Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Staff Sgt. Victor M. Cortes III

29, of Erie, Pennsylvania.
Cortes died in Baghdad, Iraq of non-combat related injuries. He was assigned to the 703rd Forward Support Batttalion, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia. Died on May 29, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Staff Sgt. Victor M. Cortes III.


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"Victor is my uncle and Is my dads brother . Even though it has been years there is not a day that goes by that we don’t miss him . Sometimes we just sit at the dinner table and I watch my family just tell the funniest and sweetest stories of him . Victor is an inspiration to me and I try to follow in some of the same footsteps . I love and miss you ."
Kaselynn of Raleigh NC

"11 years ago today...whiskey tango foxtrot were you thinking?"
Armybeef68 of San Jose Ca

"victor is my uncle... ill never forget the things he did for me and my family...
he use to drive to Jacksonville almost every weekend just to see me and my sister and he would take us to the creek and go swimming with us.Then drive all the way back to fort Stewart.
he would always go way out of his way to make sure we were happy. ill never forget the day i told him good bye either... Good bless you uncle Victor. i love and miss you..."
joey of Florida jacksonville

"All gave some...some gave all

SPC David Harrison Ford IV 16 Sep 2005
SGT Matthew L. Deckard 16 Sep 2005
1SGT Alan N. Gifford 16 Sep 2005
SSG Paul R. Marek WIA 16 Sep 2005
SGT Victor M. Cortes III 29 May 2005
SGT Jerry L. Bonifacio Jr 10 Oct 2005
CPT Michael J. Mackinnon 27 Oct 2005
SPC Jose A. Rubio Hernandez 24 Mar 2008
SSG Christopher M. Hake 24 Mar 2008
PVT George Delgado 24 Mar 2008
PFC Andrew J. Habsieger 24 Mar 2008
SGT Steve A. McCoy 10 Jun 2008 WIA 23 Mar 2008
PV2 Joshua C. Schichtl WIA 06 Jan 2008
SFC Aaron D. Cornelius WIA 15 Apr 2008
SGT Mario A. Ojeda Jr WIA 05 May 2008

3rd Infantry Division
4th Brigade
4-64 Armor Battalion

You will NEVER be forgotten....


armybeef68 of San Jose California

"Thank you Victor! You are not forgotten.
Enjoy this memorial to our veterans. If the link doesn't work copy and paste it.
a friend never forgets of PA

"”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 1,600 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!
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 of Manti, Utah USA

"May God Reward you my dear cousin for your heroic sacrifice in the service of our beautiful country. You bear the name of one of Christ's Titles; Victor in name and in deed! I will remember you at the Altar!"
Friar Gabriel M. Cortes F.I. of Perth, Western Australia

"May 29, 2008
To the family of Staff Sgt. Victor M. Cortes, III:
Victor 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

"Happy Birthday!"
Missie of Cleveland, Ohio

"hey i am from dallas high school pennsylvania, i am writing a little something with victor's picture on it for the "run for the fallen". after reading about victor he appears to be a very good person and some one who didnt deserve any of this. he died for his country which makes him a real hero and some one who i respect greatly"
tommy youells of dallas, pa, usa

"SGT Cortes, as I knew him, was a brave man. I saw him the day before the end walking through our FOB. He looked good...normal like I knew him to be. I only wish the next day wouldn't have come. "May the Lord hold you close, my friend, and keep you, a shine His light upon you, and give you peace. I hope to see you again later in Glory.""
Morgan R. Acosta of Cincinnati, OH

"To the family of:Victor M. Cortes 111 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"

"Victor e-mailed me this poem in 2002. I held onto it because it touched me. I wanted to share it because I thought his daughter may like to read it someday.

A Dad's Poem

Her hair was up in a pony tail,
her favorite dress tied with a bow.
Today was Daddy's Day at school,
and she couldn't wait to go.

But her mommy tried to tell her,
that she probably should stay home.
Why the kids might not understand,
if she went to school alone.

But she was not afraid;
she knew just what to say.
What to tell her classmates
of why he wasn't there today.

But still her mother worried,
for her to face this day alone.
And that was why once again,
she tried to keep her daughter home.

But the little girl went to school,
eager to tell them all.
About a dad she never see
a dad who never calls.

There were daddies along the wall in back,
for everyone to meet.
Children squirming impatiently,
anxious in their seats.

One by one the teacher called,
a student from the class.
To introduce their daddy,
as seconds slowly passed.

At last the teacher called her name,
every child turned to stare.
Each of them was searching,
for a man who wasn't there.

"Where's her daddy at?"
she heard a boy call out.
"She probably doesn't have one,"
another student dared to shout.

And from somewhere near the back,
she heard a daddy say,
"Looks like another deadbeat dad,
too busy to waste his day."

The words did not offend her,
as she smiled up at her Mom.
And looked back at her teacher,
who told her to go on.

And with hands behind her back,
slowly she began to speak.
And out from the mouth of a child,
came words incredibly unique.

"My Daddy couldn't be here,
because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could be,
since this is such a special day.

And though you cannot meet him,
I wanted you to know.
All about my daddy,
and how much he loves me so.

He loved to tell me stories
he taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with pink roses,
and taught me to fly a kite.

We used to share fudge sundaes,
and ice cream in a cone.
And though you cannot see him,
I'm not standing here alone.

"Cause my daddy's always with me,
even though we are apart
I know because he told me,
he'll forever be in my heart"

With that, her little hand reached up,
and lay across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat,
beneath her favorite dress.

And from somewhere in the crowd of dads,
her Mother stood in tears
Proudly watching her daughter,
who was wise beyond her years.

For she stood up for the love
of a man not in her life.
Doing what was best for her,
doing what was right.

And when she dropped her hand back down,
staring straight into the crowd.
She finished with a voice so soft,
but its message clear and loud.

"I love my daddy very much,
he's my shining star.
And if he could, he'd be here,
but heaven's just too far
You see he was a fireman
and died just this past year

When airplanes hit the towers
and taught Americans to fear.

But sometimes when I close my eyes,
it's like he never went away."
And then she closed her eyes,
and saw him there that day.

And to her mother's amazement,
she witnessed with surprise.
A room full of daddies and children,
all starting to close their eyes.

Who knows what they saw before them,
who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for merely a second,
they saw him at her side.

"I know you're with me Daddy,"
to the silence she called out.
And what happened next made believers,
of those once filled with doubt.

Not one in that room could explain it,
for each of their eyes had been closed.
But there on the desk beside her,
was a fragrant long-stemmed pink rose.

And a child was blessed, if only for a moment,
by the love of her shining bright star.
And given the gift of believing,
that heaven is never too far.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour
to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire
life to forget them. Send this phrase to the people you'll
never forget and remember to send it also to the person that
sent it to you. It's a short message to let them know that

you'll never forget them. If you don't send it to anyone,
it means you're in a hurry and that you've forgot your
friends. Take the time... to live and love.
Until eternity. God bless."
Melody Steel

"On this Veterans Day, we lift you up in our hearts and remember what a great soldier and man you had become.
Always remembering, forever praying
God Bless Your Soul"
Holly & Keira of Kentucky

"I met Victor in 2000 and we bacame friends while he was stationed in Bosnia and Colorado.We had good times, them went our seperate ways. I looked him up because I was curious and then found the sad news on this day in 2006. I will always remember him for giving me strength and hope. I was a single mother at the time and he treated my son as if he was his own. I will always remember his smile and the unique way he made me feel. I dedicate this song to him from Sublime: "I really wanna know...my baby... """ Much love Victor and God bless your family!!!!"
Melody Steel of Fayetteviile, NC-USA

"I am hoping someone will see this on this webpage and be able to help me. I am trying to reach the family of this soldier so that I can mail a flag to them that was flown in this soldier's honor. I am forever grateful for the sacrifices that this family gave. Any assitance would be very helpful.
Thank you. emmylou9@hotmail.com"
Emmy of Charleston, SC

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

"To the family of Victor Cortes,

May God help you through these terrible times. Victor was a great person and a wonderful friend. He will be truely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Keira, be proud of your father and know he was a brave and excellent soldier."
Enrique A. Valdez of Espanola, NM/USA

"May God be with your family. Thank you for protecting us.

Brenda Brooks(aunt of SSG. William J. Brooks who died in Baghdad,Iraq, May 03,2005 from Fort Stewart, Georgia.)"
Brenda of Birmingham

"We are deeply sorry for your loss. America will forever honor your Hero.
The Courage, Honor, and Valor that your Hero showed will always be remembered.
We are grateful for the sacrifice that was made and we will NEVER FORGET.
God Bless your family and please know that you are not alone.
All of our prayers are with you."
Jennifer and SSGT Larry Mays of Massillon, Ohio

"First and foremost, I want to send my deepest condolences to Victor's family and friends. I am sorry for all the pain you are going through. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Victor, my first love--you are an amazing person that I think about more than often. I miss you from the very depth of my soul. I have always loved you and always will. You know, I daydreamed that someday we would end up back together again. You were one of the few most special men in my life and I thank you so much for that. You were an angel that touched my life and brought me joy. You always made me laugh. I was just sorry for the day that I stopped making you laugh. You will always be in my heart. I love you so dearly."
Kathie Gude--Central High of Los angeles, California

"To the family of Victor Cortes: may time make your wounds less painful and may you always remember the good times, the happy times, when everyone laughed. Keira, know that your Daddy was a good man and loved by many. Nicole, I think about you often and I'm so sorry about Victor."
Autumn Perry (Christenson) of Dubois, PA.

"May Victor rest in peace and his family be comforted. You are all in my heart and in my prayers. Kieth stay strong and be there for your/his family. I think no matter the outcome, a soldier's last wish is for his/her family to be taken care of and thier memories to be remembered forever. God Bless."
Eric Carver of Palm Harbor, FL USA

"We wish to extend our sympathies to Victor's family and friends. May your memories sustain you during this difficult time and may you eventually find peace in those memories. We enjoyed knowing Victor during his middle school years. Victor's sacrifice will always be remembered."
The Noble Family: Al, Sharon, and Chris of Girard

"To Vic's family:
I met Vic while he was stationed in Fort Knox, Kentucky. I spent many long weekends partying with him and my friends, but Vic always had a special appeal to me. You see, I was a Florida girl "lost" in Kentucky and I was immedietly drawn to him when I saw the Florida tags on his car. He helped make my first Birthday alone in Kentucky the best-we were iced in and I couldn't leave. I thank you for such a wonderful person. He was a true soldier, a dear friend, and is surely in heaven now watching down over all of us. He will NEVER be forgotten. Please contact me at aleihamarie@comcast.net and I can send you pictures of him that I have is you would like. May the Lord Bless you and keep you, may his face shine down upon you and keep you safe and well."
Aleiha Godfrey of Ft. Myers, FL, USA

To Victor's family,
We know your pain, and wish to express our deep sorrow for your loss. Your son is truly a hero and will be known forever for his bravery and willingness to protect our great nation. We pray every day for the families of lost soldiers. God bless and keep you.
'My sacrifice, God, is a broken spirit;
God, do not spurn a broken, humbled heart.' Ps 51:19"
Webster and Ruth Reed (Father and stepmom of Jonathan Ray Reed who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom on January 28, 2005) of Krotz Springs, Louisiana

"I would just like to send my deepest sympathy to Victors family. I lost my fiancee in this war also, SPC Shawn Davies. I hope that your memories will bring you comfort in your time of need. God Bless."
Autum Shingler ashingler09@yahoo.com of Pittsburgh, Pa

"Long ago memories sprouted by the loss of a strong soldier and man. The memory will long out live your short life and you will never be forgotten. God Bless You and your Family."
Missie Cortes of Cleveland, Ohio

"To the family and friends of Victor I would like to extend my deepest condolences during your time of grief. My thoughts and prayers go out to each and every one of you. Victor was a dear friend of mine when we were younger and although our paths never crossed again I often thought about him. I want to thank you Victor for the courage and bravery you portrayed as a soldier while fighting for freedom. God bless you for the sacrifice you made while trying to make a better life for others. God bless Victor's baby girl and may she grow up happy and have the better life that Victor lost his life fighting for. I will never forget you Victor! To Victor's family and friends know that there are people out there that care about you and will have you in their prayers. I hope you can gain some comfort from that in that future as you remember special memories of Victor. He will be forever in your hearts."
Lyndsey (Noble) Baker of Lake City, PA


"To the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Victor Cortes III: We lost our son Mike in Ramadi in March. I know all to well what your family is facing at this time. The Franklin Family will always remember Victor by name. You are all in our prayers. Victor will not be forgotten."
Tina Franklin of Coudersport, PA, USA

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

"Thank you Victor Cortes III, 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 Staff Sgt. Victor Cortes III:
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 Victor 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 Staff Sgt. Victor Cortes III:
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 Victor, 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