Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Joshua S. Ladd

20, of Philadelphia, Mississippi.
Ladd died in Mosul, Iraq, when his convoy vehicle hit an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the Army National Guard's 367th Maintenance Company, DeKalb, Mississippi. Died on May 1, 2004.

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"To the family of Sgt. Josh Ladd. I was attached to Sgt Ladd's company in Mosul Iraq when he was taken from us. His unit was a really close net group of people from Mississippi. When 1st Sgt made the announcement that we had lost Sgt Ladd it was one of the worst feelings during my tour in Iraq due to me feeling like I wasnt able to be there and help during this convoy . Our company was always on the road traveling throughout Iraq but was attached to uparmor all the vehicles. I personal didnt know Sgt Ladd but from speaking to everyone during my time with his unit he was a really great soldier. Sgt Ladd your name has stuck with me and everytime i think about Mosul i remember your name. On the bunker next to our shop in Mosul your name was scrathed into the concrete and i hope it still is there so they can remember the great soldiers that has given the ultimate sacrifice to try to give them the same freedoms we enjoy. Sgt Josh ladd i will never forget. To Sgt Josh Ladd family im so sorry for the loss and wish i could of keep him safe. On this day i honor Josh and give my thoughts and prayers to his family."
Spc. Leslie Jason of 512th Maintenance Company Mannheim, Germany

"I was working at the Army hospital where they brought SGT Ladd after the convoy. He was deceased when he arrived, as were many of the young men and women that came in. I did not know SGT Ladd, but I helped carry him off the helicopter. I also helped our Patient Administration officer collect Joshua's personal effects. He was so young. Describing the experience in detail would be inappropriate, but suffice it to say it was highly emotional for me and the other medics/doctors/nurses there. For some reason, I connected with this Soldier. SGT Ladd put the face of a young man and his family on the war for me. I will never forget him. My condolences go out to his family. It has been 6 years since that day and I think about SGT Ladd every day."
Major Ken Jones of Bethesda MD

"To the Family of SGT. Ladd
I am one of the soldiers that was in that convoy vehicle with him. I can say one thing about SGT. Ladd he was an outstanding citizen of the United States, devoted to his mission and an outstanding NCO. I will always remember him not only as a person but also as a close friend of mine."
SPC. Delando Miles of Woodville Mississippi, USA

"Josh, I remember all of the fun we had serving together in Iraq, just like it was yesterday. You have and will always be in my heart. Although our time together was cut short, it was fun while it lasted. I miss you!!!"
SGT Yolanda Jones of Carthage, MS USA

"April 28, 2009
To the family of Sgt. Joshua S. Ladd:
Joshua 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

"Your memory will live as long as we remember you. We won't forget you Joshua and the sacrifice you made for us."
Betts Family of Florence, Mississippi


The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell.""
Sgt. Ross of Mississippi

"Merry Christmas From Heaven

I still hear the songs
I still see the lights
I still feel your love
on cold wintery nights

I still share your hopes
and all of your cares
I'll even remind you
to please say your prayers

I just want to tell you
you still make me proud
You stand head and shoulders
above all the crowd

Keep trying each moment
to stay in His grace
I came here before you
to help set your place

You don't have to be
perfect all of the time
He forgives you the slip
If you continue the climb

To my family and friends
please be thankful today
I'm still close beside you
In a new special way

I love you all dearly
now don't shed a tear
Cause I'm spending my
Christmas with Jesus this year"
Vangi & McKaLyne Lunsford, wife & daughter of the late Sgt. Audrey Daron Lunsford of Batesville, MS

"Mr. Ladd paid the ultimate sacfifice and we are so thankfut to him. 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."
Polly of Covingtoon, Ga. U S A

"Mr. Ladd paid the ultimate sacfifice and we are so thankful to him. 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."
Polly of Covington, Ga. U S A

"To Joshua,s Family, America will be so much less with his sacrifice. Rest in peace Brave Soldier."
Ray & Mary Dickson of Gautier, MS. USA

"I now wear a black bracelet with Joshua's name on it. I am sorry for his loss, but will honor him always. I am a US Navy veteran, served aboard the USS America CV-66, Nam 1972-1973."
Gilbert "Bo" Nowell of Pearl, MS/USA

"It seems like it was just the other day you and i where talking. I just want you to know that i thank about you everday, how we where all playing that game.Just know brother that i will see you someday, and that we are still doing the job that you loved. Just like everytime we went out the gate( LOOK OUT THE BIG DOGS ARE COMEING TO GET YOU) we roll out for you."
JR of MIssissippi

"Josh, we miss you so much. We love you, you are our hero. From the Ladd
Debbie Chisolm of Philadelphia, MS USA

God Bless You and Yours. Your sacrifice won't be forgotten"
GySgt Travis White of VMA-214, Al Asad, Iraq

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

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

"To Joshua'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"

"To Joshua'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

"Thank you Joshua Ladd, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Joshua Ladd:
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 Joshua 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. Joshua Ladd:
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 Joshua, 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