Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Capt. John F. Kurth

31, of Wisconsin.
Kurth died in Tikrit, Iraq, when his patrol encountered an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, based in Schweinfurt, Germany. Died on March 13, 2004.

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"Twenty years. YHMH."

"Missing you always - especially this time of year - your birthday and then March 13th. Twenty years since you were taken. How is that even possible? YHMH."

"Nineteen years. You are never forgotten. YHMH."

"6712 days since you’ve been gone. I’ve missed you for every single one and it doesn’t get any easier."

"Missing you always. YHMH."

"How can this be? Eighteen years. I still can’t quite believe we are living in a world without you."

"Your birthday. Remembering you as always, but with a few more tears today."

"Missing you as ever."


"In two days, it will be your birthday. All these years without you; what great things you might have done. I miss you forever."

"Forever missing you."

"Still missing you today as much as when you first left us. YHMH."

"YHMH. Forever."

"Sixteen years. No less painful today. YHMH."

"Missing you always."

"Still waiting for the day when your lost gets any less painful. Thinking of you today as on every other day."

"Thirteen years. It never gets any easier. Missing you always."

"Missing you always."

"I remember sleeping in a cot next to Captain Kurth in Kuwait before we all rolled up to Tikrit. I remember watching him lead his Bushmaster soldiers and realizing he was a leader of men. I remember the good natured jokes they cracked about him. I remember listening to the net when he and Ford died together and standing there for a long time looking at the humvee they spent their last moments on this earth in. I remember poor Bravo company. Badass Bravo company. I think of their families and my stomach churns and my heart breaks. I have a son now, and cant begin to fathom the loss. I'm so sorry. He was a true soldier. Never forgotten."

"Missing you always."

"I worked with Hans as part of the Dagger Brigade headquarters. As I remember, there was never a time when he didn't lift the spirits of all those around him. I only remember him as Hans because we both worked closely with Col Dragon, who never referred to him by anything else. Later I transferred to the brigage's brt. When out at the range in Kuwait, I saw Hans with his company and I took a few minutes to step over and congratulate him on his promotion and to see how he was liking taking command of his own company. He had only good things to say about everyone. It was just a few weeks later that I had learned that I would never see or hear from him again.
My deepest condolences to all he left behind. He will always be remembered.
Renegade Nine November, out."
Shane Wilson of Oak ridge, TN

"Hans, I am a better person having known you. Remembering you this Memorial Day, you are missed!"

"Still missing you. You are never forgotten."

"I hate this time of year. Tomorrow is your birthday and in less than a month, yet another year will have passed since you were killed. I still loathe living in a world that doesn't have you in it."

"Missing you especially at this time of year. You are never forgotten."

"It was a Honor and a privilege to know you Sir, I will meet you at the rally point on the other side. ABATW! D-Co 2/505"
Brian Mogdans of Minneapolis, MN

"Eleven years. It seems like yesterday and forever. I will never forget you."

"Missing you always."

"One of the most down to earth Paratroopers I served with. Airborne!
D 2/505, HQ 2/505."
SPC Rittichier of Houston, Tx

"Hans, you called me Big Daddy, I called you Sir. We tipped a glass, shared some sand on Sicily, many cups of crappy coffee. I think about you all the time. Of all the losses I have personally felt yours was by far the worst, for me, for the Army, for America, but most of all for your family. The best LT I ever worked for, It took me a long time to get to this...
Rush of Citra, Florida

"I miss you every day."

"Never forgotten."

"Not a day goes by that I dont think about you my friend, you were a great friend and an outstanding solider Bushmaster 6."
Doc K "Vanguard 11" of Salado, Texas

"I was driving on Ft. Benning this weekend and drove past a beautiful subdivision. I looked at the street name and it said Kurth Blvd. I may be wrong but I bet it is named in honor of you. I will never forget you. You took me under your wing at Grafenwoehr when you could have been a cool infantry officer too good to talk to the medical folks."

"I still miss you everyday Hans, I wear the hero bracelet at all times that I had made with your name on it. My daughter Kaydence can't read yet, but she knows it word for word."

"03 JUN 13
I met the young 2LT Kurth when he first arrived to Bravo 2/505, FT Bragg. I had the privilege of being his personal assistant as his Radio Operator. Thanks Hans for the many sleepless nights and endless walks we shared together. Through rain, cold and blistering heat. Rangers Lead The Way (RLTW)"
SFC Cata, Tony of Ft Bliss , tx

"to john and retta- i'll never forget "hansie's" bleach blonde hair as a toddler. even then, he seemed mature beyond his years. he was an awesome little kid and it hurts me to read these comments about his passing. i remember years later, hans walking thru the doors of c.h.s. as a soldier to speak to students. i looked up at him and it seemed to go on forever.....he was so tall and "majestic". he certainly carried his pride on his shoulders. retta, neither one of us could believe at first that our sons were going into the army (hans in the 82nd and benj in the 101'st years later). seems as though we carried our "connection" from their childhood all the way into adulthood. however, both with different outcomes. it's so unfair, parents should not have to bury their children. reading these testamonies, i'm again assured what a wonderful son, friend, and soldier that hans was. i hope you find peace knowing that hans passed for our freedom. no matter what others say, i don't think they understand that without our presence in iraq, i'm sure there would be more terrorists raising hell in the u.s.. unfortunately freedom ISN'T free. take care, john and retta and know that i never will forget "hansie"."
deb of columbus, wi

"Nine years. Never forgotten."

"Hey man, it's been a while but I thought you should know, you're still an inspiration to me. God Bless."
Will not forget of MacDill AFB, Florida

I am thinking of you today and even more, I am thinking of your son. You and my husband served as PL's together in the 82nd and I remember you with a smile. I hope that as the years pass your family finds smiles and stories come before tears, though I know they must miss you deeply. I just wanted to say...you touched many people during your time here. And I am keeping your son in my prayers. All the way!"
Julie McGarry of NC

"Eight years. Never forgotten."

"You died in my arms...after having dinner with me....we sat at the same table and watched American Idol together...I breathed for you and my breathing wasn't good enough...I remember carrying your broken body outside just as an amazing sunrise over the Tigirs River cast away all shadows and doubts...I miss you...My life is not worth your death...I try to think of you everyday...but I often fail...

While this poem was written long before you fell, I believe you embody it's essence....Charge of The Light Brigade by Lord Alfred Tennyson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzpW3u8XR6s ...."
Ryan Hunt of Seattle, WA

"Hans, You are still a great friend and are a true hero. Thoughts run through my head when we first left and you had me take over your intel cell for the company when i was just a buck SGT. I will also remember you and you are never forgotten."
SFC Ervine, Kevin D. of Schweinfurt Germany 1-18 Infantry " BUSHMASTERS LEAD THE WAY"

"Seven years. Never forgotten."

"Missing you always, but especially on days like yesterday - your birthday. I think about you all the time. You are never forgotten."

"I miss you always."

"To the family of:John F. Kurth
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""

"To the Kurth Family,

John has not been forgotten.
Absolutely a great leader but a better Man. "Vanguard for Life""
Joseph W. Blowe of Maryland

"Watching TEP. You are the only person who would understand the significance. Wish you were here to bug me about it. I miss you."

"Always remembered."

"God Bless you brother...I'll always be greatful for your service and your sacrifice in the name of freedom. Always remembered, Never forgotten! And always on my mind...it was an honor serving with you."
Stallion One of Houston, TX

"Six years. Never forgotten."

"LT HANS Kurth WHAT A LEADER HE WAS. I came to his Platoon in January 1997 1st PLT BNO 2-205 PIR Ft Bragg, NC. He came directly to me and said "Private Houk get your gear together you will be riding with me" YES SIR was my respone.
We walked out to a truck to take us the the chopper, got to the chopper and he asked me if I had ever done this before.
i said no Sir. can iI be the gunner Sir,..and he straped up to an m60.WHAT A RIDE. We got down to the ground and saked if I was gooda and I yelled HOOAOOO SIR. Good soldier head over to SGT Patterson! That was my first impression of LT Kurth. The last one came when we started working as a team. Day in Day out. He work right beside all them OUTSTANDING NCOs that BNO had..they made us what we are to day..I want to say thank you to CPT Hans Kurth i have never forgotten you. when i came back to the 88nd i was looking for the leader who bumpstarted my career right from the day i signed.
SGT Kevin Houk WAMC 88ND of FT Bragg, NC

"Hans, you were always a leader. Even as I got to know you in high school, it was clear that people looked up to you, admired you, respected you, and that you would make a difference in life. Along with those traits, you treated everyone with respect and as a friend. You are one of a kind - a role model to many, myself included. Your memory will carry on in the many lives you have touched. May your family find peace knowing this."
Mike of Columbus High School Class of 1991

"You are still missed every day."

"I am so sorry for your loss. i have worn John's bracelet for some time and would like to send it to your family. I am a mother of 2 active duty Marines one of them is currently on deployment in Afghanistan. I cant begin to tell you how much we all appreciate the sacrifice your son and your family has made. He will not be forgotten"
marilyn capel of capelmmc@aol.com

"”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! Over 1,800 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 some wonderful sponsors who help with the costs, and only want you know that we 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

"”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! Over 1,800 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 some wonderful sponsors who help with the costs, and only want you know that we 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

"well sir its been 5 years and every year i come on to your page dont know what to say all i think i can say is i wish you peace and i wish your familly peace"
gabriel lodoza

To the family of one of my closest and dearest friends CPT. Hans Kurth. I will try and keep this as upbeat and possitive as I can while I remember a great mentor and friend and also share a few upbeat memories of John and my 3yrs. together. I met Hans on a cold German winter working in the Famous S-3 shop in the (Dagger) Brigade HQ's, Big Red One in Scwheinfurt, Germany. He was a working like a madman as was he's nature, and we started chatting. I worked daily with (the 3 shop) as the Brigade CSM's driver and NCO of the Command Group and one day we started to talk about a certain female LT I was dating, (which is not good for an NCO to be doing with an Officer) and he kept his word an never told a sole. He was straight laced as I noticed in many of the postings but after work we were very fortunate to see Han's other side. He could make us laugh and crack anyone up when we went out after duty hrs. He took his job there in the 3-shop very seriously as an S-3 planner, And I was fortunate to see Hans get his Company Command. I have seen many Captain's come and go in my 10yrs with that Brigade but CPT Kurth was the one that really stuck out the most. I remember the last time I got to really talk him. Me and the nameless Lt. I was seeing happen to be leaving back to the states for a couple weeks together and we ran into Hans at Frankfurt International Airport and you could see that smile a mile away as he was coming up the esculater. He was grinning from ear to ear when he came up and just shook his head laughing. He was heading to the states as well to see his family and that son we always heard about. He talked of his son alot and being a single father myself I definately know that feeling and how sincere he was. I'll never forget Hans and would follow him through hell and back! He taught me alot and mostly how to be a good leader and to(always lead from the front not the rear!) mentality he carried with him. I have his West Point graduation picture hanging on my frig and I look at it everyday. I am now out of the Army after a decade and working as a Veterans Service Officer in Virginia helping veterans, dependents,and parents file their V.A. claims and I believe his mentoring has really paid off in the work I do now. I will always be thinking of you, your infantry brother. May you rest in peace John!"
Jason.McNutt@dvs.virginia.gov of Wytheville, VA

"I think of you always and miss you every day. I visit this site often to remind myself that there are others who realize that the world is a diminished place because of your absence. You are always in my heart."

"I was assigned to B co 1-18 INF from May 2002-May 2005. Cpt Kurth was my Commanding Officer, I would have followed that man through hell. CPT Kurth, "Still on Patrol", RIP, Sir."
SSG Adam Ellsworth of Ft Bragg, NC

"Hans was a true inspiration to all. March 13th was a dark day, but everyone who spent time with Hans was a better person for it."
a friend of Leavenworth, KS

"March 11, 2009
I was there in tikrit when Ford and Captain Kurth were struck by the IED. I've been wanting to write something for years, but never could. We put Ford on our truck, i'm not sure where Captain Kurth was, that night was really confusing to me. I just want to say although I didn't know Captain Kurth well, I think of him almost everyday, for what he stood for. I remember seeing him once before we were deployed and thought how much I wanted to be like that man.

Soldier of Syracuse, NY

"February 22, 2009
To the family of Capt. John F. Kurth:
John 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

"Days and years have passed, but the good memories and the sad have not faded. I hope that they dont mind you sleeping in your office there in heaven..."
A. Bushmaster of Germany

"Sir, you we always there for your airborne soldiers, that is what we will always remember.. "Hans" was my first LT. I had. It was "Bno" 2/505 PIR. I was a Pvt. and you cared about us all, you will be missed. I just found out today of your death. I am sorry it took so long. SSgt Hill just told me.
You are my hero! Thank you Sir.."
Michael Lackey of Seattle, Wa


The good times in Germany will be with me forever. You made an impression on everyone you met. A professional soldier to the end, and beyond. We were friends before you arrived at 1-18 Infantry and friends after I left. I will always remember our last conversation, shortly before you took command. When I heard what happened, I was deployed close to you with another unit. Two former 1-18 officers were with me when we heard, and we were crushed. You are still a hero to your peers. Several deployments on, your memory and family's sacrifice drive me to complete the mission. I hope you and your family know that the lives you have touched will endure. Quietly, I ensure the lessons on life, leadership and professionalism will be passed to my children. In IZ and AF, I attempt to carry on with your mission to defeat the enemy, in your honor."

"I think of you always. You were right about so many things - I just wish I could tell you. I will miss you forever."

"Still missed and still loved. You are in my heart forever."

"The hungry wolf wins the fight sir, I will never forget that day."
A Bushmaster

"I think about you every day - you are still deeply missed by all those who loved you."

"As a retired Lt Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps I wanted to send along my heartfelt sympathy for John's sacrific for his country. I will always remember him in my prayers not only for his gallant service but also because I believe we are related. I was born in Madison in 1936 son of Joe Kurth All-American football player at Notre Dame. He had 11 brothers and sisters all from the Madison area children of my Grandfather Peter Kurth who arrived in US in 1889. God bless you all."
Jerry Kurth 816-373-5823 of Lee's Summit, MO 64064

"I miss you."

"Mr and Mrs Kurth
It is with great sadness that I have just read the death, messages of support and friendships. I have not seen the child, the father and that was to be Mr JF Kurth.
I am standing, Daniel Kurth born on 29/07/1977 in Germany (Düren), I am living in Belgium, I am Trainer management of attak profession and father of a little bit, Tony Kurth. I feel very involved with your loss, because we have very common. Mr and Mrs Kurth, please get my thoughts closest despite the distance that separates us.
Daniel Kurth
Daniel.kurth @ hotmail.com
Sorry for my poor English"
Daniel Kurth of Belgium, Verviers

"I miss you as much today as when you died. I think of you always, but especially today when all Americans should be mourning the loss of the hundreds of thousands of brave men and women through the years who have given their lives for our freedom."

"Thinking of Hans this Memorial Day, you shall never be forgotten.
A family friend of Mooresville, NC

"I'am john f. kurth's son"
john a,kurth of simpsinville,south carolina usa

"Hans and I were LTs together in the 82nd ABN. He was a good friend and I regret we never got to speak again. I was in Iraq at the time of his death. My company lost 3 Paratroopers the same day Hans was killed. I found out about his passing a few days later. He was a great person. My condolences to his family and son on this 3rd anniversary of his passing."
MAJ Mike Gonzalez of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

"Hans, I didn't forget your birthday. I just couldn't bear to come to this site until today - almost a month after you would have celebrated your 34th birthday. And in just a few days it will be the third anniversary of your death. In some ways it seems like just yesterday and in others an eternity since that horrible, horrible day. You are never far from my thoughts and I miss you in ways that words are inadequate to express. YHMH."

"To the Family of Capt. John Kurth:
We sponsored a U.S. flag in honor of Capt. Kurth at a July 4th memorial flag field in Lynchburg, VA in 2006. We fly this flag regularly in memory of the Capt. and all the others who have served our great Nation. We thank you for your family member's sacrifice on our behalf!
The Kuenzi family (formerly of WI)"
Richard Kuenzi of Lynchburg, VA, USA

You taught me alot about leadership. I think about you and Jason everyday. I'm proud to have served under your command and have never and will never serve under a finer officer. I offer my condolences to your family and child."
Ian Hewlett (formerly SGT, B CO 1-18 IN 1ID) of Detroit, Michigan - USA


It was an honor and a privilige to have served with you. You were the embodiment of "leadership," and remain the yardstick by which I measure a leader. Godspeed, Sir...

And... Bushmasters lead the way, Sir."
Doc Johnson of Houston, TX

"I think about you and Ford everyday.
I hope you are in a better place.
Carpenter B co. 1-18 3rd platoon"
Chad Carpenter of Peoria, AZ.

"You are one of the greatest men I have ever met. You taught me so much as a soldier and as a NCO. I will carry with me your memory always. BUSHMASTERS LEAD THE WAY SIR"
Formerly SGT Stephen Shockey B co 1/18 INF of Temple TX

"Memorial Day weekend with all the picnics and fireworks . . . for most people this holiday is simply a day to celebrate the beginning of summer rather than a day to honor and mourn those who sacrificed their future for ours. Those of us who love you and those who loved others who have fallen have not forgotten what Memorial Day really means. You are missed and mourned daily. God bless America."

"I was a high school classmate of John"Hans" Kurth's younger sister Mandy and got an opportunity to get to know him and see the attributes which made him such an amazing human being. After reading some of the words on this site, it is obvious that the same attributes which made him an amazing person helped make him an extraordinary soldier.

I dont' speak to many of my high school classmates any more-we have grown apart and although I had not spoken to Hans in years, the news of what happened affected me deeply and in a way I will never forget.

He was one of the really special people and I will honor him always by never, ever forgetting that."
Joe Hornung of Chicago, Illinois

Today is the anniversary of your funeral. I cannot believe that it has been two years since you died. In many ways it seems like yesterday - as if time has been suspended waiting for your return. I know you won't be back but I also know that your memory has not faded from the hearts and minds of all of us who loved you."

"CPT. Kurth served with me in Kosovo back in '02 - I got volunteered for a radio show we were doing locally as part of the civil relations stuff, he was leading it. I remember very clearly his friendliness, professionalism and sense of humour. The guy was just a great solidier and I will always remember him."
Alex Ambroz of Chapel Hill, NC

"I would give nearly anything to be able to wish you Happy Birthday tomorrow. You are still missed and loved."

"Sir. you were always there to help all the soldiers in the BN I still remember that night I wish our patrol had come through just a few min sooner. I wish only the best to your family left behind and god bless you."
CPL Zimmer C co

"Missing you Sir ......Always in my thoughts"
Sean of Washington

"CPT Kurth was a Not only a commanding officaer but a great man he had a way of bringing stressful situations to a situation that would be able to calm ones nerves and bring a smile to their face. although CPT Kurth is gone he will always remain in all of the Task Force Vanguards Hearts and will always be remembered in our hearts and minds as a true and great leader of men. GOD BLESS HIM AND HIS FAMILY"
SGT Rathbun of HHC 1-18 IN CMR 464 Box 1171 apo,ae 09226

"Hans, thank you for setting the example with your professionalism and your competence. I respected you immensely and valued our time together at Fort Benning. The Army lost an outstanding officer and anyone who knew you lost an outstanding friend."
Mark (West Point classmate) of Los Angeles, CA

"Sir, You have taught me so much and I will continue to make you proud. I will never give up the title as a Bushmaster. I claim it proudly sir. Bushmasters lead the way"
Sgt. Jamie Ausmann

"To the family and friends of Cpt. John Kurth,

I first met Cpt. Kurth as a young E4. He was the Officer in Charge of a small group of paratroopers from the 505PIR enroute home from Kosovo. I was one of those soldiers. Even in that short time, he made an impression on me.

I will always remember the four night stay in Germany that he arranged for us on the way home. How he earned our respect as a commander and an officer, but could still go out for a beer with the troops and be one of the "guys". It was the first time I had really seen that in an officer.

You could just tell that he loved his job...loved the army...and truly was concerned for each trooper under his authority.

Cpt. Kurth was the first person that I am aware of that I have served with who was killed in Iraq. Unfortunately he was not the last. May he rest in peace, and know that those of us left behind, in uniform and out deeply appreciate his sacrifice for our country, and our way of life.

He is gone but not forgotten, and the army and the world will be a better place for having known him.

My sincerest condolences to his loved ones."
SGT Michael Clark of Somerset, MA

"My son, Tracy Laramore called me after attending the memorial service for Cpt Kurth and Spc Ford. He held a lot of respect for both and for the cause to be in Iraq. We cried together on the phone,Tracy had a big heart for all of his fellow comrades. He was always inviting them to visit Texas when they were to be stateside. Two days later, I lost my only child (Tracy) in Iraq. To this day, I still grieve for him daily. Cpt Kurth was a wonderful,caring person to all. May God watch over you. My email address is oma1565@aol.com."
Fay West of Royse City,Texas USA

"Your absence does not get any easier to bear. The world is a darker place without you."

"To the family of Hans Kurth:

My husband served with Hans in the 82nd in the mid-90's. While we were there our then 22 month old daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and Hans came up to see us in the hospital. We have never forgotten his kindness. Our daughter died three years later and my husband left the active military. His guard unit was called to serve in Iraq and when he was there he learned of Hans death. He was deeply saddened by this news and said he would never forget that day when Hans came up to give us support when we were going through some of our darkest days.


The Freitags
Juliet Freitag of Nebraska

"To the Family of CPT John "Hans" Kurth:
We have constructed a memorial to the service men and women from Wisconsin and Illinois who have died in Iraq which includes, as of 6/20/05, 111 crosses and Stars of David. We would like your permission to put CPT Kurth's name on one of them. We have called our display "Arlington MidWest." 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 martypres33@yahoo.com.
We invite you to come 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." Anonymous"
Marty Preston of Wisconsin Dells, WI

"I still mourn you every day. I always will."
A friend

"To the family of John F. Kurth:

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"

"To Mother Kurth:
I feel so bad that you and I did not get a chance to talk. I did attempt to call you, but I did not get an answer. I really wanted you and your family to know how my heart ached for you and the family of Capt. Kurth. Although nine months have gone by, I still feel the empty place in my heart for my son Jason. I thought about Jason and Capt Kurth leaving this world together, having served their country in the most honorable way, and I thanked God that they went to "Heaven" together, one looking out for the other. My prayers will always be lifted for you and any other family who loses a "loved one" in this war. I extend a "Happy New Year" to you and your family, and maybe one day I will try to call you again. May God continue to extend the mercy of peace to you and your family. Until we talk.
God Bless You"
Mom of SFC Jason Ford of Washington DC

"Thinking of you at this time of celebration. May God's blessings be with you. I met you at John's visitation. I was a second Mom to Robert Cook (Afghanistan 1-29-04).
Please feel free to write anytime.
Candy of Poynette, Wi

"To the family of CPT John Kurth - I am a soldier in B 1-18 INF "Bushmasters" who had the privelege and honor of serving with CPT Kurth here in Iraq. He was the epitomy of everything a Company Commander should be. He was an officer of the highest caliber and absolutely the most loved, admired, and respected man in the company. His sacrifice is the reason I am still here."
SSG T.J. Westphal of Tikrit, Iraq

"To the Kurth Family,
I think about you and Hans daily. His memory will never be forgotten. I share his bravery with all my students. God Bless."
Amy Breuckman of Antioch, IL

"I know that Capt. Kurth was a wonderful person my brother Spec. Jason Ford spoke of him just days before that tragic day. I know that we all are still going through and it is very hard. But just like John and Jason we must look after each other now. That is how they would have wanted it. My brother Jason told my mother and myself on several occasions that the soldiers were his brothers and sisters too and they looked after each other no matter what and I believe that to this day. Our family members sacrificed the ultimate to protect us and I am forever grateful. I miss Jason and everyday I cry but then I SMILE because Jason and John is what most people will never be a TRUE AMERICAN HERO! To the family my prayers are with you. Sister to Spec. Jason C. Ford"
Yolanda Smith-McRae of Bowie, Maryland

"He is with us still
leading as he always did
Not gone, not forgotten
Bushmasters still lead the way sir..."
Bushmaster Soldier of Iraq

"To Jason Ford's family:
I am the mother of Hans' son. I tried to reach you after Hans and Jason were killed but was only able to reach Jason's father. John Aleks (son) and I pray for your family every night. I hope you are doing as well as can be expected. Several of Hans' friends mentioned at the funeral that they, too, had tried to reach your family. I want you to know that many of us were also thinking of your loss while we suffered our own."
Wendy Hallford of Anderson, SC

"Thank you brave soldier for giving up your today for my children's tomorrows. You have our utmost respect and gratitude. May God give your family peace in this time of sorrow. May you enjoy your final Tour of Duty in Heaven, where there is peace. You will never be forgotten. Thanks again."
a grateful citizen in USA of Phoenix, AZ

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

"My deepest condolences to CPT Kurth's family. We were in the same company when I was enlisted back in the 82d. He was the one that inspired me to go to school and become an officer. He was a remarkable officer and just an all around great human being. He shall be dearly missed."
2LT Philip D Cordaro of Eglin AFB, FL

"To the Familie of John Kurth!
I hade the pleasure of working with your son John in Schweinfurt .The Sacrifice your Son gave is not going unnoticed . Our deepest Sympathy goes out to Youre Famile . SFC Laureano R. Manning And Familie"
SFC Manning of Columbia S,C

"To the family of John F. Kurth. I am the mother of SFC Jason Ford who was killed with you son on March 13, 2004. I have tried without success to reach you and extend my condolences to your family upon your loss of John. I pray that time is allowing you to heal, knowing that our sons gave their lives to support the continued freedom we have as Americans. If there is anything I can do to help you, please feel free to contact me. My continued prayers are with you. God Bless You."
Ms. Florence Newell (Mother of Jason Ford) of Washington, DC 20001

"We will not forget. Talons!"
SGT Gray, Jeremy of Formerly of C 1-18

"To the Kurth Family,
I want to express my deepest sympathy to your family. My brother Jason Ford was with John Kurth in Iraq and also sacraficed his life for the sake of freedom on March 13, 2004. No words can heal your pain. On behalf of the Ford family we will keep you in our prayers and thoughts. God bless you!"
Sister of Fallen hero Jason C. Ford, Francine Harley of Washington, DC

"To the Kurth family, my husband had the honor of knowing John. We send our love & prayers, to all his loved ones and friends."
MSG John Hatley & Mrs. Kim Hatley of Schweinfurt, Germany

"To John's Family:
There are no words that can express our deep sorrow for your loss. May God bless you and your family as John watches over you all."
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, John, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"To his family
I am so sorry for your loss. I am Jason Ford's girlfriend and i met Capt. Kurth and his family at the Farewell Dinner in Schweinfurt on Feb. 7th. SPC Jason Ford and CPT John Kurth R.I.P."
Elena of Schweinfurt, Germany

"To John's Family:
There are no words that can express our deep sorrow for your loss. May God bless you and your family as John watches over you all."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"I am so saddened to hear of John's death. My prayers are with you. God's blessings. He died a hero, fighting for what he believed in. His memory will always be in your hearts.
Thank you for your committment to our nation's freedom."
Candy Knutson of Poynette, WI

"I did not know John that well but I know he died serving his country. to his freinds and family I give my deepest sympthy."
todd raley of dolyestown wisconsin

"Thank you John Kurth, 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 Capt. John Kurth:
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 John 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 Capt. John Kurth:
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 John, 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