Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Pfc. Cleston C. Raney

20, of Rupert, Idaho.
Raney died in Habbaniyah, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device hit his armored personnel carrier. He was assigned to the Army's 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas. Died on March 31, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Pfc. Cleston C. Raney.


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Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

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"Cleston it was my honor to be your platoon sergeant. Although we weren't together for very long before you were taken from us I thought the world of you. You were the quiet one but everyone loved you. I think of you and all the boys every day. May God bless and keep you and all of your loved ones in his loving arms. RIP my friend."
Donald Dosch of Piedmont, SD

"My chest is filled with pride as I remember serving with you. I am humbled by the example you set. You where a real friend."
simental of colorado

"RANEY, I will never forget you for your good manners and your IQ. I will always strive to be more like you. You always beat me in Chess and did it with class. I will never forget the day you left us, it is ingrained in my soul. "The 9" shall never be forgotten. love you brother. My flag will always fly at half staff.

Spc. Elmer "Cookie" cooke of Albuquerque, NM USA

"March 21, 2009
To the family of Pfc. Cleston C. Raney:
Cleston 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 miss ya man, im still hurtin.Thinks for all the times you looked out for me.You know what im talking about"
Jarvas Meekins of Philadelphia, PA

"Cleston it's been 3 years , we think of you always. just was reading some sites about you and others, never knew about part of you in arlington and part in idaho. I thank god your soul is in one place.....
ashley sartain, margaret , your bro charles robbins"
margaret courter of Twin Falls , Idaho

"Tomorrow, March 31st, marks the 2 year anniversary of Cleston giving his last full measure of devotion in service to his country. Not a day goes by that I don't think about those five heroes. Not a day goes by that I don't honor their sacrifice. I am profoundly sorry that the cost of our liberty is so high. Things happen for a reason. We can't always understand why as hard as we try.

I wanted to write this note because I love my son and wanted to honor him on the anniversary of his sacrifice.

At the rising of the sun and at its going down, We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of Winter, We remember them.
At the opening of buds and in the rebirth of Spring, We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of Summer, We remember them.
At the rustling of leaves and the beauty of Autumn, We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends, We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
Rest in Peace Dear Soldier!! We will NEVER FORGET!""
Doyle Hufstedler of Abilene, Texas

"To the family Cleston Raney left behind: I am the ID State Coordinator for the Home of the Brave Quilt Project. It is our group's goal to make a memorial quilt for each fallen soldier from Idaho. We are a group of volunteers that are part of a nationwide organization of volunteers who are making Civil War Reproduction Quilts for the families of Fallen Soldiers. Our hope is that the quilt we are making for your family will be a small token of our deep appreciation for your ultimate sacrifice and serve as some comfort in the many years to come. Please contact me at czelus@hotmail.com"
Cheryl Zelus of Home of the Brave-ID State Coordinator

"To the family of:Cleston C. Raney I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully, we will meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell, Gateway Community Church, 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ,"
Polly Ballew of Covington,Ga

"To the Raney Family, Please accept my sincere condolenses on the loss of your son and hero Cleston. I recently received a hero bracelet with his name on it and will wear this bracelet in his memory as well as the rest of the fallen men and women in Irag and Afghanistan. Please know that his loss is felt by all of the people of America and that because of men like Cleston we can live in the freedom and democracy that we do in this country. My prayers are with Cleston and your family.

In sympathy,"
Greg Anderson of Chicago, Illinois

"You will never be forgotten. You are in all of our hearts and prayers. Thank you for keeping us safe. You are my hero."
Brian B. of Boise, Idaho

"I know there are no words to comfort you in your loss, but I hope you
find some small measure of comfort in the fact that you and your family
are in our thoughts and prayers. Rest assured your son Cleston and the sacrifice he made for his country and for us will never be forgotten. Those five young men who “ gave their last full measure of devotion” that day shall remain in my heart always.

Doyle M. Hufstedler JR.
Father of Lt Doyle M Hufstedler III"
Doyle Hufstedler of Abilene, Texas

"To the family and friends of Cleston C. Raney, we send our love and condolances. We attended a military event in our home town in Utah on Armed Forces Day and came upon a flag in the "Healing Fields" in honor of your son. His flag came home with us, along with a yellow ribbon, with his military information. Your soldiers honorary flag, will fly at our home for the years to come, a reminder of his great sacrifice. Our thoughts and prayers, are with you."
Fred & Loni Bailey of Murray, Utah USA

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

"Let me start off by saying that I knew Cleston.I met him when I was 10 or 11, he was living with his dad at the time. My mom,sister and I went to stay with them for awhile. we ended staying for the whole summer. we did not get along at first, well lets just say I was really mean but he was aways nice to me not matter what I said to him. After awhile Cleston my sister and I became friends, we did everything together. We watched movies,went to the park,to the boat races, we played video games together and when we could not pass a level we could always count on Cleston to pass it for us.He was gifted at that stuff.
when we went back home I was secretly disappointed because I knew I would miss him. We saw him a few time after that but I can not recall the last time I saw him.I always thought I would get to see him again all grown up but that chance has disappeared. When I was told he was in the Army I wanted to ask how I could get a hold of him but I was afraid to. I thought that he would not remember me or something. I always wanted to say I was sorry for the mean things I said to him that summer but I think he knew it, because he was always so loving and kind to me.I took comfort in knowing he was not to far from me and that I could get in touch with him when ever I chose but I waited to long and now I never can.I just want to say I feel blessed to have known him. I will hold on to my memories of him for as long as I live. He was one of the most beautiful human beings I have ever met.I want to say I am sorry to his family and also thank them for raising him so pure and good. I will forever miss Cleston. He was a true hero!!!"
Ashley D of Boise, Idaho,usa

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

"On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincere condolences to you. We share the same loss...the same pain. Our prayers go out to you and we thank you and your brave son for making the ultimate sacrifice.

From the Family of Capt. Ernesto Blanco-Caldas, KIA Iraq 12/28/03"
Gloria Caldas of San Antonio, TX

"To the Raney Family,

I did not know your son personally, but he has made me and many of his fellow Idaho Soldiers proud. It's not easy loosing a son especially one so young, but his sacrifice for freedom was not in vein. He will remain in our memories."
Spc. Chellis Dodge of Shelley, Idaho

"To Cleston's Family:
There are no words for us to express our deep sorrow for your loss. Maybe God bless you all."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"Please know how proud we are of your son. We share your pain, having lost a soldier in Iraq in December and now another brave boy from Idaho is a hero. Thank you, Cleston, for being there when you were needed."
Sharon Stanger of Idaho Falls, Idaho USA

"Thank you Cleston Raney, 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 Pfc. Cleston Raney:
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 Cleston 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 Pfc. Cleston Raney:
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 Cleston, 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