Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Pfc. Joel K. Brattain

21, of Santa Ana, California.
Brattain died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device struck his military vehicle. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 504th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Died on March 13, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Pfc. Joel K. Brattain.


Contributions to the Families of the Fallen


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

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"I am Elaine Roach and the mother of Joel Brattain. I found this site thanks to Cheri Miller who I met this past weekend while working at a German Shepherd Rescue picnic. Thank you to each and everyone of you who shared about Joel. It has now been 14 years since Joel laid down his life for our freedom and I am so Grateful that God chose me to be his Mom!!! It doesn't appear I can respond to any of the messages unless you leave an email or phone number. I wanted Robert Brattain to know that this is Joel's Grandfathers name too. Mike B from Garden Grove....Thank you for discovering his tree in Kauai. A special thank you to Sara who made this possible and thank you to all who remember Joel. God is working many miracles in my life after some very difficult times...God Bless."
Elaine Roach of Orange, CA USA

"To Joel
I wear a Memorial Bracelet in your honor. My daughter & I have visited you a few times in Holy Sepulcher. I discovered today that there is a geocacing coin somewhere in your honor. There are over 3,000 of these coins. yours... http://www.geocaching.com/track/details.aspx?guid=eb32856b-1f82-4c72-9dfc-8a08d47ffe54 has its own page. I wish that I could hold it.
God bless you and your family."
Cheri Miller of RSM, CA/USA

"To Joel's family:

May God continue to bless and keep you. May His comfort and grace be yours. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23)

Joel is not forgotten -"
Chaplain Christopher Dickey of Fort Bragg, NC

"To the family of:Joel K. Brattain
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 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

"”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

"hey buddie I just wanted to say thank you for your service althought i didnt get a chance to become close to you i still consider you my brother and i wanted to say im sorry for the promise i made you. they were the last words i said to you.
and i still remember the last time i eat with you and your wife and the rest of at-1 and.
GOD SPEED Brother and ill see you in the big dropzone in the sky
and if any family or friends can point me to his resting spot in the memorial cemitary mr.militia@gmail.com"
Jared Deluna of hood river

"To Joel's Family and especially his wife... I want you to know that Joel is not forgotten... I'm currently on vacation in Kauai and every morning during my hike I stop by Joel's little memorial in Lydgate Park and offer him our prayers and beg our forgiveness. Thank you Joel... maybe God give you peace"
Mike B of Garden Grove, Ca (on vacation to Kauai)

"I am the proud person wearing the bracelet honoring PFC Joel K. Brattain. I am the wife of a retired navy man, and I know how proud he was to serve his country. Please know that Private Brattain will live on in our hearts. And I am so sorry for your loss."
May Gamble of Malaga, Washington

"April 29, 2008
To the family of Pfc. Joel K. Brattain:
Joel 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's been a little over 2 years now. I still think about you all of the time. Everyday I see your picture in my house and I wonder what it would be like to have a second chance to have you in our lives. You died doing what you wanted to do. You will always be my brother in law. I miss you!"
Jason Tannery of Riverside,CA

"To Joel and Your Family,

I will never forget the ultimate sacrifice that you and your family have given to us. Joel was a good friend in high school, he was such a great guy. I served 2 deployments to Iraq, close to where Joel was stationed. I know the impact of Soldiers/Sailors/Marines/Airmen are making astounding leaps forward for Iraqis and for all of us back home. I will never be able to express my gratitude fully. Thank you Joel and the Brattain Family, you are my Heroes."
HM3(FMF) Craig Krupansky, USN stationed 1st Marine Division of Yorba Linda, CA

"Joel I wear your Braclett proudly and i will never forget how breat of a American Soldier that paid the altimate consequence you will always be in my heart for what you have done every soldiers should rember you for how great of a solider you are."
Ryan Upperman of Alexandria, Va

"Mr. Brattain,

Thank you for spending the day with me as we mourned the death of our sons at the Ft. Bragg Fallen Soldiers Memorial Monument unveiling.

I never met Joel but feel I know him a little more now we have shared our stories."
Beverly Fabri (PFC Spry's Mom) of Chestertown, MD

"Joel was in my platoon in Iraq...
Joel was a good friend and will forever be with me in future deployments as well as in my heart until the day I die. He was my friend an outstanding soldier and most of all an all around great person. I can only hope to leave an impression on others that he left on me."
SGT. Michael B. Patrick JR. of Fort Bragg, North Carolina/USA

"To the Family of PFC Brattain, My deep felt condolence goes to you for the lost of your son. He was a great American and a proud PARATROOPER of the 82ND Airborne Division. I did a photo story of their (he and 2 other NCOs who were lost on that day) memorial service that was held in Baghdad. I would love to send it to you. Please email me @ stclared@yahoo.com so that I can be able to maill the disc to you. It was a very solemn and special service and I would love for you to see how your son was honored in Baghdad."
SSG Avery of Schofield barracks, Hawaii

"Joel. We miss you. You were a great friend and a brave soldier. I am sorry for your loss. Please contact me in Grass Valley, CA Army recruiting station. Honor the Fallen would like to honor Joel. He was a great man, and I hope his memorie never fades. I had the Honor of serving with him in Iraq. Nothing will ever come close to the joy of working with someone of Joels caliber."
SGT Buck, William of grass valley, ca

"The US Soldiers are the true Freedom Fighters of this world. My thoughts and prayers are with you, and those you have left behind. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. We are all in your debt."
Fred Brattain of Temecula, Ca

"I am indebted to the sacrifice of Joel K. Brattain. Semper Fidelis"
Jane Brattain of Arlington, VA

"I wear Joel K. Brattain's KIA braclet proudly and with honor. I am a proud soldier that served OEF and I'd like to pay respect to the family of PFC Brattain. God Bless"
SGT Salazar of Schofield Brks, HI

I will never forget you. If Joel's wife or family reads this you can reach me at vonlopez72@yahoo.com I still have that picture I owe you."
Mike Gonzalez of FT MYER, VA

"What can I say Joel, you were a gentlemen and a schollar, and it doesn't seem fair to see you go.

Although we spent alot of time in hours together there was always some thing different about you. You always had a positive outlook and never failed to make the worst situations better with your sense of humor. You always had jokes.

It would be an honor of mine if I could live up to half the man you were, and you will forever be considered a fallen hero to me.

Rest In Peace Joel Brattain, and my condolences to his family and new wife Adrea."
Chris Chaves of Yorba Linda, Ca.

"Joel its been seven months and we still cant believe your gone. You remain in the hearts of all of your friends, and loved ones. I for one will not forget your sacrafice. In your name we wrote a eulogy song. Its called JKB tribute. I just hope you know this ones for you man."
Sean Viele of Yorba Linda Ca

"This old paratrooper will never forget the brotherhood of the greatest division in the world. Although I never ran across Baddick my heart still hurts for my brother. May you rest in peace."
Anthony of Denver, CO

"To the family of Joel K. Brattain i am sorry for your loss my thoughts and prayers are with you. This was sent to me by a cousin of mine dont no if we are related but he is a Brattain also and my maiden name is Brattain i was born in Indiana but have lived in California for a long time now. Again God bless you and your family."
Kathy Ramos aka Kathy Brattain of Anaheim, California USA

"My name is Cary Hawkins and Joel was my friend. Joel used to call me Hawk and ever since he was killed I've been seeing a lot of hawks at weird places and times. Every time I see one I think of him and maybe you will too now. Thank you Joel, can't wait to see you again bud."
Cary M. Hawkins of Washington D.C.

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

"My nephew, Cary Hawkins, trained with your son, and they became close friends. Cary, and all who knew Joel, are deeply saddened at your loss. I know Cary is just Thunder Struck with this horrible news. It is impossible for my Family to understand, or to find words of comfort for your Family, at this difficult time. Just remember your Son touch more lives than any of us could count. My nephew Cary is on this Honor roll list, and proud to one who was blessed to get to know your Joel, and to love him. May God hold your Family in the Palm of his hand, forever."
Michael Tirrell of Barrington, Illinois

"My son Cary Hawkins trained with Joel,he just found out he was killed,he would love to speak with you,please email with a phone number,all his platton mates would like to personally speak with you and as a Mom of a soldier my heart is very heavy,
Marcia Hawkins of deerfield, MA

"Joel, along with Daniel were really good friends of mine. To say that they will be missed would be the understatement of the century. They were both wonderful people. To Joels family, my prayers are with you always. If you ever need anything please email me at BoldNSassy21@aol.com."
Katherine K. of Fayetteville *Ft Bragg* Nc

"To Joel's family:
I am so sorry to hear of your loss, we lost our "Joce" the same day in Iraq due to an IED as well. Although our hearts ache and we miss him so much we know he died a HERO just as Joel did. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. God bless you all."
Melissa Carrasquillo of Goldsboro, NC

"To Joel's Family:
There are no words that can express our deep sorrow for your loss. May God bless you and your family as Joel watches over you all."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

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

"Thank you Joel Brattain, 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 Pfc. Joel Brattain:
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 Joel 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 Pfc. Joel Brattain:
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 Joel, 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