Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. James L. Beckstrand

27, of Escondido, California.
Beckstrand died in Baghdad, Iraq, when a vehicle approached his unit and the driver detonated a bomb. He was assigned to 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Baumholder, Germany. Died on April 29, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. James L. Beckstrand.


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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"Dear Family and friends of Spc. Beckstrand,
My husband and I were in Arlington VA/Washington DC this past Memorial Day. (2016). There was a Mindful Memorial Day event going on, where there are tags that you could wear and honor a fallen servicemember. You could request a fallen service member's name or receive one from the listing. I received your loved one's name, and I want you to know he was honored that day and remembered.
I pray you all be comforted by God's love and grace."
Christine Cowan of Frederick, MD

"I, as well as Wainwright served with Beckstrand in the United States Marine Corps. He was always a joy to be around. You never knew what to expect, however you could guarantee he would make it fun... My condolences."
Robert Horton of Portsmouth, Ohio

"I served with Beckstrand in the Marine Corps. We had a blast at lierty ports during our Med Float. He is missed."
Cameron Wainright

"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 Worthington, OH USA

"To Jimmy Lee and his family,

You all are still in my thoughts almost everyday.

Your sacrifice is not forgotten and always greatly appreciated."
z. Smith of Escondido, CA 92026 USA

"Hey man I don't think I can type anymore today after this post. I just wanted to say I'm sorry. You were a good friend and I think about that day quiet a bit. You really gave me a great outlet to talk too and one of the best soldiers I'd known."
Jason Hayden of St. Louis MO.

"jim, i love man. i think about you everyday. you were my good friend and i will never forget the times we had. you were a good man and i love you brother. i cant beleave your gone. to jims family my sympathys, may he R.I.P"

"April 22, 2008
To the family of Spc. James L. Beckstrand:
James 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

"Dear Jimmy I miss you soooo much. U were the best "little" brother a "big" sister could have. Thank You for all you have done for me and everyone else. I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART! U ARE My Hero! I will see you again one day! Until I do just remember how PROUD of you I am and alway's will be. Too Marilena and Dad I miss you and I love you."
Becky of Auburndale Fl. USA

"To the family of:James L. Beckstrand 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"

"Two years now brother....still in my mind...everyday....thinking of you down here...watchin us from up there...memory's gonna be always in my heart. Thanks again."
SGT Francisco of Vermillion SD

"James was always the 'go to' guy in Bandit Battery (B/3-320th, Fort Campbell, KY). I could always count on him no matter what. There aren't many soldiers that did the right thing all the time...but James was one of them."
Buddy Bartels (Former Captain) of Clarksville, TN

"Family of Spc. Beckstrand,
My name is Alicia Reed. My husband PFC Ryan Reed was KIA the same day as your soldier. Each day that passes I will never forget the sacrafice made by your soldier. Almost 2 years have passed and I still think of each person who gave his life fighting for our freedom. I think of my husband each day and when I do, I wanted to say I also think of yours. He is a HERO.
Bless you"
Alicia Reed of Colorado Springs, CO

"To the Family of SPC James Beckstrand. "Becky" as I used to call him was one outstanding American Soldier who I am so proud to have known. James had not been in Charlie Battery long, but in that short time, he became one of the truest friends of my life time. I will always miss him and I hope that I can model my life with his courage and compassion. COBRAS!"
CPL T. Bullard of C 4-27

"Your loved one was remembered on 27 May 2005 in Bicentennial Memorial Chapel General Protestant Worship Service in Fort Gordon, GA. His life and your sacrifice are not forgotten. Thank you. We are praying for you.
Chaplain (Major) Alva Ray Bennett"

"Dear Beckstrand family:

I have been meaning to do this for some time. I imagined it by letter or by some other more personal means, but I hope you will understand that my failure to do so before now does not detract from the sorrow I feel for James' wife or his father, my own father's uncle. Grandma Mae informed us of your family's lamentable loss of James last year, and I've never forgotten about it since. He was my age, and a cousin I had never met. But despite the fact that we never met, I still consider him a cousin -- someone I would have liked to have met had we had the chance. Lee and Marilena, I hope you will accept my deepest condolences, and that of my family's. You have been in our thoughts a lot this past year.

As we near the second anniversary of the war in Iraq, it is becoming more and more evident that the sacrifice made by courageous people like James (and the 1,500 other U.S. soldiers lost to date) should not be in vain. Although I would prefer everyone home tomorrow, I realize that it is too late to ask for that. The more I read and see of Iraq, the more I am overwhelmed by the selfless will of such men and women to serve.

Again, I am so sorry for your loss."
Emma Zaratian of Eugene, Oregon

"Dear Marilena, Uncle Lee and family,
I cannot express the feelings of my heart at your loss, I know I do not understand it all. But I know there is more to life than this ending. We will see Him again. Jimmy's funeral was one of those turning points in my life. The precision and respect those young soldiers displayed for Jimmy, You, and others softened my heart to his loss. I know Jimmy would do the same for another soldier lost if he were here. And knowing that made me even more proud of him. Uncle Lee I know paritally of your grief and anguish, but his life is not through, you will see him again. Marilena you to will see him again!"
Lowell Beckstrand Anderson of Payson, Utah, USA

"On Veteran's Day 2004, our high school held a ceremony to honor all that have served our country. Each person in attendance that day was given the name of a soldier who gave their life in service during the Iraqui conflict. I am honored to have received the name of Spc. Beckstrand. Looking through these messages left by his family, friends, and fellow soldiers has made his sacrifice real to me. I pray for his wife and family, that they may find comfort in the honor he receives as a hero of our country, and I urge all to continue to pray for and support our soldiers in foreign lands."
Amy of Morgan City, Louisiana

"I was Jimmy's good friend from the Marines, my name is Sgt. Ryan Patscher. Jimmy was an exceptional friend to myself, and all those he came in contact with. I learned of his death by visiting "thefinalrollcall.us". Why him? I wonder all the time, why any of them? Jimmy gave me so many memories in the 4 years I knew him. Jimmy, I wish you were still here, I miss you. Myself and the guys will be leaving a plaque on the gun 4 door shed in the 3/10 motor pool this spring. We'll see you topside.

Sgt. Ryan Patscher, NJ"
Sgt. Ryan Patscher of West Milford, NJ, USA

"To James family and Marilena- I was James' First Sergeant in B Battery 3rd Bn, 320th Field Artillery as we spent the first part of March 2003 in Kuwait then crossed the berm on the 21st. He was a valuable member of my battery, always on the ball, the guy my smoke most often called. He was one of the type I love to see in action- the example you hold out for others. As Bandit 7 he made me proud. My wife, Carmen, attended classes at APSU with Marilena- it truly is a small world. Even though he's not technically one of my soldiers, I mourn for him especially, having watched him help my battery do it's part to win the war, only to see him lost during the ongoing skirmish on his 2nd trip to Baghdad. Our prayers are with you all. Carmen and Howard Thompson CHTHOMP@bellsouth.net"
1SG Howard Thompson of Clarksville, TN

"To James family, and his lovely wife Marilena. Jim was one of my best friends. We both worked together in the same unit at Fort Campbell. Was even roommates once we both got back from Iraq. He then moved in with Marilena who was his fiance. I was suppose to be at his wedding, but I couldn't make it, because I had to go home on emergency. Jim wasn't really happy with me, but he understood. Him and I did a lot together. I miss him dearly. I pray that you all will be ok and be able to make it through this. When Marilena told me by email about his death, I instantly went into tears. I could not believe that he was gone. I will always cherish and remember him. I loved him dearly. Take care and may God bless you all."
Sergeant Dennis Clark of Helena, Montana, United States

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

"May God Bless and keep you always in his heart. I know your grief and anguish as my son SPC Justin B. Schmidt died that day with your son. Let us not forget they are HEROES, and their laughter and joy of life will never go unforgotten."
Lenore C. Roberts, mother of SPC Justin B. Schmidt of Bagley, MN

"Dear Marilena,
Althou i never did meet Jim i am very happy he came into your life and he came into yours. I'm sorry for your pain as well as that of his family.
Thank you so much for giving your life for all of us."
Dani Watt of Phoenix, AZ

"I am truly saddened by his untimely death. I served in the 101st ABN with James "Beeky" Beckstrand and never had a quaral with him he was one of my best friends, an outstanding soldier, and will be missed always. To his Family and new Wife I am truly sorry and I will never forget him."
SGT Joshua I Johnson of Newark Rctg Co, Newark, NJ

""I'm truly saddened by your loss, though i did not know your James. I was there on site once it happened, it makes you feel like you knew him. I was completely shocked. Everyday i think of those soldiers that made the ultimate sacrifice, and then i think of you. Even though we maybe be strangers you're in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless mfrancis@usd.edu""
Spc. Mark Francisco of Estelline SD

"To James' 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 his bravery and sacrifice.


The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne, KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.

Gloria Caldas (his mom) of San Antonio, TX"

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

"To James' 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

"Thank you James Beckstrand, 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. James Beckstrand:
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 James 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. James Beckstrand:
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 James, 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