Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Matthew J. Sandri

24, of Shamokin, Pennsylvania.
Sandri died in Fallujah, Iraq, when his living area came under a rocket attack. He was assigned to the 82nd Forward Support Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Died on March 20, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. Matthew J. Sandri.


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

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"I'm a Philly area guy. I don't make my way to the coal region often. Every time I do, all I can think of is Matt. I have 2 brothers that served and thankfully came home. Matt was a great friend. We had some crazy times together and I miss him."
J of Bucks County, PA

"hi..i am truly grateful for his life given in service and sorry for the loss to your family. I want to inform you of an injustice to his memory. I am sure you are aware of stolen images used in scams on facebook. someone is using his image to scam women out of their money. they are using Matthew's pic under the name Wilson Phil. I just wanted the family to be aware of this outrage."
freda signorile of wpg, canada

"Sandri Family,
It's been a long time. I was Matt's roommate. I miss my brother everyday and I'm terribly sorry. I remember hIm comIng to the room and the thIngs we talked about as I bId hIm farewell on our second deployment. I mIss you Matt.
CmIller79.cm@gmaIl.com "
Corey Miller of Tripler Army Medical Center, HI

"I have a picture of the plaque Ben mentioned. How do I upload photos?"
Rhys Parker of San Diego, CA

"Matthew Sandri was part of the Army team that my company relieved. They only had a few days left in country. My work space where I did my job was 8ft from where the rocket impacted, albeit on the other side of a couple layers of concrete. The rest of the year I spent there was a constant reminder. Going through the back door or in the supply area, you could always see the shrapnal and blast scars on the walls. I walked through that blast area almost every day for a year.

There was still a memorial plaque on the wall to the right of the back door immortalizing these hero's in August 2006. I checked it when I was in the area. I heard we have turned over Camp Fallujah to the Iraqi's, so I am not sure what has come of it now.

All gave some, some gave all.

Rest in peace, Soldier. You are not forgotten."
HM2(FMF) Ben Trnka of Maine, USA

"I knew Matt as a boy, and the beloved son of my dear friends Bob and Annette Sandri. I never would have guessed that quiet Matt would grow to be a military hero to whom I would one day owe my freedoms. I am honored, and humbled, to have met Matt in this life."
Steve Thompson of Iconicles

"To the Family of Matt. My son, Sean, served with Matt in the 82nd. They worked closely together during their first tour of duty. (Sean was with Matt the first time Matt actually had to use his skills on an injured GI.) He told us of Matt's death but Sean also has fond memories of Matt which he shared with us as well.
My heart goes out to all of you... today and every day. We remember Matt and all of you in our prayer intentions.

Take care and God bless you."
Diann Wurtz of Janesville,WI

"March 21, 2009
To the family of Spc. Matthew J. Sandri:
Matthew 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 Sandri family:

My deepest condolences to all. Matthew represented all that is good in this world.A tribute to his coal region upbringing. Some of the best people in the world.

Timothy A. Carey
Chief Retired
Bureau of Fire
City of Shamokin
(Relocated to Lansdale)"
Tim Carey of Lansdale, PA

"I will never forget the fun moments that I shared with Matt. Our families were fairly close as we grew up, and Matt and I became better friends in high school. We had such hilarious times! Matt was a unique personality and a highly respectable young man. He served his country in the most honorable way, by taking care of others. I pray to him often for guidance and peace.
You'll always be in my heart, Matt."
Amanda Konopka-Abbott of Long Island, NY

"Matt was my hero from the first day that we met. I was a freshman at Shamokin Area, and I was getting picked on horribly by the upper-classmen. Matt kind of took me under his wing and wouldn't let people pick on me anymore. I never forgot him for that, and even though we weren't the closest of friends, I miss him dearly and think about him everyday. My thoughts and prayers will forever be with his family and friends. We are blessed, those who got to know Matt, even for a short time. Matt will forever be my hero, both in teenage years, and as adults. God Bless you Matt. You protected me in high school and died protecting all of us. Miss you."
Amanda Krebs-Stancavage of Shamokin, PA

"there are big men from small places and i was lucky to know a few jesus my father and matthew"
mary ann of florida

"Still miss you."

"I did not know much about you other than seeing you in Shamokin High School. Thank you for protecting our country."
George Bowers of Shamokin, Pa

"Dear Sandri Family,

I just wanted to let you know that you are all in our thoughts. My husband served in Iraq and although he came home with his life, he still grieves deeply for all those that have been lost in this war. Although I never knew Matthew personally, I bought a bracelet with a name of a fallen soldier from Iraq, and I got your sons name. His name is on the bracelet, as well as where he was from, and the date that he lost his life. I wear it proudly in his honor and have been for the past 2 years since I bought it. He is always close by my heart and I wanted you to know that every time I look at that bracelet, he is thought of.
God Bless you and your family."
Brandy Harvey of Berwick, PA USA

"May 27, 2007
Dear Sandri family,
I just wanted to tell you that I prayed for you today at First Baptist Church, Orlando, FL. We had a commemorative service to honor Memorial Day and at the end, each took a flag with a fallen soldier's name from the Iraq war and placed it on a field of green. All of the families of every fallen soldier were prayed for individually as each person took a walk of remembrance to the field with their soldier's flag and placed it in a marker. I want you to know that I'm so proud of your son, Matthew J. Sandri, even though I never met him. I and our whole nation owe him a debt of gratitude. Thank you for the sacrifice of your son's life so that freedom could continue in a dark world. His gift was not in vain and I just wanted you to know that he was remembered today and you were prayed over. Thank you."
Lisa Headley of Ocoee, FL, USA

"I first met Matt while in High School, then again when we ended up sitting next to easch other in an Economics class at Bloomsburg. Many great times together at Bloom after that day. When I heard that he had passed, I was deeply sadened. My condolences to the Sandri family."
Eric of Trevorton, PA

"March 20, 2007

Dear friend,

Every year, on the eve of this day, I am reminded of the phone call that I received the following morning...

Every year, on the eve of this day, there is sadness, happiness, anger, thankfulness...

Every year, on the eve of this day, I am scared to face the next day...

But on this day, March 20, I am reminded of your friendship, your courage, and your loyalty...

I am reminded that you, Matt Sandri, made me proud and honored to be a friend to you...

Though memories of this day are disheartening, there are memories of the past that I reflect on...your smile, your kindness, your sense of humor...

Matt, you took the time to be my friend for many years, and today, like everyday, I remember you.

Today I wear your tag and bracelet, I hope you wear the necklace I left with you...

"Miss you pal!"

I love you Matty

forver and always,
your friend,

Kareen Murray of Lewisburg, PA

"To the Sandri family you have my deepest sympathy. My name is SSG Chris Perry and I knew your son. We went to AIT together at Fort Sam Houston and went on to Airborne school together (Matt rode with me for the drive to Fort Benning and we partied on the weekends together also). Unfortunately I just found out today what had happened to him and hit hit me like a slap in the face. I am at BNCOC right now at Fort Sam Houston and they have an area for fallen medics in the school house. I was looking at one for a former soldier of mine we lost in Afghanistan and looked over next to him to discover Matt's memorial. I say all this not to bring up something which I know is still hurtful but to let you know my thoughts go out to all of you and it brings tears to my eyes. If you ever need anything please feel free to contact me at christopher.j.perry@us.army.mil and if you would like a picture of the display case here I came across let me know. Matt you will always be remembered!"
Chris Perry of Fort Benning, GA. USA

"Matt, you were such a good friend for the time I knew you. I couldn't have asked for a better person to balance out our goofy Sesame house @ Bloom. I miss you every day. I just hope some day that we can share a pitcher on a main street again. Thank you for being my friend. I miss you, bro..."
Jonathan of Bux County, PA

"To the family of:Matthew J. Sandri 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"


September 16, 06.
I just looked at my framed photo of you the other day. We still, and will always, miss you. I just entered to see the website again after a while and read new entries. You calm nature and sense of humor have touched many lives. I feel happy to read so many heartfelt thoughts for you.
My memories of you ( @ the rock st. apartment, camping, hiking, etc) provide the smile when I think of you, but some are more memorable, like when you slept out inthe open in the hammock at World's End SP on our camping trip. You fell out during the night and stayed on the ground until morning saying "it didn't bother me".
Nothing seemed to bother you much. You were a Man ahead of your age. Your loss really bothers us though. Miss you. Wish you could be there at Trudi and my wedding this Saturday, ....but then again you will, won't you!?!"
Uncle Ken of East Stroudsburg, PA

It's been over two years now since God decided it was your time to go home. But I wanted you to know that I will never forget you. I feel blessed to have been able to meet you although it was for only a short amount of time at lourdes you left a lasting impression in my heart. You were the sweetest and funniest person I've ever met and everyday I picture your great big smile you always had. Thank you for always putting a smile on my face. I will never forget you. Thank you matt for your ultimate sacrafice"
J of Shamokin,PA

"Matt, not a day goes by that i dont look around this place and think of you!"
tina of Ft. Bragg, NC

"SGT Sandri and the Sandri Family, My Family and I send our condolences to you all. I know it is almost 2 years later, but the passing of your LOVE ONE was deeply felt by me. I was there in St. Mere when the father in Heaven decided it was Matthew time. Stay BLESSED FAMILY and I will keep you in my prayers.
1SG Wall, R of Fort Bragg NC

"I knew Matt from grade school and high school in Shamokin. I am serving in Iraq right now and I think of him often. He was always kind and thoughtful. It sadens me to think of all the soldiers we are losing everyday."
Denise of Kirkuk AB, Iraq

"Aug 19, 2005
You are an American hero whose ultimate sacrifice will not be forgotten by a grateful nation. Rest well brave soldier.

George L. Skypeck , RegTM
All Rights Reserved
(No reproduction without prior permission By Mr. Skypeck)

"I was that which others did not want to be.
I went where others feared to go,
And did what others failed to do.
I asked nothing from those who gave nothing,
And reluctantly accepted the thought of
Eternal loneliness…should I fail.
I have seen the face of terror;
Felt the stinging cold of fear;
And enjoyed the sweet taste of a moments love.
I have cried, pained, and hoped…but most of all,
I have lived times others would say were best forgotten
At least someday I will be able to say that I was proud of
What I was…"
D. BURT of Rhode Island

"I never met Matt Sandri. I met his parents, Bob and Annette at Ft Bragg while visiting with my son Graham, who was wounded in the same rocket attack that killed Matt and Dr Taylor. I was astounded at the grace and dignity of Bob and Annette as they visited with me, Graham and Matts Squad leader. I have corresponded with them frequently since that meeting and get e-mail updates from their extended airborne family. I always enjoy knowing more about the Sandris and how they continue to cope with the enormous loss. As I write this on Memorial Day weekend, my son is visiting with the Sandris at their home in Shamokin. I told Graham to relay to Bob and Annette this one true statement. Every day, I think of my son and all the sons and daughters who are serving in dirty, dangerous places around the world. I think about my son and his service daily. I never think of my son without thinking about Matt and what a great loss his parents and family have suffered. As a Vietnam vet, I pray for all our soldiers and I hope their sacrifices are not in vain."
Michael E of Blount County, Alabama

"Matt, you were the most fun person I met at school. I'm glad I got the chace to be your room mate. 93 Sesame! TriDanka!"
J.Lo of Bucks County, PA

Im going to graduate soon, you never thought i would do it. I missed you on my birthday, but its been almost a year now and bloomsburg still seems different without you. Love you and what you brought to it. Sad eyes never lie"
miss e

"We are so sorry for your loss. We lost Army Spc.Joshua Justice Henry on 9-20-04. This was the hardest day of our lives. We honor these guys as our Heroes and hope no one else has to go through with what we are all dealing with. Rest in peace Matthew, and thank you for serving your country to the fullest"
Henry family of Vandergrift , PA

It took me seven months to write. It still seems like a bad dream and when I wake up, it will all be over. Not one day has gone by that I have not thought of you. I can rember our childhood vividly, from when we would play legos together and skateboard. I can also rember growing up together from our camping trips to your wild parties at Bloom. Too many good times to mention. I never imagined, that it would end like this! My heart aches every day, and every time I put on my uniform I pause for a moment and think about you. Matt you will ALWAYS be in my thoughts and memories. A true best friend,cousin and my hero, I love you Matty."
Mike of Atlas Pa

"This old paratrooper will never forget the brotherhood of the greatest division in the world. Although I never ran across Sandri, my heart hurts for my brother. May you rest in peace."
Anthony of Denver, CO

"I went to AIT with SPC Sandri when he reclassed to be a 91W. He was a great friend and a good soldier. Thank you for your heroism demonstrated in saving our country. You will forever be in my thoughts and prayers"
SPC Brandi McAvoy of Ft. Benning, Ga

"Matt was a great man. Had many good times with him, can't remember a bad time. One of the brethren :) I look up to him everyday, his life has had a dramatic effect on the way I live, it reminds me to smile, and to not worry. Always in my heart and greatest memories..you are missed brother, by all of us. Keep your eye on us.

You are a true hero and friend. Though I lost touch with you over the years, I will always remember the funloving outgoing person you were. You made me laugh so many times, and I will always remember the good times we spent together. You will be with me in everything I do... We'll meet again someday soon."
Rob Mordan of Shamokin, Pennsylvania

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

"Matt was one of my first friends at college. He made me laugh and was easy going and had the sweetest nature. I truly cared for him and miss him very much. His family was very hospitable to me and i will cherish the times i spent with him."
Erica Evanko of Long Valley, NJ

"I did not know Matt, but I know one of his friends He served with. He was highly thought of as an individual and a soldier. You can always be proud of Him. They say a man is measured by the friends he has, and from what I can see he was a giant. From another Vet.
God bless all your family."
Sam Veer of Freeport, Il.

"From your oldest cousin, There has not or will there ever be a day that goes by I don't think of you. So many memories over such a short time. You will always be our family's hero."
Joe Remash of Pueblo, Colorado

"I have never met Matthew. I do not know his family and I am not american either. But i found him looking at a list of us casualties on the internet and his story somehow touched me. I am very sorry!! I also want to thank all those fine and brave americans for what they do to protect our freedom. People here in Germany always have to be thankful for what America has done for us and we are!! Very much!! And hopefully the people of Iraq one day will realize that too. I know nothing I can say will make you feel any better but I want to say Thank you! He gave everything he had for the future of other people! You can be very proud of him!!"
Christine of Germany

"Watching Matthew grow up I knew he would be something special. It wasn't anything specific that made me think this for he was a very unassuming young boy. Didn't get into much trouble, wasn't loud or the center of attention, but there was something special that I couldn't figure out. Now that he is gone I realize that he was one of those people who just have that about them. They don't have to try, it is simply a gift from God that they make other people feel better by their presence. It was the way Matthew lived every day. Now I will spend the rest of my life trying to imitate the person he was. If I accomplish being half the man he was I will die a fulfilled man. Although, his time with us was brief, his impression will affect my children's children. I'll make sure of that!

I love you Matthew and miss you more every day that goes by."
Uncle John of Lancaster, PA

"To the family, and to Matt...
Friends come in and out of our lives, some quicky leave our memories and some hang on forever. Matt is that type of person who cannot leave my mind no matter how hard I try. I've met Matt on several occasions and had the pleasure of becoming his friend. His sacrifice will never be fully comprehended by those of us who didn't serve. God Bless"

"To the entire Sandri family...
thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice not only for our country, but for my family as well. My husband is a veteran of the Gulf war, and I know the worry that all military families feel. These young men and women risk their lives every minute, of every day for OUR FREEDOM and I wish to thank them and their families for their sacrifice. I remember seeing Matt, as a young boy, in church with his family. You could see the closeness that you all had. Remember that he is always with you, memories may fade, but the heart never lets go. God bless you and your entire family."
Annie Candelora -Adams of Drums,PA

"Thank you and much love to Matt, Bob, Annette, Julie, Blake and Lydia not only for what you have given to our country with this the greatest of sacrifices but also for the example of a family’s love and support during the most difficult of times. Matt died making the world a better place and you are living doing the same."
Jeannie Dorrell of Wayne, PA/USA

"Thank you Bob and Annette for having such a wonderful and brave son who brought such honor to his extended family. To Matt, who looks down to us from above, I wish to say,"Words cannot express our appreciation and gratitiude" for the ultimate sacrafice you paid so that we in the USA might live."
Uncle and grand Uncle Leonard Targonski of Pennsville, NJ

"I remember teenage Matt scraping and painting the black wrought iron fence around his family's house (to his father's exacting standards) one Summer, for some offense that was serious at the time, and now forgotten. I remember his Mom stepping out on their back patio, biting her lip and shaking her head as Matt hunched over an algebra book. Matt was not doing well in algebra. I remember crossing a street loaded with coolers, etc. en route to a family reunion and 13 year old Matt grabbing a toddler cousin's hand without being asked. He was an ordinary boy with his Mom's big smile, who grew up accomplished, and died for something bigger than himself. I am so sorry that his loving family does not have him anymore. I have the deepest respect for them for raising a fine man."
Virginia Hedges of Mount Holly, NJ USA

"Matt, we love you and will never forget you or your smiling face.
As Matt's uncle, I would like to thank all of the concerned persons who have entered messages for our family on this website. It is truly encouraging and uplifting to read your entries. Thanx"
Ken Sandri of East Stroudsburg, PA

"To the Sandri family,
Your son was a great American and an outstanding soldier. I served with him in C Co at Bragg and in Afganistan. I am truely sorry for your loss."
Sgt. Joshua Hetisimer of Camp Hovey, Korea

"To Matthew's Family:
There are no words that can express our deep sorrow for your loss. May God bless you."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

May God Bless your family and friends"
The Taylors USMC of NC

"In memory of my darling cousin Matthew who died so bravely March 20, 2004. We will never forget the ultimate price you paid fighting for the freedom of those who may never even come to know your name. Thank you Matthew. You are missed so very much and will be loved always. We are so proud to have known and loved you."
Marlene Sandri Ashbaugh of Casper, Wyoming

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

"Thank you Matthew Sandri, 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. Matthew Sandri:
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 Matthew 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 Spc. Matthew Sandri:
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 Matthew, 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