Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. James C. Matteson

23, of Celoron, New York.
Matteson died in Fallujah, Iraq, when a rocket-propelled grenade struck his Bradley Fighting Vehicle. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, Vilseck, Germany. Died on November 12, 2004.

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"I wish i got the chance to know you...
While growing up with Brandon and fishing with Uncle Jay, i heard so many stories about you. The older i got the more stories i heard.
I barely knew you. You were, are, and always will be, my hero! Your life, your achievements, your sacrafice. You inspired me to enlist myself. Everyday i try to be the best soldier i can. I think about you, and our family, every single day. Family is what drives me, just as i know it drove you!
No matter how long or short it might be, i look forward to seeing you again cousin. I'll make sure i bring some of my own stories to share with you!"
Adam Hakes of JBLM, WA

"Today I was in a flag line for the Northern Colorado Honor Flights, the flag I was holding was dedicated to James. I was honored to hold that flag today."
David McPherson of Erie, Colorado

I just want to say that, I think about you atleast once a day. Your life, your accomplishments, your story, your laugh & a smile that could light up a room. I remember a party at Nick & Kristen 's .. I think you were home on leave. But we talked for awhile, then I remember all of us drinking and dancing in their livingroom. Lol. I believe that after you passed and Nick was sent to Falujah, and nick almost got killed, that it was you, you were his guardian angel. I go down to the VVA sometimes and I go to your and Cooper's picture and I have my own moment of silence. I haven't found the courage to go to your memorial yet... its too hard. I wanted to on Veterans day this year. 12 Nov 2012. .. you died that day 8 years ago and my grandpa took his last breath that day, this year. I couldn't leave my bed at all for almost a week. I just wanted to say, thank you. For your memories that you gave me, the support & advice, and ultimately your sacrifice, not only to your country, but to me & my family. I will NEVER forget you. Rest In Peace J.C. <3"
lisa b. of falconer ny

"Thinking of you this Memorial Day 2012 and always JC. You are the hero in my heart. God bless you and all your fellow service members. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten. Love always Sara J"

"To the family of:James C.Matteson
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""

"Mattie you were my first roommate at Benning. We sure had a lot of laughs and good times. I will never forget our little fun we had in Germany on our way to Bosnia. You were one of the great ones. I will never forget you. You will always live on through us brother. Gone but never forgotten. SCOUTS OUT brother!!! Till we meet again on the Green.
David Saccoccio"

"I am in the area and planning to visit the memorial. I am from AZ and my nephew Tyler Prewitt is also recognized and if possible I would like to speak with James Matteson and thank him personally for his work and efforts. If he could call Scott at 702-612-3662 I would really appreciate that. 7/10/11"
Scott of Bullhead City, AZ

"It's Memorial Day, 2010 and I've just returned from a ceremony weekend in France. I don't know if it was coincidence or not but, I found your sister on FB wanting to be a friend of mine. I must admit that I haven't been the most kind person to your family. I had promised that I would keep in touch with your dad but, to do so had just caused me so much pain. I wake up every day and wonder what I could have done differently that day so that things would have worked out for the better, that you would still be with us. I just don't know where I failed you that day. I wish I could go back and do things differently, maybe you would still be with us today. I Just don't know what I could have done differently. Rest in Peace my Brother."
1SG Daniel Bumbaugh of Grafenwoehr Germany

"you were loved, you are missed you are not forgotten..."
omar torres of fayetteville, nc

"I'm very sorry I didn't know of this sooner. I was looking to find guys that made an impact to me in my beginning in the Army. I served with Matteson while in D TRP 5-15th CAV in Ft. Knox, KY in 1998. We were actually in the same Plt. We were even in the same room and challenged each other during PT. He was a great guy who was always making jokes and cheering the rest of us up. I remember Drill Sergeant Watson smoking us in the hall to the point that we were making it rain. I remember you forgetting to put the webbing in your kevlar and having the bobble head thing going on while we marched up the hill on the way to class. I remember wishing I was going with you when we were told which duty station we were assigned to. I don't hear from many of the guys from our room anymore. Yonkin, Bob, Klingman, we were all boys back then. We all miss you pal, See you at Fiddlers Green. Scouts Out! Wolfpack 1st Plt. D Trp 5-15th Cav"
SSG Luke Smith of Ft. Lewis, WA

"A few weeks ago I was in Busti NY and saw the memorial of SSG J.C. Matteson. I had the privilege of knowing J.C. back in high school and had the even greater privilege of calling him my friend. When I was sitting in front of his memorial I couldn’t help but to think of our time playing sports together. J.C. was first every time in everything we ever did. Every sprint, every drill and even every warm up lap we had J.C. was always leading the way. This was not because he was the fastest or the most talented though he was both of these; it was because he had the most heart of anyone I have ever met, a true leader in every sense, always by example. Not only was he first in everything but he also did this with one of the most infectious smiles. No matter how physically demanding it was or how cold or miserable everyone around him was feeling; J.C. always had that same smile from ear to ear with everything he did. On this Veterans Day, the eve of the 5 year anniversary of his untimely passing I couldn’t help but to think of SSG J.C. Matteson. I never saw J.C. after high school but I do know who he was and what he stood for. I know he gave this country more heart, effort and dedication than any man has ever given; making the ultimate sacrifice for what he believed in. J.C. was a leader, a patriot, a hero and an inspiration. With so much wrong in the world today he represented everything that is right. “Some gave all” couldn’t be more appropriate."
Rushton Siggins of Charlotte, NC

I miss you"

"November 15, 2008
To the family of Sgt. James C. Matteson:
James 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

"Thank you for all that you have given to our country. You will not be forgotten. Today I saw a monument in Busti, NY with you and your fellow soldiers on it."
Mark of Lake View, NY

"hi im so sorry to hear about james i came across his picture on the internetwhile searching for mattesons also noticeing he has the sam last name and same anitials of my dad james clyde matteson"
josh matteson of woodgate ny usa

"Rest in peace- you will not be forgotten.

June 1 , 2008"

"You will always be remembered by me and my family. I miss the Super Bowl Parties we had at my house and all the laughs we had. You were always there for all of us. I miss you Bro. I call ur dad every year on Nov 12th and pay my respects. I will return to Soldier's Circle soon to see you. I know You are watching down on me as My soldiers and I go out in sector. Sharlene and nathan miss you too and Asha still talks about you. You will never be forgotten Bro. We all Love and miss you. SCOUTS OUT..."
LEE of back in Iraq in Diyala again


Not a day has passed when I haven't thought of you. You were one of the best friends a person could ever ask for. I was blessed to have you in my life and am thankful for all the good memories I have. I miss you."
SSG Cody Melby of Portland, OR

"I was assigned to HHC 1/30 at FT Benning with James. While I was a mortar and he was a cout we lived on the same floor of the barracks and we were together quite often. My buddy, SSG Marvier, told me of his passing and I was in shock. He was a great person, always happy, and had a great outlook on life. I am truly honored to have known and served with him, and express my sicere condolences to the Matteson family. Rest well brother, we shall meet again."
Michael Dirck of Phenix City, AL

"mattie, ill never forget when you maxed the squadron pt push ups back at basic bro. and ill never forget that day in fallujah when the insurgants stole you away from us, we made them pay bro, we made them pay, three years ago today on this veterans day we made history, a story that will never fade"
SSG amyett of arkansas

"Hey Bro...sorry it has been so long. I was there, on loan to the marines, and I saw you get hit...Never has my scope been so dark, I am sorry I couldn't do anything for you man. I love you, and I miss you soooo much. Godspeed Bro..."
SSG Brandon Kitts of Colorado Springs, CO

Its Josh man. I just want to let you know we are still missing you. I named my daughter after you man, so did Gill, guess you impacted all of us alot more than you thought, huh? I know you are looking down on me wondering why I am back in this green uniform??? Guess there is a plan for all of us. Love you man, see you soon.
I love you brother."
chronic of Springfield,MO.

"I served with Mattie for just about three years. I never had a dull moment. I will never forget the times I shared with him. My brother will forever be in my heart and never forgotten. Miss you!! SCOUTS OUT"
SSG Kristopher Van Beveren of Manhattan Beach, CA USA

"Matty was one of the finest, bravest men I've ever met. It was a privilege and honor to serve with him. Whenever life feels difficult, I think of Matty's limitless courage and optimism. Rest in peace, brother..."

"I can hardly believe it has been a year since we lost you. You are in my thoughts often. I hope that a year has helped to heal our family, but we will always wish we could've known who you would have become and wonder what great things you left undone...your time was limited but you touched so many in so many different places even now in your death you link many by a common thread ...love, family, honor, friendship, hero, death...I am lucky to have known you while you were here and know that I and many others have a great angel watching out for us above...Miss you and we will meet again someday..."
Lisa of New York

"SGT Matteson,
I was the Fire Support Officer from 2-63AR that got attached to you the day before we got hit. You took care of me like I was one of your own. I will never forget you or what you have done. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think back about that battle. To the Matteson family, my deepest condolences go out to you. Be proud of your son, a true hero."
1LT Andrew Hoeprich of Bamberg, Germany

"I knew Sgt. Matteson back in OSUT at Fort Knox in 1998. He and I were together in 1st Squad/1st Platoon Delta Troop of the 5/15 Cav. Even though I parted the Army after only 6 weeks in, he had an impact on me. His attitude of never giving up, the sacrifices he made to get in the Army by passing up college football scholarships to serve, and his frustration of wanting to be the best because he knew he could be, still remains with me. I will never forget the time he got smoked by Drill Sgt. Watson because he forgot to put the webbing in his kevlar and was marching in formation, looking like a bobble headed doll. I will never forget how we laughed about it later and how we laughed again because I got smoked for being "Pvt. Stinky" by not washing the salt off of my BDUs from the gas chamber. I shall always remeber those down times on Sundays, and how we talked of home so often.

Though my words can never assauge the pain his family will forever feel, I know in my own soul, that he did not pass in vain - that his fight was hard to the end because that is how he was ,and always will be: inspirational, hard working, selfless, and even loving for his fellow squad members and mates.

As I sit and reflect on my time in the Army and my time with JC, I feel guilty. Guilty, because I have thought of him so often through the years and how I was not there for him like he was there for me in 1998 as I had struggled with pangs of fear, anxiety and even depression.

I truly and deeply hope that his passing was as peaceful as his life had began - at peace with himself. God rest JC's soul. Go rest high on that mountain my once 17 year old friend. Your work is done for now."
Bill Boyer of Columbia, SC, USA

"Sgt. Mattie, i to will never forget that day. having lost you in that horrible place was a deep blow for me and all of us in your platoon. I and all of the scouts of 2-2 will forever remember you. i will rememeber you for the rest of my life, remember the sacrifice that you made for us and your country, and all the good times that we shared in more peaceful times. when i think of those times, a smile comes across my face, and you are not so far from me. you were a great sergeant, a better brother, and an even unforgetable friend. may you rest in peace."
Thomas Grimstad 2-2 Inf, HHC Scout Platoon of Vilseck Germany

"This world is a better place for having you in it. I would not have the freedoms I have without soldiers like you... God Loves You"
Cheryl of Gerry, NY

"Our sons were brothers in arms in the service of the greatest nation on the face of Gods earth. Now they are brothers in arms in the service of the Lord in heaven. You and your family have our most sincere condolences. We know all too well the pain and the grief of losing a son. (Sgt. James Daniel Faulkner, Baghdad Iraq 9/8/04) There are no words I can say to ease your burden except to let you know that you are not alone, and that we will never forget your sacrifice. Thank you for raising such a brave and honorable son. He is a true patriot. We will pray for your family and your son."
Greg and Pam Gilkey of Clarksville Indiana greggilk@insightbb.com

"J.C. you were a great soldier and we all miss you.Your my hero."
Lacey of Lakewood, ny

"J.C. You where like a brother to me. You made me see alot of things and helped me become a better person and a man. You'll be a hero to me forever. You inspired me to do many of the things I do today. You made me relize the meaning of family because you demonstrated it so well. Whether it be on the football field or in Iraq you always put others before yourself. I can only hope to be as good of a person as you were and that we will someday meet again. I miss you alot and pray for you every night. God Bless you J.C. and the entire family. They're all in my prayers. You'll be missed."
Dan Matteson of Gerry, New York, United States of America

"My dear friend.. I will never forget that day as long as i live. Not a day doesnt pass that all of us think of you and know being back home in Germany we ask ourselfs why? Why couldnt it have been one of us instead of you. We love you Mattie!!! We will never forget.. SGT Justin Kandarian 2-2 SCOUTS"
Justin of Vilseck Germany

"Although I didn't know you personally, I am grateful for knowing your mom and sister. And a promise that I make to you, is that I will help your family for as long as they need me. May your spirit live in peace and I embrace the spirits of you and your family. May you walk in the presence of the Lord and shine your love down through the clouds."
Stacy Adams of Springfield, MO. US

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

"I met Sgt Matteson while on deployment in Kosovo in '03, through my roommate, who was a good friend of his. I am really saddened to learn of his passing. Sgt Matteson had such a happy disposition about him, and was always very friendly and kind. I would always remember him for his smile, and now for his sacrifice."
Echo Greninger of USA

"I was a classmate of JC. When i heard the news my heart broke. JC was the best guy around always there to give you a helping hand. We will all remember that big smile he always had. JC we all love you and will miss you dearly. you will be in our hearts forever.."
Nicole of Lakewood NY USA

"As God embraces your beloved, know that I, will forever be grateful for his service and his sacrifice."
James A Matteson of Montana

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

"To James' 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.


The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
Gloria Caldas (The Big Ern's Mom) of San Antonio, TX

"To the Matteson family our family is deeply sadden by your lost of James. his lost is more personal to our family.Although, I can't be sure if James knew our son Gregory. Both had been stationed at Veslick then in Iraq. An we lost Gregory in May of this year. Now both are together once again.Words are truely diffucult to express. That are comforting now. An each lost hurts. But, I know this of James. He has touched many many lives. From his military family, friends, neighbors and his family. He is a Hero!An an amazing American. That all Americans should be thankful to James and the thousand that serve our great country. God Bless!"
leonard wahl of Valley Stream Long Island

"To James' 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 for the gift of Freedom. I will honor it in your memory."
P Bell of Macon,Ga

"Thank you James Matteson, 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. James Matteson:
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 James 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. James Matteson:
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 James, 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