Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Jesse M. Lhotka

24, of Alexandria, Minnesota.
Lhotka died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated as he was exiting his military vehicle after it had rolled over. He was assigned to the Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery, 34th Infantry Division, Montevideo, Minnesota. Died on February 21, 2005.

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"Not many know this but today I re told a story. One involving a Hero and me. I was at your service in Appleton. I was 28 and never thought I would do what I was about to. I stepped up to say good bye to a Hero and to pay my respects and when I looked at you your wife and beautiful baby I instantly said he did this for me what can I do for him and that moment started my almost ten years in the Army. That night in Appleton I talked to the recruiter and did 4 years as a Redbull then re enlisted as 4th ID Active duty and deployed to Iraq and stayed where you had been. I drove those same routes and even Served under the same MN Guard unit in Iraq. Those years shaped me. And I thank you again for your sacrifice but now I will add thank you for being a major changing point in my life. I never knew you. You were close to an ex girlfriends family and I went to show my respects and ended up changing my life.Your name and face will never be forgotten. Today my niece had her school news program interview me for Veterans day. They asked why I served and I got goosebumps. I told them about you and how that was my reason. Thank you..."
Sgt. Blohm of Eagan MN

"I will always fly a flag in front of our house (where him and Stacey once lived) in his memory. I am forever grateful for his sacrifice and will never forget it. May God grant his family peace and comfort until the day when they see him again."
Lucas Dahlseng of Alexandria, MN/Douglas County

"Not a day goes by when u don't come to mind..wish u were here to play with us..miss u cousin Jesse..luv u.."
your cousins of Robinson, ND

"just got done with ride last weekend and been thinking of you. we all miss you so much and wish you were here. we will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. thank you"
jeremiah of morris, MN

4 yrs. Still seems like yesterday. We miss you bad, wish you were here."
Patrick, Holly & Cooper Running of Alexandria, MN

"February 2, 2009
To the family of Sgt. Jesse M. Lhotka:
Jesse 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

"Jesse, another year has passed - yet again seems like yesterday. I remember the day you left us as it is still so fresh in our minds. We miss you and wish you were here. As time passes, our memories do not fade. We love you."
Patrick, Holly & Cooper Running of Fergus Falls, MN

"It's been almost 2 years since you left us, yet seems like yesterday. We love, miss, and think of you daily. We watch over Stacey for you. We wish you were here."
Patrick, Holly & Cooper Running (wish you could have met Cooper!) of Fergus Falls, MN

"To the family of:Jesse M. Lhotka 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 be only 24 years old, and to lay down your life for the freedom that we enjoy everyday...

GOD bless your family and loved ones. It is my sincere hope that the posts in your guestbook will serve to remind everyone who knew you that we are grateful and humbled by your bravery and sacrifice.

Thank you Jesse...

We are, as we always have been - right behind you!"
S. Dobson of Huntsville, Alabama

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

"To the family of Jesse M. Lhotka:

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"

"A loved one never dies, they live on forever in our hearts and minds. My deepest sympahty goes out to the Lhotka family during this time of great sorrow. He was a true American hero and I will never forget the laughter he brought to all."
Heather of Minneapolis, MN

"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, Jesse, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you ALWAYS. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"Thank you brave american Soldier.
Thank you for save the freedom of the whole world.
Thank you from Germany
You are my Hero
Thank you from Ute of Ramstein/Germany"

"Thank you brave american Soldier.
Thank you for save the freedom of the whole world.
Thank you from Germany
You are my Hero"

"Thank you Jesse Lhotka, 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. Jesse Lhotka:
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 Jesse 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. Jesse Lhotka:
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 Jesse, 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