Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine 1st Lt. Timothy Louis Ryan

30, of Aurora, Illinois.
Died when his CH-46 Sea-Knight helicopter went down in the Shatt Al Hillah Canal in Iraq shortly after take-off. The helicopter was conducting a resupply mission in support of civil military operations. He was assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron - 364, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Camp Pendleton, California. Died on May 19, 2003.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine 1st Lt. Timothy Louis Ryan.


Contributions to the Families of the Fallen


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

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"Dear Tim and the Ryan family,

It's been years since we've seen each other, but there hasn't been a year that's gone by that I don't remember you. Thank you, for so many things, but most especially for your dedication to our country. You (all of you) will forever be in my heart. Just so you know, I still cry every time I see your picture in the parade here in DeKalb."
Tracy Nance Diehl of DeKalb, IL

"I am the Illinois Coordinator for the Home of the Brave Quilts project. We would like to honor Timothy's memory by providing you, (free of charge) a civil war reproduction quilt. Please contact me barbaraurick@prodigy.net if you would like me to send you the quilt. You can check our website www.homeofthebravequilts.com for additional information."
Barbara Urick of Winfield, IL

"Patriotic Pillow Project is trying to locate family of this service member, to give a plaque to. They are on Facebook and I have made it my mission to try and find the final 6 service members who gave everything for their Country. Please someone contact me or go to the Facebook wall and contact them. Thank you and I am so sorry for your loss."
Helen Currie of Salem, Oregon

"As all of the military has now departed Iraq, those of us in the Diplomatic Corps are now charged with safeguarding our interests, and most of all, ensuring that your sacrifice was not in vain. I stand in the sands of Iraq today; doing my best to honor you and our fallen Marines. I am thinking of you this Christmas season, and will always remember the good times in the D&B.
Semper Fi and God Bless Ryan!"
SSGT Bret Lansdell of Iraq

"I can still see that big cheesey grin of his. He lifted me up when I was at my lowest. Thanks brother. Don't drink all of heaven's Guinness!"
Brian Seals of Virginia

"Thinking of Tim on memorial day 2009."
D. LeBlanc of Baton Rouge, LA

"Thinking of Tim on this memorial day."
D. LeBlanc of Baton Rouge, LA

"March, 2008. Thank you from my heart for all the beautiful messages and support. Tim's spirit is never far from us."
Judi Ryan, Proud Marine Mom of Drexel Hill, PA

"January 19, 2008
To the family of 1st Lt. Timothy Louis Ryan:
Timothy 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

"Tim, it is now almost 4 years and I still miss you. You were such a wonderful friend to Onsby and I. I want you to know that your wife and I are still very close. My youngest son, has your namesake and it was the greatest honor I could bestowe upon him. I appreciate your Mom and Michelle's approval as well. I like to think that you are in heaven looking after us and making sure we are doing well. Your life was cut too short but I hope you know how much you impacted those around you. Thank you so much for always being there. God Bless you and Semper Fidelis!!"
Julia Diane Rose of Newport News, VA

"Lt. Ryan,
Sir, I would like to say thank you to you and your fellow crewmembers for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"Hello ... I was the NCO in charge of getting Tim checked in when he first reported to Marine Barracks for duty with The Commandant's Own. As most everyone has mentioned, he left a lasting impression. Down to earth, friendly, ... the list goes on. Even though my time knowing him was brief (I was discharged not too long afterwards) I was still greatly saddened upon hearing of his passing. He is an inspiration to us all. Semper Fi, Tim."
Gary "Willie" Williamson of Manassas, VA


I was thinking about you buddy. I can only imagine where we would be today if you were still with us. I am certain, life would be easier with you than without you. You were always a good source of levity and real courage. I was honored to escort you home. Your sacrifice stands as a constant reminder to fight so that others do not have to make the same sacrifice. I'm about to step out on my third OIF tour and will hold this to be true, "I will bring everyone home." You are in my thoughts and prayers amigo."
Capt Ben Davenport of Camp Pendleton, Ca

"To the family of Tim Ryan,
I didn't know about this. I was in the BRMM with Tim -- after I had served my time in the Marines. I am so sorry for your loss and my prayers will always be with you.

Kirsten (Cordery) Sultemeier of Rhode Island

"To the family of:Timothy Louis Ryan 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"

"To the Family and Friends of 1stLt Timothy Ryan,
I was the Sergeant Major of HMM-364 when 1stLt Ryan reported to the squadron. I never met a man more sincere and determined to do well. He came to my office that very first day and asked me to "ensure he took care of his Marines and never hesitate to tell him if he was making mistakes." Well, he did take care of them, first and foremost in his every actions. I admired him and liked him from the first. Humorous, kindly, and generous to others, his was a career that one could only respect. The most treasured possession I have is a photograph where we did a parody of "the Flag Raising on Iwo Jima" in Kuwait when we raised the squadron flag, amid laughter and camaderie. Tim, being much taller than most of us took a place near the rear of the photo and as I glance up at the plaque containing the photo over my desk as I type this I can only remember how he lived and laughed. In life it is an honor to know a great man and 1stLt Timothy Ryan was and is "a great man". "Fair Winds and Following Seas""
Sergeant Major Larry M. Lambert USMC (Ret.) of Murrieta, CA

"Tim "Band Camp/Shrek" Ryan was a very good man. We served together in HMM-364. He was the Ground Safety Officer and I was the Aviation Safety Officer, so we worked closely together, along with Andrew LaMont (the HAC on his fateful mission). Tim was always light hearted and took a joke as well as he dished one out. He was one of my favorite LTs because he didn't take himself seriously. That being said, he was very professional and was a hard worker. He would have made a fine Aircraft Commander and would have had a successful career. He will be missed. Semper Fi, Band Camp!"
Maj Dan "PeeWee" Smith, USMC of Quantico, VA

"Thinking of you Lt Ryan, nice working with you."
Gunny Brown (RET.) of Lexington.Ky

"My name is Cameron Schilling and I have started “Portrait of a Soldier” which donates a portrait sketch of every Illinois soldier who has fallen in Iraq or Afghanistan. All 122 sketches will be on display for a Memorial Day Presentation in Chicago, Illinois on May 26-31 at the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. After the ceremony the sketches will be given to the immediate families of the Illinois soldiers. I would invite any friends or family members to come and honor these men and women from Illinois who have given their lives to our country. For more information please contact OperationHomeFront.org at 866-417-8889 which is an organization headed by the Lt. Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois who is in charge of the Memorial Day Presentation. Thank You.

Please check out www.portraitofasoldier.org
To contact Cameron email cameronschilling84@hotmail.com
To contact Operation Home Front call 866-417-8889"
Cameron Schilling of Charleston, Illinois

"My name is Cameron Schilling. I am a college student from central Illinois. I am the first generation of my family not to serve his country. I am extremely grateful for the sacrifice you and your loved one has given for the United States. I am disappointed by the way the news media has covered this war and the deaths of our youth. The media has stopped listing the names of the soldiers killed in Iraq and people only talk about the soldiers when we reach a specific milestone in deaths. If you just started watching the news today you would not even know there is a war going on. Partisan politics have replaced coverage of our young generation who have traveled to a foreign land in the name of the United States. Whether you believe the war in Iraq is wrong, right, justified or not everyone should pay even just a little more attention to what these young men and women are sacrificing. This is what I would like to do. I want to do my part in honoring these soldiers and their memories. Along with being a college student I am also a budding artist. I draw pencil portraits of local people in my community. I want to offer a pencil portrait sketch to the immediate family of every Illinois soldier killed in Iraq. Please contact me at cameronschilling84@hotmail.com."
Cameron of illinois

"To the Family of 1st Lt. Timothy Ryan:
I would just like to let you all know that today November 11, 2005 at Saint Michaels college your son is one of the many fallen soldiers who are being honored as many students wear name tags with the name and picture of a fallen soldier during the day. I had the pleasure of choosing you son as the one who I am wearing. I just wanted to let you know we have not forgiven that your son gave it all to protect our country. God Bless! -jenny"
Jenny of Vermont

"Dear Tim,

It has been so long since you left us. We miss you so very much and know that you are watching down on us from above. Yesterday (07 Oct 2005) at 5:49pm Julie and I were blessed with another son. He was a very healthy baby boy whom I am proud to say we have named Timothy Ryan Rose. It is such an honor for our son to carry the name of such a great man and great friend. We love you and miss you Tim and look forward to seeing you again in heaven. Semper Fi Sir!!! Semper Fi!"
Staff Sergeant Onsby C. Rose, USMC of Johnson City, TN

"How true, where the Corps takes you! Well Sir, the Corps took you to our Lord...we just didn't expect it so soon. I too spent many a nights on that 8th & I parade deck; blasting my sound of your back - and I wish that I could turn back time to those wonderful evenings and say, "Hey Marine, in about 4 years, you need to take the night off." Keep that beat solid and I know that I will see you, as will all the other Marines someday...with head held high, spirit strong, and with courage unmatched. Semper Fi Ryan - I will continue the battle for you - with all my might and will."
Bret Lansdell of Seoul, South Korea

"To the Family of 1st Lt. Timothy Ryan:

My friends and I have constructed a memorial to the service men and women from Wisconsin and Illinois who have died in Iraq which includes, as of 7/12/05, 112 crosses and Stars of David. We would like your permission to put Tim's name on one of them.
We have called our display "Arlington Midwest" and it is located in Wisconsin Dells, WI.
It is our expression of mourning for the indescribable loss you have suffered for our country.

If you would like us to do this, please email me at ArlingtonMidwest@yahoo.com.

We invite you to visit Arlington Midwest. I can send you directions and some pictures by email.

“As long as I can I will look at this world for both of us. As long as I can I will laugh with the birds, I will sing with the flowers, I will pray to the stars, for both of us.” -- Sascha"
Marty Preston of Wisconsin Dells, WI

"I was a friend of Tim's from high school and afterward, as well; even after almost 2 years now, I still miss his e-mails and his friendship. I'm so proud of him! He was a good man, honorable, kind, and a good friend. As we come up on 2 years since he died, my thoughts are with his family; I think of you and of Tim often. Please know that those who loved Tim will never forget him."
Jody Placek Brown of Sheridan, IL

"May God bless you and your family and I know that you are still watching over your Marines. You are the symbol of freedom, SIR. SemperFi, Marine, SemperFi!!"
Cpl. John Lulewicz (86-94) of Peoria, Arizona

You have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of a foreign country that will never know you. The majority of Iraqis understand and appreciate exactly what you stood for. You have fulfilled your commitment to the world as an American and as a United States Marine. Your family and friends can stand proudly every time they hear our Star Spangled Banner. As a fellow Marine, I thank you and your family for their sacrifice.
"Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever""
Alan H Barbour of Marshall, VA

"First to the family of Lt. Ryan I am sorry to hear of your loss. It is December of 2004 and I was looking at a web page when I saw that he had lost his life in iraq over a year ago. I went to boot camp with Lt. Ryan. I was only 17 years old and I remember him because he was one of the "older guys." He talked often about how he joined the corps to play in the Marine Corps band. Its funny where the Marine coprs takes you, from the D & B Corps to a Marine Officer serving in combat. I am honored to have known this man and to say that for how ever brief i served with him. I hope that you are doing well in heaven and that the band up there is that much better. Thanks for doing what Marines do.

Became an officer huh? Well I will not hold that against you =) God bless you Lt. Ryan and Semper Fi.

Cpl. Curtis Brown, bravo company plt 1112

P.S. My little brother is headed to Iraq so will you watch after the little devil dog. He is a sharp kid but everyone could use one of Heavens Marines here and there."
Detective C. Brown of Visalia, California

"RIP Sir"
Petty Officer Cawthon of RTC Great Lakes,IL

"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

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

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

"Tim and I went to high school together...he followed his love of music into the USMC, and I became a pastor in Naperville. To the family and friends of Tim, my prayers go out to you. I haven't seen him since high school, but know that heaven is a more musical place since his arrival. Tim - thanks for your sacrifice for me and my family. Pastor Chris Bell - Naperville Christian Church"
Chris Bell of Naperville Il

"Thanks for your service. I know you are up there beating that bottom bass."
Duane LeBlanc, SGT FLANG; USMC D&B 1995 - 1999 of Plantation, FL

"Thank you Timothy Ryan, 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 Tim Ryan: so sorry to hear of your loss. There are no words that make you feel better,but it will just take the passing of time,and special days without him. These young brave men were so precious,and my heart aches for your loss,and I do understand exactly what you are going through,because I am a cousin to Sgt. Kirk (Ski) Straseskie,that drowned trying to save Tim and the others. You are in my prayers."
Kit Strickler of Oklahoma City,OK.

"I served with Tim in the U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps. In fact, I played bass drum with him for the two years that he was there. I was even fortunate enough to have met his mother and brother at the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Ball in Chicago.

Tim always carried himself with the utmost integrity and pride, while humbling himself in a way so that anyone would gladly follow his leadership.

He loved his family, friends, and the Corps.

For your loss, I know there is nothing of this world to heal. But I hope in this time you would call upon the Lord for it is written in 2 Corinthians 12:9:

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

May God Bless and Comfort you in this tough season."
Bill Brannan (SSgt USMC, Fmr. 1993-2001) of Germantown, MD/USA

"To the family and friends of 1st Lt. Timothy Ryan:
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 Timothy 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. Timothy Ryan:
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 Timothy, 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