Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Christopher S. Merchant

32, of Hardwick, Vermont.
Merchant died in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, when his HMMWV came under attack by enemy forces using a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device and rocket-propelled grenade. He was assigned to the Army National Guard's 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Regiment, Jericho, Vermont. Died on March 1, 2006.

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"To the family of:Christopher S. Merchant
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""

"Dear Merchant Family,
I did not have the honor of knowing SPC Chris Merchant, but I hear he was a hero in his civilian life and his military life. When my husband was at Ft. Benning, I came upon a wristband with Chris's name and information on it and felt my heart ache for you all! Reading all of the stories makes me feel all the more certain that I bought this band for a reason and that is to wear it every day in his honor and pray for his family. Though we did not ever meet, I feel that I got to know a part of him by reading all of your stories and I will continue to wear his band and pray for you every day. Thank you both for your sacrifice."
Kristen Threadgill of Ft. Drum, NY/ U.S.

"I had the pleasure of serving with Chris at Fort Lewis, WA. He was one of my best friends and often stayed with family I had in WA. Unfortunately at the end of my active service we had a rift develop between us which was only partial patched before I got out. Today is veterans day. I decided to see if we could finish patching things and keep promises to meet each others families. I am saddened to find it is too late and I wish his family all the best."
Christopher Cough of Ellsworth, Maine

"To the family of SPC Chris Merchant...I have served this great country of our for 25 years in the United States Army. Recently I ordered a KIA braclet from Ranger Joe's. The braclet has your son on it. I will be proud to wear this braclet in memory of your son's sacrafice to our country.

Take care and God bless you."
Ricky A. Claybourn, 228th Signal Company HelpDesk of Camp Arifjan, Kuwait

"February 27, 2009
To the family of Spc. Christopher S. Merchant:
Christopher 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

"Dear Merchant family,
It has been nearly 3 years since we received the most horrible news we could imagine....and it still hurts like it was yesterday. We will never get over the loss of such a special and warm young man, but we will always cherish the memories we have of him. I miss bowling with Chris, and I miss hearing him talk about his family. I miss teasing him about the Yankees, and I miss him teasing me about the Red Sox. Most of all I miss his great smile and laugh. Chris may be gone, but he will never be forgotten. I miss you buddy."
Chris Morse of Worcester, VT

"We all miss you....

He was like a father to me and i miss him very much. My sister is his daughter Amber Rose Bragg-Merchant. When i didn't know my father he was there for me and always was very very nice he was quite funny when he wanted to be. He always knew how to make someone laugh. Well everyone knows that we will all miss him...from me i really really miss him especially knowing that he died on my birthday March 3......

Thank you for being there..."
Andrew Bragg of Pittsfield, ME

"Dear Spc Chris Merchant and Family:
we have never met in person. The only unfortunate time I saw you was on that unfortunate day, 1 Mar 06. For me that day has two meanings, the day of the attack and your untimely death and the birth of my daughter. Yes they both happened on the same day. I would like to thank you Chris, and your family, for your sacrifice and theirs. Even to someone you have never met, you will never be forgotten, EVER. Thank you. With all RESPECT, And HONOR."
SGT. c co 1/172 of Harrisburg, Pa

"Before Chris was a hero to the nation, he was my hero. We were neighbors and he always found time to help out the single mom on the block. From shoveling my snowy walk to putting together my new desk. He was a kind man and a loving father. I am honored to have known him."
Heather of Barre, VT

"Your service, patriotism, and courage will never be forgotten."
the "Hulk" of So Cal

"Chris and Family,
Sorry it has been so long I just found this sight. You are a true American Hero!! I wear you name on my wrist so I can remember the reason we are here The loss of you has left me feeling numb as the times we spent just b/s-ing the days away at the fob but me let me tell you, I Will Never Forget you or Jose for your dedication to the USA and all it represents Rest in pease My Brother.. Mitchell Vincelette B-Troop 1/104th cav"
Mitchell Vincelette of Dorset Vt.

"To my brother in arms, I miss our times of playing golf on PS2 and talks of our family bowling together. I hurt the day when I lost you as a friend. But am saden on lose this world now has without you. You and Jose were the top best of us. An now this world seems a little less dim without your lights to shine us home. I wish i could talk to you one last time before we parted on leave. I so you and perry we both laughed and said see you in a little bit. Keep the fire lit. I introduced you to one of my buddies form NU Enrequize. You told me Ill watch him for you. I know you did. Man i miss you more more every day. I know god has a good solider by hi side."
SPC GERALD E ADAMS JR 3/172 MT IN task force saber B-trp of VERMONT

"Dear Christopher, I remember the day you were born 32 years ago and your Mom and Dad came and asked me and your uncle to be your Godparents. We were beaming and so proud to be a part of your life! And then they told me I could choose your middle name; well, Christopher Scott, we are still so very proud of you and what you have done not only in our lives but in the lives of so many others as well. We grieve and we miss you terribly but we are assured by our God that you are safely resting in the palm of His Hands now. Your smile and the sound of your laugh will be forever in my heart; and you, my dearest Chris will be always in my prayers. Til we meet again in Christ."
Claire and Mike Puchrik of Williston, Vermont

"May 20, 2006
Dear Christopher

When you deployed you left a "Blue Star" hanging over our family.
There were many stressful, prayerful days longing for your safe return.
But,all too soon the blue star turned to gold and our hopes and dreams were destroyed.
This weekend we find ourselves on a bus with many people just like us. They know and feel the same things as we do.
We see that it is okay to cry, to laugh, to joke, to live.
It makes us realize that your star did not fade to gold. That "Gold Star" is you. Our knight in shining armor standing on the clouds of heaven. Standing guard at God's gate, awaiting the day when we can once again see you and hold you in our arms.
We will always miss your laugh, your smile and your thoughtful ways.
We will always love you, never forget you and always hold your memory in a place of honor.
Until we meet again.
Love always, Mom & Dad.
(written enroute to the National Day of Remembrance in Washington DC with the Vermont Fallen Families)"
Gary & Janet Merchant of Johnson VT 05656

"I will see his smileing face in the new system! He was always cheerful and loved friends and family. He liked to play practical jokes on me,and I cant wait to surprise him when he wakes into a new world."
with love to the merchant family, Lucille Fecteau of Vermont

"Gary and Janet, I know that we all want our soldiers to be remembered, and our trip to DC this past weekend, sure made a difference in remembering our boys. It was so nice to meet all the families with fallen soldiers and to bond with each other, in our boy's memories. This is their gift to us, the families we might never have met, the people who are helping us to deal with the loss and pain. Christopher will not be forgotten and lives on in you both. I truly hope that you are soon reunited with his children. I consider it an honor to know Christopher's wonderful parents. We know all too well, the sorrow and heartache you are going through and we will always be here for you both."
Steve and Marion Gray, parents of Sgt Jamie Gray, KIA june 7, 2004 of East Calais, Vt

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

"Thank you Christopher Merchant, 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 Spc. Christopher Merchant:
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 Christopher 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 Spc. Christopher Merchant:
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 Christopher, 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