Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez

22, of Lomita, California.
Killed in action in southern Iraq. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California. Died on March 21, 2003.

Gutierrez was the first combat casualty of the war in Iraq, according to U.S. military officials.

He was an orphan on the streets of Guatemala City who heard about America from the minister at a children's shelter; at the age of 14, by walking and jumping freight trains, he made his way to California, where he was brought up in foster homes. He joined the Marines to make money for college—and to send to a sister in Guatemala. "Pray for all of us, not just me," he wrote his foster mother on March 1.

Source: MSNBC/Newsweek

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez.


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

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"Thank you, Jose Gutierrez, for your great sacrifice in defense of freedom for all. Despite the naysayers around the world, you are the embodiment of the values of this grateful nation that is the United States of America. I would like to let you know, that I also served in the US military in the same timeframe as you did (US Air Force), that I am also a Guatemalan native, who was also not a citizen at the time I joined (and subsequently became one), and while I too made sacrifices albeit not the ultimate one as you, I had my close calls. As such I understand your sacrifice, and I would like to let you and your family know that because of that, I have been honoring your memory since I became aware of your story in the late 2000's in my own ways through events, military runs, educating others about your story, etc., and today Memorial Day 2023 was no exception, although we didn't know you personally, my family and I celebrated your life and your contribution to the freedoms we enjoy... I am now retired from the military, and we continue to live our life in rememberance and honor for those like you who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can continue to live in freedom, know that YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN, and as a Guatemalan AND a true American you will always be remembered!"
R.S.V. of Florida

"I do not know you. But men and women like you are the reason we are free. I shall never forget you and your families price that was & still is paid for this country. We all owe you and your family a great and un-repayable debt.
Rest easy brother.""
Nick of Shelby township michigan

"On March 21st, 2021 marked the 18th anniversary of the day our Lord decided to take a very brave Marine to guard the Gates of Heaven. We will forever miss you until we are together again. Love forever! Your Mom, Nora Mosquera"
Nora Mosquera of Round Rock TX, USA

"I always remember you. I'm not a marine or in the service. I was about to join right before the conflict started. My family is from Guatemala and your death impacted me alot. I was at a club enjoying my life thanks to the great men And women who have fought for my freedom. I was enjoying my self and heard the news that the troops were being mobilized and then heard of your death. I felt horrible because that could have been me. I'm from Los Angeles, same age and Guatemalan roots. You changed my perspective in life. I will always remember you and pray to God your in a better place."
Sean ramirez of los angeles ca

"Jose I still think about you lots... 13 years on and I'm still struggling to deal with things... I'm glad you're at peace, sometimes I wish I was... Rest easy mate x"
SSgt Lester Staples RAMC of England, UK

"Thank you for your brave and honorable service"
Owen Migdal of Middletown, Maryland

"What to say. I been comtemplating posting on your wall for years . But everytime i began to write something i would break down in tears and tears where never issued to us in SOI.
Tonyo. We will always have those horno days. You claiming 2/1 was better and me telling you that thundering third led the way.
Never forget arriving in Basara. And hearing you were no longer around.
Someday i will tell my kids of a heroe and an amazing friend."
Cpl Lopez. of los angeles ca.


The date right below is the same as this one. I had 12 years on my mind rather than the actual date!"
De'on Miller of Lovington, NM, USA


Dearest Nora:

Today, 2/1 is remembering your precious son on Facebook. I've shared this link on my timeline. You have so very much to be proud of with this fine Marine. I am the mother of LCPL Aaron C. Austin, a Marine brother of your son. My son was KIA 26 April 2004 in Fallujah, Iraq, his second tour. I know...I know that Jose's Marine Brothers remember him and his sacrifice every day. I know too, that your heart still breaks some every day. May God keep us all until we can hold them once again! Thank you for your son's sacrifice!!"
De'on Miller of Lovington, NM

"Thank You for your sacrifice! You did not die in vain. Your an inspiration to us all. Thinking of you on this Veterans day 2014"
Brian Childers of New York, NY

"As an immigrant myself you have inspired me to join the marines. Your story has touched me and I'm sure it will touch many other generations to pursue a honorable life in the military. I thank you very much for your commitment and humble life of service and I'll serve as an honor to you as far as my military career is concerned and pay homage to you as a great veteran of this great country you served with dignity and respect. God Bless.."
Enrique Lopez of Oxnard, CA USA

"Thank you for your service young man you were living a dream and fought graciously for our freedom. We can never repay you but we will honor your memory it's the least we can do for you thanks for fighting the good fight"
Frank of Los Angeles

"My beloved son, today marks 11 years since God needed a very special Marine to guard the gates of Heaven and chose you. We miss you so much but as your family we know we have a very special Guardian Angel watching over us. Our love forever. Semper Fi. Your Mom"
Nora Mosquera of Round Rock, TX, USA

On today, the 10th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. You weren't even a citizen of this Country and you didn't have to serve yet you did-that says everything about the type of man and Marine you are. I wish I could have had the honor and privilege of serving with you when I was in the Marines. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devi Dog!"

"Jose I know you are with the lord now and I think that I know the reason why. GOD only takes the best and so he felt the need to have you possibly guard the gates or patrol the streets of heaven. I served indirectly in 2/1 with you and attended your memorial on Camp Pendleton where I picked up two spent shells from the 21 gun salute. I gave one to your sister and kept one for myself as a reminder of what true sacrifice is from a MARINE who laid his life down for freedom in a country he was not born in for people who didn't know him. I believe that is why GOD chose you Jose. Semper FI. GOD bless you for your kindness and sacrifice. Go with GOD Marine."
J.D. of Colorado

"Visit The LCPL Jose A. Gutierrez (Tono) Memorial


Semper Fi!"
Roger of New York, USA

"Hello, my name is Tony. I read about Jose's story a few years ago. His life really touched me. I am also from Guatemala and live in Lomita. My childhood nickname is also "Tono". When I read about Jose's short life, I can't help but to break-down. I mean, in a different universe, we could have been friends.

There is a small park in Lomita called Veterans Park. I would like to see his name added to the memorial. RIP Jose."
Tony of Lomita

"I raised Jose Antonio in a Guatemalan orphanage and later foster home from when he was 8 years old until the day after he turned 22. The night of his 22nd birthday, we celebrated with cake and dinner in Antigua Guatemala; the next morning he and a friend left Guatemala for the United States.

There is much misinformation about Tono because he changed his background, and significantly lowered his age, when he arrived in California so that he would receive special unaccompanied minor care and immigration status.

Tono's story is powerful and that of a real person trying hard to better his life, help his sister, and serve his country.

Please honor Tono's life, service, and death by keeping the facts of his life correct.

Also, please correct the brief description in Tono's heading on this page; he did not come to the states when he was 13... he was in school in Antigua Guatemala at that time.

For early and teen-age photos and more information about Tono, please visit his page on www.AtkinsonCenter.org.

Patrick Atkinson of Antigua, Guatemala

"RIP Jose you will never be forgotten and forever in my heart...

Semper Fi"
Sean of Phoenix, AZ

Forte Hungaras of New Mexico

John of Mass.

Kaitlyn of USA

"Rest in peace because you will never be forgotten. Thank you for serving our country, your country,so we can sleep at peace at night. God Bless."
The Klipp Family of Wolfsville,MD,USA

"I just stumbled upon the story of Jose Gutierrez. Rest In Peace"
Hugo of Sweden

"Jose may your soul rest in Peace!! you are my hero, I wish the Congress can think about Immigration careful through your story. you will not be forgotten. REST IN PEACE SIR. I SOLUTE YOU."

"To the family of Jose, I sincerely regret the loss of your son. On behalf of my family and myself I would like to convey my deepest gratitude for his service. We are truly honored to have had him fight for our freedom. I also know that he came here illegally for a better life and to become a citizen but paid the ultimate price. For this, I owe him my respect and now it is my turn to fight for him in support of legislation like the DREAM ACT. Thank you so much."
Adam (Honored American) of Los Angeles, California

"Thank you for your service devil dawg!!! Semper Fidelis!"
Lcpl. Nunez Ortiz of Amherst, MA

"God bless you my brother. Rest in Peace, you will never be forgotten."
Daniel Serna of La Crescenta, CA

"I saw your grave site this october with my high school while we were volunteering in the area. I found your story so inspiring. Thank you for what you did for our country. You are not forgotten."
Lauren of Los Angeles, CA

"Lance Corporal Gutierrez, you will never be forgotten, may you rest in peace."

"Semper Fi Jose ... you will never be forgotten."
Ana J. Pana of Jaco, Costa Rica

"Amazing, the US is boiling on anti-immigration asking to close borders and return all these benefit and job seekers that unlawfully crossed our border back to their countries. Yet, we have this Marine that after doing all these unlawful, un-american, things, gave his life for our freedom. Gracias, Thank you Jose, I am glad you crossed our border illegally. Semper Fi.

Albert of El Paso, TX

"This young man's story is legendary. Never to be forgotten."
MemorialLocator of Los Angeles,ca,us

"This young man's story is legendary. Never to be forgotten."
MemorialLocator of Los Angeles,ca,us

"Semper Fi Brother!"
Victor Nunez Ortiz of Amherst, MA

"Thank you Jose for giving your life for me and my country. Your sacrifice will not be forgotten. May you now rest in the arms of the Lord and forever be at peace."
Pauline Touchon of Albuquerque, NM USA

"Jose had a dream even as an orphan on the Guatemalan streets. He came to America to pursue it...and too soon died fighting for the country that was to fulfill his dreams. Godspeed Jose, thank you. Espero que usted ahora se esté reclinando en los brazos de Dios, y usted está viendo todos sus sueños satisfechos."
Dee Jay of Albuquerque NM USA

"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 Worthington, OH USA

"we saw the documentary on jose and we were very touch by your story and very sad for your loss. i was born in mexico but am now a citizen living in washington state. jose's life was short but it seems to have left a great impression to many people. i'm married to a vietnam veteran and am experincing through his stories what war does to our young men and women. i'm looking foward to see if there will be a book on his life . again sorry for your loss. god bless you all."
victoria brito-garcia of burlington, wa usa

"Guti, it has been many years now since God took you from us. Not a day goes by that I do not think of you and the impact that you made on my life, as well as those in 2nd Plt. Each day that I go to work and put on my uniform, I am reminded of all those that have given the ultimate sacrifice, and I wear it with pride.
I just recently came across a letter that I had sent to my wife from Iraq, a week after your death. In it were my most private thoughts and emotions regarding my experiences there. I look back now and can honestly say that your warrior spirit was the driving force that got me through, and I thank you for that.
The entire platoon felt your loss and we all dealt with it in our own personal way. But we all agree that it was you who got us all through, with your guiding hand from above. Looking out for us so that we could all come home to our loved ones.
As time draws near for me to hang up my uniform, and pass on to the next generation the great responsibility of safeguarding our nation, one thing rings true in my heart and soul. "Semper Fidelis". I pledge to always remain faithful to you and what your loss has meant to all us whose lives you touched so deeply. I will never forget you my fellow DevilDog......Leatherneck.....Jarhead, but most importantly, my BROTHER!!"
GySgt Isaul "Marc" Montez (USMC) of San Diego, CA

"Praying for your family today and remembering your son. Jose was certainly a hero: brave and courageous in the face of danger. His service and sacrifice will not be forgotten...."
Jenny Doriot of Elizabethton, TN

"i am in MCJROTC at redondo union high school and me along with five others were in a play at harbor college in memory of him. the play put on stage for the first time 21 march 2009 marking the sixth aniversery of his death. le deseo buena suerte a su familia"
C/SSGT sanchez of redondo beach ca

"March 9, 2009
To the family of Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez:
Jose 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'm an MCJROTC cadet living in Redondo Beach, CA. A play writer from Harbor City College was a teacher of Jose's. We will be performing in a play, written by the teacher, in honor of Jose. I hope to claim the title "Marine" one day and everyday I serve will be in honor of Jose and the many who have died for this beloved country. God Bless!"
C/GySGT Rael, Jordan of Redondo Union High School, Redondo Beach, CA, USA

"I am an older Marine from a different era and a different war. I wear the remembrance bracelet of your son Lcpl Gutierrez with honor and pride every day. When people ask me what it is I show them. He will never be forgotten.

Semper Fi Marine, See you at the pearly gates!"
Joe Toledo, Sgt USMC (Ret) of Los Angeles, CA

"I have to say Gutierrez was one outstanding marine. I know I served with him and always was attached to 1st platoon on every feild op. We used to trade M.R.E.s everytime. He was alot of fun to be around when things where down. God knows he is very missed. my regards."
Charles Throckmorton of Lex. Ky.

"Wow, you played on my dad's soccer team when I was about 9 or 10. I am now 19 and I could still remember you clearly. We would go to Cero's pizza and everyone would get drunk to celebrate a victory or to make up for a loss. Haha. Those were the good days and somehow you come to mind when I remember them. I remember reading the front page of the L.A times when they first announced your passing and I couldn't believe it. Now, I am writing a final paper for my English class and I am writing about you and how your duty to this country as well as many other minority soldiers goes unnoticed. Well, here I am letting you know that I appreciate what you did.
R.I.P. I have lots to ask you when I get up there brother."
John of Los Angeles

"Tomorrow during my presentation in Spanish to my Spanish classes, I'm including this amazing young man's incredible journey and desire to fight for this country. Gracias con cada fibra de mi ser por su sacrificio, José Gutierrez. Mil gracias."
Maestra de español of Brecksville, Ohio

"i am so proud of you guti, it's a big gift what you did for USA the best gift some one have ever given is their life and you gave it for a country that help you and i said thank you even if i am not from here i am from Guatemala too and i am so prud of you i admire you i will be so proud talking about you in my Theology class"
NATALY ICAL of North Carolina USA

"I would like to say that i miss you guti and i will never forget that day we lost you. My name is Cpl Christopher Butler i was in Echo Co, 2nd BTN 1st Marines 2nd Plt, 2nd sqd 2nd team lead. I look everyday at the memorial on my left arm and know he didnt die in vain. To all in echo co, and around the world we will never forget.
Semper FI.
CPL C. Butler forever Echo"
Cpl Butler Chrietopher of New Orleans , LA

"wanted you to know that yesterday my son and I walked in honor of Jose A. Gutierrez . We are proud of him as a soldier and as a man."
susan jones of harvest, al /usa

"To the family of Lcpl Gutierrez. I want to extend my deepest condolences to your family on the loss of a great Marine and great son I am sure. I served in the Marines for my full four years and did 2 tours in Iraq. I can say I am one of the fortunate ones that made it back to my family. There are others like your son that didn't. For them we fight, for them we live, to tell the stories of how our brothers gave their life so the rest of us can live and remember them as HEROES. Semper Fi all the way! I know that you are proud of all your son did for his country. Even though I do not know your son I am very proud to call him my brother! God Bless you and your family!"
SGT. Giovani Pineda (USMC) of Santa Ana, California

"I am very sorry for the loss of your brave son I am an native american living in canada my tribe is the Mikmaq"
john of canada

"It has been 5 long years since we lost our beloved Jose - one of the first two combat casualties of the Iraq war. We, his family, want to thank everyone that has posted a message in his memory on this website. We would love to hear from anyone from his Unit or who knew our Jose "Gutti". Our email address is josesfamily@yahoo.com. We have recently relocated to Texas from Lomita, California but have maintained the same email address since that awful March 21, 2003.

The Marines were Gutti's extended family and as his surviving adopted family we would like to keep in touch.

Thank you again for never forgetting our son and his ultimate sacrifice.

Semper Fi,
Nora Mosquera
(Adopted Mother of Lance Corporal Jose A. Gutierrez - Gutti"
Nora Mosquera of Round Rock, TX, USA

"It has been 5 years since the start of the War in Iraq. I was a Junior in high school and was naive to the fact that the war was happening.

Hi, my name is Senior Airman Joey Francisco with the US Air Force. I write to the family, friends and those who are able to read this. I give my condolences, although 5 years late, to those this Marine left behind. I serve today in an area where war can happen within the next few days, hours, minute...even seconds. Although I have been fortunate enough not to have to feel the furry of war, I will never turn my back on the fact that my brothers and sisters in the US Armed Forces fight today for what I too serve for...they fight today for my freedom and liberty to do what I do and live how I live. Lance Cpl. Gutierrez was the first to die in a war that is more based on religion then anything else. He fought in the fight to bring down an enemy that wouldnt care about ELIMINATING his foster mother or best friend or sister. It hurts to lose a loved one in war...I know. I lost my cousin (he is the reason I joined the Air Force) in 2005 due to a roadside bomb. He was 25 years old, married and planning on having a family. He was also due to seperate a month after he died...and he wanted to be a cop on Guam (where we are from).

But in the light of the tragedy that is death, we must remember not that he has passed, but that he lived a life that he was proud of. He was a Marine, and all Marines, still serving or seperated, take one thing with them...and that is the fact that "THEY ARE MARINES" AND "SEMPER FI". God bless you Lance Cpl. Gutierrez, and god bless his family and friends.

From a fellow servicemember and a greatful citizen...we remember you.

SrA Francisco, USAF"
Joey Francisco of Osan AB, ROK

"To the family and friends of LcPl Jose Gutierrez. My name is Stephen Chauvin and surved with your son in Iraq. I want his family and friends to know that i pray for your son and think of the day we invaded iraq and he gave his life for our freedom. I was a radio operator for 2nd battalion 1st Marines and surved my full enlistment with this unit. As your all aware we just passed the five year mark since the war began and i still remember, and can never forget the ultimate sacrafice your son and so many others gave for our freedom. I'd like to end this note by saying Semper Fi!!! God bless you your family and friends. You'll always be missed but "never" forgoten."
Sgt Stephen Chauvin of Woonsocket, R.I. 02895

"We bikers are always too ready to stand proudly and proclaim that we "ride free." But not enough of us truly realize what that means or what it has cost. Each mile beneath our wheels has been paid for at an enormous cost, and though I did not know you, Lance Corporal Gutierrez, I will not forget you, nor will I ever forget all those who paved those miles of freedom. Eternal thanks and love for you.

-Eye (1/75th Ranger, a long time ago.)"
eye_m_no_angel@yahoo of NC

"soy un excombatiente del ejercito de guate y yose lo que se siente perder un companero y lepido que sean fuertes para jose un abraso donde este y a suspadres paz y amor"
oscar lima alfa of los anjeles california

"I remember the day you passed by the recruiting office looking into the window on your bike. I remember talking to you because you were in my senior class at NORTH high school. The day I herd you passed I was shocked and couldn’t believe it. The world lost a good person, a great hero to all. You are a real true AMERICAN you came to live a better life and gave the ultimate sacrifice that any true American can give. You’ll will always be remembered in the hearts of all who worked with you. Every time I hear TAPS on base you come to mind my you rest in peace and will carry on the mission at hand. Once a Marine, Always a Marine.
MARINES DON’T DIE WE JUST REGROUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
CPL Juarez,Alexander
4th L.A.A.D. Alpha Co.
2/23 H&S Co."
CPL JUAREZ of Gardena,Cal

"hey wats up when i grow up am going to be a marine"
jose of arkiansas

"Semper Fidelis Devil Dog!!! I was also on that 15th MEU and I continue to go over and support the guys on the ground to this day. May your spirit watch over and guide us in the path of safety during troublesome times."
Sgt Stephen Humphries of San Diego, California/MCAS Miramar HMH-466 "Wolfpack"

"Rip gutty i still cant believe ur gone i remember in boot you callin me wiki wiki because of the turntable tattoo?d on my chest then boot leave at hermosa Beach and the beer Garden at soi i never thought u would be gone just a few months later ill remember u till the day i crossover! Semper fi devil dog"
j.n. bennion of ca to az

"Rip gutty i still cant believe ur gone i remember in boot you callin me wiki wiki because of the turntable tattoo?d on my chest then boot leave at hermosa Beach and the beer Garden at soi i never thought u would be gone just a few months later ill remember u till the day i crossover! Semper fi devil dog"
j.n. bennion of ca to az

"Rip gutty i still cant believe ur gone ill remember u till the day i crossover! Semper fi devil"
bennion of ca to az

"When Operation Iraqi Freedom began, my soul was converted into a Funeral Honor Guard. I don't believe that that was my intention, but as the war continued I found myself honoring my fallen brothers, week after week, month after month, and then year after year; so much so, that before I knew it, I had been to just about every cemetary in Southern California. The truth of the matter is ... that during the First Gulf War, I was attached to MAG 46, a Marine Corp Res. Unit based out of El Toro, California.(Today it is
MCB Miramar.) And although our unit was activated, I was simply left on stand by
to stand by, forever. And although that war quickly ended,for this JARHEAD, it wasn't over, for the Devil Dogs of that era, all knew ... that one day, our spirit of corp would return to defend her honor. And when this war began, I said to myself, "I'm going play a role in this war, so help me God." So, I activated myself from Camp Living Room. 4 years later, I can honestly say, that I've done my best to earn those chocolate chips, so much so, that I've seen enough Honorable coffins draped with that sacred American Flag to last me a life time. Jose Gutierrez was the first, but not the last, If ever I earned the title of a Marine, it was when I began to dream, about those coffins draped with an American Flag, and the grieving mothers that cried forever ... Marine Corp Green.

The Poet Warrior
"Fallen but not Forgotten.""
Madrigal A. of Santa Ana, California

"He would always ask. "Hey man, could I borrow your pick and your shuvel?"I alwyays say, "Hell yah, Your the only smart grunt to ask." I knew he was hooking his whole platoon up with the better equipment to dig fighting holes. He was the first Marine to give his life fore the war in Iraq, and he had just got off my vehicle track 106 when it happened. You know I hear all the stories in the world about war, but I always remember the day lcpl Gutierrez left us. He was a hard charger and someone I will always look up to."
brian kallander of colorado cpl, usmc

"He would always ask. "Hey man, could I borrow your pick and your shuvel?"I alwyays say, "Hell yah, Your the only smart grunt to ask." I knew he was hooking his whole platoon up with the better equipment to dig fighting holes. He was the first Marine to give his life fore the war in Iraq, and he had just got off my vehicle track 106 when it happened. You know I hear all the stories in the world about war, but I always remember the day lcpl Gutierrez left us. He was a hard charger and someone I will always look up to."
brian kallander of colorado

"This message is directed to Sgt. Lester Staples, RAMC.
Sgt. Staples, We would like to get in touch with you directly. I am the adoptive mother of Lance Corporal Jose Antonio Gutierrez. I read your message and we as Jose's adoptive family and his biological sister are very much interested in contacting you. If you do read this message, please contact me at josesfamily@yahoo.com.
Thank you,
Nora Mosquera
(Adoptive Mother of Lnc.Corporal Jose A. Gutierrez - "Gutti")"
Nora Mosquera of Round Rock, Texas, U.S.A.

"I hope you are at peace now. I have prayed for you often since the day I took care of you at rest. My thoughts are with those you left behind, I am sure that they, your comrades & your country alike are very proud of you!
Lest we forget...
Sweet dreams Jose"
Sgt Lester Staples RAMC (British Army Medic) of United Kingdom

I remeber the dya as if it was yesterday the day you were taken from me. we went through it all toghther boot camp i can remeber you were the art recruit all the way to SOI You were the fastes thing on 2 feet then all the way to the fleet you stuck by my side we were even room mates . I can still remember those long nights we would spen talking about martha and residinng your poetry . You were the closest thing to a brother that i had . I used to hate in the mornings when you would wake me up to that same Michel Jackson Song Billy jean. Now i find my self in tears thinking of you memory every time i play it . Your always in my heart . You are lost but never forgotten brother. WHOS ON DECK 2/1 2nd Plt OOHRAH"
Lcpl. Jaime Fernando Garcia of Houston, Texas


The war still goes on, and many more have fought the good fight and perished for our freedom. This only makes your sacrifice that much more precious. May your family be comforted, and may America never forget the greatest sacrifice that you paid... for us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

A fellow Citizen of the United States of America who loves this land as well,"
Timothy Mudder of Olive Branch, MS

"May 23, 2007
To the family of Jose Gutierrez. Jose 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

"May you always remember him for the hero that he was"
Lorene Meacham of Monument, CO, USA

"Some gave a small amount, you gave all. Many people put the support the troops sticker on there vehicle but dont really understand what we as marines have to give and endure. You paid the the ultimate sacrifice and will always be be remembered as a true hero. I really hope and wish that people would wake up and realize the will a marine has to have to go over to the sand box and fight for rights, mainly rights for others that will never set a foot there. America lets wake up and take care of our marines and military members, really show your support for our fallen and our marines that come back from war injured, most are left out in the cold because they come back from war disabled and everybody turns there back on them. Que tu descanses con dios y que tu familia reciba una ayuda espiritual para ayudar los con el dolor!

SEMPER FIDELIS Leatherneck!!!!!!!!!!!"
CPL GUTIERREZ 12 marines regiment of Atlanta,GA

"American Hero"

"To the family of:Jose Gutierrez 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"

"I love you Gutierrez!"
John Flores of Temple City, CA USA

"You make me proud to also have been a green card Marine, thank you for your service and your sacrifice..."
Rafael O. Calderon of Los Angeles

"Jose- and to all his friends and family-
He will never be forgotten. I just learned of his sacrifice and about his brief life and was touched beyond belief. May he rest in peace. Be comforted by his memory. 10/19/2006"

"My Dear Jose,
I think of you every day, for your memorial stone in National Cemetery in Los Angeles is next to my son's graveside. You are his brother Marine, so you are my dearly beloved son also. More people should read your story and give thanks for you and those like you, who give their adopted country their utmost. My constant love to your family.

Nancy C. Walker
Mother of SSgt Allan K. Walker
KIA April 6, 2004 Ar Ramadi, Iraq"
Nancy C. Walker of Palmdale, CA

I would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"Jose, I regret that I only knew you a short while in boot. You are an inspiration, and we will never forget you. You will live on in our memories. Vaya con Dios.

Semper Fi!"
Tim Ylitalo of Minnesota, USA

"To the sister of Jose Gutierrez. My name is J.D. Bowser. I am the one that handed you the spent brass of your brothers 21 gun salute. I was there with him and miss him. My god bless you for your brother's sacrifice and may he be the one standing guard at heaven's gate when I get there. I hope that you find peace knowing that your brother is in good hands of our lord Jesus Christ. 2nd Bn. 1st Mar."
J.D. Bowser Sgt USMC of San Diego, Ca. USA

"Jose: Como no recordarte, mi primera lagrima en irak por ti, por tu familia que no tuviste el honor de despedirte, en especial a tu hermana. Hasta Escuintla Guatemala, recordar cada marzo es un honor para mi y para mi Guatemala, que dio tu sangre y honor por este pais, que te llevo a la gloria.Eres el primer soldado que ofrendo su vida y que cayo en combate en Irak.Siempre te llevo en el corazon como combatiente valiente pura raza maya de los Kaibiles que llevabas adentro."
Teofilo Barrientos of Van Nuys , CA

"In your honor and with gratitude to you, Jose Antonio Gutierrez, I’ve planted a daffodil in your name, as have others across the country as part of Project LIVE ON, a program I founded to memorialize each U. S. military who has died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thousands of beautiful daffodils will come up each Spring, and, like your spirit, will LIVE ON...and ON. Blessings to you, the family, as you grieve, and heal. For details, please contact projectliveon@aol.com. Jan. 22, 2006."
Gretchen Forbes of the northcentral mountains of Pennsylvania

"I have planted a daffodil for you Jose, along with 50 others to represent other soldiers that have died in Iraqi. Your flower will be seen every year and and your sacrifice remembered. Projectliveon@aol.com"
Ruth Anderson of Mountain View, California

I live right down the street from the church where your funeral services were held. I've never seen the street more packed with parked cars. How clean everything was. The Marine honor guard was so amzing in their dress blues. I thank you for your serving our country, i cannot tell you how proud i am of you. You are a brother, Semper Fi. We will all be together in Heaven. I have written to 3 of my fallen brothers this evening...you are all so special...God Bless"
Jeff hahn of Lomita, CA


your story and life is an example of the utmost courage and determination that makes the world a better place. While I didn't have the honour of knowing you, your life has been an example of courage and triumph that is truly touching

God bless"
Griff Hawkins of Aurora, Ontario, Canada

"I never knew Jose. I was also in 2/1 in OIF but I was in Comm Platoon and he was in one of the line companies. I had heard about his death but one day when we were still in Nasiriyah I heard a BBC broadcast that told his story. Although I never knew him he was a brother in arms in my own Battalion and his story touched me. Thank you for your sacrifice. Semper Fidelis."
GySgt Paul Ratchford of Twentynine Palms, CA

"I thank you for your sacrifice, brother in arms and spirit, for I too am a Guatemalan in the US armed forces. It is sad that you died but I could not be more proud of being from Guatemala because of you. May our sacrifice benefit those we defend forever..."
A fellow Guatemalan brother in arms.

"Jose, you were very dear and close to me, we both attended and played soccer in Los Angeles Harbor College. You were always an inspiration, to me, and I wish I could have been with you in Iraq, but I joined the Army instead; destiny tricked us, but I am sure you are in heavens looking out for me. I am sorry, I couldn't be on your funeral, but I was in Afghanistan when this happened, and I found out about your misfortune when I returned home, because neither my friends of family wanted me to know. I will always remember you, because we are both from Guatemala, and I know life was never easy for you, but you always looked at the positive side of things. I remember that you always blew kisses to BMW's, they were your favorites. Many times we ran on the beaches of Redondo and Hermosa beach, and you were always motivated. Thank you for being my friend, and I hope that someday we can reunite. mynor_solares@hotmail.com"
SGT Solares, Mynor E. of Fort Bragg, NC 28310

"Thank you for the sacrifice you made for this country. I watched the story about this Marine on a documentary and I saddened by the loss. I pray that GOD's grace will comfort the family and fellow Marines of those affected by this loss."
Kenny of Lakeland, Florida

"Es dificil poner en palabras el sacrificio que Jose realizo. Como Centroamericano conosco la dura historia de mi patria y se que sus ciudadanos son personas verdaderamente extraordinarias. Que descanse en paz y que Dios lo tenga en su gloria. Si tengo suerte, algun dia conversare con vos. Hasta pronto mano, me haces sentirme orgulloso de ser guatemalteco."
Carlos A. Vargas of California / Guatemala City

"To the family and friends of Jose
I give you my condolence. A great person, and a great soldiers had pass away, but he will always be in our heart. All the soldiers that have pass to a better world will be remembered by everyone, especially by my family and all of those family's that have lost a member at war. We also lost a soldier SSG Juan de Dios Garcia-Arana, he was my brother, and he will still be after death. He pass away this past april 30, 2005. But they will always be remembered by us, with the American's heart. In cases like this we should be really strong, and proud of our soldiers. We should always support our troops. I hope Jose's family feels better by this time. My family's prays are with you. fati_viri@yahoo.com"
Fatima V. Garcia of Los Angeles, Ca

"you'll be missed
We all came together,
Both young and old.
To fight for our freedom,
To stand and be bold.

In the midst of all evil,
We stand our ground,
And we protect our country
From all terror around.

Peace and not war,
Is what some people say.
But I'll give my life,
So you can live the American way.

I give you the right
To talk of your peace.
To stand in your groups,
and protest in our streets.

But still I fight on,
I don't *, I don't whine.
I'm just one of the people
Who is doing your time.
I'm harder than nails,
Stronger than any machine.
I'm the immortal soldier,

So stand in my shoes,
And leave from your home.
Fight for the people who hate you,
With the protests they've shown.

Fight for the stranger,
Fight for the young.
So they all may have,
The greatest freedom you've won.

Fight for the sick,
Fight for the poor.
Fight for the cripple,
Who live next door.

But when your time comes,
Do what I've done.
For if you stand up for freedom,
You'll stand when the fight's done.
R.I.P. Lcpl. Atkinson, PFC. Campos, PFC. Acosta. KIA 20050127
Lcpl Gutierrez kia 20030321.
(From: 2 brothers born of blood, and earned the TITLE)"
Lcpl ReyesAsevo, Ryan. Lcpl Asevo, Russell. of Monterey Park, Ca/USA

"Jose, I still remember your story and always will. God take care of you, and I hope to have the honor of meeting you in the hereafter."
Chris of Sacramento, CA

"Semper Fidelis, do or die. Thanks for giving it all you had for my freedom."
Chris Estrada of Charlotte,NC/US

"A true American. You cam with nothing in hopes of a better life. You were so greatful as to be willing to fight and give your Life for your adoptive country. We are eternally endebted to you Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez. I remember reading of your death in March of 2003, I read your story and was touched very deeply. Not a day goes by that I do not thank you for your sacrifice. May you forever rest in peace."
Luke of Santa Barbara, CA/USA

"You are our true American Hero Thank you for freedom Soldier. RIP"
Golden of Memphis, TN

"Till we meet agian, when it's my time to guard the gates of heaven. Semper Fi Bro."
Lcpl Miguel Perez 3rd ANGLICO of Los Angeles, CA

"May God be with you Jose Gutierrez. You have now reached the real freedom. Que Dios este contigo reza por nosotros."
PVT. Marcial of San Diego CA

"To the family, I would like to express my sympathy. I first heard of Jose at a leadership recognition banquet in which our county judge spoke of Jose Gutierrez. In a very moving manner, he was unable to finish his sentences when he spoke of the life of Jose. He stressed his accomplishments, his courage through all his barriers. It was then, that I decided that I was not the only one with barriers. Jose has become my hero and hopefully, I will finish my Masters degree because of him. I push myself and I keep a picture to remind me of how important it is to love this life that I sometimes find myself complaining about. Thank you for your sacrifice Jose, you will not be forgotten. You are an inspiration to all."
JoAnna Gutierrez of Banquete, TX

"Family of Jose Gutierrez,
I greive with you. My husband Spc Justin W. Linden died in Iraq too, on June 4, 2004. Please know that I am praying for all the families of all the fallen soldiers and every one of them is happy in heaven and waiting patiently for us to join them. We will all be united one day. God bless our soldiers!"
Sarah Linden of Portland, OR USA

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

"Thank You! to all the wonderful people that have sent so many beautiful messages. My family and I will be forever grateful knowing that the ultimate sacrifice my son Jose made for this United States of America, his adoptive country, will never be forgotten.
Many blessings!
Lance Corporal Jose A. Gutierrez (Guti) Family."
Nora Mosquera of Lomita, CA, USA

"To all of your friends and family:

I have thought of him often over this last year. You see, I heard Jose's name for the first time the same day that I found that my cousin was killed in Iraq also. Because of that, and because we have an adopted daughter from Guatemala, I have felt a distant connection with Jose and those who love him. We are thankful for the sacrifice that has been made by so many, but especially by Jose."
Paul Bias of Bowmansville, PA

"I was in Boot with this Marine, and an outstanding one at that. I wish I could have been there with you, buddy. Condolences to your family and God Bless you all. He was a great Marine and a good man."
Matt of Dallas

"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.

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 Marine!! SEMPER FI!! We will NEVER FORGET!"
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN

"Station in Houston, Texas as a U.S. Marine Reserve. Our unit where one of the only reserve units that didn't go to Iraq in 2003. That made me feel bad. The day i found out about Guti (nickname we had for jose) i fell apart. He was a Marine that made boot camp easy. As his rackmate in bootcamp and SOI, he was like a brother to me. I pray for you Guti and your family everyday. And now just a couple of days ago, i received a phone call from my squad leader... "pack your bags Lcpl, we are going to work" Now that i'm going to iraq, this one is for Guti."
Lcpl Grell lgrell1@hotmail.com of Houston, TX

"We Will NEVER FORGET !" As the first anniversary of the death of your loved one arrives;
Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering all your family and loved ones in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, JOSE, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"On the anniversary of Jose's passing, I wanted his family and friends to know that he has not been forgotten. His sacrifice and service to this country are deeply appreciated. You are in my prayers."
Kelli of USA

""Guti we love you and miss you.you will always be in our hearts"
Marines of Echo Company 2/1 of in harms way

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

"i dont know how or were to start. I guess i just want him to know that we appreciate him and we will always remember him. It is almost a year ago that all this started and it doesnt not seem like it will end any time soon."
Sandra of California

"Semper Fidelis MARINE. I was in LCPL Gutierrez's company in Iraq and our platoon was responsible for finding him. My deepest sympothy and regards to his family. He was a bright young man with a future ahead of him. He died with honor and fighting for what he believed in. I am proud to say that on Veterans Day in my home town as they were engraving my name in the local veterans memorial,I had a MRE placed out there for you and a flower arrangement especially for you which is still there today. I have told my home town about you and your story and you are and will always be a big part of our lives. Jose died with Honor Courage and Commitment. SEMPER FI MARINE AND GOD BLESS YOUR FAMILY"
USMC CPL Kevin Johnson BLT 2/1Echo Co. 1st Plt of San Angelo, Texas USA

"Fair winds and following seas, Jose, your sacrifice will not be forgotten."
LT Eduardo Gomez of Sicily, Italy

"Thank you Jose Gutierrez, 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

"My condolences to your family, Jose. Thank you for taking the time to care about your fellow man. For eduring the hardships of life and striving to be better. Thanks for not giving up the fight. Thanks for coming to the United States and being a Marine."
Sam Childers of La Salle, IL/USA

"My condolences to your family, Jose. Thank you for taking the time to care about your fellow man. For eduring the hardships of life and striving to be better. Thanks for not giving up the fight."
Sam Childers of La Salle, IL/USA

"There is no way I can even begin to thank you for the sacrifice you made for all of us in America. I read your story and every other soldiers story, I hurt inside for you and all of their families. But I beleive you stand beside God, dressed in your Angelic Armour, knowing you lived your life as one of Gods Soldiers. You bring so much honor to yourself and your family. May you rest in true peace forever."
Roger OBrian of Fort Lauderdale, Florida

"After reading his story in the media, I know Jose must have been an amazing human being. His family and his sister are in my prayers. May God and time help to ease your pain. THANK YOU Brave Marine for sacrificing so much for your adopted country. You will not be forgotten."

"Jose, I watched your show on 60 Minutes tonight...wasn't impressed with 60 Minutes, they could have had a little more respect, and honor, but thats the spirit of men affluent, arrogant and above all humility. You, Jose, were not sent to the battle like chaff or wheat. You went willingly, like a true man of purpose and care for others more than yourself. That is the real story here, just look at your eyes in that photo and feel the mourning of your comrades in arms. You went to serve others, to show others that this nation, so malligned by cowards, has been sustained by honor and sacrifice, Hermano, we count the cost with you and thousands of your ilk this day. Your life did have placement, purpose and was not at all in vein. I thank you for focusing on those who lived because of what you and I and so many thousands like us put aside in our lives so that others could have. Those who take issue with this are cowards, with their racial motives and bitterness not even considering what you have done for them; alive today because of the exertions of better men then they. As Shakespeare once said ".....today you shall be my brother" Today you are Hermano, and tomorrow we shall see you again. May you rest contented. Our day will come, when the Sword of Gideon is passed in recognition, Jerusalem flows with living water and hate and evil dies a welcome death. Guatemala, celebrate honor, nobility and valor with us in America, do not be bitter. We have and will cherish his memory-and all of those killed, and lest we forget the maimed in this struggle to stop a holy war that is spawned by hate."
Vincent M. Nasti of Washington, DC

"Our prayers are with your family during this difficult time. Thank you brave soldier, your courage and sacrifice will nerver be forgotten."
Ken and Maritza Holley of Pembroke Pines, Florida

"I did not know Lance Cpl Jose Gutierrez. I understand he was with or near Lt. Therrel Shane Childers when he also was shot down, our family shares in the sorrow of this fine young man. We are proud of all of the Americans and of other countries that stood up for our freedom. God Bless our world and the families that made the sacrifice. It was not easy on those that will not be coming home."
Zenda R. Eby (Aunt to 1st Lt. Therrel Shane Childers USMC) of Lubbock, Tx

"I just wanna thank all the soldiers that have died for my freedom and who also have fought for my freedom. There is no way I show my appreciation fully..."
Timothy Tillman of West Covina, CA/United States

"We live in a place where everyday is war when we dont know when we might die but you gave your life for us when you bearly started to live your own and even if we never met you we keep your spirit alive Who says we have to meet you so that we can love you your still one of us even if you past on"
Anamarie Salguero boogottibabe@aol.com of Rialto California United States

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

"We have lost some of our finest and he was one. God protect his soul.Even in facing death his thoughts where of others. OH that there are more like him!"
Nancy of Ocala FL

"Thank you Marine and God Bless your family."
The Taylors of North Carolina

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