Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Lance Cpl. Fred L. Maciel

20, of Spring, Texas.
Maciel died when the CH-53E helicopter he was in crashed near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Died on January 26, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Lance Cpl. Fred L. Maciel.


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Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

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"Richard n patsy were never married so he is not Fred's step dad fact b known she is married to last name James McCabe never divorced she is living with Richard who is her sisters babies daddy how sad"

"Dear Maciel family,
I went to school with Fred ever since he came to spring at Dueitt middle school. We didn't always get along then in middle school, but in high school Fred and I seemed to find a new respect for one another. I didn't hear about his passing until after the funeral, but I was so upset when I did get the info. See the last time I saw Fred an Garrett was when they were home on boot leave having dinner at Denny's across from spring high. They were both so excited about starting their careers as Marines together. At that moment we had a special connection because I had just gotten engaged at a Marine. Sgt krebs and I have been married for 7 years now and its because of men like Fred that my husband was able to come home safe. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't have a passing thought about Fred. I keep the mailings from Ted Poe almost all year round just to be reminded of what a wonderful person Fred was and how much he sacrificed for all of us. I wish your whole family well and keep you in my prayers. We all know Fred is watching over all of us with all his fellow Marines making sure we're all safe. Semper Fi, love Christina Krebs (DeStefano)"
Christina Krebs of Spring, TX


To the family of Lance Cpl Maciel: Thank you. I wear a POW/MIA bracelet with his name on it and I pray for his soul every night. I will continue to pray for him and for you. May God bless you always."
Michael Falcone II of Spring, TX

"Dear Maciel Family, Fred will not be forgotten. You are in our prayers. In Christ,"
Pam Danny Reid of Saginaw,Tx.

"January 18, 2009
To the family of Lance Cpl. Fred L. Maciel:
Fred 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 everyone that has written,

Thank you for all you have written and for your praises and prayers. My little brother will never be forgotten. My son, even three years later, still says he misses his uncle Fred. For my now 8 year old boy to remember all that he and his uncle did together so vividly and think about him so much Fred was a major influence in his life. Fred was a great man and great men usually leave a lasting impression. Bro we miss you more than words could ever possibly say, and I can't wait till that day that we get to see each other again.

The Maciel Family"
Carlos Maciel Jr. of Spring, Tx.

"Well i went and seen you today. It feels like you didnt leave me that long ago but you did. Well i think you might of noticed that you got to meet one of my reall good friends Kyle. Fred you will love him he is a kick * person. He will have you laughin on the floor just like you always did when you came to the house.. he is a prankster like you too. But i dont think he knows how to take stuff out of your pockets so slick like you could.. good times. Well Say heyy to my mommy to. I bet you already know her. :] See i got a baby now too. She is a doll i cant wait to tell you about her. Well i will talk to you later. I am going to write you something and give it to you when yoyr anniversery comes around. Well love you mann. Miss you like crazy & think about you all the damn time. See you up in paradise some day.

i love you!"
Brianna Leabo of Spring, Texas

"Memorial day just passed and all i could think of was you and your family and all the other soliders. I miss you so much... I try to be strong like you would want me to be but sometimes i just cant... I know you love what you did and you were the best at it. But I love you so much too."
Charmaine of Spring

"I just wanted to say Thank You to all our soldiers and our soldiers families. You all are in my heart and prayers. Once again Thank You, you all are remembered."
Kristi Nelson of Dayton, TX (USA)

"A Poem for you Fred,(We Miss You So Much)
Remember Me Always!
"As I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death;
I look back as my life flashes,
My life was not wasted.
My heart was touched by all.
For all those who were touched by my heart,
And those who knew my heart well.
Remember me in Good times,
Remember me in Bad times,
Just Remember me always!
Do not forget the things I've said,
Do not forget the way I wept,
Do not forget my Smile and the way I made you smile.
You all will be missed, but Remember also:
We will meet again once upon those pearly gates ,
Where I will wait.
Untill then my memories you will keep.
Remember Me Always."
Kristi Nelson of Dayton, TX (USA)

"No one knows how hard it is from day to day without u by our side in life, more than your family. Birthdays, Christmas, Easter and all holidays are never the same. We miss you more than words can say , more than anyone knows, but understands. We will all be together one day with you and you will be waiting for us at those pearly gates. Fred Happy late Birthday, Merry Christmas and Happy Easter, for all those you were there in life and those you will be in spirit. We love you so much and will see you soon. Love always, Lee, Kristi, Nate, Aleah and Hayden Nelson."
Kristi Nelson of Dayton, TX (USA)

"Mrs. Maciel,

I raised my nephew from the age of 4, he is now 18 and in the US Navy, serving as a FMF medic. After he graduated from boot camp he was allowed to return home for a couple of weeks. After he returned to Illinois, I was putting his room in order and found the following letter.

"Tubbs, N.C

I'm just going to start off with giving Fred L. Maciel thanks and praise for doing something most people would never consider even thinking about, joining the military. That in itself is an awesome thing to do. I respect anyone and everyone who is in ANY branch. With that being said, let me start. Fred Maciel not only served his country, but died for his country. January 26.2005 Maciel and others went down over AR Rutbah in a non-hostile helo crash and didn't make it out. At the young age of 20. I can promise he didn't get to see everything he wanted to. I feel somewhat "close" to him because we lived in the same area. He was from Spring, TX and I am from Magnolia, TX, ten minutes away from each other. It is kind of crazy because if you think about it, I have probably met people that knew him personally. Kind of scary. Living in the same area, I can relate to him. We have probably done the same things and been to the same places. I don't know how long he was away from home, but I do know he missed a lot. He will never get to see how fast our town is growing and all the new things. That's not even the worst of it, he will never get to see his family again, nor will they see him. I have no doubt in my mind that he will be missed. No one can stress the importance and realness of the events going on. Everything you learn is for a reason one way or another. Nothing is to be ignored. This war is real and people are dying. For Lance Corporal Macial, this reality became true. In his mind he probably knew the risks and chances of dying, but like a TRUE AMERICAN, he did what he had to do to serve and protect his country. Unfortunately, to his death. In my mind, anyone that can do this deserves more than to have their fate in a terrorists hands. Sadly, this is the way it is and will remain to be. No one knows what will stop this or if it even will. But thanks to people like Maciel, people in the states with their normal 9 to 5 jobs can sleep at night knowing they will wake up in the morning to normalcy and safe place. For people like Maciel, he probably never knew where he would end up the next day. Having feelings like this day in and day out has to wear on a persons mind. So, you have to be strong willed and determined to stick to your duties and what is right. Sometimes you wonder what people are thinking in Iraq. Me being a FMF Corpsman, I will soon find out. I know this sounds crazy, but I want to go to Iraq. I know there are many people dying and I know I can't save them all. All I want to know is that if I happen to die, I will be happy to know that if I only help one person to live, I did what I came here to do, help people in need. In Lance Corporal Maciel, I can only hope he died knowing he helped someone, because he did, he helped everyone in the United States of America. Rest in peace. You will be missed."

Thank you Mrs. Maciel"
Troy of Magnolia, Texas

"It's hard to believe that it has been a year since we received the news....I still think of you and miss you so much everyday! I would give anything to have you home with us. This day seems to bring all of the hurt back to the surface and I cry with a heavy heart. I went to visit your resting place yesterday...because I didn't think that I would have the emotional strength to do it today. I left you some beautiful white roses. You hold a very special place in my heart. I love you like my own son and I miss you terribly. Till we meet again someday....know that you are remembered and loved!

Mom "H""
Patricia Hommel of Spring, Texas, USA

"Wow...its been around a year since the helicopter crash happened. But it does not seem like it happened. It seems like you should be coming home any day now. I still remember the phone call when you told me that we were going to the Sandbox and you asked me if i would still love you if you came back with missing body parts and I said That I will Always love you. Well I still love you and miss my best friend... I know that god has reasons and plans for everyone and that was your plan. Thank you my friend! I love you! cfitzgerald12@houston.rr.com"
Charmaine of Cypress, Texas

"""As a veteren of K Co 3/3 and a very short stint (2 Months with G Co)(1986-1990)MCAS K-Bay it saddens me to hear of the loss of my brother Marine but I know he left us bravley fighting to keep my family safe from the evils of the world keeping with the highest traditions of the Corps. I'm now to old to reenlist but if I could I would."""
Lcpl. Robert Blaylock of Lakeside CA, USA

"We all miss you Fred. You and I didn't talk much, but you were always such a funny guy when we did. Even though I was just a little fish, you still treated me so kindly and made me smile and laugh when I was sad. I wish I could've gotten the chance to know you better. Happy Belated Birthday. Thank you for protecting us and fighting for our freedom. God Bless you. Your family is in my prayers."
Loretta Schultz of Spring, Texas

"Hi Fred, as much as i continually tell myself that you are still here and that you died doing the one thing that you loved, its hard for me to accept the fact that your gone. You are a great man, and I am truely thankful for everything that you have done. We will NEVER forget you. Happy Birthday Fred!! We love you."
Sheena of Spring, Texas

"To the family of:Fred L. Maciel I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully, we will 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, Gateway Community Church, 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ,"
Polly Ballew of Covington,Ga

"Thankyou for protecting me fred. I miss the days in our not so smart math class that we use to talk about everything. You were a good friend and a good solider. Watch over me will ya!! much love man"
Kevin Kotchavar of Spring Tx

"It's Memorial Day weekend and I find myself wiping away the tears. I still see your smiling face and hear your laughter as if you were still here with us. Although you and Jamie never got the chance to marry, I love you like my own son. Memories of you and Jamie still fill my mind, but the harsh reality leaves a empty place in my heart! I do not have the words to tell you just how thankful I am to God for the time he allowed you here with us! I watched you grow from a young boy playing varsity football into one of America's finest young men, a U. S. Marine. I am very proud of the man you became. You will always hold an everlasting place in my heart and I will never forget the ultimate price you paid to make sure that we live in freedom.

So this Memorial Day, I will stop to give thanks for you and other service men and women who has given me the chance to live free! I miss you son!

Mom "H""
Patricia Hommel of Spring, Texas, U.S.A.

"Well, it's hard to believe that it has been over two months since you left us! I still cry for you and I think "You would be home with us by now." We would be planning a glorious wedding for you and Jamie. I miss you so much! You would be very proud of Jamie...she is trying to pickup the pieces of her life and move forward. She is enrolling for Fall classes at Sam Houston State University. She is reluctant to move forward without you by her side, but she says that she is never really alone...you are always there with her. She has had to overcome many things since your passing that would be beat-down the everyday person. But she has held her head high and never let anyone upset her or change what she knows to be true. She had your heart and no one will ever be able to change that! Jamie and I came to visit your resting place and we brought you a spray of spring flowers! I'm sure that they are nothing compared to heaven's flowers, but I hope you like them. I hope that you know how much you meant to us and how much you are truly loved! Help me to continue to guide Jamie. I know that she will make us both proud! I miss you son!

With Love and Pride
Mom "H""
Patricia Hommel of Spring, Texas, USA

"My dear little freddie, although we may never hug, or laugh togather again. I know that you are sitting there everyday watching me and getting a laugh at something that i do or think. I feel your love and know you are in a better place. I am sure that you met grandma at the gates, with smiles from the both of you bigger than the heavens. Take care of one another, as we will all be togather again. I love you more than anyone could ever understand, and will never forget what you have done and given up for this world that we live in. May you give us all the will to move on and fullfill your dreams and hopes as you would have done."
Your "little" Lynn Ann of Grottoes, VA

I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers

Heidi of The Woodlands TX

"I am so sorry for your loss for I am feeling it also. I am the father of Lcpl Brian Hopper, who was on the helicopter with Fred. May our memories never fade."
Rob Hopper, rob.hopper@pbsgc.com of Wynne, AR

"I will always love you and miss you!

Wow there are so many things to say and I just don't know where to start. We had everything planned out and we almost made it, but I guess God had other plans for you. I still don't believe it and I don't know if I ever will be able to accept it. It's so hard! I don't have any idea how I'm going to get through it this time, but I'm going to try to handle things the way you would want me to handle them. I hope you know you meant the world to me, I would have done anything for you...I would have even let you buy a big screen before our bed. I'm very proud of you for what you've done. I know you were happy and died doing what you wanted to do and with tons of honor. I will never forget you and the memories we share. Take good care of Shannon for me. I know I'll be with y'all again one day, but until then help me, your family, and your friends get through this. You will ALWAYS have a very very special place in my heart, and I will NEVER forget you. I love you with all my heart. You still are and always will be my fiancee. I will miss you horribly.
Love always your fiancee,
Jamie Daugherty"
Jamie Daugherty of Spring, Texas

"Love and Sadness

Although I had only met Fred once or twice I was so impressed with what a funny, outgoing young man he was. When I heard he was joining the Marines, I knew then he was also full of honor, pride and bravery. Even though I am a middle aged woman, I knew he was the type of person we all aspire to be at any stage in our lives. I was proud to know him and even prouder he loved my niece and would eventually be a member of our family. Jamie, you and Fred may not be married in the flesh, but I truly believe you and he are married in a way that transcends earthly bounds. Although it's not a choice you would willingly make, you now have a wonderful guardian angel to look after you and take care of you the way he chose to look after and take care of ALL of us here in the United States. Fred was a brave and honorable young man. This world could use more people like him.

Events like these make us so profoundly sad....yet so profoundly proud. We should all say a prayer for all of the young men and women, as well as their families, still serving our country. As evidenced by the tragic turn of events in Fred's loved ones lives, some of those young, brave soldiers will make the ultimate, ultimate sacrifice to keep us a safe and free nation and will indeed leave the world a much better place. Words can not convey the thanks I have for Fred and all of the soldiers who have lost theirs lives or are left serving our country. May God truly, truly bless them.

With much love and sadness,
Aunt Mary"
Mary Ferris of Euless, Texas

"With Love and Pride....You Will Be Truly Missed!

I am still in shock! Between the tears, my heart keeps telling me that this nightmare is not happening..while my head is telling me that I am not dreaming! I keep thinking that any moment that the phone will ring and I will hear "Is Jamie there?" I would give anything to hear those words again! You are the stars in my daughter's eyes that shine every time she says "Fred" and that tells me that you are the love of her life! I wish that you and Jamie would have been given the chance to live the life that you both deserved! I loved you like my own son and I will miss you so very much! I am very proud of you and know that you are truly a hero! And since I haven't told you this before "Thank You" for keeping us safe here at home! You are a very fine young man..and I feel blessed to call you "Son." Although our hearts are heavy, I know that God has bigger plans for you! We will all be together again someday...til then know that you are loved!

You and Shannon take care of each other!

Love,< br>
Mom "H"
Patricia Hommel of Spring, Texas

"Maciel was my gunner on the drive up from Kuwait to Fallujah. "Cheeky Boot" we called him. Always smiling and laughing, he was a great guy. That's how we met, back in October.
We were going to have drinks together when we got back.
To his family, I want to send my regards, and let you know that he is a great guy, and a good Marine. I hope to meet you all one day, and share some pictures of him with you. I don't have many, but I would like you to see them.
Thank you, Maciel. I will not forget you.
Semper Fidelis"
Rich Mason of Baltimore MD

"Fred, "THANK YOU" so much. I will never forget you. From the first time I met you in biology I have always known that you had so much to offer. I remeber you telling me that all you wanted to be was a soldier. You are the true definition of a Marine. You will always be my HERO and close to my heart. I will never forget you as long as I live. You have given everyone a true gift. God bless you and your loved ones."
Julie of Spring, TX

"Fred was someone who made most peoples day and yet he was like any other kid, but with the dream to make sure that he made the world a better place."
secret admirer of Spring, TX

"Fred Maciel was like a brother to me he would tell me everything about how he wants to be in the Marines. He will be missed by everyone at Spring High School. He died serving out country and keeping us free and he will always be remembered and he was loved by many."
Jason of Spring, TX

"To Fred I may not have new you, but my sister did we feel that just because you have passed away doesn't mean peoples love and happiness for you will ever stop. Loving you is what keeps you more alive to me and my family."
Ashley, Valerie of Spring

"My son Sgt. Michael Finke was on the helicopter with Fred. My condolences to the family, as I share in the pain of losing one so loved. We are forever united through the sacrifices our young men were willing to make. Thank you and God Bless"
Sally Rapp of Westlake, Ohio

"Our sons died together. They will forever be brothers in arms. God bless you."
Helen Gilbert (mother of Richard Gilbert, Jr.) of Dayton, Ohio

"I'm praying for your family Fred. No matter what, I will never forget you and what you did for our country. I know you died doing what you wanted to do. Be a Marine and defend our freedom. Rest in peace my friend..."
Chloe Starks of Spring TX

"In behave of Fred's mother-Patsy and stepdad-Richard, thanks all of you for your prayers for our son-Fred."
Patsy Maciel and Richard Garza of Spring, Tx.

"It doesnt hit reality until it hits home but then i dont reality to be true and I still am in shock. Fred I loved you from the first time i met you... and I still do. I will cherish everything we had especially the phone calls that we had (the last one before you went to Iraq). I am watching over your family for you i know that is what you would do if you where here. I now know what the other family and friends feel like and I hope all the best to all who knew them and you. Rest in peace my friend..."
Charmaine Fitzgerald of Spring Texas

"I would like extend my deepest sorrow to the family and friends of Lance Cpl Maciel.He will never be forgotten,cherish his memories.Good Bye Marine"
Mike of New Jersey

"To the Maciel family from the Wahl family of Spring, Texas and valley Stream, New York. We are deeply sadden by your lost. truely, we understand as we lost our son last May. Fred is more then a soldier and a family man. He is the elite of all Americans. An yes, a HERO! Fred as others have touched many many many lives in the military, among friends, neighbors and in Iraq. The election only confirms that he was apart of history. To risk his life so others could have the opportunity to be free. our heart and prays are with your family. I am so thankful for Fred, all the other fallen heroes and those still serving our great country. God Bless!"
leonard wahl of Valley Stream NY

All we can say is "Thank you Fred". You answered the call to protect us from those who wish to destroy America and we deeply appreciates that. To your loved ones, take comfort in knowing that one day you will again embrace your Marine. Semper Fi, God Bless you and may He grant your loved ones peace. From a very grateful American family."
The Shaw family of Pasadena, Maryland

"To the family and friends of Lance Corporal Fred L. Maciel,

Those we hold most dear, never truly leave us. May you find comfort in love's everlasting connection.

In the Support section of this web site you will find links to many groups that support you at this crucial time. The Marine Comfort Quilt group would be honored to send a quilt to the next of kin. There are many, loving and caring Americans from all over the United States that will never forget the sacrifice that your loved one has made for our Freedom. Please use our link and register so we can send you our "Love Stitched Together"
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca USA

"To Fred'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 hero's bravery and sacrifice as we mourn the loss of yet another of Texas' sons.


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

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

"Thank you Fred Maciel, 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 Lance Cpl. Fred Maciel:
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 Fred 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 Lance Cpl. Fred Maciel:
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 Fred, 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