Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army 1st Lt. Edward M. Saltz

27, of Bigfork, Montana.
Saltz died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device struck his convoy. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Division, based in Giessen, Germany. Died on December 22, 2003.

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"20 years -- how fast the time goes. Still love and miss you brother."
Shawn Otten of Stafford, Virginia

"Matty - I stopped by your place under the mountains in Bigfork last month (July 2016) and it's hard to believe it's been almost 13 years. I wish I could talk with you and get your insight on all that has taken place since December 2003. I miss you brother..."
Shawn Otten of Ruckersville, VA

"Hey LT I was the soldier who busted you breaking curfew at Camp Stanley when you came home from leave. Yeah, CPT P would of handed me my * if I turned you in"
SGT Beauchamp of FT GT, MI

"Hey Brother 11 years today, we still remember Bozeman like yesterday, think of you often..."
MAJ Patrick and MAJ Katrina Smith of Great Falls, MT

"Matt and I met as cadets at advanced camp in Fort Lewis. We became good friends and stayed in contact. We met again at OBC and it was a pleasure to joke around with him again. It is still hard to believe that the guy I joked around with as Matthew Biggs passed away so long ago. I didn't find out what happened to Matt until over a year later. He was an awesome person that could lighten any room just by his personality. I have wanted to let his family know how much he meant for so long. I just found this site tonight."
Matt of Monterey, CA

"angelica garcia ann and mattew are dateing"
Angelica garcia ann sissy of mustines iowa

"It's hard to believe that it has been almost 10 years since that fateful day. Whenever I think about the military and all the people I have met I always think about Matt. What a great loss for his family and friends, such potential that will never be realized. We miss your infectious smile and attitude."
Craig Gardunia of Huntsville, AL

"Saltz, somehow another memorial day has come and gone and my thoughts still linger on you my friend and my brother. I still miss you just as much as ever! love you bro - Anderson"
Anderson of Kalispell


I miss yall"
Goss of OperationMMA at Gmail dot com

""To Cathy, Richard, and family
I still recall that December day when I first heard of Matt's loss. as one of his high school teachers and coaches I hold him in high esteem as a was very special person and a true leader. You are in my prayers"
Dan J Masters of Colbert Washington

Another Memorial Day has come and I am left with thoughts of you and PFC Moore. It was an honor serving with you both."
Joe of Cleveland

"On the wall in my office I have a bracelet with Edward's name and information on it. It is framed next to the cherished things that keep me motivated. I never got to meet this young man, I don't know his family at all. The bracelet was a gift from someone who knows how I feel about our heroes and it is a replica of the bands worn during Vietnam. Edward is a part of our family story even though I never knew him. He is not forgotten."
Katie of New Jersey

"Mr.& Mrs Saltz,

Its been a long time and words can not express all I want to say. Matt was a joy, a treasure, a hero forever and always. His smile and warmth will never be forgotten. Your in my thoughts."
Theresa DaSilva of MSU,Bozeman

"Happy Memorial Day, LT. 2/3 FA.. 5/2011"
Keidrick Swan of Texas City, Tx

"Happy Memorial Day, LT. 2/3 FA.. 5/2011"
Keidrick Swan of Texas City, Tx

Going through some pictures and came across the one of you, Dober and me the night before crossing into Iraq. It seems like forever ago and yet I still remember it like yesterday. Miss you Bro."
Rick Dunn of Sierra Vista, AZ


Just unpacking some stuff after moving back to Montana and came across all of my Ranger Challenge stuff, Pictures from ROTC, and all the good times... Ran into Burke, Keelan, Christy, and Seth... Miss you man..."
CPT Patrick Smith of Great Falls, MT


Just unpacking some stuff after moving back to Montana and came across all of my Ranger Challenge stuff, Pictures from ROTC, and all the good times... Ran into Burke, Keelan, Christy, and Seth... Miss you man..."
Patrick Smith of Great Falls, MT

"Matt was a true friend and always a pleasure to be around. I had the fortunate opportunity to meet him as my Platoon Leader while in the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course. After his time in Korea, I learned that he PCS'd to my unit in Germany. It was the best thing of my life to have his thrill of life back again. What a shear pleasure it was to hang out with him and then deploy with him and live on the same compound. It is now over 6.5 years later and I still miss him greatly, and think of him daily. What a fantastic role model of how to live life to its fullest; and what it meant to be and have a true friend."
CPT Joshua Bastman of Honolulu, HI

"Mr. & Mrs. Saltz,

I was one of Matt's instructors at MSU. I remember a young man who was full of life and always had a smile on his face. He was not only an inspiration to the other cadets in the program but to the cadre as well. He always gave 110% no matter what he did and always seemed to be able to pull out the best in everyone. I am truly sorry for your loss and I often think about Matt and those years at MSU."
LTC Craig Gardunia of Camp Delta, Iraq

"Mr. & Mrs. Saltz,

I was one of Matt's instructors at MSU. I remember a young man who was full of life and always had a smile on his face. He was not only an inspiration to the other cadets in the program but to the cadre as well. He always gavae 110% no matter what he did and always seemed to be able to pull out the best in everyone. I am truly sorry for your loss and I often think about Matt and those years at MSU."
LTC Craig Gardunia of Camp Delta, Iraq

"December 21, 2008
To the family of 1st Lt. Edward M. Saltz:
Edward 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 Cathy, Richard, and family,

Hello this is Nick in Wenatchee and I am thinking of Matt very much at this moment on a Labor Day weekend. He was such an amazing person and meant a great deal to a lot of people. Everytime I see American flags out (on a weekend like this), Matt is the first thing I think about. I miss him all the time."
Nick Hinch of Wenatchee, WA


Hard to believe it's almost been five years. I was thinking of you today."
Jay McIsaac of Fort Sill, OK


Still thinking about you buddy."
Drae Koczon of Hillsborough, NJ

"Cathy --

Matt will never be forgotten among those of us who counted him amongst our greatest friends.

My home now is in Central Virginia, but know that you are always welcome in Charlottesville."
Shawn Otten of Charlottesville, VA

"To all of Matt's Friends: Thank you all so much for the messages of encouragement. It is good to know that Matt is remembered even after almost 4 years. We are keeping his memory alive by attending memorials and taking trips to share his story with other soldier's parents. Please keep in touch and know that his friends are always welcome at the orchard."
Cathy Saltz "Matt's Mom" of MT Hwy 35 Bigfork, MT

It has been almost 4 years since you have past but your memory is still strong in my heart. I read the last e-mail you wrote me all the time and still can't believe you are not here. The times we had at MSU were great. Thanks for watching out for my girl while I was gone. There is a "Scoop" in heaven and it is always happy hour. See you there. Ken"
Kenneth Phillips of Fort Riley, Kansas

"To the family of Matt Saltz,

I graduated with your son to become an officer in the U.S. Army. Unfortunately I was hurt in training and was not able to complete my Army career.
Matt was an amazing soldier and officer. What I saw from him always made me feel like I should strive harder which is what every soldier wants from their officers. I'm sorry it took this long to tell you this, I found out about his death in a McDonalds in Miles City when the Gazette ran it. Your son was a very impressive Man and I'm sorry it took so long to tell you. I have guilt that I could not serve and had a hard time facing the fact that a friend died. My best wishes to you and know what you already know, that your your son was very special.


Sam Anderson"
Sam Anderson of custer7d@yahoo.com

It's been a few years now. I think about you often, remembering the good times. When I was in Mosul last year, I ran into several people who knew you. We shared stories, a few good laughs and tears. I miss you tons! You will always be in my heart."
Eliza of Fairbanks, AK

"To the family of:Edward M.Saltz 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"

"Just stopping by to let you know im still thinking about you brother..."
SSG Goss, Michael J of TEXAS

"To The Saltz Family, it has taken me too long to write here, my apologies. Matt and I were friends down range, he was and still is an inspiration to all the soldiers and officers he served with during OIF. He will never be forgotten by any of those that served with him. God Bless..."
CPT Joseph Wise of Baumholder, Germany

"Edward Matthew Saltz was my close uncle. We had some exciting times together. He will always have a special place in my heart. I remember when my dad and janelle got married, Matt was there and me and my brother Erik started calling him flower girl. I called him flower girl for probabily 2 years. That was only one of the many many good times that i had with my uncle. There is nothing I can do to get him back, but to feel better, I just think of all the fun we had together. I miss him dearly, but he died honoring our country. People need to start seeing that freedom isn't free. I love you uncle Matt. I pray for you every night. See ya on the other side man. Love you lots. Brad"
Brad McKay of Whitefish Montana

It's taken me awhile to write this, I want to say thank you for all you have done and for all the great memories all of the kids in ROTC and I had with you. You will never be forgotten and your legacy in ROTC will always remain. I miss you a lot. Thanks for everything you taught me. God bless you for all you did, you will never know how much you really affected people's lives. Thanks for always pushing me beyond what I thought possible and making me believe in myself. I'll never forget you."
2LT Emily Lynds of Bozeman, MT

"It's been a few years and we have both traveled many miles. I am sorry your journey ended as it did here however, we shall meet again on the other side brother. I will never forget the advetures of Hawaii '99

"I was an acquaintance of Matt's at MSU, but I was good friends with those who knew him well. Many fond words were always spoken of him and he was the type of person everyone strived to be like. He offered encouragement and support to those who needed it and never failed to put a smile on your face. He is a true hero and gave his life providing the ultimate gift of freedom to others. Matt, your sacrifice will never be forgotten. Thank you and may God bless you."

"Matt, you are still and will forever be missed on this earth. When I read about the ceremonies that have taken place in your honor; it makes me proud and grateful to have known you. The impact and inspiration your life has caused is still sinking in, a year later."

"Hey Matt, seems like yesterday we were brand new active officers at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Our paths continued to cross as we both were stationed at Camp Stanley, S. Korea. We had some great times together traveling through Korea, and oh ya can't forget Thailand. We both ended up in Germany, but unfortunately will not cross paths there. Matt, you are an extrodianry person, and you have been a positive influence in my life. I will truly miss you and our times will never be forgotten. To Mr. and Mrs. Saltz your son was an outstanding person and I know you were very proud of him. I'm just so sorry he could no longer be with you. I send my love and prayers. May God bless him and his family. Matt until we meet again. "HB"
of Tikrit, Iraq

"To all who new him. Lt Saltz was one of LT's when assigned in Korea A Btry 1/38 FA. I was his First Sergeant. The battery now is making a plaque to place in the orderly room. I have lost many soldiers and I feel the pain. to the family, God Bless.
I am now retired and work here at Camp Stanley as the Housing Manager"
Jay Kelker of Camp Stanely, Korea

The times at Ft Sill, and Korea we shared will always be in my memories. Who could forget what a great dude you were. And most importantly the Colt Vista a.k.a. the space ship. To the Saltz family, thank you for bringing Matt into this world because he made it a better place."
CPT Drae Koczon of Ft. Campbell, KY

"Que o amor de Deus continue com todos !!!!!

God loves you !!!!!!"
Cassius of Brazil / Amazonas / Manaus

"My father has sent of me to tell of you.. your husban in his death .. he did not cry for pain or sorrow but for only be taken out in just cause the night before he pased he weeped in a drem that was given to me to be given to him... my Father .. shal be with him and whoever lives in his path they ar being watched over but him and my Father . GOD."

"LT. Saltz will be missed by us all in Alpha 2-3FA. He was a great mentor and leader. I am priveledged to have served under you. Thank you, Sir!"
SPC Keidrick D. Swan of Giessen, Germany

"Matt and I went through ROTC together at Montana State University. The last time I saw him was at the December 2003 commissioning ceremony. Matt, even then you were still mentoring me and helping me to develop as an officer. You left a lasting impression on a great many of us and I am grateful for it."
Marken Orser of Fort Carson, CO

"Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
God Bless your son for making the ultimate sacrifice!"
Craig and Cammy of Billings, MT

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

Its hard to know what to say. You will be missed here. Thanks for the time we had. I'll see you on the other side brother."
Orestad of Montana

"Matt and I were stationed together in Korea. I had the honor of being his first commander. I was thrilled when he extended his tour so he would leave the same time LT Dupree and I did. We spent most of our time, on and off duty, together and I loved him like a little brother. We all have great memories of our time training and our trip to China. He was a terrific young officer and I miss him."
Capt. Donald S. Potoczny of Fort Carson, Colorado

"Matt and I lost touch over the years, but the impact of knowing him will be with me forever. He was a steady, honest person which means so much in this world. He was a person you could trust, and his word was his bond. My undying respect and admiration for him goes with me always. Matt...you were a good friend, and a better person. I hope to see you in Heaven."
Ben Rodriguez of Marietta (Atlanta) Georgia

"Sir, Just writing to say I havent forgot about you..just been busy with the PCS move back home to Ft Hood,Tx. I hope you look over your Platoon and watch them as they get ready to come home...We miss you..."
SGT Michael J Goss of FT Hood, Texas 76544

"Mr. and Mrs Saltz, I know there is nothing that I can say to bring back your son. My name is Aaron Brown. Stuart Moore, the other soldier involved in the accident, was my best friend. I can feel your pain and lose. I would just like to say that I am sorry and I am very proud of your son for his sacrafice for his country and his family. You should be very proud of him. Like I said, I did not know him, but I will never forget him, Thank you.
Aaron Brown"
Aaron Brown of Livingston, Tx

"LT Saltz. You were a great up and coming Officer. The Army has lost a great leader in you. I enjoyed the mentoring that took place between you and I while we were in Korea on Camp Stanley."
SFC John Wallace of Ft Bragg, NC

You know I miss you, brother. I'll be up to visit you soon. Thanks for everything you brought...you left your mark on my life and I will never forget you."
CPT Shawn Otten of Schofield Barracks, HI

"1st Lt Saltz:
Thank your for giving yourself so that those of us at home can live freely and safely. There are not enough 'thank yous' for a gift such as this. Rest in peace soldier."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"Mr. & Mrs. Saltz,
During the Officer Basic Course, I served with Matt at Fort Sill in the Summer and Fall of 2001. Matt was the Class Commander for the Army and I acted as the Class Commander for the 17 Marines that participated in the Course. It is usually difficult for a young Army LT to take charge and deal with the sometimes cocky Marines. Matt had no problems dealing with our "band of brothers" and quickly became our favorite Army Dog. He even attended the 2001 Marine Corps Birthday Ball as a special guest of our Marine Class. His Marine peers are deeply saddened by this tragic loss. May God give you comfort in this extremely difficult time."
1st Lt Chad Morton of Camp Lejeune, NC

"Matt~ even though we had our ups and downs, and left too many things unsaid, one thing I will never be able to say is good-bye. You knew me so well, yet you never knew how important you were to me. I will keep my promise to you.........we will see each other again someday."
Delsi Plummer of Las Vegas, NV

"There are a lot of things people from different countries do not agree upon when talking of this war. It is when someone you knew dies in it you realize how cruel it is to everyone, whether you live in Montana or in Russia. It also becomes much closer. Please accept my condolescenses all those who miss Matt."
Natasha Tulieva of St. Petersburg, Russia/Bigfork, MT

"To the family: Army 1st Lt. Edward M. Saltz will not be forgotten!
Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you in your sorrow. May God's love and peace be with you."
Pat and Sandi B of Montana



You were a hero to me in many ways. I looked up to you in high school and I still look up to you now. You were a guy that could see the positive in almost anything and we always seemed to have a good time no matter what. I will always treasure our adventures during the college years. You are missed by many people and your positive contributions are still felt by your friends, co-workers, family, Bigfork, Bozeman, and certainly all the places you traveled during your time with the Army.

Matt, you are missed very much."
Nick Hinch of Missoula, MT

there was so much to say and so little time to do it. I always thought there would be a tomorow that I could tell you those important things. all this time you told me that you were praying for me,, I should have prayed more for you. i love you man you were my best friend and my brother and i will get to see again someday. and as you did for me 5 years ago, helping carry my moms casket to her final resting spot. I will help carry you to yours. godspeed brother till the day I see you again.
love you man
Anderson of Kalispell,mt

"It's been awhile since I last saw you Matt. I have so many memories from band in high school and the time we spent attending ITT Tech in Spokane. I often wondered about you and looked forward to the day that our paths would cross again so that we could exchange life stories. Unfortunately, that day will never come. I appreciate the sacrafice you made for our country and I will never forget you."
Josh Olsen of Scottsdale, Arizona

"Matt and I went through ROTC together at MSU. Last time I saw him was in the summer of 2000 at Advance Camp in Fort Lewis, Washington. I was really looking forward to linking back up once we got back to Germany as planned. I will miss you, Matt! You'll always be my first thought associated with my memories of this War. My deepest sympathy goes out to Matt's family and so many friends!"
Chad Ryg of Umm Qasr, Iraq

"To the family and friends of Matt Saltz:
Matt will always be remembered as a true Hero. His service, courage, and dedication will NEVER be forgotten.
May God bless and keep you.
Peace and love,"
Michele Sather of Bigfork, Montana, USA

"Thank you Edward Saltz, 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

"Well Sir..They Finally Got You...That first time was too close...It was an honor to serve under you and the leadership you provided to me and my Team will never be forgotten...hope to see you when I get there and serve under you once again...To the Saltz Family..my condolences and goodluck..Feel free to email me at Goss7@Hotmail.com..Assassins Hooah!!!"
SGT Michael J Goss of Giessen, Germany (Just left Baghdad too go to Ft Hood,Tx)

"To the family and friends of 1st Lt. Edward Saltz:
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 Edward 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. Edward Saltz:
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 Edward, 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