Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Cpl. Richard A. Gilbert, Jr.

26, of Montgomery, Ohio.
Gilbert died when the CH-53E helicopter he was in crashed near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Died on January 26, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Cpl. Richard A. Gilbert, Jr..


Contributions to the Families of the Fallen


Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

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"Missing you brother. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you. Wish you could meet my daughter. I tell her about you and the other guys all the time. Each one of your names is tattooed on my arm. I wish I could talk to you still to this day. You were the older brother I never had. If any of Gilberts family sees this, please reach out to me. Thank you."
Scott Widmayer of Spokane, WA

"Short video of the Memorial attached.https://www.facebook.com/ksdktv/videos/10154580733489312/"
Dennis Kluge of Wright City, Mo.

"St Louis flew over 7,000 flags, one for each fallen hero since 9/11. I have the flag flown in Richard's honor and would like to mail it to the family or a representative of the family."
Dennis Kluge of Wright City, Mo.

"Hey Richard. Not a day goes by that i dont think of you. Your my motivation for enlistment in the Marines. I cant wait for the day that we can meet so i can thank you personally for everything. You mean so much to your friends and family and i hope you're watching over then with god."
Darien of Springfield, Oregon

"I love and miss u calling me precious singing to me with the guitar to white wedding love and miss u"
little sista tressa hollon of dayton ohio

"hey uncle richard. its watermelonhead (travis. i miss you so much. i love you."
travis of dayton ohio

"I can remember the first time I met Gilbert. It was the 4th of July weekend in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. It was Bayfest weekend.(Bayfest is a rock and country music concert on base for the troops) I was wearing a Dayton Flyers tee shirt and Gilbert sees me and says "Dayton? Im from the Eastside!. (on Xenia Ave or somewhere around there) I said huffmen and linden ave honkey.LOL!!. We was some Dayton boys in Hawaii! LOL. We partied all night long. Talking about, who we knew and where we hang out back home. He told me he was living for Iraq, but when he gets back we should kick it.Mos def . I still think about him all the time.. Hes good people... My people. You are missed brah!"
Rob Minnish of Dayton, Oh

"You will always be rememberd and loved.
I am sorry I wasnt there for you."
Biggf00tt of Springfield OR USA

"Bubby, Bin Laden is dead!!!! I know that your up in heaven rejoicing!!! they finally got him!!! Love and Miss ya lots"
missy of dayton, ohio

"I think that this man may have been my brother. My biological fathers name is richard a gilbert. I've never met him. He was in the army and air force and should be 59. Please if any of this sounds familiar call me at 606 310 1484. My mothers name is barbara swangin and I was born in december 1980. I have a sister named shannon who was born in 1979 who has the same father."
richard d swangin of stearns ky

"Just wanted to thank everyone for the kind words and stories about my brother Richard, he was a wonderful kind soul, He is Missed and Loved sooo much!!!! Anyone want to share stories with me my email is melissarader9@aol.com...thanks so much"
Missy of dayton, ohio..usa

"05/12/10....today is your 32nd Birthday Bubby!!! Happy Birthday To You....I Miss U sooo much and Love You and till we see each other again....Love Your sissy Missy"
Missy of dayton, Ohio

"Hey Kiddo, it been 5yrs, I still find myself wondering, telling the story, i remember you and Uncle Rick coming to the house before you left, than hearing the updates as to what you where going through over there, and then the news came, i watched this family fall, like it took a sucker punch, but u know the Irish, right back up again,standing proud " for you" we miss you and think of you daily, i look at it like this, you could'nt protect all of us from here so you moved on to a place that you could, i will never forget"
Vincy of Beavercreek ohio

"I grew up with Richard, well he actually started out a my brothers friends and eventually became like a brother to me, I think about you often Richard. Me, Keith, and Bill talk about you all the time, Bill went back in the Marines and he is in Afghanistan right now. There isnt a day that goes by that I don't think about you, my kids all know all about you, I have a T-shirt with the flag folded and it says never forget and I had your name, rank and years of birth and death embroidered on it and I wear it often just so that no one can ever forget how much you are loved and the ultimate sacrifice you made. LOVE AND MISS YOU EVERYDAY"
Heather (Dalhover) Underwood of Cincinnati, Ohio

"Gilbert....... "No better friend, No worse enemy" I miss and think of you often brother. I remember playing chess outside on the third deck at night. I remember going to Applebees and other various sports bars, where we would talk about life, future plans and women. I still have your "Alice In Chains" cd that I was never able to return to you. I listen to it in the gym. It was an honor to have been your squadleader in SOI and to know you.

You often talked of you family back home and how important they were to you. I say to them that Gilbert IS the kind of friend that you want to keep throuhout a lifetime. I trusted him because he was as genuine as they come. There was nothing about him that wasn't completely sincere. I will never forget him. He was then, is now and will always be my brother.

Travis Fleetwood
Travis Fleetwood of Greensboro, NC

"today is 5 years that U left us, miss u soo much Bubby"
missy of dayton ohio

"Merry Christmas Bubby, Love You and miss you very much, Love always, Your sissy Missy"
missy of dayton, ohio

"I knew you when you were PFC Gilbert back at Infantry School in 2002...I was very sad right before I was going to deploy to Iraq in March 2005, to hear of the Helicopter crash in Rutbah. We lost you and 6 others we went to boot camp with in that crash...in the little time I knew you, you made an impression on everyone you met as a kind and mature beyond your years Marine. We got along well because we were both from Ohio haha...I'm sure that since you made a lasting impression on me in the little time we knew each other in Infantry School and Boot Camp, you must surely have left behind a legacy to be proud of and many people who sorely miss you. To you and the 48 Marines I lost from my Battalion, We will meet again...

P.S. We kicked * out in Anbar for you...I'm still in Iraq doing the contracting thing and watching what we did not go to waste is the most important to me."
former SGT Jacob Arnett, 3rd Battalion 25th Marines, Lima Company of Baghdad, Iraq (from Cleveland, OH)

"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"
Scott Steiner of Gahanna, OH / USA

"”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to you. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Over 1,600 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com or go to www.heropaintings.com . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Project Compassion - Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"January 17, 2009
To the family of Cpl. Richard A. Gilbert, Jr.:
Richard gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"gilbert was my rack mate in bootcamp, i only spoke to him a few times after infantry school, he was mad because i made it over before he did. He was one hell of a Marine he told me many times that the reason he joined was to go over there. He would have made a great governor. I never expected to meet one of the smartest people I ever met in bootcamp but that is where i encountered richard. Love you bro"
brian umbel of elizabethtown pa.


"Hey Bubby, well your 3 year anniversary of your death is coming near, I'm having a candle light vigil for you, instead of music playing,Im having everyone read a story of you...Want everyone to tell thier fondest memory of U....which is kinda funny cause we have so many!!!!! Miss U so Much.....Hope that You are taking good care of mom up there in Heaven....Give her a Big Hug and Kiss from Me....Love Ya....Your Sissy"
Missy of Dayton, Ohio

"BUBBY CHUBBY DOO I LOVE U AND MISS U SOOOO MUCH!!!!!! So much has happend since U left us, but, I feel U around me everyday.....Allways remember U are my HERO!!!!!! LOVE YA AND MISS YOU LOTS......UR PISSY SISSY"
Missy of Ohio

"hello Richard, I miss U soooo Much and wish U was here with us today, but, I know that U, mom and Papo are together watching over us......just hope that when its my turn to join U all U will be there to welcome me home....LOVE YA AND MISS U MORE THEN ANYTHING...LOVE MISSY"
missy of ohio

"Hey there, I have a few projects in the works to honor you and others who paid the ultimate price in iraq you'll hear about it. Thank you to all who serve..."
Dustin of ohio

"Richard, this Is Dustin Lamb, I am writing a novel, your going to be involved in it, dedication page and a charachter, I wish we would have Stayed in touch after jr high, but I guess we all choose our paths equally. To your family, there isn't a day Goes by I don't think of you and your loss, one could only imagine. Melinda, Missy my heart goes out to you. I'll email you Missy on updates to my book."
Dustin Lamb of Springboro, Oh

"Happy 29th Birthday Bubby........Love Ya and Miss U"
Missy of Ohio

Been 2 years man. I miss you. God bless and if anyone wants to contact me, my number is 504-339-0369 or email at scott.widmayer@usmc.mil. Never Forgotten"
Scott Widmayer of New Orleans, LA

"2 years today since you left us....We MISS U VERY MUCH BUBBY......LOVE YOU..."
Missy of dayton, ohio

"Well Bubby your pissy sissy having a really hard time these days!!!! God I wish you was here and mom too!!!!!!!!!! Its been almost 2 years and you know I will have a candel light for you on Jan 26th......I MISS U BUBBY"
Missy of dayton, ohio

"Hey Richard, Ohio State kicking butt this year, wish you were here to see it....Hope your taking care of mommy....I miss U 2 soooo much, not a day that goes bye that I dont think or Miss You 2..I LOVE U MY BUBBY CHUBBY DOO"
Missy of dayton,ohio

"Richard.. I never had the chance to meet you, but I feel that I know everything about you through your family and friends. I was there when they laid you to rest my friend. I have came back to check on you everyday to make sure everything is ok. Tell your mom I said hi, and I will still be there to help take care of everyone. Rest in Peace.."
Lonnie Bilbrey of Vandalia,Ohio

"hey Bubby my cousin my hero miss u lots. I love you & miss so very much. from ur cousin I will see you again someday tell ur mom my aunt I love her"
Donna Rhoads of Dayton, Ohio

"WHAT'S UP O.S.U ALL THE WAY..........."
brian spencer of dayton oh

"U and Mom are together now she died may 24, 2006......She is with u Richard"
missy of dayton,ohio

Sissy Pissy of Dayton, Ohio


I can remember the day clearly when your father found out his baby boy had been taken from him - his heart was broken, he was so very proud of you! We all know you died a Hero doing what you wanted to do "Helping people who couldn't help themselves!" You truley are our HERO! We love & miss you! We know we will see you again, so our hearts have some comfort in knowing this. Until we see you again... Our Love & Appreciation- Always!!!!"
Kimberly & Grant of Deltona, FL

"I miss You so much Bubby..........Would Love for it all to be a dream.....until we meet again...I LOVE YOU"
Missy of dayton,ohio

"Everyone tells you that it gets easy, but, it never does....I will see you again some day.I MISS YOU AND LOVE YOU BUBBY............MISSY"
Missy of Dayton

"Bubby, It has been a year and it still feels like yesterday. It has not gotten any easier. I can not find the words to express how much I miss and love you, but you will be in my heart for the rest of my life. You were not just my brother you were my best friend. May you rest in peace. I will see you again someday. But until then I will love and miss you always."
Dee Dee Bell of dayton ohio

"Wow Bubby its been a year since you died and its still hard. I miss my BUBBY CHUBBY DOO!!!! My sweet Bubby....Rest in peace see you one day. I love you....YOUR PISSY SISSY"
missy of dayton,ohio

"It's been a year today...We will never forget you Bubby.I miss you"
Kim of OH

"""As a veteren of K Co 3/3 and a very short stint (2 Months with G Co)(1986-1990)MCAS K-Bay it saddens me to hear of the loss of my brother Marine but I know he left us bravley fighting to keep my family safe from the evils of the world keeping with the highest traditions of the Corps. I'm now to old to reenlist but if I could I would."""
Lcpl. Robert Blaylock of Lakeside CA, USA

"To richard.I never looked up to anybodybut you was a different person you took time out of your life to help me i wish i could tell you all the things i think everyday and what goes through my mind but i thank you for everything you did you are a true american and nobody had gutts like you {dick}. but now all we have is laughs and good times thinking about all the fun things you shared with everyone you was around you was a speicalperson and nobody can take that away...... semper fi pal....{bigdick}... your pal big B..."
brian j spencer of dayton,ohio us

"To the family of: Richard A. Gilbert Jr I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully, we will 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, Gateway Community Church, 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ,"
Polly Ballew of Covington, GA

"Dear Gilbert Family,
I came across this website and found Richard and myself are both named Richard Gilbert. I also noticed he passed a day before my birthday. My birthday is January 27. My father also was a marine. I found these facts a little strange and it brought me to realize that it could have been me in his position. I just wanted to say thank you for what your son did in protecting my liberty and rights. My greatest condlences to your family. May God bless you richly and I'll be praying for you.

Richard D. Gilbert"
Richard D. Gilbert of Rockland, Massachusetts

"To the family of Richard. I came across this web site while browsing the internet. I did not know your son but he was a Marine. Since he was a Marine then he is family. I wanted to tell ya'll that I am sorry for the loss of your son but as long as the Marine Corps lives...then your son lives...Semper Fi!!

Richard V. Gilbert

"I want to express my deapest sympathy for the loss of your son Richard. I believe he was killed a day before my son Kevin was. I want to thank you for your's and your husbands message to us on Kevin's message site. God Bless you both. Thank you for your ultimate sacrafice so that we all may enjoy our freedom. From one parent of a Fallen Hero to another."
Theresa Luna of Oxnard, CA

"To the family of Richard,

My heart is with you as I know the pain you are feeling. My son, Cpl. Timothy M. Gibson, was on that same helicopter and now they serve in heaven. Please know when I pray, I pray for Richard too.

May God bless you and keep you in the palm of His hand."
Elaine Gibson of Merrimack, NH

"I want you to know that I share the same pain as our son's were together on that helicopter. I am compforted though knowing that all of our brave soldiers are the keepers of heaven's gate. I am truly sorry for your loss."
Roni Aurelio of Olivehurst, CA. USA

"I thank all of the Marines that are back at K-Bay, Hawaii for the wonderful stories they told us about Richard.. You are all my HERO!!!!! GOD BLESS U ALL"
Missy of Dayton,Ohio

"I served with Gilbert and we became very good friends, which is saying alot. Because I didn't make many good friends while I was in the Marines. I guess it's because I'm picky about the company I keep. And it doesn't get much better than Gilbert to have as a friend. We had very different religous and political views yet it never hindered our relationship, because we had a mutual respect for each other. I know this though, out of all the Marines in our Company, Gilbert never complained once about his duty to his country. I could see every day I spent with him how proud he was to serve. Not to diminish the belief of all the other Marines in their duty, Gilbert shined a little more. His dedication was unwavering. An example to all Marines. I know without a doubt through our conversations we had sittin on the backs of our packs waitin to move out. That if Gilbert had to go, he wanted to leave us the way he did, fightin' for the country he believed in more than anything."
JJ Holmes

"Dear Helen,
I want to thank you for the kind supportive words you left. I would like you and your family to know that at my brother's funeral service, I displayed the names of all who lost their lives that night, to include Richard, to honor the service of not only my brother, but those who where with him. Thank you and may God Bless."
Brother of Capt. Paul C. Alaniz of San Antonio, Texas

"Our prayers are with your family. We know the pain you feel, we lost a beloved nephew, Sgt. Michael Finke, Jr. on that day. They were truly brave young men whose sacrifice will make the world a better place. They were so loved. We will never forget them, we will never stop missing them."
Nancy & Phil of Carmel, In.

"To All Those Lost!. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Richard was my cousin, I will always remember chatting late nights online always about politics, and all the letters we wrote back and forth while he was in Iraq. He truly was a hero to my boys, they loved him dearly. Aunt Helen truly raised a noble man. Thanks to all of you for sendind Richard's mother your support. Kim"
Kim of OH

"Cousin Richard, We will always remember you. You are a HERO ! We love you and will always remember wrestling you on thanksgiving. We know your in heaven. We love you..Love Branden, Bryen, Brent"
Branden,Bryen,Brent of OH

"Ms. Gilbert, thank you for your kind words on this web site. My son was SPC James H. Miller IV who died 1/30/05. God bless you and your family. I can be reached at jhmilleriii@hotmail.com."
Jim Miller of Cincinnati, OH

"My name is Rob Hopper, father of Lance Cpl Brian Hopper, who was on the helicopter with Richard. Thank you so much for the kind words. I am very sorry for you and your family. I would like to stay in touch if you would want to.
email: rob.hopper@pbsgc.com
Thanks again"
Rob Hopper of Wynne, AR

Thank you brave marine for defending the freedoms we all cherish. The words below describe a loving person supported by a loving family. My family shares in the loss of Richard and pray that his family finds peace and comfort. Semper Fi marine and thanks for what you did for us all! God Bless you and all the brave soldiers."
Jim and Margie Shaw of Pasadena, Maryland

"To the family and friends of Richard, There are no words I can express to make you feel better. All I can say is that you were bless to have him in your life and that he will always be in your memories. He will alway be a hero to many. My best friend (Hecto Ramos)was in that helicopter with him and I know how hard it is but we must be strong and remember all the good times we shared with them. My prayer are with your family."
Saul Olivas of Aurora, IL ProudRunner@aol.com

"From one military family to another, it is with heartfelt sympathy that our family expresses our sincere condolences to you. His heroic service to his country and fellow man will not be forgotten. Trust in Jesus."
Webster and Ruth Reed (Parents of Jonathan Ray Reed who died in Iraq on January 28, 2005) of Krotz Springs, LA

"God Bless your family!
My sincere condolences to family and friends of Richard. My nephew Kyle Grimes was on that chopper! We feel your pain...We will never forget these brave young men. Kyle's Aunt Betsy"
Elizabeth Souders of Bethlehem, Pa Silybet@aol.com

"My nephew, Sgt. Michael Finke, Jr. was on the same helicoper with Richard. May God provide your family with comfort during this time of pain and sorrow. May you rest forever in Heavenly peace. You and your fellow marines shall never be forgotten."
Sandy Scarborough of Green Cove Springs, Fl.

"To the family of Richard Gilbert, Jr.
Hold on to your family, friends, and prayers, because that will be what gets us through this. Our memories are the one thing that cannot be taken from us...so as we continue to cry, please don't be afraid to laugh. Please feel free to share your memories of Richard with me because I would really like to know him. Nate had the tightest group of friends back home that you could ever imagine, and I am sure he was the same way with his Marines. It just leaves me wanting to know more about all of them. We lost a great group of young men. Take care and God Bless Richard."
Elizabeth Householder (sister of CPL Nathan Schubert) of Whittemore, IA USA

"Richard " Big Dick" Gilbert was not only an uncle but a best friend and a my rolemodel. He wasnt perfect but it my eyes he was, we were always together even when he came home on leave. We shared so many memories and its sad something like this has to end it for now but it will not break our bond. But its time to say goodbye and i hope to see you again when its my turn. R.I.P Cpl Richard A. Gibert Jr (big dick)love always Stephen"
Stephen of Miamisburg, Ohio

"My son Sgt. Michael Finke was on the helicopter with Richard. I share in the pain of your loss. We are forever united through the sacrifices these young men made."
Sally Rapp of Westlake, Ohio

"To the family of Cpl. Richard Gilbert jr., I am SO sorry for your loss and I share your pain. My cousin, Mike Finke, was with Richard on that chopper. My prayers are with you."
Lisa Love of San Diego, CA

"He was my little brother and I will miss him more than words can describe. He will always be MY HERO!!!!"
Melissa Rader of Dayton,Ohio

"Richie was and will always be a very dear friend of mine. I worked with Richie at Behr Daimler Chrysler in Dayton Ohio. Richie and I worked side by side on the Abar there at the shop. Richie and I shared a lot of great times together there including many talks about the Lord. I also can remember us celebrating together when we found out that President George W. Bush won the election during his first run against Al Gore. We were working 3rd shift at the time and we watched it with my dad on my dads TV there at the shop. Richie knew so much about politics and had even hoped to run for some type of political office some day. I had bought Richie a pocket sized Bible one year for his birthday before he decided to join the marines and He visited church with me at my old church in Huber Heights, Ohio. I also recall that shortly after September 11th when Richie heard we may be going to war with Iraq, Richie said this country was not going to war without him. Richie lived and died fulfilling that statement. He was certainly one of the most courageous men I have ever met. I wish I could have been at his memorial service but unfortunately did not find out about his passing until 2 days after the service as I am a truck driver now and do not get to watch much news. To his family and other friends... We all will certainly miss Richie and listening to his humor and his knowledge. However, we can have peace knowing that Richie is with our Lord and he went from this life into eternal life doing what he said he wanted to do and defending our freedom as well as the freedom of the Iraqi people. If any of you wish to contact me you can email me at Praiseanimal1@aol.com. May God Bless and Keep You All In His Care"
Denny Volz of Medway, Ohio USA

"Thanks to all who have left comments about Richard and support for the family . As you see Richard is my cousin and a great guy as well as a Marine. I would like to thank you all for the support and will print all of this out for my Aunt to see."
Michelle of Dayton, Ohio

"To the loved ones of Corporal Gilbert,My deepest sorrow for your loss,As a Marine family we grieve for you and with you.He was a hero to many.Stay strong."
M Rose of New Jersey

"To the family and friends of Corporal Richard A. Gilbert, Jr.,

Those we hold most dear, never truly leave us. May you find comfort in love's everlasting connection.

In the Support section of this web site you will find links to many groups that support you at this crucial time. The Marine Comfort Quilt group would be honored to send a quilt to the next of kin. There are many, loving and caring Americans from all over the United States that will never forget the sacrifice that your loved one has made for our Freedom. Please use our link and register so we can send you our "Love Stitched Together."
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca USA

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

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

"To the family and friends of Cpl. Richard Gilbert, Jr.:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Richard for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Cpl. Richard Gilbert, Jr.:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Richard, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on