Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Cpl. Forest J. Jostes

22, of Albion, Illinois.
Jostes died in Baghdad, Iraq, when his unit was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Died on April 4, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Cpl. Forest J. Jostes.


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

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"I was great friends with Forest, we used to hang out in our small town. I am very honored to have spent many times cracking jokes, having fun, just being crazy teens. I will always honor his bravery and his sacrifice. God Bless his family."
Joe Clark of Toledo, OH

Stephanie of Bone Gap, IL

"To the family of Forest Jostes. I want to say that I as sorry for your and our loss. I was a medic assigned to 1-82FA. I knew your son and would always go out to do medical coverage for the NBC chamber with him when we were getting ready for deployment. I would always be there for the entire training and what most people didn't know was at the end of every session he would put out a challenge to anyone that he could stay in the chamber the longest without a mask on. And never failed "He always won" The soldiers that took him up on his challenge would come out with snot all over their face, their eyes bloodshot, coughing, gaging, puking ect... and then Jostes would walk out like no big deal and ask them "what's the matter?" He was so used to it from doing the training so much. He was almost immune to it. Great fun and laughs everytime. That's why I volunteered everytime I got the chance to do NBC coverage. Good times! He will definetly be missed."
SSG Jeff Dykes of Fort Knox, KY

"To the family of:Forest J. Jostes
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" 1-7-11"

"To the family of forest. I served with CPL Jostes while in 1-82 and we used to hangout and crack jokes on each other in the field. I was just thinking about him and I want everyone to know that he will never be forgotten. R.I.P"
SSG Joshua Shackleford of Ft. Sill, OK

"CPL Jostes, man you were the toughest around, why did you let this happen? I was concerned about Sheehan, but you? I cannot believe this!"
Mel Palacios of Inglewood, CA. US

"March 29, 2009
To the family of Cpl. Forest J. Jostes:
Forest 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 Jostes family, My is Sylvia and my son died on that same day as Forest. I just want you to know that on this April 4th 2009 I will honor all the guys that died with my son Spc. Robert R. Arsiaga. I will never let them forget the sacrifice that our guys and all the other give for our freedom. Thank you Cpl. Forest J. Jostes.
Here is my e-mail address sylviammacias@yahoo.com if you want to leave a message"
Sylvia Macias of Midland, Texas

"I went to school for several years with Forest i still remember in grade school when he fell off the monkey bars and broke his arm. He is still greatly missed i still have his picture that he gave me our senior year in his uniform hanging on my wall in my house. My Girls ask me who he is and i reply "A great guy that fought for your freedom" He will always be greatly missed"
Courtnay( Meserole) Duvall of Grayville IL

"As April 4 approaches, I find myself thinking about Forest and his family. I have went to church with him and his family since 1996. I remember the last time I saw Forest was in church. He came with his mom just a couple of days before he shipped out. At the end of the service they brought him and his mom down front so we could show our appreciation and love to this young man before he left. I never dreamed when I hugged his neck, it would be for the last time. I remember telling his mom that I didn't know how she could stand letting him go. When I received the news that Forest had been killed in action, I went to pay my respects to the family. I will never forget the way the family comforted the very people who came to do the comforting. As always, the family is in my thoughts and prayers daily. And Forest will always be missed. The day he died, we can truly say we lost a good man."
Friend in Christ of Albion, IL

"I went to High School with Forest and we played basketball together our senior year. He was always positive and a fun person to be around. I am grateful for his bravery and sacrifice, and he will be greatly missed."
Cheney Haycraft of West Salem, IL

"Cpl jostes was a great man he lifted our spirits in hard times and made our lifes seem easier when we was depressed. I served with him in c-btry and he is always going to be remembered in my heart. I tell the stories about things that happend there to my children and i walyays make sure they know bout him and casey"
Cpl Justin Johnson of ft sill ok

"My name is Larissa and I live in Washington, Illinois. My mom wears a memorial bracelet of a fallen soldier from the vietnam war and i've always wanted one. I found the website and decided to get a bracelet in memory of forest jostes. We have some very close friends who are in iraq right now and we also do a thing that we adopt a soldier out to family and friends and they send them what they need or just want. It helps them tremendously and also makes me feel like i can do something to support them. I would love to have more info on forest and maybe even a picture if at all possible. Llotsacats5@yahoo.com
With much love,
Larissa Osborn of Washington, Illinois

"i went to school with Forest and we both attended the same church. i am grateful that Forest wanted to fight for his country, that he wanted to fight for the freedom of a people he did not know and i am especially grateful to his family, in showing a Christ-like attitude in their reaction and handling of his death and the situation in Iraq. i remember all of you, even my fallen brother in Christ. grace to my friends each day!"
rachel kinsey of sparta, wi - USA


"jostes was a good man. He was there for anyone who needed him."
Spc anthony zanny of Dayton, ohio

"Thank you all for the amazing messages you have left here and and for the praying and the thoughts that you have extended our way thank you very much for the memories that you have shared and the love that you express with your messages"
Ben Jostes (Brother of Forest) of Albion, Il

"My name is Cameron Schilling and I have started “Portrait of a Soldier” which donates a portrait sketch of every Illinois soldier who has fallen in Iraq or Afghanistan. All 122 sketches will be on display for a Memorial Day Presentation in Chicago, Illinois on May 26-31 at the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. After the ceremony the sketches will be given to the immediate families of the Illinois soldiers. I would invite any friends or family members to come and honor these men and women from Illinois who have given their lives to our country. For more information please contact OperationHomeFront.org at 866-417-8889 which is an organization headed by the Lt. Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois who is in charge of the Memorial Day Presentation. Thank You.

Please check out www.portraitofasoldier.org
To contact Cameron email cameronschilling84@hotmail.com
To contact Operation Home Front call 866-417-8889"
Cameron Schilling of Charleston, Illinois

"Jostes was the first person I met when I arrived at Ft. Hood. He then became my FDC Chief and taght me everything about my job. I didn't respect most of our chain of command because of there decision making but he was different. He listened to soldiers problems. I had always complained to him because I had to carry around m-249 machine gun and he always said " Cosmo that weapon will save your life one day." Well it did. Jostes and I were back to back in that humvee when it happened. Before we left the gate an NCO tried to trade weapons with me and Jostes stopped him and said to me "remember what I told you?" then as we were leaving the gate he said "Cosmo I said 1 for you" I said what? he said a "prair". That helped give me confidence. He was like a big brother to me and if he had'nt been on that machine gun I might not be here. I'm sorry for the family I would like to get to know you all. God bless you all. One Luv Bro"
Joshua Cosme of Dunkirk, NY

"My name is Cameron Schilling. I am a college student from central Illinois. I am the first generation of my family not to serve his country. I am extremely grateful for the sacrifice you and your loved one has given for the United States. I am disappointed by the way the news media has covered this war and the deaths of our youth. The media has stopped listing the names of the soldiers killed in Iraq and people only talk about the soldiers when we reach a specific milestone in deaths. If you just started watching the news today you would not even know there is a war going on. Partisan politics have replaced coverage of our young generation who have traveled to a foreign land in the name of the United States. Whether you believe the war in Iraq is wrong, right, justified or not everyone should pay even just a little more attention to what these young men and women are sacrificing. This is what I would like to do. I want to do my part in honoring these soldiers and their memories. Along with being a college student I am also a budding artist. I draw pencil portraits of local people in my community. I want to offer a pencil portrait sketch to the immediate family of every Illinois soldier killed in Iraq. Please contact me at cameronschilling84@hotmail.com."
Cameron of Illinois

"Forest was a fellow NBC NCO with me when I was based at hood. When I heard the news I was awe struck. He was a good friend and a great person, and I will miss him very much. NBC (Nothing But Chilling) all the way my friend."
Spc Jonathan Harowicz of Ft. Campbell, Ky

"Forest was my FDC chief in Iraq and we worked hard to ensure we were ready through hours of training at Fort Hood and in Kuwait. He had the best sense of humor in the worst of situations which enabled us to drive on with the mission with grins on our faces. I swear I see him sometimes here and there, but it is never him. He was a great soldier and a great guy to be around in good times and bad. He died valiantly trying to save others."
1LT Joseph Esensten of Fort Hood, TX

"To the Family of CPL Jostes:
My friends and I have constructed a memorial to the service men and women from Wisconsin and Illinois who have died in Iraq which includes, as of 7/12/05, 112 crosses and Stars of David. We would like your permission to put Forest's name on one of them.
We have called our display "Arlington Midwest" and it is located in Wisconsin Dells, WI.
It is our expression of mourning for the indescribable loss you have suffered for our country.

If you would like us to do this, please email me at ArlingtonMidwest@yahoo.com.

We invite you to visit Arlington Midwest. I can send you directions and some pictures by email.

"As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us,
as we remember them."
Marty Preston of Wisconsin Dells, WI

"I have heard nothing but good things about Jostes .... I wish I could have met him RIP always"
Michelle of Ft. Hood, TX

"My uncle Forest was there when I was born. He fought for freedom and he made it safer in the world. My favorite moment with my uncle bodie was when he told me to keep trying and never give up. I miss him everyday more than the day before. He was nice and if you knew him he was a great friend. I love him and I wish he could read this and call me a silly head."
Reilly Allison, age7 of St. Charles, MO

"im spc andrade i was in the same unit jostes was in. well im still here i hope his family is doing good. jostes was a good guy n a good friend. take care n glod bless u"
christian of iraq

"Our family has known Forest for sometime now. He use to work here in Albion for my mother Sherry York at CJ's Mini-mart. He was very funny and always made people laugh. Our family is realy great friends with his younger brother Ben Jostes. From my understanding Forest did what he loved and done it well we will miss him. To his mother and father and 2 brothers and sister our prayers to you. Ben you truly are a spitting image of him and God will always be behind you and your family. Love You"
Chinna, Peule, and Jayla Rogan of Albion

"I knew Forest from church in Albion and I went on a few of our church trips with him. I remember him as someone with a good sense of humor and a great heart...which I know he got from his parents and so did his siblings. I remember him with a smile as I think of the few times I spent with him and our friends from church. He is greatly missed and I will always remember him...And, I will continue to pray for his family and the rest of his friends...God Bless the "Lil Soldier Boy.""
Tanya Weaver of Albion, IL

"Rest in peace Forest.You will never be forgotten. My son Michael is still in Iraq. He is in the same unit as Forest was. My condolences and prayers to the family of Forest."
Angie Welch of Lawton,Oklahoma/ USA

"im in C"rock" now currently in iraq. i am farely new with the army but the short time i was at ft.hood he lived across the hall from me. he was an awesome person and a great soldier. hey cpl. ROCK STEADY"
christian(rookie) of iraq

"I have known Forrest since he was 11 or 12. He was wildly funny, and I miss him a lot. We lost contact after high school, and I didn't know he was over in Iraq until it was too late. My prayers are with his family every day."
Kristen Huff of Libertyville, IL

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

"Hello my name is Kelsey Gillis and I had met Forest Jostes in February when i visited my brother at Fort Hood; he lived in the same building and is also in the same unit; my brother is still in Iraq. I just want to let the family know that I am sorry for your loss and that it is an honor that I got the chance to meet him. He will always be in my thoughts and prayers."
Kelsey of Pittsford, NY

"I was in the same unit with Jostes before they were deployed in March. I got out in Nov of 2003. I can't believe that Jostes is gone. He lived right down the hall from me in the barracks for nearly a year and a half and we spent plenty of time together. I think of him everyday...i miss him everyday. His family is and will be forever in my thoughts and prayer. He loved it...he would have done nothing else. Never forget the ones like Jostes who have fallen...that is the price payed for the freedoms we enjoy...that is the price he payed for us. Jostes...forever and always...Hooah!"
Adam Smith of Killeen, TX

"Forest was a great guy. I knew him for only about 6 months but I'm still glad that I got to know him a little bit. Everytime I goto the place we always hung out, I think of him, everytime I see the pool tables I can see him standing there. I didnt know Forest as well as others but I would like to say that he left a lasting impression on me. As long as we always try to remember Forest, he will not be forgoten."
Sandy of Ft. Hood, Tx

"Forest we shared MANY memorable times , and i thank God every day that i got to say goodbye to you the night you deployed. Thank you for being a hero and dying for the very freedom we as Americans are enjoying right now. You will forever live in my heart and in my memories, may you rest in peace. Love you Always"
Rhonda Davis of Fort Hood, TX

"to the family of forest jostes. 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, Forest, 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 Forest Jostes, 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 Cpl. Forest Jostes:
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 Forest 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 Cpl. Forest Jostes:
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 Forest, 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