Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Yihjyh L. Chen

31, of Saipan, Marianas Protectorate.
Chen died in Baghdad, Iraq, when his unit was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Died on April 4, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Sgt. Yihjyh L. Chen.


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

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"My Prayers are with you in the loss of your son. I trust he is in Paradise with the saints. May the Lord bless you and keep you."
Sandra Tarbet of Richmond, Calif.

"Miss you my friend, you were a truly loyal soldier in our own wars in the pacific. I'm a better man for having known you. God Bless."
Thompson of Annapolis

"to the family of sgt chen ..... your son, brother... to whom he is in your hearts in mine he was a friend we hung out with each other quite a bit before going overseas i helped him move his things in his storage he helped square me away as well ... we used to play chess off post he was the type of soldier and leader who would always put someone elses needs in front of his he will be missed and loved my brother in arms sgt. Yihjyh L. Chen"
Steven M. Winkler Jr. of Montpelier, Oh,, U.S.A

"To the Parents of a Hero,
I was in the vehicle with Yihjyh when he fell. He never flinched, he never quit. Bullets hit our vehicle like rain, but he stood in the middle of it returning fire. When we became separated from the rest he was the only thing keeping us protected. He knew the morning that we left, i truly believe, that he wasn't coming back. He was never afraid. I was proud to be with him at the end. Thank you for raising such a wonderful and honorable man."
James M. Fisk of Columbus, GA

"To the family of:Yihjyh L. Chen
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"1-9-11"

"Sgt. Chen was a great soldier. I am proud to say I served with him and his memory will always live on."
Former Cpl. Jeffrey Kolbe of Phoenix, AZ

"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 you. 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!
Mothers and/or Fathers, of our heroes, please be aware that the Project Compassion sponsors will now help cover the costs of the portraits for you to have one - regardless if the spouse of the hero has one or not!
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 bless you.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Project Compassion
P.O. Box 153
Manti, Utah 84642"
Project Compassion, Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"Memorial Day Weekend 2009

Hi SGT Chen,

I visited you this Memorial Day Weekend. It is never easy coming here, but I know I need to extend my gratitute to you and all the fallen heroes in Arlington. Thanks again for your service and sacrifice. My prayers will forever be with the Chen family.


A grateful citizen and veteran."
Tom Loo (SGT, USA, 1986-1993) of Alexandria, VA

"Eddie, I wish I knew what to say...you were an awesome friend and trustworthy confindont. We partied hard at BALORA lake and had an awesome ride. You are my hero brother and you will never be forgotten. To your family you have my deepest sympathies. Eddie was a great man, and continues to be, watching over us all. God Bless....."ROCK 6-Delta" out"
Sgt Seth Weibley of Syracuse, Ny USA

"Dear Chen family, My name is Sylvia and my son died that same day as your soldier. His name is Spc. Robert R. Arsiaga he was part of the rescue crew that went in to help. This year is 5 years and I'm thinking of the family's of the other soldiers that died with Robert. My family and I well celebrate my sons life and I want to you to know that I will read Yihjyh and the other soldiers name in their honor. Your are in my thoughts and prayers. Here is my e-mail address sylviammacias@yahoo.com if you want to leave me a message. Thank you Sgt. Yihjyh Chen for your service and sacrifice. I will always be forever grateful"
Sylvia Macias of Midland, Texas

"Veterans Day 2008

SGT Chen,

I read your story earlier this year and I would like to extend my gratitute to you and your family for making the ultimate sacrifice in defense of this great country. I never served with you, but I feel we do share a special kinship. Like you, I was born in Taiwan and eventually enlisted in the US Army. I visited you in Arlington today and left you some flowers. Your duty and courage will never be forgotten.
NCOs lead the way !!"
Tom Loo (SGT, Army 1986-1993) of Alexandria, VA

"Memorial Day, 2008
To the family of Sgt. Yihjyh L. Chen:
Yihjyh 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

"SGT Chen, I recently visited you on your B-day July 2007, at Arlington National Cemetery and left you some gifts, the patch of 1st CAV. I miss you and there is not a day that goes bye that I don't think of you and the fellow black knights. You and the men I served with will always be with me, I will never forget you or my Black Knight Brother's and sisters that served and most importantly payed the ultimate sacrafice. You were a great NCO!And you, along with all the infantrymen of 2/5 taught me so many valuable lessons, thanks for the dedication and honorable service.I couldn't have asked for a better bunch of men to serve with. To your family, thank you for raising such a fine man.
Miss you guys "BLACK KNIGHTS" ROCK DOC out!"
SFC Christopher Brown of Ft Sam Houston, Tx (USA)

"To the Chen Family:
Please accept my condolance. I was in Baghdad in 2004-2005. I didn't know Eddie at the time, and I wish I did because I am from Taiwan too. I talked to Soldiers who were there with him. They all spoke highly of him. I know he was a fine Soldier. I just wish I had a chance to meet him."
MAJ Peter Chen, TC, US Army of Texas

"SGT.CHEN was a good freind when i was down he would lift me back up and back in the fight. a lot of what i know came from him i really miss you brother. love brother lisek"

"Sgt. Chen was a gentle soul. a friend to everyone I fought beside him and I'll never forget as I waved and asked him to be careful and with a motivated Hooah! he went out into the city and I would never see his friendly smile ever again. I'll never forget you CHEN."
Spc. Romero Osvaldo of Los Angeles, CA, USA

"Chen was a good friend and a good soldier. But rest asure... he is in a better place...looking over his fellow soldiers and protecting them."
Jeremy Rountree of Little Elm, Tx

"He taught me how to care for soldiers better in my job and he did the same for his job. He showed great courage in his line of duty and aspired others to survive and come home alive!!!"
SGT Guzman, Pedro A (Doc) of FT. Sam Houston, Texas

"Sgt. Chen was a great friend. Heaven has another wonderful soldier."
Justin of Temple, TX

"Sgt. Chen was a great friend. Heaven has another wonderful soldier."
Justin of Temple, TX

"In your honor and with gratitude to you, Yihjyh Lang "Eddie" Chen, I’ve planted a daffodil in your name, as have others across the United States as part of Project LIVE ON, a not-for-profit program founded to memorialize each U. S. military who has died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thousands of beautiful daffodils will come up each Spring, and, like your Spirit, will LIVE ON...and ON. Blessings to you, the family, as you grieve, and heal. For details, contact projectliveon@aol.com. Jan. 22, 2006."
Gretchen Forbes of the northcentral mountains of Pennsylvania

"I have planted a daffodil for you Eddie along with 49 more bulbs to represent other soldiers who have been killed in Iraq. Your flower will be seen every year and your sacrifice remembered. Projectliveon@aol.com"
Ruth Anderson of Mountain View , California

"How do we say "Thank You" to a HERO like "Eddie" Chen? How do we say "Thank You" to all his Loved Ones in his life, his wife, children, parents, in-laws, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunties, nieces, nephews, friends, all who knew him, and God, for him to lay his life down, so we can all live...the greatest deed in deed? Let's not live our lives in vain, nor take our freedom for granted. Thank you, "Eddie". Our Prayers always to you and to all your loved ones.
From a Fellow Soldier."
si, Ed of Saipan, Mariana Islands.

"Hey buddy, this is an ole buddy of yours from C 2/5! SGT Rafanan! The last time we met was when I visited the ole company while on leave from my Korea tour in 2001. You were on CQ and we talked what the company was doing at the time, I was catching up on the guys and the company. We had a lot of memories serving C 2/5. You will always be my brother and I will always remember and love you bro! America and The Marianas where you are from are always grateful and thankful for what you did for our freedoms! You are our Hero!
I found out from your sacrifice passing through the fallen heroes section in the Army Times and I saw your picture and units' name. I then felt a heavy heart and prayed. I then heard about your sacrifice and that of your fellow mates who also sacrificed in your company in Sadr City, Baghdad that April from SSG Burkhart. SSG Burkhart told me what happened when I saw him when he returned from his R&R. I could only imagine the chaos of that day? In my mind I wish I was there helping you guys out as I am always an Infantryman, Bradley Guy forever! You know how I was, and I would have your back bro.! I'll never forget you Eddie, God bless your family, Love you! Black Knights!, Charlie Rock! PS. I realized I still got your number in my cell (254)-449-0881, you are not forgotten! This is C31, C34, Blue 31GOLF, Blue 34GOLF OUT! Charlie Rock Dismounts!!!!"
SSG Phillip Rafanan of Round Rock, TX USA

"Sgt. Chen was a great friend ad a good soldier. He was always looking out for the welfare of others and always taking care of his men. he had a great sense of humor and will be missed greatly."
richard haggerty of ft. hood, tx

"Sgt. Chen,
You were a great man and soldier. I have great respect for you and you are always in my heart. To the family, I am sorry for your loss and i know he will be remembered forever and he will be in everyones hearts. I pray for you everynight. I hope your pain will lessen with each passing day. you are in my thoughts and prayers. Keegan"
Keegan of Texas/USA

"To Sgt Chen,
I miss your jokes and the way you always listened, no matter what. You were a great friend and coworker. I will always miss you, but you will always live on in our memories. And to your family, I am deeply sorry for your loss, but I am glad that I was able to be a part of Eddies life."
Sgt Benjamin Hayhurst of Fort Hood, Tx

"SGT Chen was a great soldier and a great friend, we here at Charlie Company miss him."
SGT Tuan Le of Camp Eagle, Iraq

"sgt chen was the most dedicated soldier i have ever met. he came to fort hood 2 months after i did. i remember him very well. he was also a great friend who gave some great advice from time to time. and he never treated anyone like they were beneath him in any way.
i will never forget him for he was the best solier in 1st platoon and the rest of the company. may the hand of god be with him."
armelio delcastillo 3rd. of crewe, va usa

"Dear Eddie,

You were a good police officer, a good man, and a role model for many. I am proud to have known you and worked with you. I'm sad I wasn't able to convince you to stay with the Department of Public Safety at the time you planned to resign. I wish you had heeded my advice, so I wouldn't have to write this.

I miss you, as so many others who knew you."
Pete W. Onni of Shanghai, China

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

"to the family of yihjyh chen. i am michael mitchell's sister, and i believe he was was also killed in this attack that took your loved one. my heart goes out to you because i know that my family is feeling the same grief, frustration and heartache. my family is still searching for more information on exactly what happened that day. we know that mike was not ordered to go out on that "patrol", but volunteered to "help out his buddies". although we know it will not bring him back, we are looking to find out more specific information in regards to that day. if you have anything you would like to share, or would just like to talk, please email me at formichaelwilliammitchell@charter.net"
christine jayroe of atascadero, ca usa

"Eddie you were a good buddy in High School and afterward. It would be hard to imagine a more honest and giving man. My heart grieves to hear of your death. You lived your life in honor and you will always hold a place of honor in my heart.

My deepest condolences to Eddie's parents and siblings. God bless you in this time of grieving."
Hans Schweizer of Granite Falls, WA

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

"On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincere condolences. We share the same loss...the same pain. Our prayers are with you and we thank you for your child's bravery & sacrifice.

From the family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas KIA Iraq 12/28/2003"
Gloria Caldas (his mom) of San Antonio, TX

"Thank you Yihjyh Chen, 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 Sgt. Yihjyh Chen:
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 Yihjyh 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 Sgt. Yihjyh Chen:
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 Yihjyh, 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