Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Rusty W. Bell

21, of Pocahontas, Arkansas.
Bell died in Taji, Iraq, of non-combat related injuries. He was assigned to the 603rd Aviation Support Battalion, Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia. Died on August 12, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. Rusty W. Bell.


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

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"Rusty, its been a few years since you left and I know you're up there with the Angels watching over our family. My mom and family talk about you all the time. I even have a little brother named after you. I was only three when you left, so I don't remember you very well but I love to listen to the stories. I wish you were still here. I wish I got to see you one last time. Thank you for everything you've done for our family and our country. I bet you were an amazing person. We all miss and love you!"
Abigail Ewing of Ar

"To the family of Rusty... It's taken many years to write on here, but I served with him at Camp Taji, Iraq in 2005. We lived almost next door to each other. Im proud to have called him a friend. I mourn his loss all the time. He was a strong Soldier!"
Casey Turbeville of Beebe, AR

"To the family of:Rusty W. Bell
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""

"Rusty, lately I think of you all the time I miss you so much. I cant believe its been almost 6 years sine you left this world. I will never forget what we had or stop missing it..i get on here every so often & write to you sometimes if I close my eyes I can still feel you near me holding me telling me you love me. You once told me that your love for me was so strong that the angels had to take notes cause they didnt know of such a strong love. I never forgot that. I pray for your mom and lil sister that they are doing well, I loved them both immediatally when we met the weekend your grandma took us to stay and your grandma to if any of you are reading this im on facebook under mandy richardson sallee please let me know how you are my heart goes out to you."
Mandy richardson sallee of mountain home ar

"It seems like yesterday that we were in contact. Thank you for overseeing me through these times in my life. Rusty Bell you are so missed. Smiles over tears right? Ride those horses in the sky baby."
Jackie Miller of Brooklyn Park, MN

"My sweet, yet tough Nephew, Rusty. I SO miss you. I think of you every single day when I walk into my US Flag decorated office and see all your pics & dogtags. We so miss you. Love, Aunt Vanetta"
Vanetta Evans of Little Rock, AR, USA

"Bubba, I miss you so much!! You were always suppose to be the brother that whooped all my boyfriends butts! and boy do I need it now! Me and momma think and talk about you all the time. Sometimes I still cant believe this is all true! I love and miss you tons! I know that you are in a much better place and always watching over your baby sister."
Meagan Lee

"There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of you your smile your laugh your touch you were a gift from God. I am thankful for every single day that i spent with you. You Forever have my Heart Rusty I Love You Rest In Peace My Beloved <3"
J of Florida

"Rusty I miss you you were my first love my best friend. We were young but what we had was the real thing. We couldnt be separated we were always togother. they say when your true love passes you feel it and its a pain like no other. i feel like its just a dream and i feel sometimes that they were wrong and it wasnt you who died atleast thinking that makes me feel a little better. You promised you would never leave me i cant feel you any more and your face what it looked like gets fuzzy sometimes. If your with our little baby we lost let him/her know i send my love to both of you and wish you were here. Im proud of you for standing up for what you believe in but im selfish i wish you hadnt and was still alive we had gone our separate ways cause thats what our parents decided for us but we were soul mates a part of me died when you did. I will always love till the day i die you were the most important person in the world to me i pray you are in peace and with our child i love you i miss you"
mandi richardson (sallee) of mountain home arkansas

"Again I write............
Thank you"
Jackie Miller of Mpls, MN

"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

""Prayer Shawls 4 Fallen Soldiers is an organization of over 235 knitting groups throughout the country. Since October of 2007, over 2,900 prayer shawls have been sent to families of our fallen soldiers. If you or a member of your family would like to receive a hand knit prayer shawl, please contact me at barbconway@comcast.net or 774 487-8618.
Sincerely, Barbara"
Barbara Conway of Cape Cod MA


You are always remembered.

Julie ,,, tackett.julie@gmail.com"
Julie Tackett of Seattle, WA

"I knew Rusty and his wife Jamie for a couple years before he was shipped over to Iraq. Rusty was a great guy who loved life and loved what he did. It was a sad sad day when we learned Rusty wasn't coming home. He will forever be loved and missed by those who knew him. Rusty your in our prayers and we'll see you again "One Sweet Day"!!!

One Sweet Day lyrics
Sorry I never told you
All I wanted to say
And now it's too late to hold you
'Cause you've flown away
So far away

Never had I imagined
Living without your smile
Feeling and knowing you hear me
It keeps me alive

And I know you're shining down on me from heaven
Like so many friends we've lost along the way
And I know eventually we'll be together
One sweet day

Darling I never showed you
Assumed you'd always be there
I took your presence for granted
But I always cared
And I miss the love we shared


Although the sun will never shine the same again
I'll always look to a brighter day
Lord I know when I lay me down to sleep
You will always listen as I pray


Sorry I never told you
All I wanted to say"
Big Jay Daffron of Pocahontas, AR USA!!!

"April 22, 2008
To the family of Spc. Rusty W. Bell:
Rusty 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

"I transported Rusty's body from Iraq to Kuwait International Airport for his voyage home. I can only tell you when I carried his body off my airplane to the transport home, that my thoughts and prayers were with his parents, family and friends."
Capt J.Trumble of Hillsdale, Mi

"I think of you today"
jackie of mpls mn

"You're not forgotten Rusty Bell. I think you're the reason I have so many penpals right now and sometimes when I'm near a horse you cross my mind. My old barn had a roper there and he reminded me of those four emails from you, four emails that changed my life. You're always gonna be my hero Rusty. And time won't make me forget.

My (Fallen) Hero
People used to think that heroes flew in capes.
That they soared through the sky
not feeling.

My hero owned no cape.
He owned boots and a helmet.
He wasn't invincible.

He stood for me,
and my future,
on desert sand.
He didn't stand on a rooftop,
to soar to the next.

My hero gave his life,
his cape,
to me and America.

I never thought I'd lose him like that
but his spirit is alive in those who care.
My hero he remains."
Kimberly Ann K. of somewhere in the Empire State, Land of the Free

"thinking of you Rusty!"
Jackie of MPLS

"I met Rusty in April of 1999, he came into my life at a time when I didnt think I was needed but he refused to let me believe that. We were best friends and he was the kind of person that no matter what kind of mood you were in he could lift up your spirits and make you feel special in every way possible, in april of 2002 he moved to pocahontas but we never lost track of one another I will never forget you or the time we shared together. I will always love you May you rest in peace"
Mandi Richardson of Mtn. Home Ar

"I have just finished a portrait drawing of Rusty Bell for an art museum "Faces of the Fallen: Never to Forget." I currently am in High School in California. I was devastated to learn about the casualties of the war and was so honored to be able to express my gratitude toward a soldier of the United States. I never met Rusty but somehow felt like I knew what he was like just by spending so much time looking and memorizing his picture. To the Family of Rusty Bell: If you ever get to see the memorial of The Faces of The Fallen, which is in my hometown Sonoma, CA right now, I hope I captured the essence of Rusty Bell and did justice to what a fine man he was. I am not only honored but so incredibly proud to have gotten to know Rusty in what ways I could. Any man that would risk his life to help our country deserves the greatest of all honors. Thank you Rusty Bell."
Danielle Hattam of Sonoma, CA

"I would like to say that my heart and prayers go out to Rusty and his loved ones in Pocahontas. As a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom 1 I understand the sacrifices you are required to make over in Iraq. I was in the Army for six years before I got out and moved back home. Even though I didn't know him, to hear that someone from close to home gave the ultimate sacrifice kinda hits home for me. Thank you Rusty for defending this great country. To the family stay strong, trust in the Lord and don't forget the good times spent with him."
Chris Nicholas of Hoxie Arkansas

"He was such an amazing friend......... I miss him a lot and I'll N*E*V*E*R forget him......... Rest in peace my hero....... And to all that knew him.....There are no words,I'm so sorry for this loss........"
<3someone who cares<3 of The Land of The Free.................Because of the Brave

"I wrote my first letter to Rusty when I was in fifth grade. We kept writing back and forth. My 3rd letter was came back not opened. So my Dad did research and found that Rusty had passed away. I thank him that he gave his life for our country. SO we could have freedom. Rusty, thank you for fighting in Iraq and not having to fight the war here so we can not be understress thinking that our house will blow-up anytime.-Alex"
Alex Hyzer of Pierson, MI

"Rusty emailed my 13 year old girls on a routine basis. We learned of his love of horses and his love for life. My girls were deeply sadden by his lost. Although they never met him, they loved him. God Bless you Rusty Bell. You will be remembered forever in the hearts of myself and my daughters, Amber and Alexis"
Teresa McFarland of Canton, Georgia

"rusty and i were best friends, i did n'tknow he died until now. i have have kept writing to him everyday and i wondered why he he has not responded. Now i know. i have known him for almost a year. he will always be remembered in my heart. i will miss you rusty and i love you."
cydnee melville of denver, co

"To the family, friends and pen pals of Rusty Bell,

I am currently in Pocahontas, Arkansas where I attended the funeral of Rusty Bell. Like many of you, I have been communicating with Rusty. We found each other on Military.com and became pen pals.

I have never seen nor spoken to Rusty, but through our emails, I have come to know and love this fine young man as a son. Attending the funeral and being around his family, friends and community helped me understand why he was a special guy and a standup soldier.

Thank you especially for providing this video tribute at Rusty’s funeral (http://mcnabbfh.yourtribute.com/tribute.asp#). Those of us who loved and admired him appreciate it.

Julie Tackett
JulieTackett of Seattle, WA

"My husband met Rusty in AIT, then met up again with him in Iraq a few months ago when Rusty got stationed over there with 603rd. I want his family to know that he was a great friend to my husband and a confidant, my husband was really devastaed about it. He was looking forward to the return home and hanging out with him. Rusty, you will never be forgotten, you will always be in my husbands heart"
Filicitie of savannah GA

"Rusty and I were penpals. I wish I could send my condolences to his family"
Jackie Miller of Minneapolis, MN

"Rusty and I were penpals and I remember how we were going to ride horses together when he got home. I wish I could send my condolences to his family"
Jackie Miller of Minneapolis, MN

"This really saddens my heart to know that another one of our dearest soldiers is gone. My heart goes out to Jamie and to Rusty's family. May God Bless You all and be with you.
Angela (Phillips) Benson's Mom"
Carol Phillips of Machesney Park, Ill.

"We knew Rusty for such a short time and are sadened by his loss. It took such bravery and we all respect him so much. Our deepest sympathy to his loving wife Jamie and his family."
Love, Angie and Mike

"..your son have a great fight out there..my deep condolences for the family."
marlon of asia

"We are deeply sorry for your loss. The Courage, Honor, and Valor that your
Hero showed will always be remembered.
We are grateful for the loyal service and sacrifice that was made and
Our cousin LCPL Michael Smith Jr. gave his life on 4-17-04 fighting for freedom.
Please know that this was not in vain and these American Heros will FOREVER be honored.
God Bless your family and please know that you are not alone.
All of our prayers are with you."
Jennifer and SSGT Larry Mays of Massillon, Ohio

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

"Thank you Rusty Bell, 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. Rusty Bell:
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 Rusty 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. Rusty Bell:
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 Rusty, 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