Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Capt. Pierre E. Piche

29, of Starksboro, Vermont.
Piche died when two 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters crashed in Mosul, Iraq. He was assigned to the 626th Forward Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Died on November 15, 2003.

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"I was assigned Captain Piche in an endurance event, we carried tags through memoriesofhonor.org . I came here to look up the circumstances of his sacrifice and his career and am humbled by what I saw. It was an honor to carry his name through this event, and I will carry his memory with me in the future. Prayers for his family."
Ed Wheeler of Remsen, NY

"I hope that Pierre knows that he had a positive impact on so many people. I am so touched by the messages here. really touched me. I recall that his intensity and drive were qualities that made him both challenging and loveable. I miss my sweet son every day."
Lisa Johnson of Thetford, Vermont, USA

"It's been almost 20 years since his passing and I just now found this memorial site. First off, I’d like to thank everyone who added their part on this site to help me relive my memories with Piche. When I first arrived at the Red Knight Battalion (3/320 FA) in the summer of 1995, SPC Piche was already a legend in the platoon. All the NCOs on Bravo Team 2/187 FIST would tell me to “be more like Piche, not Paulette” (sorry Paulette brother, their words not mine). Piche was a total stud with great things in his future. We went to Air Assault School later that fall and he was my battle buddy. I remember we drove my old beat up Chevelle to the Air Assault school because his old blue Mach II wasn’t running right. When we were coming back after our 6-mile roadmarch to clean up and be back in 30 mins, I sprinted to the chow hall to grab a bite. He was in my car waiting and almost beat me up while I was driving because I was going to make us late getting back! When we got there just in time for formation, he just glared at me and I knew I was going to get an earful later. On our way back to the barracks, we laughed the whole way back. After AASLT School graduation, Piche pinned my “blood wings” on my chest so deep, I had to pluck them from my chest. I wore those wings with pride. Later on, I remember watching then SGT Piche lead “Ranger PT” and he smoked those poor devils until they dropped! I’ve never seen or heard anyone count the repetitions of 100 side-straddle-hops in cadence without getting winded! He was a beast! Pierre was my fellow Fister, my battle buddy, and my friend. When I returned from Iraq in 2003, I read in the local paper of the Blackhawk crashes. I almost fell out of my chair when I read he was on one of them. I went home that night and laid there wanting to see him again, but I knew if I got to Heaven and he saw me, he’d just try to pin my “blood wings” on me again. Pierre was my inspiration at HSB 3/320 FA. He was a Fister I admired and tried to follow. But even more, he was a friend I cherished then, and still do to this day. I miss you brother. Take care and look after our fellow bretheren down here. We will be together again soon! RAKKASAN!!!"
Tom Seal of Olympia, WA

"I miss Pierre every day. My heart aches. Time does not diminish this. The world would be a better place if he were still here."
Lisa Johnson (Pierre's mom) of Thetford,Vt

"Captain Piche,
We all miss you dearly. Your calm demeanor and leadership is still inspiring today. I work on being a better person because of my brief experience working under you.
Rest In Peace, sir."
Shaun Conley of Charleston, South Carolina, United States

Laura Curtis Palmer of Williamstown Vermont

"Pierre - I can’t believe it’s been so many years. I hadn’t seen you since you graduated and commissioned, but I remember being in shock when I got the news. I was sad, and scared as I was headed off for my first deployment to Iraq. You were so good at leading and soldiering, I just thought it wasn’t how this is supposed to work. It never is. I know you are in heaven. Know you are missed, even so many years later. - Your MTSU classmate."
LTC Scott Feathers of Fort Drum, NY

"Cpt. Piche
I know it's been a while since your death,I wear a bracelet with your name and Spc. Sullivan. Not a day goes buy where I dont think about you. Your life was cut short.I was replaced by Spc. John R. Sullivan. I should have been there on that aircraft. Sometimes I wish I was.Thank you sir for your service, and sacrifice. I will never forget what you have done for me and my country. Love you brother."
SGT. JAMES HILL of Florida

"Pierre, not a day goes by that your not in my thoughts. 13 years ago today, the World lost a great man...The passage of time just doesn't seem to help. You will always be remembered, never forgotten. With love, an old friend."
Ian Rhein of Vermont

"I went to your grave, my son, to honor your memory as I always do. I miss you just as much today as the day we lost you. It comforts me to know that others miss you too and knew what an incredible human being you were."
Lisa Johnson (Pierre's mom) of Essexd Junction, VT

"It's Memorial Day and I'm sitting on my front porch watching my two young daughters play in the yard. Can't help but think of Pierre and how he paid the ultimate measure. We became friends when I served as the Attack LNO for 3rd BDE during OIF 1. I actually hung out with him before he boarded the UH-60. I pray that you have peace in heaven my friend. Not many days go by where I don't think about you."
LTC Josh Baker of Springfield, Va

"I still think of CPT Pierre Piche; he was a great young leader and Soldier that I first met in 3d Battalion, 320th Air Assault Field Artillery. He went from RANGER SGT Piche on a Green to Gold Scholarship to become a Commissioned Officer. I will always remember him as a young man of great character, commitment to our Army and Nation, and of incredible competence. I miss him and am thankful for his service. God Rest you Red Knight and grant your family peace in knowing you were a faithful servant!!"
COL (Ret) William Greer of Lansing, KS

"It just seems like yesterday we were serving together in Iraq. You are missed everyday and this special day is for you, rest in peace my brother in arms. The world is a better place with the lives you have touched."
LTC Henry groulx of Fayetteville, NC

"Pierre, Happy Thanksgiving my old friend. We all remember you & tonight I give thanks for the ultimate sacrifice you gave for all of us so that we may celebrate today. Love you."
Ian of Vermont

"Pierre! Another year since you were violently taken from us. The passage of time does not dull the memories of you, but only strengthens these memories. We miss you & love you so very much. Your pal"
Ian of Vermont

"Today I went to his grave to leave a wreath, to let him know that he is not alone. My heart aches every day, but I am comforted to know that others miss him too. Thank you for remembering Pierre. It means so much."
Lisa Johnson (Pierre's mom) of Essex Junction, Vermont

"I'm stocking up on the beer we were going to have after OIF I Pierre. Miss being your neighbor on post brother. I still look to my left when I leave my house expecting you to be there. Telling me to pull the weeds off my grass. See you on the 15th brother. Rakkasan!"
Hector Ponce de Leon of Tucson, AZ

"I miss Pierre as much today as the day he was killed. He was an extraordinary person. Like (too many) others who have died in the service of our country, the world would be a better place if he were still here. I want to thank all of those who have remembered him and I want to thank the person who left the 101st Airborn cap on the tree over his grave. I visited the grave today and the hat is still there. Pierre would have liked that."
Pierre's mom, Lisa Johnson of Essex Jct., VT

"My friend. It's been nearly 12 years since you left us...your birthday is coming up, and I miss you. We all miss you. I have no poems or long messages, just resignation, as the years have passed, that your not here. I love you bud. Ian"
Ian of Vermont

You were a great Soldier and touched many lives. May you Rest in Peace."
Jon Sausser of 1st Army, Camp Shelby, MS

"My mom used to baby sit him. I was in Iraq when his helicopter went down. I did not know him, but I do remember the little boy he was. I was sad to hear he was on the helicopter as my parents knew his parents well. Farewell and God speed Capt. Piche. From a fellow Army Vet."
Wm. Lawrence of Sunset, Utah USA

"I saw pierre most evenings in Iraq, to review reports with him. he was an excellent Soldier and a great person. I just wanted all to know that. and a good friend. I will never forget that day. I wish I typed this sooner."
dave oviatt of maine

"Remembering you and all the Soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice...."
Matthew D. Redding of Kaiserslautern Germany

Today is your birthday. I miss you so much. You are every minute of my everyday. As you have always been.
I love you more than words can say.
Lisa Johnson of Essex Junction, Vermont

"Cpt Piche I remember your kind and caring spirit I remember how u would wake me up and push me to succeed thanks Cpt Piche for taking time out with me you are gone but never will I ever forget you Spc Henry Pernell Bde Mortuary Affairs"
Henry Pernell of Winona Ms

"I remember you, your wife, and your Corvette across the street from us. You were the first one I remember us losing. We talked about you forever - we still do."
Saul of Alexandria, VA

"A privilege and a pleasure to have served with you. Always appreciated the humor and conversation down at 626FSB's TOC. You haven't been forgotten."
Don Sarmiento (BDE Surgeon/ 3BCT-101st - '02 to '04) of Conroe, TX

"I will never forget you, Pierre. We had so many great memories growing up in South Hero. I wish we had time for more but God needed you."
Eric McDonald of Richmond, ME

"Always think of you this week. I'll never forget the sacrafice you made. God bless your family. I'm honored to have served with you."
Jeff George former C/626 Company Commander of New Jersey

"Hi Pierre,
I am an Australian who googled your name looking for a Pilot Robert Piche . My brother has done two tours of Iraq and I my heart goes to your Family and Loved Ones for your sacrifice .May my God and Your's hold you tight and give your Family support.God Bless."
andy williams of Australia

"My Brother! I know you are in a good place.It's sunny out, it's april and we got another near foot of snow.Sugar season is on us no no doubt you have access to the best maple one can have.We miss you still and always will...it's true.It's not just said and forgotten...we will never forget.My sons one of which only had met you once know of you well.That picture of us on school street on the porch around eight years old...in the sun, your arm wrapped around my neck...me pretending to be getting choked...we were playing.That picture grace a space on a shelf,one of four in which is entirety dedicated to you.Wanted to stop in on some physical level.Not just in prayer.And so I write, as I suspect I will forever.The war continues.I know you would tire of such by now,as you were ready to leave anyway's...to teach.Trust me brother,this state needs a good teacher as you would have been. Well as said before...to that great shooting range in the sky-Love you brother..."
Ian Rhein of Vermont

"Pierre, We went to basic training together and I remember your character and confidence and knew you would go onto great things. May God look over you and our army brothers in heaven as well as look over your family. A final salute and HOOAH until we all make our final march together in the temple of the lord."
Rod of Batavia, NY

"To Cherish,
Pierre's memory is strong in my memory. God bless you."
Peter Shull of 75th Ranger Regiment

"Remembering the Soldiers we lost in defense of freedom. I will never forget CPT Piche"
Matthew Redding of Fort Belvoir VA

""To the family of Pierre E. Piche ,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""

"Dear Pierre,
Yesterday was the marking of your passing.I called your mother,our prayers are w/Lisa. We all miss you & love you, for you are still very much alive in each of us. Love...your brother...
Ian, Gina and the boys!"
Ian of Vermont

"Dear Pierre,
It's been a few years my friend...and so I wrote this poem for you. I submitted it and it actually won! We all miss you so very,very,very much.Your loving friend and brother...
Ian & Family.
ps:You should see Gage man, he's bigger than me now!!! Holy bleep! Be well my friend.You live on in all of us! Here is your poem:
Soldiers Lament: Ian R Rhein
Soldiers Lament
Here he lie, Cradled in hollowed ground...Here he lies silence bound...
I awake to the pain of bullets grain...
In my body bullets remain...
Why am I here alive today when so many good are so far away
A mother grieves her sudden loss...of her child and what cost
We did not want but had no choice taking life oh no rejoice
We lived like giants my friend where tracers fire and lightning bends
Better men than I...Gone to heavens sky...as it should'nt of been you, but I...
For only those christened shall understand...
Though young I may be, through pain so clear to see
Oh the Lord rejoices in my pain to be...
And you my friend have found an end, for this pain we live again and again.
Ian R Rhein
Copyright ©2006 Ian R Rhein"
Ian of Vermont

"i served with this man in kosovo he was a great soldier and a good man he and the others i served with will be remembered forever. i will honor them all in the only way i know how. my deepest apologies to his family he would have made a great teacher"
jonathan kelly of nashville tn

"Thinking of you this week. Memorial day was Monday... I usually watch the broadcast of "Last Letters Home" because they always air it this time of year.

When I am reminded of you, I am also reminded of your mother.
I remember how much I admire her, for raising such a good man & that you were the kind of man, the kind of son, the kind of husband that I hope my boys will grow into.

Men who have the ability to be brave, but also kind, gentle and caring.
Your affection for animals, your gentle disposition, and even the way you played with our younger cousins when we were kids.

Those are some of the great things that I remember about you & hope to see in my own children.

I miss our family, the way it was before 2003. Before our Grandfather died, when we all took each other for granted...and then your death followed, which was a whole lot harder to accept for all of us...and before a full year had passed, Aunt Mary's death.

Now what's left of our family will never be the same. There is distance, but not just the physical space......the emotional distance.

Yes,there is that lack of coming together during the Holidays too. But it's also the everyday lack of communication amongst the whole family that seems more absent now than ever.

I heard a cousin from my dad's side of the family say, that when my own father died..it seemed like our family grew apart. Like he was the one always pulling us together for family reunions.
Then Uncle Bob said that he felt like he lost his whole family, because none of us talk anymore.

This is the impact that death has on family dynamics.

It's sad. It makes for an even greater loss, because not only are the people who died missing pieces to our family puzzle, the ones who are alive are missing too.

~Wish you were here~"
Celeste of Florida

"With our deepest condolences to you Lisa and Pierre's family. We also pray for Pierre. God bless."
Suryanatas of Essex VT

"Thinking of you today...

The family hasn't been the same without you.

If only I could turn back time.

You are missed."
Celeste Prim of Kissimmee, Fl

"I leave this message for my son, Pierre, and for all of us. Pierre, you are still so deeply missed. You are in my heart and in my thoughts every day. The intensity of your loss is even more profound when I realize that now the total lives lost to this complex and horrible war has now reached a staggering 4906. I know how hard this would be for you if you had survived. Regardless of whether or not one supports the war, it is unconscionable that other issues have taken center stage. The media has shifted it's focus. If one talks about the war, people shift their eyes and look away. How can we ever be the same when so many of the best and the bravest among us have been lost to us? I have to repeat the number...4906... lives lost. How many hearts broken? How many more have to die? God bless you Pierre and all of the heroes who have died. God bless those who do not forget you."
Lisa Johnson of Essex Junction, Vermont

"Lisa- I sat with you today in your lingering struggle with grief, and it was an honor to be with you. I am so so sorry for your terrible loss, which I cannot begin to imagine. Know that you are in my thoughts and heart. Please take excellent care of yourself! You touched me more than you can know. I, too, am grieving tonight for your beautiful son."
Essie of Underhill Ctr

"November 15, 2008
To the family of Capt. Pierre E. Piche:
Pierre 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 would like to send my condolences to CPT Piche’s family members; I am so sorry for your lost. I knew your son when I served as a medic at Fort Campbell 3/320th F.A. I learned of his death while watching an HBO special “Last Letters Home.” I recognized him, but knew him as SSG Piche’. This was a hard story to digest, because we lost another close brother in arm Sgt. Michael S. Hancock.

Although it has been awhile since his passing I wanted to share my thoughts with you and let all readers of this webpage know your son as I knew him; brave, honorable and a Warrior. You all are in my prayers and the memory of your son will live on.

God Bless you all,"
Robert Paige of Stafford,VA

"Dear Pierre,
I miss you. No matter where I am or time of night or day...I miss you.It seems like yesterday...Just know that my love for you will never diminish nor fade, not even the passage of time could deny the love I have for you in my heart.My friend, my pal...We'll always be the "Two Green Mountain Boy's" Forever!

"Pierre was in Elementary School with me in Colchester VT, Last summer the Traveling Wall came to my community in Colorado - As I went past the current memorials my eyes fell directly to Pierre's name... God Bless Pierre and those he left behind, Please bring our troops back safely."
cathleen of Grand County, Colorado

"To friends and family of Pierre,
I continue to visit this site because it is one of the few connections I have to my son, Pierre. I miss him so much. It means a great deal to read that there are people who think of him. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here.
Best wishes,
Pierre's mom
Lisa Johnson"
Lisa Johnson of Essex Junction, Vermont

"In Love and Memory of a Great Son and Husband and Soldier. We will always miss you CPT P, and all the days we shared in the weight room and talking about our Families, thanks for your friendship. To the Piche Family God Bless you always and my wife Connie and I send our Love and Prayer's always.I'am very proud to have known and served with CPT P, and you'll will always be in our thoughts and in our heart's. GOD Bless!"
CSM,Anthony J. Slater Sr. of APG, MD

"I knew Capt Piche as 1LT Piche before he deployed to Afganistan. Then 1LT Piche was the Rear Detachment CMDR for 1/187th at Ft Campbell, KY. I was the Rear Detachment CMDR for B Co. 1/187th. I had substained a Back Injury in Dec 2000. I had become non-deployable due to my injuries. Then 9/11 happened. As the Battalion was being deployed, 1LT Piche and myself got to know one another through staff meetings. We worked well keeping the Family Support Group Meetings going once the BN had deployed. 1LT Piche was very supported to me and my wife as I was going through my Medical Seperation to leave the ARMY. 1LT Piche signed my papers in January 2002. I first heard about his loss on the Letters From Home story that aired on CNN. At first I was like, that name sounds familar to me. I had to do my own research to see if would I had heard was in fact true. To much my surprise, what I heard and had seen was very much true. 1LT/CPT Piche had been killed in a Helicopter crash in Iraqi. Days went by as I was in disbelief that my acting BN CMDR was gone so soon, so young with such a future ahead of him. I still pray every day for the brothers and sisters at arms that have given their lives in one form or another and to those who still continue to serve our country. CPT Piche is deeply missed by everyone who he has come in contact with over the yrs of his life time. God bless his friends and family.

Former B Co, 1/187th Supply Sergeant"
Neil Saunders of Philadelphia, PA

"Happy Memorial Day to Pierre and Family. I was sad to hear about the passing of Pierre's Father. May he rest in peace and be reunited with the Son he is so proud of. We can see Pierre smiling and proud of Cherish with all her accomplishments. They find something many spend a lifetime searching for...that's unconditional love and total support for each other. I marched in a Memorial Day parade here in Washington, D.C. yesterday as a retiree. I thought of Pierre and how 626 FSB - now 626 BSB, will never forget him. His superb former boss, MAJ(now LTC) Matt Redding is now the Battalion Commander of that great unit. He wrote a heartfelt poem about Pierre and read it at his memorial in northern Iraq. We stand by should Cherish or Mrs. Johnson need anything. God Bless!"
LTC (R) Martin L. Herbert, martin.herbert@us.army.mil

Dear Pierre,
I write to you on this memorial day in retrospect of your sudden departure from us.I think we all process grief differently,you of all people would of know this.Peter passed a few days ago I am not exactly sure as to what,maybe some resolution to your and his relationship will be resolved on a different plain of life. I will always remember the sunny blond haired friend that played on Lake Champlain's shores, Charlie's Red Hot's in Mallets Bay and Bolton and the cabins way up that winding steep trail.. these are the little moments that happened often as boy's that we...WE experienced that I cherish...two boys and their single mom's...and we made it.You can celebrate that you DID make it...to a higher plain than I could dream of.And I can only look at your passing this way,that it was for something..personal. You did it!And I am so very proud of you. You did what you set to do, accomplished these and more, and I am so very proud of you.As you may know :)...my family moved to Texas,kids are getting bigger,my injuries from the bullets are healing better than ever. And I have been pursuing a passion of yours! Playing allot of music on 6th and Congress down in Austin. Imagine that, a Vermont Country boy making it in Texas and a city at that!But looking back today...I cry not but for loss,self centered it may be...but the loss to society,the things you would of added to the greater whole. Proud that you represent every death and casualty in these wars...and I honor you and all those who have so selflessly served our Country. We love you and miss you,
Ian Gina Gage and Arlo.
Round Rock Texas
ps. If anyone can contact me from his last duty station regarding Pierre and any moments special shared please email me,I know Lisa would feel good from positive moments Pierre shared with others in his last duty station.Any positive comments are always nice. Thank you
Ian&Family of Round Rock , TX

"Today is Thursday, May 10th, 2007, almost four years since I left a message for Pierre and his family. Yesterday, I heard the news of Pierre's father's passing - Peter Emile Piche. I never knew Pierre, only his father, and know how proud he was of his fine son. I spoke to Pierre's father on the phone last Thursday while he was still at Sloan Kettering in NY. He knew he was about to go. I never got a chance to see him or say goodbye. May Pierre, and his father, Peter Emile who has just joined him, both rest in peace!"
Hyacinth Persad of New York, NY

"My nephew's high school friend, who enlisted with him, went to boot, AIT and jump school with him, and was stationed with him for three years at Ft. Bragg, was killed a month after his Sept. 2004 deployment.

His mother read a letter from him, received just after his death, at his memorial service. It was almost prophetic; chilling, even.

I lost my brother to cancer, and that was devastating. I can't *begin* to imagine losing a loved one in this horribly complex situation which few understand -- even me, who is opposed to the invasion. You military families have unique perspective and I admire you greatly.

Heal well, with the knowledge that Pierre, Jon, and the others felt loved 100 percent of their lives. How much more can one ask for?"
Jan of Seattle, WA

"My nephew's high school friend, who enlisted with him, went to boot, AIT and jump school with him, and was stationed with him for three years at Ft. Bragg, was killed a month after his Sept. 2004 deployment.

His mother read a letter from him, received just after his death, at his memorial service. It was almost prophetic; chilling, even.

I lost my brother to cancer, and that was devastating. I can't *begin* to imagine losing a loved one in this horribly complex situation which few understand -- even me, who is opposed to the invasion. You military families have unique perspective and I admire you greatly.

Heal well, with the knowledge that Pierre, Jon, and the others felt loved 100 percent of their lives. How much more can one ask for?"
Jan of Seattle, WA

"Dear Mrs Piche:
I just finished reading the Newsweek magazine feature story on the heroes lost in the war in Iraq. I live in Middle Tennessee and I would like to make a contribution to the memory of your warrior husband who it turns out was from this area. Please contact me by email at harvardman67@yahoo.com. May the Almighty God give your family the strength to bear this loss. Thank you. Roland"
Roland of Brentwood, TN

"I served with CPT Piche in Iraq and he was a great officer. He was my Platoon leader for a while and we took his passing really hard. Even though it has been over 3 years and most everyone that was in the unit has now gone our seprate ways we continue to remember him and the sacrafice he made for our country. We really miss you Sir."
SGT Manuel, Gonzalez of Schofield BKS, Hawaii

"Dear Cherish,
My name is Johanna Gurdemir cousin of Jessica Gurdemir. Jessica lost her fiance Lance Cpl. Christopher Cosgrove on Oct. 1st 2006. He was a 23 yr. old marine stationed in Iraq. I've read and seen mostly all the articles on your husband. I'm so very sorry for your loss. I can imagine your pain, as I'm sure it is similar to Jessica’s. She is distraught and I'm writing to you today in hopes that you may be able to help. She needs to communicate with someone who is in her similar situation. Please e-mail me at johanna_gurdemir@hotmail.com. Thank you from the bottom of my heart…Johanna"
Johanna Gurdemir of Staten Island, NY

"To Lisa (Fusco) Johnson and Family:
My heart aches for you still for the loss of your son. I remember Pierre when he was just a tot with blonde hair and I hadn't seen him since the news broke about his passing. I then watched the "Last Letters Home" which I learned about on the Oprah show. I had run into you a few times in Montpelier when everything was going great and we chatted. I want to let you know that I still think of you and pray that your heart is healing. My condolences to you and your Family from my family, Pat, Peg, Bob Althea, Barbara Christopher, etc.."
Nonie Cooper of Montpelier VT

"Pierre was my cousin. His mother & my mother are sisters. He was an only child & so was I. I grew up in Texas, so we did not see each other very often. I do have many fond memories of him. He was so fun to be around as a child. He had quite the imagination. He was so smart & fascinating as a child. When I hear the rocky song "the eye of the tiger" I think of him. I saw those movies with him. I remember playing with race cars in his room & sword fighting. I wish I had more memories of him as an adult. I wish we had been closer when he was alive. I live with regret for not knowing him the way others did. I wish I had made more of an effort to keep the lines of communication open. I took it for granted.
Today is May 12, 2006 and I still can't believe he is gone. I am truly proud of him. Our whole family always has been. I know our grandfather was especially proud of him too. I am thankful for his sacrifice, but as a mother of 3 sons....my heart aches for his mother, as he was her only son & ONLY CHILD. I know she is suffering & hurting deeply to this day. And I don't even know what to say to her. I know that nothing will make it better for her. But I wish I could.
His wife is a widow, way too early in life. This must be terribly difficult for her. They never got the chance to have children. He would have been a great dad. The world is missing someone special. He has obviously touched many people in life and in death. I am honored to say that he is family. And I hope I can do half the job My Aunt Lisa did as a mother raising him. Because she raised an exceptional man!
PIERRE, LISA, CHERISH you are in my prayers. Love you, Celeste"
Celeste Prim of Kissimmee, Fl U.S.A.

"I had the honor of serving with Pierre when he was an NCO in 3/320 FA. He was one heck of a great guy. Watching him leave the service, going Green-to-Gold, and returning to Ft. Campbell as an officer, was truly inspiring. On the night I flew from Ft. Campbell en route to Afghanistan, 2LT Piche was one of the last people I saw. He was serving as the Rear D OIC, and was in charge of making sure everyone got to their planes. It was good to see him and catch up on old times.

When I heard on the news that he was killed, I broke down and cried. Pierre was a good friend, a great soldier, and an excellent leader. The world is better for his having lived.

I have a KIA bracelet with Pierre's name on it. I cherish it as a memento of a true hero. On 9/11/04, the city of Franklin, TN (where I lived at the time), put on a memorial service for all the servicemembers killed in the War on Terror. An American flag was placed in a field for each servicemember, with their name, rank, branch of service, hometown, and date of death attached to the pole. I made a donation to support the event, and was honored to be given the flag that had borne Pierre's name. It currently hangs in my apartment, a tribute to Pierre, and a constant reminder of his loving sacrifice in the name of freedom.


You will always be fondly remembered.

Your brother in arms,"
Frank Maschhoff (FMaschhoff@hotmail.com) of Murfreesboro, TN - formerly of HSB/3-320 FA

"I only knew Pierre for 35 days during the summer of 1999 when we were in the same platoon during AROTC Advanced Camp. During that time, Pierre stood out as an exceptional cadet and a wonderful person. I learned of Pierre's passing while I too was in Iraq. I immediately felt the pain of his loss but was happy to have known such a inspiring man, Soldier and American. My deepest sympathies go out to his family. I will always remember Pierre and his fellow servicemen that have given their lives for our country."
Captain Joel Morgan of San Diego, CA

"I served with Capt Piche at the Rakkasans. He helped get me deployed to OEF while he was Rear D. We had many long talks before i left and i had talked with him in Iraq a few weeks before his death. He was a good man and a good soldier and officer. I wear his kia braclet and it never leaves my wrist and never will."
Sgt Brian Bailey of B co 1/187 INF Rakkasan

"Pierre, I thank you and your family for the sacrifice you have made for the safety and freedom of this nation. I am proud to say that I served with you and pray that somehow God consoles and comforts your family and friends. You are greatly missed and always remembered"
MAJ Mike Titus of West Point, NY

"Army Capt. Pierre E. Piche Was my platoon Leader while assigned to the ABUs (Alpha Company 1/187th INF),I was a FireTeam Leader in his platoon. He was a good soldier, and a good man. He was in charge of the rear detachment when the ABUs left for Afghanistan, because of this,I was not worried about things back home. My self and another Soldier (Charlie Williams) came back from Afghanistan a day or two early, and the first one we spoke to back in the company area, was First Lt.Piche. Of course as a soldier coming back from any deployment there were a lot of things going through our heads, and most of it was anxiety, and culture shock. He had asked how we were doing, and if we were ok. And then I think that we spoke about the weather. After the conversation, I realized that I had become more relaxed and was able to put things into perspective. I never thanked him for that...I'm sorry.
I also remember a time that we were getting ready to go on a platoon road march. I think it was either 6 or 8 miles. After we stretched, and put our rucks on our backs, the theme music to Rocky filled the air. Lt. Piche had tied a small stereo to his ruck. We were all quiet then Lt. Piche turned and said something like "what's the Mater" then he smiled, and we walked. The road march was over before we knew it. I also remember a night when we had been conducting some training out on one of the ranges way out in the "Back 40" We were all very tired andjust kind of sitting there looking up at the sky and the stars. The Platoon was gathered together, and we were asking eachother riddles, and talking about things that soldiers talk about. I wish that I could remember more for you, but that's it. The War In Iraq started shortly after I got out of the Army, So I listened to the news as much as I could, trying to see if anything was happening to second platoon Alpha company 1/187, and hoping at the same time that I would never hear of anything. The Day I Heard that Capt. Piche was killed, I thought it was a mistake, but then I realized that it was the truth, and then I remembered, and I will not forget!
Thank You Capt. Piche. And to your family I know that nothing can fill your void, but know that your son, husband, brother, lives on in the memories of the men that served with him.
INVICTUS is a poem that I carried with me during my deployments, and I will leave it here for it is Capt. Piche.
OUT of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul."
Robert Ramsey of Alpine, California

"I did not know Capt Piche. But we are similiar. Both prior enlisted and attended Middle Tennessee State University to obtain our degrees. I will pin on Capt in a few days. Here I am and he is gone. I will never forget him."
J.R. of Texas

"Pierre Piche' is one of many Piche's who have fought and even given their lives for the freedoms we all enjoy today. I send my belated and heart felt regards to this fine soldiers family. You will never know how much his sacrafice means to all of us. God Bless You."
David R. Piche' of Bloomfield Hills, MI

"I had the honor of serving with Pierre Piche during the time he was a Fire Support Team Chief in the 3d Battalion, 320th Field Artillery, 101st Airborne Division. His service to this great nation of ours will not be forgotten. He was an exceptional soldier, leader, and American. I will always be proud of him. My thoughts and prayers remain with his family; my only solace is the fond memories of this exceptional young man, and that I had the opportunity to know him ever so briefly. May God Bless Pierre Piche, his family, and the 101st Airborne Division."
William Greer of J5, US Forces Korea

"First of all, I would like to say hi to all of those fisters who have already left messages for the Sgt. Piche that we knew and enjoyed. I rememeber that he was in my team for a short time, but one incident sticks out in my mind. He was the one that was supposed to wake me up and make sure that I called our platoon leader to check in during mock alerts. I was a very deep sleeper and didn't remember him waking me up. He told me the next morning that he woke me up about 4 or 5 times, before giving up and calling the platoon leader himself. He then stated to me that since I was a deep sleeper and wasn't aware of what was going on, that I should sleep with some kind of clothes on. He stated to me that the highlight of his evening wasn't me answering the door naked all 5 times that he tried to awaken me. This was by far one of my most memorable and hilarious moments while in the army. I continued to live in Clarksville, TN for 2 years after I got out of the military before returning to Indiana, because I have a daughter there. I was out at Chucky Cheese one evening with my daughter when I seen Mr. Piche with his wife eating. He had just completed his green to gold and was now a 2nd lieutenant. That just showed who he was. Never rolling with the punches, because he was always exceeding the norm. I seen first hand the hard work he put into proving he was worthy of becoming an officer when I was still stationed with him. And even though I left before he made it, I knew that no one was going to stop him from reaching that goal. He was a big kid at heart, and know that he would have made a great teacher because he helped me study a couple of times for tests we had in our unit. I was in total shock when I turned the channel trying to find something to watch, and there was his picture. I yelled out "Oh my God! Sgt. Piche!". I couldn't believe it. I just caught the end, so the next time it was on my girlfriend yelled for me to come down. I have watched the story 3 times now and still don't believe it. I know how terribly hard it must be for you Mrs. Johnson and send out all of my prayers. But don't be sad, because all I can think about is how funny and carefree he was. He lives on through all of the lives that he has touched. He will not be forgotten, because there is no way to forget a wonderful person with such a positive attitude. I have more stories I would like to share with you Mrs. Johnson that are funny and uplifting. If you choose to you can e-mail me at jcook97@cpmail.com. God Bless!"
Jesse Cook of Union City, IN

"I just saw the HBO documentary and was very touched by Pierre's death and life. I'm originally from Brazil and love this country very much. I'm very sorry about Pierre's passage.
After seeing the documentary I felt like I had lost a brother or someone very close to me. I cried, I couldn't help. It's sad and difficult for me to undersdand. I immediately searched the Internet looking for more information about him and I'm happy I found this forum where I can express my thoughts and send a message to Pierre's family. I know that there is nothing that I can say or write that can minimize the your pain. The only thing I can say is that I feel sad and as I write I say a prayer to Pierre. I'm sure that God has a beautiful place reserved for him and perhaps a job to look after his beautiful famiy and those who he is a source of inspiration.
To his mother and father my respects. Sorry but English is a second language for me, but I'm trying to express what I feel the best way I can. To Pierre's parents I just want to thank you for giving Pierre to us. Thank you for giving Pierre for those that love freedon, kindness, nature and people.
Pierre, Thank you for being then and now forever. William"
William von der Goltz of Greensboro, NC

"Ms. Johnson, I just saw a special on HBO, Last Letters Home, and my heart goes out to you & all of your loved ones. I am so sorry for your loss, I cannot imagine your pain. You will be in my prayers."

"CPT Piche,
I never would of thought back in 1999 at MTSU that both of us would be in combat together and in the 101st. I didn't know that you were on one of those 2 Blackhawks at the time. I didn't find out until after I returned to the states. My platoon was on QRF that week for our battalion and when the birds went down we were sent to help secure the crashsite. I lay in bed at night and relive it.
When Perry and I were at Airborne School and you were at IOBC, you didn't hesitate to come pick us up and take us out. You were always there for your friends and we will never forget.
LT Parlow"
1LT Frank Parlow of Ft. Campbell, KY

"I had the great privilege and honor to be Pierre's section chief while he was still an NCO at Ft. Campbell. I remember writing up an NCO evaluation report for him that reflected the outstanding service and dedication he had in serving his country. He was a soldier who served above and beyond the standard of most soldiers. He reflected all of the ideals that make our nation great. I look forward to the fact that I will see him again someday in a far greater place. Pierre, you will be missed, but not forgotten.

"Because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men" 1 Titus 4:10"
Toby Vance of El Paso, Texas

"Thank you for representing, our country, our state, and our last name.

God bless you and your family, Pierre."
Jason Piche of Winooski

"Dear Cherish (and Pierre) I had the priviledge of seeing you on 60 Minutes and I just wanted to say thank you for sharing such a private and personal moment with America. It was profound. Please know that in the heart of this American, Pierre will always be remembered as a loving husband, a good man and a dedicated soldier. God Bless."
Laurie Allen of Orangevale, CA

"We will forever honor you Capt. Pierre E. Piche! We are humbled by the sacrifice that you and your family have made for us and our country! God bless your soul!"
SSG Nathan Henderson, and Michelle Henderson of Essex Junction, VT USA

"I served with Cpt. Piche when he was an NCO in the Red Knights. I also had many conversations with him when he was the Rear Det in 1-187 during Afghanistan. My heart goes out to the family he left behind, and a tear goes out for a good person who always greeted me with a smile. As a wounded soldier from Iraq, I sometimes wonder why, but look up to the sky and honor those who fell to give me that right.
SSG Brian McGough of Ft. Campbell, KY

"Thank you to all of you who have visited this page--if only to look at the messages left for Pierre. Pierre was the love of my life, my soulmate, my best friend. I will never love anyone the way I loved him. He taught me how to love unconditionally, in the hardest of times. I hope he is looking down on me, proud of what I have tried to make of my life. I never planned on having to start all over again without him. We always talked about growing old together. But I hope he will rest in peace knowing that I got my dream, and the dream he had for me too--I will be a middle school assistant principal starting in the fall. I know he is up there cheering me on."
Cherish Piche, PIerre's wife of Fort Campbell, KY

"It means so much to read your letters. The poem dedicated to Pierre is beuatiful. It helps me to know that others miss him and knew what an extrodinary person he was...and that part of him is still here."
Pierre's mom, Lisa Johnson of Vermont

"Dearest Pierre,
It has been many monthes since your passing, and.....well, I went up to the pond on Memorial Day. Brother of mine, friend since birth, I like you owe it to my country,I can not sit back in the face of your sacrafice and not do as I know I must in my heart. So...my friend,........I re-elisted today, Deployment effective in 30 days, a lowly E-4,paling in comparison to Capt. You are my HERO! God Bless America, rest in peace my brother."
I of Vermont

"Low Flight"

Dedicated to Pierre E. Piche

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth,

And Hovered out of Ground Effect on Semi-Ridgid Blades.

Earthward I've Auto'ed, and met the Rising Brush of Non-Paved Terrain;

And done a thousand things you would never care to.

Skidded and Dropped and Flared Low in the Heat Soaked Roar.

Confined there, I've chased the Earthbound Traffic

And Lost the race due to Insignificant Headwinds.

Forward and up a Little in Ground Effect,

I've Topped the Admirals hedge with drooping turns,

Where never SkyHawk nor even Tomcat Flew.

Shaking and Pulling Collective, I've Lumberd

The Low untresspassed Halls of Victor Airways;

Put out my Hand, and Touched a Tree.

Today Pierre you Fly with Angels. Thank you for your Dedication and Sacrifice. "Godspeed Captain..."
Dennis B. Dray MAJ (R) ARNG of Tucson, AZ

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

"I have nothing but great memories of Pierre. We were next door neighbors in the HHB barracks while serving as Forward Observers for the Rakkassans. We were extremely competetive with each other but I have to say he usually finished on top. He was my great friend and we loved going arround the town in his blue sports car that was almost always broken. I used to always give him a hard time for walking bear foot to the public bathroom and telling him that the old building's mice problem was because he couldn't keep his roon clean. World needed you here comrade.
All the soldiers, his NCO peers and officers looked up to him."
Saffar Arjmandi of Dayton, Ohio

"I would like to say that I'm exceedingly sorrowful about all of the soliders that died and all for their families!"
Mckeela Thomas of Clarksville,Tennessee,United States

"To the family of CPT Piche: I have the honor of having known your son for quite some time, unfortunately I never new just how far he had gone or how much he had given in the defense of our nation. I was one of the recruiters in the Burlington, VT recruiting station when he enlisted. I was not personally his recruiter but I do remember him well. You can always tell the ones that will have an impact on out Army and our nation, and he was one of them. My prayers are with you all during these difficult times."
SFC John M. Feiler of Ft. Carson, CO

"I salute you Pierre and everything you stood for. I had the honor of serving as this wonderful soldiers' Battalion Commander during his unfortunate passing. Those that never met him need to know what a truly special being he was. He knew how to Love, in an unconditional way, his lovely wife as I've never seen before. He was the hardest working junior officer in my unit, hands down. We miss Pierre and the other fallen warriors. We do, however, take solice in knowing what he left behind will stay with us for a lifetime."
LTC Martin L. Herbert, Commander, 626 Forward Support Battalion of Ft Campbell, KY

"Having also served with Capt. Piche when he was still SGT Piche, I was saddened to hear the news... My heart goes out to the family he left behind. He was a great NCO, and I was honored to have served with him."
SGT William King of Ft. Lewis, WA

"Dear Ms. Johnson, Mrs. Piche and Family:
I have been in disbelief all day and had a sleepless night after seeing Pierre's story last night on 60 min. I was in total shock b/c I had several classes with your son at MTSU and we were assinged several class projects together. How oddis it that I took a trip last year to West Palm Beach and who did I see right when I went to the ocean-I saw Pierre and his wife. That was the last time I saw him. He was such a gentleman! Kind, extremly polite-I just can't say enough. May God be with him and your family!"
Jacqueline Banniza of Franklin, TN

"To the family of Pierre Piche: My family also saw 60 minutes last night and wanted you to know that although most Americans probably cannot comprehend your suffering we are greatful for what your son & husband has done for us. Our country is a better place because of Pierre and the other soldiers like him. Thank you!"
Lettieri Family of Ellicott City, MD

"March 3, 2004 * Greetings from Las Vegas, Just watched the 60 Minutes show and shared tears with you, Mrs. Piche. I was sad watching you scatter Pierre's ashes in the river along with the rose. I share in your pain and suffering at your loss but rejoice in knowing that your husband died doing what he loved and most of all that you were lucky enough in life to have had a man that obviously truly loved you so much--the love notes he left for you are something to always treasure and keep you close to him. Few women are lucky to know such love in their lifetime. Know that only time and Divine Intervention heals all wounds and you will be happy and find joy again in life. Sincerely, Jenal Pollard, Las Vegas, Nevada"
Jenal Pollard of Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

"As an American Citizen I am very thankful that I have someone: someone's son, husband, wife, father, or mother protecting me. I would fight for them given the circumstances and I will never forget their sacrifice for our country and my family! Never! I AM VERY THANKFUL FOR SOLDIERS SUCH AS PIERRE!"
Martin K. Hedrick of Simpsonville, SC

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

""OUR special chosen words since day one of finding this site last year...have always been......REST IN PEACE BRAVE SOLDIERS/MARINES/WARRIORS We love you and MAY GOD BLESS you each. Your loved ones are in a beautiful place called Heaven now....When you look up to the sky at night and see the brightest star...it's your hero..shining down on you"
The Taylors USMC of NC

"Thank you Pierre Piche, 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 all of those who have left messages in Pierre's memory:
Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts about Pierre. As his mother I cannot tell you how important it is for me to hear from those who knew him. I hope to see some of the individuals he served with in the 10st Fort Campbell when I visit there in January. It will be very meaningful for me to look into the eyes of those who served with him in the 101st. He was an extraordinary individual and I miss him every minute of every day. I am grateful that he was my son and that he loved me."
Lisa Johnson of Starksboro, Vermont

"I served with CPT Piche when he was SGT Piche in HHB/3-320 FA. He was a truely professional young NCO who left the Army to pursue a degree and a commission and later returned a Second Lieutenant. I was so proud of him, not only for what he had accomplished but also for all that lay ahead. May he Rest in Peace!"
CPT Casey M. Randall of Baghdad, Iraq

"Pierre, we spread your ashes at the pond, a small but determined group of us drove in 4wl drives to the pond, a placid place, one we visited together as children years ago. Amazing grace was sung, and your mother sang you a song she sang to you as a child. Then, your ashes were laid to rest in the gentle waters of that pond. Your mother calls me, and misses you so much. She says that she dreams not a thing anymore, that she untill your passing dreamt of you every night, but now those dreams are silenced. I remember the last time we got together, just you and I. We hiked up the dirt road and took a left into the pasture, I had a preban ar in 9mm, and one in .223, and my berretta. You had your Taurus, and we commenced to blowing the hell out of targets at various ranges! I remember as children, our mothers being single mothers, would watch over us, sharing in the responsabilities. I remember a sandy haired blond child, playing on the shores of lake Champlain, and I remember a friend, a good friend. Camp bear paw at Bolton falls, and the damn on the Winooski, a million miles away from Mosul. I love you buddy, I will do my best in supporting Lisa. She says that whenever she hugs me, it's like hugging you, but I know it's not true, I could never be you. I've shown my children pictures of you and us, playing guns with that damn beret you insisted on wearing as a child,lol....Your mother is spending Christmas with us. I will miss you, and retain your memory as a child, a friend,a man, a soldier, to be shard with my sons, your sacrafice will not go un-remembered. Untill the Lord calls upon me, may you find comfort in heaven, on that eternal shooting range, watch over Cherish, and your Mother. Your friend,
Ian Rhein"
Ian Rhein of Waterbury,Vermont,USA

"To Lisa Johnson and family of Capt Pierre Piche. Living in VT I of course was aware of the great loss of Pierre; I work with the VT State VA and was given the honor of speaking with you recently. I've learned so much more since about Pierre, and feel so much closer to your family, and your son; my heart aches for you, yet I know I cannot understand, and do not want to understand what you are going through, and what you and your brave family are feeling. As I told you my son is also in Iraq, Army Airborne, so this too hits so close to home. I do hope you and your family know how much we all care, and that you have a huge family that will stand by you whenever needed. Please know you, your family and Pierre are in my heart and prayers."
Laura Curtiss of Barre VT

"Yesterday, I found out Pierre had died in Iraq. I served with CPT (SGT) Piche in the 101st ABN DIV. We were both Fisters who supported light infantry companies in the same battalion. We froze on the same ground together. We shared the same food. We pulled the same missions over and over again in preperation for what might come one day. He was a great American and a good friend. I can't believe he's gone. I'll always remember how nothing was ever to tough for him to overcome. No matter how cold or hot, no matter how long we'd been in the field, no matter how bad the chow was, Pierre always had that grin on his face. I'll miss that. Last night, after I found out about Pierre, I was putting my four-year-old son to bed. My son looked up at me and said "Dad, one day I want to be a soldier just like you" and I broke down.
I prayed for Pierre today and for his family. My prayers go out to all the service members serving and to their families.
Pierre, may the sun always shine on your face, may the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the rain fall softly on your fields and may the good Lord hold you in the palm of his hands until we meet again."
SSG Nathan T. Starns of Hattiesburg, MS

"While researching my name I happened upon this site and was saddened to find this page being a Piche and also being a veteran of Desert Storm.May God bless and look over the family."
John Piche of Terre Haute,In. USA

"I saw a picture of Pierre this summer, 2003. His picture was on the frontpage of a Vermont newspaper. The people of Vermont were very proud to have a son serving this country. I commented when I saw his picture, "he's so handsome," for I had never seen a grown-up picture of him. His father, Peter Emile Piche, who is very proud of his son showed me this picture. My deepest sympathy to all of Pierre's family."
Hyacinth Persad of New York, NY

"My love goes out to Lisa Johnson, For I know, losing Pierre hurt her more then anything in the world! I wish the best for you lisa and just know he is in a safer place now!"
Courtney of Rutland, VT

"My deepest sympathy to the family of Capt. Piche. He sounds as though he was a wonderful son and husband, and my fervent wish is that he and all of the others who have fallen in this war will not have died in vain. You can be very proud of him."
Donna Papariello of Winooski, Vt.

"I had the opportunity and privilege of dealing with Capt. Piche through my employment on Fort Campbell, Kentucky as an employee of the contractor responsible for the operations and maintenance of ranges. He was a true officer and a gentleman in every sense of the word. His presence will greatly be missed at Fort Campbell. My deepest condolences to his wife, family, and friends."
Kristi (ESP, Inc) of Ft Campbell, KY

"To the family and friends of Capt. Pierre Piche:
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 Pierre 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 Capt. Pierre Piche:
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 Pierre, 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