Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Lance Cpl. Wesley J. Canning

21, of Friendswood, Texas.
Canning died as result of enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Died on November 10, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Lance Cpl. Wesley J. Canning.


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

"I read the message from the buglar at Wesley Canning's services in Friendswood, Tx. He was Scott Bartholomew. I remember your playing. Thank you. I was there in thw crowded room and the Marines came in, lining up against the walls of both sides. I remember your playing. Thank you. The family lived next door to us, when he was a little boy and all through his school. After graduation he joined the Marines. He got married. He fought for his country. He gave his life for his country. We love Wes."
Lovey Smitham of Ridgeland, MS

"Dear Sweet Wesley, I think of you so many times,when you were a little boy in school and jumped off the school bus, so happy, ready to play with Orin, my grandson. We lived next door. So precious. I can still see the Marines coming into the funeral service in Friendswood, lining up against the wall. I was so surprised they attended in such a multitude. So many friends from Friendswood, TX. Everyone loves you, Wes. Thank you for your bravery and courage. God bless your parents, sister and Russell. I remember when he was born. We moved to MS and when your parents went to see you in N. Carolina before you shipped out to go overseas, they visited us up here. They were so proud of you.So are we.
from Lovey Smitham"
Lovey Smitham of Ridgeland, MS

"scary scary games"
Jim Harxmon of Manchester

"I remember riding the bus with you every day after school for years. I can't watch a war movie without thinking about you and your sacrifice. I have a family now and I keep thinking how lucky my kids are to live in our free nation because of your bravery. Pray for us."
Zach Van Meter of Friendswood, Texas

"I was there the day you were taken. I heard the call over the radio, and i knew it was bad. I miss you brother!!"
Pvt Griffith R.W. of Jacksonville NC

"Thank you for putting yourself in harm's way on our behalf. Lou has your portrait in his shop, which I how I found you. God bless your parents and siblings I know their pain."
DS of Friendswood, TX

"On today, the eighth anniversary of Wes' death, Allison and I lift up our thanks to him for his service and sacrifice. We will always honor him and his life. God bless Chayla and the Canning family."
Denton Collins of Ransom Canyon, Texas

"From: 38 Degree North CrossFit in Petaluma, Ca.
"So I told you guys last night that Daniel Mercado, one of our 38 North Athletes, is a Marine and was in Iraq in November of 2004 for the battle of Fallujah II.  Daniel sent me an e-mail last week requesting that we dedicate a WOD for Marine Corp(on the weekend of the CORP’s B Day) and Wesley J Canning  a soldier who gave the ultimate sacrifice and was killed in action serving his country on November 10th, 2004.  Each rep count connected to each movement represents the date Wesley was taken from us 11/10/2004.  Please remember each and every one of the men and women who continue to serve protecting and representing the country we love.  The one’s that are gone will continue to be sorely missed, and the ones that are out there serving presently are in all of our thoughts and prayers to safely make it home.  We will be thinking about all of you as we battle through “Wesley” tomorrow."
Never Forgotten -Semper Fi"
Daniel of Glen Ellen, Ca

"We were in AAv school together and we were friends there. I saw him shortly before we invaded for the first time since AAV school.He was a good man. A friend. And a good Marine. semper fi brother."
Andrew Olenski of MD

"I never knew you, but your hero bracelet was placed in the Crossing of America Jeep, that I purchased in September of 2011, after it crossed the US raising funds for the Spirit of Liberty Foundation. I always said that my Jeep has its own special guardian angel, but I truly had no idea just how special.
On May 21st, 2012 I dropped the Jeep off for service to the roof. The morning of the 26th the dealership burned to the ground. For some reason the technician was able to close the roof the night before and the Jeep was outside in a parking spot.
Although it did sustain minor damage, no one can tell me that it was not you protecting my Jeep. Thank you for your service to this country and paying the ultimate sacrifice."
Donna Kennelly of Lincroft, NJ

"To the family of:Wesley J. Canning
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""

"Dear Wes,
I recently met your sister and became friends with her through a posting on Facebook. I am a US Marine and I care when my brothers fall. I have read your story and know in my heart that you believed in yourself, your family, your Corps and your country. You are missed by those who knew you and you are remembered by all who carry the title United States Marine. God bless you little brother. Rest in Peace; your duty is complete. Carry on."
John Carr of Salt Lake City, UT

"To Wes Canning's Family,
As we reflect this Memorial Day, 2010, we extend our sorrow for the loss of Wes and our thankfulness for his service and sacrifice for his country. Wes was a good friend to our son, Mike, during their tour together in Iraq. Mike speaks fondly of him and has a memorial to Wes tatooed on his back.
God Bless all of your family, and please know that His presence, strength and love are always with you.
With Warm Regards,
Mickey and Gerri Kinley"
Mickey & Gerri Kinley of Boynton Beach, Florida



I still have the letter you gave me on my 18th birthday. The paper is tattered and torn, but it stays with me always, tucked into my wallet with your picture. Every once in a while I pull it out to read through it and start missing you all over again.

I feel honored to have had you in my life, even if it was for such a short time. I can't even begin to describe the impact you've had on my life and the lives of all of those who had the chance to be around you.

From the letter dated May 7, 2002:
'I know we are going to have to grow up pretty soon and leave Friendswood but if you ever need anything give me a shout...

p.s. Weside is the Beside, you know it.' - Wes Canning

Yeah, I know it. It's probably one of the few things in my life I will never, ever forget.

I love and miss you, Wes."
Corey A. Collins of Midland, TX

"I was the bugler at Wesley's funeral. My children were off school that day, so I brought my daughter, age 14, and my son, age 11 to Wesley's funeral. I wanted them to know the price that is paid for their freedom. After the election, my son wore a t-shirt with a message that was less than "pro-Obama". The school made him remove it. He decided that free speech was important. Knowing that he would face punishment, he noted that some have paid a higher price. It may comfort you to know that my son draws strength and inspiration from your son's sacrifice."
Scott Bartholomew of Cypress,Texas

"from russell canning brother"

"im his brother and i wish he did not die"

"May 24, 2008
To the family of Lance Cpl. Wesley J. Canning:
Wesley 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 love you wes i miss you soo much i wish you were here.. so i could give you a hug! i wish i could see your face and your smile one more time. I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU!! ill see you someday..LOVE your little sister.."
amanda canning of friendswood tx.

"i cant really say much but i do know that even though he is gone he will never be forgotten"
of friendswood tx

"Wes was a good friend of mine, I served with him both times over in Iraq. Even though I've been out of the marine corps for 2 years, I miss him each day and I'm happy to have known and served with him. I know that I'll see him up in Heaven. To his family and Chayla my prayers are always with you"
Cpl Patrick Hooper Pat_Hooper33@yahoo.com of Media,Pa

"Wesley was a great man. He knew when to make you laugh when you needed it or when to be sympathetic. I had the wonderful experience to serve with wes in the same platoon. I wish jo, joe, chayla the best."
cpl. justin r williams delta co. 3rd plt. of titusville,fl 32780

"Our memories of Wes are just as fresh today (September 8, 2006) as the last time we saw him in Sept. 2004, right before he shipped out for his second tour. We'll never forget him. What a beautiful guy, laughing and excited. We miss him tremendously, but we are so proud to have known him and proud for what he stepped up to accomplish. A day does not go by that we don't think of him. God bless Joe and Jo Ellen Canning, Chayla Canning and the rest of the family."
Allison and Denton Collins of Memphis, Tennessee

"I never had the chance to meet Wesley, but, I know what a good friend he was from hearing my daughter and son-in-law talk about him. He is terribly missed. My thoughts are with all of you who love him."
Kathy Freymiller of Viola, WI

"LCpl. Canning, I know you're reading this up there at MCB Pearly Gates. I enlisted in the DEP in July, and your section leader, Sgt.Orndorff is my recruiter. He's keeping your memory alive. Semper Fi, Brother."
Poolee (PFC) Walter Christiansen, USMC DEP of Ipswich, MA

"This message is to you Wes, I know you can still read it. You were an amazing friend to me in junior high and high school. You took your courageous and caring traits over into the marines with you. You gave your life fearlessly protecting you friends and your country, for that america is endebted to you, as well as I am. Your brother for all eternity Alan. To everyone else who reads this Wes gave up all of his tomarrows so that all of us may have our today's, for that we should be thankful. To the Canning family, if you ever need anything at all contact me on my cell 760-216-2368, once again I offer my condolences to you but I thank you for giving me the chance to know such a great person."
Cpl. Alan Massie of Friendswood Texas


"You will be missed you were a wonderful man. Only time can heal the pain of a lost friend. We will all see you again in Heaven! God Bless all who knew and loved you."
Jennifer Bradley of Friendswood, Texas

"It is strange and wonderful that we can make such a strong connection in such a short time. Wes was a blessing to each of us and his blessings continue.

Uncle-in-law Nick"
Nick Arnett of Santa Clara, CA

"I sought your Wesley out because of our shared last name. My husband Joey and I have two sons, aged 16 and 14. May they grow up to be as noble as your beloved Wesley. The sacrifice of your entire family will never go unremembered by my family and I. As an eyewitness to the tragic 9/11 I personally am forever endebted."
Gay Canning of New York, NY

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

"Dear Wesley,
I know you will get to read this from Heaven and I want to say we are so very Proud of you! Thank you for bringing so much happiness to our family with your Southern Sweetness, but most of all thank you for loving our daughter (your Wife) so much, Please comfort her where we can't when she doesn't understand, comfort her when she's sad and missing you all the time, comfort her with all the great memories she has with you and let her know you are with her always, let her know you are walking with Jesus and you will be thier to meet her and hold her again in Heaven. We Love you Wes and Miss you, We will never forget that you are our "HERO" forever Love Mom"
Corina of Fort Collins, Colorado

"To Wesley's Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your soldier's bravery and sacrifice.


The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
Gloria Caldas (The Big Ern's Mom) of San Antonio, TX

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

"To Wesley's Family:
There are no words to express the sorrow we feel for your loss. May God bless you and help you through this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"To the family and friends of Lance Corporal Wesley J. Canning,

Those we hold most dear, never truly leave us. May you find comfort in love's everlasting connection.

In the Support section of this web site you will find links to many groups that support you at this crucial time. The Marine Comfort Quilt group would be honored to send a quilt to the next of kin. There are many, loving and caring Americans from all over the United States that will never forget the sacrifice that your loved one has made for our Freedom. Please register so we can send you our "Love Stitched Together."

Proud Marine Mom and Proud Member of Marine Comfort Quilts"
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca

"Thank you Wesley Canning, 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 Lance Cpl. Wesley Canning:
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 Wesley 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 Lance Cpl. Wesley Canning:
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 Wesley, 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