Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army CW2 Michael T. Blaise

29, of Tennessee.
Blaise died when his OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter crashed on its way back from a combat mission near Mosul in northern Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 101st Aviation Brigade, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Died on January 23, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army CW2 Michael T. Blaise.


Contributions to the Families of the Fallen


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

Please report inappropriate messages

"Hey Cap'n Kate
Time doesn't heal all wounds
Take care"
Billy Crosby-BAN'SHEE of Moncks Corner, SC

"Kate, I just finished your book and really enjoyed it. I'm so sorry for your loss. Mike sounds like he was one great guy! Maybe he's up in heaven singing Travis Tritt's, Here's a quarter, at this very minute. Your book was a real eye opener to all that the soldiers endure in active duty. Thank you so much for your service! God bless!

Melissa Nelson of Rock, MI

"Michael T. Blaise, you are not forgotten. I was in Echo Troop 2-17 Cav during the first deployment to Iraq, in 2003. I did not know CW2 Blaise very well, but I loaded his helicopter with ammo many times. My thoughts and prayers are with your family."
Chris Smith of Sedalia, MO


Sending you my thoughts and prayers. I have so many fond and fun memories of Mike! I remember the excitement in his voice and eyes when he spoke of you! I am grateful and a better person, having known you and Mike both. I heard Mark Wills on the radio today and it made me think of Mike.

Lots of love and hugs,"
Heidi Lavka (lavkahb@gmail.com) of Lampasas, Texas

I also read your book. Mike is a hero and so are you. Thank you both. I know this is probably not enough but my family and I greatly appreciate you both. God be with you and your families. Thank You."
Nick Eaton of Rockwall, TX

"Hi Kate,
Just finished your book and really enjoyed it. I am a Army veteran and appreciate your service. I hope things are going well in your life."
Jerry Brand of Tinley Park,IL USA

"Precious Kate... words cannot express my heart... may God keep you. Anjie"
Anjiegirl of McChord (JBLM) AFB

"Kate, it is august 2011 and i just found out that mike past away. It has been very difficult for me to learn of your loss. Our loss. Seems like yesterday we were in the apartment in Clarksville and mike was signing a country song to us all. It is so very difficult to learn of so many soldiers I served with have past on over the years. I'm sorry that it is only now I'm learning of this, I guess when he shifted to flying I lost track of him. Noemi and I wish you well and if you ever want to talk or catch up in some way or should you need anything please do not hesitate to call upon us. We live in Nashville tn and have a condo in Miami beach. 6159830605 6159830601 once more I'm very sorry to find this so late. Mike will always ne imbedded in our good memories together at 101.
Mike Noemi wickham of Nashville, tn

"March 1, 2011: Kate, I just finished reading your book, and feel as though I know you, Mike, and your family, through your words. I know that Mike is in Heaven, and that you will be with him when your time comes. My heart is with you, your family, and Mike's family, and I want to thank you, Mike, your sister Lindsey, and all of your comrades for your service. My daughter is in the Air National Guard, and your book helped me to see the world through the eyes of a military person, which helps me to understand her better than I did before. God bless you."
Patti Wargo of Pittsburgh, PA, USA

"Just a note from an old CSM (Ret) Special Forces soldier. I served 4 tours in Vietnam and shed many a tear over my solders, didn,t think I had any left until I read your book. God bless you CPT Kate, you are a solder I would be proud to soldier with. Wish I could talk to you."
a lfred arellano of fayetteville nc 28304

"To the family of:Michael T. Blaise
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""

"It is August 2010 and your book Kate is still having a profound effect on ordinary civilians like me, several years after it was published . I listened to the audio version, and was moved beyond tears. Kate I hope you are doing OK in 2010, remember that there are people all across the USA who care."
Louise of Lawrenceburg Indiana

We still think of you so often! Would love to get back 'in touch' with you!!"
Shari Gerrard of Riner, Virginia US

"Dear Cpt. Kate,
I just came across you audio book at a truck stop. I bought it and started listening to it during the longs hours one morning while I was driving. i became hooked and it only took me one 1 day and i was finished now i am going to look for the hard copy for my wife. Coming up the 24th of April this month will be my one year mark back in the states. I was deployed with D Co. 2-149th General Support Aviation Battalion in Iraq. In september of 2008 we had a Fallen Angel and i lost a close friend who was helping me through trouble. Although this doesnt compair to ur loss i just want u to know that i somewhat understand where ur coming from. Ill keep u and ur family in my prayers and thoughts thanks for a great book.
Spc. Denney

Fly High Red River 44 and Chief Blaise and all others who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country u will never be forgotten.

Christopher Denney of Shiloh, Alabama/ United States of America

Not sure if you read these posts. I just finished the audio book Heart of a Soldier. My husbands family is from Missouri and also military (Air Force). I admire what you have done for our country and mourn your loss, it was as if for 14 hours of audio I was so much a part of your family. How do we begin to thank you. If you are ever in North Carolina please know that you have a place to stay in our home."
Connie Lord of Ellenboro, NC, USA

"Kate, Terry & Cheryl,
6 years and I still think of Mike often. I hope this note finds you all well. And please remember, Mike will never be forgotten and you will always be in our prayers."
Tim & Josie of Clarksville

"”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to the hero’s Mother, Father and/or spouse. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Over 1,800 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
This is a gift! We have some wonderful sponsors who help with the costs, and only want you know that we care.
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com or go to www.heropaintings.com . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Project Compassion , Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"To all who read this CW2 Michael Blaise was a great man and a great husband. I served with Mike in Korea (Camp Stanton). We had some of the greatest times, I miss him and I love him. I know he is in heaven sining some Travis Tritt as we speak. Miss you brother and see ya on the other side."
CW4 Richard H. Finlan Jr. of Ft. Rucker, AL

On the eve of Veteran's Day 2009, I want to tell you Mike and all of the fallen soldiers will not be forgotten. I hope you and your family are well. God Bless."
Tania of Excello, MO/ USA

Your words brought me to tears on several occasions. Not a day goes by that I don't think about the sacrifice and price that you, Mike and the thousands of other servicemen have paid for their country and all of us. Thank You for sharing your experiences and opening up to the rest of us."
Martin Sauer of Spencerport, NY, USA

"Dear Kate,

I have listened to your book on Audio four times and read it once. It is probably one of the most well written books that I have ever had. I wanted to thank you for sharing you and Mike's story. I never really understood how things were in the Middle East until your book. It throughly opened my eyes to what our men and wemon have been going through over there. I am saddened and sorry for your loss. I just wanted to leave you a message. If it wasn't for people like you and Mike this country would not be near what we have today. I think that what you have went through is truely heroic. I want to thank you for everthing that you have done for this country and for telling your story. You are truely a special person. Thank you again."
Correy Correll of Liberal, KS

"I just wanted to say thanx for making such a book im not related to them in anyway but glad to share a name with them."
Travis Dasch of Litchfield Michigan US

"Hey Kate I just finished your book and really enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing your life."
Greta Pitcher of Missouri

"Kate, I just finished reading your book. You are so brave for all that you have done and for sharing it all with the public. Thank you for sharing all the wonderful stories of Mike. I will forever have a better appreciation for the dedication and sacrifices of our service men and women. Those in active duty, those who are not and your family will remain in my prayers. I just read another person's entry into this site and I have also read the Matthew Kelly book. Your book will remain on my bookshelf. Thank you, thank you and thank you. You are a talented writer and were ever your path has lead you and will lead you in the future, you will surely be a success. Peggy O'Flaherty, Downers Grove IL"
Peggy O'Flaherty of Downers Grove, IL

"I just read "Heart of a Soldier." My grandparents are from Ethel MO, and they gave me your book. I just want to say "Thank you" both for your service and your story. - Thank you."
Nelson G. of Kansas City, MO

"Dear Kate,
I remember standing in the library. It instantly jumped out at me, “The heart of a solider” and then my eyes proceeded to read further, by Kate Blaise and Dana White. I thought to myself, “Wow, somebody else has that same name?”
My good friend in college had a very interesting name, Dasch. He also had three brothers, chase and blaize. I remember thinking the name blaize had such unusually ring to it, one of courage and strength. I know the name isn’t that common so once I noticed not only the title but your last name, I was hooked.
That was about three years ago, since I saw your book at the library. About the same time, I was reading this book called the “The Rhythm of life” by Matthew Kelley. There is a section of this book where he says fill your bookshelves with all the great books that touched your life, so that one day you may look back and be reminded of how that book made you feel in that chapter of your life. Reflect how this book changed you. Kate, “The heart of a solider” is on my bookshelf. Thank you for sharing your story for all to hear. It certainly made an impact on me.
Ever since reading your book, I would imagine what I would say to you, and how, I would say what it was that made me feel so touched by your book. Since then, I have been thinking about finally sitting down and talking the time to express to you how I feel. I was also truly inspired once I found this blog posting and read all the comments from those people also touch by your story.
Even after three years, I still vividly remember all your memories. Once I saw your picture of you and Mike once again, it made me think of when you had gone to Mike’s grandfather house. I don’t why he popped into my mind but all I envisioned was a tender grandpa living out in the country with an open door and time for conversation. The thought of him makes me laugh. I also remember the picture you have of Mike hanging on your rear view mirror, also taking a ride with you in the car.
You had impacted me in so many ways, when reading your story, I too was dating a gentlemen in the army. I too remember visiting him in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. I remember how tired he was after his air assault school. I knew exactly how you felt when you were cooking all those steaks for Mike! I remember all the great memories you wrote about Mike and with your families. I remember all your pictures that were bided to your book in the middle with Mike. I remember the way you spoke to about your dad, and I too feel the same. Kate, I just wanted to let you know that reading your book made me laugh, cry, ponder, understand and learn. I especially wanted to thank you for your courage, strength, attitude, service to your country and love. I wish you all the best and more! Stay in touch,"
Jamie of Bay Village,Ohio

"A 'Veteran' -- whether active duty, honorably discharged, retired, or reserve -- is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America,' for an amount of 'up to, and including his life.'

Mike, you are truely a Hero"

"For those who did not know,

Mike and I served in the same unit. I was in the operations room when the call came in. Mike was an awesome person, more so than a soldier. I recall many times he would walk to his flight briefs at the brigade and give up the humvee going there to the troops working on the flight line so they could go to eat. He always had a smile on his face. even on the worste days, you could count on him to make you laugh about something silly and of topic. A year prior to our deployment Mr Blaise and I were assigned to a funeral detail where we had to render honors to a WW2 vet. We stayed in a little town WAY out in the middle of no where called Dyersburg. Haha we stayed at a Motel 8 and he called it Binladen's broom closet. I had been to many of these details, and the only one that bought tears to my eyes was when we had to preform a service for our Executive Officer in 2002,However, this one holds a special place in my heart for me. Mike and I both were heavely moved by this service. This fallen soldier's service was attended by the entire town. Every store was closed, even the gas stations. Mike fell to tears when a 8 yr old boy came up and said his piece and started to cry. Of all of my fellow officers that I had been on detail with, I never seen such compassion for another as I did with him. When we had our service for him in Kuwait, I could not hold my self together. I looked around and you could not see a single dry eye in the formation. He was very loved by all. I prayed each and every day after that that I could just wake up and it be a bad dream. I still do to this day."
SPC Christopher Hudson of Formerly Ft Campbell KY, now C co 7-158 AVN Salem Oregon

"Dear Kate.
I just finished reading your book, and I can not possibly express what it meant to me. Although I do not have any family members in the military, it gave me new perspective on the life of our military personnel. I am humbled when I think of the sacrifices that our military members make for this country and our freedom every day. I don't think there are words to adequately express my gratitude to you and all members of the military everywhere who fight for us every day. Thank you and may God Bless You All, each and every day. May ALL of our soldiers come home SOON, and safe! I hope that life has gotten a little easier each day. Please know that you are not alone in your grief. I can honestly tell you that I cried for you, for Mike, your families, and the families of all who have lost a loved one."
Sue of Massachusetts

"Dear Kate,
I have just finished the audio version of your book. I just wanted to say how much I liked the book and am so thankful that we have had the two of you serving our country. At one point in the book you had mentioned the soldiers that would come after Mike and hear all the stories about him and feel bad that they hadn't gotten to meet him. Well, I feel that way as well. What a wonderful man he must of been. Thank you both so much for fighting for our freedom."
Kimberly of Melvindale, MI

"Kate, I just finished reading your book. As I read, I felt like I related to each step in your story even though I am not a solider or married to a soldier. Thank you so much for sharing your story and the life of Mike. His life lives on in complete strangers who take life lessons from your book."
Nikki of Indiana

"We will always remember Michael tho we have never met him. He was a true Patriot and warrior. I will place his photo on my Warrior's wall for all to see. I have a flag wagon that I pull for the Patriot Guard and the outside is a wall in memorium of our warriors. God Bless"
Chaplain Larry Page of Kirksville, Missouri USA

I just finished your book after not being able to put it down. Knowing the outcome, I had a hard time turning each page, wondering if the next would bring the news of Mike's death. I didn't want it to happen so badly. What makes America worth fighting for are people like Mike. Thank you for sharing his story with me and for touching my heart. May God be by your side always."
Michelle of Woods Cross, UT

I just finished reading your book and would like to say how sorry I am for your loss. I feel you were truly blessed to have been loved by such a great man.I would like to thank you and your family for giving so much for our country..."
Tina of Baltimore,MD

"May 25, 2008 To all the Blaise family and friends. My heart and gratitude are with you. Thank you for your sacrafice."
Heidi Swartz of Chesapeake, VA

"May 25, 2008 To all the Blaise family and friends. My heart and gratitude are with you. Thank you for your sacrafice."
Heidi Swartz of Chesapeake, VA

"Kate and Family,

I served with Mike in the Rakkassans (Scout Platoon) at Fort Campbell. I thought the world of him. He was a great person, friend, soldier, and husband. I was extremely shocked and upset when I learned of his death. I will always remember Blaise and the ultimate sacrifrice he made for his country."
Robert Barham of Jackson,TN

"April 23, 2008
To the family of CW2 Michael T. Blaise:
Michael 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 knew Mike, I was his team leader when he was in Panama, him and Dain Christensen, who has left his own posting below were Soldiers in my platoon. I remember him as a mud rolling, hard charging PFC who main desire in life was to get his EIB and his Ranger tab. He was a pleasure to work with, I could always count on him to do the right thing and kept his equipment maintained, and his sense of humor kept everything light. Panama was a very difficult environment and he was a bear of a man and had trouble in the heat and humidity, but he soldiered on because that is what we do. Ironically, my unit stopped at where he was stationed in Iraq, a few days after he died to provide security for units there that took the long drive back to Kuwait. If I had only known. I wish his wife well, her book filled in a lot of gaps for me."
SFC Philip Binns of Baghdad, Iraq

"I wanted to leave my condolences for the family and Cpt Blaise. I am a military wife as well although I am not another soldier and I can't imagine the pain you have endured. I am currently reading your book and want to buy it for some people in the FRG and can't find it anywhere but the library. My love and prayers sent to you always!

Lesley Soares of St. Louis, MO

"Dear Kate and family,
My heart goes out to you and your family.My son Thomas spent 15 months in Iraq and I spent every single day in total fear,I ended up in 4 car wrecks,had 2 heart attacks and dealt with breast cancer on top of it all.I was afraid of my own front door,that someone would tell me my only child had died.My son came home, and I thank God every single day.I don't think I could have gone on if he passed away over there;and I want to tell you that my heart and soul go out to your family and if you ever need to talk or need a shoulder to cry on you can call me 24 hrs a day,7 days a week[865-964-7765].Please know youe are not alone and your son did not die in vain ,he gave his life serving his country.My son came home phyically but emotionally he is distroyed at this point,he can not function mentally as he did before the deployment and he can not talk about the things he saw or the things he had to do in the line of duty.I hate all the pain this war has caused and I pray to God to please take that hate from my heart,please know your son is not forgotten and I will keep you and your family in my prayers."
Cynthia of New Market ,Tn.

"Dearest Kate and Blaise family,
i do not know how to express my deepest sympathies.

i dont ever think that i could say something that would take the pain away, or give you comfort by telling you that he is next to God right now and is watching you every day and cracking jokes till the heavens are filled with laughter. But thankyou for raising an amazing person and soldier. It is families like you that make this country great and strong. I never knew mike unfortunatly but i believe he was an incredible indiviual and one of the most courageous soldiers that our nation could produce. thanks for making him the person he was.

well i never had the pleasure of meeting you but i wanted to thankyou for your service. you are a true role model and i wish there were more people like you and your husband in this world. i myself, have just enlisted into the U.S. Marine Corps and leave June '07 for bootcamp. I am also engaged at the young age of 18 but my fiancee and i have been through alot together and love eachother and he is currently in the army aswell. He just completed his first tour in iraq and is preparing for his 2nd tour this august. you are an incredible woman and maybe one day ill look you up.lol until that day please take care of yourself and god bless you in everything you must face and endure. i wish you the up most happiness for the rest of yours and your family's life. thanks for your semper fidelis (always faithful) service and thanks for the great book. i would love to hear from you one day
olga chavez, 18, future of the US Marine Corps of fort worth, texas

"Just a simple Thank You"
Shirley of Defiance, MO /USA

I bought your book last week and I finished reading it today. It was an amazing story. I graduated from Knox County High School in Edina MO with Travis Burkhardt who was killed in Iraq in June of 2003. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of Travis and all the soldiers who put their own lives in danger in order for me to have my freedom. I will think of you and Mike now as well. I am so sorry that you had to suffer the pain of losing your husband and bestfriend, and you and Mike's family will be in my thoughts and prayers often. Thank you for all you and your fellow soldiers do! I am one American who may not always agree with things, but I will stand behind the men and women who are serving our country. God Bless!"
Beth Clay of LaBelle, MO, Lewis County

"Dear Kate and family,
I recently bought your book off a sale table - not having any idea what I was buying - but I would have gladly paid full price for the privilege of reading your and Mike's amazing story. While having time off for Christmas - I read your book - and was genuinely blessed. Thank you for your dedication and service to the people of our country and the people of Iraq. I trust that you will continue to experience God's provision and blessing as you share your life message with others. You and Mike made a difference with your military service - and you will continue to make a difference wherever this book goes. I am glad I found it - and I pray that God will continue to guide your life and bless you in all you do."
Forrest Lowry of Lexington, TX USA

"Dear Terry & Cheryl,

I write this on the eve of Veteran's Day 2007. Just wanted you to know we are thinking of you and remembering Michael and his love of this country and the ultimate sacrifice he gave for that love. Our family misses seeing you all. I am challenged tomorrow to present the Children's sermon at our new church, Horton United Methodist. How do I explain to 20 or so grade schoolers about the meaning of Veteran's Day? It is not so simple...Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. May we all abide in peace some sweet day.
Love, Nancy, Mark & children"
Nancy Noyes-Ward of Horton, KS

"I just recently found out. I remember the last time I talked to Michael way back in 1997 or 1998 after we left Panama together. I've always told a story to whining soldiers of Blaise and I freezing our butts off while manning a M60 machinegun - it must have been 60 degrees but it was cold enough for us to contemplate "spooning." He was a great friend and soldier back then, and is missed greatly."
Dain Christensen of Fort Campbell KY

"To the Family and friends of Michael Blaise:
It is Memorial day 2007 as I write this. I did not know of Michael and his story but I am inspired to learn more of this fallen hero. This past Sunday at our church First Baptist Orlando we remembered those that had fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan by placing flags with the names of those that have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of this nation. It was Michael's flag that I carried and had the privilege to pray for his family and friends. I will never forget Michael's sacrifice to protect and keep me and my family free. May God Bless you for He who gave His Son Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice for our forgiveness knows your loss."
Mark Peters of Orlando

"I am praying for your family. I know that Mike is looking over you. I often get questioned by friends about my support for the war. My friend Mike has been in the Army since fall of 2000. We have never talked about what he's gone through. I don't think he'll ever be able to talk about it. Reading your book helped me understand what he's going through a little bit better. I am so thankful for everyone in the service and all that they do to not only help America, but to help those in Iraq struggling to re-start now that Hussein's regime is done. I will pray for your safety until the day you can meet Mike again in heaven. I too like Mike believe that when God calls us to go, it's our time, and nothing we do can stop it."
Stephanie of Bluff City, TN, USA

"To Kate and the Rest of the Blaise Family,

My name is PFC Brandy Bottoms. I am in the National Guard in Macon. I was previously on Active Duty. I was stationed down in Ft. Hood, Texas. I just realized while i was reading all the other messages on here that CW2 Michael Blaise passed away the same month i was over in KC going through the MEPS Station for the Army. I am truely sorry for your loss. I'm sure he was a great soldier. Kate, i have finally been able to read your book, and it is just absolutely an amazing story. You did an amazing job. No matter what you do in life, just remember that Michael is watching over you. God Bless you and your families."
PFC Brandy Bottoms of Macon, MO USA

I just wanted to say Thank you. Thank you so much for the sacrafises that you and Mike made. My husband was overseas when the war kicked off and I spent everyday dreading what might happen. I want to thank you so much for your book. I was fortunate that my husband only spent 3 months abroad. However he did come back a different man and I never truly understood why. He wouldn't share all of those difficult memories with me. After reading your book I have a better understanding of what he went through and I can never thank you enough for that.
I truly believe that you and Mike are heros. All of the men and women who do what you have done every day make me proud. I am very sorry for your lose and the lose of Mikes family. My prayers are and always will be with you all. Thank you for having the courage to not just survive but to share with others. You and Mike have deeply touched my life."
Stacy of Pelham, Alabama

I just read your book. I am so sorry for your lose. In time God heals all hearts. I know its sometimes hard to grasp.I also have the love of my life, and if I lost him I don't know what I would do. He served in Desert Storm. Just know Micheal was a true hero. Thank you both for your sacrifices.May God Bless you and always keep you safe. I pray you find much happiness. Thanks for writing the book,and sharing your story."
Cindy Coleman heavenbound4232000@yahoo.com of Madisonville, TN USA

"Dear Kate,

I am new to the army ways, and my heart is over in Iraq as I write this. "Six" more months left. It has been very difficult for me, not understanding what goes on or what he goes through.He keeps everything silent. I don't have anyone that can understand, as noone in my circle has experienced this. So, I paced the library in effort to understand. Coming across your book has been a Godsend!!! Thank you for sharing your story, your love for the army and our country. Most of all, your love for Mike, who without a doubt sits next to Jesus at every meal, making Him laugh. I laughed and cried with you, and prayed for you as well. Your words have brought meaning and understanding to my life, helping me accept Paul's "disappearances" from hearing from him, his quietness of the ongoings, etc. You are an amazing woman, but most of all, an amazing soldier. Thank you for loving our country and serving as you do. God bless you and Lindsey, keeping you safe as this war continues."
Daun Desjarlais of Orlando, Florida

I listened to your audio book and was moved to try and contact you. I wanted to let you know how much your sacrifice means to me and our country. Your words revealed your heartfelt dedication and love for our country and it's people. My words can never fully express our thanks for what you and your husband Mike willing did for us. I am so saddened by the fact that Mike was unable to return home with you. His life should be an inspiration to us all. God bless the both of you as you continue to be in our prayers.

Neil A. Davis of Gothenburg, NE

"Kate, I just finished Heart of a Soldier and wanted to thank you for honoring your husband by telling his story. You also shared your story as a military wife, and being one, too, I could relate to so much of what you were writing, especially about the challenges that come with the Army job always being the top priority. My husband was with the 101st in Iraq with you guys. He was a communications officer with the field artillery. He didn't remember actually meeting you but was sure he had seen you around. Your book gave me much insight into what things were like over there. Thank you for all your personal sacrifices over the years. I pray that you will find the happiness that Mike would undoubtedly want you to have. Stay strong and focused on your future. God has wonderful things waiting for you (Jeremiah 29:11-13), and don't give up on adoption. You could still do that. You'd make a great mom -- you have already proved yourself a great person, a great wife and a great officer. You have my utmost respect. God bless you and your family."
Ellen of Rock Hill, SC

"I picked Heart of a Soldier up at the library mostly because I think of the soldiers all the time. Usually I read fiction. I was very touched by your not sugar coating who you and Mike are as people. I laughed I cried and it gave me much to think about. Sometimes you can not have a conversation with friends, family and so on about the war because of so many mixed reactions. I believe in what all the soldiers and goverment are trying to to do . I believe the Bible tells us there will be wars. And I thank all of you who are so willing to in list knowing this is what may be your duty. I have know one person serving right now but my father was in the Korean war and is a very proud veteran. I thank you for a more inside track about Iraq. May God Bless you with a new happiness. I hope one day you will have all that you and Mike dreamed of."
Pam Pocratsky of Hicksville, Ohio

"Not long ago I purchased a memorial bracelet online. It's one of those black metal ones that are made so that fallen soldiers will never be forgotten. The name on the bracelet is chosen for you, and mine just happens to read, "CW Michael T. Blaise, 2/17 CAV 101st AVN 101st AB, 23 JAN 2004 Iraq." I wanted to know more about this soldier, so I looked his name up online. That's where I learned his story. There may be some significance in the fact that his memorial bracelet found its way to a soldier who is currently stationed in Mosul, Iraq. I wear it every day.

There isn't much that I can say to the friends and family of this hero. You must be very proud of him. I just thought you would like to know that he will not be forgotten and that he is still making an impact on soldiers here in Iraq."
SPC Cara Ward of Mosul, Iraq

"Though the ones we love may leave life as we know it, in our memory, the love we knew will always carry on. Michael is a true hero!"
Mary Allspach of Bevier, Mo USA

"Dear Kate,

I recently selected your book at our local library and was tremendously touched by your story.

My sincerest thanks to you and Michael for the incredible sacrifices each of you made in service to your country.

May you find contentment in recalling fond memories of your life with Michael and may you be fulfilled in all your current and future endeavors."
Billie Jon King of Fountain Hills, AZ

"Dearest Kate,

My name is Karla Blaise. I’m Gerald Blaise’s daughter-in-law married to his son CM1(Retired) John Blaise. First and foremost, John and I have the utmost respect for you. You all have been in our hearts and prayers, and our deepest sympathy goes out to you, Terry, Cheryl, and of course the rest of our family. I know I can call or email you anytime, but I felt it was necessary to post something on here to share our thoughts about Michael. I find it so ironic that all three of you were over in Iraq at the same time, but didn’t have the opportunity to meet up before John left (June ‘03). John mentioned it a couple of times when he called me that he wanted to see you guys, but it seemed that it would be impossible to arrange and so it was. John told me Michael was a great person, and your book explained it well. (More to follow in another email.)

The three of you a did great job over in the “sand-box”. The courage, dedication, and pride that our military demonstrates over there crushes the negativity of those who “just don’t get it”. I see the hard work everyday working for the Navy, and it’s a shame that ignorance blinds those who don’t understand why we sacrifice part or all of our lives to keep our land free from those who would like to take over. Your book helped me understand what it was really like over there in Iraq, and I for one appreciate what you, Michael, and John did for us.

God Bless you Kate. You’re a strong woman, and I admire you for showing us through your book the life you shared with Michael. He will not be forgotten, and you can bet that his life’s story will be told through generation to generation. After all….that is a Blaise trait…to tell stories!

Karla Blaise of Callahan (Jacksonville), Fl

"Dear Kate:
Today is Memorial Day 2006 and I just finished listening to your book on the unabridged audio CD. I needed to write a note about how touched and moved I was by yours and Mike's story. I am a medically retired E-5 who would do anything to be allowed to return to active duty. I understand and still have the heart of a soldier. After all these years, I know I could contribute to the war effort in my capacity as a physician. I may not agree with the politics of the war but as an American, I am ready and willing to fight to bring freedom and choice to an oppressed people just as you, Mike and the other military personnel in both Iraq and Afganistan did and are doing. I cannot describe how I felt to hear you describe what women soldiers are being allowed to do in the military today. I was in the first basic training company in Fort McClellan to be allowed to fire the M-16 in 1974. Helen Reddy's song, I am Woman, was our motto. The military needs officers like you who have the soldier's best interests in mind. My first company commander taught me an important lesson..."If I take care of my soldiers' basic needs, they in turn will take care of the mission." I believed then and now. You and Mike are my heros. His loss is great. But he was doing what he loved. You know, I hear that about almost every soldier, sailor, marine and airmen I read about, "_____ was doing what he/she loved." Mike will always be watching over you and guiding you along the way as you move forward. Thanks for writing a wonderful book. Good luck to you as you move forward in your career in the Missouri National Guard."
Karen (kmrome@hotmail.com) of Northern California

"Dear Kate,
I took your book out of the library and read your book in one sitting. I was totally moved. Your book should be required reading for all Americans. I admire your courage and your faith.

I wish you happiness and success in the future.

Brooke Schostak
Brooke Schostak of Cherry Hill, NJ

"Dear Kate,

Incredible story of your life with Mike. I was deeply touched and can't imagine the pain you must feel and felt. I hold service to country in the highest regard and we will never forget the sacrifices that great people like Mike made in the line of duty and your family's dedication to duty and service of country. My utmost respect and condolences in your lost.

David Kothe (Macon H.S.Class of 1981) and Family"
David Kothe of Eaton, Co.

leonard_wahl@hotmail.com of Spring Texas

"Kate, I just finished your book, and I was once again moved by the actions of the men and women of our Armed Forces in Iraq. I am a veteran of the Korean era, and my family has military history going back to the Spanish American War. I have a nephew, SSgt Carl Moore, currently serving his second tour in Iraq, also with 101st. He is a Flight Engineer (gunner) on a Chinook, and was in combat in Afghanistan prior to Iraq. I am saddened by your loss, and proud of your service.
Thank you."
Bob Shoquist of Conroe, Texas

I just got finish reading your book & it was wonderful. Thanks for sharing your memories of Mike & your life together. He was an angel to you in your life."
Heather Hand of Marietta, GA

"Kate and Family,

Your story and inspiration has touched me deeply. My family and I want to thank you, Mike and the rest of the soliders that do a job of protecting us. When I first started to read your book, it sounded a lot like my life. But you went into the service. I became a mom. I too married my high school sweetheart. I can't imagine your lost. You are truly a special person with more strength than I can imagine.

God Bless,
Shannon H.
Shannon H of Westminster, MD/ USA

I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story.
V/R, CTM1 Jared Budenski"
of Sugar Grove, WV

"My sincere condolences on the loss of Michael. THANK YOU for all you've done and given for our country - The U.S.A."
Rhonda H. of WDM, IA.

"To the courageous family of Michael Blaise, My name is Sgt. Gordon Simerson of the Pennsylvania National Guard. I recently received the distinct honor of receiving a bracelet with your sons name engraved on it. I wish to let you know that I myself just recently returned from Iraq in March. I will wear this bracelet with Michael's name proudly and wanted you all to know that as a soldier myself, I wish to say thank you from myself and family for the ultimate sacrifice your family has made for the freedoms that alot of people take advantage of. My email is gordonsimerson@yahoo.com, and would love to hear from you and would like to sincerely express my pride in being attached to your son in this manner.I do not wish to disrespect you or Michaels good name, but to simply have a daily reminder of a true hero to me and my family as well as others who have passed for our country. If you do not wish to have any contact, I understand, if you do, once again I will be here. Thank you!"
Gordon Simerson of Forty Fort, Pennsylvania


A friend of mine pointed me to this site. I hadn't known it existed. On this Veteran's Day, I found my thoughts turning to you and Mike, to Lindsay. I never got to meet Mike, but from your letters, from word from your Dad and others, I got to "know" him a little. He will live in our memories and we know he lives with his Savior now. While we'll not see Mike at reunions, we know that we shall see him, and those who have gone before us, at the reunion in heaven.

Our prayers are with you, Kate, every day. The miles from China to Missouri are far, but just a blink in God's eyes, and we know He is watching over you. May He continue to bless you as He has so richly done up to this point."
Uncle Jim of Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

"I do not know if any of the family reads this, but I was a Scout Team Leader with Michael in 1996 when he was a Rakkasan. I was so proud of him as a soldier during that time. Years later when I came back to FT Campbell, I went to lunch at the Rakkasan Shoppette and there he was. I could not believe it. I am so sorry for your loss he is a great man, soldier and husband."
1SG Gabor R. Dobos of A Co 2/506TH IN, FT Campbell, KY

"I am in awe of the valor and sacrifices made by our soldiers and families. My family continues to affirm our appreciation and support for all that you do. Words seem so lacking, but perhaps our prayers meet our itention of paying tribute to the sacrifices that you make each day."
Evelyn Leopold of Fort Worth, Texas

"Kate and family,
I was so shocked and devastated to hear about Mike. I only found out about it in November when I returned to Fort Campbell and was looking through a co-workers pictures and saw you. It was then she told me. We all shared wonderful and crazy memories, and I will cherish those. Every time I pass by those old APSU apartments on Kraft street I think of you guys. Kate, you are a true source of inspiration for me, and I hope we cross paths again. For Mike, you are a true hero and I hope that I can be as brave as you in the face of battle. God bless!"
Chris Stelle of Clarksville, TN

"Kate and the Blaise family. I am proud to have known and to have served with such a great individual. He was a true warrior, but most of all, a true friend. Kate, I'm sorry I wasn't there. I wish there was something I could say or have done. You and your family are in my prayers. Take care, god bless."
Jeff (Ban'shee 15) 2-17th Cav of NJ

"To the family of CW2 Michael Blaise,
I came across this page and noticed your husbands name. My husband is overseas, he also flies a 58D Kiowa Warrior, and his first name is Blaise. Named after Saint Blaise. I just wanted to say that I am so sorry for your loss. It is a lot to give up for your country. I hope Americans are aware of what families go through.
God bless you and your families, and may time heal your pain.

Cheryl A. Gallahue"
Cheryl Gallahue of Norfolk, VA/USA

"To the family of CWII Michael Blaise,
I came across this page and noticed your husbands name. My husband is overseas, he also flies a 58D Kiowa Warrior, and his first name is Blaise. Named after Saint Blaise. I just wanted to say that I am so sorry for your loss. It is a lot to give up for your country. I hope Americans are aware of what families go through.
God bless you and your families, and may time heal your pain.

Cheryl A. Gallahue"
Cheryl Gallahue of Norfolk, VA/USA

"Never for a moment believe the lie that soldiers like this die in vain. Millions of Iraqies have the hope of escape to a free country because the U.S.A. acted boldly. Perfectly? No. Honorably? Absolutely! May the Peace that Passes Understanding be yours. WELCOME HOME, CHIEF! (A veteran of another unpopular war lost by politicians: 4th ID Plieku & An Khe, Vietnam)"
Don "Oboeman" Dodson of La Mesa, CA

"Kate, The Decker and Blaise Families
Words are never enough to heal the loss left when something this tragic happens. Nothing can replace your loss but knowing you were touched by the life of a national hero your be held close to your hearts. As a wife of an active-duty serviceman I worry day to day with this war on terror. May the Lord comfort each you and your families and may he give you the strength to move on in time."
MiChelle Richardson Smith (fsmith@coin.org) of Andersen AFB, GU

"Thank you Chief Warrant Officer Blaise for your service to our country. You are a hero and you will not be forgotten."
B. McNamara of St. Louis, MO

"To the family of Army CW2 Michael T. Blaise:
Kate, your cousin Tamara Wilhoit is married to my cousin Steve Wilhoit. That is how I heard about what had happened to Michael. My nephew, Spec. 4th Class Justin W. Johnson was KIA on April 10, 2004 in Sadr City by a roadside bomb. Our condolences and prayers go out to you and your family. "Freedom is Expensive--Thank God for men & women who are willing to pay this sacrifice so we can be free." --those are a few of the words spoken by Kenneth Jennings, the pastor at Justin's funeral. I just hate that our families have had to pay that price! Just know that Michael died with great honor by dying for his country! At Myrtle Hill Cemetery (where Justin is laid to rest) there is a famous poem by John McCrae on one of the memorial monuments entitled 'In Flanders Fields'.




Our family had T-shirts made up with Justin's picture and this saying "Remember the Fallen because Freedom Isn't Free". Let us remember all the Justin's and Michael's in the world and thank every veteran we see!

Amy (Johnson) Blankenship
And the Family of Spec. 4th Class Justin W. Johnson
May God Bless You!"
Amy Blankenship of Rome, GA

"God Bless you Blaise. I'm proud to say I served with you. You're in my prayers and so are your loved ones. Rest in peace buddy."
anonymous of the U.S.A.

"Dear Kate: As a Condor from 1971, in the Republic of Vietnam, let me just say that even those of yore mourn your loss. For your loss is our loss. America has lost a true hero, and will be the poorer for it. But his legacy will live on, and be the inspiration for more men like him, cut from the same bolt of fabric: dedicated, loyal, faithful, and committed to the task of defending your freedom, and fighting for the freedom of all those oppressed by tyrants and despots who oppose the freedom that we enjoy. God Bless you and yours,

Condor 47, Phu Bai, 1971"
Rick Schwab of Fort Worth, TX

"Mike Blaise, you were a great comrade and a true american hero. Your service and sacrifice will live forever in our hearts. You always did your best and carried out orders professionally. All of us who served with you appreciate men of your quality. When you were needed you were always right there. Enjoy your peace on Fiddler's Green."
CPT Rich Arnold "Condor 6" of Fort Campbell, KY (2-17 Cav)

"Warrant Officer Blaise, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

"Michael was a hero. He was so very brave with alot of courage. May God comfort you the family of him. I know that he is watching over you and us from that great place in the sky. May God Bless Wanda
Wandam of Manchester,Tenn USA

"Low Flight"

Dedicated to Michael T. Blaise

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth,

And Hovered out of Ground Effect on Semi-Ridgid Blades.

Earthward I've Auto'ed, and met the Rising Brush of Non-Paved Terrain;

And done a thousand things you would never care to.

Skidded and Dropped and Flared Low in the Heat Soaked Roar.

Confined there, I've chased the Earthbound Traffic

And Lost the race due to Insignificant Headwinds.

Forward and up a Little in Ground Effect,

I've Topped the Admirals hedge with drooping turns,

Where never SkyHawk nor even Tomcat Flew.

Shaking and Pulling Collective, I've Lumberd

The Low untresspassed Halls of Victor Airways;

Put out my Hand, and Touched a Tree.

Today Michael you Fly with Angels. Thank you for your Dedication and Sacrifice. "Godspeed Chief..."
Dennis B. Dray Maj (R) ARNG of Tucson, AZ

"Kate & family,

My deepest sympathy goes out to you and your family. Kate, you are a true warrior and Mike will always be remembered and will always be an American Hero! I pray everyday for the safety of our soldiers, for my husband is serving in Iraq also and is near where Lindsay is at.
I know Mike died doing what he loved to do and was proud to be an American soldier fighting for our freedoms, may you endure the memories you had with him and may his spirit comfort you. Mike's visitation and funeral was a true memorial and may you hold those memories of him near to your heart forever. You are a very strong person may God bless you and God Bless America for the freedoms that all of the American soldiers are fighting for and continue to fight for.
Thank you"
Kara Levett of Callao, Missouri

"Kate & family,

My deepest sympathy goes out to you and your family. Kate, you are a true warrior and Mike will always be remembered and will always be an American Hero! I pray everyday for the safety of our soldiers, for my husband is serving in Iraq also and is near where Lindsay is at.
I know Mike died doing what he loved to do and was proud to be an American soldier fighting for our freedoms, may you endure the memories you had with him and may his spirit comfort you. Mike's visitation and funeral was a true memorial and may you hold those memories of him near to your heart forever. You are a very strong person may God bless you and God Bless America for the freedoms that all of the American soldiers are fighting for and continue to fight for.
Thank you"
Kara Levett of Callao, Missouri

"I served with Mike for three years when he was still a recon solider in the infantry. He was a best friend and a brother to me. The news of his death is heartbreaking. Mike was a true American. He loved God, Kate, and his country very deeply. I miss all the future time we would have spent together. He was the epitome of a professional solider and, although I am crushed that his time was cut short, he died an honorable death. Mike has forever left a positive mark on my life (he’s also responsible for big scar on my face lol) and he will never be forgotten."
William Whiteley of Nashville, TN

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

"Dear Kate,

You don't know us. We are friends of Sally and Jace's. We have known of you and Michael for a very long time as they asked us to pray for you both when you guys went over to fight, not only for our freedom, but for those who could not fight for themselves.

Our unending gratitude for both of you, for Michael's sacrifice and continued prayers for you as you re-build your life, seems so small compared to the cost you have paid. But please accept them with our love and care and wishing that we could hug you and thank you in person. Some day....."
Jim and Terry Cornick of Glens Falls, NY

"Michael will always be America's Son, Friend and Brother. Michael will always be our Face of Freedom. I am so grateful that God has allowed you kids to touch our lives so deeply. We are richer because of the friendship we've shared and the cost of our Freedom will never ever be forgotten or taken for granted.
We love you dearly, Kate. I look forward to being able to wrap a hug tightly around you when you get back home.
Lindsay, you remain in our prayers and we hope to hear from you -- any ol' time!"
Jace & Sally Weber of Anabel, MO

"Hi Katie, Cheryl and Terry,
Michael is Macon's hero. It was an honor to stand in line to honor Michael as our hometown hero. His visitation was overwhelming and so beautiful. The Chronicle Herald, KTVO and KHQA did an excellent job honoring him also. We are all so proud of Michael and Katie, but we can't forget Lindsay and we hope she returns home safely. We will keep her in our prayers.
Love you,
your one friend :)
dcbowl2@missvalley.com of Macon, Missouri

"May you find comfort in knowing how many people share your sadness and loss. Thanks Michael for fighting for our freedom. You are a TRUE HERO! Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. We Will NEVER FORGET!"
The Grogan Family (USMC) of Lakeland, TN


I'm so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and Mike's family."
Chris of Nashville, TN

"CW2 Blaise:
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

"Thank you Michael Blaise, 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 CW2 Michael Blaise:
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 Michael 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 CW2 Michael Blaise:
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 Michael, 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