Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Capt. Ralph J. Harting III

28, of Delaware.
Harting died in Diyarah, Iraq, when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated as he was conducting a traffic control point inspection. He was assigned to 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Irwin, California. Died on April 29, 2005.

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"On this Memorial Day, May 30, 2022, I awake thinking of my friend and West Point classmate, Jay Harting. I remember Jay as big and strong, and also fun, smart, and a joy to be around. We were project partners for some engineering projects and I still have some leftover parts from a mechanical design project we worked on together. I keep them as a physical reminder of Jay's life. To the Harting family, our thoughts and prayers are with you today."
Rob Coker of Peachtree City, Georgia

"There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about Captain Harting. I was Captain Hartings driver and was with him that horrible day I will never forget. It has been 16 years now and it still feels like it just happened. Captain Harting was the was the prime example of what an Infantry officer should be. He was taken away far to young and is deeply missed. I owe my life to him. Until we meet again sir."
Danny Moreno of Murrieta, CA.

"As I sit here with tears rolling down my cheeks...Thank you Cpt. Ralph "Jay" Harting III for paying the ultimate price for my freedom. I am a runner and I learned about the Wear Blue: Run To Remember running organization. Today I ran a 5 mile race at 5am at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland. When I signed in I was given a bib, not with a number but a name of a fallen soldier. It was Capt. Ralph Harting III. Afterwards, I searched the web I found this site learning a bit more about Jay's life and reading how he was loved & is missed. I was honored to be wearing his name and running for him this morning. On the back of the bib I wrote down not only did he die in Iraq 4/29/05 but he left behind a wife (Jen) and three young children (Warren, Adeline, Ralph). Capt. Ralph "Jay" Harting III you (and other fallen soldiers) are not forgotten!!! THANK YOU !!!!"
Gwyneth Lewis of Perry Hall, Maryland

"I still talk about CPT Harting to this day and still get a little teary eyed. One of the best commanders I've had the privilege of serving under. I was his supply sergeant prior to the deployment and about three months into the deployment until I was moved to HHT, where he would have been my commander again. I remember when I first got to E Troop and the supply room wasn't in the greatest shape. He told me to just fix it. I think that's why I was sent to HHT prior to his change of command. CPT Jay Harting was a great American, Commander, and Father! Truly missed"
Chief P of Honolulu, HI

"I did not know your husband real well. I remember speaking to him before he left for his last mission. I would like to help. david.wiley@us.army.mil cell (805) 234-8195
Your friend forever,
David Wiley"
David Wiley of Los Angeles

"To the family of:Ralph J.Harding
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""

"To Gary Pace, Christopher Webb, and each person who has consoled our family. You helped us greatly by taking time to tell us you were Jay's friend. Since 2005, someone from the Harting family has competed in the West Point Triathlon to honor Jay, and your message is an honor to him, too. Thank you. Jay's mom"
June Harting of Michigan

You will always be remembered as a good friend, and you will NEVER be forgotten."
Gary Pace of Houston, TX

"I served with CPT Harting for a long time and was with him the day he left; now im stationed at west point, ny and found out that he was buried here. Myself and my family walked from our home to visit him friday on the 6th anniversary of his death...I'm glad i was able to come to terms and find some kind of peace after all these years.gone but not forgotten."
Christopher Webb of west point, ny

"To the Harting Family,

I want to express my sympathy to the entire Harting Family on the loss of a loving son, husband, father, uncle, nephew, cousin, friend to many and loved one,who was taken too soon, but one who served our country with great dedication and honor. I have the privilege of being a "friend". Jay will never be forgotten. My love and best wishes to the family."
Carol Zofchak of Wickliffe, Ohio/USA

"Jen, you and the kids are still in my thoughts and prayers...God Bless you all."
Marcella of Honolulu, HI

"Jay, it was 5 years ago today that you lost your life in Iraq. I remember every second of that fateful day and still mourn your passing along with my daughter(your wife) and your children. But now your son Warren will turn 5 in 2 days and your daughter Adeline will receive her first holy communion and Ralph is an avid Soccer player as you were. So it is also a time to rejoice and be happy. So although life has gone on, you are always in our thoughts and prayers and will never be forgotten. God Bless You my son-in-law. I am honored to have known you for your short time on earth."
Barbara of Walled Lake, MI

"I never want to forget the sacrifices of so many young men and women. I am so proud it makes me cry. I understand in theory only that war is a part of human nature but so is love and caring. I wish I could take the families pain away but I can't. I am committed to loving ALL people, myself and our environment. I am committed to working on my happiness everyday because so many have died for my freedom to live my life. Thank you is not enough but it is all I have. All my love and respect. ogersteiner@yahoo.com
A hundred times a day, I remind myself that my inner and outer life depends on the labors of other men, living and dead, and I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am receiving. - Albert Einstein"
Scott E. Steiner of Worthington, OH USA

"I still think about Cpt Harting often, his commitment to his soldiers as a West Point grad, A Army Leader few can emulate.
God Bless You and your family sacrifice for our Country"
CSM(R) Sam Rhodes of Fortson, GA 31808

"CPT Harting and Family-
I have not been able to speak about this since it happened. Finally I think I have come to terms with what happened that day in Iraq. The world is deffinetly a lesser place without both Jay and Steve. Two great Americans who deserve all of our admiration and respect. I don't know how many times I have thought about them in the last 4+ years now, but I can only hope you are at peace, and safe now. There passing really hit home, as the night before I can recall talking to both of them. My memories of them will be with me for the rest of my life. I will speak of them to my children and grand children and remind them of these two great Patriots.
With all respect, honor, love and gradatude for two great Americans."
SFC Ryan Quintard of Savannah, GA

"April 15, 2009
To the family of Capt. Ralph J. Harting, III:
Ralph 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 have alot of great memories of serving with CPT Harting, He was a tremendous Man. His desire to lead his soldiers to success was remarkable. I remember talking with him about his coming home for the birth of his son.
He was very excited. I miss him greatly. His sarifice to our country will always be apart of my life, I will never forget those from our Task Force that paid the ultimate price for Freedom. He is a true Hero.
If you ever wish to contact me please don't hesitate.
CSM (R) Sam Rhodes 706-505-0708

I miss you my Brother"
CSM (R) Sam Rhodes of Fortson, GA

"Jenneifer I dont know if you remember me but I am SGT Jerimie Parks I am also in 2/11 and was deployed with them but in a different FOB. We talked briefly before Iraq in the Commissary and remembered that we were in High School together at FOHI. I am still here at Irwin and in 2/11 and am reminded often of your loss although I did not know him he was a fellow Soldier and it hurts me more knowing that he was married to someone I knew. I will always keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers and never forgett what we all endured that year. God Bless you.

SGT Jerimie Parks"
Jerimie Parks of Fort Irwin,CA

"God love you Tyler. Captain Harting had 3 children: Adeline is 5, Ralph is 4 and Warren is 3. I am their grandmother and I will tell them about you and we will never forget your generosity!"
Barbara Nazworth of Walled Lake, MI USA

"Hi I am Tyler and I just turned 9 years old. I got 20 dollars for my birthday, and I asked my mom if I could donate it and she said yes. I wanted you to know that I sent it to the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund in memory of Ralph J. Harting III. I am sad for you and I hope you smile again soon.

Love, Tyler"
Tyler Eddy of Wilmington, DE

"Jen, as the three anniversary of Jay comes tomorrow, we will be keeping you and the kids in our prayers, and thanking God for his service to our country.
Love, Tom and Jeanne Stevenson"
Tom Stevenson of Plymouth, MI

Sgt.Danny Moreno jr. of San Pedro CA

"Jay, you are not forgotten, especially on this day, Memorial Day 2007. Your fellow servicemen do you honor. I wish I had known about what happened earlier because I would have tried to have made arrangements...but unfortunately I don't live in Delaware anymore so the news took some time to reach me. So many people who knew you later have commented, but I just want everyone to know that Jay Harting was a kind and decent man even in high school student...he was always polite to everyone and didn't consider himself above anyone else in any way. He played sports but wasn't a typical jock, he had a smile and good words for everyone.

The world is less without your presence."
Sean Patrick McBriarty, Salesianum Class of 1995 of Orlando, FL

"Sir, it was my honor serving under your command. You will never be forgotten. My sincere condolences go to the Harting family"
Spc. Robert Termath of Walnut, California

"CPT Ralph Jay Harding III
Sir, I was honor to have served by your side. You were a great leader who not only cared about the mission but most importaint, your Soldiers. I have always considered myself to be a brave person but you were on a different level. You brought the best out of me and made me feel safe. I can't forget when we first patroled the dirt roads. I had mentioned to you Sir, that I hated those dirt roads. Days later you looked at me and said, SGT Cuevas we are going to patrol the dirt roads (smiling) so bare with me. I said, let's roll Sir! It's going to be 2 years since the tragedy occured and I am still hurt. I wish that I could have done something to fix this situation, but I can't. My heart and prayers goes out to the Harding family.
"CPT Harding thanks for looking out for me and believing in me as a leader".
Phone #760-447-5197 (Question for the Harding Family)."
Andy Cuevas (PSD NCOIC USARMY) of Poway, CA/USA

"Jay was my very first XO when I was in command at the 101st, and I watched with pride as he joined my old unit, 2/11ACR. I was stunned to learn of his passing. The world is a lesser place without him.

Jay - rest in God's love, knowing that you left us a better world for us just having known you."
Russ Meyer of Ft. Leavenworth, KS

"Dear Mr. Williams,
Jay had the greatest respect for the soldiers of his dear Black Horse 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavelry Regiment. He was their father figure, and he was happy to have that honor. I'm sure you could tell stories about how the U. S. Army helped mold you as a man...the discipline, the people, the experiences.

It is said that people come into our lives for a reason. Now we have a chance to say thank you for YOUR service in Viet Nam. Well done. Sincerely, Jay's parents"
Ralph and June Harting of Michigan

"Dear Mr. Harting II,
It is 3:45 AM and I can't sleep. I've spent most of the night thinking of your son and wanting to know more about him until I finally got up and started searching for more information. We met yesterday in Newark after you spotted my 11th ACR patch on my jacket. I just had to come back and find out your son's name.
I'd like to know more about Jay and his family. From what I've read here he must have been a fine young man much admired and loved by his friends and fellow soldiers. He was the same age as my son and words cannot express my sorrow for you and your family.

Nick Williams
Howitzer Battery
1st Squadron
11th ACR

Nick Williams of West Grove, PA

I owe my life to you. You would never let us do something you wouldn't do. I always felt safe with you in command. As your communication NCO, you put alot of responsibility on not only me but your PSD. I remember the day of... It was the first time we ever got a laugh out of you. You had that noticeable laugh. I'm greatfull to you, I know God has a great command and staff for his personal Army. I spoke to your wife at the memorial we had for the fallen. I told her what happened that day. I'm glad I can share some of you to her. To the Harting family GOD bless."
SGT Caban of Ft. Irwin, CA/ U.S.

"Sir, It was a honor being you medic. There was never a mission we went on together that I didnt feel uncomfortable. With your leadership and confidence I was ready to take on anything. I just wish that there was something that I could of done to prevent you and Capt Franks from going to that car but like always GOD has 2 companies that he needed Commanders for. Sir I love you and you will never be forgotten. RIP"
SPC VOID, JOHN of New Britain, CT

"I have so many wonderful memories of Jay and his family and our trip to England together and his visit from West Point. To his family, I just saw his death posted in the NYT and my most sincere sympathy is with you. Jay, even as a very young man, was a leader and a very special person."
Susan McCullough of Effort, PA (formally Hockessin, Delaware)

I found you tributes to Jay, and appreciated them very much, remembering Jay's good times with his friends. Take care, and try to support those who serve in the armed forces for our protection and freedom. Thank you.
June Harting
California Interview by Jen:

Delaware story and Interview by brother:

West Point site:

Bobby Brans says goodbye to Jay Harting:

New tribute sites may be started by family and friends."
June Harting of West Bloomfield, Michigan, U.S.A.

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

"To all the family, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. News travelled very slowly, so I applologies for the tardiness of my message; I hope you will all find some comfort in each other in this tragedy. The Lord giveth and he taketh away, you have all lost some one very special, but he has given you something equally precious; a new life to nurture.

Our whole family has been touched by your story, as have so many people from your past, we are all with you in mind.

Best wishes,

Chrysty Roberts of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England

"We are deeply sorry for your loss. We will forever honor your Hero.
The Courage, Honor, and Valor that your Hero showed will always be remembered.
We are grateful for the sacrifice that was made and we will NEVER FORGET.
God Bless your family and please know that you are not alone.
All of our prayers are with you."
Jennifer and SSGT Larry Mays and family of Massillon, Ohio

"Captain Harting was a great leader that always set an example for his soldiers. My husband, SSG Rosales, has served under him for almost two years. It was a shock to hear of his passing. Jen, you and the children will always be in our hearts and prayers. Thank you for your dedication."
Lorraine Rosales of Fort Irwin, Ca

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

"Thank you Ralph Harting III, 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 Capt. Ralph Harting III:
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 Ralph 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 Capt. Ralph Harting III:
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 Ralph, 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