Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Lance Cpl. Chad R. Hildebrandt

22, of Springer, New Mexico.
Hildebrandt died from small-arms fire while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Al Rutbah, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, his unit was attached to 2nd Marine Division, II MEF (Forward). Died on October 17, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Lance Cpl. Chad R. Hildebrandt.


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

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"Today I visited the Springer, New Mexico Veterans Memorial and saw a tribute to you. Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice. You are much appreciated and your country thanks you."
Betsy M of San Angelo, TX

"Thinking of you today,
Each Day since i got out i think of how blessed I am to leave that horrible counrty with my life, and everyday I hope that i am living a life worthy of my Marine Brothers sacrifice. i hope and pray that i am the Father to my my kids that you would have been, that i am the husband that you would have been, that i am the American Citizen that you would have been. We who survived have the responsibility to live our lives not just for us, but a life that is worthy of our fallen Brothers. RIP Chad"
Bobby Martens "Itchy" of 1st LAR Delta Co,

"To the family of:Chad R. Hildebrandt
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""

"Chad- I cant believe it's been almost 5 years; it still hurts like it was yesterday. It's still so unreal. I went through an old box of pictures a little while ago... there were so many of us playing. Gram's house in the "pool", my house for some holiday, school pictures. They just keep turning up, and I'm glad they do because its a constant reminder of what an awesome kid you were and what a great man and soldier you grew into. I still think about you all the time. I'll see you again someday, but until then, keep watch over your family as I know you have been. We miss you kiddo."
Melanie of Albuquerque, NM

"Hey chad, I remember you were an easygoing, funny guy with lots of heart. You were very dependable and a good s.a.w.gunner for our platoon. I remember walking in the barracks at night & during liberty and you would always stop me to crack jokes or shoot the breeze about training or anything in general that was on your mind. Not letting me leave until I shared a brewski with you. I remember you were always watching the same simpson's cartoons dvd set everytime, LoL:) Man,everyone misses you, I wish I could go back in time and change what happened, but I guess the commanding officer upstairs had plans for you and Bubb to report to him personally. Well warrior, I'll have another cold brew in your name and I'll see you when I get to heaven. Semper Fi bro."
Sgt. Angel C.Alvarez 2nd plt. A.Co 1st L.A.R. Bn. of San Diego, California

"Chad is a person that I will never forget from the Marine Corps. He was a great friend and a greater Marine. He never complained and always had a smile on his face. I have his date and a star for him tatooed on my arm. RIP Chad."
Tyler Rains of Rochester Hills, Michigan

"To the family of Chad R. Hildebrandt.
I didn't personally know lcpl. hildebrandt, but i was in the same unit & will never forget the memorial for the Alpha Marines that sacrificed their lives that day in KV. Just wanted to say to you guys that even though we weren't close friends, he is still my brother & will never be forgotten. I know he was a stellar marine from what everyone has said about him. Just wanted to tell ya'll that i will tell my children about Apache Co. heros when i served in Iraq with them. Happy Memorial Day coming up & will pray for ya'll & Chad."
joshua hotujec - former marine of 1st LAR of Tucson, AZ

"My utmost respect to you LCPL. I found a bracelet commemorating your sacrifice in Austin, TX and would like to make sure the owner gets it back."
Todd Van Horne of Austin, TX USA

"Chad was a great person and friend and i'd like to let his family know that i will remember him"
slocumb of georgia

"September 30, 2008
To the family of Lance Cpl. Chad R. Hildebrandt:
Chad 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

"hey chad...bud
i think about you all the time...i miss you...we all do...songs play and my heart aches at the thought of you leaving...i love you man"

"My condolences are to the Martin Family. Chad was a wonderful, funny man. It is unfortunate his life with your family was cut short at the time when he was really learning about truth and how silly and selfish adults can be. Keep in mind, Janna, one day you will see him again. Always remember, when you are thinking of him, he is watching and guiding you from above."
Knowing the truth of Albuquerque, NM


You are greatly missed by all, especially all of us from 2nd platoon Apache. I was hard on you during training, but you showed me the biggest heart Ive ever seen, you were dedicated to your brothers in Apache and an anchor point for all of us in 2nd platoon. Remember doing donuts with the hadji truck, you guys were crazy, you made us laugh many times, and we all miss you. Rest in Peace Marine."
Sgt. Chad L. Lisdahl 2nd Platoon, Apache Co., 1st LAR BN of Superior, WI

"Well it has been 2 years now Chad, I FINALLY have a computer now, Chad I was so excited to find out, it was the one you, & your parents had years ago!! So I know you have played with it too!! Your WHOLE family really misses you Chad, You would be SOO... proud of your sisters, they are so into sports,they got that talent from the Hildebrandts not the Wiggins side! They are also such pretty girls, they are looking soo... much like you!! You are truly missed by so many people honey!!!"
KANDY of amarillo, tx.

"Hey Chadder,
Just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you today... and everyday- we all miss you- keep us laughing. Love ya,"
Cindy Wiggins-Rhoads of Rio Rancho, NM 87124

Legeta of Artesia,New MexicoUSA

"You were a damn fine marine, it was one of my greatest pleasures working with you. till we meet again, rest in peace my brother."
sgt. s of san antonio

"hey its docers, hey brother, im still here, and i think about you all the time, im doing allright now, you beleive they put me in charge of some one else? lol your beloved doc is ordering other people around and im doing ok at it! lol beleive that *? i miss you, man you mother*er, i know you miss me like i miss you, i suppose i'll live for your *, but not cuz i wanna, but just cuz you want me too, i know you do, i miss you man, evertime im out i think of you, i will live and i will love, and you will be everpresent with my, you where a marine and a good marine i remember that time you showed me how to get out of the vehicle so fast and you where the SAW gunner and you showed me alot man, you where a good marine, the kind of marine i loved to serve with and you always said hi to me, like i was special like some kind of officer, man i miss that feeling i love you man, i'll see you in good time... and it will be good times..."
LaLicata of san diego, ca

"Bear,enjoy the berries, the fields, the enormity of your character. Not a person knows you that wasn't happy to see you,and I know I see you every day in happiness. you exist in smiles, in wonders of nature.
thank you brother, thank you"

"I can't believe it has been a year, not a day goes by Bubba that you are not thought of and loved. You have made so many people stronger then they thought they were just by your courage. I frequently ask why and just dont understand why you are not still hear joking and laughing with us even though I do know you are laughing. I will never forget all the memories we have and you will forever be in all of our hearts. We miss you greatly but are so proud of you. You are our Marine Angel!"
Cindy of Rio Rancho, New Mexico

"its been a year now since chad left us, but i know no one will ever forget him. i remember he always had something smart or funny to say when we sould train together, and i also remember thinking "i like this kid" after the first time we met on firewatch. my condolences to the family."
ralph torres of Navasota, TX

"Chad not a day goes by that I don't think about you. There are to many things to say, but I'll tell you once I see you again. I miss you greatly and see you one day in heaven!"
Chris Galli of Maxwell, NM

"My deepest sympathy for the loss of your
wonderful son. We lost our son, age 21
in 2004, in an auto accident and know how
it feels. You can be proud of him; we pray
to God this war can be won and end soon."
Robt.Boney of Mays Landing NJ

"Although we never took the chance to become closer you have a big place in my heart. Because of the biggest part of my life my baby sister. You were her best freind and the love she had for you and the strenght you gave her and the influence you were in her life has made me realize what a amazing person you were to every one. thank you for letting me be a part of your family and thank you for being a part of our family and a freind."
April Dawn Berry of Amarillo Texas

I miss you bud. I know your safe in the arms of our loving God but we will always miss and will never forget you. Drive on Marine, see you one day soon."
Steve of Springer,NM

"Semper Fi, Marine. Rest in peace. Your fellow Marines will get the job done."
James of California

"chad was my couzin he touched a lot of peoples heart and even mine he always had a smile on his face and i like this page you all have put on here his life was the core and he was born to be a marine and to seve our country and did a good job doing so"
jason of panhandle tx USA

"Well, Chadder-box, words do not tell you how proud I am of you. From everything I can find out, you went down as the true warrior you have always been. I am also proud of your fellow Marine, Daniel Bubb who was killed at the same time. I know you both took an honor guard with you. Take care of each other.

I will always remember how excited you were about going to the Marines. I also know how much you believed in what you were doing. The measure of a man is not what you do in your life but the live's you touch during your life. You touched a lot of lives and you are going to be missed.

Your sisters are so proud of their ‘Bubba”. I know they and all America can sleep secure in their beds at night because of the warriors like you who protect them. Thank you for what you are and what you did."
Michial Dunlap of Amarillo Texas

"Chad, for the rest of my earthly days I will remember graduation night at your Dad and Mom's (the real one, not the one who traded you for a truck when you were 5 and couldn't remember you were 9, not 10 when she sent that card)and wish we could relive that hilarious night. I'd give anything to pull up to my house and walk in yelling at you to move your truck from my parking space! You and Matt will always be 2 sides on the same coin and you know I love you like my own. I am soooo proud of you, and Jeff and Brent will look after your sisters like you looked after them when they were younger. Semper Fi Devil Dog, you are truly One of the Few!"
Kirby's mom of Springer, NM

"Chad - We can only now begin to see that we have truly lost our Chaddy Bear and will not see you again. It all seems like such a nightmare and that we will awake soon and hear that you are okay and have receive out latest package. My heart is barely beating and not at all well....we love you son. I love you - Mom"
Janna of Ft Worth, TX

"Your family and friends are in our prayers. I saw you story on the news and It broutht back the tears and memories when we buried our brave Marine. I know what they are going through and it breaks my heart. You are safe now and in the prescence of the Lord. Thank you for the sacrifice you have made and you will never ever be forgotten ever!!!!!"
Jesika Jewell cousin of Lance Corporal Aaron C Austin KIA April 26, 2004 of Lovington New Mexico USA

"To the family and beloved friends of Chad R. Hildebrandt
My deepest condolences go out to you. It is so difficult to put into words what I want to express because loosing a son, father, brother, etc... serving in the military for our freedom and paying the ultimate sacrifice for many is an unconditional love put to the test. Thank you Chad for being a great and brave soldier thinking of others first. You are truly a Hero that has gone to meet God face-to-face and you are now being surrounded by other fallen heroes as well. What a joyous time you must be having. No more sorrows, pains, fears, etc...
You will forever be remembered. God bless your family and loved ones and may He give them the strength to continue their journey here on earth. One day, we too will meet you and the rest that have gone before us into God's heavenly paradise that he has promised and prepared for each and every one of us. REST IN PEACE
I too have experienced the death of a fallen hero here in New Mexico, Moses Rocha from Roswell. He passed away August 5, 2004 in Anajaf, Irag. He too paid the ultimate sacrifice. It hurts so much to the day. There is not one day that passes by that he is not in my thoughts and prayers. I pray for all the soldiers, their families, and their loved ones.
Ramona Barragan of Artesia, NM

"To the family and friends of Lance Corporal Chad R. Hildebrandt,

Those we hold most dear, never truly leave us. May you find comfort in love's everlasting connection.

In the Support section of this web site you will find links to many groups that support you at this crucial time. The Marine Comfort Quilt group would be honored to send a quilt to the next of kin. There are many, loving and caring Americans from all over the United States that will never forget the sacrifice that your loved one has made for our Freedom. If you're not certain that your loved one's next of kin is registered to receive a quilt, please use our link and register so we can send our "Love Stitched Together."

Proud Marine Mom and Proud Member of Marine Comfort Quilts "
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca USA

"Rest in Peace Tufelhunden...
J and T Taylor USMC
Sister of a Fallen Marine"

"God bless you Chad. You are a hero and my prayers are with you. I am glad that my husband Charlie will be with you on the day they say good bye and lay you to rest. Chads family, my prayers are with you at this hard time."
Megan McFall of Fullerton, Ca


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

"To the Hildebrandt family,
I pray that God be with you and comfort you amidst your sorrow. The nation grieves for your son
Chad, and for all those lost while serving their country. We will not forget our heroes."
Megan of Los Angeles, CA

"To the family of Chad R. Hildebrandt:

On behalf of my family, please accept for Chad our gratitude for his service, our admiration for his courage, and our deepest condolences for your loss. Chad was needed, and he came through for all of us. Please rest, assured that his sacrifice, and yours, ensures the defeat of evil not just for our country, but the world as a whole. Where on earth do we find men like this?

Thank you, Chad.

God Bless Chad R. Hildebrandt. God Bless his loved ones. Amen.

From the proud family of a soldier in the 82nd Airborne presently engaged in combat in Iraq, side-by-side other brave Marines."
Paul Brasher of Albuquerque, New Mexico

"To the Hildebrandt family,

There are no words to ease your pain, but we hope you find some comfort in knowing that your beloved CHAD is an American Hero, and we celebrate his life.

CHAD, we are eternally grateful for your sacrifice, you will Not Be Forgotten. God Bless you and may the Angels Surround your family as they try to heal.

From a US Army family of a Soldier, stationed at Ft. Campbell with the 101st AVN REGT, now serving in Iraq."
--Sharon & Craig Erwin of Oregon, USA 10-18-2005 --

"Thank you Chad Hildebrandt, 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 Lance Cpl. Chad Hildebrandt:
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 Chad 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. Chad Hildebrandt:
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 Chad, 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