Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Cpl. Armando Ariel Gonzalez

25, of Hialeah, Florida.
Killed in a non-hostile accident when a commercial refueling truck collapsed as he worked beneath it at Logistics Supply Area Viper in southern Iraq. Gonzalez was assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS)-273, Marine Wing Support Group (MWSG)-27, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina. Died on April 14, 2003.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Cpl. Armando Ariel Gonzalez.


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

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"I can remember the incident like it was yesterday. The sad part about that it could have been any of us. It's a true saying that tomorrow is not promised today! I pray for your family's comfort. You will always be remembered by 2nd TSB Support Company as one of our brothers!"
LCPL Crowder of Jacksonville, NC

"Brother, I still remember one of our last conversation, when you told me" your wife is Pregnant", I said to you tell her do not let that baby sleep in the same bed with her lol.
For some reason that truck you drove would never get stuck in the sand and mine always did, you and you were the one that pulled me out everytime.
I remember that day like it was yesterday , you'll always be a part of my life Brother, I hope your Family is doing fine , until we see again Semper Fi ."
Steadroy Hutchinson of Jacksonville, Nc

"May Jesus Bless you with love and joy fill your lives with peace and joy and good memories of your loved one. . Semper Fidelis USMC vet"
Matthew of CORONA,CA

"I have carried the flag that was flown that day for 13 years, waiting to pass it to his children. As much as it means to me, I'm sure they woulRIP Armando..."
Jerry Hostutler of Florida

"I was the C-17 Loadmaster that brought you home from the AOR. I have NEVER forgotten your name and I never will. Thank you for for allowing me the honor to bring you home to your family. RIP brother."
KD of Vacaville, CA

"My dad will always be at a safe place in my heart I think of him everyday and when I read this I couldn't believe it"
Amanda ariel gonzalez

"I love the biograph you wrote about my dad armando ariel gonzalez"

"It's been eleven years since we last saw, laughed and shared with Cpl Gonzalez (Gonzo). Still not a day goes by that you are not thought of and your memory lives on in hearts and stories of you and others that have sacrificed. May God bless your soul and your family. Until we regroup! Semper Fi!!!"
Sgt. Larry Alfonso/USMC of Pueblo, CO USA

"Es el hermano de armando ariel gonzalez le doy grasias a todas las pesonas que se aquerdan de mi hermano esto a sido muy duro para mi no lo olvido ni un segundo de mi vida"
orlando gonzalez of hialeah fl

"Gonzalez was absolutely one of the hardest working Marines I ever had the privilege of serving with. I still think about you all the time buddy. I'm sorry."
Mark Toppi/USMC of Charleston SC

"My husband was with Armando during that accident. He and brothers speak of him often and it brings tears to my eyes. My husband, Alejandro Rivas was also injured during the accident. He remembers the pain being non existent as he cried for his friend. He did not get to attend the funeral service but we did get to visit him in Hialeah a few years ago. I am looking to contact Gonzalez's wife. We are proud to say we named our son Armando for Alex's fallen brother and although I never met Cpl Gonzalez, he is in my thoughts often. My deepest condolences to all families of the fallen. And if his family reads, please contact me, we'd love to meet you, we are currently living in Tampa. usmcrivas@yahoo.com I hope life has brought his family health and happiness during the passing years."
Sara Rivas of Tampa, FL

"To the family of:Armando Ariel Gonzalez
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""

"hello,my names bryan i am a student at chamberlain high school i am a mcjrotc(Marine Corp junior rotc)student and we are starting a new project at our school and i have choosen to do it on cpl.armando ariel gonzalez i want to say that i am very sorry about your lost"
Bryan D of tampa,florida

"I never want to forget the sacrifices of so many young men and women. I am so proud it makes me cry at times. I understand, in theory only, that war is a part of human nature but so is love and caring. I wish I could take your families and friends 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

"Let me start by saying you were such a good person. There is not a day that goes by that i dont think about you. I miss you !!! && i know one day will meet aqain up in heaven. iiLyu R.I.P armando you will always be in my heart."
Natalie of Hialeah

"I served with Cpl Gonzalez in 273. We were doing some training in Savannah just before deploying. We had to dig a fighting hole which happened to be in the only area where one hadnt been dug before so our patch of earth had lots of rocks and and roots thick as a mans arm. We stayed up into the night digging our hole. We had gotten down to 3 feet when our third member quit and went to sleep. Me and him just chopped away until our hands were bloody. We kept thinkin', what if we actually had to do this. I was stationed 2 miles away from him when he came to the clearing at the end of the path. A fellow Sergeant came and told me as I ate my lunch. When he came in I knew he had bad news. Its not fair we have to lose the best people to the worst things. I wish war only took the bad people, but the good people have to be there to make sure it gets done right. He always did. Cpl Gonzalez always took care of the support i needed from his shop back in the rear too so there was going to be some new guy doing what only he couldve done. I have to crush a tear as i write this. Damn Fine Marine and Im sorry he cant be there to raise and enjoy the love of his family. Something i can understand as my family lives overseas too. God Bless you Armando, you and your family. Until we meet again.."
Alex of Douglasville, Ga

"January 17, 2009
To the family of Cpl. Armando Ariel Gonzalez:
Armando 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

"To the family of Cpl Gonzalez,

My name is SSGT Maldonado, it has taken me nearly five years to bring myself to try to forget that awful day. On that day I was on my way out of the compound to conduct a mission and saw him sitting on a cot near a re-fueling truck to get out of the shade, as usual he smiled and asked me if I wanted something from his care package that he just got.I will never forget the smile on his face as he was enjoying his goodies from home. I just want to let you know that he was always friendly and always willing to lend a helping hand. My family is from Puerto Rico so we had alot in common, as far as the good food and the tight family bonds. I will never forget the smile on his face sitting on that cot that day, that will be burnt in my brain forever.I am currently in Iraq once again and was recently near the location of the incident. I fell over in tears as we passed by....My prayers are with you and I'm sure Armando is in heaven looking down on us with his great smile... I will leave you my e-mail address if you want to hear more stories about our time in 2003..

SSGT Fred Maldonado (fmaldonado_1@yahoo.com)"
Freddie Maldonado of Iraq

"To the family of Armando,
Today I walked for your son and husband. It was a local Tampa event, for fallen florida service men and women. 275 people gathered to wear the names of fallen soldiers and run in their honor. I never knew Armando, but I am proud to have walked for him today, in honor of his memory. Maybe we are all not strangers after all."
Kelly Watson of Tampa, Fl, US

"Cpl. Gonzales,

My husband was with you when you died, and he was at the scene afterwards. He was at Viper with 2nd TSB Safety/HazMat who reponded to non-combat injuries and accidents. He knew there was nothing anyone could do but he wishes every day he could have made it just NOT happen. He sees you in his dreams some nights and is very, very sad for your family, but we know you are in a beautiful place where you wouldn't want to come back from, even if you could. You family I'm sure is so proud, and your wife & baby are living proof that you were a hell of a man. I wish I could have known you myself; I was further south down in Kuwait mith my unit.
If your family wishes to contact us for any reason, please repond to alex_laura@netzero.com.
Peace, Love , and all the best to la familia Gonzalez."
Sgt Laura Brooks, USMC 1999-2003 of Cascade, Va

"January 12, 2008
To the family of Cpl. Armando Ariel Gonzalez:
Armando 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 would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"Semper Fi Marine, Thank You!!"
SGT Schenk, MWSS 273 of Altoona, PA

"Cpl Armando Gonzalez, tu fuiste una bueno persona y se que desde el cielo estas viendonos y disfrutando de la gloria de nuestro Dios.
Se que me escuchas desde el cielo y gracias te doy por haberme salvado en Irak. Dios sabe que hubiera pasado si tu no me dices que me moviera. Siempre te recuerdo mi buen amigo, espero algun dia visitarte si Dios me lo permite.
Para la familia de Armando sepan que estoy muy agradecido por lo que el iso por mi, pero al mismo tiempo hubiera querido que ese 14 de Abril nunca hubiera llegado a nuestras vidas.
Armando se que estas cuidanto a tu hija desde el cielo, que Dios te bendiga a ti y a tu familia.
Semper Fidelis Marine."
Cpl. Edwin P. Samaniego of Jersey City NJ.

"Cpl Armando,

Is sad to see that a fellow Marine has payed the ultimate price, especially one from Hialeah. I'm extremely proud to be from the same area that you are from and believe me, you will never be forgotten. Once a Marine always a Marine right??? Semper Fi, Heroe.."
Pedro of Washington, DC Marine Barracks 8th and I

""Para la familia de Armando,
Lo siento mucho la perdida de su Marino. Cuando veo que fallece un americano, me duele y cuando es latino me duela mas, y cuando es cubano americano como yo, me duela en el alma. Que Dios lo tenga en Su Gloria y que los Bendiga a ustedes.
Robert Cortés y familia of Bamberg, Germany

"God bless You and your family. Thank you so much for keeping us and this country safe. You'll be missed buddy RIP."
Eddie of Hialeah, Florida

"Cpl "Gonzo"Gonzalez is a damn good Marine,i am proud to serve with him over Iraq and iam proud to serve him till the end,we have things in common in life ,we both came from a foreign land and serve the finest military in the world,we shared our life stories most of the time, the good and the bad ,but the things i remember about him is that how he love he's family so much ,he talks about them most of the time and a smile that he had during we trade our memories together,but to share he's last moment is the best thing i can share to his family,i just want you to know the day that he died he was a happy man,he was so proud of becoming a father and i know he could have been a good one! Cpl Gonzalez is proud to be who he is even till the end he let you know Who and Where he's from "Cubanito Hasta La Muerte" this is what he had writen on he's truck that he was driving and he is proud of it! and this is how i remember him....... God Bless and Semper Fi Sgt "DDD"Tamban"
dean tamban of south carolina

"Thank you Armando. Thank you for being the honorable man we all need to protect us."
Ernie of Temple City, Ca USA

"RIP Marine"
Petty Officer Cawthon of RTC Great Lakes, IL

"Armando, my son is one of your comrades in arms. You gave your life for Joshua's safety. May you be welcomed by the angels in heaven as a protector of all the Marines in the MAWSS 273..my prayers for your family.
another Marine Mom"
Kanani Simmons of Corpus Christi, Texas, USA

"May you RIP Armando...although I never knew you my brother did serve with you in Iraq and was injured along side you in that accident...everyday you are in my prayers..my brother who was only slightly injured has recovered completely and I thank God everyday for that. As the sister of one marine, daughter of another, and wife of another I know you must have been a stong and honorable man. Your family is in my prayers as well. You are a hero. May God take care of you and watch over your family. God Bless"
Alyson (Repp)Ramos of NY

"In Loving Memory..Its been a year..

At the rising of the sun and at its going down, We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of Winter, We remember them.
At the opening of buds and in the rebirth of Spring, We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of Summer, We remember them.
At the rustling of leaves and the beauty of Autumn, We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends, We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
Rest in Peace Dear Soldier!! We will NEVER FORGET!"
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN (4/2004)

"On this one year anniversary date:
Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Armando will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"I given my full support to our troops since the beginning.I'm so proud of each and everyone of them but Armando,who at the time that he joined the marines wasn't a US citizen makes me extremelly proud and to the cuban community he represented.May he rest in peace in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.Tomorrow 4/14 will be the first anniversary since his death. May God bless his family and may his little girl grow up to be the loving person her father was.Ana V Amador"
Ana V Amador of Hialeah,Fl

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

"Que Dios te bendiga mi hermano. En un dia como hoy estoy de luto para todos los hermanos mios que han fallecido. Se que estas en paz, pero su trabajo no termina pues estas de guardia sobre tu crianza. Dios te bendiga y a tu familia, y cuando el dia de mi muerte este a mano, seria un honor estar de guardia con tigo en las puertas del cielo. Semper Fidelis"
Lcpl Masso of Miami, Fl

"Thank you Armando Gonzalez, 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

"God bless you Gonzo."

"As a member of the Hialeah community and a graduate of it's schools I send my deepest regards to his family anf friends. I thank him for all his sacrafices and hard work to keep our country safe."
Mrs. Denise Alfaro of West Orange, NJ

"We thank you for the sacrafice your son made for us. Our hearts and prayers are with you during this time. Thank you Armando, May God keep you in His care."
Ken and Maritza Holley of Pembroke Pines, Florida

"To the family and friends of Cpl. Armando Gonzalez:
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 Armando 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. Armando Gonzalez:
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 Armando, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera, of Powder Springs, Georgia

"You have given your life for the freedom of countless others to follow.

Your gift and your sacrifice will be remembered forever.

God Bless You"
Phil Dragoo of Santa Fe, New Mexico

"God Bless you and your family. We will never forget you."
The Taylors. USMC of NC

"At one point you were a big part of my life. You meant a lot to me and my family. We loved you so much that we do not know how to take this lost. You were a wonderful person, sweet, caring and loving, someone worth being with, someone that deserved the best. You will never be forgotten, and you can rest assured that your baby will be taken care of. He will be very proud of his father. We love you and we will miss you."
Ivette of Hialeah, Fl

"God bless you and your family.
Thank you for your service to our great nation.
May you rest in peace.
Gone but not forgotten."
Sam and Lilly Busch of Richmond, VA, USA

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