am very proud of Richard. I know he's in heaven cheering on his division for capturing Saddam. We all miss you very much Richard!!!"
Amy of Boling, Tx


"My thoughts & prayers go out to all the Military men and women who are at war and especially those who have lost their lives. May God bless you forever. Thank you for everything, you are my hero! Rest in peace"
Amanda K Casas of San Diego, Texas

"to the family of richard arriaga, i am sorry for your loss. i knew richard from the army, we were in the same unit,but i got out right before they left for iraq. i must tell you richard was the maturist 20 year old i have ever met. he was very smart and witty. he was a favorite among his leaders becouse he was so responsable.in closing, once again, iam sorry and richard, god bless you, you will be missed"
spc. sean blanton of tulsa ok

"I am sure that Richard's loss is something that we will all feel. I would like his family to know that someone is thinking about them and sending them warm wishes during this difficult time. God bless you."
Michelle of Canada

"I sorry for the loss of your son, SPC Richard Arriaga. He will be remember as a hero to our country and to Ganado. I knew him for a brief moment at one time when visiting my family in Edna. May God bless you and your family for he is watching you from Heaven."
Army SPC Lisa Parrish of Mannheim, Germany

"I sorry for the loss of your son, SPC Richard Arriaga. He will be remember as a hero to our country and to Ganado. I knew him for a brief moment at one time when I was down visiting my family in Edna. He will be never forgotten. May God bless you and your family for he has Richard watching over you from the sky."
Lisa Parrish of Mannheim, Germany

"To the family and friends of Spc. Richard Arriaga:
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 Richard 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. Richard Arriaga:
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 Richard, 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