Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Justin L. Eyerly

23, of Salem, Oregon.
Eyerly died in Baghdad, Iraq, when individuals using improvised explosive devices and rocket-propelled grenades attacked his convoy. He was assigned to the Army National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry, Cottage Grove, Oregon. Died on June 4, 2004.

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"I wish I could have met the person you would be today. I wish you could have met the person I am. I hope I make you proud.

"God Bless the Family and Friends of Sgt Justin Eyerly. My unit was the one which Justin and his fellow soldiers were coming to aid. We lost two that day and we keep their memory alive, we will not forget the sacrifice of Justin Eyerly, Justin Linden and Erik McCrae. Thank you for helping our brothers that day. God Bless our departed soldiers..."
1SG Ian Brundage B BTRY 3-112 FA New Jersey ARNG of Flemington, NJ

"Justin, I remember when you first came to the troop. You were this scared kid that would jump at his own shadow. I seen you grow into a fine soldier and leader. I regret leaving the troop before it's deployment but I was in a hurry to get into the fight. I think about that everyday. I know you in the best hands possible with Kenny but that does not change the fact that I wasn't there. I made sure to meet you when you came home it was the least I could do. I will miss you and Justin everyday and I will meet you in Valhalla where we will drink Mead and feast. Till Valhalla my brother till Valhalla."
SSG Dan Bobo Medic E troop 82nd Cav

"To the family and loved ones of Sgt Eyerly I served with justin in the same platoon,and wanted to let you all know that he was one of the best we had I think of him and his crew often (LT.Mcrae,SPC.Linden)a lot he will always be missed but never forgotten"
SSG Bobb (papabear) Fleming of Sheridan Oregon/USA

"June 2012
Dear Eyerlys,
I want you to know just how often my thoughts are turned to you and your two wonderful young sons. Not a holiday or yearly anniversay of Justin's passing goes by without such a deep sense of loss of a beautiful young life. On occasions I have had memorial flags posted in LaPine when the flags are posted along the streets remembering and memorializing those who served. A small way to show appreciation. A trip past the Rose Garden always reminds me that I was not able to say appropriate goodbyes. Yes I too grieve. I know of none others of the youth we worked with over the years in YE but I am sure there must be some somewhere. I just proud to have had the privilege of knowing Justin and of course Paul. They are and were special."
Lion Susan Forbes of Scio OR formerly Jefferson

Not a day goes by, where I don't think about you or our other guys. I think all of these wounds are too big for time to heal. You are truly missed by us all. Your courage to help others in their time of need has shown this country what a true Hero is. Thank you, my friend."
Kenny Bowman 1st Plt D Co 2/162 of Nashville, TN

"always think of you and your family ,always in my heart forever"
james alderson of salem,or

"I think of you often Justin. The times at the Rose Garden were fun and I loved getting to know you and your music. God speed my fellow musician. Some day we will visit again and we will talk more about the music of our time."
Loren Bates of Portland, Oregon

"ill never forget you eyerly..think of you often and all the others from our troop.."
Jeff Love of Portland, Or


Happy Veteran's Day to you and your family. You will always be a hero to me and everyone from our unit.
Take care until we meet again one day.."
SGT Kenny Bowman of Kingman, AZ

"Justin, It has been almost 7 years since that unbearable day when we heard the news of your passing. We wish we would have gotten to know you better. We still think of you as the cute kid with the big grin and as a handsome teenager. Thanks for your service to our nation. We often think of you and your family. We love you and miss you."
Eric and Sheri Andersen of Springfield, Oregon

"Justin, and to your family,
Australia thanks you. You are not forgotten."
Rob. of Brisbane, Australia

"To the family of:Justin L.Eyerly
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"2-12-11"

"Not a day goes by that I don't think about those two explosions that I called in from Sheridan O.P. It haunts me everyday hearing the boom and looking to the NW and seeing the cloud of dust rising up on the horizon. Then minutes later another boom and plume of dust rising up in the same location. I had just met Eyerly at the Haji shop not too long before that day in 2003. Young , confident, friendly, at first glance thats what I came away with. He came into the shop often as it was across the lot from his barracks. For some reason he stuck out in my head when he came in. I didn't know til a few days later when I returned to the FOB what had happened. Another unit had been hit by an IED and Our guys went into danger to help them. selfless service. Now, every single day I see those plumes of dust rising on the horizon, I now see our brothers rising up with dust and streaking for the sky. They were too good for that war. People who are too good get taken up before we think it's time. I would cry every day if I could cry anymore. Know this, the tears that I shed were for their family. How lucky they were to have brought up boy's like these. I will never forget, the war, the brothers, the sacrifice and the plume of dust.
The war never ends in the minds of the ones who return. It rages on in different forms in the world around us. Who will save us from the war that never ends? Who will save us from ourselves? Where our the heroes who will rescue the veterans who have returned? Our fallen brothers have been spared this daily damnation. May they always rest in peace."
Staley-HHC 2-162 Scouts OIF2 of Eugene, OR

"Justin and his crewmates, Justin & Erik, were the first losses we'd felt as unit. It was the day our world was forever altered.

I will never forget receiving him in the BN Aid Station, and while praying it was all wrong, was able to confirm what we all already knew. He looked like he was sleeping... nothing obvious to suggest the worst, no grimace, no blood… nothing. I cut his armor off, begging God to let me find a pulse under it all... something to work with. Nothing. Futility. I've worked in trauma care all my life, but nothing prepared me for the loss of such a good man, and one I was honored to call Friend. On the next litter stand, Doc Jim was doing the same thing with Linden. Again, nothing.

Our hopes shifted that maybe Erik was OK, speeding across Baghdad with a medic at his side who’d watched him grow up. It seemed like survivable injuries, in the end, it was amazing he survived getting to the hospital, with the degree of injuries incurred. Erik had the chance to fight to live, and he did in the O.R., as everything was tried to save him. As with his Brothers, he’d not see that day’s sun set, either.

All of this was because others were in need, in trouble, and they simply did what they knew was right. Move into Harm’s way to help another.

That was the day it all changed forever.

Till we meet again, man....

Age Quad Agis"
Doc GC of Portland, OR

"Justin Eyerly, I think of, and remember you often. I miss your laugh, and your smile, I will never forget you."
SFC Eric Blatter of Tallil, Iraq 2009

"Not a day goes by that I don't think about you. I miss you. My sentiment goes out to your family.

-SPC Walter
C Co. 2/162 IN"
Chad Walter of Medford, OR

"June 3, 2008
To the family of Sgt. Justin L. Eyerly:
Justin 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

"Of every one hundred men ten should not even be there. Eighty are nothing but targets. Nine are true soldiers; we are lucky to have them for they the battle make. Ah, but the one! The one is the warrior. He will bring the others home.
-Heraclitus 500BC
Justin Eyerly; Ye shall not be forgotten."
SPC Andrew Ashpole Bco 1-186 IN (formally of Dco 2-162 IN) of Newport, OR

You are missed by all your friends from E Trp.
We all think about you, as you will always remain in our hearts. You showed your dedication and compassion to others during your last moments.
The world is a sadder place without you.
Miss you friend.

Sgt Kenny Bowman
1st Platoon medic D CO 2-162 Inf
E Trp 1998-2007"
Kenny Bowman of Portland, OR

"To the family of Justin L. Eyerly. I'am so sorry to hear the passing of Justin. I just hope that god can help you keep his memory alive and to help you cope with your loss. GOD BLESS!"
Daniel Eyerly of lansing, KS

"Dear Eyerly Family - whoever you are and wherever you may be. My son, 1LT Erik McCrae (killed in the same IED incident), always spoke with pride about his crew and his platoon. Erik knew he was serving with the best that not only Oregon, but America, had to offer. I can't make the pain go away, I can just tell you that I grieve with you. I am so sad for your loss - Justin was such an outstanding young man. I am proud of Justin's voluntary and selfless service, serving his country in this cause. May God show mercy to all of us."
Scott McCrae of Tigard, OR

I miss you so much. This is the first memorial day that has ever meant something to me, and I wish it didn't. I think about you all the time, I wish so much that you weren't gone. It's like a part of me is missing. Oh justin, I'm so proud of you. You were doing what you loved most. You loved your country enough to die for it. I look up to you Justin, I wish things didn't have to be this way. Not a day goes by that I wish I knew you. I'm so proud of you, I'm proud of the man you became and the person you were. I love you Justin, my hero, my cousin, and my friend. I know you're watching down on me. I can't wait to meet you in heaven! May you rest in peace.
Your Cousin Alison"
Alison Eyerly of Salem

"'The Fallen'
Lo, I have stood my watch this day
I have kept our enemy at bay
God and Country I serve, so I swore
For peace today and evermore
A new watch I proudly stand
So glorious and bold, as God took my hand
With shield and armor, I now bear a sword
My comrades and I stand tall with the Lord
My eyes are fixed, my path is sure
My heart and mind so blessed and pure
As my God now dwells with me
My spirit with you will always be"
Amber Mans of Brick, NJ

"Thank you brave soldier for sacrificing your today for my children's safer tomorrow. You have our utmost respect and gratitude. May God provide your family with comfort in their time of sorrow. May you forever rest in Heavenly peace. Neither you nor your sacrifice will be forgotten. For the family/friends: May time provide happy loving memories in place of present sorrows. Look to the sky for in the infinite meadows of Heaven the bright shining stars bloom...the forget-me-nots of angels. God bless you and thank you."
a grateful family in Phoenix, AZ

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

"To Justin'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, Justin, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"To Justin's Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for his bravery and sacrifice.


The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne, KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
Gloria Caldas (Ernie's mom) of San Antonio, TX

"Thank you Justin Eyerly, 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. Justin Eyerly:
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 Justin 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. Justin Eyerly:
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 Justin, 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