Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Charles L. Neeley

19, of Mattoon, Illinois.
Neeley died in Tikrit, Iraq, when his tractor-trailer rolled over as he attempted to access a pontoon bridge. He was assigned to the Army Reserve's 454th Transportation Company, Columbus, Ohio. Died on August 25, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. Charles L. Neeley.


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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"SPC Neeley, We were in BCT together at Fort Leanordwood. From the time I found out about your death, I have been wearing a black memorial bracelet. You will never be forgotten! Alpha Company 2/10 inf. June 2002 August 2002"
Timothy Brey of Ellijay, GA USA

"Hi, Chuck
I'm a grandfather. I wanted you to know.
I miss you. God bless you and your family. I will always remain your HS principal."
Kirk Salmela of Fort Collins, Colorado

"To the family of:Charles L. Neeley
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""

"Chuck was one of the most special people I've ever had the honor of knowing. He always had a smile, and cheered me up with his amazing personality. He was one of the goofiest people I knew and I love him dearly. To his family, your son made a great sacrifice and to the people whose lives he touched, he'll never be forgotten. I still think of him often and miss him greatly. Thank you for your sacrifice, Chuck. August 9th, 2011."
Teresa Phipps of Red Bluff, California

"Your high school principal continues to mourn your passing. You and I shared some great moments, not the least of which when I presented you with your diploma. You made it. It was a pleasure to serve you."
Dr. Kirk Salmela of Fort Collins, Colo.

"Spc. Neeley I served with you in Iraq. I miss you bro think about you all the time. Deepest sympathy to your family."
jeff cowie of virginia

"Hi, Chuck: I still think of you often, and of your sacrifice. God bless you, Chuck. Respectfully, Kirk Salmela, your Mattoon HS principal. September 4, 2010."
Dr. Kirk Salmela of Fort Collins, Colorado

"To the Family and Friends of SPC.Charles Neeley. I served with your son for a very short time before I was sent back to my unit in Massachusetts from the MOB site in Indiana. I did not go to Iraq with him, but had kept in contact with one Soldier that was in the platoon that I was in for a week. I was informed that your son had passed. I tried to recall his face, but couldn't. Once I saw a photo of him, he came back to my memory.
I am sorry for you loss, please remember that he was serving this fine Nation of ours, which is a great honor.
Your Son will always be remembered.

Drive on Soldier!!!
GOD SPEED!!!!!!"
SSG Shawn M. Pierce of Ft. Devens, MA

"As your high school principal, I am honored to have been served by your sacrifice. I mourn your loss to this day. You have made me very proud. My son, Chase, your 2003 MHS classmate, serves in Afghanistan. God bless you."
Dr. Kirk Salmela of Fort Collins, Colorado

"July 3, 2008
To the family of Spc. Charles L. Neeley:
Charles 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

"My name is SGT Minder and I served with SPC Neeley in Iraq. I was with him up until the day that he left us. To his family and friends: SPC Neeley was an outstanding human being. He made all of us laugh and smile every time we saw him. He taught me a lot about life- mainly that it is too short to not have fun. God Bless you all and you will all hold a special place in my heart."
SGT Sara Minder of Springfield, IL

"My name is Cameron Schilling and I have started “Portrait of a Soldier” which donates a portrait sketch of every Illinois soldier who has fallen in Iraq or Afghanistan. All 122 sketches will be on display for a Memorial Day Presentation in Chicago, Illinois on May 26-31 at the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. After the ceremony the sketches will be given to the immediate families of the Illinois soldiers. I would invite any friends or family members to come and honor these men and women from Illinois who have given their lives to our country. For more information please contact OperationHomeFront.org at 866-417-8889 which is an organization headed by the Lt. Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois who is in charge of the Memorial Day Presentation. Thank You.

Please check out www.portraitofasoldier.org
To contact Cameron email cameronschilling84@hotmail.com
To contact Operation Home Front call 866-417-8889"
Cameron Schilling of Charleston, Illinois

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."
Mike Casey of El Paso, Texas

"To the Family of SPC Charles Neeley:

My friends and I have constructed a memorial to the service men and women from Wisconsin and Illinois who have died in Iraq which includes, as of 7/12/05, 112 crosses and Stars of David. We would like your permission to put Charles' name on one of them.
We have called our display "Arlington Midwest" and it is located in Wisconsin Dells, WI.
It is our expression of mourning for the indescribable loss you have suffered for our country.

If you would like us to do this, please email me at ArlingtonMidwest@yahoo.com.

We invite you to visit Arlington Midwest. I can send you directions and some pictures by email.

"As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us,
as we remember them."
Marty Preston of Wisconsin Dells, WI

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

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

"To Charles' 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 Charles' 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 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

"To the family of Charles,
Our sincerest condolences for your loss. Our family has also suffered the loss of a precious life in this battle for freedom. Charles 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.net of Tucson, AZ

"Thank you Charles Neeley, 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. Charles Neeley:
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 Charles 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. Charles Neeley:
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 Charles, 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