Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Charles E. Odums II

22, of Sandusky, Ohio.
Odums died in Baghdad, Iraq, when his military convoy hit an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Died on May 30, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. Charles E. Odums II.


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"time will never heal the pain nor the wounds that OIF2 left on ALL of us that night. I still think of you every day and I hope one Day you can forgive me. Your brother in Arms and your Sgt.Mejia"
Sgt. Mejia of Bakersfield, Ca. Kern county

"Spc. Odums, Wow, where do I begin. You were probably one of the last persons I saw that night before going out on that mission. You and I were just wrapping up the repair of that M113 when you asked me if you could go get some sleep before that mission. I know that there are a lot of people that miss you. I am one of them!"
Sgt. Keith J. Oliver of Harker Heights, TX

"Still think of you often, especially today (30MAY12). You are missed."
Matt of Kansas

"Dear Charles,

I just put your name in a google Search and found this. i guess i kinda had you on my mind bruh. i just wanted to say your were motivation to alot of us in 1-8 Cav. i still remember you out front at NTC before we deployed taking care of wounded soldiers. your still missed till this day. i know your up in heaven doing it big! save some room for me and mine brother!"
SGT K'ron Stanley of 260TH QM BN HAAF GA

"It never ends, this pain is daily...Charles II, you are my hero and your memory is forever etched in my heart!! I love you & miss you so very much, your big sis-"
Janel L. Johnson of Leesburg, Georgia

Phelica of Alpharetta, GA

"Another year goes by and it still saddens me that we lost such a great man. You ar e in my prayers brother."
Robert Garrison of Dickinson, Tx

"I feel odd bcuz I didnt know Charles very well. He was in my (ex-husband's)company. I have a picture of Melanie holding my 2 month old daughter on the day the troops shipped out 3/5/04 and Charles was standing there looking at them so lovingly. I cry everytime I look at the picture. He was a kind person and we all miss him."
Darshan Lankarge of Killeen, Tx

"Army Spc. Charles E. Odums II is proof that God blesses America. His family is in my families thoughts and prayers. Tomorrow, Memorial Day 2010, I will fly my American flag in his honor at my house."
Jim Olsen of Columbia, SC

"Six years ago today my heart was broken with the news of losing my brother. Yet, over the years, I find myself mentally revisiting the happy moments we shared. Each day as I look in the mirror to get dressed for my day I can see you there looking back at me. Chuck, I love you and I really miss you!"
Your sister, Sophia of Albany, GA

"Charles I can't believe it's five years. I don't know where the time has gone. We miss you so much, and wish you were here to celebrate the new year. We will NEVER forget your sacrifice. Thank you so much. WE LOVE YOU SOOOOO MUCH! RIP CEO II."
Phelica Odums of Atlanta, Ga


"”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to you. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Over 1,800 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
Mothers and/or Fathers, of our heroes, please be aware that the Project Compassion sponsors will now help cover the costs of the portraits for you to have one - regardless if the spouse of the hero has one or not!
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com. or go to www.heropaintings.com . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and bless you.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Project Compassion
P.O. Box 153
Manti, Utah 84642"
Project Compassion, Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"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 Gahanna, OH / USA

"Happy birthday, baby brother...I love you so!"
Dr. Janel Johnson of Georgia

"Odie, it's been five years, but it seems like just yesterday. I think of you often, and I know a lot of the other guys do too. You were a great soldier and a great man, and you have a wonderful family out in Sandusky. We will always remember you."
Matthew Cohen of San Francisco, CA

"May 20, 2009
To the family of Spc. Charles E. Odums, II:
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

"SPC Odums,

The greatest honor that I ever had was escorting you back home. I will NEVER forget you and what your sacrific stands for. I wish you peace and good travels and we will meet again in the big Cav country in the sky!

First Team!"
Jeremy Schweigert (Former SSG, 1CD) of Meridian, Idaho

"Hello Charles,

Although I have never met you, I did serve with you during the same time in Iraq. Brother, you are truly missed. You will never be forgotten. Your strength continues to show and grow in your Big Sis' Janel. She continues to tell the people who are important to her about what an awesome brother she has. Just know that you are missed and than you will never be forgotten. I Love You! Your Battle Buddy!"
Sidney Waller of Columbus, Georgia

"Hey Odie,
It has been over four years now and still I remember your laugh. Things change so much in our lives but one thing that remain the same is the love I have for my brother, from day one in the unit you were like a big brother to me guiding and helping me along the way. You will never be forgotten."
Cipriano Griego of Ft. Belvoir, VA

"Hi, Charles,

It's year 4, but you are still so vivid in my mind...I miss you! There's nothing new here to report, I long to see you again-Happy Memorial Day and know that your family is well (kids are growing). But, little brother, I know that you are with me always! I love you.

Your loving sister,"
Dr. Janel L. Odums Johnson of Leesburg, Georgia


"Charles, even though it's been 3 years, we still think of you everyday. I wish that I could bring you back, just one day. Your brother would love for y'all to just ride around the city. WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOU OR YOUR SACRIFICE. We Love You!!"
Phelica sister in law of Atlanta, GA

"Big O, man where do i start? It has been over three years and my heart still hurts knowing you were taking away so early in your life. I think of all the times we had and how you took care of me when i was assighned to the unit. You were more than a friend from the start and will remain family in my heart forever. I can't even write this message without crying because i miss you so much. To Rob,Janel, Mr. & Mrs. Odums and the rest of the odums' family, I love you guys with all my heart and i hope my late entry doesn't make you feel as if Chuck didn't mean anything to me. Melanie, i hope you are being strong and i miss and love you too. Please feel free to e-mail me @ lamart.brown@us.army.mil. God bless. R.I.P my brother"
LaMart Brown of GOLDSBORO,N.C

"Charles, it's been 3 years and i still havent delt with the fact that you died. I sometimes think about the day that you told me that you where going to the army. It was beautiful out by the pond and you seemed so happy. I will never forget your smile and the times that we had. Rest in peace. You are gone but NEVER forgotten"
Marica Ellis of Toledo, Ohio

"Dear Charles,
thank you for everything you did to support our country. I was over there when you passed and felt deeply sadden when i got the news from home. i will pray for you and your family...R.I.P"
angela madrigal of ft.polk LA

"I am very sorry for your loss. My brother Travis Babbitt was in the same company as Odums and held a very special place in his heart for Odums.I will never forget the look in my brothers eyes when he spoke of him. My thoughts and prayers go out to you!"
Crystal Babbitt of Texas City, Texas U.S.A

"I am very sorry for your loss Melanie. This is almost 2 years late but I am really sorry. I used to live directly in the apartment below you at Century Plaza Apartments and I hope that you are doing well. Email me sometime at stillettochick23@aol.com. God Bless"
Maria of Cameron, NC/USA

"Even though time has passed I still think of you..God Bless you."
A Friend of San Antonio

"Just wanted to tell you that, "I Love You" and I'm sorry that I couldn't come home to visit you this Memorial Day! Take care, little brother, rest in peace! Know that you never leave my thoughts! I will see you on the other side."
Your sister, Janel

"It has been two long years since your passing. It still feels like yesterday. I think of you everyday, every single day. I'm so proud to know you and even more so to be a part of your life. Look after us brother."

"O, not a single day has passed that i havent thought about you. You will always be held in the highest regard in my heart and mind. Throughout the rest of my life i will carry the memory of you with me regardless where life takes me. To this day I still love and miss seeing, talking to, laughing with, and just hanging out with, my brother. Thank you for everything. You'll always be missed."
SPC Andre' McCluney of Ft. Bragg, NC

"To the entire Odums family, my prayers are with each of you. The years I spent as Charles Sunday School teacher and Youth Director will never be forgotten and are dearly treasured. Charles was one of the most polite young men I ever taught. There are times I reflect and I can clearly see the slight "Charles Odums" signature smile. I have great comfort in knowing that Charles was a saved young man, who loved God, his family and his country. I, and the Sandusky community love the Odums family, and will never forget Charles. Keep the faith, you are all an inspiration to us."
Brenda Register-Jones of Sandusky, Ohio

"SPC Odums,
I think of you and Burk everyday of my life. When I speak your name, I hold my head high, raise my chest and feel very proud and honored to know you. You took care of your LT. Rest easy, you're home brother."
CPT Michael D. Martinez of San Antonio, Texas

"To the family of Charles Odums,
I know this is a late message, but I just received the news and just couldnt believe it. I really wish I was home when this happened, but I also was overseas fighting. I know he is with Jesus and his memory and spirit is with his family. To his wife Melanie, whom I never met but heard so much about, continue to keep your head up. Take each day one at a time and you will pull through. There will be a day when you will be united with your other half. With that be encouraged and keep the faith."
Ebony Alexander of Columbia, SC

"To the family of: Charles E. Odums 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. Prayerfully, we will 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, Gateway Community Church, 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ,"
Polly Ballew of Covington, Ga

"To the family of chuck or as I knew him OD. You can only be in your own shoes to know how it feels to lose one that you love. He was more than hero or a soldier from the day he came to 1-8 cav and said he was from sandusky he was my friend, from the time we spent together to the time I had to train him at work he was my friend. I will never forget my friend and soldier nor will my family forget my wife Camille (Lee) Cooper went to high school with OD my only regret is that I was in Korea when my friend needed me. To the Odums family I am truly sorry for the lose to Melanie i hope to see you again and pray you are doing well. OD you will always be remember baby boy Always COOP"
Sgt. Steven Cooper of Ft. Hood Tx


"Thankyou Charles for being a great person and sacrificing for all of us."
Rachel of San Antonio,TX

"To the family of Charles, Your Son was a real Hero.My prayers are with you."
Diane of Spokanw Wa

"Thank you Charles for being a true hero and caring enough to make the supreme sacrifice for us and your country."
Mrs. Arthur's 4th grade class of Nelsonville, Ohio

"I want to thank everyone for the wonderful messages left on behalf of my brother. Please continue to keep us in prayer. Charles was not just a soldier, but a god-fearing, loving individual. I think of you each day Charles, and look forward to hugging you and talking to you again."
Janel Odums Johnson of Leesburg, Georgia

"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. For the family/friends: May time provide happy loving memories in place of present sorrows. Look to the sky for in the infinite meadows of Heaven the bright shining stars bloom....the forget-me-nots of angels. God bless you and thank you."
a grateful family in Phoenix, AZ

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

"I'm very sorry for the loss to the family. I went to high school with Charles. I gruduated in 2001. I am now serving in the US Army in Europe. It hurts so much to hear of something happening to a fallen soldier, but even more when you know them personally. So I want to say God bless the family, and that Charles is my motivating to keep serving for the United States of America. Charles you are truly all of our hero!"
SPC. Reo Murria of SHAPE, Belgium

"Your son was one of the worlds heros our thoughts and prayers are with you. May you find peace. We are living day by day our son Pfc. Nicholaus Zimmer died on the same day and we know your heartbreak."
Lisa & Gino Zimmer of Columbus, Ohio

"Our prayers are with you all in the loss of your loved one. We to know the pain in dealing with the loss of a hero. God Bless you all."
Allen & Chantil Vandayburg of Mansfield, Ohio


"My name is Phelica Odums, and I am married to Charles' brother Robert. Charles was not a brother in law to me, he was a brother. He will be missed so much by his family and close friends. Charles you are our hero and we will never forget you. Thank you to everyone who said such beautiful things about Charles. Please continue to pray for his wife Melanie, his parents, sisters, and brother and entire family. We love you, and we will never forget you.
Love You Always, Phelica"
Phelica Odums of Columbus, Oh

"My name is Melanie Odums and I am Charles' wife, and I just wanted to thank everyone for their prayers and support as well as their wonderful words about my husband. I am very proud of my husband and he will never be forgetten. i love you Charles.
Love always your wife,
Melanie Odums of Austin, Texas/USA

"Dear Charles,
Thank you for your selfless service to America. You possess courage that few people have and showed it by riding into battle. Thank you for your bravery and service."
mark reif of winchester, VA

"I graduated from Sandusky High in 1994.
I never got the chance to meet your son, but my heart goes out to your family. I was very happy to hear how the entire city gathered together to honor your son and what his life has meant for us all. God Bless"
Nebula White of Woodstock, Georgia

"My son Sgt Joel S. served right along side your son in Bagdad, Iraq with the 1-8CAV 5BCT from Fort Hood, Texas says your son was a great contributor to the mission and he will be missed along with Pasco and Bugaj who were injured severely. God Bless Melanie and the Odums family. God Bless the FRG at Fort Hood. Thanks to your family for a brave, courageous and patriotic trooper who will be remembered."
Cindy S H of Garland, TEXAS

"To the Odums Family: My thoughts & prayers are with you everyday. I graduated from Sandusky High in 1998, 1 year before your son and wish that I would've had a better chance to meet this wonderful, brave, man. He seemed like such a sweetheart. Theres not a day thats gone by that I don't find myself thinking of him & your family. Keep strong and know that Charles is watching down on you everyday and that one day you will all be together again. Take Care."
Youre in my thoughts & prayers of Sandusky, Ohio

"To the family of SPC Charles E Odums II
Know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your sorrow and pain, for we too lost a son, PFC Bradley Kritzer on May 5, 2004 in Baghdad. Our sons will always be remembered as HERO'S for fighting for our freedom. May God touch you and your family with a special touch and help you through the days ahead. God Bless"
Roger and Sharon Kritzer of Irvona,/PA/USA

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 "

"My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Charles. I live here in Sandusky and even though I didn't know him my prayers go out to everyone who did know and love him. He will always be a hero in my heart."
Kimberly Wettlaufer of Sandusky, OH USA

"To Charles's Family. I'm so sorry. I lost my son Spec. Jesse Buryj on May 5th 2004. We live in Canton, Ohio. I know the pain you are feeling all too well I'm sorry to say. Put your faith in God. God Bless You."
Peggy Buryj of Canton, Ohio

"To Charles's family, I am so sorry for your tragic loss. Please know that many of us appreciate his service and sacrifice for our country."
F.Smith of Pennsylvania

"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

"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 his bravery and sacrifice.

The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne, KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.

Gloria Caldas (Ernie's mom) of San Antonio, TX

"Thank you Charles Odums 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

"To the family and friends of Spc. Charles Odums 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 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 Odums 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 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