Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. 1st Class Wentz Jerome Henry Shanaberger III

33, of Naples, Florida.
Shanaberger died in Iraq when he was investigating a suspicious vehicle and came under attack by individuals using small arms and an improvised explosive device. Shanaberger was assigned to the Army's 21st Military Police Company, 16th Military Police Brigade, XVIIIth Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Died on March 24, 2004.

Shanaberger was posthumously promoted to Sergeant First Class on March 24, 2004.

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"What can I say. I am humbled by the opportunity to say I knew Wentz. He is the reason I made it through our time in the suck. I think of him everyday and wish I could follow him to Valhalla. What a person, what a model and what a soldier he was. I still cannot be live he is gone. I miss him so much and morn his death every day."
Mike Hensel of Auburndale Florida

I had the honor to serve with SSG Shanaberger at HHC 16th MP just before OIF kicked off- I transfered to HHD 503d with the initial push in 03'. One of the absolutely best NCO's and tactically proficent, no BS, tough, hiliariouS!! people i've ever met. the whole point i wrote this is that your family to see and know you are not forgotten and that i owe my life and health to you.. We were on a cool training op were we were to AASSLT out of blackhawks as OPFOR. WE Were on the big wall around 0730-all day prepping. did 2 rappels fine and i was confident and rushing hooking up the lines on my swiss seat for the final rappel. my back was almost vertical to ground-heels on the wall. it looked like ssg shanaberger wasnt even paying attention as i was about to go.. i feel these hands grab mine and drag me back up to the platform. i was in shock. i look up to meet his big serious but sarcastic eyes, all he said with a evil grin was,open your hands- i open and i did the ole-fatal-double loop thing where the rope would justkeep going and i wont have been able to handbrake or belay man to stop me.. I WOULD HAVE FELL over 50FT onto about 2' of wood chips.. i will never know where i would be if you werent there that day.. see you on the other side brother"
SSG JC Elizondo of detroit,mi

"Another year has passed. You must be so proud of your children. And you will soon be a grand father. We honor you each year. I miss you and will be glad to see you again if I am worthy."
cheryl shanaberger of ft. pierce fl

"SFC Shanaberger was the "BEST LEADER!!" any one could have. He served as my Platoon Sergeant in Pusan, S. Korea from 2001 - 2002. There was never a day that went by were he did not try and teach you something. The LEADER I became was because of him. Up until I met SFC Shanaberger I thought of the Army as a "job." SFC Shanaberger showed me on how it was not a "job" but a responsibility. Responsibility to the Soldiers we lead and the lives we protect. The LEADER I became through the remaining years in the Army was because of the lessons he taught me. It was a privilege to have served with SFC Shanaberger and thank you for all that you have done throughout this world. You are truly missed!! 4/552 Military Police Company, Pusan, S. Korea"
SFC (R) Jason Moyer of Newport News, Virginia

"I can not being to put in words how amazed I am by the people that have put there hurt and there story's of my amazing dad into this website .

My Dad inspires me everyday to do what my heart wants me to .To work hard at my goals to achieve them .Even if it's hard or I'm in a low point in my life I can always remember that my dad gave the ultimate sacrifice ! That my dad was a hero.
I'm speechless to all the amazing words and story's told about my dad I tear up on ever sentence .My dad may not of been around that long but when he was , he was a fighter a caring and loving father ,compassionate and funny partner to my amazing Mum.
Dad I know that your up in the sky right now looking over me , I hope I have made you proud and made you laugh .I miss u everyday yes sometime I get emotional but there not sad tears there happy tears for the story's I remember of you. Like the story where you were having a massive football party when mum was pregnant with jack and I , she told you her stomach was hurting and you said suck it up as a joke .About and hour later her water broke but u still didn't want to leave the party hahah .You did regardless and pushed mum in a shopping trolley up a hill to the hospital .
That is just one story that dosnt even to began to show how amazing and wonderful of a person ,dad,husband and hero you are .
Thank you again for all the support and loving comments and story's.
I love you dad and miss you
You will never be forgotten our hero
DAD xox
Thank you"
Grace Shanaberger

"It's so hard to believe how much time has passed since we lost you, but you are still so loved and thought about often! I wish terribly that things were different, especially now more than ever. I know you would be so proud of your beautiful family though and that you are always with us all in spirit! The world is a better place because you were in it and the mark you left behind can never be erased or dulled. You were one of a kind, proven by this ongoing forum and all of the amazing comments and memories here. I will always wish I could have had more time with you, been able to ask you more questions, get to know you as an adult, have you meet my daughter, but I am so grateful that I knew you at all and I hope you know what the time we had together meant to me and that I will always look up to you."
Erica Sachs of Wesley Chapel FL

"From the moment I arrived at Ft. Polk, Wentz took me under his arm and helped make sure I was squared away, even though we were in sister companies. He is one of the men who taught me how to be an NCO and a leader. Miss you brother, and I look forward to seeing you again one day soon."
Timothy Arrington of Tampa, FL

"I have only just discovered this website and I must say I cant begin to put into words the amount of respect and love I feel for every single person who has contributed to this site and has left a message for my father

I never knew my father much regardless I loved him all the same

his death has had a impact on my life that has made me how i am today and has changed me forever

without him I would never have met my family here, my friends I have today and I would have never be given the opportunity I've been given here in Australia

I would just like to say everyone who has ever known, worked with or loved my father thank you and I share your loss

As his son I am proud that he died doing what he loved and died protecting the people he loved and i am proud to be his son

He made the ultimate sacrifice and that can not be forgotten

But this website is proof that he is not forgotten and our life's, the life's of us his family is proof that he will not be forgotten

Dad thank you
And everyone who has know, worked with him, loved him and left a message on this site

Thank you"
Jack James Shanaberger of Melbourne Australia

"Today, March 24, 2015 a facebook friend posted a picture of SFC Shanaberger with a reminder to those of us who graduated from Naples High School to honor his memory. I searched and found this site and read the postings from so many that knew him personally. I now have tears in my eyes. Seeing "Baron" as he was called, through the eyes of so many who served with him, shows what a courageous and dedicated patriot he was. He should be honored today, even 11 years after he has left this earth. May he rest in the arms of our Lord forever. May all who love him know the comfort and peace that comes from above. Thank you SFC Wentz Jerome Henry Shanaberger III for your sacrifice and service to our country."
Jeanne Steele of Palm Coast, FL

"I have never cried and smiled so proudly at the same time after reading all these comments. First off I want to thank each and every single one of you who have written a comment about my amazing cousin Baron. From the bottom of our hearts it means the world to our family. Words can not describe. I always knew what kind of person Baron was but after reading all of these comments I really see even more the kind of person he was. I looked up to him so much but even more now. As I watched American Sniper today at the movies I realized as I was watching it, "kyle" was my cousin Baron. Baron loved and fought and died fighting to serve his country. He would die fighting and he did. That was our Baron. I was also watching this movie with my clients at my job Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation addiction treatment center. It is amazing to be making a difference in peoples lives like my cousin did. Its amazing to be able to tell them about him. I am so proud to talk about him every time I do. My cousin has impacted so many lives including strangers. It is truly an honor to have him as our family. I know if he was here right now he'd be so proud of me. I can only hope when it is my time someday that people remember me like they remembered my cousin. I don't think I will ever live up to my cousin and what he's done but I know he has impacted my life and has been apart of who I am today. I miss him so much and wish I could tell him that. I look up to him and he is my hero. God has him wrapped under his wing, he is special and even god knows that. I can't wait till we meet again. Meet me at the gates cuz! Again thank you to all of you who have taken the time to write on here. It is truly so mind blowing and helps our family especially his wife and kids! 3-24-2004 we will never forget!! <3"
Nicole Combs of Naples, FL

"I went through basic training and MP School with Wentz. He was well liked and popular. By all accounts he matured into a remarkable NCO. I have always been over the top proud to be an MP. It is soldiers like Wentz who make me swell with pride even more to have been associated with the MP corps. God bless your family. Thank you for your example.

Fred Stokley
88th MP Co.
Former Portsmouth PD"
of McGaheysville Va

"Memorial Day 2014. I served with Wentz in the 810th MP Co during DS/DS. I would say we were good friends and counted on one another. It was a real honor serving with him. We had fun, especially the few rounds of combat golf we played at Ft Benning. I'm sure there are still golf clubs in the woods! We parted ways after we deployed back to Florida in May 1991. I didn't learn of his death until Christmas 2006. I regret not staying in touch with him. From reading all the messages here Wentz developed into one hell of a soldier. Wentz, I think of you often. I'm proud and honored to say I served with you, and you were my friend."
Mike Massaro of Tampa, FL

"You will never be forgotten.. To the family: You will forever remain in my thoughts and prayers."
CW2 Dean Barefield of Fort Stewart, GA

"Shanaberger was my PSG during my deployment to Iraq. He would always make sure I was doing ok and that I had everything I needed to suceed. I still miss him to this day and wish his family the best. I have taken his words of encouragement and have completed my college degree at Old Dominion University with Degrees in Accountanting and Finance. I am currently a GS-11 soon to be GS-12 Financial Management Analyis with NAVFACHQ at the washington Navy Yard up in the DC area. He has and always will be in my thoughts and paryers throughout my life and I hope I can teach my children everything he instilled in me. God Bless and I know your still up there looking after me even after all the years."
Brent McKeag of Washington Navy Yard, in DC

"I am the brother of w.j.h. shanabergerII. I miss more than words can even come close to describing,We were raised in a very different environment from each other_ being 8 years apart. But theres was never any dought who had eachothers back sense he was in in his early teens. We could not be in the same room togetherbut we Always LOVED eachother. When I look back on all that hAS HAPPENED I cant help but wonder why..So well trained-all that heart.. Hell we all had the same watches.I miss him in a diff. way than his wife or kids ould ever know.we grewup together. BROTHERS that had a mutal enmy---our parents,,lmmfao
ya that just happened GWB..ex chief ect.ect.but I can tell you how he lived. Befor after and during his children,frist wife second wife and after..... I hv=ave been quite throught all of his passing. And it hit me prob the hardest.. But that was his moment...in all of what should have been more when you consider all that this family has sacrfised. I will NEVER be able to put into words the emptiness that we shared because we were trying to live up to our fathers expations a mans.We were 2 diff peopleraised two doff ways but we had a love that even his wife knows nothing about.And never will.Lol I hope.. Time has passed but I will never be able to let go ..... I WILL MISS YOU ALWAY BROTHER.. WE WERE ALL THE DIFF. IN THIS WORLD. EVERYDAY I TRY TO MAKE YOU PROUD. I WILL EDIT LATRER"
WENTZ N. SHANABERGER of vero beach fl

9 days ago I assumed responsibilities as the CSM of the 503rd MP BN (ABN). Not a day goes by that I don’t tell Troopers of our organization about you….Your name is on our Military Police Complex and your picture is present throughout our organization….I am a much better leader, NCO and Soldier for knowing you….but more than that I am a much better human. Your infectious enthusiasm motivates me every day… I will continue to make you a part of our organization and will not miss an opportunity to tell the Troopers of our organization about you and your sacrifice….at the expense of my personal humility, as I cannot mention you without choking up…..it is but a small price to pay to ensure that you and your sacrifice are not forgotten….We will toast you on the 19th of July at the BN reunion….and we will celebrate you and your life. ABN brother….ABN…"
CSM Jeffrey A Maddox of 503rd MP BN (ABN), Fort Bragg, NC....."The Center of the Universe"

"After deciding to locate some old friends and having my old Orders from Ft.McClellan,Alabama.I looked up my old Bunk Buddy Shanaberger.I never keeped in touch after we parted C-40-2 training center 89/90.We was to busy learning to be solders.It was clear from day one that I was going to be in Top physical shape scene SSG A.Romero (Drill Sergeant)Seemed to have it in for Shanaberger.Don't Know why that was but I think maybe there was something said in the pipelines to have him do some extra PT and you know what that meant for myself.Yep I had to join in the party lol.We did our share and then some of Side Straddle Hops/Situps Etc.But he thought it was funny and that would give us more PT..I was somewhat wishing he would cool the antics But if you new him that was somewhat hard to do.I never took it personal just went along for the ride..well I had to didn't I roflmmfao. My name is David B.Kittle And I was hoping to contact him and talk about old times in training..But I am truely sory to learn well after the fact he was killed in Action.It hit me deep in my heart.and I'll never forget him ever.And to his Family and dear friends I'm sory I missed his Passing to honor Him as He was a heck of a nice man and Bunk buddy. Sincerely Spc-4 Etsed 93 did a 3/5 tour with the 363rd MP Co Grafton WV (USAR) 352nd MP CO(DEUCE)Oakdale PA. 204th MP.Co 7th Corps (HQ) Stuttgart Germany during (Shield/Storm) Statedace3@ma.rr.com"
David B.Kittle of Fairmont,WV/USA

"9 years brother...so much has changed...the impact of NCO's is still the same, you would be amazed at what we have accomplished in these last 9 years...you are not forgotten....i will do my part to make sure you never will be....you continue to be a source of inspiration and motivation. I miss you brother....forever in my thoughts....ABN."
SGM Jeffrey A. Maddox of Fort Bragg, NC.

"I first met 'Baron' on our flight to Hawaii back in June of 92. I was fresh from AIT - heading to ATC at Wheeler and he to the 58th MP Company. Along with another treasured friend, Roger Burke, we spent a week exploring Oahu before getting to our permanent assignments. The three of us became very close over the next few years and I am deeply saddened to hear of his loss. Perhaps more so because news has made it to me so long after the fact. I've missed Baron for years having had no notion that he gave his all. It was clear to all who knew him though that he was a soldier through and through and it comes as no surprise that he never cowered. I will say a prayer for Baron tonight and many more. Baron, thank you for your service and your friendship. God bless you and your loved ones."
Gregory Baker of Audubon, NJ

"Today is Memorial Day, 28 May 2012 and I am remembering our fellow Fort Polk Soldier. I started reading these memorials with tears in my eyes and ended with a smile. The stories of SSG Shanaberger “borrowing or scrounging” things for his fellow Soldiers brought back great memories. My co-workers and I worked in a graphics shop. He would come in and start asking for items knowing that our work load was rough and he had not requested graphics thru the proper process and/or timeline. Even if we were working on graphics previously requested, he would say … do that later … this is for my soldiers training. Needless to say, being persistent and head-strong … he almost always got the items that he was requesting. So many times he would come down during his lunchtime. We would see his jeep headed toward our building so we would lock the doors and hide where he could not see us. He would be staring in the window (like a big bug) and yelling “I know you are in there … let me in”. We would have tears in our eyes from laughter and then let him in knowing that our lunchtime had just ended. We admired his dedication to our Soldiers and enjoyed visiting with him. He never missed a visit that he did not talk about his family. A few times, he brought his children by the graphics shop for a visit. I pray that his families are well and always know that he was a great Soldier. I know in my heart the Soldiers are alive because of his dedication, loyalty, and love for our country. God bless."
Emma Tatum of Fort Polk, LA

"I remember Baron as one of those guys that made life enjoyable. He was a true professional and I learned a lot from him. We served together in Hawaii, when I was a young Specialist in the 58th MP CO, and I have many fond memories of his pranks. Rest in peace friend, and we all owe a debt of gratitude for his family's ultimate sacrifice on this Memorial Day weekend. 2012."
MAJ Chad Baker of CA

"Well, 8 years have gone by and the pain and loss is still the same. I hope you can see your children since your wife is doing a fantastic job. You must be so proud of them as we are. Scot and Jess in college following in your footprints in being leaders. Audrey and the twins, beautiful, articulate and loving. I see so much of you in them. Today is hard but I know what you would say take what you have and make it the best."
cheryl shanaberger of Ft. Pierce FL St. Lucie County

"Happy 4th of July 2011 Brother! You are in my thoughts! God Bless!"
Ken Hadley of Fayetteville, NC

"Until now I have not been able to bring myself to talk about my experience with my dear friend, Wentz "Baron" Jerome Henry Shanaberger III. This story is testament to his character, his dedication, selfless service and leadership. My name is MSG Kenneth W. Hadley, I knew Wentz for some time when we served together in the 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne) S-3 Shop for some time. Wentz was larger than life and at first I didn't know how to take him. Sometimes he would play tricks on us all in the S3 shop, like gluing the phone receiver down to the phone, then calling the phone number, just to listen to us all yell out, what the heck! Well, something like that. LOL! He always had a great sense of humor. Sometime later the Iraq war started. I remember sitting there talking about it with Wentz while watching it on CNN, almost like it was yesterday. Months later, I found myself on orders to Germany and in ANCOC. A few months went by and HHC, 16th Military Police Brigade was on orders to Iraq. Meanwhile, Wentz became the Platoon Sergeant in the 21st Military Police Company (Airborne). By the grace of God, I got to return to Fort Bragg and I was deployed 11 days after ANCOC to Iraq with HHC, 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne). The 21st Military Police Company (Airborne) had deployed about two weeks before the brigade headquarters. Once, I arrived in Kuwait, Wentz was there training his Soldiers on Battle Drills. I went to see him and we talked for some time. Man, it was good to see him. He was steadily, giving orders and correcting every mistake. He ensured members of 4th Platoon, 21st Military Police Company (Airborne) we're ready and prepared for battle. Weeks later in Baghdad, Iraq, I seen him again at the Brigade Headquarters, while I was working as a Battle NCO, he stopped by, scrounging anything he could get his hands on to make it better for his Soldiers. Needless to say, when he left, Brigade was missing a few things. I didn't have the heart to tell him, no and well, the guys in the "Line" needed it.
Months went by, when one day, while passing one of the Battle Officers from another shift, doing PT, stopped me while on my way to the brigade headquarters. He asked if I had heard about Shanaberger? I replied, What happened? He explained to me that according to the initial reports, Shanabeger was killed by an IDE strike. I responded, No, No way, not Shanaberger, it didn't happen that way, I said in disbelief. I responded, if you are right and Shanaberger had gotten into something, it was something bad, something no one could survive. I truly believed , there was no way that was possible, unless it got really bad. As I arrived at work, a few minutes later, out of breathe, the updated reports were still coming in. The Leadership, Coronal Quantock and the Deputy Brigade Commander, LTC Upshaw, CSM Butler, along with others, were frantically trying answer questions and explain the details for the situation to those concerned. Further investigation revealed, it was not an IED but because of overwhelming odds at close range. While on patrol, Shanabeger's team stopped based upon information something was suspicious activity. They had interrupted an ambush being put into place. As a result , everyone in the team, SFC Shanberger, SPC Yi and PFC Frain was WIA or KIA. As a result of his heroic act of sacrifice, he saved so many lives that day.
On 27 March 2004, was the Memorial Service for my friend, Wentz J. H. Shanabeger III . As a testament to his character and person, the building was packed and there was not a dry eye in the room. On 1 April 2004, after much deliberation, I became the Platoon Sergeant of 4th Platoon, 21st Military Police Company (Airborne). I was a nervous wreck, trying to find the words to say to SFC Shanaberger's Soldiers, how I was going to replace the greatest Non-Commissioned Officer, I had the privilege of meeting, in my military career . I didn't get a wink of sleep the night before, I had to address his Soldiers, now my Soldiers. I do remember standing in front of those Soldiers, trying to find the words to say but honestly I could not tell you what I said. As I stood there looking around at each Soldier in formation, I suddenly realized what an impact he left on those Soldiers. As I dismissed the formation, the Soldiers, responded, with the traditional, Hoo-haa. When I arrived there, the Senior Squad Leader was obviously, stressed as he had to take care of the Platoon and still go on mission. Over the next few weeks, I conducted Pre-combat checks and inspected the Soldiers before mission. As a testament to SFC Shanaberger, honestly I struggled to find, short comings, etc., let me tell you, I found very few. As many of you may know, I was not trying to find deficiencies on purpose but I needed to assess the platoon, i.e., maintenance on vehicles, replacement parts for weapons systems, etc.. As the weeks went by, I began to become more familiar with each member of the platoon. I was impressed with the many additional duties and responsibilities each platoon members had. I realized, I need to build on what was already there and push the Soldiers in an effort to try to put the past behind them and make them better. Let me tell you, it fell right into place. I have never been a part of such a cohesive unit from Fallujah, Iraq to Camp Victory, Iraq the actions and contributions of the platoon was a true testament of SFC Shanberger's Leadership. Over the next few months, 4th platoon, Bushmasters, lost a lot of good leaders, SSG Spaid and SGT Manning were wounded from direct contact with enemy on 31 August 2004. To make a long story short, 4th Platoon had given back better than they received from the Iraqi Insurgences. A few months before redeployment, SGT Yi returned to 4th platoon, after healing from his wounds received during the incident with SFC Shanaberger. SGT Yi, assumed duties as the 3rd Squad Team Leader. Weeks later, after being wounded four or five times, in multiple contacts with Iraqi Insurgences, SGT Frain was awarded the first ever CSMA Preston, Scholarship. SGT Frain is now CPT Frain and continues his career in the Military, all a testament to SFC Shanaberger and the impact he left on the Soldiers. The 21st Military Police Company (Airborne), re-deployed on 23rd December 2004, to that date the 4th platoon had received over 18 Purple Hearts, one Silver Star for SFC Shanberger's actions, four Bronze Stars, one Army Achievement Metal with Valor, 27 Army Achievement Metals, 2 Army Achievements Metals and eventually 28 Combat Action Badges. As a testament to SFC Shanaberger, 4th Platoon, 21st Military Police Company (Airborne), was one of the most decorated Platoons in the unit.
I deployed 4th platoon, 21st Military Police (Airborne) in January 2006 to Forward Operating Base Falcon, Iraq. After five short months in Iraq, I was told my time was up as the Platoon Sergeant for 4th Platoon, 21st Military Police Company (Airborne) Bushmasters. It was truly a low point in my career, after 25 months, my platoon sergeant time was over. A few weeks later, I returned to CONUS to assume duties as the Operations Sergeant for the 65th Military Police Company (Airborne) where months later, I received word, one of the Soldiers of 4th platoon, SPC Joseph Perry was killed while in direct contact with the enemy on the 2nd October 2006. Prior to SPC Joseph Perry being killed in Iraq, he was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor along with several others, SSG Kwiatkowski and SGT "Doc" Holacik, from 4th Platoon for extraordinary actions during Combat in May 2006. SPC Perry, without regard for his own personal safety, exposed himself to direct enemy fire by advancing into the street to obtain a better line of site on the enemy, and neutralized the enemy threat by firing approximately 30 rounds from his M-4 carbine at an insurgent aiming a RPG at SSG Kwiatkowski and SGT Holacik’s position. Once again, as a result of Shanaberger's extraordinary character and the impact he left on others, 4th Platoon continued to close with the enemy and win in combat with overwhelming success. Although, he was not directly responsible for all the actions of the Soldiers of 4th Platoon, 21st Military Police Company (Airborne), Bushmasters, he set the example by his extraordinary actions and leadership which made a lasting impression on his supervisors, peers and the Soldiers to last a life time.
Now years later, ironically, I have been re-assigned back to HHC, 16th Military Police Brigade, as the Brigade Rear S3 Operations Sergeant Major. I retire in a few months. Every morning, when I come in, I pass by the articles of equipment that belonged to my dearest friend, SFC Shanaberger, displayed in a case, in the 16th Military Police Brigade Headquarters, I am so very humbled and honored to be in the presents of his things. He was such a great Man, Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer. Although, I did not know SFC Shanaberger for a very long time, they impression he left on me and others are truly extraordinary. He is truly, My Hero.
As I close, my words seem so fruitless now, as I cannot find the words to ever express my deepest sympathy for loss of my friend, Wentz "Baron" Jerome Henry Shanaberger III. Mr. and Mrs. Shanaberger, Cory and kids, I am so very sorry for your loss. He is the greatest Non-Commissioned Officer, I have ever meet. He was truly a great Soldier and Leader. He left a lasting impression on everyone he came in contact with. There is not a day that goes by, I don't think about him and all he done for me, 4th Platoon, Bushmasters, of the 21st Military Police Company (Airborne), and so many others. I owe so much to SFC Shanaberger and the Soldiers of 4th Platoon, 21st Military Police Company (Airborne). May God Bless you and keep you all of your days.
Very Respectfully and Sincerely,

MSG Retired Kenneth W. Hadley
Ken Hadley of Fayetteville, NC

"He was my Platoon SGT in Pusan, Korea. He was a very caring, high charging, and great leader. He was like a father to all; I looked up to him. I remember when he called us all to the office a week before our field exercise and had us all go get our old BDU's. We were all wondering what he was wanting. Soon after we all sat down, he handed us a knife, scissors, etc... and told us to rip the BDU's into shreds. That day we made our own gilly suites. PT was always fun, never boring and always something to do with Special Forces PT hahaha... He is DEF missed by me and I'm sure all that served with him. I would have gone ANY WHERE with SSG Shanaberger. My you RIP SSG. Your very missed and thank you for ALL that you done. Please continue to watch over us Soldiers as you have done once before."
SGT Armstrong, Benz of Fort Belvoir, VA

"I had never met SFC Shanaberger until the morning of the day that he made the ultimate sacrifice. What impressed me the most was the professionalism and competence that he exuded. Everyone that was on that convoy owes their well being to the actions of Sergeant Shanaberger and the soldiers he led. I wish I had twenty men like him working for me now. God bless the Shanaberger family."
Captain Leo J Baustian, USAF of Mangilao, Guam, USA

"I didn't personally know anyone who was killed fighting to defend our country. But I never want to forget the sacrifices of so many young men and women. I am so proud it makes me cry at times. I understand, in theory only, that war is a part of human nature but so is love and caring. I wish I could the grieving families and friends pain away but I can't. I am committed to loving ALL people, myself and our environment. I am committed to working on my happiness everyday because so many have died for my freedom to live my life. Thank you is not enough but it is all I have. All my love and respect. ogersteiner@yahoo.com
A hundred times a day, I remind myself that my inner and outer life depends on the labors of other men, living and dead, and I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am receiving. - Albert Einstein"
Scott Edward Steiner of Worthington, OH USA

"Reading some of these messages has truely made my day , I remember as a kid when he would bring home a mock AT rocket or replica m-16 heck we even used an army issue flare to backburn leaves in north Carolina .....he deffinatly knew how to get things done , something I try to continue in the family. I can openly talk about my dad to anyone beacuse I'm so proud of him. Not a day goes by that I don't think about him , and what he would have wanted."
Jesse Shanaberger of Melbourne , Victoria , Australia

"”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to the hero’s Mother, Father and/or spouse. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Over 1,800 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
This is a gift! We have some wonderful sponsors who help with the costs, and only want you know that we care.
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com or go to www.heropaintings.com . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Project Compassion - Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"My husband and I served with Wentz at Fort Polk. What I remember most is that he was so funny! He was such an excellent NCO, and just plain fun to be around. Half the time you couldn't ask where he got "stuff" from, because you really didn't want to know! He had hook ups all over, just because he was persuasive and knew how to get things done. He liked to make fun of officers (in jest) and often told me, "just sit down ma'am, I've got this." No one disputed it because you knew it was true; if you asked him to do something, you knew it would be done. One time on the way back from a field exercise, he was driving the HMMWV and his kevlar rolled out somehow. He didn't realize it til the next day. He was so mortified that he had to tell me that he had lost it! It was hilarious, because he was such a perfectionist. He took it all in stride, though. My husband and I both have fond memories of him. To his parents, you did a wonderful job. God bless you."
Julie Fitzgerald of Fort Polk, LA (julie.fitzgerald@conus.army.mil)

"March 21, 2009
To the family of Sgt. 1st Class Wentz Jerome Henry Shanaberger, III:
Wentz 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

"On OCT 1st 2008, I retired with 20 years and one day of service to this nation. At my retirement party I held a toast to the many accompishments in my time in the Army to which Wentz was a huge part of. Although I am still saddened to this day I always remeber what he stood for and what he was about. He will forever be remembered in my heart.

And, when he shall die, Take him and cut him out in little stars, And he will make the face of Heaven so fine That all the world will be in love with night And pay no worship to the garish sun for he who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man. The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper and courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of the final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy. In the great scheme of things, what matters is not how long you live, but why you live, what you stand for, and what you are willing to die for. No one's death comes to pass without making some impression, and those close to the deceased inherit part of the liberated soul and become richer in their humanness. I do not know beneath what sky nor on what seas shall be thy fate; I only know it shall be high, I only know it shall be great."
SFC (RET) James A. Coker of Fort Polk, La

"In the mid-late 90s, I served with Shanaberger at Ft. Polk, Louisiana. He was a stand-up guy and an exemplary military police soldier. I am saddened to hear we (as a Nation) lost him. I will forever remember his sense of humor and the care he took of his soldiers.
Good luck, we’ll miss you.
Timothy B. Bruneau
Detective (Retired)
New Orleans Police Department
(Formerly of 258 MP Company, Ft. Polk)"
of Valley View, Texas

"I am Lee Shanaberger's grandson. I never met my cousin, but I am proud of him.

Alex Figueroa (13)
Alex Figueroa of Austin,TX

"When ever the conversation comes up of what a leader is suppose to be and do there is never a moment that I hesitate to bring up my time under SFC Shanaberger in the 21st MP CO ABN. I remember all the long days of him riding along in my truck with my team. He always had a way to make me laugh and work harder even when I just wanted to quit and go back home. He would take time out his day as a PSG during patrols just to talk and mentor me. He taught me the most valuable lessons of being a leader. Never come back empty handed with excesses, and that “ If you thing that your NCO is your best friend and will never break off on you he/she is not doing his/her job!” Men like SFC Shanaberger is what shapes the what we should be as leaders. On a daily basis I witnessed him going out of his way to help soldiers that were in need. Even ones that had nothing to do with our unit. I found it amusing as a private the man seemed to know everyone everywhere. From the time we hit Kuwait clear up to Iraq he seemed to know some kind of supply guy or someone in an S shop that could “hook us up” He tought me the fine art of networking from an early start. One final thing is thank you. I was out on the patrol when SFC Shanaberger was killed. I thank him every day for what he did. I would not be here today if he did not place himself in front of his soldiers. I tell my wife and family every day that he is the reason I am still around. He is the reason I am the leader I am. Thank you SFC Shanaberger a million times over."
SSG Walter P Geiger of Ft Richardson AK

"SFC Shananberger.... I could write a book or make a movie about him... He is one of the finest soldiers I have ever met... If I ever needed a mission done and done right the first time Wentz was the man... He was always one step ahead and was a professional in every sense of the word... When the day wasn't going so well, he would always bring the bright side out.. Whether you wanted him to or not!!! He was a 1SG's nightmare and a 1SG's best friend.. I can only imagine what a great father he was to his children.. Corey I think of you and your family often.. When I talk of great soldiers in my time in the Army Wentz is at the top of the list.. If I was to put my son with a squad leader or a platoon sergeant he would be that man... I will always keep his memory alive in my heart.. Sincerely 1SG Jim Tadayeski"
1SG Jim Tadayeski of grantjrotcai@yahoo.com

"We were MP's together at Schofield Barracks, and Ft Shafter. I was brand new, and Baron guided me through the job. I'll always remember Lt Gen Ord flipping him a coin, even after he had just written him a 1408 the week before, hilarious. And come tax time, Baron volunteered to help with filing other MP's tax returns. I was his first ginny pig, about 2 months later, he realized he forgot to send it in...He actually tried to pay me out of his own pocket! I had the opportunity to attend the funeral here in Florida. Seems like everyone has great memories, especially of his never ending sense of humor. To all my comrades that have responded on here, and all who knew him, what a wonderful privilege we had to serve with him."
Police Officer S Griffin of Pinellas County, Florida

"Wentz was a man of many words and actions. I will never forget him becasue he taught me alot. Out of everything he taught me I still carry with me one thing....never come back empty handed. I carried that with me in life to mean....never give up searching and if you can't find what you're looking for (ie. knowledge, prosperity or even equipment) then atleast give it all you have while you are searching. Thank you SFC Shanaberger for not giving up on me when I had already given up on myself. If it was not for him I would not be where I am today. We served proudly together in the 258th and 204th MP CO. I partially owe who I am to him today. Corey and kids, If you all ever need anything just call and me and my family will be there.
Roberto V. Hernandez badge # 543
Hill Country Village Police Department
Hill Country Village, Texas"
Roberto Hernandez of San Antonio, TX


"It was a sad day for the MP's the day he left us. I was one of the proud members of his gillie covered kevlar, Bushmasters platoon in the 552nd MP co. It is because of his mentoring, teachings, and influences that I was able to survive and bring my soldiers home alive twice. He is one of the finest soldiers to have ever worn the uniform. His spirit will live on. The lives he touched is countless, the lives he saved through the soldiers his teachings molded is priceless, the thanks we give for being part of our lives is endless."
Sgt. Phill Schmitt of Ft Lewis, Wa

"To the family of:Wentz Jerone Henry Shanaberger 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"

"If any of you know how i could contact jesse shanaberger, could you please send an email to cameronmatheny@earthlink.net.
i didnt know his father, but i knew jesse, and havent been in contact since he came to visit me in christmas of 05 and i would like to at least stay in touch with him.
Thank You"
cameron matheny of Linden, NC/USA

"It is only now that I have had the opportunity to talk about one of the most courageous, hard charging, professional noncommissioned officers I have ever had the privilege of working with. At the time, SSG Shanaberger was a squad leader in the 552nd MP CO, Pusan Korea (The J.P. Holland winner, recognized as the Best MP CO in the U.S. Army, largely due to the efforts of SFC Shanaberger); and what a tremendous NCO he was. When you wanted it done right, or have the young MP Soldiers trained TO STANDARD, it was SSG Shanaberger who we turned to on countless occasions. He was, without question, one of the finest NCOs I have known in my 16-plus years of service. I Salute you and your family, and whenever I have the opportunity to tell young Soldiers and leaders about what it means to "Lead from the Front", taking care of Soldiers, and accomplishing the mission, I tell them about this noncommissioned officer; a true Warrior and leader of Soldiers!"
LTC Kevin Vereen of Fort Leonard Wood, MO

"SFC. Shanaberger, where can I even start. This fine NCO was my platoon sergeant, mentor and an outstanding example of who I wanted to be in life. He believed in me when few did. Because of his leadership I like the rest of the people who served with him in Iraq was able to come home. When I say this my mind drifts back to when we were preparing for the deployment, we were talking over exit strategies for ambushes, he says “ anyone here play foot ball” we all looked at each other like “huh”, then he goes on to explain this maneuver he wanted to try called a punt. We went up and down the dirt road practicing for hours until it was perfect. He really knew how to mix fun and common sense into training. We used this maneuver quite a few times in Iraq even after that sad day, time and time again it worked minimizing casualties and enabling us to get into position with the upper hand. He allowed everyone to think on their own and add their input which helped develop outstanding teamwork and frankly we were un beatable. I now lead soldiers of my own and implement his leadership daily. Because of him I feel confident in my leadership abilities. He also taught us how to be persuasive and get what we need to better ourselves for the mission, he wasn’t called “shady” for nothing. SFC. Shanaberger is known around the world, after returning from Iraq I pcs’ed to Ft. Shafter Hawaii, where I met with MSG. Williams. We talked of my experiences at Ft. Bragg and when I told him the story of the most influential NCO in my life he stopped me and said “wait a minute are you talking about Wentz?” yes I said then he told me of how they came up as NCO’s here in Hawaii together. Wow I thought even here on this tiny island SFC. Shanaberger’s legacy lives on. I could write all day of the great things he has done there’s just so many. To the family, no one can imagine your loss, I think we all wish there was some way we could go back in time and make it never happen, but as he always said “these are the cards your delt make the best of it.” I think of that saying every day especially when going through hardship. Thank you SFC. Shanaberger for showing us the way and giving your life to make this world a better place. AIRBORNE…

Brandon Barbini (AKA Bini)
FT. Shafter Hawaii
Brandon Barbini of Honolulu, Hawaii

"Today Jesse, Audrey, Jack, Grace and I sent ballons to heaven with cards attached for our hero because today my husband, their Daddy would have been 36 years old. It has been 907 days Or 2 years, 5 months, 24 days since he left us without him in this world. I still wake up every day to the pain with tears in my eyes and still wonder why him and the kids still often say they want their Daddy. Every minute that he has been gone we still think of him and wish we could bring him back to us even if for just a few minutes but we know that can only happen in our dreams, memories and hearts. I cannot tell you all or put into the right words how much your support has meant to us. The greatest honor many of you have given to my husband after his death is the care and support, you his friends, his military family have given to us. We have been touched by your words and find a great deal of comfort in knowing you are there for us. I will continue to do what Baron and I had planned to do in life for our children and I will look forward to seeing Baron again just so I can remind him again how much I love him, how wonderful his friends really are and how they have been there for us, thank him for blessing us with Erica, Teri and Eddie in our lives and most of all that I could never be more honored or proud to be his Wife because he was everything to us and we are not complete without him and every little thing he ever did for us, every kind word, every hug and every second spent with him helps us through life now. I look at our children and I am so thankful I shared them with him because I know they will grow up to be like their Daddy in some way, Jesse with his humor and need to make everyone happy and for continuing the tradition of Barons much followed 24hr rule, Jack with his desire to pull everything apart and put it back together and his quick wit, Audrey and his expensive taste and leadership skills, Grace with that beautiful cheeky grin that would make her daddies heart melt and lets everyone know not to ask any questions and a mind that is constantly thinking of new schemes and ideas. Without Baron, this world is missing a large piece of personality that could make everyone smile. We miss him so much."
Corey Shanaberger of September 16th, 2006

"September 13, 2006
Just a few short months ago, I had the honor of attending the Dedication of the Shanaberger Military Police Complex at FT Bragg NC.
Today I attended an Officer Basic Graduation here at FT Leonard Wood Missouri. The Guest speaker for the graduating Officer Basic class was LTC(P) Randy Twitchell. He spoke to the new 2LT's graduating today about COURAGE~
Baron...The name Shanaberger rang through the auditorium today...your story was heard ...
Your our Hero always...
Your photo sits in our home.. we will never forget you.
Love, thoughts, prayers, and hugs to Corey and the kids...and to Baron's sweet parents~ We love you."
Melissa Quantock of FT Leonard Wood, MO

"this is kesleay, his necie and i loved him very much!!! he was the nicests man on the planet!!!!!!! he is in my heart and prays!!!!!!1"
kesleay shanaberger of naples, florida/usa

"I had the absolute privilege to serve as the medic for the 258th MP Co, Ft Polk, LA and everyone one of it's fine soldiers during it's deployment to Bosnia '96 - '97. One soldier I always looked up to was SGT Shanaberger. I was only a PFC at the time and he was what an NCO was supposed to be. I never saw such hard work and dedication as I did with the NCO's of the 258th, however, SGT Shanaberger set the example and led the way. I have since served a year on the DMZ in S. Korea '01 - '02 and a tour in Al Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq '03. I have recently been promoted to Staff Sergeant and I wanted to find the NCO that inspired me the most to be my best. I did not know until recently that he gave his life for his country. His legacy just inspires me more. I know everyone is saying how good of a soldier he was, but I want everyone to know the reason I wanted to look him up, now that I am a SSG, is because he upheld the NCO Creed to the letter. No one was more professional than he. He put his soldiers first. He was, and in my eyes still is, the model NCO. Everytime I look at the Stars and Stripes that fly outside my Armory and where ever I see an American Flag flying with pride, I see him. I never met his wife and I never met his children. I only remember his Ford Ranger pickup. Ma'am, I have so much respect for you. You picked a great husband and I am certain that he picked the cream of the crop when he asked you to marry him. Children, keep your daddy's memories alive. He was too valuable of a person, soldier, and NCO to let them go.

If I can be of any help for whatever reason, be it large or small, please count on me. I will do the best for him since he did the best for everyone else.

SSG Kevin F. "Doc" Kirk
CMB, Iraqi Vet
DET 1, 1844th Transportation Company
1801 Wall Street
Beardstown, IL 62618

The world doesn't realize how great of a person it has lost."
SSG Kevin F. "Doc" Kirk of Ft. Polk, LA & Beardstown, IL

"I served in Korea with SFC Shanaberger He was my Platoon Sergent and I was one of his team leaders. He pinned sergent rank on me 11 Sep 01. I would never have guessed the terror attacks on that day would lead to the loss of my friend and mentor 3 years later. I learned alot about leadership and life from him. Alot of life altering events happened in my life while I was serving in Korea with SFC Shanaberger that he helped me through by sharing advice and a shoulder to lean on. My wife gave birth to twins while I was over thats when I found out Wentz had twins also my Grandfather died shortly after and Wentz was the one who told me news and also the one who helped me return back to the US for the funeral. In the few months I got to know him he helped me through alot and also taught me alot. He pretty much became the older brother I never had. He will be missed."
Philip Walling of State College PA

"Today is the day that I lost my son and since then I have found so much peace and love from those of you that knew him or total strangers. Once again I want to thank you Tim for this site and to each of you that took a moment to share your thoughts. The pain of our loss has not lessen yet each of you have given me comfort. I do not know of any way to express my gratitude. I visit this site often when I can not sleep or when I start feeling loss and it always helps me find my way back. Thanks again to all of you."
Cheryl Shanaberger of Ft. Pierce, Fl, USA

"What Asome Noncommision Officer a Leader of American Soldiers What a Great Menitor and Friend .I sever with this AIRBORNE NCO and because of Him and making sure I knew mission Iraq is why I was able to returned .God Bless You and your soul and Family and Friends and your AIRBORNE SOLDIERS ."
SSG Principe II of Fort Drum , NY

"I was one of the 2 other soldiers in the vehicle with SFC Shanaberger on March 24th, 2004. The other was SGT Frain, at the time a PFC. I was his driver that day, Frain the gunner. SFC Shanaberger was killed in action not more than 5 to 10 feet from me. That day I witnessed first hand the price of freedom. SFC Shanaberger believed in our mission, and our country. Because of SFC Shanaberger's action's and sacrifice, Frain and I survived even though we were both wounded. I met with Mrs. Shanaberger about 2 weeks later after I was shipped back to the states to recover. I could only stay strong for her and hold back the tears as she asked me about what had happened.
SFC Shanaberger was a hero. He saved many lives that day, not just 2. He emboddied what it meant to be an NCO, a proffesional, a soldier. He was hardcore, because he wanted all of his soldiers to never quit. But behind all that, most importantly, he was a husband and a father, who loved his wife and kids more than anything.
Against Mrs. Shanabergers best wishes, I returned to Iraq to rejoin my unit. I not only returned to Iraq for my unit and myself, but also for SFC Shanaberger. As I remembered SFC Shanaberger, I thought about the Warriors Ethos. He always placed the mission first. He never accepted defeat and never wanted his soldiers to quit. And I, didn't want to leave a fallen comrade.
I will always remember SFC Shanaberger, his lovely wife Corey and his family. You will be missed, and you will never be forgotten."

"Our hero "Wentz" can never be replaced just remembered and admired for the great soldier he was. Corey, please know I am here for you whatever and when ever you need me. Wentz was a tough guy but jello when it came to you. Jessie, I know you were his boy. I watched him teach you how to swim, fish, drive and many other things we can discuss when you are older and he was very proud of everything you did, pass on the wisdom and values that he showed you to your sisters and brother and you will all continue to make him proud. Your Dad is my hero and I will always be there for you, your Mom and Grace, Jack and Audrey."
Andy Petrovic of Houston TX

"Corey, my name is Ken Graham. I served with Wentz at Fort Polk I was the crazy Chemical NCO. You may remember my wife Melony. I want to pass on my condelences to you and your family and the Military Police community. While serving with Wentz in the 258th MP Company (SOLDIER HARD) I had a great time knowing and working with him. He was the craziest MP I ever met but more importantly and with out a doubt an awesome NCO. The last time I saw him was at McKellars Lodge at Fort Bragg, during lunch. I believe he was sitting down with a few other Paratroopers. We saw each other and hugged and shoke hands. He told me he was in route to the sand box and I told him that I was right behind him. He was a great friend and will be sadly missed. I wish I could be half the NCO that he was.
Corey, Melony and I wish you and the kids the best. Airborne All the Way!!

MSG Ken Graham of Warren, Ohio


"I met Wentz while my husband Jeremy Trejo was stationed with him at Fort Polk. My memories of him are hilarious. Of all of you, Ted, Jimmy and your wives and children. I thought immediately of all the cookouts and keggers Wentz and Corey had at their place and of how much fun we all had. Jere passed away last year but not before learning that Wentz had been killed in Iraq. He was deeply hurt by the news and tried several times to find a way to contact Corey. I hope that Corey and the children are well and I wish them everything wonderful life might give them. Wentz once told me my ears were so big that I looked like a cab going down the street with the doors open. I loved that about him, and he was right. wendytrejo702@hotmail.com"
Wendy M. Trejo of Bettendorf, IA

"I recently found out about your lost. I am sad to see that a dear friend has pass. I know he is missed by many. My heart breaks."
Eris Washington-White of Fort Polk, LA

"SFC Shanaberger was my platoon sargaent in Iraq. He truley loved his job, and took care of his own. I was severely injured in Iraq on Aug 31, and I know he is one of the reasons I am still here now, able to write this message. Corey thanx for the letter, that was an honor to me!!"
SGT Manning of Ft Bragg

"SFC Shanaberger was my Platoon Sergeant up until his death in Iraq. I will never forget how unreal the news of his death was. The night before we talked for probably an hour about what I could do to be a better leader...two days later while inventoring his personal items with supply to send home I came upon a counseling he had recieved before when he was in BNCOC years earlier..I know it was wrong but something told me to read it...it said exactly what he had told me the night before he died. Immediately I knew that without a doubt this was a true leader, who wanted nothing more than his soldiers to succeed and stay alive over there. My wife correspondes with Corey VIA email but I have never spoken to Corey. I dont know what to say to her..maybe if she sees this she will understand how much her husband meant to all of us and how, I know that his legacy will live on forever."
SSG Jed Warnock of Fort Bragg NC

"I had not spoken to Wentz for 3 years until October 2003 we knew each other from Hawaii. I could not beleive what happened to him when I found out last week. My first thoughts are for his Wife Corey and their kids Jessie, Jack, Audrey and Grace. The last conversation I had with Wentz was about his family and how happy they were in NC. He kept telling me in his boasting tone about the "rugrats" as he called them and I could hear him talking to the "rugrats" in the back ground. Corey, I remember when he first meet you and he told me the next day he was going to marry you. Many times he said how lucky he was to have you as his Wife, you were a true support to him and are a perfect example to all military spouse how to survive in this role. I pray everyday for your family and I know Wentz is above looking over us all. He was a influence in my life I have never forgotten and I feel very honored to call him my friend."
B. H. Hannels of Honolulu, HI

"I left the 21st MP Co.(ABN) shortly before SFC Shanaberger took over 4th platoon, but I was told by many that he was a wonderful person and a great senior NCO. I wish that I had a chance to meet him, or better yet, work with him. My deepest condolences to the family and friends of SFC Shanaberger. God bless. AIRBORNE!!"
SSG Joseph C. Bockin III of Brussels, Belgium

"I was stationed with Baron in Hawaii. He was a great friend and an outstanding soldier who always went above and beyond. I returned from Iraq in December 2003 and was devastated to read Baron's name in my VFW magazine. I will always remember the days Baron and I spent on the Ft Shafter SWAT team, both he and I getting in "trouble" together, being yelled at by SSG Willie Stokes, and the BBQ's at his house. I will always remember the laughs that we had together. My prayers and condolences go to his wife, children, parents, family and friends. I thank you for his service and his sacrifice."
SSG Erik A. Miller of Aberdeen, MD; B Troop 1/158th Air Cav

"I only met Baron a few times...I was the childrens babysitter when they were at Ft Polk....My prayers go out to them to have strength to live a full life and remember their dad with love and respect....Corey is a wonderful mom...I know she will continue to do what her and Baron started together....we miss you and the kids Corey.....Rest in Peace brave soldier."
Brenda Dearmon of Rosepine Louisiana

"To The family and Friends Of SSgt Shanaberger:
My name is Craig Weinbaum. I recently ordered a bracelet from Hero Bracelets .org . When I recieved my Bracelet, the name of SSgt Shanaberger and the date of his passing appeared on it. By coincidence his residence is listed as Naples Florida. I am a Firefighter for the East Naples Fire Dept. I have worn my bracelet every day. Each day when I put it on I feel a sense of honor and pride that few things in my life have ever offered. I wish to thank you all for your sacrifice. Also I thank everyone who has written a message here as your memories of SSgt Shanaberger have made this Bracelet one of my most Cherrished possesions. May God Bless You All."
Firefighter Craig Weinbaum of Naples ,Fl/USA

"Baron was one of two of my best friends
I had growing up. In High School he was the biggest joker and most interesting person I had ever known. He myself and Aaron Boone spent countless hours camping out and prepairing for our future military careers. We were all in JROTC and Civil Air Patrol together and were rarely separated. We had big dreams and plans of being warriors and hoped that we would one day get the chance to prove ourselves in combat just as Baron's father Butch did in Vietnam. We were closer than brothers and would do anything for the others causes. Me and Aaron stayed in contact but we drifted apart from Baron when he joined the Army. I always thought that there would be time for us to get together when we were old men and tell embelished stories of our careers and acomplishments. He was the luckiest person I have ever met. He always somehow got out of any mess that could be imagined with confidence and a smile. He was truly special and I will regret forever not trying harder to keep in contact with him. I currently serve in the Marine Corps in Japan and deeply regret not being home for his funeral. Not in our wildest dreams did we think any of us would be awarded the Bronze Star or the Silver Star and now my lifelong friend has both of them. He is always in my thoughts these days and I long for the day when I will see him again in heaven, (he could always talk his way into anything he wanted)and tell our war stories and laugh about all the old times we shared. I would trade places with him in a second and his sacrifice will never be forgotten by those who knew him.
Trevor Gray SSGT USMC of Okinawa, Japan

"I just read an article about Staff Sgt. Wentz Baron Shanaberger in the Cincinnati Post. I often hear from family and friends and strangers that firefighters are heros. As a Cincinnati firefighter I can humbly say that he is the TRUE HERO. God bless him and his family."
Robert Howell of Cincinnati, Ohio

I miss you. I will never forget the time you figured out how to pick up the local television station on our SINCGARS radio and thought it would be funny to transmit fake news messages over the radio-- only to have your voice picked up by everyone in Leeseville watching that station. We had fun times."
CPT Bill Parrish of Amarillo, Tx

"Corey, Jesse, your children I hadn't the chance to meet, and Mrs. Shanaberger,
I offer my deepest condolences to you all. I served with Baron for two years at Fort Polk and have met you all except for Baron and Corey's youngest children. I'm also sorry for not staying in touch. Baron and I had a very competitive but healthy relationship with one another when we were team and squad leaders together in the same platoon. I believe we pushed each other to the greatest lengths. My best memories of Baron was his commitment to the mission and his soldiers as well as his unrelenting will to improve. I vividly remember him with his nose in a manual or his trusty Ranger Handbook. He's had a positive influence on many Soldiers over the years and from reading the testimonies of his recent soldiers he continued that behavior until his last day. I just found out about Baron's death last week and I'm still in shock. I can't believe it happened to him. I'm proud to be a part of his life and he will always be a part of mine. He is a great American and you whe be dearly missed."
CPT Ted Hanger of Broken Bow, NE Nebraska Army National Guard

"Wentz and I were both stationed together at Ft. Polk. We served as team and squad leaders together. He was always a true professional. Always teaching soldiers. I myself have learned alot from him. I will never forget you. Wentz you were a true friend."
SFC Jimmy J. Stogner of Baghdad, Iraq

"Wentz “Baron” Shanaberger is my cousin. I use the word “is” because he will always live in my heart. Although time has passed since his death I still think of him often. It is hard to believe that he is gone. Baron was the cutest little boy. He had the brightest eyes and the deepest laugh. When you saw him coming you could see the wheels turning in his brain. He was so full of life and a joy to be around. He made his family so proud of his service to the Army and his country. Rest with the angels, Baron. I love you!"
Jeanne Shanaberger Hayden of Farmville, VA

"I didn't know SSG Shanaberger but I was there moments after he was killed. I was part of the quick reaction force for that area. We rolled up on the scene while his unit was still there. I believe he had already been evacuated. I was told there were 3 other soldiers wounded in the attack. We secured the area and searched for any remaining enemy. I personally searched the bodies of the dead enemy and their car. His death bothered me because it was the first time I was involved where another American had been killed. I was so angry. I will never forget his name and I'm sorry I never got to meet him."
SSG Eric Hunt of Newburgh, NY

"I am Wentz's Aunt. I have always called him Baron. When first hearing of my nephew's death in Iraq, I was stunned and immediately thought of my brother and his dear wife, Cheryl, and all the agony that they faced in the loss of a son. I keep Baron's wife, Corey and her Children, Baron's first born, Scotty, and Baron's brother, Niles in my daily prayers. You were an honor to your country, your family, and your fellow soldiers. It broke my heart to have my last letter to Baron returned unopened."
June Shanaberger Derr of Reston, VA

"I am Wentz's mother. I just want to thank you Tim for this web site. Also, to everyone that has taken time to write of my son. Thank you. Thank you. Each message brings comfort to my heart. We must continue and go on, my son did not believe in failure."
Cheryl Shanaberger of Florida

"I served with Wentz in Hawaii and we became very close while together there. I am very sorrowed by this news. Thank you for your sacrifice!"
Brian Goad of Knoxville, TN

"Dear Cheryl Shanaberger & Family -

I was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of your son. I never knew your son but have known you for a long time. He must of been a remarkable young man with a great mother like you. Please let me know if you ever need to talk, I will be glad to listen. God Bless You!"
Nancy Payette of Port St. Lucie, FL, USA

"I dont think I met a soldier who liked being a soldier more than he. Wentz had fun doing what MP's do and he was as confident as a hero could be. Im so very sorry you had to leave us early. You certainly are a hero."
Kevin Ahlemeir of 519th MP, Ft. Polk 1998-2001

"My name is SFC Hess. I was roommates with then SPC Shanaberger while station at Schofield Barracks HI. I was just a PV2 then but he took me under his wing and helped me through the hard times. He was always there to lend a hand, even to move me and my wife into our first apartment together. My regret is that I never kept in touch with him over the years. As I read all of the messages from other individuals I realize just what kind of soldier and NCO is was. My heart goes out to his family. The country owes him and his family a huge debt. SFC Shanaberger is a true hero. Thanks Baron."
SFC Michael L. Hess of Ft. McPherson, GA

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

"SFC Shanaberger was my platoon SGT in the 21st MP Co. (ABN) for only a short period of time. In that time I was able to see what it took to lead a group of soldiers. He was dedicated to all of his soldiers and took care of them. I was sent to him from another platoon. I was worried about being sent to another platoon being that it was right before the unit was about to deploy. Once I got to the platoon I knew I was going to be taken care of. SFC Shanaberger had that way about him he made everyone feel apart of the team. He was confident in everything he did. I want to thank SFC Shanaberger and his family for all their hard work and dedication. THANK YOU! To all the soldiers that served with SFC Shanaberger never forget he will never stop watching over his soldiers."

""A HERO" not just as a soldier, more importantly to me "A HERO" as a man, husband and father to our amazing children. Our lives will never be the same without him but we have to be very greatful for the time we did have with him. He was doing what he loved and he believed 100% in the mission. Thank you to all the wonderful friends and family that we now have surrounding us and to everyone who has passed on messages. A great man has gone but will never be forgotten."
Corey Shanaberger WIFE of Fayetteville NC

"I was just informed this a.m. of the death of my former roommate in Korea, SFC Wentz Shanaberger III. A true hero and role model for all soldiers. My heart goes to his family. I will miss you buddy."
SSG Michael Huitema of Yankton SD

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

"My deepest sympathies to the Shanaberger Family and to the 21st Military Police Company (Airborne). You have lost a noble man,Husband, Father, great leader, and mentor.
SFC Shanaberger always could make one laugh. He was and is a true paratrooper, dedicated to the Army values and defending our way of life. I was fortunate enough to have made his aquantince while loitering in the S-3 shop at BDE. He was always good for a laugh. He will be missed my many"
SSG Matthew Hom of Schweinfurt GE

"Heavenly Father - We approach You today because You have called us to be a people of prayer.

We praise You because You are our Creator, our Redeemer and our Provider.

We acknowledge our great need for You as we fulfill our mission as soldiers.

We have been called to serve our nation as Military Police and we are proud of the honored heritage of the Regiment and our motto: Of the Troops and For the Troops.

Whether we are fighting an enemy, securing as area, patrolling the streets, or helping someone in distress, help us, O Lord, to always be men and women of integrity who can be counted on to do the right thing.

Give us the strength to stand for what is right and to oppose those who would do harm to our nation and the people we serve.

May we always be truthful in Word, Deed and Signature, and bring honor through our service to the memory of those in the Regiment who gave the supreme sacrifice for their country.

Guide us now, Father, by giving us wisdom and knowledge from on high, that as Military Police we will always be prepared to Assist, Protect and Defend."
m.d of alturas, ca, usa

"SSG Shanaberger was an outstanding soldier, and a born leader. Easily one of the best NCO's that I had the privilage of working with. My heart goes out to the family and friends of SSG Shanaberger, and I hope God grants them the fortitude to continue on through this hard time."
SGT Paul Jones of 984th Military Police Company, Fort Carson, Colorado

"I am proud to say that I served under him in Korea. He was my platoon sargeant, and I will always remember him. He was a born leader and always pushed his soldiers to meet their true potential. Although his loss is a tragedy to the army and to everyone who knew him, I know that he died doing what he loved and was born to do. He was never one to sit back and wait for things to happen; he made things happen. My heart goes out to his family."
Katie Woodruff ( GERARD) of Ft Worth, TX

"My deepest sympathy to the Shanaberger family for their loss. Heroes are not defined by how they have died, but by how they have lived and served...I wish I could have met him."
John E. Zabrucki, MSgt, USAF (cousin) of MacDill AFB, Fla.

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

""It is always the best and bravest who die"-JFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis
I served with SFC Shanaberger in Korea. While I was not in the Bushmaster platoon I benefitted both from his experience and can-do winner attitude. My heart goes out to his loved ones. May God grant you peace and understanding in the wake of such a hearfelt loss."
SGT Christopher Caley of Darmstadt, Germany

"Wentz III, I only knew you as Baron. I am proud to call you my family and proud of what you stood for. Your life although taken from us too soon, is not to be taken lightly. You gave your life protecting our country which you did every day, the ultimate sacrafice. You are truly a great American Hero in my heart and I am blessed to have known you for even one brief moment. My prayers go to your wife and children. To all the Shanaberger family, my prayers to you all. You my have been taken from us on this earth but you will never be taken from our hearts."
Wanda Hively of St Petersburg, Fl

"My name is SSG James A. Coker. I am stationed at Fort Polk, La 519th MP Bn, 91st MP Det. I served with Wentz in Bosnia and knew him very well. Words can not even begin to describe the sorrow I feel for your family, my fellow peers and he Fort Military Police Community. I have searched for words to try to place this into prospective and even though some came to mind. Even though theses words do not even begin to express my feelings, they are but a small token of my sorrow. May God be with you all and my prays are at your forefront and always will be.

And, when he shall die, Take him and cut him out in little stars, And he will make the face of Heaven so fine That all the world will be in love with night And pay no worship to the garish sun for he who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man. The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper and courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of the final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy. In the great scheme of things, what matters is not how long you live, but why you live, what you stand for, and what you are willing to die for. No one's death comes to pass without making some impression, and those close to the deceased inherit part of the liberated soul and become richer in their humanness. I do not know beneath what sky nor on what seas shall be thy fate; I only know it shall be high, I only know it shall be great.

My deepest and sincere regrets"
SSG James A. Coker of Fort Polk, La

"Thank you for continuing to serve, Wentz. I served with you in Desert Shield and Storm. You paid the ultimate price, and you will not be forgotten"
Laz Phillip of Tampa, FL

"Thank you Wentz Jerome Henry Shanaberger III, 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 Staff Sgt. Wentz Jerome Henry Shanaberger III:
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 Wentz 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 Staff Sgt. Wentz Jerome Henry Shanaberger III:
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 Wentz, 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