Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Todd M. Bates

20, of Bellaire, Ohio.
Bates was on a river patrol on the Tigris River south of Baghdad, Iraq, December 10, 2003 when his squad leader fell overboard. Bates dived into the water and did not surface. He was originally listed in a duty status whereabouts unknown status. Bates' body was subsequently recovered and his status changed to deceased on December 23, 2003. He was assigned to the 135th Military Police Company, Army National Guard, based in Brookpark, Ohio.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. Todd M. Bates.


Contributions to the Families of the Fallen


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

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"You were my battle buddy at basic/AIT at Leonard Wood. You got me through some tough days bro. You are a hero."
Nathan Deary of Mansfield, Texas

"You will never be forgotten"
Corey Larew

"Most folks get the opportunity to define themselves in life. A lucky few get to punctuate it in their final moments. Thank you Todd Bates, for being you, serving our country, and putting it all on the line for my family."
Scot Reese of Columbus OH

"Always in our hearts. Gone but not forgotten"
Corey Larew

"Todd it's been nearly twelve years since you left us and every time I see a soldier I think of you. I want to say that you truly are a hero who gave the ultimate sacrifice. May you and all those who served and gave their lives for their country never be forgotten! I thank God that I was able to be a part of your life and you mine!"
Pastor Don Cordery of Morristown, Ohio

"RIP SPC Bates, you will never be forgotten!"
Ted Spain of Aiken, SC

"You dove in trying to save my cousin, Aaron Todd Reese. I appreciate and honor you."
Scot Reese of Columbus

"Todd, your ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace."
Brian Swearingen of Carrollton, Ohio

"You will never be forgotten Todd."
Corey La Rew of Youngstown, Ohio

"Todd, you will never be forgotten, you or your selfless act of courage."
Steve Malbasa of Mentor OH

"Todd, I can still remember talking to you in Iraq like it was yesterday, I carried your casket out of the church. You were very loved and respected in your town. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."
Gordon Cantley of Cleveland Ohio

I will always tell your story. Unlike most, you did not lose your life but gave it.
You make us all proud that you walked among us. Bellaire has every reason to love you forever."
Jim Tarbet of Lake Zurich, IL

"You will never be forgotten"
Corey LaRew of Sanford, NC

"SGT Todd Bates your sacrifice is not forgotten. God Bless you and your family on this Memorial Day 2008."
MSG Shawn Murray of Youngstown, Ohio

"SPC Bates: I was in Basic with you at D-795 MP CO, and then again with you in Baghdad, as you were attached to my BN. Though I did not know you all that well, I do remember you and you were a great guy. I am sorry for your families loss. You actions were above and beyond the call of duty, and you gave the ultimate sacrifice to try to save a fellow Soldier. God Bless"
SSG Miller of Eugene, OR

"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 Steiner of Gahanna, OH

"My name is Steve Blackwell and I have created a Profile on the Army Together We Served website for SPC Bates.


If anyone has any information such as awards, ribbons, units, pictures, or anything else that I can post to Todd's Fallen profile, please email me at atwsfallenmp @ gmail.com

Steve Blackwell
Webmaster, the Military Police Homepage
Steve Blackwell of Hampton, VA

"Sgt.Bates Happy Veterns Day. I miss you brother. it was a honor to have served with you. Thanks. YOU ARE A TRUE AMERICAN HERO."
Ssg. Brion M. Gribble. of 135th mp co.

"February 17, 2008
To the family of Spc. Todd M. Bates:
Todd 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


"for the memory of my friend todd
i was the iraqi translator who worked with todd for almost 4 months,till the night he was trying to help his friend sg.Reese ,he was so calm and self respect,he wasnt talking that much during duty hours maybe because of the war and the stress but i knew that he was a really good person and have a kind heart from daily basis dealing with him ,it was my honor to serve with the US-ARMY and espically with SPC.Bates god mercy on his soul
Fareed,Ali of baghdad-iraq

RAYMOND of 65745 INDIAN RUN BELLAIRE, OHIO 43906 740 6760243

WHO GIVE HIS LIFE ON DEC.10-2003.TO TRY TO SAVE HIS SGT.Aaron todd reese who fail over board in tiger river.THERE is know days go;s by. .WE DONT thinking about you.YOU are always on our minds.WE sit back and think about the good time we had with you.WE are not aloud to talk about you around your grandmother.OUR who hangs around her.THEY think its a crime.that we talk about you.I wish other people quite judging me and your to sister.we are not the bad people here. WE know that person is.YOU and the other soilders who give their lifes will not be forgotten.you and the other soilders. WILL always be in our hearts for ever. AND TODD we miss and love you.AND WE WISH YOU HERE WITH US."

"even though i didn't meet todd until I was 14 we did get to spend a lot of time together we played football and had a lot of great times together. he had nothing but all the best qualities you could ever find in anyone. i just wanted to let all those who have written kind words for he and my family that i really appreciate it."
todds cousin Derek of martins ferry

"to the family of this wonderful hero:
i was todd's drill sergeant at ft. leonard wood. todd was a remarkable soldier and person. always striving to be the very best and fully commiting to every task at hand. i watched this fine young american grow from civilian to soldier. i watched as he endured everything i could throw at him. none is higher than those who lay down their life for a friend. i am proud to have trained you and extremely proud of all you accomplished. may God grant you his peace until we meet again. God bless you all and God bless the United States."
Jason L. Patrick of Camp Taji, Iraq

"To the memory of Todd M Bates"
I served with Todd in Iraq. He was an excellent soldier and great guy. He could always make me smile, even at very difficult times in Iraq, which helped make my service a little easier. For that I am Very Thankful. Bates you will be sadly missed. It is a Honor to have served with you."
E. Landi of Rhode Island

"i sure miss you todd,i know you and chuck are in heaven, may god take care of all your love ones,you were a brave hero, you died trying to save your sargent,you are my hero. see you in heaven,, thi8s is to all out there,,shirley bates did not raise toddy,, chuck jones of bellare ohio raised todd bates for the last 14 years of his life, shirley bates is and was a fraud"
david of akron

"i sure miss you todd,i know you and chuck are in heaven, may god take care of all your love ones,you were a brave hero, you died trying to save your sargent,you are my hero. see you in heaven,, love uncle mike"
mike thomas of barberton,ohio


I am so sorry for your loss. I too lost a loved one to this war.
We have formed a group for those of us who have experienced
the ultimate sacrifice. Gold Star Families for Peace.
Love and Peace to you,"
Dede Miller of Bellflower, Ca

"I was your secret love through your junior and senior year plus the year after. I will always remember the fun times we had in my pool and sneeking around at wal mart. I miss you. So do the rest of us. There is not a day that goes by that i do not think of you and what we had. I wear my ring everyday. I love you and miss you."
your "bumblebee" of martins ferry, ohio

"its been 1 yr this month. i remember the first time i ever stayed at your house it was your birthday party id have to say it was the first time i ever used the internet and was up all night from drinking mountain dew.it was a blast chattin with your dad about computers, fixin your's all the time when it broke also when we got to go to the hospital when we rolled the car into the ditch yea that was a ride i wont ever forget. also the racing strips we spray painted on the hood of your car i had fun and i miss ya i cant wait to see you agian"
of Bellaire

"Todd, It has been a year now since you left us. We all think about you every day and wonder what it is like up there in heaven. We miss you deeply and love you more and more. Please watch over us and keep us safe. And till we meet again remember that we love you very much and you will always be our hero!"
Someone who misses Todd of USA

"I was Todd's high school French teacher and still remember the day in class when he told me his plans about joining the military. After graduation, I still saw Todd occasionally at the gym or at Wal-Mart with his girlfriend, Crystal. He always made a point to come over to me and say hello to me. During that time, I watched him transform from a dedicated football player who loved playing the game into a fine soldier who was committed to defending our country. I was, and will always be, very proud of him. Todd, please know that you will always be in the hearts of Big Reds everywhere!"
"Mademoiselle" Wendy Patrone of Bellaire, OH

"im a marine in NC i was todds best friend we went through school together he was 2 yrs older than me we always wanted to see each other in the military but never got to i saw him in his uniform but he never seen me but i kno he seen me in my blues standing there watching him lay arest i miss u TODD"
mike weekley of jacksonville north carolina

"Dear Mrs. Shirley Bates,
My deepest sympathy to you upon the loss of your grandson Todd. He gave his life to our country. What a young hero. Thank you for raising this fine young person."
A citizen in Rocky River, OH

"I feel really sorry that your son died. I wish I could bring him back but I can't. All I can say
is God bless you"
7th grade student of Barker Middel school

"May the Lord Bless You and Keep You in his steadfast love.You are truly a hero
for the cause of freedom and you will not be forgotten. Thank you for your sacrifice."
Nancy J. Snyder of Erie, PA

"At the rising of the sun and at its going down, We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of Winter, We remember them.
At the opening of buds and in the rebirth of Spring, We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of Summer, We remember them.
At the rustling of the leaves and the beauty of Autumn, We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends, We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them."
Lily Conners of Erie, PA

"To Todd: I, and many others, thank you for your ultimate sacrifice. You are not now, nor ever will be, forgotten. Words can never express the sorrow we feel for the loss of the best of the best of this nation - the best like YOU. May God keep you and your family close."
Helen of Santa Ana, California

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

"I would just like to say how wonderful it was to share a special relationship with Todd Bates. He was my High School Sweatheart all for years. I will miss you babyboy from now on out and you will forever have my heart with you. I love you and miss you with everything I have. You meant the ENTIRE world to me and you still will. Thank you Todd for fighting for me and the rest of the world. You were and still are a very special person to me and everyone else. I love you Todd!"
Todd's Babygirl Crystal Ware of Bellaire, Ohio United States of America

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

"Todd's Gradma,
I served with Todd and was his close friend. I just want to say that he was a great guy and I cared for him so much. Thank you for raising such a great person."
Chris 1st Plt 135M.P Co

"I knew Todd all my life. We went to school together from kindergarten on up through graduation. I remember the many days that I use to go over to his house and play video games. Or, we'd go out in his backyard and shoot his BB gun. I remember the meals that his grandmother prepared for us after a day of play. Todd and I never had much growing up... but we never knew it. We had families that loved us and a friendship that would never die. Now, I am stationed in Yokosuka, Japan on board the USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19). I was found out the news of Todd's missing around mid December. I had my entire church family praying for him and his loved ones. I broke down. I couldn't believe what happened. I found out the news of his death of Christmas Eve. I write songs for my God all the time. But on that night, December 24th, 2003, I sat down and wrote a song about my hero... Todd Bates. To his family: I can't image the hurt you are going through. I am grieving at the loss. He will be greatly missed. Todd: I salute you for paying the greatest sacrifice of all. I will miss you greatly soldier, brother, friend."
IT3(SW) Richard J. Kendle of Yokosuka, Japan

"I was fortunate to know Todd Bates most of my life.I went to school with this man and even dated him at one time a very long time ago. He was an acceptional person. He had a heart of gold. He always wanted to be someone, and he is someone, A true American Hero in every sense of the word. He was a true friend to all of us. He is very missed. Todd you will be in our hearts for now and always!"
Anna Marling McCormick (Class of 2001) of Fayette City, Pa

"Spc. Bates:
Thank your for giving yourself so that those of us at home can live freely and safely. There are not enough 'thank yous' for a gift such as this. Rest in peace soldier."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"Mrs. Bates,
The deepest sympathies of my family and myself are extended to you in your time of loss. I know that nothing can erase the pain that you are feeling, but please be comforted by the fact that the entire country is recognizing your grandson as TRUE American hero, not simply someone who took a wrong turn into the pages of history. I salute you for raising such a brave, young man and pray that you find your comfort in God, your family, friends, and community. We are all behind you."
Bekkah Smith-Rhodes of Bellaire, Ohio

"We do not know one another, but my son Marshall Edgerton also died in Iraq 12-11-03. I believe what they are doing is important and their sacrifice for freedom matters very much. My thoughts and prayers are with you. From a proud and grateful American and a mother of a fallen soldier.
Ginny Edgerton
ginny of Rocky Face, Ga 30740

"This message is for everyone that has been touched by this exceptional person. Specialist Todd M. Bates, a soldier, a friend, and hero. He is indeed a HERO and deserves the Soldier Medal for his actions in Iraq. I had the privilege of leading this young man while participating in combat operations to liberate Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Todd was assigned to my platoon as a Combat Military Policeman (95B10). I thought you should hear how this outstanding soldier performed. Todd always executed his assigned duties above my high standards and the Army standards. Todd's professionalism and selfless service has gained the respect of his peers and leadership at the highest levels in the Army. His duty performance on 10 December 2003, clearly defines the high caliber soldier I had within my platoon and the Military Police Corps. He sacrificed himself while trying to save SSG Aaron T. Reese. These two soldiers will be truly missed. I salute you both. "OF THE TROOPS AND FOR THE TROOPS" From the Office of the Platoon Leader."
1LT William F. Lee of Baghdad, Iraq

"Thank you Todd Bates, 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

"Todd, may God bless you and keep you in his arms forever. From a former MP SSG, 1967-1981>Of The Troops; For The Troops! Soldier on, young lad!"
Michael D. Austing of New Philadelphia, OH

"For the family of this soldier...I am a soldier just returning from the senseless war in Iraq. I have seen nothing but Jessica Lynch this and that..they say she is such a hero. Well, in my opinion, your son, brother, soldier is a true hero who sacrificed his own life to help another. Not many can claim such fame. God Bless you...thank you. Thats a true soldier."
of germany

"To the family and friends of Spc. Todd Bates:
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 Todd 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. Todd Bates:
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 Todd, 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