Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Cory R. Mracek

26, of Hay Springs, Nebraska.
Mracek was killed in an improvised explosive device attack near Iskandariyah. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 319th Field Artillery, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Died on January 27, 2004.

Photographed by Spc. Martinez, Francisco G. in South Korea

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Sgt. Cory R. Mracek.


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

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"to the family of cory mracek. my heart goes out to you and all of cory's love ones. he volunteered to give his life to our country. hes my hero. memorial day should come more than once a year.
he will never be forgotten."
yvonne robinson of gardena, california

"To the family of:Cory R. Mracek
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""

"Thank you Cory for your sacrifce. God bless you and your family.

SFC Kevin Kirchoffer of Fort Worth, Tx

"Memorial day 2010... Cory I miss you Brother. Will be thinking of you all weekend. Pat, I hope you are doing well and we miss you too."
CW2 Abel Almanza of Fort Bragg, NC

I found some more pictures of us together from Ft. Campbell. Even after all this time it is hard to believe that you are gone. Everybody who was blessed to have met you is changed forever. You will never be forgotten."
Pamela of Oklahoma


I still think about you brother. Until our paths meet again..."
SSG Dan Dicker of Fort Sill, Oklahoma

"I still think of you Cory and I try to laugh more than I cry but it's not always easy. You were such a very special man and I will always consider myself blessed to have known and loved you and your family."
Angela of Tennessee


Its been 5 years since you left us. I still think of you and I still wear a reminder of you on my right wrist. Take care up there one day I will see you on the DZ. Thanks for pulling security till I get there."
SFC Udani of Iraq

"What It Takes To Be A United States Soldier

It takes discipline, courage and bravery,
That cannot be compared.
It takes laying down his life,
So that his brothers might be spared.

His reality as each new day dawns,
Is that, it may be his last.
Yet there on the frontline's with his brethren,
His resolve is strong, he remains steadfast.

For his purpose is truly noble,
And his conscience is crystal clear.
The job he has taken upon himself,
Does not allow him time to fear.

He has a strong sense of his country,
And to his fellowman.
His generosity knows no limits,
He has no other plan.

But to protect and serve the United States,
No matter what the expense.
So that you and I can live in freedom,
He'll lay down his life in our defense.

His vigilance and righteousness,
Help get him through each command,
So that we may live in security and peace,
While he fulfills the task at hand.

And at the end of his life as a U.S. soldier,
While marching in time as he waits,
His Maker and all of the angels,
Will be cheering at heaven's gates.

Copyright c 2003 by Minerva L. Serro
All rights reserved"
Minerva of Waterbury, CT USA

"For the family of Cory.... 1/27/2009
Mraceks, may you feel all the love and prayers that are coming to you today. Mom, Dad, Sisters, Grandparents, Nieces ...Cory must have loved you all very much, you are a very strong and wonderful family. Thank you for bring Cory into the world. Although it has been 5 years, it must seem unreal at times. Remember his laughs and his hugs and stay close to each other. What would we do without our families? God Bless You all!"
June & Jim Moore of Warren Center, Pa.

"Cory, It has been 5 years now and im still thinking of you Brother. I will visit your stone at the Special Operations Museum on Tuesday, 27 January 2009. Until then, Stay safe up there."
CW2 Abel Almanza of Fort Bragg, NC

"Hi fella, The years are passing by since you left. We still miss you and love you and are so very proud of you. So many things we see and hear remind us of you. One day we will see you again. We love you. Gram & gramps"
George&Charlotte Cummings of Gordon,NE USA

"January 18, 2009
To the family of Sgt. Cory R. Mracek:
Cory 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

"Cory Mracek loved the Army and was scheduled to reenlist the day he was killed. When I told him he would not be getting a bonus for reenlisting he told me the money didn't matter - he loved his job and the Soldier's he served with. He was the most upbeat, positive Soldier I have ever had the honor to meet. RIP."
SFC Matthew Bryant of Grafenwoehr, GM

"Hey Fella, Just think of you so often. We say, Cory Ryan would like this or that. We miss you and love you. We are so proud of you. Will see you one day."
Grandma & gramps of Gordon

"Its been 4 years and 2 days since you departed us. I know your up in heaven smiling down on us. It still seems like it was yesterday when everything happened with you. It still burns me inside on that day I told you everything would be ok when we deploy to Iraq. All of us in the platoon deployed to Afghanistan and you felt odd because you were new. I wish I never said those words to you because it still haunts me till this day. Your my HERO Cory. I thank you for what you have done for this country."


I just wanted to thank you and your family for reaching out to me and inviting me to share in your grief. I don't know if escaped my attention completely or if I had just a lapse in memory, but I just read the story about Cory's 6th jump at Bragg. I really missed that place, those guys were more like brothers. Time really doesn't make this easier, I've still got tears welling in my eyes...at any rate I've really enjoyed my time with you and the girls, still waiting to meet Jim. Might be time for me to take a trip up there, huh? I wish you all a Merry Christmas and I'm really looking forward to seeing you all again."
Robert Jepsen of Fort Campbell, KY

"Big Brother, well its been years now that you have left your family to go to heaven...I miss you more than words can express.I wish you could have been here for the birth of our neice and my graduation. I'm being an aunt and an uncle for you to Shelby. She loves me much and I know she would love you much. Its harder now that I'm getting older and you can't be here to watch it but I know your watching me from up there and please never stop. Everyone misses you each and everyday. Good-Bye brother See you someday... Love you"
Heather Mracek of Gering, Nebraska

"I didnt know cory all that well, he came to us so late. But I find myself over here again for the third time. This trip is diffrent I'm where I was the First time I heard the news. The wall is still here that we painted for him. Me and my friends gave the family a picture of the wall at the museum. I remember the last time I saw him as well, he was at Texas road house with some mutal friends of ours. We got into a peanut fight. Well brother rest in peace, and know that some of us are still here fighting the fight. Thanks to you and your family for all you gave up for us."
SGT John A. Vail B Trp 3/73 CAV 82nd Airborne Div. of Fort Bragg, NC

"I was so deeply saddened to hear that Cory is gone. I only found out two days ago when I was trying to reach him to tell him our cockatiel, Clyde, had recently died. I was so fortunate to have known and loved him. I will always remember his smile, his laughter, and his kindness and I fondly cherish the memories we shared. Pat, Jim, Stacy, Heather, Gramma and George, you will all remain in my thoughts and prayers, your soldier will forever be loved and missed."
Angela Hasty of Gallatin, TN (formerly of KY)

It has been 4 years since you have gone to heaven. I miss you very much and I think about you all the time. I wish that you could have met your niece. Some of the things she does she reminds me of you. You are apart of her life because I tell her about you all the time. We are very proud of you and miss you dearly. You will never be forgotten. We love you lots."
Stacy and Shelby Fry of Alliance, NE

It has been 4 years since you have gone to heaven. I miss you very much and I think about you all the time. I wish that you could have met your niece. Some of the things she does she reminds me of you. You are apart of her life because I tell her about you all the time. We are very proud of you and miss you dearly. You will never be forgotten. We love you lots."
Stacy and Shelby Fry of Alliance, NE

"Its been so long and it still haunts me. I remember talking to you that day before you went out on patrol brother. I thought things would be ok, I didnt realize that it would be the last time I would see you. I remember asking you if you had everything you needed, and you smiled at me and said " I do Sgt." I think of you all the time and I spoke to your mother a few times and I miss you bro. Pat, If you get this I was Cory's Section Sergeant in Iraq and I dont know if you remember me. I was the one who gave you the picture of cory at the special Ops museum when the stone was dedicated to him. I have thought of you and your family every year on Memorial day and on every 27th of January, God bless you...

Keep an eye on us down here Cory, We Love You!!!
WO1 Abel Almanza abel.almanza@us.army.mil of Ft. Bragg, NC

"It has been over 3 years since Cory passed. I remember the day before he deployed. We went out to the Texas Roadhouse for dinner and a couple drinks. I didn't get to deploy because only our fisters deployed and i am FDC. That night i said bye for now and he said, "I'll see you when i get back bro." Less than a month later the word got to us about Cory passing. I got the honor of going out to Chadron/Hay Springs, Nebraska for the funeral. Cory i miss you bro, but I'll see you soon."
SGT Daniel Dicker of Vilseck, Germany

This week, the nation takes a weekend off for Memorial Day. We celebrate the memories of men and women much like Cory. Time is supposed to ease the pain, but it hasn't. I think of Cory, Luke, and Buddy each and every day. Last night, I pulled out the poem that Heather wrote about Cory a few years back and it reminded me of that terrible night and loss for us all. Cory lives on in all of us and his loss is not in vain. He served his country and sacrificed his life so that others could share in the same freedoms he enjoyed and was willing to fight for in Iraq. We will never forget.......I will never forget. God bless you and your family.

Colonel Bruce Parker
Former Cdr, 2-505th PIR
Parker of Ft. Bragg

kat of wilson ok

kat of wilson ok

"I will be remembering Cory Ryan Mracek on Sunday, March 18, 2007 in Albany, New York in "Walk for Peace" on the 4th Anniversary of the Iraq War. We are all grateful to Cory and his family for the service that he gave to our country. He will never be forgotten."
Darleen Smith of Albany, New York

"its been 3 years now, and i still don't know what to say. i think of you all the time. i can still see your face, laughing at my *ing, just before we got hit. not a day goes by that i don't feel guilty for the minor injuries i recieved that night. you are truely missed brother.

to cory's family, i'm sorry i never spoke with you. my e-mail address is uncleremis69@yahoo.com"
jamie o'connell of livonia,mi

"Today is 3 years since you went to Heaven. We know God needed you to come home to him but it is hard to let go. We have our memories and your picture in a frame and we love you and miss you more than words and are so VERY PROUD of you. We Love you Cory Ryan. Grandma & Gramps"
George &Charlotte Cummings of Gordon, NE,

"There are so many wonderful messages on this site and our family thanks all of you for all the kind words. Cory was proud to be an American and proud to serve. We have heard from so many people that knew Cory and were shocked of his death. It has been almost three years and our hearts still hurt and always will, but the support we have received is overwhelming. We want to thank everyone who supports us and our troops. Please keep all of our military men and women in your prayers.
Proud family of SGT Cory Mracek
Pat and Jim
Stacy Fry
Pat Mracek of Hay Springs, NE

"Cory, We miss you so much. Each day there are so many things that happen to remind us of you , your humor, your laugh, your love of life. You are our hero. We are so proud of you and one day we will see you again. Our love to daughter Pat , Jim, Heather, Stacy , Jeremy."
Gram & Gramps of Gordon, NE. USA

"I was Cory's "Battle Buddy" all through osut in 1996 and have just recently found out about this tragedy while searching for him to get in contact. He was a great guy and best friend. And to the family, i have many pictures from our days at Sill so please feel free to contact me for any of them at davidwaltersjr@yahoo.com"
david walters of Ft Polk- presently in Baghdad

Well tomorrow will be 2 years since you left us. You are missed by all that knew you everyday. As you probably know, you have another fallen soldier up there with you. My Cousin Jason Fegler. Take care of each other and try not to get into too much trouble. I remember how you two were when we worked for dad and the time where we were stacking hay and you and Jason decided to wrestle and I got knocked off the top. I remember falling about 30 ft and then looking up just to see you guys faces and then hearing you say "are you ok"? I love and miss you. You are my hero."
Your Loving Friend, Amy (Lee) Toledo of Midway Park, NC

"Peace be with you..."
Paul Brian Michalak of Byron,MN U.S.

"I was Cory's Platoon Sergeant in Korea. Cory was one of the best NCO's I ever had. He was also a good friend and a great leader to his soldiers. He was always there for them and will be greatly missed by many. I hope you read what SPC Martinez wrote to Cory in here It means alot because he just past away in Iraq on sunday 20 Mar 05. He also put the picture in here. Cory will always be in my thoughts and prayers as will his family. I honor him and his family by the heroism of their son and for the wonderful son that they raised.
SFC Kevin Kirchoffer
Kevin Kirchoffer of Ft.Hood, TX

"To The Mracek Family,

It's been over a year since Cory, Luke, and Lester made the ultimate sacrifice on the field of battle. It seems like its only been yesterday when we lost these great paratroopers. I hope time has healed the wounds, the pain, and the loss that we felt. Cory, Lester, Luke you will always be remembered! Thank you for what you have done for America...America will always remember our fallen hero's!"
Sgt. Arnel Udani of 319th AFAR 82nd Airborne Division

"My heart goes out to the Mracek family and friends as we mark one year since those three young men were taken from us. I hope that the year has healed some of your pain, I can hardly imagine how raw the scars on your hearts must be. We think of you and your family often and will never forget."
of Andrews AFB, Maryland

"Thank you and God Bless..."
Jeff Mracek of Waterloo, IA

"I heard Cory's Mom on Hugh Hewitt yesterday. I have always intellectually understood the difference between the Michael Moore's and the John Kerry's of this world vs. the REAL American's who are fighting for America. Each death has caused me pain. But I have never FELT it like I FELT it when Cory's Mom was talking on the radio. I cried the whole time she was on the radio. I cried off and on for much of the evening. I prayed longer than I have prayed in a long time as I went to bed. The contrast between our soldiers who understand what is going on and are DOING something about it vs the *!&%*** crowd who talk about plans, summits, nuisances, global tests is so stark that it is impossible for me to understand why those people just don't get it.

Cory's family, Cory's friends, Cory's fellow soldiers, I grieve for your loss. I would gladly give up a million Michael Moore's to have one Cory Mracek in this world.

I am having trouble finding any words that have any real meaning. Saying I appreciate his service, his sacrifice means little compared to the value of his being alive. Saying Thanks seems hollow. Saying thanks for calling Hugh and really 'touching' me probably gets to my feelings more than any words do. Please keep speaking out so others can be touched also.

I have cried through the whole typing of this. It is so sad and yet in the world we live in, it is a fight that is so necessary ( unfortunately). There will be more sadness. I truly believe that Cory and other Heros, some Fallen, some still protecting us, will in the end succeed in their mission. There is no other viable option.

Tears, sadness, prayers, and thanks - inadequate as they may be."
Ron Eckstam of Mpls, MN USA!!!

"To the family of Cory: Hold your heads high for the sacrifice Cory and the thousands of others have made for the people of Iraq. Though they may not realize the great gift provided to them by my brothers and sisters. Blame not the innocent for the treachery of the cowards. Without great sacrifice there is no progress. When Cory got to Korea we took him under our wings to help alleviate the hardships we faced there as I am sure he did with the guys that got there after we had left. I will carry the good and not so good memories of me, Brian and Cory in Itaewon on weather passes and dealing with some senior NCOs that were not up to par. Hopefully Cory instilled some of what I instilled in him on to the new soldiers and helped them get through the grueling problems we face. Through Heaven and Hell, Being and Nothingness, I have known and befriended Cory. Rock Hard bro!"
SSG Debinion D 1-9IN FIST

"To the family of Cory,
Our heart aches with yours for the loss of Cory. We will hold you and your family in our prayers. Cory will not be forgotten, memories are like stars in the dark sky.
To the proud Grandparents - Gram & Gramps C, each square I see from you as I assemble the Quilts brings tears, thank you for beautiful squares.
Wishing all of you Peace in your heart and Love.

Also in loving remembrance of John D Amos II, 04/04/04 Iraq."
DLD of Oregon

"SGT Mracek - God bless you and your family. We will never forget you. Always First, 31st! Bushmasters forever."
SSG John Castillo of Fort Monmouth, NJ

"Sgt Mracek---Cory, was a terrific new addition as the FIST for B Co, 2/505 Parachute Infantry Regiment. He was a terric guy, as my friend Arnel Udani put it, and he loved his 'Science Fiction' and his 'Stick-Death.com'. Not a day goes by where we don't remember what you, and Luke, and Lester did for us. You saved Jamie's life that night, and we will honor you every day that we live. Go with God, buddy---Sean"
Sgt RS Burton of Ft Bragg, NC

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

"Watching the news today brought tears to my eyes. I didn't know Cory or Lester, but I knew Luke when he was a kid. I think of them often and will never watch the news the same again as their memory weighs heavy on my heart.
It's sping now in D.C. and my husband and I will be taking the kids to Arlington to visit Luke soon. With all the new life in the air, we will be thinking of Cory and your family and what you have lost.
Dessie Yates of Andrews AFB, Maryland

""To the family & friends of Cory Mracek. I am a mother-in-law of a son that lived in Grand Island and just returned from Iraq in Dec. and now in Germany. 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 Cory for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us"
Linda Lalwer of Beatrice, Nebaska"
Linda Lawler of Beatrice, Nebraska

"To the family of Sgt. Cory Mracek

I am sorry for the loss of your son in this global war on terror. I am proud of him as you are of him. I got to know him as we were getting ready to go to Iraq on our mission. I don't know him that well because he was new to the unit. What I do know of him I could see why people liked him. He was one of those guys that fit right in as Spc. Blakely put it. I remember coming to work in the morning and seeing him up for p.t. His usual hello and the usual "hey can i get a smoke of ya?" I'll always remember. It seemed like only yesterday I seen him before we came here. He is gone like so many of America's sons and daughters. He will never be forgotten. He was a paratrooper. He was part of "America's Guard of Honor." I am proud to have served along side of him as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. He will never be forgotten. I will never forget those with whom I have served with. My condolences and my greatest sympathy for you and your families."
Sgt. Arnel Udani of Ft. Bragg, NC. 3-319th AFAR 82nd Abn Divison

"To the family of Sgt.Cory Mracek:
I shared many months of online chatting with Cory and viewing him on cam daily as we talked. I never did get the chance to met Cory,but through the many months of chatting to him we bonded through to a great friendship online that anyone could ever have. He was a great guy and very loving personality through the words he spoke in his writing to me online. I am going to miss him and his smiles on cam but I will always cherish the memories he and I had for the several months we talked online. He will always remain in my heart and his name will remain on my friends list forever as it had when we talked as if he was still here to chat with me. You had a terrific son and he is a "Hero" in so many ways!! My sympathy to you and the entire family goes beyond the words of expression here.You can reach me at daddysgirls7401@always-online.com if you would like too. Cory will never be forgotten!!!"
Jennifer Baker of Ernul,NC / USA

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

"Pat, Jim, Heather, and Stacey:

Our hearts go out to you in your grieving for Cory. His memory will never be forgotten and his laughter will forever resonate. We are here for you if you need us.


The Freitags- Crawford NE"
The Freitag family of Crawford Nebraska


"From all of us who served with Sgt. Cory Mracek in South Korea, 2-17 FA / 1-9 MANCHU's...

Mr.Ace K, Your memory lives on. The times, laughs, and cry's shared will always be cherrished in our hearts as we live another day to continue with our daily missions and battles defending our country. It was a great honor to serve with you, and we hope to someday see you again in the after life. Keep up the fire!!"
Spc. Martinez of Camp Hovey, South Korea

"To the family of Cory Mracek,

As the parents of 3 young sons we want to express our condolences to you and our thanks to God for Cory's sacrifice. We cannot imagine the pain you are in. Please know that we are praying for you and are so thankful for Cory's sacrifice in the cause of freedom.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his brothers.""
Jeff and Diane Downing of Lincoln, Nebraska

RIP in Beautiful Heaven."
The Taylors, USMC of NC

"Sgt. Mracek:
Thank your for giving yourself so that those of us at home can live freely. There are not enough 'thank yous' for a gift such as this. Rest in peace soldier"
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"Thank you Cory Mracek, 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. Cory Mracek:
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 Cory 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. Cory Mracek:
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 Cory, 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