Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army 1st Lt. Brian D. Slavenas

30, of Genoa, Illinois.
Slavenas was on board a CH-47 Chinook Helicopter when it went down in Al Fallujah, Iraq. The cause of the incident is unknown and an investigation is underway. He was assigned to F Company, 106th Aviation Battalion, Army National Guard, Peoria, Illinois. Died on November 2, 2003.

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""To the family of 1Lt Brian Slavenas, I was blessed to have met and flown with Brian and CW4 Bruce Smith and their crew many times in Iraq in 2003. As the Commander of Army Materiel Command, Iraq, they flew me from Balad to my log outposts from Mosul to Al Asaad to Tikrit and Camp Victory. He was an outstanding Soldier who always made the passengers feel welcome on his Chinook. I think of him, the crew and those Soldiers very often, but especially on Memorial Day. It was an honor to have served with him. God Bless him and his entire extended family"
Robert Spidel, COL USA (Ret) of Grayson, Georgia USA

"I am so grateful for all your messages and for your love and appreciation of Brian for his dedication and for his decency."
Rosemarie Slavenas, Brian's mom of DeKalb, IL, USA

"I am so grateful for all your messages and for your love and appreciation of Brian for his dedication and for his decency."
Rosemarie Slavenas, Brian's mom, of DeKalb, IL, USA.

"Lt. I am very proud to have served beside you in Iraq. When you flew in or out it was amazing to see that chopper. You will always be remembered in my heart as the gentle giant. Thank you for my freedom. 368th Engineers CBTHV."
SSG James E. Mumford Jr of West Rutland VT

"Congress wanted an excuse to bail out large failing banks with RBS., Phen375 Discount, 8-((, Phen375 Dosage, yizu,"

"When I came home on my leave, you were only about 5 years old Brian. The Vietnam War was ending. My sister(s) baby-sat for you. I knew your brother better than you only because he was older. Damn it hurt losing you. I stuck out the active and reserve for over two decades. Of all? Your sacrifice, hit me the hardest. Crap. I'm crying..."
(SFC) Dennis C Stott of Ellsworth, IL


"Brian was a young and upcoming pilot that was a wonder person. He was nicknamed the gentle giant, and he sure was. I will never forget the day he personally drove me to one of the CASH in Iraq at breakneck speed because I was in severe pain. I never saw him raise his voice except for that one time when no one seemed to care I was in severe pain. Brian made sure I was taken care of and waited for hours until they determined the cause. I will never forget your selfless service and it is too bad we never got to come back and try out skydiving. Thanks for the memories, you will never be forgotten."
Sgt Adam England of Bloomington, IL

"The Unit I commanded was stationed at Al Asad the same time that Brian unit was. We sat next to each other every night in a meeting. His good nature and sense of humor always managed to lift the spirits in the room. Brain and his unit supported my unit numerous times with supply flights so that we did not have to put convoys on the road. His sacrifices made my Soldiers safer and our mission more effective. I still think of him and his cheery face regularly. I am sorry for your loss. Brain and your family are still regularly in my thoughts and prayers."
Kevin McKiernan of US Army

"November 2, 2008
To the family of 1st Lt. Brian D. Slavenas:
Brian 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

"Brian was my best friend and was supposed to support ted and i in the future, inside joke, still cant believe whAT HAS happend. i miss him sooooo much"
John, The Rossman, Rossi of SYCAMORE, IL

"My prayers go out to your family/. My sister n law was also on that faithful day and its still hard./ I wanted your family to know that our family prays for the peace we all need to feel./ God bless you all"
Mary & Luis Lau of Murrieta, CA

"To the family of:Brian D. Slavenas 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"

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

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

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

"To the Family of 1LT Brian Slavenas:

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

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

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

"As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us,
as we remember them."
Marty Preston of Wisconsin Dells, WI

"Brian "heavy b" slavenas. I miss you man. You were like a brother to me over there. I got your cd i was suppose to make right here. I'll see you again in time brother. I miss you."

"To the family of Brian Slavenas: Brian will be remembered in my heart for the rest of my life as a hero. He is a hero for making the ultimate sacrafice just to make sure that I and every one else in Genoa and the United States would be safe. Brian will never be forgotten."
Michael Satterfield Jr. of Genoa, IL

"I am in Longknife 3rd ACR. LT Slavenas was attatched to my unit at the time of his passing. I am a flight planner and help with the scheduling of flights. I spoke with the LT a few hours before his last flight. He was a cheerful person and always ready to accept every mission we gave him even if it was a long one. I am grateful for all of his service and am proud to have served with one of the best."
SGT Thompson, Shelly of TallAfar, Iraq

"My name is Spc. Thonn and I was part of the 106th aviation at the time of the crash and I just wanted to send my prayers and my love to the families and dear closet friends of the best soldiers in the U.S. Army National Guard in my opinion."
Andy of Moline, IL

"To the family of Brian D. Slavenas,
Thank you for your enormous sacrifice. Thank you, Ron, for coming to the airborne reunion. Never forget that there are a lot of people hurting for you. Please come to know that you will be reunited with Brian. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. 09/04/04 barbid4@yahoo.com"
Ann Marie J. Murray of Carpentersville, Ill USA

"Low Flight"

Dedicated to Brian D. Slavenas

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth,

And Hovered out of Ground Effect on Semi-Ridgid Blades.

Earthward I've Auto'ed, and met the Rising Brush of Non-Paved Terrain;

And done a thousand things you would never care to.

Skidded and Dropped and Flared Low in the Heat Soaked Roar.

Confined there, I've chased the Earthbound Traffic

And Lost the race due to Insignificant Headwinds.

Forward and up a Little in Ground Effect,

I've Topped the Admirals hedge with drooping turns,

Where never SkyHawk nor even Tomcat Flew.

Shaking and Pulling Collective, I've Lumberd

The Low untresspassed Halls of Victor Airways;

Put out my Hand, and Touched a Tree.

Today Brian you Fly with Angels. Thank you for your Dedication and Sacrifice. "Godspeed Lieutenant..."
Dennis B. Dray MAJ (R) ARNG of Tucson AZ

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

"To 1st Lt Slavenas' Family:
Though we are strangers, we want you to know how sorry we are your Brian was taken from you. He is our hero. You are in our hearts. We will never forget."
Carol & Larry Miller of Tampa, Florida (2/24/04)

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

"Rest in peace brave soldier!"
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"Light a candle for your soldier.


"To the family of Brian Slavenas,

I am sorry for your loss. I lost my older brother, Steven Conover, in the same attack. Brian is a hero in my book and he will not be forgotten. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.
Corrie Simpson of Wilmington, Ohio USA

"To the family of Brian,
My wife and I were on temporary duty at Ft Rucker and living upstairs from Brian while he was attending flight school. My wife spoke Polish with Brian's dad who came to visit. We are deeply sadden by Brian's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you nad all the troops still downrange."
Major Kevin A Vizzarri of Ft Hood, TX

"Thank you Brian Slavenas, 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 1st Lt. Brian Slavenas; My most sincere condolances on the loss of your loved one, but also, my deepest gratitude to Brian for paying the ultimate sacrifice for this country's freedom! Without couragious and dedicated people like him, I'm afraid to think what kind of a life my family and I would be living. May God bless you all, and may you be comforted in knowing what a truly loving and giving person Brian really was!"
Kim Lee of Genoa, Il.

"Ron...Nothing is worse than the death of your own child. Nothing can heal that wound. At those staffings in May, I remember how we used to talk about fifth graders finally understanding the idea of response/cost as related to their actions. Brian had to pay too high a cost for responding to the call of his country. He will forever be a hero. Bless you all."
Sara Mitchell of Harvard, Illinois

"To the family and friends of 1st Lt. Brian Slavenas:
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 Brian for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of 1st Lt. Brian Slavenas:
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 Brian, 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