Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Martin W. Kondor

20, of York, Pennsylvania.
Kondor died in Baqubah, Iraq when an apparent improvised explosive device exploded near his vehicle. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, Vilseck, Germany. Died on April 29, 2004.

Kondor was posthumously promoted to Specialist.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. Martin W. Kondor.


Contributions to the Families of the Fallen


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

Please report inappropriate messages

"Martin you are sorely missed and truly honored. This page is a testament to your friendship, loyalty and honor. RIP brother."
1SG Stephen Roberts, Alphablue 8 A/1-63 3rd PLT 2000-2006 of Fort Carson Colorado

"Thank You to your family member for making my life free. I am 72 and love every minute of my life being active and sharing all positive and laughter. Things are not always what I want but I love what God gives me and never, never forget that your loveone made it all happen every day!. Thank You Again and God is Good!!"
Doris Henderson of Tampa, Fl. USA

"Today we discussed about veterans day in class, and we had to chose a random soldier name and I chose yours. Thank you for fighting for this country, you are a hero in my eyes and the eyes of many. May your spirit live on forever, rest in peace <3"
Yanet Gonzalez of Miami, FL

"its staff amyett, jimmy, to any of the old crew hit me up at jamesamyett@hotmail.com i *ing hate this time of year, i took a year off got married but im going back to make sure dirt monkey momas become sonless for taking kondor away from us, im not nice i drink fight and curse but i swear i honor my soldiers by fighting for them even when no one else willl let me, when i first met martine i that he was a * bag tanker, by the end i just though he was a cockey tanker, and i respect the * outta that, to his mom, once again sorry i lied to you and didnt bring him home, i hope someday i can find the courage to meet you, im just scared of how you will look at me, im truely sorry"
jimmy amyee of arkansas

"Hey man, still doing the whole Army thing. I still think about you and the rest of the guys every so often. I have to laugh every time I hear a cake song or especailly when I hear "Hot for Teacher" come on the Radio. Sometimes they play way too much and it makes me think it's you *ing with me. It might be, it might not be. Anyway... I think sometimes it's as hard now today to deal with losing you as it was the day you died. Feb 11"
David Birchfied of Vilseck, Germany

"I knew and worked with Martin's father, grandfather, uncle, and great uncle at the saw mill 30 years ago. Martin came from a hard working family and it doesn't surprise me that he was a dedicated soldier.

Having lost a child myself I can say that I know the pain and I know that the grief never ends.

My sympathy goes out to Mike and Cher and to Tony, Randy, and the whole Kondor family"
Todd Kinley of Huntsville, Alabama

"never forgotten i should have done more............im so sorry"
jimmy amyett of not close enough to matter

"April 15, 2009
To the family of Spc. Martin W. Kondor:
Martin gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

Hey man, just found this page, and wanted to drop a few words.... I met someone who you might remember.....LTC Dana Pittard.....although he's now BG Dana Pittard. He's my post CG. He talked very high of you, and although I didn't know you as well as I could have, it didn't come to me as a surprise. We will all meet again, so until then be good, and thanks for looking down on everyone."
SPC Southard, Christopher of A 1/11 ACR Ft Irwin, Ca.......and York, Pa

"its been over three years son and i still miss you, wish i could have done more, happy veterans day, you will never be forgotten..........."
jimmy amyett

"I knew your brother well but wish I had had more time to know you. I think about you every year."
Brittany of Red Lion, PA

"Today's New York Times carried a piece by Mike Kondor, Martin's dad. It was so moving and so true to what it is to lose a son. I know, as I too lost a boy at 21, although not in war. My heart goes out to you all who loved him so. It does get better, but it never goes away. As another parent once said: "I'll always walk with a limp." God bless you and grant you peace in the pride you had for Martin."
Judy Tinelli of Falls Church, VA

"Hey Martin,
It certainly has been a while since i last wrote. It doesn't mean that i haven't forgotten about you or your family. I still can't believe that you are gone. My heart aches all the time. I wish i could have taken your place. You will always be in my heart and in my memories. I am sure i will see you again. Hope your watching over all of us.
Miss you man"
Sean Yebba of Everett, MA

"Hey Martin,
And to think I thought I couldn't cry anymore. I miss you buddy. You were right, it is just a state of mind.
Heading back down there very soon, can't help but think of you more and more. I always wished I'd been in your spot instead, but I suppose you know that. Hope you're watching out for me.
See you eventually."
Spc(P) Grant, Joshua A. PSD Rogue 4B of Fort Bliss, TX

"I was present the day that Kondor was taken from us. I find myself thinking of all the friends that we all lost (as soldiers) while being in Iraq. Its a terrible shame to be forced to give the greatest sacrifice a soldier can give... but sometimes that day comes. I send my prayers to the friends and family of Kondor. I hope all is going well. It's been over 2 years since that day. And it will always be in my head. Don't let it be in yours. He is watching over us all and I believe that he would want us all to feel at ease with the loss of his life. Again my prayers are with you all."
SPC Hudelson of HHC 3BDE 1ID

"I asked my little brother about the tattoo he has and he said it was Kondor. His tank driver from Germany. He must of thought a lot of you because he got misty when he told me how you died. Thanks for being Joelís friend. Thanks for serving so bravely. Iíll see you when I get there. If HE takes you to it, HE will see you through it. Rich"
Rich Tharnish of Kyle, TX

"Dearest Martin, Its been two years today since you were so suddenly taken from us.I love you, I miss you, I am so proud of you. There are so many things that have happened since you left that I wish I could tell you. There are so many things that remind me of you every day. Not a day goes by that I don't think about you. We all miss you so much. Your sense of humor, your kind heart, your ready smile. Lynn still wears your ring Martin.
I cant wait to see you again...
I love you dear cousin your my Hero!!!"
Deborah Dellinger of York Pa

"i kinda just found this page tonight, i dont know how long its been since you were takin from us that day, but i still havent forgotten the pain or loss of that day nor will i ever. im sorry i couldnt have done more, but not long after you were killed i went back to the scout platoon where i could do some real damage to the enemy and i made the enemy pay every chance i had for taking you away from your family. to your family i am so sorry, mrs. kondor i know i said i would take care of you son and im sorry i did not, i hope you can forgive me for that. i am so so sorry"

"I did not know you soldier, but I know you gave your life in the service of our great nation. I grew up in York County. May you carry on with the Lord in peace."
PFC Rollin W. Apgar of Glen Rock, PA USA, Currently Assigned to the 615th MP CO, Grafenwoehr Germany, Deployed to Iraq in support of OIF

"hey martin. its been about a year and a half since i left a message on this particular page...i still miss you every day buddy. i can't put into words really anything that i feel. but i do know that i let everyone i ever meet what an amazing friend you were. i wish we were back in kindergarten so that i'd have 15 more years to hang out with you...love ya marty"
Trevor C of York, PA

"In Chagrin will remember you always. Fighting tears, I must keep this short and simple. Thank you for the times we had. Music is forever and you'll always live somewhere in our lyrics."
Pete Mikkelson of In Chagrin

"Though I only served for a brief few months with Martin in basic training I am still deeply bothered by the loss of a great man, friend and soldier. God Bless you and thank you for everything you did!
Dco 2-81 AR BN AUG2002 - NOV2002"
Sgt. Maxey of Glasgow, Ky


"I still come to tears when i think about you bro, i wish i could have taken your place so you could have enjoyed your young life, i'll see you in the next life."
SGT Sean Choy of oakland, ca

I remember the first time I met you in middle school. You jumped a flight of stairs and almost landed on me. What a strange way to start a friendship. Though you never did do things traditionally. HAHA. I remember when you used to teach Heather and I self defense in Keith's basement during band practice. GOOD TIMES!
Tony and I went to see Joe the other week. He's doing well. He's almost as big as you! We sat around and listened to some of your CDs. I wish you had been there.
We all miss you so much. Sometimes I catch myself wondering when you're coming home. But I know I'll see you again. I talk to you a lot and sometimes I swear that you answer me. Maybe you do. I know you'll always be there, watching over us all. I'm honored to have had a friend like you. Always and forever a HERO!
Nicole Shickley of Windsor, PA/ USA

"Hay Martin, This is Allison, I'am now with the 142nd Military Police Company in Yongsan, the Heart of Seoul, Republic of South Korea, it is an adventure. Not quite where I wanted to go. It did not even seem that long ago, but the memories that I have of you still come flooding back to me, and it has only been 1 year. I miss you so much Martin. The promise that I made I still carry. I will never forget you for as long as I live. I'am so proud to have served in this world with the most honored and bravest soldier that I have ever met in this world. I love you like a brother martin. I'll miss you forever, I'll meet you again someday. My guardian angel.
<3 SPC Allison N. Burguess
142nd Military Police Co.
94th Military Police Battalion
8th Military Police Brigade
8th United States Forces Korea"
SPC Allison N. Burguess of Yongsan, Seoul, Republic of South Korea

"To the family of Martin W. Kondor,I am so sorry for the loss of your love one.He died a hero. May you know 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 pray with you please call or write my pastor at Gateway Community Church Rev. John B Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd.Covington Ga phone-770-787-1015"
Polly Ballew of Covington,Ga. U S A

"I dont really know what to say. I Got on the Cky site and read the stroy one of martins friends put on there and it was very touching. He seemed like an awesome guy. I dont even know him and after reading all of these messages on here he is a Hero to me. I would like to thank you martin for fighting for our freedom maybe one day i will decide to serve and do the same and to the family MY PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU"
Mike Grelle of Seymour, Indiana usa

"Hey Martin,
I miss you. It still feels like you are coming home soon, but I know better. I miss our online chats every night and the letters. Wish you could be here. Aaron proposed to me. And Beth got engaged.
I miss those intense relationship talks we had at Kohr Bros. lol. I also got a beamer like your first one. It brings on so many memories when I look at it. I talk to you all the time. I know you hear me. My brother misses you. You guys were like a pea and a pod. It's just not the same without you. I love you."
Samantha Herman of York, PA (4-20-05)

"Dear Trevor,

I apologize for leaving your name out of the address. Please accept my condolences on your loss."
Patrick Lesley of Pearland, TX USA 3/22/05

"Dear Mr & Mrs Kondor, Joe, Lynn-Marie, the Kondor Family and his many friends, Last night, I received my bracelet from HeroBracelets.org. The name on it is Pfc. Martin W. Kondor. I knew it represented the loss of another Hero in service to God, Country and his Family. After reading about Martin, I discovered it also represented the loss of a very special man that every day tried his best to make the world a better place. Please know that I will keep you and Martin in my daily prayers. From this day forward, whenever someone asks me about my bracelet, I will tell them about a hero that wanted to make a difference in this world after 9/11. Yesterday, my wife asked me why I ordered the bracelet and I didn't have answer. Today, I have a better answer, to quote Martin :"That is Why I Am Here". To be another person that can call Martin a Hero and keep his memory alive. Please accept my condolences and prayers for your loss. My email is patrick.lesley@morganstanley.com.
With deepest respect,"
Patrick Lesley of Pearland, TX USA 3/22/05

"Hey man. I will be seeing you really soon. My time here in Germany is almost up. First stop in the USA is York.
The guys just got back in the past 2 weeks- so I finally got to hear all the details from those who were along your side. Made me laugh and cry, and I'm sure you know what the laughs were about. Do I know how to pick a nickname or what?
Just got some pictures tonight from Rod. Man, it brings it all back- your smile, your jokes, all of it. Sadly, being in PLDC I had no way to speak up about getting on the PSD with you. The motherf****rs split us up. When you said goodbye to me before I left for Iraq there was no way to imagine it was for good. If I'd been there, I would have found a way to take it for you. You know everything I have in my heart right now- I will leave it at that."
Sgt. Thomas Van Scyoc of 1/63 AR, Vilseck, Germany

"SPC KONDOR, just wanted to say hello and let you know that we are all thinking about you constantly. It's almost time for us to be going home. We are packing up and the replacements are here. I only wish we could have had more time together, you were a very motivational person in my life...like i said if we only had more time. I still think of you everyday and all the times we sat outside and chatted and those times we shared in najef. Well i hope you are looking down upon us all. I miss you very much. You take care of yourself and i will see you soon.
And to your parents, i am deeply sorry for your loss of such a wonderful son, soldier and friend. He has touched my life in so many ways i can't even begin to describe. There is a part of your son that will remain with me for the rest of my life. If there is anything that i can do for you or your family please let me know. sean_yebba@yahoo.com"
SGT Yebba, Sean P (PSD/CMD GRP) Duke 7D of baqubah, iraq

"SPC Kondor, just wanted to let you know that we all miss you, if I could I would take your place. You were just a unique soldier, with a unique character... always there to put a smile on someones face, a loyal friend just a great person, I wish that I could have said this to your face but I can't. I will remember you FOREVER! You are the bravest soldier I have ever known. It sadens me to know that the world has lost such a great person, To your parents Mr. & Mrs. Kondor... Thank You. You have given a great sacrifice and the USA owes you both greatly. To Martin, THANK YOU for yur ULTIMATE SCACRIFICE! we will miss you. "We Will Never Forget...""
SPC Sunderland, Gregory of Fort Knox, KY (Adams, NY)

Hey, Well it's January now and everyone is gearing up to go home. It's hard to believe how time flew over here. It seems like just yesterday we were leaving Germany to come here. I came upon this site by accident and I was kind of saddened that no one from our platoon wrote anything down, maybe they didn't know about it. I still remember all the talks you and I used to have together, just swapping stories really, and the things we wanted to do once we got out of this retched place. I haven't forgotten about our morning walks to Kuwait at 4 in the morning just so we could go talk to our Girls. One mile there and one mile back! I still remember the last time we spoke. It was yeah that day the 29th and you walked up to the staging area because your truck was getting some air in the tire. I remember you had a book with you that someone sent you and I remember thinking to myself that was weird because I didn't know you read!(as a hobby i mean) So you sat down on the rocks leaning against the Hescoe baskets and began reading. I remember asking why don't you come sit down in the truck instead of the rocks and you just said tha your truck is about to be here anyway. And sure enough it came and we both got in our gunner's hole and got ready for the mission. I remember we always used to give each other thumbs up before we would roll out. Kind of a joke but in the back of my head something more i guess. Everyone misses you man. You were a rare type of person."
Sgt. David Birchfield of Baquba, Iraq HHC 3rd BDE/psd

sometimes as i sit in my room and think about all the times weve hung out in here. all the places we went, the car rides, the talks, the skipping classes to go eat breakfast i sit here and think of what a wonderful friendship we had and i would do anything to bring you back! i miss you so much and somedays i still cant believe your gone. I know ur looking over me and i know that well meet someday.. I just wish you were here because you could always listen to me and give me somekind of advice when i needed it! i love you kid!!! forever in my heart!"
nicole seiple of york,pa

"i dont know martin but he was a brave man.. im thankful for people like him sacrficing themselfs for a greater good. thank you martin and the many other fallen soldiers for protecting freedom. to those soldiers who are still fighting for freedom fight hard and dont give in.. im proud of you all for what you are doing for this world..
to the kondor family thank you for your son hes done well."
grant - cky fan of san bernardino, california/united states

"Martin, You are my protector, my guardian Angel. As I move on from York I want you to know that I will pray for you family, your brothers, your fiance every day. I will forever carry the memories that I have of you and serve for what you stood for. I joined Active Duty Regular Army, can you believe that? No one really understands but I'm sure you do. You know the truth and why. I will soon be serving in Korea with the 2nd Infantry Division as an MP at the end of 2004, I leave 29 DEC 2004 for duty, but you are not left behind because you'll always be in my heart and prayers through Combat and inside my Kevlar, and peace times. I Want you to know I just got promoted to Specialist my brother. I know that you will look down on your fellow soldiers and show them the way, the way to stay alive, to show them the light home, their loved ones, show everyone your light, your willingness, inspiration, that your the #1 soldier and my hero. I will always remember that "we serve others who cannot help themselves," "Of the Troops and For the Troops," "No Rules. That is the rule I live by. If I can dream it. Imagine it. I do it." Rest in Peace and forever in the hearts of everybody's life that you touched.
United States Army, MP
Korea bound status

"Happy Birthday, Martin! I wish you were here so I could tell you. I miss you so much, and I love you even more! Not a day goes by that I don't think of you. I am truly blessed to have known you, even if it was only for a short time. One day I WILL see you again...

RIP my HERO! I love you with all my heart and soul!"
Paige of York, PA USA

To the kid that used to live down the road from me:
I will forever remember you as that kid on the bus, and joe's brother, and possibly the biggest metallica fan in eastern. I can't remember when exactly I first met you, but I know it was on the bus in elementary school (kreutz creek! haha!). And you were always one of the nicest guys in school.When I found out that you were engaged to Miss Notchey I thought- geez that's just like Martin to go for a teacher-hahaha! When I heard the news that you were gone, I cried. I thought of the last time I ran into you outside of Circuit City sometime last winter and you got so buff from the army! God its going to be strange to never see your face again. But I will think of you everyday, and I want to thank you for having the courage to stand up for our country in these times of terrorism. Not many people will so willingly sacrifice their lives for such a cause. For that, I consider you a hero. And I wil always remember you that way. And, obviously I'm not the only one who thinks you're a hero either. They dedicated that building in Iraq to you, and just today I read in the paper that a local artist did a series of works dedicated to the soldiers from PA who lost their lives in Iraq, and who should I see in the photo but you. Can you believe that your heroic efforts will be part of an art exhibit in NYC?? I'm definitely going to check it out. But I've been wanting to do something to honor your memory, and finally the other day it hit me. So here it is:

In Memory of Martin
Around the world he goes
Will he come back? Nobody knows.
Fighting the enemy
For you and me- so we can live
In a world of peace
He's a hero to me!
Wake up tomorrow
He's fighting for what he believes
And in a month
He's fighting for what he believes
And in a year
He'll still be there
Fighting for what he believes
And he's a hero to me!
It still amazes me
Tha he would risk everything
For you and me
To sacrifice everything he has
Without looking back
To look hate in the eye
And not be afraid to die
For what he believes
This makes him a hero to me!
Wake up tomorrow
He's fighting for what he believes
And in a month
He's fighting for what he believes
And in a year
He'll still be there
Fighting for what he believes!
And he's a hero to me!!!
And when I wake up
To hear the news
Of another beautiful soul
We have come to lose
I'll think of his strong spirit
Sacrificing HIS life for YOU & ME!!!
And he's a hero to me!!
Wake up today
He's fighting for what he believes
And in a month
He's fighting for what he believes
And in a year
He'll still be there
Fighting for what he believes
And even after he's gone
He's still a hero to me
Still a HERO to me!!

Rest In Peace- and remember that you're a hero to each and everyone of us! You are missed so much!"
Nicole S. of Right down the road from the mill, Hellam, PA

"To Martin,

Thank you for the laughter we've shared.
Thank you for your laugh.
Thank you for your support.
Thank you for your strength.
I always hoped that one day I could be as strong as you.
You were always one of the few people in my life that I have looked up to.
You were one of the few people I wished to model myself after.
You always gave yourself and your time so willing and selflessly.
Thank you for making time for me.
Thank your for making sure we never fell out of touch, even though we led such separate lives.
Thank you for the happiness that you brought into my life.
The happiness that you brought into everyone's lives that you had touched.
Thank you for living the life that you led, and for being being the person that you were.
And thank you for letting me be a part of it.
I guess what I am trying to say is, Thank you for your friendship.

Martin, I will never forget the time that we spent together. I will always cherish it. To this day we still share the same sick sense of humor. That same humor that we have had in common for all the years that we have known eachother. I have yet to find anybody else that I share that with. I think of you everytime I laugh at something I shouldn't; I still think to myself "Oh! I have to tell Martin that!" Or when I get a dirty glance for the kind of conversation that I am carrying on at the dinner table. I think of you whenever I think up a new plot for my endless horror movies. You know, I always had a spot saved for you when I actually got film some of them. Most importantly Martin, I think of how I never got to tell you how important you were and are to me, or how much I do look up to you. I also think about how much of a shame it is that I, in only the past few years, had come to realize how important you are to me, or how much I do look up to you. Luckily, I had a few years with you when I had realized these things. I do know that you know these things now, if you didn't already. You have read these things off the letter that I have written to you in my heart. And I will keep it there for until the day comes when we will meet again."
Abby of York, PA

"We are so sorry for your loss. We lost Army Spc.Joshua Justice Henry on 9-20-04. This was the hardest day of our lives. We honor these guys as our Heroes and hope no one else has to go through with what we are all dealing with. Rest in peace Martin, and thank you for serving your country to the fullest"
Henry family of Vandergrift , PA

"I did not know him personally but I knew that he was a great man fighting for America. He is truly a hero in many eyes of the local and many more. I want to say Thank You Martin W. Kondor for giving your life for America."
Kayla of Wrightsville, Pa/USA

At BCT I developed close friendships and learned the value of another soldier that I stand next to and am so proud of for serving our country. First I ran with you at Eastern York in Track and now I serve with you and share the very same oath that we've made the same as every soldier that has gone before us, you had joined the Army and at the same time proud to know that someone like you understands. I came home from my drill weekend in May and found out that you had passed from this horrid place to some place better, since then I have thought about you every night and cried myself to sleep, at your funeral it was hard to speak about you, great things infront of your family and friends that sit and grieve the same way I do. As for your fiance, Lynn-Marie, I never knew her, but I'm absolutely sure that she was perfect for you in every way. At your funeral I said that you are her night and day, you will smile upon her from the heavens and continue to love her. One day she'll meet you again and you can share those moments that you had in Germany, and where you meet. For now you will be my Guardian Angel, my protector, I will always remember what you stood for and carry a memory of you in my Kevlar (helmet). I will never forget you and one day meet you again with everyone who's gone before I. 05 NOV. 2004 - 29 APRIL 2004
PFC Allison Burguess
443rd Military Police CO,
324th MP BN,
220th MP Bde,
99th RSC"
PFC Allison Burguess of York, PA. USA

"Martin, you are still in my thoughts everyday. I miss you so much! Tomorrow is my birthday and I know you will be with me! Please visit me in my dreams...I love you!"
Paige of York, PA

"Martin, you will be deeply missed, but never, my brother forgotten. The guys talk of you often, back here at the Dragon Battalion. This is true evidence that you presence here is missed. I can recall some of the times that we talked. I still remembered when we had staff duty together and we talked all night about life, family, and home. What i will miss the most is your great sense of humor. You always put smile on my face no matter how bad it got. We will drive on here, and will take you with us, forever, in our hearts"
SSG Nathaniel R Brown of HHC 1-63 Armor BN

"i love you Martin. you are in my heart forever. we miss you greatly, but we who know you well know that you were doing just what you felt you had to, and for that, we cannot ever repay or thank you enough! god bless you"
Jenn Snyder of York, PA

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

"Martin ,
Still thinkin about you bro. Love you"
Jay Ballard of york , pa USA

"to the KONDOR family; deepest condolences to you and you son. The WAHL family will always hold MARTIN special in our prays. Our sons stationed in Veslick and in Iraq. Our families will miss them very much. Martin was much more then most. Very proud of him!"
leonard wahl of valley stream ny usa

Weather's fine here. I miss our chats, sometimes I sit up at night staring at the computer screen hoping your name will pop up on my buddy list. It was those 3 am chats that got me through my first semester at school, it was those chats that kept me believing in myself because you believed in me. It was in those chats that I made the promise to you to someday be one hell of a lawyer and I intend to keep it, every word of it. I miss you so much yet I feel privileged to have been one of the many lives you've touched. You will never be forgotten and you will always be my hero.

love always"
Me of York PA

"A hush fell over the crowded church as Martin's mother, father, two brother's and fiancee finally sat in the first pew after two hours of hugging, and crying, with friends, family, and the public beside the flag draped coffin. The memorial service was to begin.

Then a lone man entered the back and walked to the front, all eyes followed him. He gently opened a black velvet box and placed it lovingly on top of the coffin. As he turned to leave, the eldest brother stood, embraced him, then shook his hand. The stranger, dressed in a leather vest with tattooed arms, chain studded jeans, and long hair, returned the way he came, leaving behind his Vietnam Medals to a fallen soldier unknown to him.

That is when I lost it.

Martin's twenty year old friends took turns telling childhood stories. One was about collecting rocks, using garbage can lids as shields, and stoning each other. They were fond of BB guns as well, Martin had to have one surgically removed from his head. His friends said Martin was fearless, and kept that bb in a plastic bottle to this day. It seems to me in retrospect, that Martin's play as a child was preparing him for what was to come.

He came home from school one day with a new coffee table for his parents that he made from the door he had broken while rough housing with friends. The school had him pay for the door, so it was his.

"That's what he was doing in Iraq," his father said. "Trying to fix what was broken and turning a bad situation into a good one."

At age 17, after 9/11, he told his parents he wanted to enlist. His mother said she wouldn't sign, he needed time to think about it. The day he turned 18, he enlisted.

His tank commander in Iraq told stories of Martin's bravery. Once when he was ambushed and caught in cross fire, after the smoke cleared and dust settled, there was Martin alive and well, but "four insurgents had met their Maker." They were to be ambushed four times. Twice Martin responded to the call for a dangerous mission, and when leaving the states on one such mission, a fellow soldier's spouse asked him why he would do that. His response was,

"This is what I was meant to do."

He was good at what he did and quickly moved up the ranks to positions of responsibility. His final job being that of a body guard. The last day of Martin's life his commander asked him why he would volunteer for the riskiest position available, machine gun operator on the vehicle. Martin responded,

"This is why I am here."

That decision spared another family a funeral, that position of bravery took his young life. Martin died doing what he was meant to do, he had responded to his call.

Thank you Martin Wilson Kondor for your bravery and your sacrifice."
Sandy McKeehan of Carlisle, PA

Everyone has so many great memories of you. You are definitly missed by all. We are very proud of the way you fought for our country."
Marissa Miller of York, PA

"To Martin's Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for his bravery and sacrifice.


The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne, KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.

Gloria Caldas (his mom) of San Antonio, TX"

"I didn't personally know Martin Kondor, but men and women like him are role models to me. Thank you so much, PFC. Kondor. To his family, I am so sorry for your loss. Our country is forever thankful for men and women like him."
Nicole M. of Spring Grove, PA

I love you so much. You will always be my hero. I will never forget our memories or our future plans. I know you would have come back to us if you could have. We miss you so much, and everyday is a struggle without you."
Lynne-Marie Notchey (fiancee) of York, PA

"Story of a Soldier
By Paige Oburn

He proudly put on that uniform
And stood up for this nation
Knowing the duties he must perform
Never with any hesitation

He fought for our country
Giving all he had; his life
Fighting for you and me
To protect us from further strife

Not once did he ask for anything in return
He did it because he believed
Motivated by his passion that burn
Hero status he has received

Martin, you will live on
In each and every one of us
Though you may be gone
Your memories we will forever possess.

In Loving Memory Of
Martin Wilson Kondor
11/5/83 - 4/29/04"
Paige of York, PA

"Martin u were a good friend and a great person. You left so much behind to do what u knew was right .You gave everything u had and so many people are proud of u for that. You will be missed. I wish the very best for ur family and friends."
Billy Weferling of york,Pa.

"Martin, you were the cool guy I would always run into after I graduated. It's a shame that you had to leave this world so early. I'll definetly miss bumping into everywhere I went. I home someday down the road I'll get to run into you again.

My sincerest condolences go to your family."
Jeremy Webb of Hallam, PA

"Martin, nothing will ever replace the loss we have suffered but the memories and knowledge of knowing you left us doing what you believed was right will keep all of us going. we love you buddy"
Trevor Cohenour of York, Pa

"Martin a great soldier and a great friend. You will never be forgotton and will always remain in our hearts."
Ryan, Joann,and Bentley Blakesley of York , PA,USA

"Martin I will forever be grateful to you! You gave all you had for our country! You were my best friend and now youíre my Angel! I Love You! Thank you for being such a wonderful person!"
Paige Oburn of York, PA

"Martin was such a great guy. we are forever in his debt because he gave his life fighting for me and you, i am proud to say that i was his friend. I love you Martin. i will never forget you ."
Jared Ballard of York , Pa

"I wish all of you good luck as you deal with this situation. I wish I could of told your son, fiance, or your brother how much I appreciated his service for our freedom. Just remember he is with you all the time and he will always be with you. I'm very sorry for your lose and I send my prayers your way."
Ashley Arnold of Windsor, Pa USA

"To Martin's Family:
There are no words to express the sorrow we feel for your loss. May God bless you and help you through this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

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

"Thank you Martin Kondor, 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 Pfc. Martin Kondor:
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 Martin 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 Pfc. Martin Kondor:
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 Martin, 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