Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Staff Sgt. Paul M. Neff II

30, of Fort Mill, South Carolina.
Neff died when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter he was in was shot down by unknown enemy ordnance in Tikrit, Iraq. He was assigned to 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Died on November 7, 2003.

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"I have a flag that was flown in memory of Sergeant Paul M. Neff II on 09/11/06 at the healing fields in Greeley, CO. The company I work for has had this flag sense then and I would like to get it to a family member. Please contact me if you would like the flag. troy.baldwin@carestream.com"
Troy Baldwin of Windsor, CO / USA

"On this Memorial Day, like every other, and every single time the Star Spangled Banner is sung....I stare at the Stars and Stripes....seeing faces, your face , COL Kelly's face, SSG Bookers face, faces of my loved ones...brothers that have not returned. Just know Paul, I have never forgotten you. You were one cool cat when we were in 9th BN, and then in 5th BN. You've left your mark on so many"
CW3 Anthony Kruckeberg of Grand Ledge, MI

"I served under Paul in Iraq as the NCO leading the detached infantry door gunners. Just about everything I know about being a fair and just leader I learned from him. He inspired me to both professional and personal excellence, and I will forget the lessons learned from his wisdom and example. I named my first born son, Zane Paul, after him to honor his life and his leadership and also the positive impact he had on me as a man. It was truly an honor to know and serve with Paul."
Lelan Gimnick, (SGT) A Co 3/327th Infantry, 13DEC2000 through 15DEC2003 of Erath, LA

""To the family of Paul M. Neff ,I am so sorry for the loss of your love one.He died a hero.May you know 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 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""

"SSG Neff was a great guy. I served with him in 9-101 AVN REGT in the late 90's. We hit it off well, I too am a small town boy from SC. I am saddened by the face that he is no longer with us, but he will never be forgotten."
Daniel Thompson of Fort Stewart, GA

"I wear a bracelet with his information as a reminder of how precious my freedom is that a family is without their son, brother, father and husband so that I might enjoy it. Thank you."
Amy of Texas

"August 17 2009=
Paul, you are not forgotten. Rest in peace."

"November 7, 2008
To the family of Staff Sgt. Paul M. Neff, II:
Paul 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

"As a friend and former girlfriend in Middle and high school. Paul was one that would give his shirt off his back to see someone else not do without! When I learned of his death I was sad but then again after all Paul has done what he loved to do and that was for him to serve this country! When I was ever around Paul I did nothing but smile and laugh! He gave me my first motorcycle ride! I smiled everyday with him as friend and someone that I was crazy about in school! To his son, your Dad was the best friend anyone could ask for!The unfortunate death of Paul is why we are where we are as United States Citizens! He gives a new meaning of a true serviceman! God bless you Paul and for what you've done for this country we call home! My prayers are with your son, (who I hope grows up just like you),and your mom and dad and Dawn! Rest in Peace Paul you'll be missed!"
Kellie Taylor Fore of Dublin, Virginia

"Paul was a great soldier and a lot of fun to be around. I was lucky enough to have served in Korea with he and a few of the previous posters. I also was quite shocked to here of this, and I hurt for all of those who loved him especially his son. May God bless the Neff family and all who love Paul."
Brian Cravens of Indianapolis, IN

"I too was stationed with Paul in Korea, and his death came as a shock to me, I use his sacrifice as my driving force today. My best wishes go to his family, and his son, whom he loved dearly. He will not be forgotten."
John Wood of Stafford, VA

"I had the pleasure of knowing Paul when he was a young man in Troop 108, Boy Scouts of America in Fort Mill, SC in the early to mid 1980s.

My memories of Paul are those of a fun-loving teenager who wasn't all that keen on earning rank advancements, but he would rarely miss a troop meeting and almost never missed an opportunity to camp or go on an outing.

Because of the kind of fellow he was, I was not surprised to learn that Paul had enlisted in service to his country. I was surprised and deeply saddened, however, to learn of his death on foreign soil during his service.

I hope his son will always remember what a great person his dad was. There is no greater gift one can give to another than to lay down their life to keep them free. Paul was one of those elite individuals wiling to do so.

Paul, I salute you and thank you for the ultimate gift you have given us all."
B. Helms of Fort Mill, SC

"I am shocked and saddened to hear of Paul's death. My heart goes out to you and prayers of peace to your family. Dawn, I always remember the little brother Paul tagging after us as kids growing up. Thank you for the man he became and the sacrifice that he made for us. Take care."
Donna Hines White of Spartanburg, SC

"To Paul, Bud I will never forget the times you took me to our after school job , in your truck ! your girlfriend Christy and all the great times we had in High School, My heart will bleed for you till the time I go, Paul I luv you buddy and Thanks for what you did for this country ....Never Forget ...Kev in Fort Mill SC. /Never Forget !!"
Kevin Feather of Fort Mill , SC

"I was lucky to share time with SSG Neff...Paul was my buddy and we lived accross the hall from each other in Korea. Paul was one of the best people, Soldier or friend I have ever met. I will never forget you Paul, and God Bless you for everything you sacrificed for us."
SSG Pannell, Lindsay of St Louis MO

"The world is shortchanged for not having him here with us any longer, and I am sorry after reading all the heartfelt tributes to him, that I never got to meet him.. I pray that his family can heal, and may he rest in peace forever and ever."
of nj

"I had the privilege and honor to have Paul as my leader and mentor while serving in Korea. I was deeply shocked and saddened to hear of his death. Please accept my sincerest condolences on your loss. The world needs more people of his caliber."
D. Steffen of Chicago, Illinois

"I hope that you are doing better than I am with your loss than I am with mine. I pray that you don't feel the pain even though I know it is enevitable. I am Cornell Gilmore II son of CSM Gilmore who was on the Black Hawk with Neff. I hope that you and your family are doing fine after we have passed our one year mark. I pray that you have grown through this heartache and that God will make you feel complete. Stay strong.

Cornell Gilmore II aka CJ of Stafford, VA


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

"There are no words to accurately describe the ever present aching, sick feeling over the loss of Paul, Your thoughts, prayers, and very kind words are a blessing and a comfort. Paul was the "pride of the family". His loss is devistating to his son, his parents, sister and our extended family. Paul was a brave soldier, and proudly served our country. His bravery is an honor to him and his family. Thank you for your thoughtfulness, and God bless!"
Pat Mertens of Huntington Beach, CA.

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

"My condolensces to your family. You are a hero and will always be known as such. You may be gone but never forgotten."
Marlena of Killeen, TX

"Thank you Paul Neff II, 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

"Thank you for your kind words and thoughts about my brother. This is truly a bittersweet time for our family as we mourn his loss and remember his bright life. Your condolences are healing and very much appreciated.

Since his death there has been an amazing and overwhelming response from people that knew and loved Paul well to people that never met him but have felt how positive an influence he has been on others’ lives. He gave a very human part of himself everyone he met, it was his gift. One of the finest traits of great people is that they do not take themselves too seriously in this life. Paul knew when to take life seriously, but he never took himself too seriously. He would find levity in the darkest moments just to win your smile, even if it was at his expense.

Thank you for acknowledging his sacrifice."
Dawn I. Brastad of Seattle

"To the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Paul Neff II:
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 Paul 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 Staff Sgt. Paul Neff II:
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 Paul, 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