Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Pfc. Wesley R. Riggs

19, of Baytown, Texas.
Riggs died in Tikrit, Iraq, from injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his dismounted position. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia. Died on May 17, 2005.

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"I remember when 1st platoon and others from Delta 2-7 Infantry came to our house. Even though Wesley was in 2nd Platoon he was very much as part of 1st Platoon. I can still remember all of the boys laughing and cutting up. Riggs and Stoltz, peas and carrots. Always hanging together. Wesley will always be remembered and honored in our family along with the others we have lost. We visit Warrior's Walk with our daughter and remember those who gave so much for our freedom."
Santo Nino of Waycross, GA

"Hey brother I remember the day you and Jimmy came in from. GA to party with us In FL after that day we became like brothers you were at my house every weekend I miss you like crazy and the tattoo on my arm is for to keep your memory alive forever to my falling brother u love and miss u man"
ADAM STOLTZ of Denham Springs Louisiana



"I remember Wesley as a beautiful, blue eyed child. He was so sweet natured and smart. Gayle, I'm heartbroken today and can think of nothing but you and Wesley and your family. I wish we hadn't lost contact. My heart just aches for you. Wesley was a beautiful child and I know how much you loved him. I miss you. I'm so sorry you have to know what the pain of losing a child feels like. I can only imagine. It's not fair that you have to know how it feels. You're such an amazing person... always were. I love you, girl.. even though we haven't seen each other in years and years... I've thought of you often and cry with you today."
Melissa (Waters) Jackson of makeyourmark88@gmail.com

"I served beside PFC Riggs, during OIF 3, with our company D co 2-7 IN. He was a good friend to have around during our deployment. He was missed among all of Delta Company. May God bless your family. I will see when I come Home Riggs"
SPC McFarland, Ryan D co 2-7 IN of Fort Stewart, Ga

"to the family of Wesley Riggs, I was in the 2/7inf mortar platoon and served in iraq in iraq with Wesley he was a friend and I wanted to send my condolences to you"
Spc. Matt Petrus, HHC 2/7 Inf. of Chicago, IL

"Wes...I can still see your smiling face sitting at the table as the sun was going down in Tennessee. So much time has passed, but it seems like yesterday. If I could go back, I would give you a great big hug regardless if you were a "guy-guy." We miss you and you live on in your brothers and in the promise of every soldier who you had influence over. We love you!"
Racheal J of Kingwood, TX

"As I sit here today, I wonder what you would be doing now if you had made it home. Would you be out with friends or at home with your family? Would you be getting ready for work or just getting off of work? There are a lot of possible things that you could be doing. I miss you more and more each day. I miss hearing your laugh and seeing your smile. I will forever love you in this life and the next...."
Michelle Bronikowsky, Aunt of Wesley of El Campo, TX

"May 20, 2009
To the family of Pfc. Wesley R. Riggs:
Wesley 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

"mr. and mrs.Riggs
this is a former pfc.from 2-7inf delta co. mech i served with your son and i can't say how sorry i am for your loss but i can tell you that he is missed and thought about daily i knew wesley on post and he was someone who could allways bring a smile to your face no matter what he was strong and very very loved by evreyone plez take my apologies and thanx he and you have paid the highest price for freedom and we will not forget i will not let my childrin forget that because of pfc.Riggs and others like 1st.lt.Daved l. Geimo we are free\\\ plez feel free to contact me at annrae26@yahoo.com may god bless you all love yall"
tyrel credeur of lafayette la.

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

"Mrs. Riggs, My son and I met you this afternoon at the Memorial Cemetery. I want to say how much I appreciate your speaking to us in this difficult time. I wanted my 12 yr old son to realize this is not a Holliday to celebrate, but one to remember. He talked about your son the whole way home. I know my words can not heal you in any way, but I pray God takes you and your living sons in his arms and helps you all through this difficult time. My family appreciates your son and what he has done with his life."
Ronald Lopez of Cypress, Texas

"To the entire Riggs family,
I am a former medic of 2-7 IN, and I was there the day Wesley passed. I am no longer in the service, but my father still keeps his patriotism high. He is the one who found this site and told me of it. I felt that maybe if you heard from someone who was there it might bring some minute level of comfort. Spc. Church was the medic attached to Wesley's unit, but myself and the Physicians Asst. that worked in the aid station responded, and brought your son back to the FOB. Your son was the first soldier I shed tears for, and as the Chaplin prayed in the mortuary affairs tent, all I could think of was his family. I truely morned the loss of your son, and prayed intensely for your family's support during this tragic time. As soon as I was back in Ga. I had a black braclet made with Wesley's info on it. I still have that braclet and it sits in the clutches of an eagle's claws from a statue that was given to me by family. I look at it often and say a small prayer for you and your family. If you ever need to talk to someone about what things were like, and how he was handled with the utmost care and respect, you can email me @ txroots1781@yahoo.com
Take care, (former) Spc. Jason Hughes
Medic 2-7 IN, 3ID"
Jason Hughes of McKinney, Texas USA


Even though it has been two years, I know you still have nightmares and still miss him dearly. I've seen you go from being happy with a big smile on your face to going in a trance like state and I wonder if it's then you are thinking of Wesley. There is nothing anyone can do or say to take the pain away. I've have always said, "I hope I die before my kids." I think no parent should have to bury their child. I know that you probably look back and think that you wish he hadn't enlisted but you know he had a big heart and would do whatever he could to help anyone including his country. It hurts no matter what the situation. At least with Wesley, he died a hero, your son, a hero. As painful as it is, that is something to be proud of. You have perservered through so much. I am sure you wonder if the pain will ever pass. My grandmother still aches over her son who died when he was 19 and would now be turning 39 (I think). She still tears up talking about him. She still displays his pictures, things he made her, etc. I see sometimes how it is hard for you to be happy and have a good time when something reminds you of Wesley or his birthday, or May. My heart aches for you. Today (November 28, 2007) I decided to look up his websites and saw this one first. I know I don't talk to you alot about Wesley because I don't want to see you cry and see you in pain because you try so hard not to cry. But I just want to let you know how proud I am of you. In addition to Wesley, you have hit so many bumps in the road since then and I wonder sometimes if it was me could I have been as strong as you. You might not think you were strong but you got past those bumps and that shows how strong you are. I know you probably wonder, "What possibly could be worse than losing a child?" You will probably experience more heartbreak through your life but know this, you will get through it and survive. I never got to meet Wesley but I hear you and Dad talk about him and I think that everything Wesley was is because of you. He had your big heart. I know how you are to me and everyone around you. You are a survivor. I just want to say I admire you, I miss you, I love you, and I will always pray for you."
Shauna Morrison of Jasper, TN

"Riggs, we will always miss you. We think about you everyday. Thank you to the family, my family prays for yours everyday. You will always be in our hearts. See you soon Riggs."
Steven "Doc" Church of Metter, Ga

"How do I?
Stop the vulgar pain in my chest?
Continue to breathe but can not live?
How do I close my eyes wondering if sleep will come and knowing that if I sleep I will awake to know that this is not a nightmare but our life!
How do I do this?
How do I love someone with my every being and go on without seeing that sweet face that brought more joy to my life that I ever deserved never to be seen by my eyes in this life again?
How do I stop the screams that no one hears but me?
How do I live without my child?
How does this world go on with out Wesley in it?
It does..... But how do I????"
Gayle McDermott (Wesley's Mother) of Baytown, Texas

"To Wesley's family,
Wes was a great friend of mine. we were in the venture crew together in mt. belvieu. he was one of the sweetest guys i'd ever met.. always stood up for me. I do and always will miss him dearly. I will never forget the camp outs, goofin around, the long phone calls, seeing him pass my lake house on lake livingston and stopping by to say hey... he is one that will never be forgotten. you all are in my heart and prayers. my husband is in the army, and will possibly go to iraq soon, I am proud of him and everyone who is willing to give their lives for our freedom. God bless."
Elizabeth (Price) Davis of Wahiawa, Hi. (formerly Crosby, tx)

Sgt Crystal Cook http://pzzzz.tripod.com/prayer.html of Arlington, Tx

"to all that dont know him he was a great person. i thought of him as a brother through training in basic. god bless those who suffered the loss over him."
SPC Juliano Villani of Plano Tx 752024

"You came into this world a baby,
You left it a grown man.
First it was your Fathers',
But now you hold God's hand.
You will not be forgotten,
And our Freedom we hold dear.
You may of left in body,
In my Heart I hold you near.

You are missed and loved. My Nephew, Wesley Robert Riggs"
Uncle Brian of Warren, Mi USA

"Will the hurt ever stop?....."
Sheryl-Wesleys aunt of Houston, Texas-USA

"We are indebted to Wesley, for the sacrifice that he made for our Nation. America is the Greatest Country on Earth because of heros like Wesley. We can enjoy our way of life and our freedoms because of heros like Wesley. "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13"
Lt Col E. KENT WONG '86, USAF of Sheppard AFB, Texas

"To my Big brother Dan,
There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of you or Wesley. I hope I never have to go through what you had to on May 17th. There will always be a special place in my heart for Wes. Take care Big Brother, Love you! Rob"
The Uncle of a Hero of Birch Run, Michigan

"I am sorry for your loss. May God bless you with the courage to deal with the days ahead.

Michele Carter
Sister of CPL Gary Walters
KIA in Baghdad, 24 April 2005"

"As we all already know, no one can truly help you get over the loss of your son, Wesley Robert Riggs,but i will sertainly try to comfort you in this time of need.I too have lost a wesley riggs,a cousin of mine,so i can safely say that i feel your pain of a lost hero just as you do and i just wanted to let you know,that there may be no possible way to explain in words how sorry i am for your sorrow. I pray for you,your husband,and your two children every second i can.I hope this letter realy changes your way of looking at life.
Wesley Robert RIggs will always be known as my hero forever and ever!!"
Emily Houck of Houston,tx.

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

"To the family of Wesley: I'm so sorry for the loss of a great person! No matter what living or "lost".. he's still a hero!! My thoughts and prayers are with the family!! God Bless"
Joleen Winslow of Belleville Ks. Us

"I'm a mother of a son also named Weslie Riggs, my heart breaks for you and all of his family and friends, I could not and hope to never have to phantom the depths of your loss. Sincerely Jolee Riggs"
Jolee Riggs of Lacona, NY

"I´m offering my deep condolences to the Wesley's family, those who watched and cared him sinced the beginning, the people who loved him and stills love, because he is not dead! his soul is alive. He died on the same date of my birthday...I´m 21 now, and I was a brasilian soldier in 2003, when this terrible war began. Now I´m out from army, because I realized that was a bad choice that I did. And for the Wesley´s mom: YOU SON IS ALIVE, THINK ABOUT IT, HE IS UNFORGETTABLE FOR YOU (hugoqt@terra.com.br)"
Hugo Quintanilha Jorge da Silva of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; Love leaves a memory no one can steal. We are deeply sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
From the family of LCpl Branden P. Ramey, KIA 11/8/04"
Sandy of Madera, CA

"While watching our local news, we were so sad to hear of the loss of your brave son, Wesley. We live in a small town fairly close to you and we too lost our son, Stuart, by an ied. We hope you will find comfort in reading these messages on this respectful site in months and years to come as we have. Americans all over the United States will post messages to your family and we truly believe they are from the hearts of all Americans. We know there will be many days and months of shock, denial, and grief to come but remember always that your son is an American Hero. He has given of his life so that we all can have the right to say such words and to live in our country as free people. We admire your family for instilling in Wesley such traits that are required to proudly serve in our Armed forces. We join you in your sorrow and will continue to pray for you and your extended family."
The Moore's of Livingston, Tx

"We are deeply sorry for your loss. America will forever honor your Hero.
The Courage, Honor, and Valor that your Hero showed will always be remembered.
We are grateful for the sacrifice that was made and we will NEVER FORGET.
God Bless your family and please know that you are not alone.
All of our prayers are with you."
Jennifer and SSGT Larry Mays and family of Massillon, Ohio

"to the riggs family from the wahl family. We are deeply sadden by the lost of Wesley. He will not have given his life in vain. Wesley has touched the hearts of so many. He has given more to our country then most. He is a HERO! One taht as AMERICANS we all should look up too! For protecting us against TERRORISM. As to care for others in the world to give them a new beginning. Wesley you are in my heart and prays. An I appreciate you serving along side our son Gregory. We lost himlast May. God Bless!"

"To Wesley's Family:
There are no words to describe the sorrow we feel for your loss. May God bless you and help you through this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"To Wesley's Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your soldier's bravery and sacrifice as we mourn the loss of yet another of Texas' children. Our sons are truly heroes!

By His Grace,

Gloria Caldas
Proud Mother of Fallen Hero
Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas
"The Big Ern", 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
San Antonio, Texas

"Rock of the Marne"
SFC Simpson of 1-6 INF, 1AD, Germany

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

"Thank you Wesley Riggs, 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. Wesley Riggs:
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 Wesley 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. Wesley Riggs:
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 Wesley, 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