Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Lt. Col. Mark P. Phelan

44, of Green Lane, Pennsylvania.
Phelan died in Mosul, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his convoy vehicle. He was assigned to 416th Civil Affairs Battalion, Army Reserve, Norristown, Pennsylvania. Died on October 13, 2004.

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"I was with Mark when we endured the Command and General Staff College marathon. His sense of humor contributed to some great times. I'll always remember him."
LTC Jeff Pascale of Delco, PA

"To the family of Mark Phelan - your son and brother are on my mind and in my heart today. I am wearing the wristband bearing his name today, as I do every year on this day. His service and his sacrifice are appreciated. LTC Mark Patrick Phelan will not be forgotten."
Jackie Gonzalez of Colleyville, Texas

"Always remembered from the 416th CA BN."
SPC HERR of Denver PA

"I was with the 413th Civil Affairs Battalion in Mosul, Iraq. LTC Phelan and his unit (416th CA BN) replaced us in the spring of 2004. In the brief time I knew him I was impressed with his friendly character. He was a great guy and I will forever be in salute to him. God bless LTC Phelan and his family. Rest in peace my friend."
MAJ John H. Gerald of Amarillo ,TX

"I happened upon the grave of this brave American while touring Arlington and took a picture of the tombstone. I went back and researched his name to see who he was and am glad that I was able to read about and see a picture of this man. Rest in peace brother ...."
Dan of Tampa

"9 June 2013
I deployed with Mark and the 416th CA BN in 2004, and remember him as an outgoing, friendly, intelligent, caring, and conscientious officer. I was on a C17 on my way back to Ft. Bragg when he was killed. Of course, we got the news when we landed at Pope AFB in NC. I will not soon forget that day."
Tim Zeisset of Plantation, FL

"Lt. Col. Mark Phelan & I work together at WHV.Mark was my director for 6yrs he was the best director I have ever had while working there, Truly Our Hero. A hero gone to soon but never forgotten. To Brenda and family I pray you're all well."
Gwen Porter of NC.

"To the family of:Mark P.Phelan
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""

"Mark, You are always around, trying to do my best. Doing what I can."
Jeff of King of Prussia, PA

"I was reading the Philadelphia Inquire and saw a picture of my friend Mark. I'm upset to learn that he died. I used to work with Mark and would call on White Horse Village and sell him supplies 1997-2000. He was always really nice and he would tell me then how he was in the reserve. I always had a lot of respect for him. May he rest in peace and I'm glad that I knew him!!"
robert weiss of newtown (bucks county) PA. USA

"September 27, 2008
To the family of Lt. Col. Mark P. Phelan:
Mark 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

"I was assigned to the 296th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade 2nd Infanfatry Division in Mosul, Iraq. On 13 Oct 2004 at about 1430 or so I was tasked to go on a recovery mission, the mission was my last one in Iraq and my Army service. I was supposed to recover a HMMWV although nobody really told me what was really going on. I will never forget LTC. Phelan & MAJ. Soltes or the sight I saw that day. I had a braclet made up for the both of them and will always wear it."
Sgt. Woodward of Fort Lewis, WA

"I just had to write after seeing your story on Comcastsports nite. First i want to say im really sorry for your loss and want you to know that i stand behind all of the men and women of our Armed Forces. I live up the street from the Norristown National Guard Depot and everytime i see them i salute and thank them. I wish i could do more for you and the many soldiers families that have suffered some injury or loss. May God Bless You and Your Family."
Dave Duncan of Plymouth Meeting,Pa

"I worked with Mark in Mosul. I attended a meeting with him at the Business Center that he established, took a picture, and put a funny subtitle on it depicting him as Mr. Potter and the Iraqi he was negotiating with as George Bailey from "It's a Wonderful Life." I was shocked when word came back to the headquarters that he and MAJ Smith had died in a massive car bomb. Just two months later, somebody tried to blow us up on the way to the airport, and killed Iraqi civilians instead. There simply isn't any rhyme or reason to why these things happen. I was one of the lucky ones. My deepest sympathy to Mark's family---his sacrifice will not be forgotten."
LTC Glenn Tolle of Olympia, WA

"I was very saddened to hear about LTC Phelan. I learned about it from two people, first was my best friend who is in a ODA Team in Iraq, he informed me because I live in his area, along with conteplating enlisting into Civil Affairs. I then learned about it from DON'S BARBERSHOP IN Chalafont Pa, where they were selling t-shirts for his family (which I purshased one), I am honored to wear this shirt, and I am sadened that his lost effected so many people. I did not know him, however I am a better person to learn his story and aware of his commitment to the war ! He believed he makes a difference ! That is what makes a difference in today's world and helping to change Iraq and inprove life for those living in oppression for so long ! May God bless you troop and keep you under his watch.

Deepest Sympathy,
Justin Dettore"
Justin Dettore of Doylestown Pa

"I lived in Red Hill, PA most of my life until I graduated from High School. My heart goes out to the family of Mark P. Phelan in the loss of this great and brave soldier. I pray that God Blesses his family and wraps his arms around them in their time of grief. It saddens me to know someone from my home area died fighting for the USA on foreign soil. He was a remarkable person from all the people who knew him and I hope his loved ones remember how wonderful a human being he was and honor his name and look to the heaven's for he is in God's Heaven. My prayers and thoughts are with you and thank you Mark Phelan for the service you gave to our country and May We Never Forget You.
God Bless American and All Our Troops!!"
Bonnie Lin Miller of PA USA

"I served with Mark as a police officer back in the early 1980's. We were room mates and enjoyed a lot of great times back then. Mark was just finishing college and was "Army All The Way." Fear wasn't in this man's book. However, Mark was also a VERY kind person and honest beyond words. To most people the war is just something on the news, until it takes someone you know. Then things change. Many of us will miss Mark not so much for his law enforcement or military service but for being the wonderful person he was."
Dan of Swedesboro, NJ USA


Spread Mark's memories"

"I didnt know LTC Phelan but a close friend of mine serves with the 416th out of Norristown P.A. Although my friend arrived to this unit after his passing he honors him everyday by wearing a metal braclet with his name and info inscribed.I served full time army and have returned to Phila to join my National Guard unit.From the men who served with him and knew him well Im sure it would have been my PRIVLAGE to serve with this man.In short, although you have left us your legacy will live forever.Addtionaly, your family will be closly watched and cared for by your brothers in arms.When it comes time for me to do my duty in Iraq,When and if that day arrives.I can only hope to follow the example set for buy such a great soldier and human being.All my prayers to the Phelan Family and to all still serving around the world, come home safe and soon.Hoahh"
Len Turzo of Philadelphia P.A.

"Lieutenant Colonel Mark Phelan was a kind soul, and I was proud to serve with him in Iraq. He had a real passion to help the Iraqi people, and inspired many of us to work harder, dream larger, and live joyfully. Mark Phelan always stood up for what he believed, and his loss was a real tragedy for those of us blessed enough to have him in our lives. He was a decent, honorable man, whose example I will never forget. I mourn his death, but I rejoice that I was privileged to know him. Phelan's was a noble life, and he leaves this world a better place. His senseless murder by a suicide bomber was a horrible tragedy, but his life continues to shine as a example to me and to everyone who knew him."
Major Wayne H. Bowen of Arkadelphia, Arkansas

"My belated condolences to Col Phelan`s family on their loss-and a belated thank you to him for his contribution toward maintaining America`s freedom.Our country, as well as his family, grieves, but future generations will benefit from his efforts on behalf of our nation`s security."
Richard Solomon of Los Angeles, California

"May God bless your family and give them comfort and peace. Thank you, Sir, for your (and your family's) sacrifice."
SPC Ross Rickman, 46th MP HHC of Lansing, MI USA

"One year ago today, our plane left Mosul and arrived at Fort Bragg. While we were glad to be home, our happiness was tempered with the news of Mark's death. He had helped me move my belongings to the airfield from our camp the day before. Mark was fearless in his profession, that of a civil affairs soldier, and he was relentless in his pursuit of economic opportunities for the people of Mosul, a feat he had planned to imitate on a national scale when he got to Baghdad. His smile, humor, and good natured personality will always be missed by all who knew him in the 416th BN"
John Maxwell of King of Prussia, PA/USA

"We have not forgotten the sacrafice you made. And we won't."
Karen Contreras of Wilmington, Del.

"I flew back to Mosul from Kuwait with LTC Phelan just before he was killed. I will always feel guilty because he declined my offer of a ride back to FOB Freedom with my group, saying that he would wait for some of his guys to show up at Diamondback. He was a good guy, and I am sure that he will be greatly missed."
Paul Musa of Endicott, New York

"LTC Mark Patrick Phelan; I never knew you, I had only seen you on the FOB while we were in Mosul. I was the first one there that day; I wish I could have done more. I will always keep you and your family in my prayers. Thank you for your service and patriotism."
Pattric of Fort Lewis, WA, USA

"I, too, received my bracelet today and also have Mark Phelan's name. I am so proud to be wearing it. I will think of his family every day. He is my hero."
Kathy Gotcsik of Hudson, NH

"I never knew Lt Col Phelan until I opened my mail today.

Recently I sent a small donation in exchange for a "Hero Bracelet". HB are black metal bands engraved with the name of a soldier lost in OIF & OEF. The donations go to the Intrepid Hero Fund.

I could've chosen the name of a soldier known to me, but I decided I wanted to know someone I'd never heard of.

The soldier was Mark Phelan.

I wanted his family to know what I am so very proud to own this bracelet. I searched the web for info about his life and military career to know more about him. You're hearts must be so full of pride and love...and now mine is also.

Please feel free to email me if you like. I am going to take a photo of the band as soon as my digital camera cooperates. jkathan@gmail.com

Thank you so much. I send your family love and wishes for healing and strength."
Jamie Kathan-Cole of Martinez, CA USA

"In Memory of a Fallen Hero! You presence will never be forgotten and the lessons you taught have helped junior officers such as myself to become the best!"
Eric Gilgenast of Joppa, MD

"LTC Phlean "extended" in Iraq because he believed in helping Iraqis. Our unit, the 416th Civil Affairs was finished its tour and some of us were literally just entering US airspace as Mark was killed. He had chosen to stay for another tour as he was at the forefront of establishing the Ninewah Business Center in Mosul. He was the team leader of the Finance and Economic Team, bringing his civilian skills to his newly found friends. He touched the hearts of many people during his time in Iraq - both American and Iraqi. Many Iraqis grieve his death. Mark, you paid the ultimate price for believing in helping people. God Bless LTC Mark Phelan, his wife, daughter, siblings and his entire family. Sir, you are missed and I salute you - it was an honor to serve with such a good man! Airborne!"
Sgt Patrick Dugan, 416th Civil Affairs of Philadelphia PA

"Lt. Col. Phelan, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

"To Mark friends and family:
Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you, I know this is all very difficult. I lost my fiancee Spc Shawn Davies on July 8 in Baghdad. I hope that your memories of Mark may bring your comfort in your times of sorrow, and Godbless. Mark you will always be an American Hero!!!"
Autum Shingler ashingler09@yahoo.com of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania

"To Mark's 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

"Mark, I will remember you from our brief encounter as a caring person, who received happiness from life by helping others. The closeness of your family is touching and inspiring - you will be missed by so many. Please know that your giving spirit will continue in those of us who do what we can to help others."
Molly Jones of Seattle, WA/USA

"We are so sorry for your loss. We lost Army Spc.Joshua Justice Henry on 9-20-04. This was the hardest day of our lives. We honor these guys as our Heroes and hope no one else has to go through with what we are all dealing with. Rest in peace Mark, and thank you for serving your country to the fullest"
Henry family of Vandergrift , PA

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

"To Mark's 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

"My deepest sympathy, our family has also suffered the loss of a precious life in this battle for freedom. May God bless you and help you through this time. Forever in our hearts a HERO Mark P. Phelan"
Amy & Aaron Monier of Waterford, MI.

"Thank you Mark Phelan, 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 Lt. Col. Mark Phelan:
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 Mark 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 Lt. Col. Mark Phelan:
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 Mark, 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