Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Isela Rubalcava

25, of El Paso, Texas.
Rubalcava died in Mosul, Iraq, when a mortar round hit near her. She was assigned to the 296th Combat Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Washington. Died on May 8, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. Isela Rubalcava.


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

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"Ruby, you were an awesome sergeant and an awesome person thanks for making the soldiers lives who were with you in Mosul better."
Aaron Catway of Seattle, wa.

"Thank You for everything"
LB of Tacoma, WA

"Dear Ruby, You were missed from the moment God took you in his arms. You were full of sunshine and a phenomenal Soldier. You kept us straight and always made a bad situation better. I miss you and you will always be on my mind. God bless and God speed. Love you"
MSG Edward Huffine of Fort Lewis, Washington

"Isela, you are always in my thoughts at this time of year."
Kimberly Wertley (Westbrook) of Lorton, VA

"Ruby, what a fine Soldier... Always helping others!!! I will ALWAYS remember you... 1LT T (C/296)"

"You are still in my thoughts and memories Ruby. It was a tragic combination of events that took you from us, it was surely your time to go, but it doesn't make it any easier. You were a great supply, a great listener and a damn good person. You are gone but surely not forgotten!"
Ben Updegraff of Boise Idaho

"Still remembering u thanks for that camo back u were the greatest -"
Lester Burkes

"May you continue to Rest in Peace, Battle. You will Never be forgotten!"
SSG Vanessa Gee of Fort Lee, VA

You were a good friend to everyone. There wasn't one person that you couldn't cheer up even in the worst conditions. I wish you everlasting peace. You are missed Ruby"
Eric Aitchison of Fort Sam Houston, TX

"I met Isela Rubalcava in the barracks of 296th BSB, Fort Lewis, WA in early 2001. Right away I was greeted with a warm smile as to attest to what a great human being she was. Always offering her kindness to whomever she came across. Not once in the short time I knew Isela did she ever say a bad thing about anyone around her. Her presence emitted sunshine in a place where the sun rarely showed as it always rained in Fort Lewis, WA but then there was "Ruby", as she was called during that time. In the days before we deployed into Southwest Asia, Iraq, all the soldiers were partying like no tomorrow, playing music in the recreation room at the barracks, my most fondest memory of Isela is when she took over the stereo and played a CD of Tejano music...I was the first person she grabbed up to dance the night away! She always spoke very highly of her father, whom she loved dearly! I will always hold her in high regard for the joy she brought to the world, and that she may never be forgotten. My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones."
Noel Sahagun of Chicago, USA

"I used to always joke around with SGT "Ruby" (as we all called her), by pretending to steal something outragiously large out of her supply room. I'd take something rediculous, like a projetor; and suspiciously walk past her, making sure that she noticed me. Ruby would stop me, demand the item back and ban me from the supply room! :) I made it a point to mess with SGT Rubaclava every chance (sometimes daily) that I got. She was a very good person. I really miss those days with her! I cherish every memory that I have with good ole Ruby. I can honestly say that I never had an ill thought or moment with her.

To her family (especially her Mother); I can not imagine how much it hurt to receive that terrible news on Mother's Day of 2004. It was hard enough, for all of us in Talifar to have received the news that we lost such a good soldier and we were in Iraq, so I can not begin to imagine the hurt you felt from where you were at. I hope that you realize and know that your daughter was loved by all, in her unit!

SGT Ruby...you will never be forgotten by those that served with you, your friends, or your loved ones! We really lost somebody that was a genuinely good person on that day! May God continue to bless you in heaven and may He bless all that you loved on earth.

"Service To The LINE!!!""
SGT Gregory Dunbar of Fort Knox, KY

"May 4, 2009
To the family of Spc. Isela Rubalcava:
Isela 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

"Dear Isela, you were just the sweetest and happiest person in Bravo Company. Every time I went to the Orderly Room you were laughing and having a good ole time. My husband was one of your good friends, and we both miss you very much. Thank you for your sacrifice, and my heart goes out to the Rubalcalva Family."
SSG Vargas, Monica of Fort Lewis, WA

"For a long time I felt like it was my fault you died.I was writing a letter to my wife telling her how boring it was in Iraq. I took a break for two seconds from writing when the mortars fell. It was like God was tellimg me how real it is in Iraq. I'm sorry for complaining."
Sgt Boyd of COB ADDER, Tallil Iraq

"I met you while stationed at Ft Lewis. You quickly became one of my dearest friends. I will never forget that day...I saw you sitting at the defac table. I said hi, and that I would talk to you later, because I needed to get to guard duty. If only had taken a few minutes. To this day, I have not met anyone as kind and beautiful inside and out as you...you will never be forgotten. Miss you."
Bethany Goss of Ft Lewis Wa

"Even though I never knew you, As a fellow soldier serving my coutry My heart goes out to you. Your brave sacrifice will not go without thanks. It truly breaks my heart when I see such young lives taken."
SrA Kiah M. United States Air Force of Dover A.F.B. DE

"We eat, sleep and live in freedom thanks to you. Continue to watch over us, as you did so proudly for our country."
Lamonde of El Paso

"My heart goes out to the family and friends of Spc Rubalcava. I didnít know her intimately but we would always say hi in passing. We share the same, unique first name and I think that is what drew us to say hi to each other. We were both in the 296 BSB. My heart sank when I found out of her death. I saw her picture in a magazine and recognized her immediately. I'm truly sad for your loss.

-SGT Isela Edwards, 334 Signal Co, 296 BSB, 2ID."
of Fort Lewis, WA

"To the family of:Isela Rubalcava 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. She 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"

"sgt. Ruby.....I will never forget you and your sacfice and dedication to me and the rest of our squad B.CO 296TH BSB 3RD BD. 2ND IF DIV..... you were the best nco I ever had.. I will never forget you!"
spc kristy hammond (retired army) of georgetown, TX

"To a true warrior and hero. SGT Rubi, you will never be forgotten!"
MAJ Dalessio

"To a true warrior and hero. SGT Rubi, you will never be forgotten!"
MAJ Dalessio

"I did not know you Ruby, but I was there when you died. I called your name and rode with you in my old 997 ambulance to the hospital on Diamondback. I will never allow myself to forget you. Your sacrifice will always remain with me. You will not be forgotten. They named a street on Marez after you."
Sergeant Dan Landers of 133rd ECB (H), Maine

"You will always be remembered and never forgotten. Thank you for your and your families ultimate sacrifice. I know God's eyes now shine on you, and your are an angel looking out for all from above. God Bless and Thank You"
Luis--Canutillo Class of '96 of Canutillo, TX

"I knew SGT Ruvalcava, I did military school in fort lee and she was stationed in south korea in the same division, which I was, I can not believe what happened to her, she is heaven with GOD !!!!"
SSG Santolalla, Javier A. of Schweinfurt, Germany

"I am sorry for your loss. I was one of the first responders their that night on the corner of the DFAC in Mosul at FOB Marez. She was a great person and was always smiling. I am very sorry for your loss."
Don of Texas

"To the family of Isela the loss of a daughter no one will ever replace but the memories of her will always be in our minds. I had the previlage to know her in Camp Red cloud, Korea (2000). I'm sorry for the loss of your daughter, May God Bless You and your family."
Leonel Anciso of Mercedes, Tx

"Dear Loved ones of Isela Rubalcava, I am so sorry for your loss. I was drawn to her name because my maiden name is Rubalcava. My father was Antonio Rubalcava born in El Paso, Texas. I have a husband serving in Iraq. May God Bless all of you!"
Michelle of Alaska

"I had the great priviledge to serve with Spc Rubalcava in HHC 2ID Camp Red, Korea. She was and still is a great soldier, and a wonderful person. Isela you gave the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. To your family I say thanks for giving the world such a great and loving person. She will be missed by many who's hearts she has touched. My sincere condolences to all. May God be with you all."
SSG RET Darren Dinger of Manhattan, KS

"I had the great priviledge to serve with Spc Rubalcava in HHC 2ID Camp Red, Korea. She was and still is a great soldier, and a wonderful person. Isela you gave the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. To your family I say thanks for giving the world such a great and loving person. She will be missed by many who's hearts she has touched. My sincere condolences to all."
SSG RET Darren Dinger of Manhattan, KS

"May God Bless you and your family. It is an honor to have served with you in the greatest Armed Forces there is in the world, the United States Armed Forces. Gods speed to all those have made the ultimate sacrafice from El Paso."
Andres Gutierrez, SrA, USAF of El Paso, TX

"I had the great honor to personally know and serve with SPC Rubalcava in HHC 2ID at Camp Red Cloud Korea, I was and still am in disbelieve that she is no longer among us. I last spoke with her at Fort Lewis and didn't image that that was going to be the last time I saw her and that that was the last goodbye I would ever say to her. Rubalcava I will miss you sooo much you are my hero, I will never ever forget you. You paid the ultimate price for freedom, thank you. You're watching over us from a better place. God bless you and bless your family. "Second to none, HOAH!!!""
SPC Ramos, William of Los Angeles, CA


"May god embrace you and grant you peace in heaven for we all his children,

alfredo rubalcava of baghdad, iraq

leonard t. wahl of VALLEY STREAM NY

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

"To Isela's family, I am so sorry for your tragic loss. Please know that many of us appreciate her service to and sacrifice for our country. God be with you."
F. Smith of Pennsylvania

"I only just learned about what happened to Isela. I knew her personally from the 296th Brigade Support Battalion. She was a great example of what a true soldier should be like. She was a shinning star who will be sorely missed. Loved ones live on forever in the hearts and minds of those they touched. It is with great sadness I give my condolences."
SGT Darrin Creamer of Camp Casey, Korea

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

"May the good Lord reign blessings down on you and yours, Isela Rubalcava. You paid the ultimate price for our freedom; we might never understand what you went through but we are grateful and thankful for everything you have given us! You will be truly missed."
Sul Ross State University of Alpine, Texas, U.S.A.

"God bless you Isela Rubalcava! Flower of God! May you see God face to face!

God bless your mom and dad! And your brothers and other family members and friends, especially your soldier friends in Iraq! Let the hope of the resurrection encourage your family and friends!"
Fr. Augustine Kalemeera of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

""...never give in, never give in, never, never, never- in nothing great or small, large or petty- never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force..."

Winston Churchill"
mark reif of winchester, VA

"To Isela's Family:
There are no words to express 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 Isela'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 Isela's bravery and sacrifice.


The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne, KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.

Gloria Caldas (his mom) of San Antonio, TX"

"Thank you Isela Rubalcava, 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 Spc. Isela Rubalcava:
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 Isela for the sacrifice she has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Spc. Isela Rubalcava:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. She 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 Isela, 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