Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Stephen D. Hiller

25, of Opelika, Alabama.
Hiller died in Baghdad, Iraq, when his unit was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Died on April 4, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. Stephen D. Hiller.


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

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"SPC Hiller (Dusty), I appreciate your sense of humor and dedication to duty. You were, and remain, one of the finest."
COL Roland Beason of Stuttgart, Germany

"He was always wanting to help in any way he could. He stayed in my hip pocket always eager to contribute to what ever task was abound. I think of him always."
Billy Keasler Sergeant First Class Retired of Bainbridge, Georgia USA

"I have been studying your entries all the way through my morning holiday, and I should admit the entire article has been very enlightening and very well written. I assumed Id mean you can understand that for a few reason this blog does not view smartly in Internet Explorer 8. I want Microsoft might prevent converting their software. Ive a question for you. Might you mind changing weblog roll hyperlinks? That may be in reality neat! brain games"
Ernest of Singapore

"Please contact me, I want to do a tribute to your loved one. I am CW4 Retired Renee Thompson 4046409016"
Renee thompson of Fort Mitchell Al

"I still miss you daddy. Thank you, though, for being my guardian angle and for watching over me. I love you dad."
Hope of Auburn, Alabama, USA

"Still missing you 8 yrs later, i love and miss you alot, and stephen Jr. is taking it hard now with out you here he has so many questions...and storm too...please keep an eye on them from time to time and guide them to the right decisions"
lesley of salem

"Thinking of you on this April 4th 2012. It's eight yrs and still feels like yesterday. Your are my hero Stephen.
Mother of Spc. Robert Ray Arsiagaas"
Sylvia Macias of Midland, Tx

"I am glad your family is doing well. I am truly sorry for the loss your family has endured. I was thee with Hiller that day. It is a day we all share and will never forget. Blessings to you and your children."
Michael Williams of Fort Worth, Tx/US

"Mrs Hiller; Glad to hear your doing well. I think of your husband Dusty often. Even thought im no longer active duty, please let me know of anythink I can do to help. SFC Chaney (Retired)
SFC (Ret) Chaney of Texas

"i miss you and hope others miss you as well you are my hero and always will i miss you so much and OMG you should be here to see the kids stephen jr is like stephen sr. but they do have me and i preach to them everyday about if your daddy was here on H no! but i still do my duty and take care od that booty when they dont do what they suppose to do and they thank god that im still here to do that even tho they hate it but that im here to tell them about you baby....meet me in my dreams every night like you have and please if god wills you visit the kids too thats what keeps us going you....334-275-1933"

"To the family of:Stephen D.Hiller
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" 1-9-11"

"Specialist Hiller, thank you for your sacrifice. You will always be remembered and in the hearts and minds of people everywhere, even the ones who never had the honor of knowing you."
Spc. Tilla Hansen of Fort Drum, NY

"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 E. Steiner of Worthington, OH

"Lesley Hiller, I am not sure if you check this website at all. My name is Aimee and I was one of the Care Team Members that visited you immediately after the Chaplain and the Notification Officer walked out your front door. With the 5 year anniversary, I just wanted to say that I hope you are doing well. I will never forget you, or your husband and the sacrifice that you both made! God Bless you and your children."
Aimee Randazzo of Fort Hood, Texas

"March 29, 2009
To the family of Spc. Stephen D. Hiller:
Stephen 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

"Dear Hiller family, My name is Sylvia and my son died that same day as your soldier. I think of all the guys that died with my son Spc. Robert R. Arsiaga. This year will be 5 years and I still lose my breath. My family and I will celebrate my sons life on April 4th and I will read Stephen name along with the other guys names in their honor. I will never forget what these brave soldiers did for all of us. Thank Spc. Stephen D. Hiller for your service and sacrifice
Here is my e-mail address if you like to leave a message sylviammacias@yahoo.com"
Sylvia Macias of Midland, Texas

"Mrs Hiller; This is SFC (Ret) Chaney, I was the 1st Brigade Rear D SGM when Dusty was killed. It has been a long time since then and I think of Dusty often, even though I did not personally know Dusty. I pray that you and your children are safe and well. You husband is a true American Hero and always in my thoughts, as you and your family are always in my Prayers. God Bless"
SFC (ret) Henry V Chaney, henry.chaney@us.army.mil of Lampasas TX

"I can Not contact anyone if you give me and incomplete email addy."

"hello my name is sgt barajas i have been living with a burden on my shoulders for a long time i served with dusty and i knew him very well i were his bracelet
on my left wrist since those basterds got him sorry a day before april forth i was walking back from the motor pool in sadr city and he was complaning of beign the catains driver i laughed and made fun of him bec`ause before he got picked for that job they were trying to get me but my sgt kept me sgt ivey i was a jerk and playing with him about getting hurt as the captains driver i m sorry i dndt know he was going to leave us im so sorry i feel so bad responsible because i gave him bad luck im sorry please forgive me dusty and his family i have to live with the burden of his death on me i want to see him so i could re do that day all over again not a day goes bye that i dont remember him i havent had the guts to say anything because ive been going through therapy but if anyone in his family could contacgt me please do at gerardo.barsjasjr@us.army.mil please i need this"
sgt barajas of california

"I didn't know Dusty, but wanted to say thank you to him and his family for his sacrifice. Not a day goes by that I don't think of our soldiers, and pray for them. My husband is a soldier also. To Lesley...you and your children are heroes too! God Bless You!"
Crystal Phillips of APG, MD. hometown : Sylacauga, AL

"Dusty, I miss you dearly bro. Not a day goes by that your not in my mind, or spoken for. I visit you every time I'm in town, and spend time with the family, and one day we will be together again.

See you on the other side"
Byron Gillen of Fort Myers, Florida 33919

"Well it has been just over 3yrs and I to this day still have a hard time dealing with the fact that you will never be there to annoy me or my children. It also hurts to know that you have a red headed nephew that acts just like you in so many ways that it is not funny. I know you can watch your 3 beautiful children and my 3 children everyday and see how beautiful and precious they are. I decided to write today to let you know how much I love you and miss you and I know you watch over me,Randi,Val,Drake,Hope,Storm,Stephen,and moma. Dusty we all love you so much and not a day goes by that we don't think of you. Love always your sister"
ashleigh hawkins-hentschel of Waverly, AL, USA

"from your dad I mis you very much,will
love you always."
stephen w. hiller of waverly,ala.usa

"To the late Dusty Hiller I would like to say thank you so much for your selflessness and act of heroism so that myself and my family can be safe. To his family (particullary his father, stepmother, and children) I want to say I am so sorry that yall lost such a wonderful person. I am very proud of his father and stepmother fot their efforts in raising his oldest daughter. I know she will grow up to be a wonderful and respectful young lady who will know and knows now how special her father is. I also want to let his family know that I love them and wish them the very best for the future. Eventhough Dusty is not with us anymore, he has left a great legacy in his children to carry on. My thoughts, prayers, and friendship are always here for yall."
Amanda Wilson of Opelika, AL/USA

"leonard.wahl@gmail.com Father of Fallen Soldier US Army Sgt. Gregory L. Wahl KIA Balad, Iraq 05-03-04. Stephen you are forever in my heart and prays."
Len Wahl of Spring Texas

"Although i never personally met Spc. Hiller but i know he is a great soldier because he is one of the few and brave 4th ALABAMA BOY's and will alwasy be remembered"
Spc. Cole Hazel of Birmingham, Alabama


"The Salute

To those who have died,
And to those who have cried.
We Salute You.

To those who have lost,
Paid the ultimate cost.
We Salute You.

And to those who still serve,
The Red White and Blue.
Our grateful Nation,
Proudly Salutes You."
Tom Balstad of West Warwick RI

"I knew Spc. Hiller for about a year and 1/2. I do hate the fact that I was not able to see steven before he left to join the Active Army, but I know he was doing what he loved to do. He beleived in his country and was a true soldier. He loved his family and all his fellow comarades. We will always miss steven. I Just want his children to know "Your dad was a great American and it was an honor to serve with him."
David D. Spradlin
Recruiting and Retention NCO"
David D. Spradlin of Wetumpka, AL 36092 334-799-8173

"He was a great soldier who also served with the 4th Alabama. He will be missed and remembered always."

"I purchased a bracelet from herobracelets.org and received Spc. Stephen D. Hiller's. I have read the messages on this website and I am honored to have the bracelet that bears his name. He made the ultimate sacrifice and he will NEVER be forgotten. May God bless Spc. Hiller and his family."
Jennifer Whipple of Naples, FL

"I have gotten to know Dusty through his Aunt Kim. She and I are best friends and I love her dearly and know how much she loved Dusty. She speaks of him and his children and other family often. I am very honored to have gotten to share in Dusty's life through her.

I am thankful to Dusty for his sacrifice to all of us. He truly is a hero. "Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13. And according to a previous entry here that is what he did. We know he did just by being there but it was stated before that he was trying to get his other Army brothers with him out of danger. He truly showed greater love that can only come from God above. My husband was Alabama State Trooper Brian Nichols killed in the line of duty 2/17/2002. So I know a share of your pain and grief. My prayer is that you all cling close to God and each other. Only He can see us through. I pray that his children know the hero he is!!! They will have so many great things to know about their dad. Especially his son that was just recently born and received his name. He never got to know his dad but you can let him know him by talking about Dusty to him. This will be a great honor to him as he grows, and carries the name, Dusty Jr. My son is named after his dad and wears it with pride!!

God Bless Dusty's mother, wife, children and the rest of his loving family. I pray God gives you all a peace that passes all understanding. This is something that will never go away. People say it gets better with time. It doesn't. You just learn to live with it. It is like a wound that heals for a day but gets knocked open again and bleeds fresh. It will close again but re-opens. Just hold on to the fact that it does close over at times. But the pain and reminder is always there. We just learn to live with what has been handed to us and strive to keep them alive through us. But, know that there are many out here that lift you up in prayer daily."
Denise Nichols of Jackson, AL

"To the family of Stephen "Dusty"Hiller. I was with hiller throughout 2-5"s time in kuwait and iraq. Words cannot say or express how sorry im am to have lost such a fine man. i could tell u hundreds of storys about him or about other people he knew. I was with hiller on april 4th in the same hummvee in the back. He died honorably tring to get our Cpt.Lewis and me and 2 other people out of that street. He died very proudly and i wish i could have done more. but for what is it worth i am very sorry"
Spc jerry Bune of A co.2-5 cav Ft. Hood Tx

"Thank you brave soldier for sacrificing your today for my children's safer tomorrow. You have our utmost respect and gratitude. May God grant your family comfort and peace in their time of need. May you forever rest in heavenly peace. Thank you."
a grateful citizen in arizona

"I just want to let everyone know that Stephen D. Hiller "DUSTY" was a very brave and proud man. He loved his family and friends dearly, and also loved his amry family. He was very proud of his job and what he was doing for our country and believed he was doing the right thing. Im very proud of who my husband was and will always be and thats my 6'3" southern boy "HERO".May god love you as much as me and our 5 children do Dusty, we miss you alot and will always remember you and what you gave us and thats our "FREEDOM BABY"!!!!
Lesley Hiller of Opelika, Al/ USA

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

"They wear the uniform
Proud and true
They protect our Nation
For me and you.

They give of themselves
So unselfishly
They leave their homes
And their families

They are on foreign soil
In a foreign land
Our men and women
Who are taking a stand

They are on guard
Day and night
They are weary for sleep
But prepared to fight

They see death and destruction
In this war torn place
But its all worth the effort
When they see a smiling face

They remember why they are there
Through all the sadness and sorrow
Its to ensure for the children
A better tomorrow

May god keep and protect the men and women who have chosen to protect us and our nation...""
Sgt Wes Campbell USMC 3/2 of decatur alabama

"to the family of stephen hiller. i am michael mitchell's sister, and i believe he was was also killed in this attack that took your loved one. my heart goes out to you because i know that my family is feeling the same grief, frustration and heartache. my family is still searching for more information on exactly what happened that day. we know that mike was not ordered to go out on that "patrol", but volunteered to "help out his buddies". although we know it will not bring him back, we are looking to find out more specific information in regards to that day. if you have anything you would like to share, or would just like to talk, please email me at formichaelwilliammitchell@charter.net"
christine jayroe of atascadero, ca usa

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

"On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincere condolences. We share the same loss...the same pain. Our prayers are with you and we thank you for your child's bravery & sacrifice.

From the family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas KIA Iraq 12/28/2003"
Gloria Caldas (his mom) of San Antonio, TX

"Thank you Stephen Hiller, 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 Spc. Stephen Hiller:
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 Stephen 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 Spc. Stephen Hiller:
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 Stephen, 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