Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Maj. William F. Hecker III

37, of St. Louis, Missouri.
Hecker died in An Najaf, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV during convoy operations. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Died on January 5, 2006.

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"I met Major Hecker at the 2nd International Edgar Allan Poe Conference in Baltimore in July of 2002. He appeared to be a very intelligent person and a dedicated Poe scholar. How I wish I could have gotten to know him better. He invited me to lecture his English class at the Point; but unfortunately, his death in Iraq brought an end to this amazing opportunity. As a Vietnam combat vet, I appreciate his fantastic service and wish his family all goodness and happiness."
Michael G McGlasson of Westland, Michigan

"I had this extraordinary officer, man, and friend when he was a young 2nd Lt. He was a a professional and very well liked by all with very strong leadership traits. He was completely beyond reproach in character and actions. Almost 17 years after he left us, I still feel sad knowing that so many soldiers have missed the opportunity to witness his leadership. Fare thee well sir. Fare thee well."
1SG(R) Kevin M. Walker of Madison, Alabama

"I also served at the time Capt. Hecker, he was our Battery Commander while we were in Baumholder, Germany. He was a great commander, and he could play a little softball also. One thing I will always remember is that he supported our Battery softball team, when we went all the way to the Championship Game against the team from Shape...... May God watch over his family......."
Damian Della Barba of Bend, Oregon


Thinking of you and your family today. I still smile thinking of your big grin when we ran into each other in Bosnia, and of course watching you leave me and everyone else in the dust of FT Sill on those morning runs.

You are missed-
Matt Defosse of Germany

"U may be dead but never forgoten."
victoria of north carolina

"I think about him every single day, wishing I can bring him back. I was only 9 when he died, even though it was 25 days before my birthday, and I realize now that I didn't even know him. The kind of relationship I have with my mom, thats what I really want. I just want to know what life would be like, what kind of conversations we would have if he was still here. I hate that I've lost him, but I can't ignore how much the Lord has blessed me through his death. I hope that something good can come out of this for everyone, because no one should have to suffer."
Allie Hecker of Colorado

"I served with Bill in Baumholder, Germany. He left a lasting impression. Bill encouraged my love of travel as well as started my wine collection and passion for German wine with a few bottles from Constance. I named my son William in his memory."
Chuck Preble of where the Army sends me

"I served with Bill Hecker in Baumholder, Germany and in Bosnia. He was the Headquarters Battery Commander when I took over as Service Battery Commander. I miss him greatly. Bill got me hooked on classic literature in leather bound books. I began to collect them because of him. Many beers, laughs and tactical recons were shared while we were both commanders (not at the same time mind you). I particularly remember a hail and farewell on a Rhine River cruise with Bill. I bought and read his edited "Private Perry and Mister Poe" which I hold in my hand now. I am greatly saddened at his passing but Bill's memory always brings a smile to my face. Bill thanks for your service, influence and legacy!"
R.A. Walt Disney of Reno, NV

"Major Bill Hecker was a student at the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, KS before his tour in Iraq. He was truly among the best and brighest, and gifted with a deep compassion for his work, his Army and especially his Soldiers. He was one of the most sincere and loving men I've ever met. May God bless his family, wife and children until they meet again."
Major Pat Beatty of Fort Leavenworth, KS

"Dear Richelle,
I prayed for you and your family today.
I pray that God keeps you and your beautiful kids well.
You and your family are always on my mind.

Patricia Bickford of Knight's Ridge, Harker Heights, Texas

"I did not know Bill but I thank him for his service to our country. God bless his parents, brother, wife, and children."
Cecile Cote of Harker Heights, TX

"”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 1,450 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,
Kenna of Manti, Utah, USA

"I served with then Captain Hecker in Baumholder, Germany. He was a great leader that inspired his soldiers. His example is still a guiding force in my life. He made a soldier on his battery softball team feel like he could play in the big leagues. The world is a better place because of the life he lived. I only wish I could have told him that in person. May God Bless and watch over his family. To all of those who are serving Thank You for your service and May God Watch Over You."
James Kelly of Mebane, NC

"January 2, 2009
To the family of Maj. William F. Hecker, III:
William 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:William F. Hecker 111 I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief. He died a hero defending freedom and we are so grateful for anyone defending our freedom.
Know that I am praying for the peace of God that surpasses all understanding for you and that one day we will all meet in Heaven where we will rest in the arms of Jesus.
If you need someone to talk to or someone to pray with please call my Pastor at Gateway Community Church, Reverand John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd Covington Ga. 30016 Phone 770- 787- 1015 (fax)770-787-8215.Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew"

"Dear Family of William Hecker III:

To honor the Missouri soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afhanistan and their families, the professional portrait artists of the Grateful Hearts Project are offering to paint a portrait of the individual soldier for his family.

These 16"x20" original portraits are being offered completely free of charge in recognition of the sacrificies made by these brave soldiers and in condolence for their families loss.

for more information, please email us at gratefulheartsproj@sbccglobal.net

The Artist of grateful hearts"
J.Gragg of Lee's Summit,Mo.

"Bill and I were classmates together at West Point and served together in Iraq. I was commanding a Civil Affairs company just NE of Najaf where he lost his life. I will never forget the sadness I felt for him and his family that day and the respect he had from all who knew him. Be Thou at Peace."
MAJ Jeff Gabel C-2 '91 of Pinckney, MI

"It has almost been a year and I can’t even put into words how sadden I am by his loss. I will never forget him. I served as his XO while he was the Battery Commander of 4-27 FA in Baumholder Germany. It was definitely a pleasure to serve with him and his family. He is one of the reasons why I’m still serving today. He and his family are always in my thoughts and prayers. As I continue to make trips to Iraq and Afghanistan I go with the tools he has given me … so that I can work “smart” in order to keep our soldiers safe so that they may return home to their families. What a great leader, soldier and friend. If I could speak to him today I would say “Thank you for your leadership and inspiration…I’m serving for you and for our soldiers …rest easy…brother”."
MAJ Andrew Lawfield of US Army

"I will never forget Maj Hecker, I served with him at Fort Hood before I departed for recruiting duties. I remember when he went to see his Cardinals play in the World Series, he loved that team. He was a great leader and my heart goes out to his loved ones."
SFC Christopher Broesamle of Ceres, California

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

"To The Hecker Family: Chris and Bill served together and died together. I will think of you every day of my life for the rest of my life. I will wonder how you are and if you are alright. I will never forget Bill or your family for we are bonded together forever! I will never forget the sacrafice that Bill and your family made for our country and for my family to be free. May your pain begin to heal and the joy and love Bill brought to your lives begin to shine. We have become friends through death, but friends for life!"
Deborah S. Petty of Harker Heights, TX

"Thank you William Hecker 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 Maj. William Hecker 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 William 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 Maj. William Hecker 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 William, 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