Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton, Jr.

37, of Guilford, Connecticut.
Eaton died in his sleep of a pulmonary edema in Ar Ramadi, Iraq. Eaton was assigned to the 323rd Military Intelligence Battalion, U.S. Army Reserves, based at Fort Meade, Maryland. Died on August 12, 2003.

Pulmonary edema is the build-up of fluid in the lungs, which is the most severe manifestation of congestive heart failure (an imbalance in pump function in which the heart fails to maintain the circulation of blood adequately.) The apparent cause of the death, pending outcome of an investigation, is heat stress and dehydration.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton, Jr..


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

"To Rick’s family and friends who still check this website. I doubt you’ve heard my name, but I was a junior troop, fresh out of training, when Rick decided to return to the Army. 2ID, 1993. He taught me to be an Agent and taught me well. Salute to all of you -Perry"
T Perry

"Rick it’s been 20 years this summer. Know that on this Memorial Day 2023 you remain a vivid part of my memories. I feel certain you continue watching over our soldiers in harms way, just as you did for so many of us during your years here on earth. May God continue to bless your family."
SGT Michael Porter of Salisbury, NC

"Rick, since you're passing, I have run many races in your remembrance.

Tomorrow, I will be running in the San Antonio Rock and Roll Half Marathon, dedicating my race in remembrance of you."
Victoria Culbertson of San Antonio, TX

"It’s been 18 years this week since your passing, Rick. You remain in my thoughts and your family in my prayers. Rest easy, brother."
SGT Michael Porter of Salisbury, NC

"Thank you for your sacrifice for us, we hold you in our hearts forever."
UCONN Veteran Student Organization of Storrs, CT

"Memorial Day 2016. I was just thinking of you and your sacrifice today. I wish I could hear your detailed analysis of the state of the world and how we could fix it. Until we meet again across the river, rest well."
SGT Michael Porter of Salisbury, NC

"Never forgotten! Till Valhalla!"
SFC Rick Morgan (RET) of Pennsylvania

"Happy 50th Birthday dear brother and nephew. I miss you so much. Love Aunt Beth"
Beth Noble Pinckney of Lincolnton, NC

"Rick, today (2/9/16) you would have had a 50th birthday and still be young at heart! I would have taught you the trick to blowing out 50 candles plus one to grow on with one great breath. Have a happy day, son, beyond the moon and the stars."
Mom xxxooo

"SSG Eaton,

I think of you often, brother. Your service, professionalism, NCO leadership and the mentoring that you gave to me at Fort Dix. I have told the story of your service to my family, friends and to my children. We all honor you and remember you for your sacrifice and excellence in service. God bless you, SSG Eaton. Rest well. As Porter mentioned, you've well earned it.

Your brother in arms,

Blake Bullard"
Blake Bullard of Berryville, Virginia

"I was just remembering all the good times in the hooch with our cid buddies at howze. You were a great friend and you taught me a lot even though i failed to listen back then. I wish we could hit the ville one more time or roast a pig on top of that dang hill we walked up many of late nights to get back home. You are greatly missed."
Gary Wells of Dothan,AL

"S/Sgt. Eaton,
Sir, I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy. After reading all the reflections left here for you you sound like one hell of a Soldier and NCO and I wish I had had the honor of serving with you when I served in the Military."
Mike C. of El Paso, Texas

"Another Wooster School reunion passed without you there, this one the 30th. We still half expect you to walk through the door. You are missed my friend."
Juris Zauls of Westport, CT

"I love u Ricky boy."
grayden eaton of tollad ct

"It's me grayden Eaton I know Ricky Eaton.
grayden eaton of tollad ct

"I served with Rick in Korea in '96. Sorry to you are gone. RIP"
Davis of Texas

"To his family I am sorry for your loss. He was a hero. I came across this page on facebook, when it was reposted to my cousin. (My maiden name was Eaton and I have a cousin Richard.) Again, I am so sorry to read of your loss. My prayers are with you."
Christy Fitzpatrick of New Jersey

"Though I did not know SSG Eaton, I too am in the Army and I am SFC Sharon Eaton. I ran across this memorial page for him and thought we might be related in more ways then just devoting our lives to our country. I have an uncle named Richard Eaton so it truly amazed me when I saw the name. Rather we are relatives or not anytime one of our service men or women passes servicing this great nation it is a tragedy and saddens my heart, although I know each and every one of us would give the same sacrifice for the freedom of the American people. Thank you SSG Richard Eaton for giving the ultimate sacrifice you will never be forgotten.

SFC Sharon Eaton"
Sharon Eaton of Fort Campbell, KY

"We think of your son and give thanks to God for his sacrifices every day Sharon! My husband served with him in Iraq and very much would be honored to meet you and pay his respects in person. Your son saved my husband's life on August 9, 2003 God Bless"
Kelly Henry of Auburn ME 04210

"Cousin Rick Brown wrote today: "Regard your soldiers as your children,and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto the death.-Sun Tzu"
Sharon Eaton of Guilford, CT

"Today marks the 10th anniversary of your death in Iraq on 12 August 2003,Rick. Even with the passage of this
long time,the memory of you is fresh as ever. I know that you and your Dad, as I do, appreciate all that has been written on this memorial page."
Sharon Eaton of Guilford, CT

"It is coming on 10 years since I saw you last in Iraq. I miss my battle buddy as much today as I had the honor of his company back then. You are still and always a true American Hero and you will never be forgotten. I think of you and smile at all the good times we had in Korea and at my farm too. Happy Fourth Rick and I will have a few Miller Lites chased with a shot of Southern Comfort like we used to at the DMZ Saloon! Cheers my friend!"
Marci Drewry of Wakefield, Virginia

"Dear Mr. And Mrs. Eaton, I first met Rick on my probationary tour as a brand new CI Agent with the 102nd MI in Korea '92 - '93. He taught me so much and bummed me smokes patiently. He was a stable and positive influence in the semi-psychotic world of CI. From '93 - '96 (he kept extending), as I made 3 or 4 deployments a year back to the ROK with 2/1st SFG(A), he always had a beer for me and a floor to sleep on and always gave me the straight skinny about what happening in-country. I was in Iraq in '03 and had no idea he was there. God, I wish I had known and seen him. We always made each other laugh and he always had a cigarette for me. I wear his black and silver remembrance bracelet on my wrist faithfully. I will remember Rick. And I do pray for you guys often."
Brett Hines of Texas


I have thought of you often over the past 9 1/2 years. As we approach Memorial Day, 2013, I hope you look down and smile knowing a former colleague, friend, and his family have not forgotten you or your sacrifices. I still share our Korea stories at times with friends."
Larry Bruner of Baghdad, Iraq

"Not a day goes by that I don't think of you."
Aunt Beth of Lincolnton, NC

"My son, I loved you from the moment I knew you were in my womb. Your Dad felt the same way. Nine years have passed since you died in Iraq but I know I shall see you again and your Dad too. I pray that "you guys," my Ricks, are together in heaven. Both of you were so dedicated to making our country strong and the world a better place in countless ways."
Mom of Guilford, CT

"I'll never forget you, Rick. When the B 323 chain of command told me that you were going with me to interrogate someone at the checkpoint just north of Al Khalis, they assured me that they were sending "the consumate professional". And you delivered. What a crazy night. I love you, brother.
And thanks to your mom and dad for their service and for sharing you with all of us.
SFC Henry Kicklighter, D142 MI attached to B 323 MI."
SFC Henry Kicklighter of SLC, Utah

"You are still missed and will never be forgotten. You were a cousin, and more importantly a hero to our family. I love & miss you. Your memory will live on."
Tanner Eaton of CT

"Eight years, yesterday, son, I lost you from this earth. I will always keep you close in memory for those memories are wonderful but they still break my heart. That wonderful."
Sharon Eaton of Guilford CT

"323rd MI BN is looking for photos of Rick for a placque installation at Fort George Meade's new Reserve Center. Photos of Rick are unbelievably scarce."
Sharon Eaton of Guilford, CT


I see you nearly every day, as a picture of you, Paul and I in Iraq is prominently displayed in my home. Your memory is alive -- my children know your name as well as the value of your sacrafice, and what you gave to each of us. You were not just a great soldier, but a terrific teacher, mentor and friend as well. Rest well, brother. As much as any I know, you have earned it."

"Seven years have passed by, my son, and your memory is with me every day. Love,

"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
A hundred times a day, I remind myself that my inner and outer life depends on the labors of other men, living and dead, and I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am receiving. - Albert Einstein"
Scott E. Steiner of Worthington, OH USA

"Your memory will not be forgotten."
Another SSgt Rick Eaton of Venice, FL

"”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 1,850 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

""To the family of Richard S. Eaton ,I am so sorry for the loss of your love one.He died a hero.May you know the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Hopefully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need someone to pray with you or talk to please call or write my pastor at Gateway Community Church,Rev John B Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd. Covington Ga. 30016 phone 770-787-1015""

"Kenny Ellis gave a moving tribute to you today, Rick. You'd be proud of the Soldier he has become. You will always be remembered as a mentor, colleague, and friend. A Soldier first, and a military intelligence professional second to none.

God is near, do not fear -- Friend, good night."
1LT Michael P. Holtz, MI of Baghdad, Iraq

"I’ve known Rick since sometime in the 90s – I don’t know when he joined our unit – but I know he came to be a regular voice in my ear, and a regular messenger of sanity and clarity in my email in 1999. We head out to Iraq again soon. I found this website as I’m looking for a good address or website link to our unit and am writing an email to my many friends to invite them to the big Mobilization Ceremony – complete with elected officials, big shots, media, children’s activities and lunch. Rick would have hated that! And I can almost hear him mocking the planning and asking if there will be clowns for the circus! And I am laughing out loud thinking of his sense of humor! He would have hated this because we serve in silence. If we are serving well, everything is quiet, and you won’t even know that we’ve been here. I’ve spent the last five years in silence and forcing myself to not remember all that has happened, but Rick comes to mind, and into my dreams sometimes, and he has been on my mind as we’ve prepared during these last few months and the memories bubble up to the surface. As I pack my final bits here and dig through books, manuals, cds, dvds, and other resources to take along to keep me smart and out of jail, it will be Rick’s voice of reason, Rick’s questions, Rick’s throwing of the BS flag that will help to keep me on track. I like to think that I’ve learned from him and that I will be able to be that candid voice, and maybe pass on that candor to some of these younger Soldiers who never knew him. I hope that our service now would make him proud. He is still missed."
WO1 Montague of Ft. Meade, MD

"Rick and I served together a few times overseas, and twice in Fort Meade, and we shared the Home of MI, Fort Huachuca. We shared times as contractors in Wash DC. We had many more good times than bad. He enjoyed all the life he had. That is a positive and something we should all remember. His death was a big surprise to many. He will be missed."
Jim Lint of Fort Monmouth, NJ

"August 12, 2008

Five years have passed, Rick, since you died at Ar Ramadi, Iraq from confirmed heat stress and untreated rhabdomyolysis. My constant prayer is that you and Dad are surrounded by God's love and those you love in heaven. I also pray that God gives courage and comfort to all our brave soldiers and their families. Love, Mom"
Sharon Noble Eaton of Guilford, CT

"July 1, 2008
To the family of Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton, Jr.:
Richard 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'm one of Ricks cousins. I'm 16 years old now, and still miss him each and everyday. He was always off somewhere fighting to protect our country. Although it will never be quite the same without him. I am proud to say he died while doing while doing what he loved the most. Fighting for our country. I read many of these comments and was deeply touched. Thankyou all for your support and kind words"
Tanner Eaton of CT

"Thank you for remembering Rick even four years after his death. On this Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2007, I honor all our veterans for the brave service and sacrifices they and their families have given their country.

Sharon Eaton"
Sharon Eaton of Guilford, CT

I'm a little behind the power curve on this one. Didn't even know you were gone until a few days ago. I finally got off my lazy butt and came back to work. Thanks for everything; I look back and see a lot of you in the me of today. I'm a better Agent, NCO, teacher, and all around person because of you. I won't say rest in peace...I know better. You're working things from the other side! Keep up the fight and I'll see ya soon. Love Ya, bro. -Troy"
SSG Troy Perry

"Thinking of you today...5/28/07"

"My grandmother being an Eaton (Lucy Eaton Bailey WV)I felt it appropriate to send my most sincere condolences to the parents of Richard Eaton, his family and friends. I often wondered after reading about Richard's sad death if he or his family are kin to the Eaton families I'm kin to. Richard was a very brave man. He was a hero who put his entire strength and love for country into his work. May God Bless Richard. My email: pokey7157@hotmail.com"
Dena "Bailey" Houston of USA

"To Rick's family, I feel like I know you all. Rick and I were stationed together at Bongilchon, S. Korea in 1994-1995 timeframe and shared a hooch up on the top of the Camp Howze compound. From then on he was a brother and friend. We worked together on projects and he was the greatest HUMINT guy that ever existed in the US Army. He was a soldier's soldier and had the respect of everyone on the compound. We stayed in touch over the years and he called me when I was in Kuwait and told me he was with me in spirit in March of 2003. I told him we would kick * and take names together no matter where he was in Iraq when we both got there and we would see each other there. It was not to be. One of the jobs I had as an Assistant Operations officer for the CID Battalion at Baghdad International Airport was to review all the final autopsy reports of soldiers who died in country. I will never forget the shock and sorrow I felt the day your son's report came across my desk. I kept re-reading it not wanting to believe that it was really Rick I was reading about. There have been many times in the last few years I wanted to contact the family but until now it was just too painful. Now with finding his memorial page I thought it appropriate. I have a wonderful video tape of a party Rick and I threw at the hooch on the 6th of April, 1995. Please let me know if you would like me to send you a copy. Love to you and blessings for having a hero for a son."
CW4 Marcia Drewry, USACIDC Retired of Wakefield, Virginia

"August 12, 2006...Today is the 3rd anniversary of Rick's death in Iraq. God bless his soul and those who have been so kind to the Eaton Family."
Sharon Eaton of Guilford, CT

"Memories live forever. Remembering you this Memorial Day, 2006."
Bela Beaupre of Woodbury, CT

"On this July 4th, 2005 I wish to let you know that you are not forgotten. I am indebted to you for your service to our country. Thank you Rick. God bless your family and friends as they continue to struggle with your passing. My family also lost a young man last year. We know our grief will be forever but we know the day we will come when we will be united once more in heaven. Until then, may we look to the Lord for our comfort and strength."
Bela of Woodbury, CT

"SSG Eaton,

We are sad you did not come home with us. Until next we meet. Fare thee well, Brother."
-Soldiers of Charlie Co 323MI of OEF/OIF I, IRAQ

"I knew from the moment I met Rick that he was a "real" soldier. You could tell he had been in the trenches and was prior infantry.

I had great admiration for his ability to mentor and teach his fellow soldiers. He was an incredible communicator.

I kept in touch with Rick while in Iraq. I only wish I could have been physically closer to him, but unfortunately the whole Bn and all of its teams were geographically dispersed once we arrived in theater.

His loss was senseless. His loss was a great for the US Army and the citizens of United States of America.

I often think of him."
CW2 Mary Kelsey Laposta of Sierra Vista, AZ 85635

"Today, our son, Rick, would have been 39. Though he is not with us, his good spirit lives on in the memorials on this website and elsewhere. My husband and I are deeply grateful to those who have posted their messages here."
Sharon Noble Eaton of Guilford, CT, USA

"Rest in Peace Richard To His family I was stationed with Richard as an MP in Korea in 1993-1994 and had Thanksgiving with him in Virginia in the mid to late 90s I lost contact with him after but I will say I learned alot from Richard he is a great hero to this country and me. sorry for you loss. Officer Gregory P Belisle Claremont NH Police Department"
officer Belisle of Claremont NH

"Mr. and Mrs. Eaton,

I had the pleasure of serving with Rick as a fellow intelligence soldier in Iraq. I returned to the States before his passing so I will always remember him as a great person and a selfless soldier who always gave his all for our unit, 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. He actively sought information from local Iraqis that would give us early warning of enemy threats against our people, our mission and the rebuilding of Iraq. I personally observed him many times working until 2am to ensure that his collected intelligence would help as many people as possible in the quickest time. In the process, I am positive he saved the lives of many soldiers with early warnings of impending attacks. When his unit requested to transfer his team to another region of Iraq, he requested to remain with us. He gave his ultimate sacrifice. I personally thank him for his service and wanted to let you know that I witnessed firsthand the great person you can be very proud of. Brave Rifles!"
CPT Paul Kuettner of Colorado Springs, CO

"In Loving Memory..Its been a year..8/12/04

At the rising of the sun and at its going down, We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of Winter, We remember them.
At the opening of buds and in the rebirth of Spring, We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of Summer, We remember them.
At the rustling of leaves and the beauty of Autumn, We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends, We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
Rest in Peace Dear Soldier!!! We will NEVER FORGET!"
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN

"Mr. & Mrs. Eaton,
I was stationed with your son in Korea in 1990-91. He was a great friend and mentor to me. We lost contact over the years, but I can still remember the fund memories that we had together. My heart felt sympathy goes out to you and the rest of your family. Always know that "Rick" made you proud. Rick, you will be greatly missed."
Roger E. Shuford of Heidelberg, Germany

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

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

"I was stationed with Richard at the 102d MI Bn in Korea back in 1992-1993 and perhaps also at Fort Lewis in 1994 (?). SSG Eaton, you will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones who are left behind. SSG Eaton was a "hard charging" soldier with a great attitude. I am saddened by his loss, yet I am inspired by his faithful service to our Nation. Thank you for your selfless service and devotion to preserve Freedom and our way of life."
SGT Daniel Dow of Newark, CA

"Thank you Richard Eaton, Jr., 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

"Richard to you and your entire family I give my heartfelt thanks. You gave your life for me. You didnt even know me, or millions of other Americans, yet you paid the ultimate sacrifice for us. That debt can never be paid although I will try till the day I die. I only hope the Heavenly Father can assuage the grief your family must be feeling at this the most difficult of times. Please to the family of Richard S. Eaton if you need someone to pray with, talk to or anything else please email me at ctpoet1@yahoo.com
MY prayers are with you and Richard now and always."
Chris Decker of East Windsor Ct USA

"I am very sorry to have learned of Rick's passing. I knew Rick in Korea where we were stationed together between 1994 and 1995. He was a good friend and mentor. Although we lost touch I always considered him a true friend. He truly touched my life, and I am honored to have known him."
Michael Watson of Springfield, Il

"Dear Sharon and Richard,
Sharon, I remember the day that you told us in Business Writing that your son was going to Iraq, I could see how proud of him you were. I was so interested in what he was going to do in Irag, and have wondered over the past months how he was doing. I was so saddened when you told me that he had died. He is a real hero, to give of himself to protect others. I do not take for granted the freedom that we have here in the United States because of Richard and those like him.

PS My former spouse was also stationed at the Pentagon during 9-11, and he too had his office damaged, but the section was being remodeled and he had been relocated."
Nancy L. Hannen of Killingworth, CT USA

"I pass on my prayers to the family. Not only was he a soldier, but my fellow Connecticut brother, and comrade-in-arms. I may have never met him, or known him, but my heart breaks, to know of his loss. I feel as though he was closer than some, for I was a member of the Army Reserve Unit in CT, the 325th MI BN. Maybe different states we served in, but colse enough unit numbers for it to hit home. I pray the Lord Blesses you all greatly. God Bless."
A1C Joseph Salmoiraghi of Buckley AFB, CO (orig from Bristol, CT)

"To: Rick & Sharon EatonD. Karper just informed us of your loss.Our warmest prayers and support are with you. You can be so incredibly proud of young Rick and his commitment to our country. He will always remain a true hero of our America.May God bless both of you with continued good health and happiness.. Tel: 401-433-7000"
Charlie & Emily Reade of Barrington, RI

"God bless this fine soldier and strengthen is family with his love. For you my fellow soldier, you have fought a good fight, and have finished the race, and kept the faith now a crown of righteousness awaits you."
GySgt Johns, L.D. USMC of Parris Island, SC

"My heart goes out to the family of a fine soldier. His memories will always be apart of the 323rd MI BN. Rest in peace friend and fellow soldier."
1LT McCallister of Baghdad, iraq

"A comrade, patriot and peer, Richard Jr. will always be remembered best by me as a friend."
David Reis of Dwight, IL

"Rick and Sharon: Following in the footsteps of his revered ancestors, Rick, Jr. will long be remembered for his dedicated service to his country and the love of his family. May he sleep well with the angels. All my love,"
Barbara Fitzsenry of Seattle, WA /USA

"Our sincere thanks to those who posted messages here. Rick's mother and I are grateful for your thoughtfulness and prayers."
Rick Eaton Sr. of Connecticut

"To the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Richard Eaton, Jr.:
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 Richard 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. Richard Eaton, Jr.:
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 Richard, 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