Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph C. McCarthy

21, of Concho, California.
McCarthy died due to enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. Died on September 6, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph C. McCarthy.


Thank You, Joe
Contributions to the Families of the Fallen


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

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"I love & miss you each and every day. But this day brings such great hurt words will never be able to describe.
I miss you my son now and till I see you again"
Mom of My Heart

"Thank you Mary and Brindi for not only your wonderful comments but for remembering him and his special gift he gave all how knew him or even those who didn't... A Smile!
We are at the finish line to completing a replica of Joe handing Kids candy for the center piece of a Veteran's memorial which will be placed in St Johns. We are working on finishing his face.My daughter Jennie said one of the most important things that needed to be right with the sculpture of Joe was his smile when handing those kids candy. He smiled even in one of the worst situations (WAR) and he still brought smiles to himself those children and he's follow Marines.
We were truly blessed to have been able to hold and love this awesome young man. I can not wait to do this again."
Rhonda of cpljoes.org St Johns AZ

"Rhonda, I just bought a memorial bracelet in your sons name. I will wear it proudly, and tell your sons story whenever anyone asks. He first touched my life in that now famous picture of him handing out candy to the Iraqi children. And months later he touched my life again by giving the ultimate sacrifice. I have a 20 year old son. I know, I know, I know.... I will wear his bracelet proudly. You raised a wonderful son, and he is now a special Angel."
Mary of Phoenix, AZ

"Rhonda, I love your son with all my heart. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him and remember little things about him. I hated school dances until I went to one where he was on the dance floor. I passed out drunk in Steph's bathroom one night while he was there, and he kicked the door in, in true Devil Dog fashion, to make sure I was ok. He used to come in to the drug store and bounce balls down the aisles to get my attention, until my boss glared at him and told me my friend needed to leave. He was like that to so many people, just full of love and laughter. I am so grateful for your family, for the friendship of your daughters and your outstanding Italian cooking, and mostly the sacrifice your family has made. I am grateful to have known Joe. As long as I live, I will not let him be forgotten."
Brindi of Tempe, AZ

"7 years and the tears are still not only on my cheeks but in my heart.....I miss you so much son I love you"
Joe's mom of St Johns AZ

"thank you american soldier my visit cemetery anzio italy ,thank you italy free .to day 60 million italian people possible thanks sacrifice.to rest peace"
william donati of montesilvano italy

"#7 without you at Christmas.....I love you"
Mom........ of Home

"#6 Joe, I am Still crying!"
Mom of Home

"I never want to forget the sacrifices of so many young men and women. I am so proud it makes me cry. I understand in theory only that war is a part of human nature but so is love and caring. I wish I could take the families pain away but I can't. I am committed to loving ALL people, myself and our environment. I am committed to working on my happiness everyday because so many have died for my freedom to live my life. Thank you is not enough but it is all I have. All my love and respect. ogersteiner@yahoo.com

Scott Steiner of Worthington, OH USA

"It will soon be 5 years. I can hardly breath. i miss you just as much today as I did 5 years ago when that horrible new was delivered to us. You have a beautiful nephew named after you Joe. I can not bring myself to call him Joe so we call him JoGa, I know you see him. Even though he has that orange hair I love him. He has be unable to fill that huge hole you left in my heart but he is a good filler. When I need it the most he is here. I love you son and wish you where here with us. bye for now....Remembering 9/6/2004 forever!"
Mom of St Johns AZ

"To the family of Lance Cpl. Joseph McCarthy, I would like to express my deepest sympathy for your loss. He made the Ultimate Sacrifice and for his country and I am eternally grateful. I never knew him, but I am honored to say that we share the same name. My thoughts and Prayers go out to you."
Joseph McCarthy of New Jersey

"Well your 26th b-day is about to arrive. I can not stop crying. I will always remember son. I will always miss you I will never forget! You turned 19 for the last birthday we spent together. 20 you entered into war 21 you were in Iraq and never made it home for 22.
i love you son, I am trying......
Rhonda of St Johns AZ

"Peggy, I am sitting here alone. This is the 4th anniversary to the last time I spoke to my son. I can not nor will I ever forget him as well as all those who have died serving this great nation. Thank you for finding Joe and posting. Semper Fi..... Rhonda"
RHonda of St Johns AZ

"August 20, 2008
To the family of Lance Cpl. Joseph C. McCarthy:
Joseph 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 Alex I just found this posting 3/31/08 I moved it to thankyoujoe.com I am logging as much as I can about Joe so his future nieces nephews and cousins will always have a place to see his impact to this world. If you would visit this site and post whenever you feel like it. I love hearing things about him. Thank you for remembering him and touching my heart Joe's mom Rhonda"
Rhonda of St Johns AZ

"Just want to say to The McCarthy Family I was His Team Leader And Squad Leader In The First War In Iraq Along With SSGT Lerma And Every Time I see something or See A Movie Espaecilay ''COMMING TO AMERICA'' It Makes me cry because I used to tell him to do the Jewish Charactor that Eddie Murphy Played. He always made me laugh and I was so proud to have Him In My squad because I had him as one of my junior Marines. By the time my time finished In the Marines going home after the first Iraq War, Said to him you better come back because I want to see you and have you visit NYC where I live. To the McCarthy Family He was always In my heart since I had him In my Squad He made me laugh all the time. Also I made him laugh to. LOVE YOU Joe and I miss you. When I Am done here on Earth and Go to Heaven I will Relieve you from gaurding the Gates Of Heaven. You will be senior to me when I get there,But Dont think I will Be Calling you Sir:):) Just Kidding Joe:):)Love You Man And Miss The Crap Out Of You
Cpl. Alex Avellan NY NYn ''Old Man Yolk''
Fox Co Raiders
Cpl. Alex Avellan of Port Washington NY 11050

"I love you Joe and miss you everyday.. You took a big piece if my heart with you..We got the go on the veteran's memorial to be built in the park Joe! Know we will find the funds to build it and show this community how to say Thank you to so many who have served. I hope we are making you proud of us! Love boy....MOM"
Rhonda of St Johns AZ

"Thank you. May G-d bless you and your family.
Semper FI Devil Dog"
Joe M of Richardson,TX USA

"I did not Joseph McCarthy but we share the last name. God Bless you for your ultimate sacrafice for freedom not only in the US but all over the world!"
S. McCarthy of Phoenix, AZ

"Rhonda and Amanda:
I was remembering that wonderful photo of Joe giving candy to the local Iraqi children, that appeared on the cover of the North San Diego paper. I was stationed aboard Camp Pendleton, due for retirement. I sang a song at the Christmas program the hospital put on that year, and I told the audience that I wanted to dedicate it to Joe. The song is called "Remember when it rained" by Josh Groban. Everytime I hear it, it remains forever linked to him. May it help you to know that others are feeling, not exactly, but something akin to what you feel. I was a Corpsman, and we're just not suppose to let ANYTHING happen to our Marines; NOTHING. We have deep love for them, and we feel like we're responsible for them, that they are ours.
Please know that you are in my prayers always. You WILL see him again. In fact, he never left you at all....
God continue to bless, comfort, and keep you forever
Much, much love,
Suzanne Arroyo, USN/ret.
formerly of S.M.A.R.T. Clinic, 52 area,
Camp Pendleton, Ca.
Suzanne Arroyo of Sugar Land, Texas

""Thank you Joseph C. McCarthy, 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."
Richard S. McCarthy of Locust Grove, GA

"Hey Amanda, just wanted to tell you if you ever need anything, just let me know. I'm so glad we got to get to know each other last summer. Thoughts and prayers, Erin, Zac, and Nicolas Ryder"
Erin Stevens of All over

"Hello Sweetie,
I just wanted to let you know that I will never forget our friendship. My fondest memeories about also being a Marine Wife, is being your friend. I will always be here is you need anything. Semper Fi!"
Ruthy of Salt Lake City, Utah

I would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"we have started a foundation in Joe's honor. Please help support us. Visit www.cpljoes.org"
Rhonda of st johns az

"Hello Amanda, it seems like so long since we last talked, i just wanted you to know that we are always here for you, whatever you need, dont hesitate to ask."
Amanda Contreras of slc utah

"Dear Rhonda,
Although I only knew youíre son briefly, I feel I know him well, Amanda has done a wonderful job of letting us know what an amazing person he was, My husband served with Joe and misses him greatly, he has wonderful memories of Joe, I can not tell you enough how sorry I am for youíre loss, every night he is in our prayers, he was an incredible person, and he his deeply missed, its like my husband said you donít meet many people like Joe in youíre life, all you can do is to hope that you will meet again.
Amanda Contreras"
Amanda Contreras of salt lake city

"it is working on the first year without you. i can't help but feel like it was yesterday when i got the news. i re live it almost every night. I miss you soo much. I am so proud of you Joe. You were a wonderfull young man who had such a sense of love. I was always baffled why you choose to be a marine then That photo of you with the kids showed me. You always told me it was the children that would make the change, I hope you were right son, I hope one day to met those kids if they survive this war. I hope you made them see that freedom is and always will be worth your sacrifice. And OURS! we miss you so much I will love you forever. MOM"
cpljoes.org of st Johns Az

"To the family of Joseph C. McCarthy, 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. Hopefully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus.If you need someone to pray with you or need someone to talk to please call or write my pastor at Gateway Community Church Rev. John B. Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd. Covington, Ga.30016 phone 770-787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ,"
Polly Ballew of Covington Ga. U S A



"not a day goes by where you are not thought of..."

"To the missing piece of my heart,
Thanksgiving was hard but now that christmas is approaching I fear it will be worst. You know we never celebrate without us all together. This is never going to happen, in this life, again. How am I to continue everyday as if nothing happened. I can't. I try, but I can't. You ment so much to us Joe. You died in such a heroric way that we have the world feeling and praying for us. Thank you. Boy just think if they really knew what was loss that day. When I read Lerma piece I cry everytime. He knew. I seen that in his eyes that day. I remembered very little but I remember his pain. I thank him for keeping you alive in his heart and in his home. You were a great man, and marine, son. Your photo seems to help show that to the world. I miss you...MOM"
Rhonda McCarthy of St Johns Az USA

"To the family of this hero, thank you for your sacrifice, please know that it was not in vain. Thank you for giving your husband and son for my freedom.

I just learned of your hero today when I recieved a bracelet with his name on it. I will proudly wear it in honor of him, and his as well as your ultimate sacrifice.

Your family is in my prayers."
Jodie Miller of Apollo, Pennsylvania

"He was a real Marine. He will be missed here. We can't help but think of him everyday. Hang tough Amanda. Semper Fi Joe."
Gene and Flo Sopko of St. Johns, Arizona

TO those of you who have taken the time to leave our family messages on this website, a sincere THANK YOU! Thank you for remembering Joe. We know how important he was to us, and it's really nice to hear that he was truely appreciated by all of you too. Thank you for all of your support. Thank you the Marines that were with Joe. Thank you SSgt. Lerma for the things you said about Joe, and for walking with me to the cemetary. It ment more than words can explain to have you, a man very respected by my husband walking next to me that day. You and your family will be in my prayers. Thank you to all those who were here for the funeral, sent cards or helped us honor Joe in some way. You support is very much appreciated.

A Very proud, but sad Marine's wife,

Amanda McCarthy
Amanda R. McCarthy of Fallbrook, Ca.

"I pray that you find peace and rest in the comfort of God.
Sister to a 2/1 Marine"
Keeley of New Braunfels, Tx

"I have thought about you almost every moment in last couple of weeks. I can't believe you are gone. You were a good, good kid. I never once heard you moan or complain. You fought next to me and never once hesitated. You had a quite stength. To the family I want you to know that I lead your son though his first tour in Iraq as his plt. sgt. he was attached to my plt. and I asked for him by name cause I knew I was getting a good man. I called your son a kid early becasue through it all he still kept the soft, loving, place in his heart that most of lose when we go into combat. The picture I submitted of him with the children captures his soul like know words can. Your son was a good man that made a good Marine. Your sons picture will hang in my house till the day I die so every one that comes in my house knows what a true American looks like. Even more so that my sons can see the faces of those who fought next to me and brought me home alive. For me it will remind me to carry on even though my heart is so heavy with loss of so many young men I knew. As a testimony to my friends I've lost I will live a good as life as I can so that everyone that will listen will know that they did not die in vain.
I am so sorry for all you."
SSgt. Lerma

"To the family and friends of Lance Corporal Joseph C. McCarthy,

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 register so we can send you our "Love Stitched Together."

Proud Marine Mom and Proud Member of Marine Comfort Quilts"
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca

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

"To Joseph'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.


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

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

"To the family of Joseph,
Our sincerest condolences for your loss. Our family has also suffered the loss of a precious life in this battle for feedom. I know the pain your going through. Joseph is a true American hero and will always be remembered for his bravery and sacrifice he gave to our country. May God bless you during this difficult time."
The McClain family--azquail@att.nett of Tucson, AZ

You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Your husband Joseph may have fallen but will not be forgotten! Our oldest son is a Cpl. in 2/1 and also there in Iraq now. Because of this I feel all his brother Marines are our family. May God be especially near you during this difficult time.
A Marine Mom"
Marilyn Harrell of Falkner, MS

"Thank you brave soldier for sacrificing your today for my children's safer tomorrow. You have our utmost respect and gratitude. May God provide your family with comfort in their time of sorrow. May you forever rest in Heavenly peace. Neither you nor your sacrifice will be forgotten."
a grateful family in Phoenix, AZ

"Thank you Joseph McCarthy, 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. Joseph McCarthy:
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 Joseph 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. Joseph McCarthy:
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 Joseph, 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