Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army 1st Lt. Doyle M. Hufstedler

25, of Abilene, Texas.
Hufstedler died in Habbaniyah, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device hit his armored personnel carrier. He was assigned to the Army's 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas. Died on March 31, 2004.

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"I was looking through pictures of you and Mom earlier today. I see so much of myself in both of you. It’s bittersweet to feel myself growing up and living the life that you should have gotten the chance to be a part of. I know you’d be proud of me, but I can’t help but wonder who I would be if you were here to help guide me. Twenty years and it still feels like any day now you’re going to come back. I want late football games and early Sunday breakfast. I want you to meet my friends who have heard all of your wild stories. But more than all, I want to see Mom smile the way that she did when she was with you. I hope that one day I find someone who loves me as much as you loved and cherished her. Brian and I are going to a concert this weekend at Harry’s, I’m going to take him to the chicken after so he can find your name in the bathroom. I love you."
<3 G

"Almost 19 years you’ve been gone from this Earth. I can’t express how missed you are. I wish I could have had the opportunity to learn from you and hear your stories. I'm sure you would have been proud of how Mom and I are doing now. I miss you more than words can express, but I take comfort in knowing that you're still a part of me. I have your smile, your eyes, and more importantly, the same overwhelming love for Mom. I feel connected to you in ways that I can't explain, especially since coming to A&M. There’s nothing I wouldn’t give for a single day with you, but for now this will have to do. I love you so very much. Send Momma some love sometime soon. She gets a thrill when you do whacky * like flushing the toilet or *ing with my truck."

"I love and miss you."

"Heya, I had some Oreos and Dr. Pepper today and I thought of you. Cream before cookie always. Sometimes I feel like as more time passes, the farther you feel away. However, move-in was a few weeks ago, and let me tell you, I haven’t ever felt closer to you. I know you’d love to see me happy here. Momma and I stayed at 7-f for the weekend before I got settled into the dorm. It was gorgeous. They had a Willie record playing when we checked in. The dorm is nice. I’m staying in one across from the quad. I get to see the scared (and definitely not hazed) fish scurry past me every morning. I wish you had been here to walk around campus with Mom and I. We got to see Michelle and the kiddos a few weeks before I left. They’re doing well. Charlotte is just like her mama. They’re thinking of moving back to Abilene to be close to Grandpa. It’ll be nice to have everyone close again. I haven’t seen Sarah or Gretchen in a while, but I’m trying to find a time to drive up and spend some time with them soon. Anyway, I love you. Send me some good luck for my first round of exams next week. Love ya, Grace"

"Good Evening, I'm writing this to the mother and daughter of 1LT Hufstedler. We met just days ago (30MAY22) as a group of knuckleheads visiting our Brother Rat (VMI lingo) SGT Ryan Doltz (VMI class of 2000) who is buried to your husband/father's left. I want to apologize for my silence yesterday - there was a group of us (9 exactly including the young son of my other BR) - I was overcome with emotion on many fronts (Vet, Father, husband, human) and was just barely keeping it together. You both were so strong and my own son (VMI class of 2025) who was there even asked me later how you both were so strong. My only answer was "time & love". I hope I was close. I've always tried to avoid Memorial Day, especially at ANC where I have family, due to fear of memories and emotions. Just writing this now makes me want to cry. Your husband/father was or was near my commissioning year group (2001), I served with the 142nd CSB ISO 3ACR and later 82ABN at Habbaniyah (originally OBJ Redskins). If you ever need anything please contact me - I, and my VMI Brother Rats, stand ready to support you both. I don't want to expose too much information on this public site so please feel free to contact me through the VMI Alumni Association 540-464-7328 (Class 2000)."
Robert Kennedy of Fairfax, VA

"I am a battalion commander now. When we used to hang out I we were ROTC cadets at Texas A & M and lieutenants at Fort Riley, KS. Hard to believe that 2004 was so many years ago. I am grateful to have had such a great friend."
Matt Sweeney of Fort Campbell, KY

"Hey Dad. Last weekend Momma and I went to tour A&M. I loved it. Apparently a lot has changed since y’all were there. I love you"

"17 years Uncle Doyle, and it still feels like you were just playing with me in Nana and Papa’s backyard yesterday. We love and miss you always!"
Annie of Charlotte, NC

"I can't believe that Wednesday will mark seventeen years. Seventeen years of laughter and love without you. I'm sure you've been following along, but I'm graduating this year. Unfortunately... I am a traitor. My decision came down to UT and A&M. You can guess which one I picked from my previous statement. (I still think burnt orange is an ugly color) We love and miss you. - Grace"

"What can I say LT. 16 years has flown by so fast I can't believe it. We were only together for a month when we lost you but I feel like we were friends for far longer. I can't put in to words how much it hurts to think of you and the boys we lost that day. I honor you all every day. May God bless and keep you and your beautiful girls in his loving arms."
Donald Dosch of Piedmont, SD

"I miss you"

"Hey Dad, we are about to arrive at A&M to watch he midnight yell, and tomorrow see the dorms and go to watch the game. Just made me think of you
(Not that I don't everyday)"
Grace of College station tx

"Hello Doyle,
It's been a very long time since we talked and I'm sorry we didn't talk more that day in Iraq before we never got to speak again. I just wanted to tell you that you were a good friend and that everyone misses you so much. We were all blessed to have known you and your infectious smile. I have never forgotten you and recently paid a visit to your etched name on the fallen engineer memorial. I wish we could have known each other longer but I thank you with every fiber of my being for the selfless sacrifice you gave so that others can live free. In honor of you, my colleague, my friend I will tell your story this memorial. Remembering you"
Laura Shiplet

"Hey Doyle. It's been quite some time but you, Leslie and Grace are often in my thoughts. Because of you I fully understand the A&M boot tradition and I still cook with the recipes Leslie gave me from dinner at your place that night. I now have a baby girl who is 8 months old. I can't wait to teach her about my soldier friends and the amazing things they did for us and our country. You are missed and I am honored to have known you."
Beth (Hansen) Manning of St. Louis, MO

"Hey Uncle Doyle, Its been 12 years but I still miss you like crazy! I love you ❤️"
Annie of Fort Mill, SC

"Hey dad we are sitting here at Arlington thinking about you and all your buddie.We miss you and love you❤️"
Grace Hufstedler of Fort Belvoir VA

"I miss you so much. I miss you on beautiful evening when I am sitting in front of a fire. I wanted us to share our lives with each other. I wanted us to raise our children at the same time sharing stories on the phone and in person. I wanted to watch our babies play together as we laughed. There are so many things that I wanted. I miss you brother, so very much."
of Abilene, TX

"Hey Uncle Doyle. As it is Veterans Day, I have not stopped thinking about you. I miss you all the time and I wish I had more time with you but I cherish all the memories I have of you. Grace has gotten so big and I know you would have been so proud of her. She is turning into a beautiful young lady and I thank God every day for sending Uncle Terry to us to be a father for Grace and a loving husband to Sessie. I love you and wish i could tell you that in person one more time."
Annie Morgenstern of Fort Mill, SC

"Thinking of you Doyle! I still remember the summer we worked together painting apartments in College Station, commissioning into the Army together and crossing paths our last time at Fort Leonardwood as we both attended Engineer OBC. I pray for your family regularly and can only hope that they have found healing over the years. You always were a man of integrity, loyalty and honor and if every man strived to be like you, this world would be a better place."
Aaron Fricke of Fort Worth, TX

"Love you forever baby. 10 years is just like yesterday. Felt you with us Saturday as we celebrated your life with your buddies and family. Thanks for the little "visit" on Thursday...Gracie got quite the thrill from it:) Always and forever, Your girls"
Leslie of Ft. Belvoir, VA

"To the family and friends of Lt. Doyle Hufstedler: My name is Jay. I am originally from Washington, North Carolina. I currently live in El Paso, Texas. I'm a proud member of the Patriot Guard Riders and Rolling Thunder, which are motorcycle riders who pay tribute to our fallen heroes. One of our customs is to attach dog tags to our motorcycle vests that have the names of our fallen heroes or POWs inscribed on them. The fallen heroes listed on the tags are referred to as Ghost Riders. We do this to pay honor to our fallen heroes or POWs so that they may always be riding free with us. I wanted you to know that I carry Lt. Hufstedlers' tag on my vest. I will never take it off. May God watch over you and, on behalf of Rolling Thunder New Mexico 1, and the El Paso chapter of the Patriot Guard Riders, thank you for your sons / husbands sacrifice to this great nation. May it never be taken for granted. k9cop0201@hotmail.com"
Jay L. of El Paso, TX

"Today is Memorial Day and I have been thinking about Doyle today. I was fortunate to have Doyle as my friend. We had many great times both while we were in college and during our initial time in the Army.
I always knew that if I needed assistance of any kind I could count on Doyle, he was that kind of person. Truely dependable men are in short quantity, Doyle was a dependable man.
I know the men that you led in combat appreciated having a first rate leader. One that does the right thing, leads from the front, and puts the interest of his troops ahead of his own.
People should not take a Soldier's everyday courage for granted. It is a selfless courage that is based on the love and care of his fellow Soldiers, as well as an intense understanding of duty----Everytime you got ready to go on patrol I am sure thoughts of home would enter your mind. I know they always entered mine. I am sure you took stock of everything that was in jeopardy if something happened to you while you(parents, Leslie, soon to be borne Grace); because you were selfless you thought of yourself last, only the impact that your loss would bring to the people you love. With that heavy weight on your mind you did your duty everyday. Nobody should ever take that for granted.
I wish that you could have come home and have been reunited with Leslie and witnessed Gracie grow up. My oldest daughter Olivia has blonde hair, like Grace. On many occasions I think of Grace and how fortunate I am to experience the everyday nuances of being her dad and watching her grow up. I hope that I never take that experience for granted.
When I think of Doyle I often think of a quote from the Anton Myer book -Once an Eagle.

"You can't help what you were born and you may not have much to say about where you die, but you can and you should try to pass the days in between as a good man"

Doyle did exactly that. I miss you buddy."
Matthew A. Sweeney of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

"My nephew was commissioned as a 2nd LT in Armor this past Wednesday. If you had lived, you would have been one of the captains or majors teaching the cadets at my nephew's rotc detachment. However, you will be forever young. I thank you for your sacrifice. I looked at my nephew and realized that time passes on and the next generation will carry on the duties of defending our nation. However, he wouldn't be there, if men like you had not been there before him. I get to grow old and I get to enjoy the company of my family due to the sacrifices made by people like you who answered the call to duty. On this Memorial Day, thank you. You have not been forgotten. From a fellow veteran and Aggie, God Bless YOU."
Hui-Jen Shiau, TAMU'89 of Hayward, CA

"To Leslie and Ashley: It’s hard for me to know how to start. I’ve never met you nor have did I have the honor of meeting Doyle. None the less, his legacy has now become an important and inspiring part of our family. We traveled to Texas this past weekend for parent’s weekend at the A&M University. There, my son, Mac, a freshman in the “I-1” corps of cadets unit, received the “Doyle Hufstedler award” or more simply known as the “Doyle Brass”. As I’m sure you know, this award is presented to the freshman that has demonstrated the very high personal standards of integrity, leadership and commitment to the Corps values that Doyle himself excelled at. I learned later that this award is considered by the members of the I-1 unit as the highest honor that can be earned by a freshman.
Doyle gave the greatest sacrifice so that your family and mine could be safer, and for that I am forever in his debt and in yours. I am so very proud that my son has chosen to follow his path, to protect our country. I hope to meet you some day in person, but for now, I’m limited to this simple note and reminder that we will never forget Doyle’s legacy and the sacrifice that your family has endured these many years.
Forever in your debt, and always in our hearts and prayers:"
Steve Garman of Edgewood (Seattle area) Washington

"On this Veteran's Day, thank you for your sacrifice. My nieces and nephews were children when you were killed. They are all now in college and safe. They are safe because men like you put yourself on the wall to defend them. One of my nephew's will be commissioned as an armor lieutenant in the spring. He will carry on the torch that we veterans have carried before. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for allowing me to grow old. Gig'em Aggie!"
Hui-Jen Shiau, TAMU class of 89 of Hayward, CA

"Uncle Doyle, it's been over 8 years and things have been hard when it gets to the end of March each year. I really miss you and would love to give you a hug. Sessies husband, Terry, is on his deployment flight right now and I am just asking that you watch over him and keep him safe over there:) Gracie is gorgeous and reminds me of you whenever I see her. I love you, and miss you so much<3"
Annie of Fort Mill, SC

"Doyle and I were ORD ORD fish in RedEys 1 class of '01. We had met the summer before at a JRTOC leadership school and we connected immediately. His friendship, guidance and humor helped me immensely in those tough times. We drifted apart when I moved before our Sophomore year. It was just now, when trying to teach my two sons about the importance of Memorial Day, that I learned of Huf's fate. I feel guilty for not being there for him, and with him. If there is ever anything that his family needs, I hope I can be there for them."
Curtis McDonald of Kingwood, TX

"Just thinking of you, missing you. Here on my iPad, I glanced at your photograph in our living room. Eight years. We are all aging. You are still 25 :-). Gracie is beautiful, just like her mama.

Love you...always"
Sheldon Chesson Morgenstern of Fort Mill, SC

"Eight years.

We will always remember!

It never gets any easier. I thought it would.

Thank you 1st Lt. Doyle M. Hufstedler III for your ultimate sacrifice."
David of Charlotte, NC

"Ord Ords Never Say Die! Company I-1 still remembers and honors your sacrifice."
Ord Ord of College Station, TX

"Hey Uncle DoylieBoylie,
It's almost been 8 years since the news. Gosh, I miss you so much and still cry thinking about you. I love you and I know Grace and Sessie love you as well.
Forever in my heart, I love you"
Annie of Fort Mill, SC

"Just thinking of you. We just had Veteran's Day, 2011. You are so much a part of our lives. You always will be. I just told someone about you today. The years are going by. We are all aging. You, my dear, will always be handsome and 25. We have a photograph of you in our living room. You are remembered and loved every day. Thank you for Gracie...I know you see her and smile.

Love always, Sheldon"
Sheldon Chesson Morgenstern of Fort Mill, South Carolina

"Hi Doyle,
I just typed in the computer my maiden name of Hufstedler to see what I could find. I am sure I am related you in some way, back in the 1800's the Hufstedler brothers went different ways, some went to Texas some to Missouri and some went to Arkansas

I just want to thank you for what you have done for our country. You have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. From the bottom of my heart "thank you" and I am so proud of you and what you have done for our country. Just wish I could have met you...love you man..."
Diana Hufstedler Richardson of Linden, TN 37096

"Hey Uncle Doyle:) miss you bunches. thinking of you at school<3"
Annie Morgenstern of Fort Mill, SC

"Hey Uncle Doyle! so, today is memorial day and i just wanted to say that im thinking of you! i miss you sooooooo much.... cant wait to see you in heaven :) love you, Annie<3"
Annie of Fort Mill, SC

"Doyle....you are the man! Miss you brother!"
CPT John McAllister of C-1 '01

"God Bless You Doyle."
David of Charlotte

"Hi Lovebug-
Just wanted you to know that some new, dear friends, are running the TAPS Honolulu marathon in December in your memory. Miss you and love you for always...."
Les of Eagle River, AK

"1lt Doyle Hufstedler, you don't know me but I am currently class of '13 I-1 ord ord. Thank you for everything you have done for this country the greatest sacrifice anyone could give, I wake up everyday and stare at your board knowing that you among my buddies are the reason I got through fish year. Thank you"
Charlie Davidson of College Station, Texas

"Doyle...it is almost 6.5 years now. I cannot believe it. Last night I had to console Annie as she was crying uncontrollably when she watched a tribute to the troops. She will be 14 next month. She talked about how you would swing her around in Nana and Papa's backyard. She just kept saying it isn't fair. I finally got her quieted down when I told her how you would be upset to see her crying over you...that you would want her to be a big girl and take some action! To redirect that sadness into something productive. When I went in later to make sure she was covered up I found her sleeping. Beside her bed was a note to herself. It said "Remember to ask at school about having students write troops in Iraq." I know she sent an e-mail to the school today also. Not sure what she is up to. Anyway, she is thinking about you. Also, she is worried because Terry will have to go to Afghanistan. I know you have connections brother...y'all watch over him. I know you will do what you can. I love you Doyle...but know you are safely serving in the Lord's Army. Can't help but smile when I think about that big as Texas smile of yours :-D.

Love always, Sheldon"
Sheldon Chesson Morgenstern of Fort Mill, SC

"Little Doyle was such a wonderful young man. We loved him like he was one of our own kids. If we had more young men like Doyle this would be a much better nation.
To his Mom and Dad and brothers and sister, wife and child we keep you in our prayers."
Don and Cecil Mask (donandcecil@yahoo.com) of Rockwall, Texas/USA

"I was on the swim team with you at Abilene High School...man, that was so long ago. Thank you for all that you did for our country and for the amazing legacy you left in your daughter. God Bless you on this Memorial Day."
Kele Testa of Abilene, TX

"Six years ago, about this time. Your family was safely asleep in their beds. Your mom and dad, your sisters, your wife and your unborn baby Grace. All asleep. Safe. Protected. This is what you dedicated your life to.

You were just getting up. You had to be uncomfortable in that alien, godforsaken country! You probably didn't sleep well but I am sure that you were already thinking about and planning your day of performing route clearance. Duties which would result in a safe path for your fellow warriors. Your men - Mitchell, Karr, Raney and Davis - were undoubtably in a similar frame of mind. You were in the process of faithfully executing your duties and in the time it took me to write this, it was all over. A blast of monumental proportions took you and your team away from all of us who loved you. Too fast for you to know what really happened. So fast that none of us can ever forget. We will never forget. Never! God bless you Doyle Maurice Hufstedler III, Sean R. Mitchell, Michael G. Karr, Jr., Brandon L. Davis. God Bless You all!"
David of Charlotte

"LT i will never forget you for your courage. You seemed to do everything with an intensity that i strive for to this day. "The 9" will never be forgotten. I remember you with a smile and I know you are smiling at me now. Love you brother. my flag will always fly at half staff.

Spc. Elmer "Cookie" cooke of Albuquerque, NM USA


You will always be missed, brother. I remember the respect and honor we, as cadets, gave to the men and women who came before us and the sacrifices they made for our freedoms. I am both sad and proud to see you among them. God bless you and your family always. Please know that when Muster rolls around, you will always have friends who will stand and say "here" for you."
CPT Christopher May, Class of 02, Company E-1; currently 23d Ord CO, 16 SUS Bde, 21TSC of Graf, Germany

"I received a box with a set of your winter PT's in it. When I opened it I cried just like a baby. I miss you."
Michele Hufstedler of Fort Sam Houston, Tx

"Doyle, i loved you so much when you were on earth but now that you are in heaven i love you so much that no one could have had a better uncle that they loved. I miss you so much you'r neice"
Annie Morgenstern of Fort Mill

"My heartfelt thanks to Doyle and all of the other fallen heroes for their ultimate sacrifice.

We just spent time with Leslie and her family and being with Grace reminded me of Doyle."
David of Charlotte, NC

"On this Memorial Day we remember Doyle and all that he sacrificed for us. We had just gotten to know him a little, when he had to leave for Iraq, but we will never forget him!"
The Olsen Family of Manhattan, KS

"Every memorial day (and more often than that) I think of Doyle. I know we weren't the closest of friends, but I knew him most of my childhood and always thought an awful lot of him and his family."
Gretchen Christensen Smith of Round Rock, TX

You probably don't remember me, but I had met both you and Leslie back when you were a cadet. I was at that game when you proposed to your wife. When you were killed, I was both shocked and saddened. I didn't know you well, but I thought that proposal you did on the football field was a sign of youth and exuberance. I felt a part of that was gone when you were killed. I had donated to Gracie's fund and every year on Memorial Day, I come back to this page. I also share this with my friends and coworkers. I remind them that their freedom isn't free. I encourage them to read this page because it reminds people who never served the very human cost of war and the sacrifices people like you have made for our freedoms. As I have aged and passed into middle age, I appreciate the fact that you will never have the opportunity to grow old, to watch your daughter grow up, or to grow old with your wife. So, thank you, from an Air Force veteran and a fellow Aggie. Thank you for your sacrifice. God Bless You."
Hui-Jen Shiau of Foster City, CA

Five Years Ago Today

For some duty may require that last full measure of devotion. This was the case for Doyle M Hufstedler III. On a road in Habbaniyah Iraq Doyle and four comrades moved from this world into the hands of God.
It just turns out that Doyle and his comrades wer tasked with the duty of route clearance detail, one of the toughest and most essential jobs in Iraq. He never complained about it he just did it with intensity and with the sense that his efforts were saving the lives of the many U. S. soldiers, Marines and innocent Iraqi citizens by serving as their guardian day in and day out. in between trips and just grabbing a hurried rest before facing the daunting task of facing terrorist weapons eye to eye.
We can't leave this work undone in Iraq. We may all argue about how we might have gotten there. But we're there and we need to see it through....I suppose we could have taken the beaches at Normandy, and then decided it was too expensive or too difficult to keep going. I wonder what the world would look like today. I continue to believe that the U.S. effort will lead to a better, freer Iraq and a safer America. "He didn't die in vain," "It will come.
It really bothers me when I hear people describe us as pro-war, just because the other side is antiwar. I am not pro-war. I don't think the president is pro-war. I don't think any of the soldiers fighting are pro-war. No sane person is pro war. They have a Duty, and they are going to do it."
In his last phone call home Doyle request prayers for himself and his solders also school supplies for Iraqi children. Before Doyle said goodbye he had one more message.
Earlier that day, an Iraqi child wearing an American college T-shirt had approached Him. The child looked at the American solider and said, "Jesus loves you."
Doyle thought the folks at home might want to know.
Doyle M. Hufstedler Jr. March 31, 2009"
DMH of Texas

"Five years. We will never forget!"
David of Charlotte

We met just in the short time that came over to the unit, but I haven't ever forgotten your kindness. Hardly a day goes by when I don't wish you and the others we lost couldn't have come home like the rest of us. I was in Washington, DC this week and had to stop by and pay my respects. You're a good man and the world is better for having you here."
CPT Longoria of Kansas City

"Doyle, you probably don't remember me, but I met you once. I am Jules' brother Garrett. Thanks for all that you have sacrificed for me to continuing to live the free life that I live. From the latest pic that Leslie sent Jules, Gracie is growing like crazy. I know that she is grateful for what her daddy gave up for her to have a wonderful life. Thank you for all that you gave for us."
Garrett Conner of Spring, TX

"March 9, 2009
To the family of 1st Lt. Doyle M. Hufstedler:
Doyle 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

"You were a good LT, and youll be never forgotten"
Meekins of Philadelphia


What can I say... I'm shedding tears as I write this... It seemed like only yesterday that we were going through JROTC together, as people can see a lot has happened since then. I'm currently deployed supporting OIF/OEF and have recently heard about this website, no excuse but I've been away from Abilene a number of years and didn't realize it was actually you that people were talking about. I'm married and have two kids, AJ 3.5yrs and Talyn 6months. Currently an Air Weapons Officer flying on AWACS. I've read the other posts from your family and wish them my condolences, we are keeping them in our prayers. Thank you for your sacrifice and I'll keep fighting the good fight for all who have come and gone."
Capt Joel Doss of Al Udeid AB

"Just thinking of you Doyle, and still missing you after 4 years. We will always love and miss you. You are in our hearts."
Sheldon of Fort Mill, SC

"Four years today. Nothing has changed in the way that we miss you son. Nothing has changed in the way that we love you. Grace grows like a weed and just yesterday rode her "wiggly" bike with no training wheels! We love you Doyle and will always miss you."
David of Charlotte

"Doyle, It's been a few years since I got to see you and hug you. This is your sister-in-law, Sheldon. I remember toasting you and my little sister at your wedding. I said I couldn't believe that Leslie had found someone as wonderful as I had. I knew that from the first moment I met you at Leslie's graduation. You came in, dressed in your corps uniform. All I could think about was "wow - good looking!" I will always remember those boots! Not a day goes by that I don't think about you and pray for your parents and sisters, and, of course, Leslie and Gracie. Leslie, as I'm sure you know, has married someone who has great respect for you. I told him the first time I met him that Leslie deserved the best, I told him to remember that she was not divorced - she had lost her husband when she was very much in love. Could he handle that. He said he understood. Terry is now serving in Iraq. Doyle, please watch over him. Help him come home safely to Leslie. I can't see her lose another husband. Gracie knows you and your parents. I wish for her to know the man her father was, and to have a second father in Terry. She will always know you and the man you were. I promise you that. She is fiesty and strong, and she saved her mother's life when you left us and went to heaven. Had it not been for her growing inside Leslie, I don't know if Leslie would have survived. I, as I'm sure all my fellow Christians who knew you and have had the privelege of being a part of your life, look forward to the day when we are reunited. I have always told my husband that, as of this moment, I am so looking forward to seeing in heaven my cousin Eric, my Papa, and you, our sweet Doyle. I loved you from the moment I met you. You were my brother. I will always, always love you so much.

Love, Sheldon"
Sheldon Morgenstern of Fort Mill SC

"doyle, this is your niece, Annie, i miss you so much. you are my roll model. i will always love you no matter where you are. i can not wait until i go to heaven and see you. last time that you saw me i was 8 i am now almost 12 and eric also says hi. I love you. it was hard to say goodbye to you."
Annie Morgenstern of Fort Mill SC

"Everytime I look at the picture of you and me that I have in my kitchen I smile and then sigh a little and sometime cry a little...I miss you so much!"
Michele of Fort Polk

"I wish I could have one more bear hug. I miss you."
of Italy

"I still miss you every day."
lha of charlotte


When you left, I told you I would take care of things for you here. I'm trying my best son. I am so sorry that you never knew Gracie. I am so thankful that you gave the world such a gift. If you only knew. She will forever represent a piece of you and will forever remind me of the sacrifice that you made for us.

Grace is amazing. At three and a half, almost, she seems grown up. She'll converse with you .. both responding and initiating. She'll argue with you .. sometimes rationally, sometimes not. Sometimes when she spends the night she'll wake up and just tell you she loves you. You can probably tell she has my heart. The same as it would be for you. So, in this way, I am doing my best to fill your shoes and I want you to know that it is a hard job to do.

Thank you Doyle. I miss you. Thank you for Gracie."
David of Charlotte, NC

"I miss you. I always will."
Michele Hufstedler of Fort Polk, LA

"Thanks Doyle. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for your faith. Thank you for your courage. Thank you. You make me proud to be an American."

""God let me have a chance to meet such a great leader like you. It's such a great lost that he had to take you away so early and so soon. It's was a great pleasure serving with you and taking care of you and your soldiers""

"Not a day goes by that I don't wish I could call you up and ask you for advice or just have a nice chat with you. More lately than ever I find my self asking "What would Doyle do if he were me?" or "If Doyle were still here he would be able to help me with this or tell me what to do." I hate that you aren't here. What is a sister suppose to do without her Bubba?
Love you forever,"
Michele Hufstedler of Fort Polk

"Not a day goes by that I don't wish I could call you up and ask you for advice or just have nice chat with you. More lately than ever I find my self asking "What would Doyle do if he were me?" or "If Doyle were still here he would be able to help me with this or tell me what to do." I hate that you aren't here. What is a sister supose to do with out her Bubba?
Love you forever,"
Michele Hufstedler of Fort Polk


I miss you and have been to your grave several times this year. You're a great friend. My wife and I had the pleasure of meeting your uncle at the cemetary on Memorial day. We talked about how I knew you through JROTC, and how your family was doing. I hope I get to see him again real soon. I'm joining the military. I've been working hard to do it ever since your sacrifice. I hope I can make you proud."
David Martin of Abilene, Texas

"Doyle’s Africa

Do you know a place down past the equator where the Southern Cross shines through?
Do you know the wide savannah where the light is clear and true?
Do you know the Blacked Horned Buffalo whose countenance shows more than spite?
It is there that I am going, with my trusty my rifle at my side.
It is there that I am going, with a trusted, PH that I know.
It is there that I am going, where my son is so close by.

He must go -- go -- go away from here!
On the other side the world he's overdue.
'Send your road is clear before you when the old Spring-fret comes o'er you,
And the Red Gods call for you!"
Mr H of Abilene Texas

"Love bug,
I talked to your folks today. Tomorrow they leave for Africa. I know you're so proud of them for following through and living out your dream even though you have to watch from above. Hey, at least I can't get upset with you when you shoot something! I wish we were camped out in the basement tonight drinking a beer and getting you ready to leave. Wish you were here to see our girl. She looks just like you. Toes and all. Just as stubborn as you too. I will always love you...with all of my heart...no matter what. Enjoy safari.
Love, Me"
Les of Charlotte, NC

"Dear Doyle,

Wanted to write and give you an update on Leslie and Gracie. Both are doing well. Gracie, as you might suspect, is growing like a weed and learning even faster. She dreams about you ya know. Leslie said she woke from a nightmare the other night wanting to see DaDa. So I want you to rest assured that she knows who you are, thinks about you, loves you and misses you very much. We went to a friend's house the other day and some of the kids were sliding down a hill on plastic sleds. At first she wanted to do it and then she didn't, so I got her in the sled with me, her saying no no no all the way and slid down with her. She loved it! She is talking very well but not really contructing sentences yet .... but she certainly gets her point across and knows everything you say. She and her Mom have a very good relationship and seem to be best friends ... at least for the time being. One thing you should know. Leslie and Grace have so many good friends. They are busy all the time. Her neighbors next door to her, Gordon and Beverly, are South African and are always over visiting. They look out for her. Bob and Susan live down the street and have two small kids so Susan and Leslie have a real close relationship. They have dinner together all the time and the kids get along very well. Kim and John used to live next door with their two girls but have moved. Nonetheless, they stop by all the time and always have Leslie and Grace over to dinner. So be comforted son. Your family is well loved, well provided for and doing well. Leslie as you know loves gardening. You should see her back yard! Just bursting with color and vegetables growing everywhere. I think in fact Leslie is becoming somewhat obsessed with plants and planting. Well, I guess it could be worse huh!

We miss you Doyle. Nothing will ever change that.

Love you"
David of Charlotte, NC

"Each day that goes by brings a little smile to my face and a tear to my eye. Because I know now I am one day closer to being with my brother again. I wish very much that he could be here in the flesh to see me graduate and be commissioned as a Lt. in the Army Nurse Corps this Saturday. I will always remember how proudly he bragged to everyone he know about how I received a 4 year army nursing scholarship and was going to be a nurse in the army. Now I have something better than a guardian angel looking over me. I have a warrior and a loving brother."
Michele Hufstedler

"Tomorrow, March 31st, marks the 2 year anniversary of Doyle giving his life in service to his country. Not a day goes by that I don't think about Doyle. Not a day goes by that I don't thank Doyle for his sacrifice and thank God that he left a little piece of himself in this world - Grace Ashley Huufstedler, now almost two years old. I have the singular honor of being able to watch Gracie grow up. Of seeing reflections of her father in her. Her love of Oreo cookies and pulling them apart to eat Her ability to focus on the task at hand. Her determination. And mostly, her love of her mother Leslie. I have watched Leslie struggle valiantly over the past two years. Clawing her way through day to day life. Still not wanting to believe yet knowing that she must go on. Her fanatic devotion to Gracie and her sadness at having lost Doyle. It sounds like a cliche but she and Doyle were meant for each other and it is so sad that they are now apart. I am satisfied that Leslie and Grace will be alright because they have each other. I am satisfied that they will be alright because of the huge support group that has grown around them. And I am profoundly sorry that it came to this. Things happen for a reason though. We can't always understand why as hard as we try.

I wanted to write this note because I love Doyle and wanted to honor him on the anniversary of his sacrifice. Thank you Doyle for giving your all for the American way of life. Freedom."
David M. Chesson of Charlotte, NC

I knew Doyle in the Corps at Texas A&M and he was one of the buddies that I admired most in Warrior Company. We often trained together and I was so impressed with his devotion to country and duty. I heard about his passing a few months before I was called to serve in Iraq. He inspired me to think about others sacrifice everyday I was over there. I am very sorry for your loss, it is felt by more people than you know. I will continue to keep him and his family in my prayers. He was a true Aggie!"
1LT Luke Gorney of C Co, 3-112 AR, 56 BCT, 36 ID Texas

"Thank you buddy. . . I miss you and love you. I will never forget you."
SD of Arlington, TX

"I think about you guys often and keep you in my prayers. Seeing the love that so immediately existed between y'all has inspired me to seek nothing less than that for any future relationship I may have. I have no doubt that Doyle is watching over his baby and keeping her safe. Much love and thanks for the continued inspiration..."
Courtenay Siegfried of Turiani, Tanzania, East Africa

"To Doyle's family and friends - my heart grieves for you. I am so sorry for your great loss. Leslie, my heart especially goes out to you. I hurt for you and all that you're going through; it's a pain I know all too well. My fiance, CPT Ernesto Blanco was killed in Iraq about 19 months ago. You remain in my prayers."
Grieving with you, Michelle Blanco - michellesblanco@hotmail.com

"Doyle Duane and Family

I will always remember Lil Doyle in his Scout uniform and how he would help anyone of the younger Scouts. He loved the military and Texas A&M even when I knew him as his DE in Abilene. On behalf of me and my two sons, Thank You. We will see you in the twilight of every campfire we attend.
Doug, Lance and Donnie"
Doug Lunsford of Miami FL

"Doyle worked for me in Abilene during a summer internship program while he attended Texas A&M. He was a good man, so good that here I am more than a year later compelled to make sure he is not forgotten."
Tom C. of Oklahoma City, OK

"I am so sorry for the loss of your love one . He died a hero defending freedom. May you have 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 talk to or someone to pray with you 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. Your friend in Christ Jesus"
Polly Ballew of Covington, Ga. U S A

"I am so sorry for the loss of your love one . He died a hero defending freedom. May you have 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 talk to or someone to pray with you 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. Your friend in Christ Jesus"
Polly Ballew of Covington, Ga. U S A

"I am so sorry for the loss of your love one . He died a hero defending freedom. May you have 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 talk to or someone to pray with you 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. Your friend in Christ Jesus"
Polly Ballew of Covington, Ga. U S A

"I am so sorry for the loss of your love one . He died a hero defending freedom. May you have 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 talk to or someone to pray with you 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. Your friend in Christ Jesus"
Polly Ballew of Covington, Ga. U S A

"it's been year now ,but still i won't forget where i was on this day .Just last year .when i last saw you in Khaldiyah"

"Thank you for signing with the best outfit in Aggieland.

I was in the second fish class (Fall 1970), and am honored to be one of your brother Ords.

Thank you for giving of yourself that I might live free."
Clifton Palmer McLendon '74 of Spring, Texas

"Thank you, Lt. Hufstedler, for your sacrifice. May God be with you and your family. We won't forget."
Sabra Crowe of Lubbock, Tx

"Although I have never met Doyle, I can see in his face a very kind and thoughtful man. I am working on a project at Marin Community College in California. We are each making a 5"x7' portrait of all of the soldiers who have given their lives in Iraq. I"m working from a very small grainy newspaper photo, that is difficult to see. If anyone has a photo of Doyle that they could post to this sight I would appreciate it. I would love to send the portrait to Doyle's wife and daughter, after the exhibition, to thank them for their great sacrifice. Thank you."
Susan Gerke of susangerke@yahoo.com

"I knew Hufstedler (I still can't call him by his first name) back in 1997, when we were fish together in I-1. I just found out today that he had been killed and the grief and shock drove the wind from my lungs. What I remember most about Hufstedler is reflected in the comments of ALL of the people who have left comments here... He was one of the most dutiful, responsible, and compassionate men I ever met. I'm sorry to say that I didn't graduate from Texas A&M as a member of I-1. I'm sorry that I didn't get the chance to see him grow into the man we all saw inside. My condolences to his wife and family and my love to his daughter. Your father was a great man who died doing his duty. We will all miss him very much. I'm honored to have known him."
Dallas Hall of Austin, TX

"Last night I went to a vigil on the steps of the Capitol Building here in Austin, Texas. There was a roll call for all the soilders who died in Iraq. I was honored to read the name of Doyle M. Hufstedler. As I stood with over 250 other individuals for ten minutes of silence and looked at his name and picture, I felt complelled to contact his family to pay my respect. I never knew your son, husband and father and only just heard his name last night. But from reading all the other messages, it is clear he made an impact on many. My thoughts are with you."
Nicola Britton of Austin, Texas

"I want to offer my condolences to Doyle's Wife Leslie, his daughter, and his family. I was informed late about Doyle's sacrifice for his country after returning from Iraq. I'm still in a state of shock. I want to offer my condolences and prayers to all of you. I knew Doyle in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M. He always kidding me about being a Batallion Commander in the 2nd Brigade even though I was going to be a Navy Officer. He was a man of integrity and professionalism. I will keep Doyle's family in my prayers, and I wish I could offer better comfort to his wife and child. Let God be your comfort and he will get you all through this. I firmly believe will see him soon. God Bless You all.

LT Jeremy Huff, USN"
LT Jeremy Huff, USN of Corpus Christi, Tx.

There are no words that I can say to express my gratitude to your wonderful loving husband. He will always be an important person in our lives, and we appreciate the love he has always had for our country. Because of amazing people such as Doyle, we will remain a strong, free country. Thank you for being such a stong wife to a husband with a huge dream. We love you dearly."
Traci of College Station

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

"Personal comment from Mike Herd

Here at BPA, our hearts are saddened greatly by the loss of Doyle M Hufstedler, III. He was known to family, those close to him, and to those of us who watched him grow up as "Little Doyle". I remember Little Doyle from Boy Scout meetings and events and from my personal relationship with the Hufstedler family. The Hufstedler's were tacitly adopted by me as my second family because they are as close to me as any kin could be. The honor and goodness that runs through the Hufstedlers shone forth in Little Doyle's life. The ever present smile and the contagious happiness could not help but touch all those who he encountered.

Little Doyle was a good friend to my son Chris and brought much joy into his life. Chris would often tell me of the fun times that they had together on Scout outings and how he admired Little Doyle. For that, I was very grateful.

Before deploying to Iraq, Little Doyle, his wife Leslie, his mother Kathleen and his dad Big Doyle and uncle Duane visited us here at BPA. The gals spent time together riding horses while we guys spent time on the range training and shooting. Little Doyle specifically wanted a little extra M-4 training to prepare him for combat. We had a great time and wonderful fellowship.

Just before shipping out, Little Doyle called me on the phone and thanked me for the good time he had out here and for the tips he learned. He didn't have to make that call, but he did. He included ME on his "Thank You" list. I was not really surprised at that. After all, that was the type of considerate person he was. He told me that he was amazed by how little the guys in his new outfit new about weapons handling, but that he was going to change all of that. I feel sure he did. That was the last I spoke to him.

Doyle, I must now call him that, for he definitely took on the mantle of a grown man, was a man of honor, courage and great generosity. He gave of himself with a smile and unselfishly. He died defending us all, and for that, we should all be grateful. Doyle we miss you and wish you joy in Heaven until we see you there later. God bless and Godspeed!

Michael J. Herd
Director of Operations
Bradshaw Pistol Academy"
Michael J. Herd of Bradshaw, TX

"I have made a quilt block in Doyle's honor to be included in the KIA Memorial Quilt

I hope this shows my appreciation and sorrow at your loss."
Kristie Jones of Houston, TX

"There are no words that can express my deep sorrow of this tragic loss. Not only was Doyle a great person, but also a “Giant of a Man”. Doyle was a great roommate and true friend of my son. They lived together as they crammed 4 years of college into 5 years! They made each other better! I know for a fact that my son is a better man because of Doyle’s influence. Doyle’s contagious smile and care for others is something that I will always remember. You are a True Hero that has given your life for this great nation! Thanks Doyle---you will not be forgotten!"
Waddy Wadkins of Cypress, Texas

""The Sacramento Texas A&M Club will be honoring Doyle at our local Muster Ceremony on April 21, 2004. The club together will answer “here” when Doyle’s name is read during the Roll Call for the Absent. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of Doyle’s family and friends.

Sacramento A&M Club Muster - Wednesday April 21st, 2004
Lionsgate Hotel - Sky Room at McClellan AFB
3410 Westover Street
6pm: Happy Hour/Dinner
7pm: Muster"
Matt Kibler of Sacramento, CA

"Dear Doyle,

I only really met you once, but I will remember forever your winning smile and the kindness you showed to my pesky little daughters. You were a great favorite of my son, who was a sophomore when you were a fish, and oh, the stories I have heard about what a gung-ho, cleancut, fun-loving and dutiful Aggie you were! Doyle, I've never heard anything but good about you. Your Mom and Dad raised the finest son possible! God bless you, Sweetheart, and give you Peace and Joy in his loving arms."
Syler Womack of Eustace, Texas

"Doyle was a good man, I was a cadet with him and I know that he was a soldier that was admired by all of his soldiers. His family will be in my prayers."
1LT Peter Norris of FOB Normandy, Iraq

"I am class of 01' and former member of the Corps of Cadets, Although I did not meet Doyle, I remember him from 4 years of encounters. No words can ever mend what his wife and family are going through. My prayers are with you, and I know that it is because of Men like Doyle, we live in a safer place. What do I know about the battle field....? Just that I did not have the courage to sign a contract, and he like many other of my buddies did. I am sorry, really sorry about your loss."
Melissa C. De Luna of New York, New York

"I don't even know how to begin thanking Doyle for his sacrifice. Doyle was a great son and brother, a good friend, and a wonderful husband to my best friend. Baby Grace will be proud to know that her daddy stood up for and faught for what he believed in. He is one of many true American heros who have given their lives so freely for this great nation. God bless you Doyle!"
Holly Terry of College Station, TX

"I am the father of Leslie Anne Hufstedler, wife of Doyle. We would like to thank everyone for all of the wonderful kindness that has been shown the families of Doyle. It goes without saying that Doyle's loss leaves a hole in all of our lives. Doyle was doing what he had prepared for his entire life. He was proud of his country and what it stood for. He gave his all. This is how Grace Ashley Hufstedler will remember her father. He is an true hero."
David Chesson of Charlotte, NC

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

"Dear Doyle,

As your 7th grade English teacher, may I say how proud of you I am? For more than 10 years, I've told anyone who will listen about the hardest-working student I've ever seen--YOU! Although your teachers would all like to take a tiny bit of credit for the man you became, we can not. All the praise goes to your fantastic family and to you.

Your funeral was beautiful and touching. You would have been proud of Leslie and your family. The program mentioned your incredible resolve, and that's the word! (If Doyle wanted it, he could achieve it.)

I'm sorry you never got to hold Grace. We will all be sure to tell her about you. She will know how special her Daddy was.

Thank you for being a great role model for the young people of Abilene...and for all of the grown-ups whose lives you touched, as well.

See you in Heaven,
Kristy ("Miss Hicks") Coker"
Kristy Fowler Coker of Abilene, Texas

"On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincere condolences to you. We share the same loss...the same pain. Our prayers go out to you and we thank you and your brave son for making the ultimate sacrifice.

From the Family of Capt. Ernesto Blanco-Caldas, KIA Iraq 12/28/03"
Gloria Caldas of San Antonio, TX

"May God embrace you in your time of grief and be with you all. My nephew, Sgt. Ryan Young, also from Fort Riley, died in December the same way. My heart goes out to you all. Thank you Doyle for dying so we can live freely. You will never be forgotten"
Maureen Ledet of San Angelo, Texas

"To Doyle's Family:
There are no words to express our deep sorrow for your loss. Maybe God bless you all."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"To Doyle's family,
I am so sorry for the loss of Doyle. This is a difficult time in our world and your son did an honorable thing by standing up to the evil of terrorism. Please accept my depest sympathies."
mark reif of winchester, VA

"Thank you Doyle Hufstedler, 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 1st Lt. Doyle Hufstedler:
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 Doyle 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 1st Lt. Doyle Hufstedler:
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 Doyle, 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