Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Staff Sgt. Joseph P. Garyantes

34, of Rehoboth, Delaware.
Garyantes died by sniper fire in Muqdadiyah, Iraq, while on a combat patrol. He was assigned to B Company, 1st Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, Vilseck, Germany. Died on May 18, 2004.

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"SFC Garyantes,
Best Soldier and sportsman around.We will always remember you."
D7, CSM (R) Ray Houston of SA TX

"a tribute picture:
Rob Tutor of Sultan, WA

"Joe, You were one of the best Men I knew. Kim and I are so grateful for you and your family and all the great times I shared with you in Vilseck. I miss you grately!! I look forward to the day we meet again in Heaven. I love you, brother!"
Eric Duncan of Delta, CO

I do not know you, who you were and from where did you belong. I am sitting thousands of miles away from your country and your place of rest but Joe i have eyes filled with tears and respect for your sacrifice. God knows if i`ll be there someday but at this moment i am with your family and you. If you are watching this from anywhere let you know i am with you.I wish Joe if i would have done work with you.

With Respect."
Ritwik of India

"SSG G. was the best Tank commander I have ever had. Its been many years since we lost you, I still think of you and tell the good storys about you to my soldier. You were loved by me and the rest of your crew. While you were around you lived up to the Big Red One motto and instilled it in me and everyone you taught. I am proud to have been one of your Soldiers. "No Mission Too Difficult, No Sacrifice Too GreatóDuty First!""
SGT Victory, Johnny of Fort Bliss, TX

"SSG G",
You are always the best superstar player on the field. We will always remember you and your Family. Thank you so much for all the great times."
CSM (R) Ray Houston of San Antonio

"SSG G, its been 6 years and i can still envison your mentorship. its hard for me to put my feelings into words, though you were hard, you were fair, and you where and still are a person i can look up to. Thank you for the gifts that you left here and to the rest of the platoon and company. I hope in the future Soldiers can look at me the same way I still look at you."
SGT Parratt of Camp Casey, Korea

"To the family of:Joseph P.Garyantes
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"1-15-11"

"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

"To the Family of SSG G, My name is SPC Maddox from S1 shop HH 1-63, i didnt know SSG G, well but i served in his battalion. his soldiers both liked him and respected him. oft times calling him a hard A$$ i met him seldomly but he left a deep impression with me as a man who would do his job even though it led to his ultimate sacrifice. i share the sorrow as a fellow soldier having lost an elder brother. with warmest regards Cameron (Mallox) Maddox Spc. discgd, Hooah"
Cameron Maddox of Vilseck Germany/Stockton Ca

"i hate so bad that you are gone, you were my first tank commander in hohenfels, but you were much more than that, you were almost like a father to me. i ll never forget the times we shared together. peace to your family, i remember when your son was born, you were on cloud 9. until we meet again"
ken morris aka kennymo of beattyville, ky usa

"Gary i miss you brother, Hohenfells brings back to many memories and good times. Your memory will not go forgotten, OPFOR leads the way, "God speed, expect no mercy""
Heff of Fort Riley KS

"January 12, 2009
To the family of Staff Sgt. Joseph P. Garyantes:
Joseph 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 just found out 4 years later of your passing. I am so very sorry for yor family. We had some good times in hohenfels. I looked for pics of us together, but seems you were always the one taking the photos. I have a pic of the group, monika, and your newborn at my house but not you. we will meet again someday.. your friend , Don"
higginsdon@hotmail.com of mass.

"I was a teenager, living next door to your mother and father, when news of your father's death came so unexpectedly when your mother was pregnant with you. My family and I loved your Dad, Jim. He was a good, no nonsense sort of guy your brothers and sisters adored. And your mother loved him so much that she always got a dreamy, smitten look in her eyes whenever she spoke of him. When you were born, I was fortunate enough to cradle you in my arms and gaze into your sweet, dark eyes while you nursed your bottle. I called you Josie and I'm certain you would be glad that nickname didn't stick. I loved your whole family: Terry, Stephen, Marie, James and your sweetheart of a mother, Gerry. I was so sadden to hear of your sacrifice and the terrible burden it placed on your loved ones. How was I to know that the precious infant I so loved would grow up to be a hero? But, you are with your father now in Heaven with our Lord where there are no more tears and no more war. I am so glad you grew up to be a fine man worthy of the Garyantes name. Peace be with you always."
Linda Ryan-Harper of Hartwell, Georgia


We served together in the OPFOR at Hohenfels in the early 90's as part of D Co. 1/4 and I enjoyed being a friend of yours. From sleeping on the tanks to playing indoor soccer we had lots of good times. I wish the very best for your family and you will never be forgotten by those you served with. Thank you for your sacrifice."
Randy Hooker of Houston, Texas

"SSG "G" it was truly an honor to know you. Thank you for your bravery and the ultimate sacrifice that you made."
Gerald Wagler of Greenville, SC

"Hi Everybody,

I search my boyfriend. He was stationed in schweinfurt before 3-4 years. Hes name ist Jonathan Escobas. Jonathan please call me if u read my message. Its me your NESHLYNE or write to me. NeseDillard81@hotmail.de
I miss u sooooo much Baby"
Neshlyne of germany

"Gary you were a good buddy of mine at FT Lewis and I remember all the times we laughed at work. You were a great NCO and someone that I considered a true friend. You touched so many hearts with your compassion including mine. I miss you brother."
SFC Roberto Garza JR of Schofield Barracks, HI

"I will remember all the good times we had in Hohenfels. You will be greatly missed. You will never be forgotten. God bless you and your family. Drangons Rule The Box!!!"
SSG Michael Archie of Schweinfurt,Germany

"I still can't believe you are gone, Joe. You were one of my closest friends and the time we served together at Fort Lewis will be a time I'll never forget. I still look at the pictures of the times we got together with our families. I smile remembering the good times we shared. You will never be forgotten."
SSG Del Christensen of Olympia, WA, USA

"its hard to describe the pain that was felt or the love that was expressed by all of B c0 1-63 the day that you passed but know that we all love you and will never forget you."
SPC Troy Langley of C co 1-77 AR Schweinfurt, Germany


"SSG G, I still can't even find words to express how much you are missed here in B. Co 1-63. You will always be a constant memory in our hearts an minds. We will always continue to pray for your family. SGT P."
SGT. Doron R. T. Pyfrom of B/1-63 AR, BN, Vilseck Germany

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

"My God Joe, I question everyday why God took you from all of us and Monika summed it up the best, "He takes only the best". I loved you with all my heart and you taught me so much on how to be a man who would live his life everyday and a great father as you were. I know Monika will raise both Tevin and Ryan to be just like their father; GREAT MEN.

I miss you Joe and I know we will meet up again."
SFC Jeremiah Lindley

"I want to let the family of Staff Sgt. Joseph Garyantes know that I received his name on my fallen hero bracelet and wear it proudly.I thank God for him and every soldier that have sacrificed their lives for the sake of our freedom.God bless you all for given us your loved one."
Rebecca Edwards of Corpus Christi,Tx/USA

"To my fellow OPFOR Tanker. It was really hard to hear the news from a friend about your passing.We had alot of good times in Hohenfels and I was hopeing to meet up with you agin some day. I will all ways keep you in my thoughts and your family in my prayers."
SGT Clyde L. Warman of Greenville, Maine

"To Joe,
Not a day goes by that you are not missed. You were always there when we needed advice or a friend. Words can not describe how much you are missed."
Alex Toulomelis of B co, 1-63 ar Vilseck Germany

"To my Uncle Joe,
Thanks for being there for me and my family. Thanks for fighting the fight. Thanks for dying for my freedom. Thanks for puting others first. I never took the time to relize what a great blessing you were to our family. You were a great man with a great heart. Thanks for being you. I love you so much, unconditionally."
Megan Shipley of Laurel, De/USA

"To my Uncle Joe,
Thanks for always being there for my family and I. Thanks for fighting for your country and doing what you love to do. Thanks for giving all you gave. Thanks for acting the way you did. Thanks for puting others first. Thanks for keeping faith in God. Just thanks for being you. I love you"
Megan Shipley of Laurel, De/USA

"Daily I think of our fallen soliders. They are always in our hearts, our mind, and our prayers."
Jessica of Illinois

"To the family of Sgt Joseph Garyantes, I'm sorry it took me this long to come and offer condolences. My husband and myself know how it feels to lose a son. We lost our only son on Sept 11, 2001 at the Pentagon. I remember how much it meant for people to reach out to us and let us know our son would never be forgotten. Your son is a hero and we will never forgot the sacrifice he made to serve our country. My sons death was not in vain, and the sacrificing our military members and their families are making mean the world to me."
Sheila E Flocco of Wilmington Delaware

"god bless you, soldier, you did not have to die for my freedom, but you did, and for that i am thankful, to the garyantes family, hang in there and god bless you all..."
melissa of chesapeake, va

"I was with Joe in the early 90's in Hohenfels, Gemany 1-4 Inf. what a great man Joe was! He had a great heart! His loyalty to his friends was unbelievable! He would do anything for his fellow man! Joe didnt like to fail in anything! He was intense, focused and very good at everything he did! I was over in Iraqi during 2003 and a friend of Joes from Hohenfels, Germany in the early 90's. My heart just bleeds for you Monica-- and the Boys.Boys just remember this about your father he was tough he was strong and a Great man--Your father had a heart of GOLD! I'll never forget the times I spent with your father! He was so confident, so good and just a great Friend!"
SFC Zachary Lever of Fort Irwin, CA

"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 sorrow. 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

"Joe, you will be deeply missed. You was a friend, a brother and a fellow warrior. There is'nt a day that goes by that I do not think of you or your sacrifce. You and your family will be forever in my heart"
SSG Nathaniel R Brown of HHC 1-63 Armor BN

"In Memory of My son, Sgt Joseph Garyantes My message to loving people who have prayed and honored us during this time of grieving my son - I share my heart of appreciation and deep love for one of my children that was given to me as a gift from God. I am reminded of another time when I grieved Joe's Dad of how the Word reminded me -we are bought with a price by our Savior's death on the cross. If we are living for him- we are his servants and our families are his. He taught me to love every moment of everyday and love others. My son Joe was one that I loved and He gave it back because of his love and faith to others. He lived his life for others and became an awesome man, soldier, son,husband and father. What can I say but Thank you God for allowing me to be his Mother. I am proud of him serving our country, believing in what He did and respecting authority over him. He learned it well. The Bible says if we are good stewards of small things - we will do greater things. Joe learned that along with many other soldiers who serve us unselfishly. My prayer is for our country to pray for those in authority so God can give them wisdom and pray for all our fallen soldiers families to "Be of good Courage." I am a Blessed Mother and someday will see my son again in Heaven- for this I thank the biggest hero- Jesus Christ , who died for you and I so we have a future and hope. God Bless America and Thanks Joe--Thanks for Monica and Tevin and Ryan- we will do our best to help them.
Love You,Mom"
Gerry Garyantes of Milton,De/USA

""To my brother,Joseph..
I sit here and i don`t know where to begin.I know what you stood for and i knew your heart.It hurts from time to time but we are making it the best we can.It hurt so much i don`t know what to do,i can`t fix this one this time.I want to be there for your wife and children and i feel like there all alone.But i know our lord is watching over them.You were so much to so many people and gave so much of yourself.I remember the day you came and sat me down to tell me you were joining the army as if i could stop or talk you out of it.I was proud of the brother you were that day and proud to have been your brother over these years,but you knew that .You have touch me so much over the years and you know that i love you very much and allways will and that i`m proud of you.I only hope that i can love unselfishly in my lifetime as you have done in such a short time.I will do my best to be there anytime your boys need me.It hurts so much to know that they are going to miss the best father i have ever had the honer of knowing. Life is very strange at times and we can`t try and beat ourselves up trying to figure out why some us are taken and some us are left.But God is in control of all things and this i know is true.So we will miss you and will cry,laugh and remember you.This place is not going to be the same knowing you are not here,but you are here,right here in my heart.I love you brother and i`m not ever going to forget who Joseph Garyantes is and was. I will miss you for a time but i will see you soon!!!! For God so loved the world that HE gave HIS only son that whosoever believe in should not perish but have eternal life"
Your brother Stephen Garyantes of Millton,DE. USA

"My brother; Joe....
Our family will always have a hole that cannot be filled...we miss you so much Joe. You were laughter and joy, and always had stories to tell us that kept us laughing...you were an amazing husband and father a wonderful son and to me a awesome brother. I respect you so much Joe and I am so very proud of you; Forever you will have a special place in my heart and I will never take for granted the freedom I have because of you and other soldiers. I love you so much and I will see you in Heaven one day, with momom and popop and your daddy. Forever in my heart."
Christin Clark of Milton,DE,USA

"To the Garyantes Family and Monika,
I attended Epworth Christian School with Joe and his sister Jean was my best friend. I am very proud of Joe's decison to serve our country and keep my family and friends safe. Joe was always witty and smiling and everyone loved him. I will keep you in our prayers and I'm deeply sorry for your loss. Thank you "Little Joe" for your loyalty and devotion. Until we meet again..."
Amy Vasey (Register) of Altamonte Springs, Fl

"My sweet Darling Joe,

I miss you so much. It's lonely here without you. I miss you more each Day. My life is not the same without you here. You are the best thing that has ever happen to me. You are the most sweetest, loving and caring person in this whole world. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. You are the love of my life. The times we spend together I will cherries for the rest of my life. You are everything I ever wanted. I love you so much sweetheart and miss you so very deeply.

You are the most amazing and loving husband, my best friend and my soulmate. I am so in love with you. No words can describe the love I have for you. I am so proud to be your wife and the mother of your children. I miss your every breath. I am so grateful that I found you in this lifetime. I wish our time together would have been longer but I know that we will be together again. I love you with all my heart and soul. I miss your hugs, your smile and your presence. You are my best friend and it's hard to imagine a life without you. You are the most handsome, desirable and sexy man I've ever met in my life. I love your sense of humor and the way you lift me up when I had a bad day. You always find the rigth words to say to make my day. I am honored to be your wife and will spend the rest of my life being devoted to you and our children. I got blessed with the best husband and father to our children that anyone could ask for. You are the most greatest person to come into my life. You are the Joy of my life.

I love the things I discoverd in you and the things I've learned because of you. I love you because your love has changed my life and made it more beautiful. You mean the world to me. You are a loving husband and a better husband never lived. We had a bond of love so deep, no one could ever brake that. I lost my best and dearest friend. I will carry your love forever in my heart. My life has been a blessing because of you, sweetheart. You are so perfect for me. No one has ever treated me the way you do. I've never been so cherished or loved. You gave me all your love and I will hold that love forever in my heart until the final breath I take. I never knew I could love a man so deeply and completly as I love you. I miss you and long for you everyday, darling. To be together in the same old way would be my dearest wish today. I love you always and forever.

You are the best father any child could ask for. I always knew you'd make a great father. I can still picture you outside playing with the kids. You where so devoted to them. Your face would light up every time you would see the boys. I know how proud you are of them. And I am proud of you for raising them to be the boys they are today. They love you so much and miss you so badly. I will try my very best to raise them to be just like their daddy. You are the best daddy in the world. Please watch over me and the kids and keep us safe. Help me to raise Tevin and Ryan to be as wonderful and amazing as you.

I know that you are in a better place right now. I wonder every day why God called you away. But he only takes the very best. I know we will be together again someday. And until that day you'll be living in my heart.

Loving you now and for eternity."
Your Wife Monika of Kaltenbrunn, Germany

"As a former Bravo Company soldier and friend of SSG Garyantes, I can only begin to describe to you the man, soldier, and family man that he was. Monika, the Army, and mankind have suffered a terrible loss. God Bless you Joe! Rest in Peace and save me a bar stool for when we meet again in Fiddlers' Green."
Dan Castellaneta of Louisville, KY

"To the family and friends of SSG Joseph Garyantes; My prayers are with all of you, that you will be comforted in this time of loss. SSG Garyantes was one of the finest examples of what an NCO, soldier, and American should be. He will never be forgotten by the soldiers of his unit."
1LT Peter Norris B/1-63 AR Executive Officer of FOB Normandy, Iraq

"To Joseph'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 (his mom) of San Antonio, TX

"Thank you Joseph Garyantes, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"To the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Joseph Garyantes:
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 Joseph 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. Joseph Garyantes:
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 Joseph, 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