Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Blain M. Ebert

22, of Washtucna, Washington.
Ebert died in Baghdad, Iraq, when enemy forces engaged his unit with small arms fire. He was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Died on November 22, 2004.

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"So Heather, my wife. You would have had a hay day with her, helping her transition from Kindergarten Teacher to Army wife to a regular human being. (Not that Kindergarten Teachers aren’t human beings). Is a huge Betty White and Sandra Bullock fan… I know “Where are you going with this?”

You have no clue how much you guys impacted my life in the short time we were together with positive memories. From breaking the radio with the loader hatch to singing on the tank trail. Heather will not stop playing a scene from some girl movie where Betty White has Sandra Bullock singing that stupid song. “From the windows to the walls…”

Ugh, you guys have cursed me. Hey look, I am sorry I missed Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving. Real-world events with my wife’s health, the realization that there are just so many of you lost to time now. The load gets to be kind of serious. I’ve mentioned before how we do a better job keeping in contact with the dead than we do with the living sometimes.

You guys do occupy my thoughts a lot more than I think I ever realized would be possible. Anyway, you know me. Loved to run my mouth so… I’ll shut up now and just leave you with a Merry Christmas Brother.

Miss you."
William L. Peterson of El Paso, TX

"I get to smile quite a bit and that is because of you and Lorenzo. I am slowing down a lot these days, 57 is wearing on me as well as I thought it would. But I have always been a gamer, and there is one that is a tank game. I am sure you have seen me playing that when you’re passing by.

The developers allowed me to add “A-14” for our M6 Linebacker, and it is one of the most popular numbers in this game. I see it every where, all the time, and when I do, and the person playing it is a little wild, I get to see a bit of you. There are also hills in the game that the creators haven’t a clue how you would have tackled and driven up every single one of them.

I have been deleting duplicate images from my computer to make it easier for Heather to sort through them when and if I ever get called up. I see images of people on the ramp out in the training areas around Hood but the only one I have of us is overlooking table VIII. Wish I had taken a few more.

I don’t know if I could have made a difference but I sure wish I could have been there until the end with you guys. Anyway… It is Memorial Day, 2023 here. Everybody doing their thing. Makes me mad when someone sends me a message saying “Happy Memorial Day.” Especially when there are Veterans as well…"
William L. Peterson of El Paso, TX

"I'll keep it simple. It is Christmas 2022. Thinking about you Brother."
William L Peterson of El Paso, TX

"Veterans Day 2022 plus a day. I apologize for being late. But looking at this page and not seeing very many other names. I feel even worse for not coming yesterday. I buried myself in anything that would keep me from going out and having somebody thank me for my service. Yeah, I don't need that. But you deserve it and more. My last encounter with you was you sitting behind a desk in a dimly lighted CHU answering the phone. We talked about an injury to I want to say it was you back? They had just told me that day I was being sent home as my guts were falling out due to a dead gallbladder and other endocrine issues. I felt so humiliated. I wanted to get back as fast as possible. But the doc botched the surgery and put me in Brooke and before I knew it, you were gone. I've never forgiven myself. After a get together when everybody came home, Stamper (Alpha) gave me a ride home and told me he was the one that had screwed things up and got me sent to Bravo. Well, you and Gallegos and the others were on my mind 24/7. I miss you Brother. I hope somebody comes here to see you as well. I'll be back soon."
William L Peterson of El Paso, TX

"Memorial Day 2022 will arrive tomorrow. You would have turned 40 years old this year. That is crazy? I’m 56 and barreling towards 57. I think about us all the time. Like when we made a pact to sleep lightly so if the radio went off we’d hear it. That way our three man crew maximized sleep as we were always on the move ahead of the advance. But I’d lay on the HE feeder tray cover between the gunner and commander seats with the handset tucked into my shoulder.

And you and Gallegos would be down in the hull. If the radio so much as crackled we’d all ask “You got it?” I never had you figured as career Army but to see you at 40 sure would have been nice. Miss you Brother."
William L. Peterson of El Paso, TX

"It is Christmas 2021. Received a card from James Leslie and his family. I just sat there for a few minutes telling Heather how he was one of the best wingmen I ever had. That he was a one of the "Good ones." It is funny after you've been away from it how you categorize things and people. Sean Mulcahy was my best on the ground number 2. Leslie was the best all-around. And you and Lorenzo were the best crew ever. I sure miss all of you guys."
William L. Peterson of El Paso, TX

"Veteran's Day 2021. Letting you know you're thought of."
William L. Peterson of El Paso, TX

"I have been debating how to write to you guys for weeks now. The world is topsy tervy and things we saw way back in the day are finally being realized today. Then those realizations are questioned and scrutinized like a Sunday social or women’s bridge group until you want to pull your hair out.
Fall is fast approaching and yesterday was the twentieth anniversary of September 11th with so much on television and in the media on how America has changed and remembered. All I can seem to think about is you guys and how those events would lead to huge sacrifices and an end result that was not what I think a lot of us saw coming.
When I get there and things calm down we’ll sit and chat, if that is how it all works. I used to say dead is dead. No final credits, no house lights to come up and applause. But after almost checking out in the back of an ambulance and have a paramedic ask me “What do you see” and snapping me back to reality. I am starting to think a bit differently.
It will be a huge disappointment if I don’t get to chat with you one more time. Anyway… This will go long if I let my thoughts wander and I still have others to visit here today. Including two from Afghanistan. Thinking about you Brother, more often than not."
William L Peterson of El Paso, TX

"What can I say other than, it is Memorial Day. You should be home and doing anything but whatever it is you're doing now. You know you're missed so I won't get all goofy or sentimental. Just thinking of the good times and not so good."
William Peterson of El Paso, TX

"So I had a dream about you last night. I know right? Yeah, buddy, you did it for me Brother! Get over yourself you nut you know it wasn’t that kind of dream. I have been dreaming a lot lately after my last neuro-psych evaluation by the Army. Oh yeah I retired, but the VA can’t get it right here, I live with the fourth-worst VA in the United States and I once spend 3 days in the Des Moines VA so wow.
Anyway, Heather is positive I am on my way out, and from what the docs have been telling me in our latest, “Battery” of testing they might be right. Things are starting to occur I expected to happen much later in life. Anyway the dream. Bear with me, please. Now you and I both know we came from a place where if rumor control wasn’t out of control, people weren’t being nosey or suspicious or condemning. They were usually up to no good or walking straight and narrow.
We had our share of characters as does every unit, big or small. I always did my best no matter what to give everyone the benefit of the doubt at all times. When we became a crew I didn’t care who you were before, (You being a pronoun.) or what had been done before stepping foot on the ramp. Our adventures left us in a good place no matter the situation and we challenged one another at every opportunity and had a generally wonderful time.
Then the mishap and confusion that led me to be moved down the hall to Bravo. It wasn't until 2005, after hanging with the original group of guys in our group from Alpha after everybody left made it back from Iraq that Stamper told me on the way home. He was the guy who screwed up and got me moved as he had misunderstood what was going on and stuck his nose in and he was, “Sorry.”
While everything that was happening our deployment was getting to a place that I could hardly contain my need to get back to you guys, well I. As everyone knows. Continued to get very sick. I did my absolute best to get back to the platoon and try to stop or slow down the rate at which things were occurring, or at least take the heat of you guys by throwing myself into the fight.
I didn’t hate where I was. I truly cared about every man and woman that I took out to Irish every day. So much so we cleared fields of fire, reduced mortar attacks, put in a helipad, and did so much more. But in the end, it was what happened to you guys that greeted me upon my return to battalion to do a dump with S2. I wish I could have had the chance to at least try to be there for you.
Okay, the dream.
What brought this about was the Major called to give her results of her evaluation and leaving Heather and me more skeptical of her already inadequate performance to date. She was listing my medical conditions, I guess to verify that it was me or make me feel really like crap by explaining how broken I truly am? She commented C-Spine damage and muttered about, “We all have that right? We’ve all done the same things and I doubt there is one of us that doesn’t have some form of cervical spine damage. Am I right?”
Now I am not one to toot my own horn, but I can guarantee that outside of basic and AIT she has done very little of the buffoonery I have been akin to in my career. Or the sheer unmistakable fact that men, when left to their own devices. Will do some amazingly stupid and over-the-top things to prove they are in fact, “Men.” From 25 pound rucks? Yeah right, 40 (Or more) pounds Baby! Hey, Mike lift that.”
So IN MY DREAM, I guess my subconscious was displaying a bruised ego through dreaming. There were flashbacks of all the stuff that I guess subconsciously, I hold as great achievements for a guy who never made it to Ranger school but had so many of his friends and Soldiers accomplish. Or Special Forces that again… My Soldiers or friends went on to become.
However, in the end, the part of the dream that woke me up and left me smiling at my ceiling fan was you, Lorenzo, and myself, in what earned you guys. (Why they were going to just award me was unfathomable.) “Hero of the Battle.” We had managed to climb to the top of that mesa, up and over questionable terrain, as you always managed to do, and began our overwatch. We had just recorded our frontline trace when you sprang from your hatch and rushed into the brush and rim of the mesa.
From the turret, we could see you moving frantically about then you came rushing out and yelled there were real-world casualties in the brush in the form of heat casualties. You needed water and blankets and were very cool but rushing about as Lorenzo called out the frontline trace while I was on the radio calling for a Medevac. Then he was gone and the ramp came down. How that big man got out of the turret and through the pneumonia hole so fast I’ll never know?
In minutes, both of you had aid bags, water, ponchos, and were administering aid when the Platoon Sergeant called out wanting to know how to get up there. His hummer couldn’t make we thought , as I spread a VS17 panel out but that high back came rattling along and parked next to you guys. Then the ambulance, an old tired M113 approached by the driver was skittish and based on his experience. His track couldn’t climb the sheer wall of rock that faced him.
I called out we’d have to move the casualties because the ambulance can’t make it. You ran off like a rabbit spotted. Then you could be seen stumbling but guiding the box on tracks along the rim then right up and onto the hilltop. After a while, it was over and we went back to be who we were and laughing it up with the Platoon Daddy in the shade and experiencing the breezes Texas could offer.
My dream ended with you bringing the ambulance up. It didn’t include you and Lorenzo racing along the tank trail chasing the commander’s hummer to meet the brigade commander and receive 1 coin for what you guys did. Only for me to wave you over and you get recognized. I think in the end we still only received one coin. Doesn’t matter, the ex took it when she fled. Coins and patches don’t buy groceries or replace the fallen.
I just thought you should know. That you are in there Brother. Of all of the things in my 27 years of doing Uncle Sam’s bidding. You’re one of the bright spots in my life and I miss you every day. Well, I need to head upstairs, it would seem a leak has sprung somewhere above as there are drops of water on my keyboard here? Better go find that leak.
Love you, Blain."
William L. Peterson of El Paso, TX

"Brother-Man I look at your list here and wonder if it was because the site your name is tucked away n was in pretty bad shape for so long or have people grown so busy they can’t take a moment? It could be any number of things, not knowing, still dealing with or other things.
I… Started dropping messages here for the fallen today thinking, “I’ll just get it done and try to move on without putting more of me than I can handle in to it.” You’re only number 3 of 8 and I am already wiped out emotionally. Then there is Maggart who doesn’t qualify because he died after hostilities were officially over yet died from the same things that killed so many of us.
Then 2 in Afghanistan, 1 in Mogadishu and all those who died afterwards. We started this whole show listening to Nickelback and that stuff you and Lorenzo listen too and sang on the trails. Through 3 Doors down and Daughtry and still we are over there. Video games portray crap from 2023 and while it supposed to be the future it isn’t that far off.
You, Lorenzo and I had a great time, maybe I remember it being better than it was but wow what a run? I just had to swing in here and let you know you’re thought of. I have connected with guys from my basic and AIT from 1986 through Germany and now the guys I did Gulf One with. So my Lord over a lifetime of the Army and now all I want to do is forget it all.
I’d like to think that somehow we would have all stayed in touch but it is amazing how many of us don’t. And the ones that do had a different view of it or are so broken their weight I more than even I can bear anymore. Well this is getting waaaay long geesh…
Look Brother, just know you’re very much missed. And if you being alive today meant we would never cross paths again I would take that any day. Much Love."
William L. Peterson of El Paso, TX

"Veteran's Day 2020! Yeah I know, just another day right? Well it gives me a chance to pause and reflect on past accomplishments and some of those are because you helped me better understand my role and the role of others in the grand scheme of things. So I celebrate you and the others here today. Salute Brother."
William L. Peterson of El Paso, TX

"It looks like we are able to post here again. Which is wonderful. I couldn't figure out why my post would get redirected but I could only assume there are so many of us here that it would send me off and designate them as SPAM. It is sad how many of us are here, then there is Somalia, Afghanistan, Panama... You and Gallegos were one of the best parts of my military experience. I am sorry I couldn't have done more to keep you here with us. Love you Brother."
William L. Peterson of El Paso, TX

"Saw something that reminded me of you the other day, a turtle back Hummer with and an open gunner’s seat and shield and all I could do is shake my head. It has been far too long, and well… Now that you’re gone we stay in touch so much better than had you lived. I can assure you I wish you were still here, and I can definitely state losing you hurt a whole world of people.
I think about our down time on the back of the Brad, I think about a lot of stuff, only because I am starting to forget so much. I will continue to try and be here as much as my brain and memories will allow. Just know that right now as my mind is right you are remembered. AS always I wish you were here, I wish your family peace and Merry Christmas Brother."
William L Peterson of El Paso, TX

"Just swinging by to let you know you’re not forgotten this Memorial Day weekend 2017. It is hard to imagine after all these years that our world has changed so much and we didn’t have one another to bounce our opinions off of. The odd thing about those we lost in combat and in other tragic events and we trek through our careers or time in the armed services is how much more we stay in contact with the dead than we do the living.
Yes we say we’ll stay in touch or we’ll get together down here on Mother Earth but often as time goes by we just lose contact and let those friendships made slip away. I guess in a good many ways the time we did have was so wonderful that the memories are forever imprinted in our conscious and subconscious to the point we see things in the world around us that remind us of you or others. Or once in a blue moon a dream is shared where we can wake up and say thanks Brother.
Anyway I have gone long which as we know is the norm for me. I apologize but I guess is because I wish for the time it took to type this out and think of you I wish you could have been here to rib me one more time or just be that friend we were all that time ago. God Bless, and thank you…"
William L Peterson of El Paso, TX

"Merry Christmas Brother."
William L. Peterson of El Paso, TX

"Saw people from the unit (4/5 ADA) posting remembrance pictures of you. Today is one of those anniversaries you wish you didn’t have to recall. How can one begin to say things like, “man it has been a rough year” or anything else when you look at your sacrifice. I wish you were here Brother. I am sure you hear that if any of that, “looking down on us” stuff holds true. I hope it does. Anyway, you know the way, you always have and I always trusted you to get us there. So I hope in some way you find a way to guide others to a place where they can find peace in the knowledge you are respected, missed and loved. I’ll see you on down the road in the next post, hopefully somebody else will have come by and said hello by then. Later Brother."
William L. Peterson of El Paso, TX

"Well my time is done, finally retiring and for real this time no more getting extended. Started folding camp Friday and leave yesterday and here we are yet again at another Memorial Day. I decided to start a day early since the numbers sadly keep going up either from combat related or noncombat related deaths, suicides and who knows what took Steve’s life? I am going to try and leave the Army behind cold turkey. Everyone says I won’t be able to do it but I am going to give it one hell of a shot. I’m not sure where we’d be had you made it, if you would have stayed in or gone back home but I would like to think I would be handing the reigns over to you as I prepare my walk. Just wasn’t how it was meant to turn out I guess. Anyway; I will do my best to keep stopping by and leaving you messages to let you know you’re not forgotten. Sure wish we could hang out and laugh one more time. Take care Brother."
William L. Peterson of El Paso, TX

"Merry Christmas Blain. I know right 2015 and here we are? I wish I were closer to Washington so I could swing by and have a sit down with you but El Paso sure seems a lifetime from where you rest these days. I have seen you picture pop up quite a bit on Facebook, you and Chad and I smile because we had some really incredible times the three of us. There will always be that little part of me that wishes I could have stayed in Alpha and will hate myself for getting moved over to Bravo but we all did our jobs. I just wanted to be with you and Lorenzo because I don’t think we could have been touched when together. We just watched out for one another so well. I guess I will get going here because if I don’t this will go really long but know you’re being thought of this holiday as you are most days. Try not to torment anyone with that singing voice of yours, I would hate for you to get kicked out of there before I had a chance to say, “Hello” one more time. Love you Buddy."
William L. Peterson of El Paso, TX

"Here we are, I promised and it is that time. Sad thing is the place where you died is no better off today then I was then and I try to convince myself it was worth something. I keep telling myself that one day I will load the camper up and drive up to your final resting place and I hope it will be sooner than later. Everyone says “Happy Memorial Day” who was the lunatic that associated happiness with this somber day? Probably the Hallmark people…. Miss you Buddy."
William L. Peterson of El Paso, TX

"Wow.....I'm trying to find the words. Its been ten years and they say time heals all wounds but I'm not to sure I believe that. God I miss you, I would give my last breath just to hear your voice again. I miss our life. I miss the colorblind love we shared. No matter what no one said you loved me. You didn't see color. I looked at the picture of you before you got on the bus. First time ever I seen fear in your eyes, but I know it wasn't the fear of going to Iraq, it was the fear of being separated from me.I cherish every moment we spent together"
shilanta ebert of Atlanta Georgia

"It has been days now that you have been weighing seriously on my mind. Watching the calendar and trying to insure I do not forget to remind others to remember you Brother. There are so many things I look back on and wish I could have done differently in the hopes a different outcome may have been the end result. Ten years and you and the others fill my memories and I just wonder how cool it would be to sit with you again and just laugh and sing and be crazy. I miss you buddy, sure wish you were here."
William Peterson of El Paso, TX

"Wish you were here; I didn’t realize I had written so much the last time. Guess you must have been somebody pretty important huh? Life is good and I think about literally all the time. Next time I am on the lake or out with the camper stop by and just sit for a spell. Miss ya Buddy."
William Peterson of El Paso, TX

"There are a great many things I remember about Blaine Ebert, the driver of A- (Marauder) 14 from learning about what happens when the American Flag accidently hits the ground to finding everything and anything along the tank trails as we rolled along earning the track the title of “Marauder”.

So a great deal of things has been going through my mind this week as the nation looks toward the anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. For me it is the anniversary of my former Bradley Driver Blaine Ebert who literally was a member of the best crew a guy could ask for. Between Lorenzo Gallegos, Blaine Ebert and myself we didn’t care about getting distinguished during gunnery or doing anything more than our job and we did that very well.
I had come over from the Infantry and maneuvered our 33 ton M6 Bradley Linebacker as a grunt in the woods and the two men who manned the vehicle with me were very adept to my style of commanding an armored vehicle. Gallegos mastered the turret and Ebert dominated the terrain in the hull making us lethal. We took on an M1 Tank Platoon during maneuvers when a Bradley Infantry Platoon stumbled head on into them and Blain kept those tankers busy long enough to draw them away from the infantry as Lorenzo and I looked for avenues for us to “safely” eluded the M1s.
We often stayed ahead of the task force (TF) only coming back to get resupplied from Mike Teasdale our Platoon Daddy or the TF we supported. Blain Ebert was a friend, somebody I loved as a brother and having left Alpha Battery was among the top most terrible things I have ever had to do. Lorenzo and Blaine broke my radio (boom box) once but man did they try and fix it you had to be there but it was a moment shared by a crew.
People forget or perhaps didn’t know that we found an 11 man squad high on a hill suffering from dehydration and who were in real-world trouble. We had a knack for getting A-14 into some very cool places and upon taking up over watch over the TF we located the squad. Lorenzo started calling out the frontline trace and Teasdale was on his was with an ambulance M113 Style. Blaine hit the ground and went to work with what he had then when the tracked ambulance stated he couldn’t get to where we were located Ebert raced down the hill and ground guided the ambulance to the casualties.
CPT Cook ordered me later to come get the “hero of the battle” award for the actions of my crew and no matter how I protested he made me go. I ordered Lorenzo to command A-14 to the location of the awards ceremony and Blaine kept that old track right on our tail along the tank trail. When it came time I stepped out and they stepped in, yes it was a crap storm for me but they had earned the award. Even though in the end they only had one coin for the whole thing.
It always was like that with this young man who I grew to know, who I cared about like so many others and who to this day I cannot believe is gone. No matter the BS rumors or stories we hear about people it is when you get down into the dirt you find out the truth about a human being’s character. Every time a radio call once in country or the stories made their way back to me I took the losses very hard and tried to get CPT Robb and 1SG Friesen to let me get cleared and get back.
From bogus newsmen to other problems, you guys were and always have been 100% in my thoughts and from things that happened while I was still in country to the messages that came across the FAX and phones in the rear. Blaine Ebert was and is my brother and I miss him every single day and hope that you will keep him in your memories and every so often when you do give that prayer just say hello and thank you for his contribution to what he and many others struggled for.

God Bless."
William L Peterson of FT Bliss, TX

"Hey Blain,

Its been too long since I last talked to you. The day prior you and I went to the bazzar and tlked about everything we were going to do when we got home. You told me about your plans and I told you mine. After that home how we broke out with a song that we were putting together as we drove along. It was a good day Blain. We had no worries even though we were in Iraq. That night we talked about doing a little BBQ and having some near beer with a couple of the guys the next day. We both thought it would be good to do to break up the stress that we all were living through at that point in time.

Blain you were a good friend and I miss you. I know your up there watching over all of your Alpha brothers. Just like we are all thinking of you. We will meet again one day my friend.

SSG Smith (Commo) of El Paso, TX

"Just swinging by to say hello, I have been posting all weekend your photos n my Facebook and how it all went down. Sure wish you were here."
William L Peterson of El Paso, TX

"Today we celebrate the Armed Services on Veteran’s Day honoring ALL American veterans, both living and dead on a day dedicated largely to thank LIVING veterans for dedicated and loyal service to their country. November 11 of each year is the day that we ensure veterans understood that we deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made in the lives to keep our country free. This is not just for their service in time of war but for the dedicated service of the Nation’s veterans during peace time as an effective deterrent to those who may wish to do us harm.
There really is no way to express with any certainty what our Republic’s veterans carry with them but it should be fully understood that a simple thank often carries significantly more weight than any medal and that knowing the hardships were for not. Today at this moment where I reflect on the many years of dedicated service to God, country, our brothers and sisters I find myself humbled by the steadfast devotion to an ideal many see as slipping away. You are forever endeared and embedded in my every thought and emotion and I wish you the happiness you have earned. God Bless and Salute.

I often wonder had I not left A Battery and still commanded our track would you still be here? You and Lorenzo and Mark McKane did it right. I miss you and really wish you were around. Thank you so much."
William of Peterson

"So today is Memorial Day, a day in which many again will fire up the Barbeques and fish or simply relax in their homes and amongst friends. Yes a couple of years ago I started a correspondence just like this and no I won’t go on a rant about how I feel the people of our nation don’t fully understand what our Republic stands for or used to. I will only release a sigh of a good many emotions for your sacrifice.
Would I rather have you all back in our lives and hoping to hear from you once again, certainly but I understand what your sacrifice meant and hope for those for whom you gave it will carry the brilliant torch of an idea forward into that uncertain night. I am truly respectful of that sacrifice and am honored to have you as friends and colleagues and thank you for all you have given.
In the words of Abraham Lincoln or John Hays (White House Secretary)
“I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.
I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.”
God Bless."
William Peterson of El Paso, TX

"The men and women who carried on the fight; some before you and many after can finally come home as the President has decided it is done. There are no words that I can ever express that can compensate any living person for the sacrifice you gave on 22 November. To see the transformation of our forces now compared to what we endured gives me some comfort in knowing your gift was not in vain. Heavier armor instead of sandbags on floorboards, better gear and an understanding of our leaders the commodity of our personnel opposed to the saving of a penny here and there is greatly recognized. I am sorry it took so long for eyes to open but salute you for the way you conducted yourself until you could give no more. I miss you Blain and smile when I think of you. God Bless Brother and know you are not forgotten."
William Peterson of FT Bliss, TX

"You are a man of reason, strength, and courage. I will never forget you or your beautiful family. Thank you for everything. Take care and I will see you once again, brother."
S. DeMatos of Tampa, Fl

"Another Memorial Day; swinging by because I said I would."
William Peterson of FT Bliss, TX

"So I ran into Smith the other day at the PX on Bliss, he and I chatted and you came up as you should. We both laughed about times together even in a few limited moments we had but it was good to know people remember and recall what a great guy you were. The Army is evolving and well perhaps its time for me to move on but I wanted to swing by and say "hey". I guess we'll catch up someday, wish you were around."
William Peterson of FT Bliss, TX

"Miss you...."

It has been along 6 years. It sill hurt like it did Nov 22.2004. As the days go by i still wonder what could have been if you would have never passed, even though I feel cheated. We had alot of wonderful plans for when you came home.
your one of the strongest men i know. To encounter some of the meanest and most hateful things some people and your unit mates said about us and our interracial marriage. You never let that stop you from loving me. You handled my heart and my soul just like you handled fighting for america in iraq....With great courage honor and respect... I loved you then, i love you now, and i will love you with all my heart until we are back together again"
shilanta ebert of fort hood tx

"just another day your never out of my thoughts never a thought gos bye when i saw you last xmas 2001"
geo of regrett

"Merry Christmas Bud."
Pete Peterson of Ft Bliss, TX

"Thinking about you today as another year goes bye. I know you are in a better place and watching us from above. I hope we continue to make you proud."
CPT Cameron Smith of TX

"I miss you Brother"
Liz Ebert of Moses Lake, Wa

"Hey Bud; don't worry you're not forgotten I just had to knock this deployment out. Its almost done and I wanted, needed really to swing by and just say "hey." Miss you Brother."
Pete (SSG Peterson, William) of FOB Paliwoda, Iraq

"As a Soldier, you learn to count on each other for strength & courage. When one of those Soldiers is taken away, the effects can be devastating. Rather than fall apart, the comrades of that fallen Soldier pull together & find strength to honor their brother in arms. This poem is dedicated to the six Soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery "Renegades," who, while serving in Baghdad, Iraq, from 2004-2005, were lost to the war on terror but never forgotten. SGT Thomas Rosenbaum, SPC Shawn Davies, SPC Blain Ebert, SPC James Price, SPC Jeremy Regnier, and PFC Justin Yoemans, your sacrifice and memory will live in our hearts forever.

A Renegade's Home

Stuck in this desolate place all alone,
Halfway 'cross the world from a place I call home.
Day in and day out with the same group of men,
A bond none can break, nor few comprehend.
The friends that we make and the bonds that we share,
The enemy can take, but never can tear.
The freedoms we live with, cherished liberty,
They come with a price for freedom, isn't free.
No one knows this more than the Soldier himself,
The gift that we cherish is paid with his life.
Now we have lost him, there's another one gone,
But the memory of our comrade will forever live on.
No awards can be given or be placed on his chest,
Everyone knows he's a Soldier and he was one of the best.
Our wounds may heal, but our hearts still remain
Filled with the memories and mended with pain.
For there's nothing like the sound of a twenty-one-gun salute,
Or the playing of Taps that will make one go mute.
Now he's sent to a place, no longer alone,
Take the Renegade home, take him home.

Remembering you, Ebert, and your family on this 11th day of the 11th month."
Amy Thompson of Charlottesville, VA

"November 9, 2008
To the family of Spc. Blain M. Ebert:
Blain 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

"Every time I think about you and the impact you had and continue to have on my life I shed a tear. You are one of my best friends! A lot of time has passed since November 22 but it seems like it happened yesterday! I will always remember yout sacrifice!"
Spc Douglas Ingle of Ft. Bliss, TX

"Just checking in Brother, Ingle is here too, you are in our thoughts constantly."
Peterson of Leaving for Iraq again

"Blain, I leave for Iraq in August. I now have an even greater appreciation for what you stand for. I hope i can represent my unit as well as you did yours-i was reading through the comments left in memory of you on this page>and you had everyones utmost respect..it sounds like you did things the RIGHT way. I commend you....Because i know it is not easy."
PV2 Jared Blankenship-Holmes of Fort Leonardwood, Missouri

"Just a Hello friend."
Peterson of El Paso, TX

"Hey man. It's me Hyland. How you been? Why don't you just leave the f***** water on? I remember that everytime I'm shaving. I still remember that morning, you asking me for some rags any rags. I didn't have any. And I don't have any excuse for the shameful way I've chosen to neglect my friends who I served with in Iraq. I miss you man and love you always."
Spc. Hyland of Alsip, IL USA

"This message is from my former husband and I. We both miss you so much. For my husband, it was an honor serving with you. He loved coming down to Dallas with you every weekend. From me, I didn't know you well, but I knew you well enough. Your a wonderful person, and a great man. Your a hero. Your life was too short. But I could not ask for a better Angel. I was devastated, as was my husband, now SSGT. Mark Lewis, when we found out about what happened. We miss you so much. I cherish the memories. R.I.P. Blain. You are always in our hearts."
Amanda Lewis of Frisco, TX U.S.A.

"Another memorial day, is upon us and I sit here watching the news and listening to the debates over withdrawing and I must admit I am confused by the rhetoric as I look down this long list of my friends who have sacrificed. Many of my friends have sent me this link which brings tears to my eyes anymore and I can’t watch. I have come to these pages so many times in the past months with a sense of guilt that I have so little to say anymore. The list grows as these fine men and women do their job, a job they volunteered for and feel horrible as I walk away with nothing to write.

These were my friends, are my friends and some won’t remember me and there is one here I know I know but can’t remember him which drives me crazy. Somebody sent me a “Happy Memorial Day” wish the other day. I was at first angry but now I know that each of these individuals brought something to my life in their own way, and helped me to be the soldier I am today. One was somebody from basic training who when I saw his name and picture I was shocked. One I knew in passing and the others I knew all to well. These are my brothers and sisters, men and women who lay it down daily and many who volunteered to do what brought them to the fatal finish that placed them here for you to view.

Please don’t believe all you see in the media as fact. There are so many things being done and accomplished everyday over there that these folks thought was important enough to bring them here. These are our brothers and sisters, our family outside the biological attachments and these are our friends. Even now as I scroll down the list of names I am humbled by what they accomplished and saddened for their families, but it wasn’t a waste. I will sit quietly on a hilltop someplace this weekend and I will think about each of these individuals, and I hope that you will not give up on us, give us a chance because we will never give up on you. God Bless and take care.


SSG William Peterson of FT BLiss, Texas

"To the family of:Blain M. Ebert 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"

"Just saying hi, You are not forgotten and I miss the times we had."
SSG William Peterson of El Paso, Texas

"Memorial Day has come and gone. I wouldn't have even noticed, except that I picked up the paper and read through the names of our fallen soldiers. And there it was, Blain M. Ebert. Although I was a part of your family for only a short while, I will remember you, Blain. The jokester, the brother, the son and so many other wonderful things that you grew up to be. God Bless!"
Dawna Castillo of Olympia, WA

"To all,

On this weekend of road trips, barbeques and personal time with loved ones, please take just one moment of the time you have to yourself this weekend and think of those lost, those who did their best and those who completed their service to a country that has given so many opportunities and brought forth the minor accomplishments of mankind but set a precedence for how one should treat another in the pursuit of a better way of life for all. I myself feel especially humbled by the sacrifices of friends, family and those I never knew. I apologize if this sounds political but it came from the heart and I wish you and yours a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, God Bless.

Bill Peterson"
SSG William Peterson of Ft Bliss, Texas

"Well they have done it now, made me an instructor, can you believe it. I listen every day to young soldiers read what they call "Warrior ethos" here and how soldiers have done great things or sacrificed so much for this thing we have been doing. I think about all the guys and you each time and reflect on what we accomplished to the new generation of soldiers I get a chance to touch. A lot of Romeos (14R) are being switched over since the Army did away with the Linebacker, and you know how Romeos are. I hear each story and smile as we really did have a wonderful crew, they can't really top the things we did and once in awhile I hand it over to my civilian counterpart and go catch my breath as it is so overwhelming that we won't get to hang out or mess with one another ever again. I am really glad I got to know you and I hope where you are is so much better than where you left us from. I think about all of the guys and what we had and wish I could have been with you more often now. Anyway I am rambling and need to get to work, but I needed to say "Hey" just so I could make through one more day. God Bless and take care."
SSG William Peterson of Ft Bliss, Texas/USA

"Hey bud. I was just thinking of you and wanted to write you a note. Even though we weren't all that close growing up I still miss you a lot and am very thankful I got to see you a couple of times in GA and LA before you left for Iraq. I still have the brandy you gave me for christmas and I plan to have a drink every year with you like we planned. Morgan is almost 3 now and she loves to wear a set of dogtags with your picture on them around the house and show anyone who visits her uncle Blain. She may not remember knowing you but she will never forget you. I'm proud of what you did and am glad you are in a better place."
Tim Ebert of Jackson, GA

"I feel sorry fro those people who died and i am happy the helped us."
Jessica Boyer of spokane WA

"Whoever does not have the stomach for this fight, let him depart. Give him money to speed his departure since we wish not to die in that man's company. Those who were there will remember, show his neighbor his scars, and tell embellished stories of all their great feats of battle. These stories will teach his son, and from this day until the end of the world we shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for who has shed his blood with me shall be my brother. And those men afraid to go will think themselves lesser men as they hear of how we fought and died together."
-Shakespeare's Henry V"

"SPC Ebert and I were roommates for about a year before our deployment. As many soldiers know there are quite a few conversations that take place in that time. Some of our conversations we had was how we felt about this entire conflict, if we were scared, and how things would be if we didn't make it back. I think its very important that I relay his thoughts to everyone. He told me that he was scared...like every other soldier in our unit. We talked in great length about if there was ever a war to fight it was this one...our country was attacked and civilians were murdered. We spoke about death on many occasions and he always had the attitude that if he died he did not want us to cry too much. I know that before we left he humbled himself before the church and asked god for forgiveness and guidance. Some call it being saved. I don't know how many people are religious out there...but I know this fact..we will see him again. When we pass he will be one of the ones there to great us. For me it will probably be some smart * joke...which will definatley put a smile on my face. I keep a hero bracelet on my wrist with his name on it. It seems that everyday I am telling people about ebert. I will never forget him or any of the other guys...I embrace you all as my brothers."
SGT McKane, Mark of Austin, TX

"To Michael--James and all others who have left a very inspirational note for my brother and your fiend. Although it has been a year the days do not get better, they will with time but it is still hard to think that he is gone. I appreciate all that everybody has done for us in this past year, it has been a struggle for everybody because we ALL lost a GREAT MAN, Soldier, Brother, Son, Husband and friend. As I was reading these notes I had to smile because I know that although I could not fix this for Blain (like I had to do a lot!) and I could not help him, I knew that he was surrounded by the best men and friends that he could of asked for. His BROTHERS in the army were there for Blain, they took care of eachother and they put up with him! I am not sure how, but they did. And I am proud to know that my family has grown because those who were friends and family to my brother are friends and family to me. I am Proud to know so many Brave and Heroic Men and Pray everyday that each and everyone of them stays safe. God Bless and Thank You"
Liz Ebert of Moses Lake, Wa USA

"Dear Ebert:
Not one day goes by that i dont think about you and our last moments together. Even in your last minute of life, you were still trying to teach me how to be a better gunner and a better soldier. Most of what I knew about our job was because you taught me. Every day I spend in the millitary I try to honor you to the best of my ability. I sound off a little louder, march a little prouder,and preform a little better because of you. Thank you for helping me to become the soldier that I am today. You will never be forgotten. One Team One Fight!"
SPC. James Buscampell of FT. Hood Tx.

"To Mike Ebert

It was a pleasure to meet you and your famliy! I hope that everything is going well for you. I hope everything 1SG and I try to do for you and your famliy helped bring some understanding to this terrible event. I know that you understood Ebert loved what he was doing. I know your proud of your son and I hope you celebrate the things he did for our country. I hope you hold your head high because you raised one hell of a good man!!"
Spc Michael Graybill of Elizabethtown, Pa

We know that this is a difficult day for Blain's family. We just wanted you to know that we are with you in thought and prayer. May God give you comfort. We are all too aware of how you feel.""
Webster and Ruth Reed (father and stepmom of Jonathan Ray Reed KIA in Operation Iraqi Freedom in Baghdad on 1/28/05) of Krotz Springs, Louisiana

"on this day to say thank you and remember those who have fallen, sacrificed, and loved... when it's been almost a year, you are in my thoughts, my memories, and my heart Blain."
Rachel of Cheney

"Where to begin? I will never be able to thank you enough for being a part of the best Bradley crew I ever had. I can't believe I will never have to suffer through you and Lorenzo bellowing out a song over my headset as we tool down a tank trial as a team. You were a friend, and a great human being. The day I was moved to Bravo Battery and away from you and Gallegos was like leaving home for the first time, you dedicated yourself, whether you wanted the others to know it or not to being the best you could be. So much could be said, and only a few would understand, but you were my brother, and the void left by you leaving is one that will never be filled. In the middle of the wall, where my grandfather's platoon from World War II, and My Dad's squad from Vietnam and all the pics of me and my previous squads is a small picture of 3 friends on a hilltop in Texas. The best crew a man could ever have, I will truely and eternally miss you Blain."
SSG William Peterson of B Btry 2-6 ADA Ft Bliss, Tx

i miss you so much. i think about you everyday. layla misses and dezaree. the way we feel about you can never be expressed in words. I am speechless for the first time since we got married. i still sleep with the phone in the bed waiting on you to call. you did a wonderful thing for all the right reasons. i just want you to know how much i love you. you was my hero before you died and your my hero now because you protect me the way you protected America.

love your Wife Shilanta Ebert"
Shilanta Ebert of Atlanta ga

"we stared out young after we were born we became friends crazy friends fighting and forgiving always there though whenever you're gone now i don't wanna beleave it you left high and dry no forgiving no sorrow just leaving for a cause for many that can't feel see hear there loved ones anymore many died heroes many lived to fight again too come back back to the place the country that breads many to hate too hate you hate what you fight for but you didnt think of that you thought of you're friends and familie that you love and those who died that day that paid a price a price for nothing but you paid the price and so did there families you're familie friends even though they supported you they didnt whant you to go but you still went to a country to help you helped and for what familie and friends even though you did it for honor courage comittment the thing most people lack but you showed it the most you paid for it without thought just to save people you love care about if every state knew you flags whould had been at half mast not just cause but for a reasone a reasone that nobody saw you just kept going till a quick pull of a trigger a trigger that took you away from all of us to morn to shed tears tears of sadness to see a person that could should whoul'd had been the leader the leader of a nation a great nation a nation that whould never fail you that whould fallow you till nobody was left
R.I.P SPC Ebert best friends for life"
geo of oak harbor wa

"Blain: I just wanted to say that even though im in New York that i heard about what happened..My thoughts and prayers go out to your family..and to Washtucna as a community. I've read many pieces on you as a person-i can attest to the fact that you were head strong-you spoke your mind-and you did what you felt was right-i am grateful to you for your sacrifice-i knew you my entire life-I even lived with your family for a short time after i was out of high school-you came from a good/strong family. To sacrifice as you..and your entire family has done-is an indicator of the type of people that you are...You have made me more aware of where i came from-who i really am-as well as I am PROUD of you-and proud to have known you.....i just wanted to say thank you...for living your life and giving your life the way that you did...you were a good man...Jared (A.J.) Blankenship-Holmes"
Jared Blankenship-Holmes of Rochester, New York, United States

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

"Hey Blain, just wanted to leave you a quick note and let you know how much I miss you and Love you. Although I know you are safe now, I find myself waking up at night waiting for you to call. Maybe that is your way of joking with me, in any way, I know you are there with me and that you will hurt no more. Well, mom is getting married. I guess you know this already though don't you. You make me so proud. We got some magnets for our cars with your picture on them and it makes me so proud when people stop and look at them, YOU make me so proud. I love you brother and will always miss you but never forget you."
Liz Ebert of Moses Lake, Washington USA

"This message is in honor of a wonderful man that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country, Army Spc. Blain Ebert. Blain was killed on November 22, 2004 in Baghdad, Irag. It is now February and I still have not yet accepted the fact that he is gone. Blain and I spent all 13 years of school together, not only was he my classmate but also a very good friend. I talked to Blain often after he joined the military. I still remember the day the recruiter came to get him, I cried like a baby! Blain called me on November 11, 2004. That was the last time I got to talk to him. I miss him more than words can EVER say. I appreciate EVERYTHING he did for OUR country. I have a 3 year old daughter, who remembers Blain. She talks about him every day and tells me that she misses him and it's time for him to come home. We often talk about the HERO he was and will always be in our hearts.
Blain, we miss you. You are a great person and a great friend. I wish I could have got to say good-bye. You are always in our thoughts and prayers. WE LOVE YOU!"
Chauna McKenzie of Washtucna, WA USA

"You are MY Hero Brother. I miss you so much but I never forget our fights and wrestling around the house. Breaking all of moms stuff and trying to fix it before she got home. Pushing my body through the front door and trying to paint it with the wrong color. Oops! I miss you brother but I know you are safe now. Look over us. I will see you sometime! Love You sooo much brother"
Liz of Moses Lake Wa. USA


"the memories we had the things we did i wish we chose the same service instead of 2 diferant we were best of friends and had good times ill always miss you i dont whant you to be gone i'm still waiting for you to show up behind me like in school 22 year friendship miss you brother"
geo of oak harbor wa us of a

"To Blain'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

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

"Thank you Blain Ebert, 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 Spc. Blain Ebert:
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 Blain 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 Spc. Blain Ebert:
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 Blain, 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