Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army 1st Lt. Jonathan D. Rozier

25, of Katy, Texas.
Rozier's unit was fired upon by rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire while manning a vehicle checkpoint in Baghdad, Iraq. Rozier was assigned to B Company, 2-70th Armor Battalion (1st Armored Division), Fort Riley, Kansas. Died on July 19, 2003.

Pictured with wife, Jessica, and son, Justin

I felt like a very important part of being Jonathan's mother was to raise him to be a husband and father. Even as a young teenager I would say things like "the future Mrs. Rozier would not like me very much if I allowed you to grow up this way or that way." Parenting is more of an art than a science. And each child is different. So what works for one doesn't always work the same exact way for another. But I believe the principles are all the same. We pour our hearts and souls into raising our children and pray that they turn out normal. But I can truly say that we did that part of parenting right. Jonathan adored Jessica, honored and respected her, protected her. She was the light of his life. You can look at pictures of him and tell by his face when she came into his life. David and I saw a time in his life when he was no longer smiling and started praying fervently for God to bring Jonathan's wife into his life.

I remember the first day we met Jessica. We were at A & M watching Jonathan working with new "fish". There was a young lady standing at attention crying. She kept repeating that she didn't want to be in the Corps but she had to. It broke my heart and later that afternoon I told Jonathan to be nice to Fish O'Rourke. He took it to heart and several years later when David and I were praying for God to bring his wife he saw her with different eyes.

The Bible says that a man is to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. When they got married we gave our son to Jessica. And the blessing in return was that she willingly shared him back with us. Whenever he would call or write to her she would call us instantly and fill us in on the details.

Some have asked me how I can be so strong. I'll tell you that I have never in my life felt pain like this; the gut-wrenching heartbreak of our firstborn child dying. I can give you 2 reasons: first it's knowing that Jonathan had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and because of that I know with complete confidence that he is in heaven. Secondly, it's only through the strength that I draw from Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior that I can go on knowing that I will see him again someday.

David and Barbara Rozier

I was Jon's father-in-law. Jon was awarded one of only 15 Bronze Stars for Valor issued during Operation Iraqi Freedom for maneuvering his platoon of tanks directly in the line of fire to create a shield between a force of US Army foot soldiers and Iraqi Republican Guard soldiers at Al Hillel who were bringing direct and accurate automatic weapons and RPG fire to bear on those soldiers. I feel it is necessary that people understand what he gave up defending this country and those two pictures put a wonderfully human face on something that on the face of it appears sterile.

Jim O'Rourke
RVN US Army 1972-73

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"Yesterday was 20 years since Jonathan was killed. He was my first US casualty who died during my first tour in Iraq. Every July 19th I think about that night and pray for his wife and family."
MAJ (R) Nelson Sawyer of Colorado Springs, CO

"It's been 20 years and I just found the courage to find his memorial. I had the honor and privilege of knowing 1LT Rozier. I served with him in Iraq as the CO Fire Support NCO. I knew him as a true leader, loved and respected by his men. He was a candid and forthright man of his words in action. He led from the front and loved those with whom he served. I watched them roll out that night and listened to their comms from the X-ray radio. I listened to them taking fire and died inside as I knew I could not be there to help. I will never forget 1LT Rozier. He was and always will be my hero."
Tom Seal of Olympia, WA

"Jessica and family: more than 12 years later I just wanted to share that you are thought of often. So sorry for your loss."
Barbara of Kansas

"Lt. Rozier,
Sir, on today the 12th anniversary of your death you are still honored and remembered. I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy. I left a reflection for you a few years ago and when I read it I noticed that I had spelled your name wrong-please forgive me for that mistake.

Strike Swiftly!"

"Prayers sent daily from San Angelo, Texas."
Richard Jumper of San Angelo, Texas

"Lt. Rosier,
Sir, I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.
Strike Swifly!"

"Sir Maam,
I just left a memorial day service at Cave Hill cemetery in Louisville Ky.The service address was delivered by Colonel L.A Quintas U.S Army.He spoke of your sons brave actions in Iraq and the ultimate sacrifice he paid for all of us.I was deeply moved by the colonels words as he spoke so eloquently of your son and his brave actions.I found myself thinking of this brave man and his family, and i felt the need give my condolences to his loved ones.Please accept my condolences on behalf of myself and family."
john.newton@insightbb.com of louisville ky

"July 5, 2008
To the family of 1st Lt. Jonathan D. Rozier:
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

"To the family of: 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"

Well, I was at a loss for words when I heard of John's passing. I had been in the Corps at Texas A&M with John and been through many, many hours of Army training with him. I don't think the war really hit home for me until I heard of his death. I served in Iraq in OIF 3 and every day I was there I thought about the sacrifices that others had already made. I did my best to honor your loss and his life. I pray every chance I get for him and his family. Both John and Doyle were class of 2001 with me at A&M. Believe me, no one will walk on their grass or wear a hat in their building (MSC) while I am around. I believe I am free because of men like John. I thank you so much for his life. He was a true Aggie!"
1LT Luke Gorney of C Co, 3-112 AR, 56BCT, 36ID Texas

"Dear Rozier Family,

My name is SSG Sean Cornelison. I was a member of Jon's Platoon. I can attest to his gallantry in battle, his sense of humor, and his sincere concern for his soldiers.
Just prior to the invasion, we were all pretty nervous about what we were about to do, but I never noticed any doubt in "The L.T." (Jon) He and our PLT SGT, SFC Swanson, were a great pair of leaders, and every man under them was truly grateful to have such quality leaders in the face of such a daunting task. Those days after LD on 19 March were just a blur of activity. From Nasiriyah to Najaf, then Hillah, Karbala, and Baghdad.
Hilla was where we faced the most resistance. I will never forget that 31st day of March, 2003.
The eve of the invasion, I shaved my head, thinking it might be some time before we might get to do much bathing. I was right, but I had to keep it covered to prevent sunburn. When we got settled up in Abu Ghraib, I put an arab rag on my head once when I was hanging some laundry. The L.T. (Jon) would kid me that if I would just let my hair grow out, I wouldn't have to worry about sunburn, (or looking like an arab!)
Those first few weeks in Abu Ghraib were very spartan. I recall the LT getting the most care packages from home. He did not hesitate to share all the goodies with us. There were even some phone cards in some of them. He always cared about his men, and always put their welfare before his own.
It was this kind of leadership that inspired the great teamwork that his "Raider Platoon" became known for. He was truly one who led from the front. He was standing side by side with his men when he fell. I am proud to say that I was one of them.
I will never forget LT Rozier."
SSG Sean Cornelison of B Co. 2-70 Armor, Baghdad

"To 1Lt Jonathan Rozier's family:

Today, 11 November 2005, after attending the Veteran's Day parade in downtown Houston, my wife and I decided to visit the Houston National Cemetery to pay tribute to all our Nation's Fallen Heros. We came across your husband's memorial marker and I remembered that he was a graduate of Texas A&M. Although I have never met Jonathan, I felt like I had loss a younger brother. Carol and I are eternally grateful for the sacrifices that Jonathan made for our country and for protecting and providing the Iraqi citizens the taste of freedom we have here in the United States. "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

"Dear Jessica and Precious Justin:
While it is true that Jon is an American hero, know too, that you are every bit the hero as well. You too, have given all. While we were neighbors at Fort Riley, Kansas only for a short time, your family has forever touched our lives. I remember Jon showing Logan how to hold a weapon at "Apple Days" and thinking how easily fatherhood would come to him. His patience and gentleness made him a natural. I treasure that memory of him. Jessy, I know that Jon would be so proud of the mother that you are to Justin and for continuing in your life with vision and purpose. Justin, your daddy loved you and your mommy with his whole heart. Though unable to see him, he will always be a presence in your life. May you grow to be the man your daddy was...a man of strength, honor, integrity, courage and love.
Grace and peace be with you...
Mike and Wendy Bell
Logan, Koty and Garren"
The Bell Family of Fort McPherson, GA

"To Jonathan's parents and sister - I was so touched by what you wrote
about your son/brother. He seemed like an amazing, godly man
and a brave and dedicated soldier. I am truly so sorry for your
great loss.

To Jessica - my heart grieves for you...for all that you have lost
and all that you are going through. My fiance, CPT Ernie Blanco('98),
was killed 19 months ago. You have been and continue to be in my prayers.

Michelle Blanco ('01)

"Jonathan was an awesome big brother. Of course, we had our sibling moments, but for the most part he was a fantastic brother. He was a very quiet person, a man of few words, but when he did speak his words were wise.

We are coming upon July 4th and as with any other patriotic holiday, I am remembering my brother. I will always miss him, but I know that I will see him again some day. I draw great comfort from that. This world is not my home, I am just passing through. In my time here I do want to make an impact like Jonathan made.

Life is all about decisions, wise ones and poor ones. I choose to honor those who died for my freedom. Jonathan just followed in the footsteps of another great man that died for my freedom. "Greater love has no one than this, that a man would lay down his life for his friend." I thank Jesus that he made a way for me to see Jonathan again.

Only Jesus Christ could have made that way for us. Knowing this is what makes grief bearable. It is only with Christ that we can have joy in the midst of sorrow and pain and life in the midst of death."
Elizabeth Rozier of Katy, Texas

"Lest we forget"

"See you on Fiddler's Green LT"

"In Loving Memory..Its been a year..

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!"
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN


"My family doesn't have anyone serving in the military, but my daughter and I visited the Veteran's Cemetery in Houston today.

The grave of this soldier was one that we stopped by. We don't know him, but I just wanted to let the family know that we were there and we are grateful for his service.

We said a prayer at the gravesite of this soldier and the others that lie in honor with him.

Our prayers will be with the family of this brave soldier."
Tammy Gammon of Tomball, Texas

"I am a junior high student in Holly., New York. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and John. You must be very proud of John , by sacrifising hisself for his country.John was a great person. He sounds like the kind of person who would listen to you or when they needed a smile. Again, I am very sorry for your loss."
7th grade student of Holly

"The Sacramento Texas A&M Club will be honoring Jonathan at our local Muster Ceremony on April 21, 2004. The club together will answer “here” when Jonathan’s name is read during the Roll Call for the Absent. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of Jonathan’s family and friends.

Sacramento A&M Club Muster - Wednesday April 21st, 2004
Lionsgate Hotel - Sky Room at McClellan AFB
3410 Westover Street
6pm: Happy Hour/Dinner
7pm: Muster"
Michael Fisher '99 of Sacramento, CA

"I can't say Jon and I were close friends. In fact the few memories I have of him are at his aunt and uncle's house in DeSoto as a young teen. But all of the Roziers has been very special to me for more than 10 years.

However, in more than one way, Jon was my brother. He was my brother in Christ as well as my brother in arms. Someone told me Jonathan loved being in the Army and loved defending our country. Fortunately, the military is filled with Jonathan Roziers. Young men and women zealous and ready to make a difference ... so ready that they'll give up their lives for someone else.

When the war started I had several friends serving in Iraq and I kept tabs on them through friends and family. When my dad called me in Japan and told me Jon died, it was surreal if nothing else.

A few months later I was able to go home on leave, meet his wife and son and learn more about the kind of man he was. A leader, a Godly man who loved his family, a lieutenant who looked after his troops before himself.

His death has touched many lives. And I'm sure his life touched even more."
Abby Young, SrA USAF of McChord Air Force Base, Washington

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. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"To Jessica, and the Rozier family,

I just wanted to send you guys my condolences. I know it's been a while, but I can only imagine that even though time has passed, it is still hard. I didn't exactly know Jonathan, but kind of knew him by association through my brother(Nick Nethery) who was in B-1. When I first heard of what had happened I didn't exactly remember Jonathan. I was a freshman in high school when Nick joined the corp and Nick was one of the many fish. It only took a little while for me to piece it back together. When all this cameback to me, my heart broke. Of course Nick was upset as can be expected, and it hurt me to see my brother upset. Anyway, I just wanted to again send out my condolences and say that you guys are still in my prayers.

Amanda J. Nethery"
Amanda J. Nethery of College Station,TX

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

"dear rozier family,
it is with great remorse that i here of your sons death and i am very sorry for that. he is not only a casulty of war he is a hero and the reason i know about your son's death is because i am a friend of joshs and i attend his school at crhs. i can only send my condolenses and that i know does not help with your loss. i will keep in my thoughts stay strong."
jake oldenburg of katy, texas

"Thank you Jonathan Rozier, 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 friends and family of 1st Lt. Dozier,I am deeply saddened by the the loss of your son. Hearing about his sacrifice, and his history with Texas A&M and the Corps of Cadets broke my heart. All of the best wishes, and strength getting through this time. Know that all of us in Aggieland feel the loss of a peer.

Texas A&M Class of '03
Jeff Gilstrap of College Station

"My thoughts & prayers go out to all the Military men and women who are at war and especially those who have lost their lives. May God bless you forever. Thank you for everything, you are my hero! Rest in peace."
Amanda K Casas of San Diego, Tx

"To the family of 1LT Jonathan Rozier-
I never met him, but I heard his story from my twin brother who was on the same tank crew as him. My prayers go out to you and I hope that you are doing well coping with the loss...Just remember that he's in a good place smiling down on us all. God Bless."
SPC Kelli Copen of Schofield Barracks, HI

"Dear Jessica and family of 1LT Jonathan Rozier,
On October 26th I will be running in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. I will be dedicating this, my first marathon, to the memory of 1LT Jonathan Rozier. Although I have never met him, I heard about his death from CPT Chris Niewind, a friend and fellow armor officer,also with 2-70 Armor, who knew 1LT Rozier. I would have prefered to have asked for your permission prior to doing this, however the race is tomorrow. Please know that I have served in an armor battalion and as a tank platoon leader, and as such would like to honor a fallen brother-in-arms and a true American hero.
I will be wearing a small sign with 1LT Rozier's name, unit, and place and date of death.
Please accept my deepest condolences,"
James Volkert of Alexandria, VA

"To Jessica:

Please accept my condolences on your loss. I'd never met Jon but, from what your father has told me about him, I know that he is truly and deeply missed. My prayers are with you and Justin and your families.

Lise L. Scott -- New Orleans, LA
U.S. Navy, 1990-1991
Operations Desert Shield/Storm"


I had the honor of attending the AOBC at Fort Knox with you and Jonathan. He and I were actually the first LTs to report, so we spent a couple of weeks moving furniture around together. He was a truly good man, but I know how well you already know that. My heart hangs heavy today with the news of his death. He will be missed by many, and I will count myself lucky to have made his aquaintance. Please contact us if there is anything we can do for you. You are in our thoughts and prayers."
1LT Christian Kennerly of Fort Irwin, CA

"To the Family you are in my prayers...May God bless you. I do want to say it was a honor to have him in our military Thanks for serving our country"
Stacey (Proud Army Wife) of Zephyrhills,Florida

"We are so deeply saddened by the death of Lt. John Rozier. Our son SSG Brian Craig was killed April 15, 2002 in Afghanistan, so we understand a little of what you are going through right now.God's grace alone is sufficient for your pain and grief.Young men like John are true American heroes who need to be remembered for the ultimate sacrifice made of our freedom. John 15:13 May we never forget! If we can be of any help at all in this tragedy please feel free to call on us. bbchouston@aol.com In the mist of asking why, God led us to this verse. "The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in their heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands the the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil." Isaiah 57:1"
Arthur Craig of Houston, Texas

"Jessy & Justin,

I just read about this & want to offer many hugs to both of you. My you find peace. He sounds like he was one heck of a Soldier, Husband & Father. Also thank you for standing behind him as he went and protected all of us, we will always remember. Lots of Hugs"
Pam of Chicago, IL

"To the family and friends of 1st Lt. Jonathan Rozier:
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 1st Lt. Jonathan Rozier:
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