Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Staff Sgt. Jonathan R. Reed

25, of Opelousas, Louisiana..
Reed died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device struck a nearby vehicle. He was assigned to the Army National Guard's 1088th Engineer Battalion, 256th Brigade Combat Team, New Roads, Louisiana. Died on January 28, 2005.

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"SSG Reed I found your memorial on my way to Ft. Polk today. I saw your face and turned my car around I had to stop. I needed to tell you that you were not forgotten. I prayed for you with a heavy heart. I left something behind to let you know that I was there. I had to tell you that we will honor your sacrifice always. I salute you. For you laid your life down and there is no
greater price that could ever be paid. Although you and I never met, you still belonged to all of us. We have not forgotten you young Soldier. You are gone but never ever forgotten. Rest easy. Rest easy."
MAJ Jennifer J. Mitchem of New Orleans, LA

"Hay SSGT Reed this is SSGT WALKER aka the goat missing you big brother I know you Chris Mike and David are in GOD hand lots of LOVE for you I will see all of you guys in Haven SSGT Walker the goat"
Albert Walker of Plaquemine Louisiana USA

"Wreaths Across America today at the National Cemetery in Baton Rouge. Your dad proudly stood as everyone remembered your sacrifice as well as those of your brothers and sisters. You are in our prayers, but know that you are watching over us all."
Judy Barnett

"This Memorial Day 2011 we will honor your service and remember the sacrifice you and others made for us to be free. We will watch as your name is added to the Memorial Wall at the USS Kidd. God Bless You!

Bob and Judy Barnett"

"Our hearts are with you. Six years, and it seems like only yesterday. We love you and will keep you in our prayers."
Bob and Judy of Baton Rouge, LA

"Three days ago was the five year anniversary of the worst day of my life. I was told that my team, my vehicle, my brothers had been killed. And I had not been there. I was their medic (and felt like their mother).
John's son had just been born a few months before and he was such a proud father. He was always telling me how tall Riley was and how much he weighed. Evan's new wife was pregnant. And Ramsey had one and one on the way. They were great fathers and great men. I am blessed to have had them in my life.
If I could trade my life for theirs, I would in a heart beat. But losing them was not in vane. John's strength in leadership rubbed off on me. Because of him, I was able to lead from the front as he did. His bravery no matter the adversity gave me the ability to save future lives. I will always regret that I was not there on that fateful January day. But I know that God's plan was to make me stronger, better and more determined. I have kept up with Web, and he makes me realize how John had become such an outstanding man that everyone looked up to. I KNOW that I would never have become the medic I did if it had not been for John's guidance and leadership.
Thank you to the Reed family for blessing this world with an outstanding son who touched so many lives. He and your family are with me every day. I love you all."
Dianne Rich of Panama City Beach, Fl

"January 18, 2009
To the family of Staff Sgt. Jonathan R. Reed:
Jonathan 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


The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell""

Posted By: Brandi Ramagos"
Brandi Ramagos of Batchelor, La

"Desi's dad is my first cousin, So we got to know John pretty well, He was the BEST hugger ever! Loved to talk, laugh, loved his family and he loved life. He was the type of man who never met a stranger, you could meet him, and feel like youve known him forever, He was full of life and full of energy, and love. He is greatly missed, and always thought of and prayed for, And we know that yes, he may be in a "better place" than we are, and theres still so much of his love still lingering on earth, we love you Desi and Riley, and always here for you,"
Jackie boone andrepont (aunt jackie) of eunice la

"Sgt. Reed was well-regarded by the men serving under him. He looked out for the welfare of these enlisted men and earned their respect. My son was honored to serve with him and I appreciate that Sgt. Reed was a true leader with a sense of duty and responsibilty. God bless his family."
Thomas Oswald of Baton Rouge, LA

"To the family of: Jonathan R. Reed 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 Ruth,Webb,Desi,Riley" and the rest of your family, Jonathan will always be in our thoughts and prayers. We only met a couple of times durning the deployment but my son ,Derek, always had good things to say about John. He told me he remembered him as being a strong and honest man. He always looked out for the younger soldiers. He was a leader you could count on when you needed help. I will always remember the tailgate party at LSU. Those men had such a good time that day. It takes a special kind of person to defend our country and he was special. I can not imagine the pain your family has gone through. I will never forget what he has done for this country and the world. Through our sons and the 1088th, we are family now,and we hold each other close to our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. May God bless you all."
Derek, Darlene, and Frankie Neal. of Oscar,Louisiana

"I didnt know Reed but I am forever in his debt. He took my sisters place that day. Dianne Rich was thier medic and he took her place that day becuase she was still jet lagged from her leave. He didnt have to but she said that was just the kind of man he was. He saw her walking around early on the morning he died and told her not to worry about it and for her to get to get some sleep.

If he hadnt done that, he would be alive today and my sister would be gone.
She thought highly of all the men who died that day. She thought of you as her brothers and would have replaced anyone of them if she had known. She is deeply affected by his death and he is forever in my familys heart and thoughts.

My thoughts and prayers are forever with the familes of these brave men."
Denee Schleicher- sister of Dianne Rich of Jacksonville,FL

"First of all, let me start off by letting everyone know how much their support means to me and Riley. As all you who knew John already know he was a strong, caring, friendly {he loved to joke around}, talkative, outgoing person just to name a few of his wonderful characteristics. John was a great husband, father, son, brother, friend, and leader. Not a second of my day goes by that I do not think of John or look at our son, Riley, and see John through him. I am just so honored to say that SSG Jonathan Ray Reed was my husband whom I love very dearly and hold very close to my heart. I am truly blessed that he chose me to share his life with. John was my true love, my high school sweetheart, my best friend, and my soul mate. Our precious son Riley will know the man his dad was and John will always be with both Riley and I on a daily basis, and he will live on in our everyday lives, our hearts and in our memories. We know who are guardian angel is watching over us and he will be with us every step further through our journey in life until we meet with him again where he will be waiting for Riley and me with open arms. I Love You So Much Baby!, I Always Have and I Always Will! You are OUR HERO! Riley and I Love You Always John!"
Desi Reed (wife of SSG Jonathan R. Reed) of Opelousas, LA

"To the family and friends of John,

You are in my prayers and thoughts always. John will never be forgotten. He is still with us, just not in the same form, but in a form for Jesus and will live in our hearts forever. John will give us strength for our hearts to endure any obstacle or any troubled time we have to face in our life. He still stands strong and brave for his fellow troops by given orders as a hero like him would. He will live in my memory and heart forever. I love you John.

To Desi, Riley, Webster, Miss Ruth, Webb and Bryan,

May God bless you, bring you peace, and keep you ever closer with John for all eternity. I love you all."
Brandy Downs, Childhood Friend of John of Denham Springs, La. USA

"To the family and friends of John,

You are in my prayers and thoughts always. John will never be forgotten. He is still with us, just not in the same form, but in a form for Jesus and will live in our hearts forever. John will give us strength for our hearts to endure any obstacle or any troubled time we have to face in our life. He still stands strong and brave for his fellow troops by given orders as a hero like him would. He will live in my memory and heart forever. I love you John.

To Desi, Riley, Webster, Miss Ruth, Webb and Bryan,

May God bless you, bring you peace, and keep you ever closer with John for all eternity. I love you all."
Brandy Downs, Childhood Friend of John of Denham Springs, La. USA

"(Eulogy for my Friend and Hero)
They teach you in the military and especially as an NCO, “try not to be anyone’s friend, Stay professional” they say. But with SSG Jonathan, Reed that was hard. He was my friend, my fellow comrade and now my hero. He was a man who died with a great deal of courage and dignity. He loved and cared for everyone he knew. You were his friend and you could not help that. I have known Sgt. Reed every since he since he has been in the military. I remember when he and I were two squad leaders from two different platoons. We would compete with each other, trying to out do one another. I am better than you kind of thing. We kept each other honest but we kept each other ambitious. Over a year ago, he became my platoon Sgt. He was the better soldier. He was a model soldier who at the age of 24 years old led a platoon into a combat zone. He was the best man for the job and did it better than anyone. When things got tough out there, he showed no fear. He would take a step back relax and say “Gimme Smoke and move his fingers like so”. We would pick on him and call him ole bum master. But the fact is he never missed a beat and he could bum off me any day.
He once told me “ I want to be the one to go places and do things, I want to see the world and not be the one who sits back and talks about the world without ever seeing it. It was this saying that made me want to be a better person. I can tell you, he got a chance to see the world. We had been together through the woods of Texas, through the desert of California, through the hills and fog of Germany and now here, in the one of the oldest places of the world. Many people may be blessed to live a longer life than Sgt. Reed, but very few will ever live a better one. He died fighting for what he believes in; honor, courage, patriotism and loyalty. That makes him a hero.
The other day I got this from Sgt. Reed’s room. (It is a teddy bear) You know I never thought I would be up here speaking on his behalf. The other night SSG Dean Amato who was a very good friend of John’s and who is a very good friend of mine, came up to me and gave me a book entitled “A Purpose Driven Life.” This was the first time I saw him since the incident and without any words, I knew what he meant and I knew how he felt. I went back to the trailer that night and I read a couple of pages and I asked myself, “What is my purpose now, and I quickly realized that my purpose now is to do what John would want me to do and how he would want me to do it. I know he would want me to share with you what kind of person he was. This one little item describes who he was and what he loved. He had a big heart like a Teddy Bear. He loved his guys, his leadership, his family, his friends, and his wife more than anything. He loved his newborn son Riley Reed who will be a year old next month. Around the neck of the Teddy bear is a dog tag with a verse from Joshua 1: verse 9 that states I will be strong and courageous.(He was) I will not be terrified, or discouraged.(He wasn’t) For the Lord my god is with me and wherever I go.(He is) There is also one of his dog tags that represents the soldier he was. He had pride and love for his country. He believed in what he was doing. There are keys around his neck along with a light. This represents the purpose and direction he had in his life. And last but not least the bear is wearing an LSU Shirt with an LSU pennant. He loved LSU Tigers. If he had to pick one song to play right now he would probably pick the Damn LSU Fight song."
SSG Switzer, Brandon of Camp Victory, Iraq

"John and I joined around the same time, and have been alot of places together. Over the years we spent summers at Ft Polk, (too many to want to remember), Ft Irwin, Ft Hood, Germany, Kuwait, and finally Iraq. John was always fun to be around. We had some great times, germany was the best. I am lucky to have known and served with him.
I think about the horrible news we got on Jan 28th, before we were getting ready to go on a mission, and to this day it still brings a tear to my eye. I feel rage at the thought of having to lose a friend and brother. I remeber the memorial service at the chapel here and I realize just how close Bravo Company is, there wasnt a dry eye to be seen. John and I were in the same platoon for five years before he took over as 2nd's Platoon Seargent. He was a great asset to the company.
John made the ultimate sacrifice for the ultimate prize...freedom. We are giving the Iraqi people a freedom they have never known.
So as we "Charlie Mike", we know that IRONHORSE 27 will be watching over us until, god willing, we accomplish our mission and return home.
I think of him and pray for his family daily. I also hope that one day Riley will realize what a great friend, soldier and hero his father was.
John, I miss you brother. We will meet again, but not yet.
SGT Gale Stauffer of Camp Victory, Iraq

"Webster & Ruth,
My wife and I thank you for the kind words for us and about our son Lincoln. We do not know how anyone can get through such a loss without faith and the support of family, friends, community and prayers of a nation. Some how through those first days we felt as though we were held up by unseen hands and guided by unspoken words but we knew where it came from. It came from families like yours and ours and strangers who prayed for the safety of our soldiers and the strength for families to face the ultimate loss. We also felt the presence of our son as we still do. It sounds as though our boys had a faith of their own which helped we the family stand tall and give the respect and honor that all these fine young heros deserve. We will pray for you and your family and for John's young wife and children. For you this is still new and it takes courage to carry on and to read these messages. We share a kindred loss with many and enjoy the freedoms our soldiers protect. We send a hug of comfort and will pray that you have peace in your heart."
From the parents of SSG Lincoln Hollinsaid of Malden, IL

"Jonathan, you will never be forgotten. You were one of my son's chosen brothers who died with you on January 28th. My family will never forget how brave you, Christopher, and Michael all were or what you died for. To Jonathan's family my heart goes out to you all. You are in my thoughts and prayers."
Wynette S. Evans (Michael Scott Evans II's Mother) of Jacksonville, Florida

"John, I met you briefly once, years ago, and distance kept me from getting to know you better. I am deeply sorry that you left us so soon, and I know how much everyone you know and love is missing you.

- Your "step-aunt," Mimi (Ruth's sister)"
Mimi Silliau, RN of Portland, Oregon, USA

"I didn't know John long but I know he was my friend. He worked totally different hours than I did, but, whenever we happened to be in at the same time he would always stop by for some laughs. He and I would always talk about LSU and we were even able to watch a game here together. John was young but strong. He was respected not because of his rank and position but because he was fearless. I look up to him and will always remember him as a warrior and a friend. I will never tailgate again without thinking of him. I hope that his family and friends will understand that although he was taken from them by these cowards too early, he did not die in vain. He believed in what he was doing. He was one of the "good guys" and we will miss him."
Michael D. Smith, SGT of Camp Victory, Iraq

"I only met Jonathan briefly prior to his departure for Iraq with my husband, Sgt. Michael D. Smith. I was able to spend a little time with his wonderful wife, Desi, after they left and was able to put my mind at ease about how our soldiers had acted prior to leaving. What I can say about John is that he was loved by his fellow soldiers. I will never forget the call I got from my husband, who was in tears, wanting to make sure that I sent flowers to John's funeral for him. He later spoke about John and how brave he was. On the night of their memorial service for John in Baghdad, I got a call from him again, telling me how hard it was for everyone since he has been gone. It is hard for Mike to talk about John without choking up, but I am so thankful that Mike had John over there for as long as he did. He obviously had a great impact on many soldiers, but I can speak for my soldier and say that he was considered a great person and soldier who did his job well. I am thankful that John was a friend to my soldier and that my soldier will always have that experience to hold with him while he is still in Iraq and after he returns home."
Rhonda Smith of Denham Springs, LA

"Hi from Arizona from Tom and Florence . I just got this websight and will write more later, but I am so thatnkful I could go home for John's beautiful service and we think of him daily. Last night I talked to a man from Alaska who was wearing "I Survived Pearl Harbor" hat and I told him about my nephew John. I always call all of the kids my neices and nephews because I have so few to start with. He told me his grandson lost a leg there over a year ago. Anyway we talked about them and shared our stories. Over 60 years later he still has Pearl Hsrbor on his mind all the time and I think John will too always be in our memory. Love Florence and Tom"
Florence and TSom of Arizona

"John; my wonderful and brave cousin who I will miss and love for the rest of my life. I wish I could have been at your funeral to hug Desi, hold Riley, cry and say good bye with the rest of the family. To Desi, Riley, Bryan, Webster, Uncle Web and Aunt Ruth please know how much I am thinking and praying for you everyday. I love and miss you all."
Jennifer Scott of Williams Lake, British Columbia, Canada

"I met John once at the LSU tailgate party and I remember him being very nice and happy. My husband also became close with him while serving in Iraq. Your loss is one that I can only imagine and do imagine from time to time. My thoughts and prayers are with you. May god bless your family."
Beth Stauffer-wife of Sgt. Gale Stauffer Co B 1088th of Tupelo, MS USA

"To Webb, Ruth, Desi and the rest of the family. My son painted a picture of John that will forever be cemented in my memory...of a strong person with a gentle soul, a true friend who embraced that special brotherhood shared by all men-in-arms. The pain of his passing is beyond words, but the comfort that comes from the knowledge that my son had such a man to share this experience with is immeasurable. I hope you know you can look to us for support and comfort. Through our sons, we are family now, and just like good families everywhere, we hold each other close to our hearts. Without this bond, the trials we have been asked to bear would be so much more unbearable. You are in our prayers daily. Thank you!"
Tyler and Kim Martin - Our son is Blaine Martin of the 1088th Co B of Baton Rouge. Louisiana

"I didn't get the chance to know Jonathan personally, but I am very proud of him.

To Jonathan's family---I can only imagine the pain you must be going through. My son is also in Iraq and a part of the New Roads unit. I want you to know that I live in Krotz Springs and that I am here if you need anything. You are in my prayers each time I pray. God Bless You All."
Twana Bowman of Krotz Springs, LA/USA

"John was my idol, my hero, and my brother. I will never forget what he has done for me and the rest of the family. John was a leader, teacher and a brave soldier. It takes a different kind of person to defend our country, our citizens and many others from unknown harm. I would like to thank all military personel for their courage, to fight for not only our freedom but for those who don't know what freedom is. My brother and all soldiers that have lost their lives for a just cause we all owe you thanks and a lot more. We will miss you and will be in our prayers. Never to forget your sacrifices."
Bryan Reed , Brother of John of Houston ,Tx USA

"Friends and family have been incredible during our loss of John. Countless visits, phone calls, monetary donations for Desi and baby Riley, and most of all the embraces and tears shared with us. John was an awesome man with a zest for life, love of family and country, deeply in love with his wife Desi, and blessed by God with a beautiful son. All who were touched by him during his life recall him as unforgetable, because he left a lasting impression. He was always curious to know everthing he could absorb about a new aquaintance, and just that quickly you became his friend. He loved his brothers Webb and Bryan and his cousins Traci, Brad, Andre, and Mary Helen dearly. I know he looks upon us now and wants us to know that we shouldn't cry for him, but be happy that he is waiting for us in the next life with Jesus.
God Bless the 256 and the United States of America!!"
Webster and Ruth Reed (Father and stepmom of Jonathan Ray Reed) of Krotz Springs, LA

"Thank you brave american Soldier.
Thank you for save the freedom of the whole world.
Thank you from Germany
You are my Hero
Thank you from Ute of Ramstein/Germany"

"to his wife and son you and your family are in my prayers"
chanell of alexandria,louisiana/usa

"There is no way for us to express the deep 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 thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Jonathan Reed. I lost my son on January 26, 2005 in Iraq. Those that have laid down their lives are the true heroes. May God bless you and comfort you during this time."
Helen Gilbert of Dayton, Ohio

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

"Thank you Jonathan Reed, 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. Jonathan Reed:
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 Jonathan 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. Jonathan Reed:
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 Jonathan, 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