Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Staff Sgt. Stephen A. Bertolino

40, of Orange, California.
Bertolino was traveling in a convoy in Husaybah, Iraq when his vehicle was hit by enemy fire. He was assigned to Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Troop, Regimental Support Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colorado. Died on November 29, 2003.

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"When this country commemorates our beloved
veterans on this day of memorial for which
we are so deeply indebted,remains an active reflection of which their abilities
to endure and over come can not be forgotten. Their struggles, contributions and selfless service to this nation can never be erased and will
always remain in my heart and mind.
Rest in peace my brother."
W. Copeland

"We are given individuals who gives and who have given selfless service like our Hero, We are given those who compassion never leaves their side, like our Hero, and those whose gratitude,hope and faith in our fellow human being has made us a better society, like our Hero, WE LOVE YA BERT....With much Love to our Beloved Family of SSG Stephen Bertolino"
SFC(RET)Copeland of North Las Vegas ,NV

"To Mrs Stephan A Bertolino and children. It's taken me years to find information on the death of your loving husband and father. My name is retired SFC Herbert Lake. I was a Army guidance counselor at the San Diego meps when Stephen was a recruiter in Santee. He was such a soft spoken man whom I never heard swear or raise his voice during the stressful job as an Army recruiter. What I will always remember Staff Sergeant Bertolino for is on Fridays he would bring in cupcakes, bread and other pastries from what I believe he would say was from his wife's work. We always looked forward to seeing Stephen on Fridays. When I see or talk to my fellow former recruiters who have retired in the Southern California area I always ask them if they remember Staff Sergeant Bertolino. I hope and pray that you and your children are living well and prospering. When I see Steven again the first thing I'm going to ask him is if he has any cupcakes. God bless you and take care"
SFC (RET) Herbert Lake of Rancho Cucamonga Ca. 619-729-5663

"My gratitude will never end for this incredible human being, who brought so much joy to so many people..we will always love you my brother."

"I haven't forgotten that we are going to get together for coffee after the mission. Keep it hot. It's been almost 12 years now. I always find myself coming back here and reading the posts. You raised a great family."
Jim Woods of Fountain, CO

"Hi, SSG Bertolino. Sorry about my spelling. I'm thinking of you and your Wife and Kids. It's almost your 12 anniversary since you left us. I always think about you and your Wife raising the kids. I really wish you would call me... Mrs. Bertolino please. My # is 719-287-8348. Please.. Call me! Thank you... Gloria Lopez"
Gloria Lopez of Colorado Springs

"He was a great guy, I remember pulling guard duty with him in Iraq and he was leg wrestling a Quwaiti guard. Always such a friendly guy. He always seemed like a ray of sunshine."
SPC Thomas, Marcus of Colorado Springs, Co USA

"On this memorialized day that we dedicate our sincere gratitude to those who gave their very best to our nation, it is fitting that we fellow Americans pay homage. I shall never forget Bert's bravery and above all his love for his family and gentleness. His heroism is that of a shining beacon of hope for us to follow. Every day I am forever grateful for Bert and for those so honored on this Memorial Day and I gladly and most respectfully "Present Arms."

Love to the family
sincerely , The Copelands"
William Copeland

"To Susan and your children: Stephen, "Bert," Bertolino was my best friend in our Unit, AVIM Troop, 3ACR. We were both Sqad Leaders in different platoons. It was my great honor to serve with him, and an even greater honor, to be called by him as his friend. He spoke of you and the children every day. He prayed for you all, openly, amongst strangers, & he prayed for me. He prayed that we would avert hostile activity on our convoys, but he also prayed for our enemy. He and I both figured, because we were older than our soldiers & more experienced, that it was best if we volunteered for the gun trucks. It has taken me 12 years to contact you, but I will tell you that Steve has been in my conscious and unconscious thoughts since the 29th of Nov '03. He spoke of you with such warmth, and pride for his children. He loved his fellow man, like no person I have ever known. My most sacred memory that I have of him is his voice on the net, which haunts me in my sleep. On one particular mission we were getting pot shots, rocks and debris thrown at us as we got closer to "running" one of the villages on MSR3. Steve was in the lead truck, and he was talkin fast, so I knew he was stressed. He said, "LB, we're gonna pull over in two mics and brief, and we'll say a prayer together." I am ashamed to say that at that time I was a disbeliever; I had no real faith. But, I prayed with your husband on that day, & many times before, and since. I prayed with him out of respect for the man he was, whom I knew, as my friend, walked every single step he took as he spoke it. He was the most sincere man I have met in this lifetime. I did not fake it; I tried to pray as hard as I could. I even told him that I wasn't sure about God. He told me, with that huge hand on my shoulder, "You know, that's O.K. Bro, God is sure about you." There were some very dark times for me after the war, and two successive tours back to Iraq. I want you and your children to know that Steve's spirit has transcended time and space, and his kindness and his words, his infectious smile and that laugh--they are all still with me to this day, every day. I have seen much death and destruction, and in all that, I have only known one man who was really ready--in all respects, to meet his maker, and that was Steve. Steve gave me one last gift years after he passed. He brought God back into my life. I have read different accounts of Steve's passing. He did not die in an explosion. He was killed by a very lucky shot, in ambush, and that ended his life here on earth, mercifully, instantaneously. He felt no pain. We all know he had no fear, but that wasn't because he was brave; he was braver than anyone else I've ever known. It was because he was at peace. My heart and my best wishes are with you and your children. If you ever feel like knowing what it was like for me to serve with Bert, you may call me anytime. I have learned to laugh with my best memories of him, and cherish the time he was here, and that time that we were great friends.
With Admiration and Respect,
SFC(R) Chris F. Lillibridge
(254) 368-7399"
SFC(R) Chris F. Lillibridge of Salado, Texas

"SSG Bert, I can still remember going on jogs with you in the morning. Some people would place their legs on the bumper to stretch, you would place yours on the roof (not hood) of the Humvee. We didn't go running the morning you passed, instead you came into my room to grab the mail that you personally wanted our troops to have. You were a comrade and a friend that will always be missed, even 11 years later."
CW3(R) Michael A. Muñoz of Colorado Springs, CO

"I will not forget. Ever. You gave me what was needed to become the man I am today. You believed in me when others did not. I will always be eternally grateful."
SFC (RET) Jeremy Benjamin of Chester Springs PA

"11 years. I will never forget."
Jim of Colorado Springs

"Hi, SSG Bertolino... Just thinking about you. You was and will always be remembered. You was on that Convey, actually you volunteered because you had soldiers out in that mission and you wanted to personally delivered their mail to boost up their spirits. You was not manifest for that convoy but you traded places with another SM just so your soldiers would receive their mail. But, God took you to be with him... I think about you & will never forget you! You used to called me " mega-bit" because I'm short! God Bless You And your Family!!!"
Gloria Lopez of Ft Carson, Colorado


"Tony, We remember your conversion and your special spirit. You touched our hearts like none other. You made us smile and laugh. May the Lord continue to bless your family. You are loved and missed.
Leslie & Gerry Royce, old neighbors in Escondido, Ca."
Leslie & Gerry Royce of Houston, TX

"Thinking of you Tony and your family."
Colin Voveris of Tucson AZ

"I met Bert a few times at Al Asad, the last time being the night before his passing. He was always smiling and very friendly. When I took over as First Sergeant of AVIM Troop, I found out just how great a soldier and man he truly was. On this Memorial Day of 2012, I honor your sacrifice. Rest in the arms of Christ, Bert."
1SG (ret) Jeffrey Warren of Huntsville, AL

"Most of us tomorrow will enjoy a cook out and pop some sort of beverage. I will be one of those, but before I eat a piece of meat or pop the lid on anything I will pay homage to our fallen hero's. SSG BERTOLINO and the rest of our fallen hero's who gave their lives that we might continue on deserves at minimum a moment of silence. My family and I salute these heros and to my brother at arms SSG BERTOLINO we will never forget you and your family."

"I love you bert. Thank you for kicking me in the backside when I needed it most. I love you brother."
Jeremy Benjamin of North Pole AK

"Uncle Tony its been sooo long and i cant even begin to explain the emotions that overcome still every time i hear your name or see your picture i just wish i could close my eyes and talk to you and tell you everything ive been needing to talk to someone about its hard still being here with everyone else and not bein able to reach out to you i miss you dearly and cant wait for the day when i can see you and mom Bertolino <3 keep watching over me and pa paw and the rest of the family I LOVE YOU"
Megan Bertolino of Va beach virginia

"I'm sorry. I was in AVIM Troop, serving right along with him.I don't know what to say. SSG Bertoloino drove me to go see my husband while I was in AVIM troop.He was awesome. He showed me the mixed tape his kids sent to him days before he died cannot believe someone as awesome as he is is gone He was amazing I will miss him forever."
Amanda Taylor of Colorado Springs

"Hey Tony, it was a good weekend for your family. As your two oldest Tony, and Daniel continue to serve a mission for their church and fellowmen in Utah and Korea, I was blessed to work with Karina and Jason on a Habitat for Humanity project here in Murrieta. Your two youngest jumped right in and worked painting a house for a low income family. I never heard a single complaint and observed how hard they worked to help out their community and someone in need. No doubt about it, each of your children have learned how to serve from good parents.

We know that Heavenly Father had something really important for you to do and that is why you are not with us today. When we see each other again it will be a great day.
God bless you- Milo"
Milo Jensen of Murrieta Ca

"Tony you and your family are always in my prayers and my mind. We were together in Korea in 98' and I saw you again at USAREC. You are and will always be the tallest and best NCO that I have had the pleasure and honor of meeting and working with. You are missed by all the Soldiers that you have mentored and taught. God Bless"
MSG (Retired) Jorge M. Villalobos of Chicago, IL

"Wow... Berto, it seems like yesterday when we was on convoy and I was joking with you about being the tallest guy,,, Hope your well and I miss you my friend"
Qur'on of London, UK

"I miss You My Friend!"
Mark Lopez of Sierra Vista, AZ

"7 years since you have been gone.....love and miss you so much!"
Jaime Morris of Owensboro, KY/USA

"Today marks 7 years that you've been gone Tony, It's still feels like yesterday, I miss you so much little brother, watch over Mom for me.....I love you Bless him Lord ♥†♥"
Michelle Morris of Owensboro, Ky

"To the family of:Stephen A. Bertolino
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""

"SSG Bert', I still remember the first time I met you, it was in the Orderly Room of AVIM Troop at Carson. You walked through the doorway and all SGT Belanger and I could do was gawk at how tall you were, and she blurted out "(Bleep) You're tall!" And you just laughed and said "Yeah I get that alot." You were an amazing leader in the troop and although I didn't get to know you too well before the deployment, I always thought of you as one of the good guys, the one who actually cared about the soldiers and who made a difference. When you were taken away, the ENTIRE troop was devistated. Top had called me back in the rear from Iraq and broke the news, it was a horrible day for us all. We still remember you and always will look up to you as you smile down on us. See you on the Green Brother."
SGT Janette Quiros of NY

"Tony, you are the best. Your family misses you. You have left a legacy in a beatiful family and in all of the lives that you have touched and continue to through your sacrifice and example of the pure love of our Savior Jesus Christ. We honor you, your family will always remember you. You have a huge shadow to fill and I will always do my best to be there for you. Love, Flipper."
Milo Jensen of Murrieta Ca

"I miss you so much uncle Tony!"
Jaime Morris of Owensboro Kentucky

"Hi daddy, I miss you a lot,and I love you soo much!! I will never forget you and your love for me and the family. I made a poem about you, but I had to turn it in to my teacher because it was a school project, but I will write it on here for you when I get it back. When I was reading the poem to mom she almost cried, and she said it was realy good. well, I'll talk to you again realy soon.
love you
your daughter Karina or as you called me..booboo"
Karina Marie Bertolino of Murrieta California

"Hey Uncle Tony, I Miss & Love You Very Much;) A lot has happen since you've been gone. Wish you here but, I do know your looking down upon us all. I have a son now & in honor of you...I named him Landon ANTHONY. Say hello to grandma for me. Again miss you always & forever---RIP See You Soon."
Jennifer N. Bertolino of Redding, CA USA

""Bert" Il never forget you. I remeber the first time we had PT together and I thought "god, he is huge" we Played football in the snow at fort carson, you tackled me and stuffed me in the snow like road kill..LOL.. I will always remember your kind smile you gave me when you helped me up... We lost a great leader and friend... Its now 7 years later and Avionics Platoon has not forgoten and will never forget you... My condolences to the family and friends..."
Robert Moench "SPC Munch" of Santa Rosa Ca

Remember when you pulled Burt's shorts from the restroom? Or he pulled your's I'll miss you buddy
" Lurch" God Bless you and thanks for your service"
Gregory Villarreal of Santee,CA 92071

"I wanted to leave my condolences even though its been so long since all of this happened I could not have asked for a better Uncle Im proud to be able to say I met this man and he is part of my family his stoic actions will be remembered throughout time and no one will forget him (And How tall He was) I remember the one and only time i had the chance to meet him What a day to open up your bedroom door and have a giant standing outside your door (I was like 6 at the time so yeah he was big) But i warmed up to him quickly he was alwas full of jokes laughter and love and i will always remeber him I love you Riposare in pace zio Tony"
Killian Bertolino of Virginia Beach Virginia

"It's been six years today.... I still can't get that day out of my head, everything is still so vivid. I was one of the medics that tried to help that day.... but God had other plans for you. May you rest in peace.

doc of los angeles, ca

"11/23/2009- A Story of Love

Stephen "Tony" Bertolino was my friend and I first meet his amazing family almost 10 years ago when he was assigned to recruiting duty in San Diego. His boys were a joy to work with in the scouting program and in church as they always called me "Sir".

I had the privledge of attending Boy Scout Camp Chawanakee in the Serrias with Tony and his sons and enjoyed every minute spent with them. At the rifle range Tony was in his element especially when he observed my son Bradley close to tears because he could not quite get his grouping of shots to qualify for the badge. He personally took each young man including my son and made sure they gained enough instruction and assistance to get their rifle merit badge. Bradley will never forget his special "merit badge" counsoler.

It was with extreme sadness when I heard of Tony's death in Iraq. Attending his funeral brought tears to my eyes to see Susan and her 4 children without their beloved "Tony" and father.

Over the years our scout troop continued to have contact with Susan and the children. It was no surprise to us that both Tony and Daniel achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Jason the youngest son is on his way also and I have no doubt he too will follow in the fine family tradition. Karina has the good heart of her father and always is looking for a way to help out anyone anytime. She is growing to become a beatiful young 13 year woman.

This is where the love of Bertolino legacy continues. When I first set eyes upon the Bertolino's I wished to a part of their lives. 6 months ago I called Susan to see if I could take her boys on a hike to Zion. After 24 years of marriage I had found myself a single man and knew that the only person that I could imagine ever wanting to seriously date would someone like Susan Bertolino. My heart leaped with joy when I asked her if she would be interested in seeing me and she said "Yes".

Susan and I have taken these last 6 months becoming reaquainted with each other, enjoying our time spent at church, in the temple, hiking, and doing fun things with our children.

Tomorrow Susan and I will be wed in the Bertolino home with the picture of Tony looking over us. I have felt Tony's presence throughout these months and know that he is happy for us. I promise to make him proud as the Husband to his wife and the Step Father to his children. Thank you Tony, thank you all, who have sacrificed for our country. God Bless you and your family this Thanksgiving season.

All trials in life are for our good and what we make of hardship makes us a better person. I am a better person because of Tony's sacrifice and am so thankful for the joy that his family brings into my life."
Milo K. Jensen of San Diego, Ca.

"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

"Bertolino was a strong leader of my platoon here in Hunter Army Airfield. Since day one when we met he always showed transparency and leadership. Bertolino worked with the local community helping others. Gone too soon. My prayers goes out to his family, really hard to overcome his loss.
Bertolino, GOD BLESS YOU."
SFC (Ret) Garcia-Rodriguez, M. of Savannah, GA

"I had the pleasure of meeting Stephen Bertolino's 4 Children and Wife this weekend at a Make A Wish Foundation Event I attended up in Northern California. We spent the weekend togehter. I had a chance to get to know his eldest son, Tony. I cannot tell you how impressed I was with not only Tony, but his siblings too, as they were the most courteous and well behaved children. Stephen would be proud, and probably is standing right over them himself and guiding them! Tony and Daniel are both Eagle Scouts and encouraged my son, who is a Boy Scout to continue his scouting journey.~What an inspiration they are! I have a feeling they will all have bright futures! And my hats off to their mother, who Tony and Daniel said that she has done an amazing job raising them!!"
Georgia Bell of Los Angeles, CA

"SGT Michael Harpe
89th Chem/SPT/3ACR
See you at Fiddler's Green"
Michael Harpe of Colorado Srings, CO

"Tony was and still is one of my biggest hero's! I remember meeting Tony, I had been having a rough day, and although not knowing me, walked up, wrapped his arm around me and asked me if there was anything he could do to help out.
He was always like that, always willing to help out, even if he didn't know you.
A while later, I had been put in charge of a water polo team. This may sound trivial, a water polo team? This was for Marne Week at Fort Stewart. I don't remember if we won, but Tony had been our goalkeeper - Tall and reaching - he kept our goal safe. He was always keeping us safe - that was Tony.
After our games were over, the game organizers had given out t-shirts to all the players, but not the coaches. Tony didn't think this was fair, so he snuck off and acquired a shirt for me. He told me that he was proud to have been part of my team... the fact is, is that I was proud to have been part of his.
I still have the T-Shirt. I showed it to my daughter Abigail at the time of Tony's Death, and told her of my hero. This was the day of the Memorial service at the Sheriff department - where Tony was a hero in other ways.
My younger daughter,Sarah, just found that T-Shirt the other day while looking in my drawer for a paint shirt - she is 5. When she asked her mom if she could use it, mom said she could use it. When Abigail saw the shirt, she started crying that she couldn't wear that shirt, that is daddy's hero's shirt.
I found out several weeks after the Marne Week games of 96, from one of the guys on the team, that Tony had given me his own shirt.
That was the sort of person Tony was, He would actually give you the shirt off his back.
I really loved Tony, as a real brother. I miss him, and I know you all do too."
Mark Compton of Savannah, Georgia

"To the Bertolino Family on behalf of the Davis Family we want you all to know that SSG B is in our hearts and prayers and that he will be truly missed. I'm Sr Drill Sergeant Davis SSG B was indeed a good friend and even better father! You are deeply missed brother!!May God contine to bless this family. Operation Desert Thunder 1998 603D ASB Motorpool!!"
SR Drill Sergeant(SFC) Frankie Davis of Fort Jackson, South Carlina

"September 11, 2008,
Dear Bertolino family,
My husband and I participated in a memorial ride today. Each rider was given a card with three names of our fallen warriors. Stephen's name was on my card. We will never forget the sacrifice that Stephen made for our freedom. Our family will continue to lift your family up in prayer. We take so much for granted everyday. That little card will remind me, that nothing is free and words cannot express the gratitude that I feel for Stephen and all the others that have given the ultimate sacrifice. God Bless you all."
Linda and Jeff Baier of Williamsport, PA/USA

"Bert, just thinking of you makes my eyes water even today, 5 years later. I remember one day in iraq you tried to sell me a gerber, and just days later gave one to me. Well i lent that gerber to somone and they managed to drop a trailer on it and bend it really badly. I broke into tears when that happend, i know its stupid, its just a gerber, but its all i had of you. You are definately my hero. I miss you very much."
Heath Kiser of Metaire, LA

"Hello Tony, It is hard to forget the good deeds of a good man and the sacrifice that your family made. Currently I am still serving in the US Army. I was commissioned to 2LT upon completing Officer Candidate School on 19 JUN 08. Your dedication to service and care for Soldiers have inspired and motivated me to carry the torch well into the Officer ranks. I will always serve with the memory and pride for those who have pass before me. Thank you for taking care of us and for your mentorship on how to be a good citizen, soldier, and husband. Italian Stallion you will never be forgotten. One day I will meet you at the Fiddler's Green. Susan my prayers are still going out to you and your family. mccoycy@comcast.net"
Cyrus McCoy of Augusta, GA

"My sincerest appreciation for Stephen's heroic service. As a Bertolino myself, I feel a special connection to Stephen. I continue to honor his name, and his memory."
Mark Bertolino of Lafayette, IN

"April 23, 2008
To the family of Staff Sgt. Stephen A. Bertolino:
Stephen 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

"It has been a long time since last I saw SGT Bertolino. SGT B was my team cheif when I was a private in the battery shop at Hunter. I later met up with SSG Bertolino once more at Al-Asad in Iraq years later. Your influence is probably why I am still in the army today. I had so many issues when I was new in the Army. I was a hardheaded private. You helped me recover from all of that and made me a better person. You are not forgotten and never will be. May The Lord watch over your wife and children. YOU ARE MY HERO."
SGT Benjamin, Jeremy D. of Savannah, GA / USA

"It's been almost four years since you served with my husband. I never got to know you personally, but I still listen to him tell me stories about you, just as I listened to them by phone when you both served together. He has some very trying days and sleepless nights when he thinks about that day. And even though I never met your wife and children, I was told how nice is was to be able to relate with a family man out there and how proud you are of your family. Staff Sgt. Bertolino...you helped my husband get through alot of lonely days, your name is spoken in our household on a daily basis, your memory is tattoed on his arm, and your photos are part of our albums. He and I both will never forget. I don't think his bitterness has eased and his pain still has never left. However, he smiles when he still tells some of the stories, but finds little peace in his sleep. I asked him to write you a letter, but he still tries to hide from it all. As I'm sure my brother watches us with the hand of a guardian angel, you are doing the same for your wife and children. But, if you have a few spare seconds, could you guide him back to us as you did in Iraq? He is still lost. Remember the old iron horseshoes that you two played? well.....even if you have to throw them at him...one more time!!! :-) You are one of the angels that brought the rest home, and I'm betting you have the gold section. God Bless!!!"
Wife of a Third Cavalry Soldier (S&T) of Fort Carson, Colorado

""Please accept my deepest sympathy to the Bertolino family." I served with Bert when he was stationed at Fort Sill, OK."
Joseph K. Lanza U.S. Army Retired of Lawton, OK

"I was assigned to the same unit as Bert in Camp Eagle, Korea and again at Fort Stewart, GA. I just found out this weekend that he lost his life in the war. My deepest regrets and condoloences to his family. He was a damn good man who took me under his wing over there in Korea when I was a brand new private and was an excellent sergeant who tok his duty seriously. He was a good man and the world is worse off for not having him. Peace be unto him and his family. God Bless his family."
Sgt Aaron Goddard of Colorado

"I just wanted to thank your for the change that you have influenced in my life. I only knew you but for a few months, but seeing your happy face whether it was at the guy at Al Asad or or LDS meetings on sunday was a day lifter for me. I lerned from you that we must live what we Preach. I still remember hearing you say that as LDS members we should not be ashamed to say hi to one another when we saw each other. Yet for some reason it was hard for me, but not for your I can still hear you calling my name outloud in the guy just to say hi and give a hand shake. Thank you. you will always be missed in my heart."
Mauricio J. Uribe of Mission TX

"not a day goes by where i don't think: it's all my fault. i miss you bert... all i ever think about is how the world would have been that much more brighter if you were still here among us.
thank you for everything. you will ALWAYS be remembered."
D of San Diego, Ca

"SSG B was a good friend, a leader, and a mentor. He WAS a true NCO who helped Soldiers like me acheive what they want even when they are going through hardships. I will always charish the time I had serving with him in Camp Eagle, Korea and the little time I had gotten to catch up when we got to do some work together in Iraq. SSG B help guide me as a Soldier and his techings help guide me as a NCO. He will always live in the hearts of his loved ones and commards."
SGT Michael Amos of Hanau, Germany

"i found this site by searching for bertolino's.
i love you tony and everyone else that misses you..........R.I.P."
david bertolino of virginia beach, va

"I had googled Bertolino and came across this website, What a true hero. My prayers are you all."
Jodi Bertolino of Mandeville, Louisiana USA

"I was part of the medical team assigned with the med troop out of Ft. Carson, Co. I was a Physician Asst. with a surgical team attached to the med troop. I live in Minnesota. There were twenty of us from Minnesota, that spent a year with the med troop. At camp Al Asad, Iraq. I would like to let his family know that I am truly sorry, we couldn't save their loved one. When he came to us, there was nothing we could do for him. I am truly sorry.

I would like his family know that they truly lost a great man. I hope that his children understand that their father is a great, and unselfish man. I knew their father, and your husband for less than a year, but still cry when I think about him, and what you guys are thinking about.

I would like you guys to know that I was with the physician who called Stephen dead. When I first saw him, I started balling.

He was a happy man when I met him. He would always participate in running, walking events we had. He always had a smile on his face, and I know if he was a leader of mine that he wouldn't ask me to do anything that he wasn't willing to do himself.

I would like you guys to contact me so I can cry with you, and be there if you need anything, or have any questions.

E-mail me at sparkietech@yahoo.com

Or call me at (612) 860-5916

Love Sean"
Sean Smith of Eden Prairie, MN, United States

"All I can say is WOW. My brother and his family have touched a lot of lives. He is missed by so many at home and those still abroad in harms way. I look back at my life with Tony and it still makes me laugh when I think about all the fun things we have done and the trouble we got into together. As we got older and moved on to start our own lives we would talk from time to time about our service to our country and things to come for our future. We talked about friends made, good times had, foreign soil visited, battles won and dark days. He was my brother, my friend, and my comrade in arms. I love and miss you bro but you live on. I see you in your kids and we still talk every night. The memories that you have given me and others are cherished. Thank you for being my only friend during so many moves as a child. Thank you for what you have given for our country. Thank you for the wonderful children you have brought into this world you must be so proud of them and their strength. Thanks for being you….
Love your little brother, Mark

United States Navy
Chief Petty Officer Retired
Bertolino, Mark P.

P.S. To answer that question I always joked you about when you asked….. Yes you were, are, and always will be a great big brother. The same goes for Joe and Mike. Thanks guys… My thoughts are always with you Susan and please give the kids a hug for me…"
Mark Bertolino of Moyock, North Carolina

I wanted you to know that we think of you and your family often. There are not words that can express how sorry we are for your loss. I cannot begin to imagine the pain your family has been through, and the admiration I have for your strength. I want you to know that we still think of him often, and of your family!"
The Yates Family of From Ft. Carson, Co

"This past memorial weekend I traveled to my hometown, San Diego, for the first time in four years eager to meet up with SSG Bertolino. To my dismay I learned of his passing, a loss to everyone. He was my Army recruiter at the Santee Branch four years ago. His dedication and duty to country has greatly bettered myself and is much appreciated. I owe my sucess in the armed forces to SSG Bertolino and his loving family. May God bless you and your family kind brother. quicksilversurfer@charter.net

A/3/5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)"

"Please accept my deepest sympathy to the Bertolino family. My name is Clancy DeVries and I paint portraits of fallen Heroes. I work with Kazeah Hancock as a participating artist on "Project Compassion". Please go to web sight "www.heropaintings.com" and review page 3. All portraits of Heroes are in oils and are free of charge. My address and phone number is on the web sight or on google under my name. Please call me. God Bless you."
Clancy DeVries of Newport Beach, CA.

You will always be my platoon sgt.
You were like a father to all of us in the Avionics platoon. When you left us it hit us hard. But through the strength that you taught us all we pulled each other together. You are the sole person that I most admire. You were a true leader, mentor, and friend. All the troops from Avim Spt 3rd ACR miss you dearly. Take care friend and we will all meet you one day at Fiddlers Green. And to Susan, Our hearts and prayers are with you."
PV4 Phillips, Benjamin of Manchester, TN


I was in your ward in Ft Sill Oklahoma. I also had the opportunity to give Tony a blessing while he was in basic training. I was in the Servicemens Group there with him. Our families lived on the same street on Spaulding. I pray for you and wish you peace. When I heard of Tony's passing I wept. I miss him and although we had not seen each other in years it seems like yesterday. Hang in there.."
Jay Marks of Arlington Texas

"Tony, it has been a year and you are not forgotten. You and your family will always be in our hearts and thoughts."
The Woods Family of Ft. Carson, CO

It has almost been a year since you gave your life for this country. It seems like yesterday when we were stationed together in Savannah. I want you and your family to know that many people still think of you and your family. You will never be forgotten by any of us. I know you can see how proud your family and friends are of you. Take care my brother."
Colin Voveris of Tucson, AZ

"Tony and I worked together at Oglethorpe Mall doing security. He was a hard worker and extremely fun to be around. It broke my heart to find out that he is gone. My prayers go out to his family. The Lord has truly received a great SOLDIER!!!!"
Ransen Y. Daily Sr. of Savannah, GA

"I knew Tony for but a short while but for that short time he made a big impact on my wife and my lives we also spent time with Tony on an "evacuation vacation". My heart and preyers go out to Susan and her children. Tony was a great man and is sorely missed."
Ashley Davidson of Savannah, Georiga

"God Bless you and your family. I was looking for links to the Bertolino family name and found this tribute page. And Thank You."
Steve Bertolino of Lakeville, MA USA

"I have so many great memorys of tony. He was a great man. Are familys spent so much time together it was like we were a one big family. We will never foget what a wonderful man he was. I have great memorys of our families at Christmas Eve partys that i wouldn't trade for the world. My heart is with his family. We love you tony"
Sarah Ray of Dade City ,FL

"I have so many great memorys of tony. He was a great man. My heart is with his family. We love you tony"
Sarah Ray of Dade City ,FL

"Brother Tony,
You were a great friend in High School, and challenging running partner. Tim and I did as much as we could for you in our Air Force roles to keep you and your comrades safe in Iraq. On this Memorial Day, my prayers are with you in heaven, and with Susan and your family you left here for us to continue to protect in Freedom's name."
Dan Nickerson, Lt Col, USAF of Deployed, GTMO, Cuba

"I am sorry for you Jaime Morris.
I know how it feels.I lost my Grandpa.
I know how you feel.
Barker Middl School

"Sad to hear about Stephen. Alas becoming all too common now in what is looking like Vietnam - mark II. My sympathy with his family, and everyone who knows him. Site found via searching for Larry Bertolino... who commented on here."
ian baldwin of Reading, UK.

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

"Dear Susan:

I opened the March issue of the Ensign this morning and was sad to see the news. I shared the news with Teddy. Although your family was only in Savannah for a brief time as I recall, we both want you to know that we thought a lot of you and Brother Bertolino. He always had a welcome smile and was willing to serve others. We are proud to have known such a fine man who would lay down his life to defend ours. May Heavenly Father comfort you and your family and continue to bless you."
Teddy and Kathy Blocker of Pleasant Grove, UT

"Susan, Please know that my heart is with you and your children now and always. I am so glad I have gotten the chance to meet you. You are so much stronger then you think. Never forget he will always be there with you to help you through your life. And if there is anything ever I can do to help I am here."
Melissa, Carson and Dakota Givens of Fountain Colorado USA

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

"Staff Sgt: Bertolino:
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

"I love you Uncle Tony. Take care of Grandma for me. Love always Jaime"
Jaime Morris of Owensboro, Kentucky

"Was searching online, searching for bertolino's in the military. I am currently active duty navy, and was just curious, thus the searching. And found, and read about Stephen. I am sorry you have to bear the burden. My thoughts and prayers are with your family."
Larry A. Bertolino Jr. of Corpus Christi, Texas

"Hey there little Brother I just want you to know how proud I am of you,Your my Hero! I miss and Love you so much! Susan and the kids are doing ok, it will be hard for all of us, but I thank God for the memories, and I know we will meet again on Heavens streets of Gold, watch over Mom for me! Thank you to everyone who has written such beautiful things to my Brother and the Family! Your Prayers are needed and greatly appreciated! May God Bless you all!"
Michelle Bertolino Morris of Owensboro, Kentucky

As I read an email from one of our friends CW4 Perkins, I can not believe that you are gone. I remember our fun times and our disagreements at work at Hunter Army Airfield and our first rotation to Kuwait together in 1998(Operation Desert Thunder). You were a great individual and father and you will be missed greatly. I would like you to know that I still have the E6B and flight computer that you gave me before I left for flight school. You are forever in my prayers."
CW2 Lorenzo J. Key of Savannah, GA/USA

"Thank you Stephen Bertolino, 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

"From the sands of Iraq I send my condolences. SSG Bertonlino has blessed many lives. I pray for his family and children."
SSG James Woods of Al Asad, Iraq

Sam Bonner of San Antonio, Tx.

"I remember Brother Bertolino well as your family and our's always spent time together. Such as our "Evacuation Vacation." I feel so bad for Tony, Daniel, Korina and Jason. And for you, too, Susan. May God be with you all."
Justin Ray of Dade City, FL

"To the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Stephen Bertolino:
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 Stephen 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 Staff Sgt. Stephen Bertolino:
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 Stephen, 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