Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Sgt. Bradley S. Korthaus

28, of Scott, Iowa.
Drowned while trying to cross the Saddam Canal in south-eastern Iraq. He was assigned to Engineering Company C, 6th Engineer Support Battalion, 4th Force Service Support Group, Peoria, Illinois. Died on March 24, 2003.

Korthaus, the son and grandson of Marines, "was raring to go" into combat, says his grandmother Marietta Smeaton partly because, as a bachelor, he thought it was his duty to risk his life before men with families. He drowned along with Cpl. Evan James while crossing the Saddam Canal.

Source: MSNBC/Newsweek

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"Its been 20 years now. My apologies I haven't stopped by in many years. Its not that I have forgotten but there have been many times I have not been near a computer. R.I.P. Marine, prayers for you and your family. I just left a message to Cpl James as well Semper Fi !"
Sgt Z of former 6th ESB Motor T of Phx, Az

"We just arrived in country with 6 marines and a handful of corpsman trying to set up a cash. I was a comm guy 19 young not knowing what’s going to happen. As we were setting up camp the sandstorm hit. I’m sure if you were there you remember it was horrible. At that same time 2 marines arrived that had lost their lives. Reality set in. These marines had to stay with us because the visibility was so poor. I remember sitting by them praying this storm would stop so we could get a chopper in to bring them home. It’s been almost 20 years and I still have not forgot about them."
Eric of NY

"Sgt Z. again. sorry so late for the message. It's March 28th 2016. It's been a hard week for me and I have made the time to make it here. I haven't forgotten on what day it fell. I just couldn't bring myself on writing. I finally got the opportunity today, just to let you know you are not forgotten still. God bless. Marine."
Sgt Z of Former 6th ESB AZ

"Hello Devil Dog, It's SGT Z. I knew this day was approaching soon, tried not to let it bother me as much. The hardest thing for me, is not only can i remember this day as it was yesterday and will never forget. The other is it falls on my fathers birthday, which makes it hard for me to enjoy and be happy. I went to bed tonight, trying to get some rest. As i laid in bed, my heart felt as i was running a PFT and yet not moving, along with a lot of anger. Finally realized today is the 24th of March. As I always do on or about this day, I get out of bed and come visit you and Cpl James. It's 03:15 here in Az and I can't fall asleep. Happy to see other posts on this. Semper Fi"
Sgt Z USMC former 6th ESB of Motor T Phx Az

"I will never forget the sacrifice you made for your country. When I visit my fallen soldier, I always say a prayer for you and your father. God Bless. GSM Mary Ann Soenksen"
Mary Soenksen of Davenport, IA USA

"I will never forget the sacrifice you made for your country. When I visit my fallen soldier, I always say a prayer for you and your father. God Bless. GSM Mary Ann Soenksen"
Mary Soenksen of Davenport, IA USA

""Its Sgt Z. again. Another year has passed and you are still not forgotten. Again I cannot fall asleep. These months are still a struggle, it seems like it was yesterday after all these years. It's 2014 March 25th now.
"Never forgotten, c u next year Devil Dog.
Sgt Z former 6th ESB Motor T of Phx, Az"

"To the family of SGT Korthaus,

My name is SGT John Nyehart. I was 6th esb with brad in Iraq during OIF 1. I did not know him personally but I was one of the marines who inventoried all of his equipment before it was sent home. It was very hard on everybody in the battalion. I think about him often and will always remember his and your sacrifice. My thoughts and prayers are always with you and know that my unit here in Japan has been praying for your family. He will never be forgotten."
SGT John Nyehart of Camp Zama, Japan

"10 years ago yesterday... Brad, I still rememeber the conversation we had on the phone about a week before you had your "boots on the ground." I still miss you like crazy Big Dog. I recently bought a english bulldog and felt it fitting to name him Bradley... I didnt think you would mind since you and him look alike :-) Well.. another year has passed.. and it doesnt get any easier. Semper Fi Marine.. Sergeant.. old friend.."
Former Sgt. Neas of Union, NJ

"Its Sgt Z. again. Another year has passed, its been 10yrs as of today and once again I cannot fall asleep. I hope you and Sgt. Palmer met again. Tell him he is missed as well. 2013 March 24th, never forgotten!"
Sgt Z. USMC of AZ.

"Never forgotten, c u next year Devil Dog. March 2012"
Sgt Z former 6th ESB Motor T of Phx, Az

"I served with Brad in Iwakuni Japan. My favorite memory of him was when he taught me to drive a stick on the ordnance pad. He was always looking out for me and others. Always willing to help in anyway he could. Every time I get in my car, I'll think of him. He is not forgotten. Thank you Brad. You are missed."
Cpl. Kara Magill of St. Louis, MO.


"”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to the hero’s Mother, Father and/or spouse. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Almost 2,100 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
This is a gift! We have wonderful sponsors who help with the costs, and want you know that everyone here at Project Compassion does and will always CARE.
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com or go to www.heropaintings.com . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Project Compassion - Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"March 15, 2009
To the family of Sgt. Bradley S. Korthaus:
Remembering Bradley on the upcoming 6th anniversary. May Bradley never be forgotten.
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"To the family of Sgt. Korthaus,
I am truly sorry for your loss. I didn't know him but I was in his battalion . I remember hearing about him and Cpl. James and crying, for my fallen brothers and for you, his family...my deepest sympathy."
Cpl. Gonzales (littlefoot) ,Erica of Phoenix, Az, USA

"It feels like I can still see you like I talked to you yesterday, like you're still here somewhere and are not really gone. I never saw the place you drowned, or the ceremony by the water, or the escort from the airport to your resting place. The only thing that makes me think you're not coming back was the worried look you gave me that was uncharacteristic of you when we parted last. I wished you well on your first mission after we crossed the border expecting to see you later and drink some beer when it is all over. When they told us what had happened and that the two of you were missing and assumed, I told my marines that were gathered "good friends and good times, right." they all nodded with tears in their eyes. I said "focus on the mission so they don't die in vain, that's what Marines do" without a tear I concentrated on the War ahead and assumed I would get to see you later. Well, I'm still waiting to see you again and now I'm the one with the tear in my eye and a hole in my chest."
Peoria Marine of Illinois

"May 30, 2007
To the family of Bradley S. Korthaus. Bradley 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

"To the parents of Sgt Bradley S. Korthaus, My name is SSgt Jeffrey L. Murrill. I was the senior water production advisor of 7th ESB and while I was attached to 6th ESB I was the senior enlisted at Water Point Viper. I was there with your son when he died, he was not alone. I have thought of your son and of Cpl James often. It has taken me 4 years to write. I just wanted to say that they are most missed and not forgotten. I planned that water point for over 2 months, coming up with every possibility. I am so regretful for your loss. I too mourn your loss. You raised a valiant son. I wished I could have done more, I am truely sorry."
SSgt Jeffrey L. Murrill of Camp Pendleton CA

"During the invasion of Iraq, I was part of the same battalion as Sgt Korthaus. All of us engineers worked on building bunkers together and then a few days later, he passed away. Our jump CP team's humvee was the vehicle Sgt Korthaus' body was transferred in after the navy divers found him. May you rest in peace Sgt Korthaus. Engineers Up!!!!!"
Pierre Fontecha, SGT USMC of Seattle, WA US

I would like to say thank you to you and the other Marine from your unit(Engr Company C/6th ESB)who also drowned for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"My brother had the honor to serve with Brad before deployment. I never will forget the sacrifice Brad made. You are in my thoughts and prayers forever!

-Semper Fi-"
Peter Forbes of Henry Illinois

"To the family of Bradley S. Korthaus:

The Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation will be honoring your loved one at the non-denominational Memorial Day Sunday worship service at 11:00 a.m. on 29 May. We will remember the casualties of the Global War on Terrorism from Minnesota … and the neighboring states of Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Outside of the historic Fort Snelling Veterans Memorial Chapel will be a “Memorial Garden” filled with white crosses bearing the names of the war dead … including your loved one.

I would like to extend to your family an invitation to honor us with your presence at worship as we pay tribute to the sacrifice made by your service member and family. Our pastor, U.S. Army Chaplain, LTC Kenneth L. Beale, Jr. will preach a message entitled “Remembering Our Freedom.” A former Soldier and country music songwriter and performer “Rockie” will pay a special musical tribute. At the conclusion of the worship hour, all of the congregation will be invited to silently pay their respects at the garden and place poppies at each of the crosses. An honor guard squad will be on hand to fire vollies as the US flag is lowered to half-staff and Taps is played.

As this Christian worship service has traditionally been well attended, we would be happy to reserve seating for you and yours. To do so, kindly call (612/970-7866) and leave a voice message indicating your veterans’ name and the number of persons attending. If you are not able to attend, we pray that you would find comfort in knowing that our prayers are with you and all of the fallen heroes.

Leila Campbell
Administrative Assistant
Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation
web site:www.fortsnellingmcf.org"

"Last fall I oredered a "Hero bracelet" from www.herobracelets.org . The one I received in the mail had the name of Sgt. Bradley S. Korthaus. As I wear this bracelet, every day it reminds me of heroes like Bradley who serve around the world, sacrificing their lives for the freedoms of others. It reminds me to pray, not only for the soldiers and the dangerous situations that they are in, but for the families that they leave behind. Thank you, Korthaus family for your precious loved one and the honor that he has brought. You have made the ultimate sacrifice and I thank you. Please know that my prayers are with you as you near the anniversary of his death. May God be with you and comfort you in these days."
Sherri Wright of Liberty, Texas

"i never got the pleasure of meeting brad. my demo team had a project that his family took part in called Troops Tribute Across Iowa and we thank his family for allowing us to honor him in our way. God bless brad and his family!"
Ashley Farrier (t.c.b. demo) of Washington, Iowa, USA

"Brad, I miss you very much. I think about the talks we had at Coyote and remembering our good times in the Corps. I am leaving for Iraq in a few weeks, again. I voluntered because I feel that I owe it to you and Cpl James to help finish this war we started together. I wear my bracelet every day in your honor Devildog. I'll see you soon. Mr. and Mrs. Korthaus, Brad was a great friend, son and Marine. May God bless your family and Semper Fi."
Sgt. Chris Palmer, Former Marine with Bulk Fuel Co. C 6th ESB of Phoenix, Arizona

"The times in Hatfield will never be forgotten.

Davenport says "Hello" and good-bye."
anonymous of Illinois

"I belong to a group - angels for hope. We would like to send a free angel to Sgt. Korthaus' family. You may check us out at angelsforhope.com. If you send the address to me, I will forward it to the group. The address we have is: Family of Sgt Bradley S Korthaus
Steve Korthaus
5200 Villa Drive
Davenport, IA 52806-3679
but we think we need an apartment or unit number. Thanks so much!! patsykoeneke@juno.com"
Patsy Koeneke of Mesa, Arizona

"To the Korthaus Family~
I will remember Brad with nothing but respect and admiration. He was truly devoted to his duty and serving his country. I will always have fond memories of serving with him in Iwakuni,Japan. I know you are so proud of him. You are in my prayers."
Cpl Susan Hall-Thompson of Detroit, Michigan

"To the friends and family of Bradley S. Korthaus:
What a brave, strong, and courageous soldier your loved one truly was. I wish I could have had the opportunity to meet all these wonderful men. My husband Justin Linden was also KIA in Iraq. I am sincerelly sorry for your loss and I will continue to pray for the families of the fallen soldiers and the soldiers who are still in Iraq daily. Thank you for your sacrifice."
Sarah Linden of Portland, OR USA

"RIP Marine"
Petty Officer Cawthon of RTC Great Lakes, IL

"You could tell your grandson he was smart and brave because he said it was his duty to go before men with families. I would never though someone would say something like that."
7th grade student of Barker middle school

"I fasted and prayed for Bradley today (April 12, 2004). I'm the guy he risked and gave his life for (I have a wife and 3 kids). I can't tell you how much I appreciate his service. I held the largest "Support our Troops Rally" in the country (Las Vegas) March 26, 2003. Over 4,000 attended and we raised over $26,000 which we donated to the USO for calling cards for the troops to call home. We also donated 69,000 sticks of carmax which Fedex shipped for free for the troops. It was one of the greatest events of my life. People talked about their loved ones over in Iraq. It was much needed at the time with all the anti-war protests.
This site tells a little about the rally. I have some extra VHS copies if anyones interested.
I would like to donate $250.00 in Bradley's name. If he had a certian charity, please let me know. It would an honor to donate in his name. Thanks again. God Bless Our Troops.
Phil Randazzo of Las Vegas, NV

"To Remember Them..In loving Memory..Its been a year..

At the rising of the sun and at its going down, We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of Winter, We remember them.
At the opening of buds and in the rebirth of Spring, We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of Summer, We remember them.
At the rustling of leaves and the beauty of Autumn, We remember them.

As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
Rest in Peace Dear Marine!!
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN

"We Will NEVER FORGET !" As the first anniversary of the death of your loved one arrives;
Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering all your family and loved ones in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Bradley, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

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

"Thank you Bradley Korthaus, 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

"Our prayers are with your family during this difficult time. Thank you brave soldier, your courage and sacrifice will nerver be forgotten."
Ken and Maritza Holley of Pembroke Pines, Florida

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Bradley Korthaus:
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 Bradley 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. Bradley Korthaus:
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 Bradley, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera, of Powder Springs, Georgia

"Jesus took his angel back to heaven. Jesus had another mission for this brave Marine. His family and friends will miss him but he will always be with us. RIP Brave Marine. Semper Fi"
The Taylors, USMC of North Carolina

"Thank you for allowing your hero to protect our freedoms!"
Holly of VA

"I've seen a lot, but rarely drowning. I'm so sorry."
Judson of tennesee USA

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on