Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Pfc. Raheen Tyson Heighter

22, of Bay Shore, New York.
Killed north of Al Hawd, Iraq, when his military convoy came under enemy fire. Heighter was assigned to the 2/320th Field Artillery, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Died on July 24, 2003.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Pfc. Raheen Tyson Heighter.


Contributions to the Families of the Fallen


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

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Being with you during basic training and AIT was a blessing. I saw a man, who I look at like little Mike Tyson. You were a great man and you are in my heart. Today is a day of remembrance for you. Know I'm thinking of you and miss you. You will always be in my heart."
SSG Joshua Hambly of JBLM, Wa

"I love u brother. Looked up to u all through basic. U were larger than life Zeus. Thanks for being my big brother."
Keaton of Smithville, TN

"I have your hero bracelet. Thank you and forever, a Hero."
S Green of Alabama

I would just like to say thank you to you and the other two soldiers who were also killed in that attack for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones-especially your Mother, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Air Assault!"

"Just watched your hbo show hoping one day i can get his fellow soldier to watch it but he is still dealing with his ptsd but i would like to let you know i wake up daily to see your sons name tattooed on his arm .hope you are doing great went threw hop town for easter and he opened up a bit to tell me he was over there and he wished he could go find him and pay respects, since he hasnt since they returned from iraq.

chris gilmore

email cgilmore@itt.itt-tech.edu or facebook chris gilmore

or his gf at crystalbarnes80@gmail.com"
c gilmore of tennessee

"Dear Raheen's Mother,
I just watched the documentary Last Letters Home on HBO. My heart bleeds for you knowing the pain you and all of the loved ones have because of the loss of your Son and their Soldiers. I want you to know that as a 39 year old White Southern Man I pray for you and all of
our fallen Heros families every day. I live in the rural Georgia area west of Atlanta. You obviously did a wonderful job raising your Son who was and always will hold a legacy of a fine young man. A great strong soldier.
Please stay strong through each day and certainly the Holidays. I know it has to be tough. His spirit lives and I know I am a better man for knowing you and Raheen's story.
With love,
Philip Bowen
Villa Rica Georgia"
Philip Bowen of Villa Rica Georgia

"Hey Fister...

Couldn't believe it when I heard the news in 03. It just didn't seem real. We hung out a few times and had some chats at Campbell before OIF 1. A trip to Nashville here and there. ;) I know you done everyone proud. RIP Screamin Eagle."
Jay of Virginia

"I wore SPC Raheen T Heighter's name on my race bib this past Memorial Day weekend while running in the "I Ran The Grid" 4 mile race in East Northpot. I never met Raheen but justed wanted to say thank you for all he did and sacrificed. I will always remember him in my thoughts and in my prayers. Thank You"
J.Tully of Greenlawn, New York

"Its only supposed to be once a year we remember our vets and the sacrafices they make. Not a day goes by that I dont remember. Playing chess the day before and always beating me, no matter how hard I tried. Id give up everything I own and have owned for one more game man. You were a good friend and a young man passionate about the things he did and knew where he wanted to go in life. The world is a lesser place without you in it my friend."
Robert Duncan of Fayetteville, NC, USA

"Hello to all of you have posted the most heart warming words on this page. I thank all of you. I am Raheens Mom and I am doing well in Palm Coast Florida. I would love to be in contact with all of you I can be e-mailed at hcatbeyond@aol.com or you can find me on facebook. I look forward to hearing from all of you. God Bless you all and your families and continue to remember our fallen heroes.
Cathy Heighter, Proud Mother of a Fallen American Hero, Cpl. Raheen Tyson Heighter KIA July 23, 2003.
Abundant Blessings to all of you!"
Cathy Heighter of Palm Coast Florida

"i met raheen years ago-we worked together briefly-he was a real down to earth guy and we hung out a few times....lost touch with him but when i found out this news i was crushed....r.i.p. to another fallen soldier"
gharian price of new york

"To the family of Raheen Tyson Heighter ,I am so sorry for the loss of your love one.He died a hero.May you know the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Hopefully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need someone to pray with you or talk to please call or write my pastor at Gateway Community Church,Rev John B Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd. Covington Ga. 30016 phone 770-787-1015""

"I served with Cpl. Heighter in Iraq, i also assisted with his Med e-vac with doc Jenson and Brandon Haddock... There hasnt been a day i havent thought about him and Ssg. Perez and Cpl. Ashcraft and what happend the night of july 24 2003, in Iraq and the sacrifice he gave for his fellow country men, his LIFE! Although i was not in the same platoon as Heighter was attached to, our last names started with same three letters so we would always be next to eachother in lines, rollcall ect. we became pretty goods friends, i remember being on guard with Cpl. Heighter just talking for hours about home, war, politics... mostly deep things... but he also had a whitty side to him also... he was a steller solider and what every man should strive to be. He inspired me alot ... he was a really motivated individual he would work out every day with weights witch amazed me because we were in the middle of Iraq fighting a war. I asked him why he worked out all the time? he simply said... you always got to be ready! i think he wanted me to contiplaite what he meant by it, and im still trying to figure it out...? He was my brother, friend and mentor! Ill never forget him and the impact he had on me as an individual. I was with him in his last moments... he wanted me to tell his mother something for him... ive been caring around what he said to me for many years, i need to get intouch with his mother so she can hear her sons last words... if any one that comes accross this message that can help me , please do. e-mail me dagos-finest@hotmail.com, (the dash is included in the e-mail address) "CPL. HEIGHTER YOU ARE FOREVER A HERO IN MY HEART AND WILL BE WITH ME TILL MY DIEING DAY!" "HOOOOOAH!"

PFC. David Heimann ABU CO. 1/327"
David Heimann of San Diego, Ca U.S.

"I came across this site tonight after all this time and it hit me.I can remember it like it was yesterday throwing the football out infront of the oil refinery before the mission.Although i was not as close to you as the others from your brigrade You were a great guy and soldier and deeply missed by me. i was pleased to have you attached to our company and honored to be able to serve with you. I still have dreams of are talks and the last chance i had to toss the football with you.My deepest sympathy goes out to the Heighter family. I was one of the guys that helped try and get him onto the medivac choppers. Doc Jensen was the best medic I ever met god bless you for your efforts. May god be with you Heighter and i know you are watching over your family.You are in my thoughts everyday. God bless and the sacrifice you made you will not be forgotten!!!!!!"
Brandon Haddock Aco.1-327 3rd platood "BUKA" of Lawrenceville,GA/ United States

"Dear Cathy Heighters, i read about Raheen in the book "i'm a new yorker" from a dutch journalist. Perhaps you remember. I looked for a "face" with your son's name. So here i am. Im verry verry sorry for the lost of your son. My deepest sympathy and regrets. I really hope that one day someone come up to you and say "a simple thanks"....the same way we (dutch/european people) do when we have the 1940-1945 and d-day ceremonies each year.
I wish you all best,
Bob (bobby3255@hotmail.com)"
bob of Begur-Holland

"Dear Cathy I will miss your son greatly. I got to know him when we met at Ft Sill, OK for reception. He went to B 1/79 and I went to C 1/79. We still talked even though we were both in different Batteries. We stayed in touch when we went to school over in the 2/80. From there we met up again at Camp Stanley, Korea. From the I went back to Ft Sill. I deployed to Iraq on 12 April 2003. I had lost touch with him since I left Korea but I remember him talking about going for the all Army Boxing Team. I found out what had happened when I opened a Jan edition of the Army Times and saw his picture there. I was devastated when I saw him there among the other soldiers. I am truely sorry about your lost and if there is and thing I can do feel free to get in touch with me. My cell is 810-937-7288. I would like to find out where he was laid to rest so I can pay my final respects to my friend. I hope to hear from you soon. SPC Chris Stratychuck"
Christopher Stratychuck of Whitmore Lake, MI

"June 13, 2008
To the family of Pfc. Raheen Tyson Heighter:
Raheen 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 was with Raheen from his first days in basic training. We were part of the Bravo Bulldogs together at Fort Sill Oklahoma. Raheen and I would spend lots of little free time we got out in the grass, either wrestling or doing pullups. His strength, his loyalty, and just the person he was inside is what drew me into him and is now what breaks my heart daily as i pray for my fallen brother. I love you tyson...till we meet again"
Spec. Anthony Cornwell of Orlando, Fl

"Heighter sorry its been so long but i have not forgotten nor will i ever. you were the smartest easy going person i ever met i still brag to people about when we had the talk of you owning your own buissness, but first you chose to join and serve your country not because you had to, you wanted to. i cant brag anough on you i hope people dont fade away from you or forget i wont. to the family love you godbless you."
SGT James McBurney of Deming NM


"PFC Heighter was in my squad 1/327 A co inf 2nd plt. He was proud of what he was doing.. Even we would often talk about how hot it was or how much we didnt look forward to guard. My prayers go to his mother.. I was at his ceremony when we came back and his mother even in the darkest time was still so proud of him.. He is a great man.. And will never be forgotten"
Sgt Robby Carlson of Albany, OR

"My condolences to Raheen family. My son in law was with Raheen in Iraq, He gave me a braclet engraved with Raheen name . I wear it with pride on my right arm in your son honor.fhphwy@comcast.net"
Bill Chaney of Port Charlotte Florida

"Miss Cathy, I can't imagine your pain. One day you'll see Raheen again. I saw you on HBO and my heart broke. Remember the bible verse that says, To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Love, Sharon"
Sharon of Phenix City, Alabama

"I saw your mother on HBO, it broke my heart and... filled my heart with warmth there there are still women, men, people, that embrace tne values, efforts and sacrafices that your son, our son, America's soldier, warrior, hero...that makes me thankful for my freedoms.
Thank you...everyone"

"I went to school with Raheen in elementary school at Bethesda elementary school he was a couple years ahead of me. we took the same bus. we played pick up football togther at recess. those were some of my fondest mermories of childhood. we transfered schools to diffrent schools. and i didnt see him for a couple of years. Then i went to high school and we bumped into to each other. Raheen looked out for me in elementary and in high school socialy and academically with good advice. He used to say "you need me just ask". He was a good guy a cool guy. You dont just get that way over night. that comes from years of being a stand up kinda guy. When i have children they will hear stories of my childhood days playing football and my friends like Raheen. My prayers got out to his family and friends. May the peace of the Lord continue to comfort you always."
Richard Calhoun of huntsvillie/AL/ US

"Raheen Heighter was attached to my Platoon durring O.I.F. Heighter and I would sit on our cotts and complaing about the heat. He would come to me excited about this new CD that someone had sent him, or we would fight about what was the better sport UFC or boxing. I miss ya man. To his family, he was one of the strongest and warm harted men I had the honor to serve with."
Johnathan Dix of Aco. 1/327 of Morrison, CO USA

"Dear Cathy and Family,
There are no words to express the sorrow we feel for you and your family.
I had been looking for the name of your shop to let you know that Bernadette will be graduating from college this coming June.
We remember Raheen as an extremely friendly young man, as I've said, no one can know what you have and still are going through.
God Bless you and your family, our prayers are with you, always!
DonnaMarie Truell, Jennifer, Bernadette and Family
DonnaMarie Truell(Jennifer and Bernadette's Mom and Family of Pooler, Ga 31322-9410

"Cathy, I am so sorry for your loss. I saw you on HBO and you brought tears to my eyes. I wish you and your family well."
Ryan Hemming of Pomona, California


"Iam sorry for what happend and
I like that he is a boxer."

"PFC Heighter was always a great friend, always there to listen when I needed to talk, and an all around great guy.

It shocked and stunned me to hear that the man I knew as "Heighter the Fighter" (a reference to his Warrior boxing, not his demeanor)had fallen, and he will be dearly missed by his fellow soldiers."
frm SPC Joshua Karr of Portland, OR

"Mrs. Heighter want to thank you. For all the work you do for all our fallen son's and daughter's. Raheen is very proud of you as all the fallen families are of Raheen and you. I can only hope once President Bush signs the bill to increase the benefits. That you are stand with Congressmen Irasel! I appreciate all you do. This bill will make things easier on the families to some degree. We all rather have our son's and daughter's back then the money. All this wouldn't of happened with Mrs. Johnson and yourself. It give's me comfort knowing Maricela and Alexis are healing slowly. An this bill will be extremely helpful to them."
leonard wahl of valley stream ny

"I knew Raheen for a long time. He grew up about 4 or 5 houses down the road from me. Raheen, my brother and I grew up together and would play, ride bikes, and go to school together. His mother used to do my hair. He was such a good guy and my deepest sympathy goes out to the Heighter family. He will always be missed and never forgotten."
Aisha Arnold of Bay Shore, NY 11706

"I knew Raheen for a long time. He grew up about 4 or 5 houses down the road from me. Raheen, my brother and I grew up together and would play, ride bikes, and go to school together. His mother used to do my hair. He was such a good guy and my deepest sympathy goes out to the Heighter family. He will always be missed and never forgotten."
Aisha Arnold of Bay Shore, NY 11706

"In the brief time I had to know him before heading out to iraq at Fort Campbell I realized the quality of a human being that he was he was quiet attentive and respectful my most humble respects to the family and may God bring peace to their lives and to the families of others also fallen defending this great nation"
Sgt Howell Ortiz of Naguabo Puerto Rico

"I knew Raheen since he was a little kid. He lived right around the block from me. We would play football with his older brother Glynn, cousin Roy, and other kids in the neighborhood. He was a really good person and treated everyone with respect. My prayers go out to all his family for this tragic loss."
Kevin McCarthy of Bay Shore, NY

"I am a teacher in South Florida. I ordered a hero braclet and received a bracelet with the name of PFC Raheen Tyson Heighter. I am wearing it proudly to thank him for his ultimate sacrifice. I will also be printing a copy of his info from this website to share with my high school students. God Bless."
Felice Connor of Weston, FL--USA

"Ms/Mrs Heighter,
I recently found about your son's death in Iraq. I am currently in the 82nd at Fort Bragg, NC and I went to basic training with your son.
It is a sad moment in my life to know that he is gone. But I know that he is in all of a hearts. I will promise you that my life will change due to the fact of this sad moment in my life.
If you need anything from someone feel free to contact me. I am very sorry for your lose and wish you the very best."
SPC Joshua Hambly of Ft Bragg NC

"Ms. Heighter,
I am sorry to here about your loss. My prayers go out for you and your family."
YN1(SW) Roshuni N. Samuel, USN Active Duty of Virginia Beach, Virginia

"Dear Mrs. Heighter,

I just finished watching Last Letters Home and just wanted to find a way to contact you and say that Raheen was clearly an outstanding young man. He makes me very proad to be an American. And from the way he wrote those letters he certainly has a wonderful mother who he adored and admired. You have so much to be proud of. May peace be with you and God bless you."
Rick Mehler of Santa Monica, CA

"To Ms. Cathy Heighter:

Saw you featured on a cable chat show, and was very moved and impressed by you as a person, and wanted to express my sympathies and those of my family for your loss. I was also struck by your patriotism and love for our country.Your son's work in Iraq is deeply appreciated, and his sacrifice for freedom, decency, and liberty is more than I can fathom. May God bless you and comfort you."
Michele Widmayer of Takoma Park, MD

"Heighter was a good friend and a great soldier.We had alot of fun together in Korea.Everyone who knew him will never forget him.He was and will always be a part of a brotherhood that few are lucky enough to ever know."
Spc Mark Benford of 3rd ID Ft Stewart GA

"I stopped on this page after a friend and fellow Brentwood graduate told me Raheen had died. I was shocked and hurt because I knew Raheen in High School when we were both on the track team he would constantly tease me about how skinny I was and encourage me to start lifting weights like he was always doing. I look back and laugh at those times and I am saddened also becaue he was a great person.

May God bless his family and they will always be in my prayers"
Patrick Saint - laurent Jr. of Brentwood, 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

"After reading the thoughtful and loving messages, I am comforted to know that my son has a fine comrade in heaven. My heart, thoughts, and prayers are with the family and loved ones of Raheen Tyson Heighter.
Father of Evan Ashcraft"
Asa Ashcraft of Woodland Hills, CA

"Im 23 years old and from Bayshore New York as well. I never knew Raheen but I wanna thank him for his work over in Iraq. My brother,26, is over in Iraq right now and its killing me inside. To Raheen's family let me say that you are not alone, there are so many feeling your pain and your anger. God bless your family and god bless Raheen. IMPEACH BUSH NOW!!!!!!!!!"

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

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


"To the family of Raheen Heighter, I and the rest of the Advanced Trauma Life Support team were assigned to care for the soldiers at that oil refinery in Northern Iraq. Raheen spent most of that day watching movies with us and speaking of his future. He was a wonderful human being and liked very much by all of us. My condolences go out to his family and friends."
SGT David Portillo of Clarksville, Tn.

"HeY Tyson... I will neVeR forget you dawg..I remember us in boot camp like it was yesterday. you will always be in my heart. From your brother.. 1st platoon Devil Dogs (Basic training) Fort Sill,Ok"
Spc. Cruz Narayana M of 11th Armored Cav Fort Irwin,CA

""We cannot thank you enough for your ultimate sacrifice. Although it has been many years since my service, I still have that burning fire inside me that has a special hurt everytime one of us has fallen. Fallen but NEVER forgotten, In our hearts and our prayers forever......""
Larry & Laura Greb of North Babylon, NY

"Thank you Raheen Heighter, 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 of Raheen Heighter,
My family and I pray for You and Raheen every day. My brother had the priviledge of serving with Raheen and I can assure you that we will never forget this wonderful American Hero. May God Bless You."
Greg of Bloomington, IN

"God Bless and keep this brave warrior. My sincere condolenses to his family."
Vic Casciola of Garnerville, N.Y./USA

"My condolences to the family of Pfc. Raheen Tyson Heighter. My son is also a soldier in the 2nd/320th and fought with your son in Iraq. I can't begin to know your feelings but I pray that you are able to find comfort in your son's bravery and heroism."
Delora Galvan of Arlington, TX, USA

"Heighter was a great guy, he was always a good friend ever since the day i met him in korea. Very calm, friendly and very tough. He will be missed by all his fellow troops from D 1/38FA Cp Stanley korea. May god bless his soul, and his family and friends, he was a perfect person and soldier."
PFC Ryan Stuck of Ft Stewart GA

"To the Family you are in my prayers...May God bless you. I do want to say it was a honor to have him in our military Thanks for serving our country"
Stacey (Proud Army Wife) of Zephyrhills,Florida

"I cannot say that I knew him as so many did, but I knew Raheen enough to have a memory of him etched in my heart. I am Raheen's car insurance Agent. I spoke with Raheen right before he deployed. What a great guy. He always had laughter in his voice and was ALWAYS smiling. For his family left behind... I am so very sorry. Raheen is a hero!"
Tawnya Ackerman of Clarksville Tennessee "USA"

"May God be with you and your family always."
Terrence of Houston, Texas

"To the Family of Pfc Raheen Heighter: I am personally moved by this story as I did not know Raheen personally, but I do know his mother. I am a client of another hairdresser at her salon. I have heard her on several occassions express the love that she has for Raheen. May God Bless you and keep you. I hope you find comfort and strength is the words below:

Hold fast to your memories,
to all of the cherished moments of the past,
to the blessings and the laughter,
the joys and the celebrations,
the sorrow and the tears.

They all add up to a treasure
of fond yesterdays
that you shared and spent together,
and they keep the one you loved
close to you in spirit and thought.

The special moments
and memories in your life
will never change.
They will always be in your heart,
today and forevermore.

~ Linda E. Knight ~
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _"
Abigail of Central Islip, NY

"To the family of Raheen: I just finished reading the story on the Newsday website about Raheen and I'm typing through tears. God bless you for sharing during what has to be the most difficult time you've ever had to face. The story and pictures made Raheen real for me. Not just a name on a list but a son, a brother, a football player, an ambitious young man and so much more. What a beautiful smile! My heart aches for you. May God grant you comfort. I'll be praying for your family and will never forget your son and the sacrifices he and your family have made."

"To the family and friends of Pfc. Raheen Heighter:
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 Raheen 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 Pfc. Raheen Heighter:
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 Raheen, 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