Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Joseph M. Blickenstaff

23, of Corvallis, Oregon.
Blickenstaff was in a Stryker vehicle when it flipped into a canal in Ad Duluiyah, Iraq. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Washington. Died on December 8, 2003.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. Joseph M. Blickenstaff.


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"June 2016
When visiting Arlington National Cemetery recently Armor Down was offering visitors the opportunity to honor a fallen warrior. My husband and I both accepted a card that had information about a service member including their name and their hometown as well the day they fell and in which conflict. The card I received was Joseph’s.

As the volunteer read the information out loud to me, tears filled my eyes. Although I did not know Joseph I was still so moved that this young man had made the ultimate sacrifice for his country, his brothers in arms, and for a people that might not understand or appreciate what he and others like him were fighting for.
After reading the card the volunteer asked if I would honor Joseph in some way. I answered yes to her question.

I write this account as my way of honoring SPC Joseph Blickenstaff. I am deeply humbled by his sacrifice and will remember this fallen hero each Memorial Day."
Gail of a fellow Oregonian

"Remember, if your personal details., Phen375 Gnc, 8D, Phen375 in Australia, 463559,"

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"Hey Joe,
I was thinking of you today and googled your picture. It felt good to see your face. It's hard to think that 10 years have passed since I saw that picture on the news and it took my breath away. I was so angry and so sad at that moment. I miss our long chats."
SB of Albany, OR

"I just wanted to tell you i think of you often and the times we shared. You were taken too soon. Love you"
an old friend of Eugene Oregon

"Joe, today just wanted to thank you for those good memories that still keep me going in tough times all these years later. I wish you could see Misha now, just turned 14 and I know her teen years won't be anything like ours, but she's had her struggles and when it's tough I try to think what you'd say, you were so good with her. First day back at school and she wore her Metallica shirt and purple streaks in her hair, I know you would have gotten a kick out of that. Just wanted to put it somewhere other than my prayers how grateful I am to you for all you gave us."
Missy of Oregon

"Joe- Laughing and singing with our family tonight I think of you.

Love Eric"
Eric Blickenstaff of Corvallis, OR

"You still live through our campfires, your music & our memories both funny & sad. And you always will. Thank you for touching us in moments when we least expect."
Your sister, Jen of Albany, OR

"just wanted to say today-"we mourn for those who never knew you"
you are missed by many
Missy and Michelle"
of oregon

"To Joe himself and to the family of "Joe" Blickenstaff:
I first met you at the M4's 300-meter qualification range on lane #3 as you walked up with your weapon pointed downrange as told to do so from the control point and your kevlar k-pot crooked to one side. i was coaching that lane that day. back then, CD players were the music thing to have, u had one in ur camelback. and i had my trusty slingshot and u thought it was funny. i was bored there so u introduced me to some metal music....static-x and coal chamber. ive been a follower of static-x and coal chamber since then. but coal chamber has dis-banded since then. the lead vocals now has another band called "Devil Driver", just thought youd like to know. well, u take care, Blackhawk brother....save me a shooting lane next to you at that 1000-meter shooting lane in the sky, ill be the one with the crooked k-pot to one side with an ipod loaded with some fresh metal. Prayers are with you and your family. RAT-FACE, over."
Andrew Haskie of Navajo Reservation, Chinle, AZ, USA


I can't believe its been 7 years, Michelle and I still smile at the days of you carrying her on your shoulders. We miss you. I know you are in a better place and watching over us all. I had to tell you I recently met some Marines who said they stole from the Striker brigade in Iraq-same time you were there, same place, I told them how the doors were locked before your patrol because of theft and tragedies could have been prevented-they should not have done that-I was so angry. I know many things went wrong that day and you should not have even been there with your contract almost up, but meeting people who may have contributed to it was enough to remind how easily it could have been prevented. I have tried to educate people wherever I go about all you told me was wrong about the equipment and operations when you got there. I am doing my best to live up to your sacrifice, I hope this helps you rest in peace, you told me to never forget and I never will. Love always."
Missy of Oregon

"Joe (or Joey as I better knew you),
Here it is, over 6 years since you have moved on from this life, yet I consistently think of you. I hate that we were so close for so long, and then just went our ways. For a very long time in my life, you were the left side of my brain. I always saw a strait, structured line; whereas you showed me beautiful and colorful angles to look from.
From the first time we met at Sarah Henry's house on Baker St., when I was in Kindergarten and you in 1st grade, I knew we were going to be close. We, together, mastered a plethora of video games, going up and down the elevators and swimming in the water fountain at the Court House by your old house on Ferry St., throwing tar at inanimate objects, swimming at Swanson Park, making coffee, Bohemian Rhapsody, River Rhythms, baseball card collecting, Learning lessons from bacon grease, drive-ins (the original Batman), fire via magnifying glass, basketball, how amazing an apple can taste after a teen military camp, and nearly everything in between.
You inspired me to draw, open my mind to the bigger picture, to be selfless and enduring. You motivated me to look beyond the "popular crowd" and give everyone a chance... regardless! You were there with me through the thick, and the VERY thin. I always hoped we would come together again as best friends like we were from grade school through middle school.
The last time I saw you, you were in an apartment by Ciddicci's Pizza. I stayed the night there and I remember thinking you seemed so lost, but still had the best outlook on life. I had told you that I signed up for the Navy and you were immediately supportive. Even then, when we had hardly talked for years, you were so accepting.
You were truly a one-of-a-kind. I know I will never meet another friend as loyal, caring, non-judging, enthusiastic, supportive, and overall AWESOME as you! I would do anything to be able to have my daughters call you "Uncle". I know I would not be where I am in my life, had it not had been for you. I will always cherish you as the best friend a person could ever possibly have; whether arguing about Star Wars, or philosophical debates about Pantera... a smile would almost always erupt from your thick-browed face upon the conclusion.
I am sorry I did not get to meet your new family, but I would have welcomed them with open arms. I am so proud of you for becoming a hero to so many, when you always were to me. I knew you would do great things; and that you did. No one can take that from you. I love you man, always will, and I can't wait to see you again."
Beau Bennett of San Diego, CA

I think of you often, Everytime I hear an Alice n Chains song, or even Static X I think of you (which is a lot cause I own almost every Static X album). There will always be a part of me that loves you. I miss you. Thank you for blessing me by being in my life even if it was just for a season. I gained so much just from knowing you. Thank you. I pray for your family often, well when I think of you, or when the holidays come around I pray for them. They are always covered in prayer. I miss you and I love you."
An old friend of PDX, Oregon

"Joe i just thought id tell you that i am getting married yeah i know weird huh its been awhile everyone misses you so much i know you'll be there in our hearts I've finally learned how to play the guitar ... i wish i had more time to get to know you i love you

-your niece"
Heather of bellingham washington usa

"I just want to let you know that Joe will not be forgotten. Everytime I go visit with Steve, I take flowers for him too. Close in combat, close in Heaven."
Debbie of Wife of SSG Steven Bridges

"April 23, 2008
To the family of Spc. Joseph M. Blickenstaff:
Joseph 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 3 years and more since your brother Eric, our friend Andrea and I began the Prayer Flag Project. Back then when we made your flag there were only 750 names or so, now we are closing on 4 thousand. The display's gotten so big that we have had to hand it off to the AFSC who have the money and volunteers to keep it up- it was too much for us- but I still volunteer to staff events where it is displayed, often. I have seen your flag waving in the wind on occasions too numerous to easily count now, in cities all up and down the State. I've never met you but I have mourned you often.
At the Eyes Wide Open Oregon exhibit I have handled your boots many times. I have set them out along with those of your fellow fallen, checked the pictures and text your family left for you for weather damage, untwisted the laces, set flowers by them, watched over them, answered questions they help inspire and then helped put them away at the end of the day.
Joe, I have had a lot of time to contemplate what your loss and that of your fellows means. I wish I could say that I thought your life was given in a great cause, but by now most of us know that's just not true. I have been adding flags to that display for too long now to be able to hide behind patriotic rhetoric and false sentiment. I believe that the best way to honor you and all your brother/sister soldiers is to look the truth dead in the eye and call it out plain: This war should never have happened because it broke the laws of our nation and our planet. It should never have happened because it was based on lies and lies should not lead to the deaths of what are now estimated to be 1.2 million people who never attacked us or supported anyone who did. This war should never have happened, period.
Joe, they lied to you and to me and to all of us and I cannot let that rest. I have stood by too many weeping relatives as tears drop onto the boots to do that. Because of this and so much more, I have promised and will continue to help fight to end this horrible crime of a war and to help bring about the changes that would make another unthinkable.
I do not know if this would meet with your approval, but knowing your brother and Jen, I'd venture a guess it would.
I hope that from where you are you can see the brighter tomorrow we are all trying to get to. It's really getting dark around here. Yesterday I read a story that I am trying not to believe- that the USAF has used tactical nukes in Syria. Please put in a good word with the Powers That Be for us. I think we will need advocates aplenty both here and there on the "other side" before this age is put to rest.

"Rest ye now, Soldier, in a place of Peace...""
Malcolm Chaddock, Veterans For Peace of Portland, OR

"To the family of:Joseph M. Blickenstaff 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"

"I served with Joe. There is'nt a day that goes by that I don't remember the sacrifice you made in Iraq. I will always remember the great times we had at the Schooner singing Kareoke. Happy Veterans Day Joe, you will never be forgotten and I will never stop speaking of you. To this day I feel guilty that you are not experiencing the new things I experience everyday. I will see you again brother, keep one cold for me"
Roberto Rojas of Portland, Oregon

"To the Blinkenstaff family,

We extend our thoughts and prayers to you. Although we have never met, we celebrate his life and know that JOSEPH is an American Hero. He is NOT FORGOTTEN.

JOSEPH, thank you for your service to our great country. You served us with dignity and honor. May God continue to Bless you and your family and may the Angels continue to surround them.

From a grateful family of an American Soldier, stationed at Ft. Campbell 101st Avn Regt, now serving in Iraq."
--Sharon & Craig Erwin of Otis, Oregon USA 10-16-05--

"I did not know Joseph but I know he was a hero. I am wearing a hero bracelet with his name, rank and the date he lost his life. I think of him every time I look at the bracelet and I think of the family he left behind. May God grant you peace. I will never forget the name and will continue to wear the bracelet."
Barbara of McMinnville,OR,Yamhill

"Hey there Joe, I hope that you may be resting in a much better place. Take it easy Amigo."
Mark Eckerman of Lakewood, WA

"hey joe, thats so f*cking gay! how many times did i hear you say that while listening to a band or someone sing? i miss you guy and please know that WE DID ALL WE COULD! i'm sorry joe, to you and your family."
ssg jonathan kleppel of steilacoom, wa usa

"Merry Christmas Joe.
You aren't forgotten."
Debbie Bridges

"Thank You for the gift of Freedom. Your sacrafice will never be forgotten. 12/4/04"
Grateful American of Macon,Ga

I hope you are seeing Better Days now..."
a friend of Oregon

"Brother Joe, 6 foot tall and 6 under,
We ache. We cry. We plant trees. Nothing fills the void of your absence. We’ll miss you for as long as we live -- long after History proves this administration to be the ultimate WMD. God help us.

So many more names now beside yours...each day more death for oil, power, and money...your example of righteous rage and justice lives on through us. Your legacy of passionate discipleship and devotion to your country calls me to respond to those who would redefine Christianity and patriotism to justify their cause. Through the chaos, my mantra of peace is: My heart is filled with love.

It’s also filled with sorrow.
Love you Joe,"
Sister Jen of 2nd star on the right and straight on till morning...

"Joe, you were my best friend... you helped me through some of the hardest times of my life... you made me who i am today and i will never forget you until the day i die... i will hail you in eternity... it is my life mission to see to it that those who are responsible for your death pay dearly... honour and glory are ours forever... HAIL VICTORY!!!"
Justin Endicott of Albany, Or

"You were always a cool dude at monroe. Rest in harmony and peace Joe."
MHS of Monroe, Oregon

"After all these months, I still can't believe that the little boy who played with my daughter, went to school with her & who climbed into the back of my VW to go to the babysitter after kindergarten, is gone from us. I cry every day when I think of him. He had just started to contributed to this world when his life was cut short. My family (especially my daughter) grieve daily for him, his wife, his parents (especially his mother, G, who is one of my friends), his sisters & brother & other family members. All our love to him & his family. His spirit flies among us & fills us daily. May we all find our way to him someday."
Jan Marie Mader of Albany, OR

"Father figure to my daughter, best friend and partner of mine we will always love you, always miss you. You did not die in vain. With strong convictions and faith you lived your life and showed us the way, we will never forget. God bless all the soldiers deployed, we pray for their safe return."
missy of lakewood, wa

"joe, love you, see you in the afterlife
-paul budong"
paul of portland


How many times did we talk in the back of the company or play spades at NTC? Not enough, I wish I had gotten to know you better. I am sorry I could not go with the company to Iraq, but don't worry man it was Blackhawk soldier that brought all 3 of you guys home. You know we take care of our own. I'll be seeing you on the OBJ

SGT Tolbert of Houston, TX

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

"Joe, Better Days-Not of the Flesh, that was the name of the band and album you wanted to create. I know you are enjoying nothing but better days in God's presence. You were my knight in shining armor, now you are forever my hero. I miss you. I love you. Thank you for always being you, thank you for everything. I'm so proud of you. You will always be a part of me. You'll always be the coolest Rocker I'll ever know!"
Angela&Kitten of Tacoma, WA

"My name is Cathie Longstreth and I was the grandmother to Duane E. Longstreth, killed in Baghdad on August 7, 2003. I am also a member of the "Bridge People" of Outpost 122. The members of the Bridge Team rally at Outpost 122 (the exit 122 off I 5) every Saturday in an effort to support the troops of Ft. Lewis, McCord AFB and Camp Murray (Washington State National Guard). We have the honor of greeting hundreds of military members and their families every week. The response from the troops is heart warming and welcomed .

I am writing this message to the other families in Washington State that have also lost a family member while serving our country, since September 11, 2001. My family would like to display a picture of the fallen hero, with the name and possibly the date of death, on the bridge while we are rallying. It is intended to honor them for the sacrifice they made but will not be used by us as a personal political statement. We hesitated to replicate the pictures we find on the many web sites without the express permission of the surviving family, as we have had our own experience with the media attempting to use our loss to support their political position.

If you do not object to us using your loved ones picture, please email me with your permission at one of the email addresses below. If you have a special picture that you like us to use please email that as well, otherwise we will be using one of the pictures already posted on the web.

Cathie Longstreth of Tacoma, Wa.

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

"Brother Joe, you were always younger than me, but now it seems as if our roles have changed. I have learned so much from you. I desire to live with the intensity, passion, creativity, faith, humor, courage and honor that you did. You really are the hero you always wanted to be and I know you are smiling at this. You died so that others may live, there is no greater sacrifice. I will remember you often in the warmth of a sunny day, in the whisper of the wind, in the fresh smell of rain, in the green of the forest, and most of all in the laughter and smiles of the ones who you loved and who loved you. You are the “Liberty Man,” You are “Joseph Wallace,” You are “Rogue X.,” Until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand. Love Eric"
Brother Eric Blickenstaff of Albany, OR

"Spc. Blickenstaff:
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

"To the Family, Friends and loved ones of Joseph:
You and yours will be in our prayers. Always keep your head up and remember all the good times with Joseph. He will be remembered in our home as a hero and my son Jeremy Wilcox's friend."
Gale Ludwig of Springfield, MO

You were my husbands best and dearest friend but you became much more then that you became his brother. When we met you became my friend and brother as well. I will never forget the love and support and frendship you gave us. I will also never forget what you did for America! You Are My Hero!!!!!!!!! I love you so much! I will always miss you"
Burr of Longview Wa

"Joe, You are my hero. I am so proud of the way in which you lived. You were kind, caring, humurous, intense, passionate, generous and talented. Your memory will never fade. It is burned in my heart and carried on my back forever. I know you greet your new life with arms wide open and I am trying to do the same. I hope to be as brave in my life as you were in yours. I will continue to honor your values and goals in my own life daily. I love you."
Sister Amy Blickenstaff of Idaho Falls, ID

"To the Family of Joseph Blickenstaff,
You are in our prayers daily. We know where our loved ones are, they are safe in the arms of God. God bless all of you."
Loretta and Sheldon Bridges of Tracy, CA

"I am the blessed sister of Joe. He was an angel taken too soon from us. He is with me each day as I remember his laugh, smile, hugs, music and conversation. He is a true crusader for freedom. He demanded it in his daily life, he gave it freely and he died a solider fighting for its cause. A piece of me is gone untill we meet again. Untill that time your brilliant light will burn in my heart. May my actions be full of meaning, truth and love in your memory. God Bless you my baby brother, my hero."
Susan Livingston of Bellingham, WA

"Thank you Joseph Blickenstaff, 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

"Joe will always be a part of our family, and he will be missed greatly.
I feel your pain, heartache, and offer my condolences to you."
Debbie Bridges of Fort Lewis, WA

"To the family of Joseph Blickenstaff:
My husband is also with the 3rd brigade out in iraq. my heart goes out to your family in your time of need. Your family will always be in our prayers."
michelle and brent rhoades of Ft. Lewis, wa

"To the family and friends of Spc. Joseph Blickenstaff:
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 Joseph for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Spc. Joseph Blickenstaff:
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 Joseph, 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