Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Staff Sgt. Jorge L. Pena-Romero

29, of Fallbrook, California.
Pena-Romero died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV while his unit was conducting a mounted patrol. He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Irwin, California. Died on July 16, 2005.

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It has been a long time brother. Thank you for welcoming me to the Assassin family when I first reported to the company. It was a pleasure to have you around helping me grow as a tanker. Your family lost a great man and the Army lost a great NCO. See you on the flip side."
MSG J. Alexander of AFG

"Can't seem to stop thinking about you brother! Is this a sign for something!? NEVER FORGOTTEN! ALLONS Bandits!!!!"

I have been thinking about you a lot lately. You were the best of us. Always there to help without ever a second thought. You would give the shirt off your back if any had asked for it. I miss you a lot brother. However, there are nothing but good memories of you. You will always be remembered.
"When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"
With love,"
SGT. Kammes (JD) of DeKalb, Illinois

"Hey brother,
as time passes and I look back at the begining of my career. I remember you mentoring me and helping my family out without hesitation. I have become that same kind of NCO. You are always in my prayers and we miss you very much. God bless you and your family as well.
Thanks my uso.
SSG Leota, christopher m."
christopher m. leota of grafenwohr, germany

"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 Worthington, OH USA

"Mrs. Pena,
It's taken me almost three years to come to grips with Jorge's death. I'm sorry that's it's taken so long to write, this has been tough. I can't even begin to fathom how difficult it has been for you. I loved your husband like a brother. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts for all time. Please accept my apologies that this comes so late. Forever in your debt...."
Jeremy Mastran of Elizabethtown , KY

"Noviembre 11, 2008 .Es un dia triste para mi, Dios Bendiga America."
Isabel Pena of Fallbrook Ca.

"July 3, 2008
To the family of Staff Sgt. Jorge L. Pena-Romero:
Jorge 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

"SSG Pena
I dont know if your family remember's my famil but we live on yorktown st in ft. irwin cali but my name is suzanne kennedy and i am from the Enerson family. me and your daughter alexis were really good friends. And I just wanted to let you know that you were a good friend to me a good dad to Alexis Jorge and, Adrienne. And your were also a good husband to your wife.. I really wish i would of got to Know you better! You were a good soldier and i prayed for you every night when you were over there. YOU ARE AN AMERICAN HERO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And dont you ever forget that
Sincerly your friend,


Suzanne Kennedy of Ft. Knox, Kentucky

"SSG. Pena
You were a brother, mentor and great roll model and inspiration to me and everone you met. The times that we spent were the most admirable moments that i will never forget. I miss the times that we were at tank tables, gunneries and knowing that you would never fall short from miraculous, lifted me and every other soldier around you. Melissa and kids I am very sorry for your loss and the love you two had was amazing. I know he will never fall short of love from you and the kids.

Russell Oden of Vilseck Germany

"Quiciera dar las gracias a todas las personas que nos siguen llamando y escribiendo para recordar los bellos momentos que Dios nos permitio tener a Jorge entre nosotros, ayer fuimos a dejar una pequeña Bandera y recordamos el amor y respeto le tenia a su Bandera . Recordando un poco Cuando estabamos limpiando algunas cosas de la casa encontramos una Bandera y con mucho cuidado lo doblo y me la entrego, y le dije si algo te llegara a pasar a mi no me daran,una Bandera y me quede triste sin darme cuanta de lo que significaba y a algun familiar le dan una, solo me dio una sonrisa. y rectifique !nunca quiero que me den una y dijo no te preocupes mami Dios tiene el control de todo."
Isabel Peña-Romero of Fallbrook Ca.

"SSG Pena,
I remember passing your room while you were coming off mission and saying "What's up" I wish i could've stopped and spent some more time talking. My family and I send prayers and regards to you and your loved ones. Never a day or holiday where you are forgotten. Scouts Out!"
SSG Arroyo, Paul of Baldwin Park, Ca. USA

"SSG Pena
What can i say that has not been said already. As a private right out of basic training you took me under your wing and for the next three years you were my mentor and my best friend you taught me how to be a soldier.I will never forget all the times we had together(good and bad)both at work and away from work.The time i spent on the tank with you and Cpt Sullivan was the best of times. Even though you moved on and i moved on we still kept in touch.I always looked forward to hearing from you. Words cannot express what you and your friendship have ment to me and my family. The world has lost a truly good person and friend. To Melissa and the kids i am truly sorry for your loss.He will be missed by many as he has touched the lives of many people who have had the privlidge of calling him a friend and a brother. I'll see you when i get there bro"
Robert McBride of Boise, Idaho USA

I think about you every day my brotha. The year we spent together on A66 in Vilseck was the best year of my career. I wear your name with me every day and pray for your family. Be thou at peace until we can do a tank table VIII run again together.

Assassin 6"
MAJ Mike Sullivan of Fort Leavenworth, KS

"We are all so sorry for your loss. Pena is still deeply mourned. He was a great man and has left a lasting impression."
The Slade Family of Fort Bragg, North Carolina

"To the family of:Jorge L Pena-Romero 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

"Mrs Pena and family
I am deeply saddened by the loss of Jorge. He was a fellow tank commander, friend, and most of all a brother. Jorge and I had have shared good times and bad times in Vilseck. He was someone i could always talk to. We looked after one another. I am very sad that i was not able to look after him there. I will miss Jorge as well honor him. May God bless you and the entire family"
SFC Brown, Nathaniel of Schweinfurt, Germany

"To the Pena-Romero family,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you for the loss of your beloved JORGE. May you find comfort in knowing that we celebrate his life and will always honor his memory.
JORGE - Gods Speed young warrior. We thank you for your service and sacrifice. You are a Hero.
From a grateful family of a US Army Soldier, stationed in Iraq with the 101st AVN Regt, Ft. Campbell. 10-20-05"
--Sharon & Craig Erwin of Oregon, United States of America

"Hey brother,

You were a great mentor and friend. I will never forget the great times we had here in Germany. A Co. and the 1-63 Ar Bn will never forget you. You will be greatly missed. I am praying for your family. See you man."
SSG Eric Bradfield of 1-4 Inf. Bat. Hohenfels Germany

"To Pena I know that you are in a better place I will always remember you for the laughs that we had.Words can't really describe the lost of a good soldier, and friend. We will never forget Jorge"

"man, i miss you so much, i keep wondering why you had to leave so soon. me, as your little sister, will never , ever forget you, i remenber when i was five years old, and you were teaching me the chant of, "49ers #1, chargers #2!!"
i've only known you for 14 years,and boy, does that seem like 40. i will never forget your dumb and dumber jokes like , "hey man, how's your burger?" the songs that remind me of you are milkshake, salt shaker, and metallica nothing else matters.and now i know where i got the dorkness, from you!!
i'm gonna miss you a lot bro, and i will be thinkin' of you for life.
rest in peace, and we will see you again."
karen of california, fallbrook.

"Jorge, I can't believe you're gone. It just seems like yesterday that we were eating at Sports Look Pizza, laughing and reminiscing about the old days. I will truly miss you. I'm so sorry that I never stayed in touch like I said I would. Please, know that you were always in my thoughts, especially when I found out you were going to Iraq. Not many people know the sacrifice military personnel make, but you gave the greatest sacrifice of all. You are truly a hero, you fought for what was right, for what you believe. You will always be my hero.
To the Pena family: Hermano y Hermana Pena, Karla, Liz, Hugo, Karen, Melissa, Alexis, Jorge, and Adrian my thoughts and prayers are with you. I'm sorry I couldn't make it. All of you are in my heart and my love goes out to you."
Dalia Mendez McCarthy of Virginia Beach, VA

"We will meet again bro, SEEK, STRIKE, DESTROY!"
SGT Sean Choy of oakland, ca

"Do not forget me when my valley’s hushed
And white with snow,
Grass growing green in the summer of my meadow
Help me see the peace I lived and died for grow.(An excerpt from the Soldier's Prayer)

You will never be forgotten."
Patrick Flanagan of Fort Irwin, California

"The Salute

To those who have died,
And to those who have cried.
We Salute You.

To those who have lost,
Paid the ultimate cost.
We Salute You.

And to those who still serve,
The Red White and Blue.
Our grateful Nation,
Proudly Salutes You.""
Tom Balstad of West Warwick, RI

"Recuerdo de pequeños cuando ibamos de visita con mi abuelita, que Jorgito tenia apenas 2 añitos y como traia a todo el mundo de cabeza, nadie se cansaba de hablar de sus hazañas y travesuras. Todas sus tias estaban loquitas de contentas, por ser el primer sobrino varoncito nacido en Guadalajara.
Tambien recuerdo ahora de adultos,la ultima vez que platicamos. Yo me sentia aliviada de que la guerra habia terminado y Jorgito me explico cuan peligrosa era la mision de los soldados que ahora iban a guardar la paz - precisamente como algunos eran victimas de explosivos detonados por los caminos. Entonces mi alegria se volvio temor. Y no podia comprender como aun asi, Jorgito estaba dispuesto a ir y cumplir su deber. Ahora se que los heroes de verdad existen, aquellos que estando consientes de los riesgos de su labor deciden seguir adelante. Mi mayor consuelo es saber que este traviesito crecio para ser un hombre de fe, y a todos a su alrededor nos ha dado su testimonio de amor."
Karina Ruiz de Reyes-Romero of La Puente, California, USA

"Jorge, where do I start. First I want to say that you are a great friend, soldier, NCO, you never let me down and never let the soldiers down, everyone in the Bandit family will never forget everything you did for us, you without a doubt left your mark on everyone in the Bandit family. Jorge there is never a day that dont go buy that I dont think about you, I know that you are looking down and taking care of the Bandits, we all thank you from the bottom of our hearts, you will never be forgotten. To the Pena family, we at the Bandit family are truly sorry for your lose. Jorge was a great leader and everyone will truly miss him. God bless."
1SG Thomas Eppler of Camp Liberty, Iraq

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

"July 22nd,2005.
Jorge, Jorgito. Today, as we gathered at Fort Irwin we missed you so much. The love you had for all your family and for America was celebrated today.
It hurts to realize that we won't see your smile, but you'll be in our hearts forever.
To your wife & children, Tío, Tía y primos. My deepest condolences."
Viviana R. Warner of West Covina, CA


You will always be in my heart and I have been very fortunate to have you in my life. I have your cousin Bibi to thank for that. We will see you tomorrow when your mom brings you home. My tears will be of sadness but will turn to those of joy, for you will be in the House of our Lord. I will remember you as a friend and know you are a great father, husband, brother, son and have enriched all lives that have had the pleasure to meet you.

As an American I would like to thank you for all you have done throughout the years to protect these United States. To your friends that still are in harms way, a special thanks from this American.

I saw this poem and thought it made sense

Love you bro, Eric

While we are sleeping
in the comfort of our beds
Another soldier fallen
Another soldier dead.
God bless us all,
the whole human race
and all the difficulties
we must now face.
While we are sleeping
in the comfort of our beds
Another soldier fallen
Another soldier dead.
How can we ever Thank You
what words are there to say
To leave the ones you loved behind
broken and crying
and absolutely knowing
this freedom came from dying.
Before I lay my head to sleep
in the comfort of my bed
I pray to God
in the heavens above,
Take special care
of these families that loved.
Be there for them
in their bottomless pit
as they will continue to weep.
The price they have had to pay
is also so very steep.
To look upon their face no more
is more than enough to bare.
The sadness that will never cease
The loss that once made them complete.
Be grateful enough
to show that you care
for their loss is truly your gain.
While we are sleeping
in the comfort of our beds
Another soldier fallen
Another soldier dead.
This sacrifice
intertwined with this gain
carries the depth of the deepest pain.
These families have
so gratefully shared
in a death for which freedom came.
I pray for the soldier far from home
and pray that you know
you are never alone
God Speed and God Bless
once again you will be
protected and sheltered
in the land of the free.
Please stop this war,
Please ask no more
for their ultimate gift of dying.
So as you are sleeping
in the comfort of your bed
Remember another soldier fallen
Another soldier dead
to give you all your comforts
of laying in your beds.
To wake up each and every day
forever to be able to say
Written by Linnie Blankenbecler
in loving memory of her husband"
Eric Warner of West Covina, CA

"To ssg pena, being a pfc and a new soldier in the 1 id 3bct A co. was awesome. you gave me the will and motivation to want to make the army a career. I thank you for helping me get my family here and for all the knowlege you passed on to me and the young joes of Aco 1/63armor. you never hesitated to help any soldier in need of help. may you rest in peace my brother and god bless your family.
"tofa soifua lau uso""
Sgt Christopher M Leota of vilseck, Germany

"To SSG Pena, You were not only my mentor but also my friend. I will never forget the countless gunneries and field rotations we spent together nor the times we would just sit around and talk. You were always there to guide me with any troubles that I was having either personal or work. The amount of pride and caring you put into any mission or soldier can never be surpassed. Remembering the times we would sit in the office after work brings a smile to my face just as it saddens me to know that it can never happen again. Your mentorship with me made me realize what being a Non Commissioned Officer is all about. You were and still are an inspiration to me and all of us that had the great opportunity to serve with you. You will be truly missed."
SSG Hickey, Jason of Vilseck, Germany

"Thank you Jorge Pena-Romero, 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 Staff Sgt. Jorge Pena-Romero:
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 Jorge 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. Jorge Pena-Romero:
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 Jorge, 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