Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. 1st Class Donald W. Eacho

38, of Black Creek, Wisconsin.
Eacho died in Ar Ramadi, Iraq when an improvised explosive device detonated near his patrol. He was assigned to the 1st Infantry Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Fort Carson, Colorado. Died on March 4, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Sgt. 1st Class Donald W. Eacho.


SFC Donald Eacho Memorial WebSite
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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"Remembering you brother on this memorial day."
Mike Eckhardt of Centennial Co.

"Happy Memorial Day Don. You are still in our thoughts."
SFC Michael Eckhardt of Centennial, Co.

"To the family of:Donald W.Eacho
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""

"To the family of Donald. My son is 10 months old and this is the first March 4th of many when he will be told about Eacho and the three other friends who fell on this sad day. Their legacy will live on and we will continue to think and pray for you. I am posting a blog in their memory at www.mistyhamel.com"
Misty Hamel of Canada

"To Diane and Family
I have never forgotten the day when I met you at Fort Carson and you put your arms around me and shedded tears for your beloved husband. I think of you and your family often and keep you in my prayers. My husband has once again deployed. It never gets any easier. I have been tryng to contact you over the years, I truly hope you are doing well these day. Take care and God Bless, LTC.Milford and Pam Beagle"
Pam Beagle of Manassas, VA.

"SFC Eacho was my Platoon Sergeant for a brief time while I was in 1-9 IN. I remember I had a couple of problems but SFC Eacho was never too busy to pull me aside even after I left his platoon and talk to me about my problems, give his recomendations and crack a joke at the end. Unfortunately I wasn't able to deploy with the unit. I didnt hear about what happened until right before I deployed the first time. I was destroyed but in the end I remembered how SFC Eacho would listen, talk and crack a joke. He definately made an impression on me. I still to this day follow his example when I have soldiers with problems. Ill listen, talk and crack a joke."
SGT Bryant, Adam of COS, CO, USA

"...Thinking of Donnie this morning. I dont know why. Thought I would do another "search" and see where it took me. somehow, it always leads me back here. Remember the Fallen.....Freedom is thier legacy."
Blake Uppleger of Scott, Air Force base, IL

"I am very saddened to learn of this today.

I also grew up with Donny in Kenosha. We ran in the same crowd in Jr. High & High School and I have some very fond memories of Don and the predicaments we had gotten our young selves into (something about "borrowing" my mom's car, but I digress).

The last time I saw him, I was visiting from out of town as was he. We ran into each other at Cohorama. I told him where my life had taken me so far & he told me all about his Army experiences. I could see then just how passionate he was about his career.

God Bless him and his family. He really was a great guy and a true American hero.

All my best~"
Jennifer (Gregory) Kexel of St. Charles, MO

"I happened to be in Brookside Cemetery, Watertown this morning. I noticed one of the most beautiful memorials I'd ever seen, it was Donald's.

To Donald's family Gods speed. As an American I offer you my condolences and appreciation. As a retired combat soldier I am forever in yours and Donald's debt.

Donald, will never be forgotten."
Jack F. of Watertown, NY

"To The Eacho Family,

I didn't know SFC Eacho very well; we only talked a few times before I left Korea, but he was a very personable soldier, and I knew our scouts would be in great hands when he took over the platoon. I am sorry he is gone, but he, Wade, Stephen (all of whom I knew) and Capt Grimes will live on in my heart as Fallen Brothers and fellow Manchus. God Bless you!!"
(Former SGT) Al Linderman of San Antonio, TX

"I grew up and hung out with Donny.His goal was to serve his country even then. he was a trustworthy friend.he will be truly missed.God bless his family and friends."
Blake Uppleger of Harvard IL

"June 2, 2008
To the family of Sgt. 1st Class Donald W. Eacho:
Donald 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

"Cowboy 4!! Hahahaha, I laugh everytime I think of you.. I hope I don't offend your wife, daughter or family with that comment but everytime I saw you, you had this huge smile on your face. And it always made me smile. I can never sleep in and in Ramadi on thoes very rare days that we had no mission, even if I just came off a 72 hour OP I would be out on the walkway taking in the morning air. And thier you were, poking your head out of your room at 0600 pouring your old coffee out to make room for the new with this huge smile on your face. Every time! It didn't matter what we just did or how many hours of sleep we got, you smiled. And I swear that spot must still have a dark coffee stain to this day.

I went back to Iraq a year later, minus you donald but we had a few of the same guys, spread out around the Squadron. I think us few, led and taught by you origionaly keep this squadron togeather. We lost more good men but the training you gave us young soldiers from Korea to Iraq made the difference and continues to make a difference today. In a few months I will be moving to Ft. Knox as a Drill Sergeant to teach the newest Cavalry Scouts. They won't know you or what you did but they will contain your qualities. This I swear!

Cowboy 6
SSG Peregrin"
Dustin Peregrin of Colorado Springs

"i need you to know that i carry an undying pain inside of me..... i will never forget you, or your family. i gave my flag, as a simple token of my appreciation for your sacrifice... i still wear the saint micheal charm. it hurts...

Sgt. Sinclair, David (Reverend) of Colorado Springs

"I just wanted to drop a quick note as the 2nd anniversary is nearing and send my best to everyone has has endured this lost. May God be with you all."
SSG Firster, Jesse of Ft Knox, KY

"To the Family of SFC Eacho;
I was fortunate to have known and been guided by SFC Eacho while he was attached to my unit in PA. He was always quick to lend a hand or an ear if needed. I am sure that my unit but was one of many that benefitted from his assignment. God Bless and Godspeed, Trooper. SCOUTS OUT!"
SSG Wayne Lawver of Spring Grove, PA

"To Eacho's family, my thoughts and prayers go out. I knew Don when he was at Drum and was a Manchu with him in Korea and Iraq. He is in my thoughts often. I am back at Drum now and see that his memory lives on. I was driving in watertown and saw a vehecle with a nice picture and kind words on the back window. I am not for sure who it was but it brought tears to my eyes. I can sit and talk all day about how good of a soldier and man he was and how he always talked about his family but I will be hear for weeks. I just wanted the family to know that his memory is still alive and always will be. We lost four great Manchus that day and they are all in a better place now."
SSG McMillen of Ft drum

"To Dons loved ones,
I was stationed with Don in Pennsylvania, on my last assignment before I retired in 2002. I was in tanks doing the same job as Don was with his scouts, working at side by side desks in the same office. When I retired, Don was not happy that there was no retirement award for me (that's how much he thought about others before himself)and I told him don't worry about that. Well now I'm sitting here reading the last email that I got from Don on Dec. 26, 2003 and for some reason never deleted it. I would like to share it with everybody to show how dedicated Don was.
sent Friday, December 26, 2003 8:36pm
to michael eckhardt<<<<<<<<<<<
(email now is eckhardt62@comcast.net)
subject: Re: Soldiers Christmas
(it was an attached poem)
Don Replied back-
Merry Christmas and Happy New year!
How is the Civilian Life? I am in Korea, have been since Sept 8, 03. I finally made E7 and am in an E8 slot as the S2 NCOIC for 1BN 9th INF (M) in camp Hovey. The scout Platoon Sergeant extended for 6 months due to his not having PSG time, and his return assignment being at Ft Knox ACRC (or something similar). I get my staff time out of the way and an NCOER for MSG.
Lots of people hiding out over here from Iraq. It is funny cause I am only here because my orders to 3ID were shreded. At the time replacements were not being sent, but diverted to other divisions.
How is the family? Mine is okay, but this is never easy when you are gone this long, and I am not even getting shot at.
(I hope I'm not offending or upsetting anyone over this, and I'm not sure why I saved his email that long, but it sure hit home when one morning I was listening to the news here in Colorado and for some reason I had to turn and look when they announced about Don and his 3 brothers in arms. May they rest in Peace) Feel free to contact me any time at eckhardt62@comcast.net"
Mike Eckhardt of Centennial, Co.

"I heard the EEEEE COL LY COMMERCIAL thought of the way Don got teased in Pen. I think of the soldier at the wake that told me of the story. Scouts rule."
Auntie Sally of Slinger Wi

"SFG Eacho's sister Had twin baby girls all are healthy!! They will miss knowing their Uncle but Auntie Sally will tell them all about him. God Bless the SCOUTS."

"Thank you ,SFC VANDERGRIFT FOR YOUR KIND WORDS. In June I'll be in PA. I would like to here more about SFC EACHO'S LAST e-mail to you. He thought very highly of the people he was training in PA. HE ALSO spoke about the people in the state how it was a honor to train their Nat'l Guard. I try to keep in touch with the guys in his unit I think of them often wishing them all the best. God bless you and all the Scouts."
Auntie Sally of SLINGER WI

"SFC Eacho was a part of our unit for three years and a good friend
> of mine. Rec'd an e-mail from him on the 4th just prior to him
> going on that patrol. He was a True Scout and believed in what he
> was doing. I am proud to have called him "Brother".
> Please remember his family in your prayers and wherever you are
> raise a glass and drink a toast to him. For now I am sure he
> drinks at Fiddlers Green.
> To SFC Eacho

SFC Raymond Nauyokas of Vandergrift PA

"Dear Don; It'll be a year since we saw you last Lance's dinner is coming up this weekend .We sure enjoyed your visit .Had we only knew God had something else planned for you. I am going but It'll be hard when I look at the AMerican flag and remembering the picture of you waving in front of it. I didn't know it was goodby, LOVE AUNTIE SALLY"
Sally Kleinhans of SLINGER WI

"My Dear BONNIE I love you with all my heart. May God give you Matt and Little Donnie the strength to mend your hearts. Love Auntie Sally"
Sally of Slinger

"Sgt. I am wades father and just wanted you and your family to know that I know you did your best to take care of him. I met your son, he is a fine man and a tribute to you."
John Twyman of Vista, Ca


"To the Eacho family, I am deeply sorry for your loss. I served under SFC Eacho when he was a SSG stationed at Ft. Drum in the 10th Mountain Division. I was a young Sergeant and he did his best to teach me all he knew about how to be a good NCO. He was the kind of guy who would pull me aside and ask me if I had any questions. He took the time to show me how to use some of the new equipment I wasn't familiar with like the new M240B machinegun. In my previous unit we still had older equipment and from his experience he knew that I would need help learning how to use the newer stuff. We talked about music and how he loved the song "Battle of New Orleans" and how he knew of a cadence that could be sung with that song. I just want you all to know that he was a great NCO and he loved his job so much. Now I know he has gone to Fiddlers Green where only the finest Cavalry Troopers go."
SSG Dan Bieling of Owasco, NY

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

"To the Family of SFC Donald Eacho:
We have constructed a memorial to the service men and women from Wisconsin and Illinois who have died in Iraq which includes, as of 6/20/05, 111 crosses. We would like your permission to put SFC Eacho's name on a cross. We have called our display "Arlington MidWest." It is our expression of mourning for your loss. If you would like us to do this, please email martypres33@yahoo.com.

"As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them." Anonymous"
Marty Preston of Wisconsin Dells, WI

"To the family of Donald W. Eacho:

The Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation will be honoring your loved one at the non-denominational Memorial Day Sunday worship service at 11:00 a.m. on 29 May. We will remember the casualties of the Global War on Terrorism from Minnesota … and the neighboring states of Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Outside of the historic Fort Snelling Veterans Memorial Chapel will be a “Memorial Garden” filled with white crosses bearing the names of the war dead … including your loved one.

I would like to extend to your family an invitation to honor us with your presence at worship as we pay tribute to the sacrifice made by your service member and family. Our pastor, U.S. Army Chaplain, LTC Kenneth L. Beale, Jr. will preach a message entitled “Remembering Our Freedom.” A former Soldier and country music songwriter and performer “Rockie” will pay a special musical tribute. At the conclusion of the worship hour, all of the congregation will be invited to silently pay their respects at the garden and place poppies at each of the crosses. An honor guard squad will be on hand to fire vollies as the US flag is lowered to half-staff and Taps is played.

As this Christian worship service has traditionally been well attended, we would be happy to reserve seating for you and yours. To do so, kindly call (612/970-7866) and leave a voice message indicating your veterans’ name and the number of persons attending. If you are not able to attend, we pray that you would find comfort in knowing that our prayers are with you and all of the fallen heroes.

Leila Campbell
Administrative Assistant
Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation
web site:www.fortsnellingmcf.org"

Thank you for your message about Steve. Please ask Bonnie for my E-mail and write so we can talk."
Bobbie McGowan of Newark, DE

"I'm Don's Auntie Sally I've sent cheese and Teddy Bear's to my nephew Sgt. First Class Donald W. Eacho. He is my hero and I miss him terribly. I watched him play baseball in Black Creek and football in Seymore Wi. James Bradley was one of the Flag raisers on Iwo Jima. He never thought of himself a hero. He said the heros are the ones that did'nt come back. Don was a hero long before his passing. He was a hero to Bonnie and Matt and together bringing little Don in the world.
He was a hero to that Pen. Grandpa saving the life of him and his granddaughter.With the help of another man. He was a hero to that women in Iraq untieing her from the back yard tree. With the help of his fellow brothers.Getting the HIT LIST from that house further helping the cause. Don was a stepfather a father a husband a nephew a brother a cousin. Most of all he was our hero . I didn't cry for two days this month . Reading all of your messages sure helps but we are all having a hard time.with his loss. I hold on to the thought that God needed him to be in the minds of all you guys left to keep you all safe.God Bless all who are still their.
PS. At Fort Carson Co. we got to meet the McGowen family and my heart and prayers go out to them and the rest of the family's that lost loved ones that day."
Sally Kleinhans of Slinger Wi

"My prayers are for you and the families of all the fallen, that you are consoled - and that our troops and allies may be protected from harm.

It is no consolation now, but Donald Eacho died in a process that will allow millions to live, to live lives of freedom, opportunity, and prosperity that we in the West take for granted.

I hope America's actions will make the world a much better place, and the memories of Sergeant First Class Eacho will be honored by a grateful world."
James McGrath of Sayreville, NJ

"to all of you that served with Don you are lucky to be one of the select few.no man has influence my young life like Don did when i was in high school.he also persuaded me to join the army and led me to 5 great years with the 101st.Iwill miss him but i am glad he was an influence in my life .thanks to the eacho family for giving us Don.he will live forever with the heros who have fallen for freedom."
Dan Flauger of green bay Wi

"Earlier this month, I found out that SFC Donald Eacho was killed in Iraq by an IED attack. His name particularly stuck out because he was the training room NCO in my first Army assignment. When I inprocessed an armored cavalry troop at Fort Hood ten years ago as a young, inexperienced, and immature lieutenant, then-SGT Eacho had been the guy to receive my files and inprocess me into the troop.

The things I remember about SFC Eacho relate mostly to my immaturity as a junior lieutenant at the time, but also to his patience and maturity as a junior sergeant.

One incident in particular stands out. In our weekly troop training meetings, tactical communications had come up in conversation and as the training room NCO, he was present at all the weekly training meetings within the troop. I'd been describing to him in excruciating detail about a squad radio that I had seen and he told me, "hey sir, I know what a PRC-126 is," saving me from running on any further. Turns out he had used them in his last assignment while he was at the 10th Mountain Division.

But I remember him being an exceptionally capable noncommissioned officer. As the training room NCO, he was the track commander of the troop command post track. In addition to his garrison responsibilities running the troop training room, he kept the troop Tactical Operations Center (TOC) straight. Running a troop level TOC is difficult. As I found out a few years later, you need smart and disciplined guys to run a TOC. He did, and was good at it. I suspect he was pretty relieved (and happy) to be getting back to a scout platoon where he got his well-deserved chance to be a Bradley commander.

It did not particularly surprise me that Don had saved a family from a car wreck a year or so before he went to Iraq and was recognized with the Soldier's Medal, the highest non-combat heroism award in the U.S. Army, for it.

I lose count of the number of noncommissioned officers whose formative influence shaped my development as an Army officer. I consider myself privileged to have served with Don Eacho. He was a good man, and the Army is worse for his passing."
MAJ Francis Park of Fort Bragg, NC

"To Don's Family.

I served with Don for several years when he was stationed at Fort Indiantown Gap. He always had a smile and warm wish for those he worked with. He had a high energy level and a love for his country that reflected in his work. Please know that your loss is also felt amongst those of us whom worked with Don, and whom you may never get to meet. Please know Don touched more lives than you imagine. May God Bless you and comfort you now and in the future."
SFC Casey Jones of Oley Pennsylvania

"I grieve for the loss of your loved one, and I pray for your healing. Please know that he is a hero to all of us. My father served in the 2nd Infantry Division during World War II, from Normandy to Czechoslovakia. I have a great fondness for all 2ID soldiers. May your loved one rest in peace."
Linda Covington of Fort Worth, TX

"To the family of SFC Eacho,
I am honored to have served under SFC Eacho in Korea last year before the Manchu Battalion went to Iraq. My
prayers are with you."
SGT Nicholas L. Grabeel of Fort Huachuca, AZ

"Hi i am Donald w. Eacho's nicece i am going to miss him so much i always remembered how he called me aunt shaina and his smile on his face on of the thinks i also remember is that i always went with him and my aunt bonnie and little donnie to get coffe i miss that the last time i say my uncle was in june at my grandmas house...I AM GOING TO MISS U SO MUCH I WANT EVER ON TO NO THAT I DREAM ABOUT HIM WHEN I GO TO BED AND I CRY MY EYES OUT..love u always"
Shaina typhair (nicece) of Water Town N.Y

"To the family of Donald Eacho,
I had the privilege to serve with Donald for a few years while he was stationed at Ft. Indiantown Gap. He was a fine man and a good soldier. I know that nothing I can say will make you feel better but, know that upon news of his death many of us at Ft.Indiantown Gap had a moment of quiet reflection and regret at such a loss. Our prayers are with you. May God help you to remember the good times and ease the pain of your loss. God bless and keep you in this time."
SFC Daniel Nagle of Ft. Indiantown Gap, PA U.S.A.

"To the family of Sgt. Eacho,

My name is Dan Settle and I am a friend of Wade Twyman. Wade was on patrol with Don that fateful day and I just wanted to extend my deepest condolences to you. Don, Wade, Sean, and Stephen are all true heroes who deserve to be remembered forever. They are all now on patrol in a better place watching over all of us. Their service to this country makes me truly proud to be an American."
Dan Settle of Temecula, CA / USA

"To the Eacho family,

My little brother, Capt Sean Grimes, was in the Humvee with SFC Eacho, Wade and Stephen on 4 March. Sean was the Physician Assistant (The "Doc") for the Munchus and volunteered to go on many missions with SFC Eacho and the Scouts. My little brother used to be an enlisted man and loved, liked and respected Sfc Eacho so much he went out on missions with him and his men. If my brother thought that SFC Eacho, Wade and Stephen were great guys then they had to be great guys.

I want my brother to alive with me this second but I am comforted that he loved his job, loved America, loved the Army and loved and respected the three soldiers he spent his last minutes on earth with.

I would welcome the chance to communicate with the Eacho family when the time is right for you.

God bless you.

Don Grimes"
don grimes of orange county, california

"To the family of Donald,
My family honors your hero. He was a brave man who gave his life for the most precious gift: freedom. Never forget that the American people are grateful for his loyal service and that we will never forget the sacrifice that Donald has made. All of our prayers are with you and know that you are not alone."
Jennifer and SSG Larry Mays and kids of Massillon, Ohio

"Donald, Wade called me on the monday before your ultimate sacrafice, when you were walking by I herd you yell to him and ask If I got your letter, which I had, and I believe you had his safety in mind all the time and trained him well. I know now that you are all in a perfect place that you will find peace."
Wade's Dad of Vista, CA

"We will miss Donnie. We looked forward to his phone calls and E-mail. WE were proud of Donnie and his pride he took in his family and his Country. No words can say the sorrow that is felt by his loss. Being your Step Mother was an honor and privilege."
Phyllis Edwards-Barnett of Maryland


"Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of Donald Eacho. It was a pleasure to have known and worked with such a fine Soldier. Rest easy my friend, God bless."
Shawn Mosholder and Family of Aspers, PA

"Dear Mrs. Eacho and family, my name is Bobbie McGowan. I am the mother of Steve McGowan who fell with your husband that fateful night. Steve had a great respect for your husband. In his military experience, not everyone put in command looked out for the soldires. Your husband did. Steve totally trusted him and repected him. We have some pictures; maybe we can find a way to get copies to you. I know each family has been assigned an officer who has our contact information. Feel free to contact us. These men were the best of the best. I have to believe that God caught each one as he fell and then let them hold onto each other. Now, we need to, too. May God bless you and keep you."
Bobbie McGowan of Newark, Delaware, USA

"My brother, SPC Wade Twyman was part of Sgt. Eacho's crew that day. Wade loved his "crew" and spoke fondly on them often. My prayers go out to Sgt. Eacho's family and friends. For we have all lost true "Hero's."
Glen Twyman of Vista, CA U.S.

"Please accept our deepest condolences to you and and your family. God has blessed our great country with brave, unselfish men like Donald. I pray for your family to have the strength and courage for the hard days, weeks, and months to come. God Bless you all, and Thank you Donald for your service to your country. God Bless"
The Edward Todd Family of Springfield, GA USA

"God's Blessings to your family. Donald will not be forgotten."
Candy of Poynette, WI

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

"Thank you Donald Eacho, 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. 1st Class Donald Eacho:
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 Donald 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. 1st Class Donald Eacho:
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 Donald, 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