Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Ryan D. Jopek

20, of Merrill, Wisconsin.
Jopek died of injuries suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his convoy. Jopek was assigned to the Army National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry Regiment, Waupun, Wisconsin. Died on August 2, 2006.

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

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"10 Years Ryan, and we have not forgotten you. Your family, friends, and fellow soldiers are doing a great job keeping your memory alive. I am sorry we couldn't bring you back home to them. Please forgive us. We miss you. God Bless!"
CPT Jason Reiman "LT" of Camp Douglas, Wisconsin

"10 Years Ryan, and we have not forgotten you. Your family, friends, and fellow soldiers are doing a great job keeping your memory alive. I am sorry we couldn't bring you back home to them. Please forgive us. We miss you. God Bless!"
CPT Jason Reiman "LT" of Camp Douglas, Wisconsin

"Dear Jopek family: Yesterday our school participated in a live Skype chat with Ryan's father. We at Wescott School in Northbrook, IL. honor Ryan and the other service men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Learning the story of Ryan's truck "Walter" from our fellow teacher Sharon Latek was an inspiration. Thank you again for allowing us to visit with you, Mr. Jopek. We also appreciated you displaying a Chicago Bears banner behind you during the Skype chat, right there in the heart of Packer Country. God Bless."
Bill Vaananen of Deerfield, IL. USA

"To the family of:Ryan D. Jopek
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""

I still remember where I was when I heard of your passing. Im sorry we didnt bring you home-
A Co 2/127 INF Light"
of WI

"Jopek, I've come full circle of where we first met, at 5/15 CAV here at Ft. Knox. I remember the times that we all endured which strengthened our comraderie and friendship, as it said in out chow hall for C Troop 5/15 CAV, "First in, Last out", I know that when i look behind me, you, as well as the other brothers we lost will always have our backs.

SGT Craig Tharp, class 11/2004 C TRP 5/15 CAV
FT. Knox, KY"
SGT Craig Tharp of FT. Knox, KY

"I have no words to explain what you mean to me, SGT Ryan Jopek. I did not serve with you Ryan, I was already home, trying to find my peace when I was called upon to do the most honorable mission I will have ever had, your CAO. Losing you, meant that I was able to meet the greatest family I have ever met under the most awful conditions. I would give anything in the world to change that and to have you here with us today. You are with me every minute of every day that I am on this earth - you brought me closer to my children and family (and your family)than you will ever know. I will keep in touch with your family always and visit you often. Godspeed Ryan, you are missed dearly by all of us."
LTC(R) Troy Torgerson of Mosinee, WI

"To the family,

I did not know Ryan, but I went to this site today, Memorial Day 2010, and looked for a fallen hero from my home state of WI. Ryan's name was the first I saw. My heart goes out to you as we honor our fallen heroes on this day. Even those who do not know you are remembering, honoring, and wishing this website and this holiday did not have to exist."
P. Weaver of Madison, WI USA

"I have not forgotten your personality and that smile. Thank you for coming into my life and for serving beside me."
CPT Boatwright of FT Sill OK

"July 3, 2008
To the family of Sgt. Ryan D. Jopek:
Ryan 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

"Ryan & Family, I never got the chance to meet you, but you are a true hero. You inspired one of my closest & dear friends to my heart, Brandon Pickett, whom I think of as a son, to join the Army & give us the freedom that you so bravely faught & sacrificed your life for. I know he will be as good of a soldier as you. It has been almost 1 year since your death, but not a day goes by in this small town of ours, that someone doesn't mention you or your name. Rest In Peace Ryan, you are more of a hero than you will know. You are greatly missed by your friends & family, and even by people you have never even met. You are an angel of God, looking over all of us, until we meet again."
Patti of Merrill, WI

I would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones,I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

"Les Terribles"(127th Inf. Motto)"

"To Ryan's Family,

Your son's loss will always be remembered by people in this nation who never take a day of freedom for granted. I don't have to have met your son to know he was a patriot. It is because of him and others like him that our nation is the most powerful and most free on earth. God's richest blessings of comfort to you all as you remember his youth and honor his sacrifice."
1LT Liz Nitardy of Cambridge, WI USA

"Thank you Ryan Jopek, 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 Sgt. Ryan Jopek:
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 Ryan 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 Sgt. Ryan Jopek:
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 Ryan, 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