Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Bryan W. Large

31, of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
Large died in Al Haqlaniyah, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV during combat operations. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Died on October 3, 2005.

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"My name is Ben Pennington and my baseball team wears jerseys to honor fallen soldiers. I am honored to wear the jersey of Army Sgt. Bryan W. Large. I am so grateful for the sacrifice you have made for this country. Every time I put on the jersey I'm reminded of all the men and women who serve in our armed forces. If it wasn't for you and your fellow soldiers I wouldn't enjoy the freedom to play baseball. Thank you for all you have done.
Benjamin Pennington"
Ben Pennington of Pataskala Ohio

"I've read the book and really enjoyed Google it."
Jessica Eade of Lahore

"After all these years, I still remember you, and I always will. You enjoyed life so much. You loved life, and you sacrificed it for us, for your family, for our country. You are still an inspiration to me. Rest in peace, Bryan."
Dan Burland of Leavenworth, KS, USA

"Bryan, it has taken me all these years to get up the nerve to ask for your forgiveness. In my younger days, my pride and my not so sunny disposition would not allow me to accept yours. So, my brother I pray that you accept my apology and that you are resting and are at peace. You were an amazing person and with every year that passes I reflect on that tragic event that took your young vibrant life. How I wish I could rewind time and go back 24hrs prior to your passing. I would've said all the things that a just, understanding and godly man would've said. I will never forget you, as long as I live, I will never forget you and the 3/504-1/508 medics. Rest in peace brother.....until we meet again."
Christopher D Hickman of Hinesville, Ga

"The Greatest Medics in the World. 3/504th PIR (Blue Devils)
SGT Bryan Large...One of the GREAT ONES
Never Forgotten"
R. Camacho of El Paso, Texas

"I spent time with you during advanced trauma medical training and when I needed a ride to meet my wife you didn't hesitate. you were always willing to help someone. I'll never forget that night you gave your last full measure of devotion. The night sky lit up with the explosion. and as ammunition began exploding in the Humvee you moved in to try and save your fellow troopers.
Thank you for your service"
PVT Bradford Reed of Hope Mills NC

"Sgt Large. Brian. Ive a daughter now. Go figure eh. I will never forget your devotion to yours. Nor will I forget the sendoff you gave me prior to our last mission together. If I have a son, beware, he'll be named after you. i'll see you soon. Just not yet.

Joshua S. Woods"
Joshua S. Woods of St Petersburg, Florida

"SGT Bryan Large, miss messing with you about your truck. Missed having you walk in the back of the PLT with me. Never forget our FALLEN WARRIORS."
1SG (RET) Doug Huse of Duncanville, TX

"To the family of Bryan W. Large. We have an American Flag in our lobby honoring Bryan. Just wanted to let you know that his sacrifice is not forgotten."
Carestream Health Building C-50 of Windsor, Colorado

"To Bryan's family,
It's been almost 9 yrs. since that night in Haqlaniyah. On this memorial day I can't stop thinking about what a great guy Bryan was and how he impacted my life. I was a medic in the 3/504 with him and he was someone that I looked up to. I am now a Firefighter/Paramedic and still try to follow the example that Bryan set. He is a true American Hero. My prayers go out to your family."
David Gerhardt of Sarasota, FL

"I still miss you, man. I think about that day a lot."

See you in a week Brother, its been too long. Just know not a day goes by that I don't think about you. Strike Hold..."
Mackey of San Antonio, TX

"To the Family of Bryan W. Large:
I have been wearing a memorial braclet with this Hero's name on it since his passing. I vowed to wear it until our troops came out of Iraq, and now that they have I would like to send it to you, his family. My name is Timothy Redmond and my email is redsrules7@aol.com. Please let me know where I can send this treasure. God Bless"
Redmond of Leland,NC

"Still thinking of you, After so many years. A great guy and a true Battle buddy."
Randy (909th FST) of Chicago, IL

"Bryan with a "Y",

It's CPT (P) Charles R. Jennings yes they messed up and are promoting me, hey buddy I am in Afghanistan right now flying Medivac LOL go figure a target in the sky. Just need some prayers right now buddy miss ya. Your brother in arms now "Let's Eat Chow""
CPT (P) Charles Jennings of Bagram, Afghanistan/ Pryor Oklahoma


6 years since we shook hands and went on our last mission together. You are not forgotten, my friend. I will see you again. Just not yet."
Joshua S. Woods of Florida

"My heart goes out to you for such a great loss of a " TRUE HERO ". Thank you for blessing us with your son ! To whomever took this precious necklace PLEASE somehow someway return this to this True Heroes family. This story TRULY broke my heart!!! God Bless and Thank You Bryan for being "Our Hero "!!"
Lori of stow

"Preface: SGT Large and I were talking about good steak and of course he found a way of talking about his children within seconds.
BL: I gave my daughter steak at 6 months old. Has your son eaten steak?
JG: No man hes only 2 months old..
BL: Well if you want him to eat steak at 6 months give some of mine.
I miss you brother.."
Jeremy of OH

"To the Large family, I know its very late, but I just heard this information from CW2 Kevin Browning. I am SFC Ralph Flores and served with Doc and was sad to hear the news today. I wish your family the best and to Doc Large, we love you bro you will never be forgotten; to his family; he is now deployed to heaven and is in good hands. "Flo""
Ralph "Flo" Flores of Tampa, Fl

"Happy Vetran's Day brother. I'll see you again, on the other side. You are always in my thoughts. jmvotis@yahoo.com"
Jason Votis of Houston, TX

"We are thinking of you & your family today, 5 years later! We will always remember!"
Pamela Shucart of Saint Louis MO

"I had the privilege of serving with Bryan in Afghanistan. It was a time I will always remember. It was a time I will always treasure."
Robert McNamara of Fayetteville, NC

"Dear Bryan,

The holidays are coming up again. I always think of you both on Thanksgiving as well as on Christmas. You were so sentimental and so devoted to your family. I know you loved being with them more than anything else. I know you are in Heaven now though. You will never be forgotten, Bryan."
Dan Burland of Amherst, MA

"Bryan I couldn't have asked for a better friend or comrad. The thing I miss most is your pride, determination and resilence. It is men like you that give me something to believe in each day. I joined the Army to better myself, to make a difference in the lives of others and to preserve the freedom those before us provided. Men like you, family men, friends and the true essence of a soldier. Thank you for your tenacity, disposition and courage. You truly are an All American and I look forward to sharing some laughs again someday. You are truly missed!"
Matt Hamel of Washington DC

"September 30, 2008
To the family of Sgt. Bryan W. Large:
Bryan 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 Bry,

On this Memorial Day, Uncle John and I want to say how much we all miss yoy and a BIG THANK YOU!!!!
lOVE you,
Aunt Rosie and Uncle John"
Rose Kalavsky of Stow, Ohio

"I was Bryan's EMT-I instructor at Fayetteville Technical Community College-Spring Lake Campus. I got to know Bryan and his great sense of humor. I learned about his children and family. Being the small world that it is, I currently have a student in a paramedic class who served with Bryan in Iraq. I knew that Bryan was a great student and that his fellow soldiers in class had the utmost respect for him. I recently learn of how heroic Bryan was during his deployments. When Bryan was killed I learned of his death in the Fayetteville newpaper. I felt as though I had lost a son. I know Bryan would not want us to grieve but to get on with life. He made our world a better place by being here and is keeping us safe now where ever he is. Remember, it's brYan with a "Y"."
Lucinda (Cindy) Mains of Fayetteville, NC

"SGT Large,
little bro, its Mr. O yes I know its been 2 yrs too long, I dont know why I waited so long I made a promise I could not keep this time and that was to bring everyone home!! I remember OCT. 3rd its just like it was yesterday we thought we were indestructable and ready to take on Haqlaniyah and not look back. Well if it helps we took them in 6 hrs. I sure miss you fellow Blue Devil Medic... I know your family and daughters mis you. I talk to your dad from time to time. emotions flow from time to time, guilt, pain, emptyness, and I know what you would say pick up your boot straps and take the world by storm. Well our old unit 3-504 now 1-508 is in afganistan and my nephew is with them thad fuller, please keep an eye on him. God bless larry, michelle, devon, kyle and mom.
Michelle empty your voicemail
CPT Jennings of Vinita, OK

"To Bryan's Family,

My name is Scott Hockenberry, I was the Mortar Platoon Sergeant in HHC 3/504 PIR during our time there. Bryan was a great soldier and family man. When we started our drive out to western Iraqi we talked alot. I will never forget the day we left on that mission. the night before we were at my bunk having a near Beer and just talking about our Families and life, about the military, and just life in general. I'll never forget his face. A strong man and a true hero. That night we were moving into sector I saw the explosion and a first we thought it was some kind of indirect, we then found out it was "DOC". Everybody in the Platoon couldn't believe it. I miss him and his since of humor, three days later I was wounded and evacted back home to, I think about those days alot. Be proud of your loved one. I still have some others pics of him and me if the family wants some. God bless all who have given all, and those who serve."
1SG William Scott Hockenberry of Fort Polk, LA. USA

"I didn't know what to say at first. I am not so sure I know what to say now. I can only say I am still sorry and I still think of Bryan's sister, mother, father and children every night in my prayers. God be with you all.2/27/07"
Theresa Dorton of Canton Ohio

"To the family of:Bryan W. Large 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"

"DOC. i miss ya bud,and always will. we got your picture hanging up in the batt. So i get to see that shitty grin of yours everyday.i want you and your family to know, im always here for ya.you will never be forgoten.till that day we meet again,take a knee, face out, and drink some water. luv ya DOC"
SGT. Channels. Robert A Co. 3/504 of Ft. Bragg. NC 28310

"Large. I wont forget you.
SSG Lynn
C. CO 3/504"
David Lynn of Fort Meade, MD

"My name is SSG Dan Vennero. I worked with Bryan for several yrs in HHC. We became good friends, and had great times together. Bryan was a soldier, and a man, that anyone could look up to and respect. If I personally admired any one person, it was Bryan. His morals, ethics, and loyalty were impregnable. I am proud to have known Bryan, and proud to say that Bryan is, and always will be a soldier in the 3rd Bn, 504th PIR"
SSG Dan Vennero of Ft Bragg, NC

"I had the pleasure of knowing Sgt Bryan Large for the biggest part of my mlitary career. Sgt Large and I went to PLDC together and were even in the same platoon there. He was appointed as the Platoon Sergeant and being the natural leader he was, he excelled in the position. Bryan and I were in EMT-I school together and we often talked of our plans once getting out of the Army. He wanted to be a Firefighter and spent time in NC as a voulenteer. He had a knack for connecting with and helping people. I'll never forget the night when I heard that his vehicle was hit. I think he was a closer friend to all that knew him then we could ever realize. I miss him and wish his family well."
David Buchholz (former SGT 3/504) of Pembroke Pines Fl

"I was the Executive Officer of the company that Sergeant Large was attached to during the Iraq deployment.

We worked a lot together both before the deployment and in Iraq as he was the company's senior medic, and I was always going to him with issues and to ask for help. It didn't take longer than about ten seconds for me to realize that he was a man who could make things happen. We had breakfast together just a couple of days before the mission. He talked about his plans for when he got out of the army and about his family. He wanted to be a paramedic. I often think how he would have helped a wounded insurgent without hesitation if the situation had arisen.

My condolences and best wishes to his family."
Jeff of Fort Bragg

"Sgt Large,
I'll never forget you or the sacrifice you made for me and my family. I'll never forget that day I guess no blue devil ever will. You'll always be alive in my memories.
504 grunt"

"my name is Cassidy and i am a volunteer for the Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run. We are a group of people that have built a memorial wall in Marsielles Illinois for all the fallen soldiers in Mideast conflicts since Beriut. Your loved one's name will be permenently added to this wall. For any further information visit our website www.ilfreedomrun.org please e-mail me at me1196@aol.com to let me know that you have recived this message. If you decide to come to this memorial on June 19th, 2006, you will recieve VIP seating and treatment for the cermonies that day. ALL OUR WELCOMING TO HONOR OUR FALLEN SOLDIERS
Cassidy of Brookfield/ILL/red,white,blue

"John 15:13
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.""

"To those who read this,

I served with Brian large for over a year, to include two deployments. While we were not the best of friends, SGT Large and I shared a common world view and a love of the core things in life. He embodied the principles he preached. Love of God, love of family, love of country. . In 25 years I've never met a man who lived more for his daughters. I've never met a man who lived life as honestly as he did. It should be a testament to you that the day following your demise every medic I talked to adamantly refused to believe you were the one. I miss you Brian."
Joshua S. Woods of Fayetteville, NC USA

"to who it may concern
sgt. large was a great man. he was my cq nco one day and i remember that he was layed back and very friendly to me. i remember his wife and little girl stopped by. i remember trying to say hi to his little girl but see was very shy and hide behind her mothers leg. i looked at sgt. large and he smiled and said "well she's really shy" and then grinned. when his family left he had a smile on his face the rest of the night. so for the next hour or so we talked about our family's. i have never been able to connect with anyone so fast in my life. he was truely a great person.
he will be missed"
spc. joshua coombs of c.co 3/504

"To SGT Large's Family,

Large was a good man and I had the pleasure of knowing him. He was the kind of guy you just couldn't forget. I was in PLDC with him and his sense of humor helped alot of us get through the day. He will be missed by all of us"
SGT Fecke, William of C Co 82nd SIG BN 82nd ABN DIV

"To the family of SGT Bryan Large,
I want to express my condolences on the loss of your son. I had the honor of working with him for several years in the 504. Though only aquaintences, we always had great conversations when our paths crossed. I particularly remember a very good conversation that lasted most of our bus trip to west point this summer. Your son was a good man. My prayers are with you."
Blake Callens (Former SGT, 3/504) of Fayetteville/NC/USA

"Large Family,
Words cannot express the sorrow that comes with losing a loved one to war. My brother-in-law, Dennis Merck, was killed in Iraq on October 20, 2005. Our family is mourning the death of this great man, but we are also mourning the loss of your son and father. Bryan was one of my husband's soldiers when we were stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. They served together in Afghanistan. When we heard the news of Bryan's death, my husband was devastated--it was too close to home.
WE know that this time is the hardest of your life and we wish you peace and serenity in the months to come.
We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

At night I lay in the desert sands
I place my soul in God's hands
My life I would readily give.
In the stars and stripes my spirit lives.
All gave some, Some gave all...
God bless you and keep you. Our prayers are with you."
Dawn Holt of Brewerton, NY/USA

"To the Family of SGT Bryan Large,
My Name is SGT Joseph Haney with C Battery 1st Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment (ABN). I have had the honor of knowing Bryan since January of this year when we had met in PLDC here at Fort Bragg, NC. It pains me to hear the lose that the family has taken recently. SGT Large was one hell of a Non-commisioned officer and showed that to all who knew him, professionaly and personally. The Large family and friends are in my prayers."
SGT Haney, Joseph H. of C Btry 1st Bn, 321st FAR (ABN) Fort Bragg, NC

"To the Family of Bryan Large,
God Bless and may the Angels surround you during this time of healing over the loss of your beloved Bryan. We extend our thoughts and prayers to you.
BRYAN - You are an American Hero and will ALWAYS be REMEMBERED. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. We celebrate your life. God's speed.
From the family of an American Soldier, stationed at Ft. Campbell with the 101st AVN REGT, now serving in Iraq. 10-19-2005.""
---The Erwin Family of Oregon, United States of America

"to the large family from the wahl family. we are deeply sadden of the news. our heart and prays are BRYAN and your family. BRYAN has not given his life in vain. BRYAN is a HERO! BRYAn thank you for serving our country. An foe being a military brother to our son. last year we lost our son GREGORY in BALAD,IRAQ. BRYAN you have touched the hearts of so many. to those you have. hold very precious moments shared with you. as you are remembered today. you will never ever be forgotten. an i hope your family heals. it is a slow process. an we all deal with our lost very differently. i do suggest you reach out to your community and political leaders today. TO REQUEST A STREET BE NAMED IN HONOR OF BRYAN. THAT HIS COMMUNITY WILL ALWAYS REMEBER HIM AND THE SERVICE HE DID FOR HIS COMMUNITY, COUNTY, STATE AND COUNTRY. GOD BLESS!"
leonard t. wahl of VALLEY STREAM NY

"To Bryan'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 your soldier's bravery and sacrifice as we mourn the loss of yet another Red Devil. Our boys are truly heroes!

By His Grace,

Gloria Caldas
Proud Mother of Fallen Hero
Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas
"The Big Ern", 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
San Antonio, Texas

"To the Large family, I was affected greatly when i recieved the news about Sgt. Large. My husband is also with the 3/504 I want to let you know how proud I am as well as my family for everything that he has done to protet us. The guys from 3/504 will not give up they will continue on in memory of PFC. Roberto Baez, SPC.Jacob Vanderbosch, and for Sgt. Bryan Large"
Erin of Fort Bragg, Nc.

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

"Thank you Bryan Large, 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. Bryan Large:
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 Bryan 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. Bryan Large:
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 Bryan, 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