Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Lance Cpl. Jonathan R. Spears

21, of Molino, Florida.
Spears died from enemy small-arms fire while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Ar Ramadi, Iraq. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, California. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, his unit was attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). Died on October 23, 2005.

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"Thinking of you again today..you don't understand how much I miss you. Especially now. Soon it will be Memorial Day and people will only be worried about those at the beach..not people like you who never got the change to get out of your uniform.

But I will think of you, and that is all that matters. I love you so so much. Remember me please."
Baby Sis

"Sometimes I wake up and think I smell bacon and eggs, just like I did on my birthday many years ago. That's how you woke me up. And when I am at work and see a Marine walk in the door, something inside me wishes it was you coming home to surprise me. But still to this day, when I hear 21 Guns, I'm that 8 year old girl sitting at your funeral, not fully understanding the pain I had yet to feel. Sometimes I agree with the statement "times heals" but right now, I disagree. Time also breaks because with time comes forget, and with forget comes heart break. I can't remember your voice..your smell..sometimes I feel like I don't remember you at all..

But those moment pass and for that, I am forever grateful. The memories I do have are strong, like how we have the same hands, how you only called me Jennifer, or the first concert we went to and saw Toby Keith. I remember that silver truck you had and the time you made me and Jessie ride in the back and promise not tell mom. I remember watching you graduate and how we unsuccessfully tried to surprise you with the avalanche. I'll always remember playing football in the yard with you and your love for Hillary Duff. I may be forgetting somethings, but I'll never forget you. You're my inspiration, my hope, my faith. Just like the song, you raise me up so I can soar on mountains. I can't wait for the day when I reach the highest mountains and see your face again. 10 years is too long..but soon enough, we will be together forever and nothing can stop us. I love you forever and ever, Bubba. Hope you aren't giving God too much hell up there. But hey, once a Marine, always a Marine right? More importantly, once a brother, always a brother. I love and miss you old man. See you soon enough."

"coming up on 8 years tomorrow Cpl Spears. I enjoyed being in your fire team. Im still up set that they shifted the company around and moved you when we deployed. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of all you guys that where lost. Cpl Spears you where an out standing Marine and leader. I will never forget you or our other brothers lost in battle.
RIP Brother"
leroy prior of Anchorage, AK

"To the family of:Jonathan R. Spears
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 heart goes out to the Family of Jr's. Especially the Dad and sisters.You have lost more then your share in the 6years.I am praying for you all.The world lost a brave, compassionate, and loving person.You will be greatly missed JR always"
Peggy of Pensacola,Florida/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 (6/09/10) of Worthington, OH USA

"i never knew jr but i heard some great storys about him i want to say thank u jr for what u did ur mom told me i remembender her of u that was the last thing ur mom ever told me before leaving and come to see u i miss both of yall every day i try to come visti yall when i am at young marines u and ur mom rest easy now ill see both yall soon enuf.......... cpl steven rhodes young marine post pensacola semper fi fly high with the angles"
steven rhodes of milton FL

"We are in the process of painting cpl.jr spears mustang,may god bless his family and hopefully they will be pleased for the way it turns out,thank u for what u do for our country."
Jeff wells of pensacola fl

"I had the Privilege to serve with your son,in my second tour and my heart goes out to you."
Brian Mackail Sgt. 3/7 India co. of Orlando fl

"Hey, Bubba. I dont know what all to say, but I love you, and miss you so much. I am always thinking of you. Thankyou for everything you have done for me. You have been the best brother I could ever ask for.

Love you so much,
your baby sister,"
Jessie Spears of Molino, FL USA

"September 29, 2008
To the family of Lance Cpl. Jonathan R. Spears:
Jonathan 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 family of Jonathan Spears, I send you my sympathies and a wish for a Happy THANKSGIVING. After a wonderful Memorial Day service at our church, First Baptist, Orlando, I picked up a flag that had been planted in an ajoining field and Jonathan's name was on it. I have been praying for his family and wanted to get in touch with you. I know the holidays are difficult, as mine are since I became single. But a new song was released a short time ago that helped put things in a better perspective for me. It's called "THANKFUL" sung by Josh Groban and goes like this:
Some days we forget to look around us
Some days we can't see the joy that surrounds us
So caught up inside ourselves
We take where we should give
So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be
And on this day we hope for
What we still can't see
It's up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There's so much to be thankful for.....

I know that I wouldn't have the freedoms I have now if it wasn't for men like Jonathan. And that I am thankful for."
Roxanne Britt of Apopka, Fla. USA

"I have had the privilege of meeting JR's family after his death. I live about 5 miles from his family and I own a sign company and when I heard of his death didn't know what to say to his family so, I made a banner and put out by the main highway just to remind everyone when they see the banner to say a prayer for our fallen hero and his family. About a week later JR's mom and dad (Marie & Tim) came to my house to thank me for the banner. Since then we've kept in touch they are great people and I know that our community angel (JR) is in heaven watching us cope down here and all of us need to continue to pray for our soliders and their families. JR, I know you can hear us, your struggle is over I know you are in heaven so, you always stay on our shoulders and watch for us so, we can meet one day. I'll continue to stay friends with your family, meeting them I know why you grew up to be the young man you were."
Theresa Grice of Cantonment ,Florida / USA

"I miss you man, and will never forget all the good times we had. Keep the noles spirts up I know you are on the sideline of every game. Till we meet again bro.."
Gregory Dixon of Covington Ky

"I received an email about Kaziah Hancock, the artist, and was so proud to see her portrait of J.R. It was so beautiful and that smile was just him! He was at my house on numerous times during high school with my son, Jason Reed. To his parents, you raised a wonderful son, He was ALWAYS polite and respectful. You can rest in that you did a great job. We are all so very proud of him and all the service men and women who are giving their lives to provide freedom to all. May God continue to watch over you and may your heart heal."
Susan Chambers of Cantonment Florida

"I typed in my name on a search bar and this popped up....It really shook me up because we have the same name and we were around the same age when he died. I dont know you and never will jonathan, but I want to thank you for your service. People are finally getting a taste of freedom because of brave young men and women like you...Thank You and rest in peace."
Jonathan D Spears of Cincinnati, OH


"To my fellow offensive lineman.. Boy did we have great fun together, Aggie camp, two a days, running stadiums on game day because we couldn't stop talking. Man every time I see an American flag I think about you man. You are not only a hero to me but to our nation. I miss you man but I know you in a much better place. Smile down on me Spears. Best wishes to your family. JJ#88"
JJ Purifoy of Cantonment, FL

Its seems like yesterday i seen your smiling face in the locker room joking around with the guys, You know you will forever be in our hearts. everyday i patrol the streets of pensacola your with me, I love bro!!!!!!"
Solomon Sutton, PPD of pensacola FL,USA

"J.R. I cant believe it has been a year. It just seems like yesterday we were doing two-a-days at Tate. Everyday I thank God for men like you. And to the entire Spears family it was a honor to have known your son. J.R. your memory will never fade."
Petty Officer Michael Ducker of Brunswick Maine

"It's been a year now and not a day goes by that I don't think about you and what a truly WONDERFUL person you were. Not many people leave that kind of impact, but you did. I haven't stopped thinking about you and doubt very seriously that I ever will. We love you and miss you."
Blair Hardy of Richmond, Virginia

"Never met him or knew anything about him, but I am truly saddened to hear about his death. For a moment my family thought that it was me that had died. We shared the same name with different spellings. I will always remember the ultimate sacrifice that Jonathan gave for as long as I live"
Johnaton Spears of Apex, NC

"My name is Cpl Hadziomerovic. I had a privilege to serve with J.R. during my second tour.The whole town came to say good-bye.That tells me everything that I didn't know about you.Until we meet again brother.Semper Fi."
Cpl Hadziomerovic 3/7 of Atlanta,GA

"I miss you man. You are the best neighbor I could have had in the Marine Corps."
Carlos of Hailey,Id, US

"I dont know much, I dont know you, I dont know your family, hell im just a 16 year old kid. But when i saw this site and that you died fighting for the freedoms that i enjoy every day, i had to just leave you a message. My fondest condolences to your family for your passing. Thank you though, thank you more than you know"
Sam of Orange Coutny, CA


"To the family of JR, may god bless you."
Cpl Brooks L. Sanderson of MCAS New River, NC

"To the family of Lcpl Spears. My name is CPl Paul Tebedo and i served and trained Jonathan while i was in the marines. My deepest sympothys go out to his family he was of the finest quality as a man and as a marine. Even though i was his superior he was allways and will allways be considered my friend. there will never be another marine like him. Good bye my friend."
Cpl Paul Tebedo of Colorado Springs Co.

Our time was too short together. I miss you every day, but the memories help me through it. For almost a year, you were my entire life. I know that you are in a better place now, and I can't wait to see you again someday. Love ya."
Rachel of Arlington Heights, IL

"My Husband, Cpl. Maynard was in the same group with Spears. They were in Iraq together Spears' first time, which was my husbands second and last, he got out in July '05. Well, I lived in 29 Palms from January to June of '05 and I had the opportunity to know and hang out with Spears lots of weekends. He was just a really fun loving person that was always the life of a party. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him! My upmost sympathy goes out to his family!"
Misty Maynard of Brenham, Texas

""If the Army and the Navy ever looked on heaven's scene, they will find the streets are guarded by the United States Marines"....Ill see you on the other side Bro"
Cpl. Derek Sanderson of Iraq

"Many condolences upon the loss of this fine young man. May he rest in peace, and may warm memories be a source of comfort always."

"To the people that ever knew JR are blessed, those who never did missed out on a great man, a great friend, a great Marine and a great leader. JR and i were boots together in second platoon in OIF II. He has left a gap in the Marines that will never be filled and a part of me that will always be filled with our memories."
Kelsey Smith 3/7 India of Ar Ramadi, Iraq

"To the family and friends of Lance Corporal Jonathan R. Spears,

Those we hold most dear, never truly leave us. May you find comfort in love's everlasting connection.

In the Support section of this web site you will find links to many groups that support you at this crucial time. The Marine Comfort Quilt group would be honored to send a quilt to the next of kin. There are many, loving and caring Americans from all over the United States that will never forget the sacrifice that your loved one has made for our Freedom. If you're not certain that your loved one's next of kin is registered, please use our link and register them for a quilt so we can send our "Love Stitched Together."

Proud Marine Mom and Proud Member of Marine Comfort Quilts "
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, California USA

"The Spears Family, I would like to send you our deepest sympathy. JR will be missed. JR is truly a Hero and will never be forgotten."
Shannon Abbott James of Woodstock, GA

"Spears, Im so greatful for the times we talked. It is a blessing that I knew you at all. You were a true angel and will be greatly missed."
Jessica Huntoon of Georgetown Texas, USA

"Spears was a good kid, and a great Marine. Good luck up stairs Buddy
Joe Visarraga 3/7 I co. Wpns Plt"

""And when he gets to Heaven, to St. Peter he will tell, one more Marine reporting Sir, I've served my time in Hell." Guard those Golden Streets well, Marine. No one who has ever passed this way is in better company."
G.H. Shuler, Cpl., USMC, Vietnam, of Milton, FL

All I can say is that I, personally, could not be any prouder of you. Although you are no longer with us, you will never be forgotten, and what you did for your country will never be forgotten. I praise you for your bravery, for fighting for your country, with total disregard for you own well being. You are a good man, and will be deeply missed. I know how proud your family is of you, as am I and the rest of your friends."
Paul "Bull" Konecny of Pensacola, FL

you will truly be missed and will always be loved. what can i say.. you were my first love and i will always remember the good times we shared. even though we weren't together for that long it was a blessing to have you in my life. you helped me through the roughest time in my life and i thank you for that. i remember when you told me that the military would make you a better man.. but in all truth you were always a good man. you had a loving heart. you were a true hero and for that we will always remember you . you are in my prayers forever. i love you."
Erika Craft of Cantonment, FL

"J.R., I am so proud of everything you have done for us. You are the ultimate friend and hero! I will never forget all of our memories we had from school to now. You were a great friend and I will never forget you. I'll see you again one day. We Love You!"
Ryan Spikes of Pensacola, Fl, Escambia

"Tim,Marie,Mrs.Mary,and the rest of the family. My heart was saddened of the news,that J.R paid the ultimate sacrifice for the preservation of our freedom and I know he was proud to serve his country. My heart felt condolences to the family, J.R. will always be a hero. May God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ comfort you at this time of your great loss."
Mike Hardie of Conyers, Georgia/United States

"Jonathan, you have paid the ultimate sacrifice and you will not be forgotten. To the family and friends, we share your loss and your pain. Our Marine Jeremiah Baro was lost on 11/4/04 and it will be a year next week and still feels like yesterday. Peace and love to you and yours, keep your family and friends close - they will be of comfort to you in the coming days. Jonathan Spears is among the other fallen heroes; the brave and honorable always in heaven."
K Ledesma of Folsom, CA

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

"Rest in Peace Tufelhunden.You are together w/ my brother in heaven.
Anyone that is family to this young Marine or knows how to reach his family, please email me at tnt4kps@yahoo.com VERY IMPORTANT
Sister of a Fallen Marine
J and T USMC"

"JR...IT's hard to know what to say. I will always remember New Years at my house while you and Chris where at SOI. It was truely an honor to have met you and become your friend. Thank you for being a friend, a Marine, and a true hero. I will miss you always. Semper Fidelis"
Jason Deane of Annapolis, MD USA

"Thank you JR for everything you ever did for me. You were a wonderful friend and I shared unforgettable times with you. To all of his friends and family: forever cherish the memories of JR, as long as you remember, he will always be in your heart. Thank you for giving so unselfishly of yourself; you are truly a hero. You will be terribly missed!"
Jen of Greenville, NC

"To the family of Jonathan Spears:

With great respect I send this message. Some people say that with time that pain will go away, but I don't believe that whole inside can ever be completely filled. I wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of your family and I'm praying for your comfort. JONATHAN truly is a hero. I am grateful for his sacrifice. This country does offer each of us freedom, yet these freedoms don't come free. They come at a very high cost. Iím proud to be an American and Iím proud of Jonathanís dedication to our country.

ďTrust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.Ē Proverbs 3:5-6

Evelyn of Madison, WI

"To the Family and Friends of Jonathan Spears,

I am so sorry for your loss. My friend lost her son in Ramadi on Memorial Day, and I vowed on that day that I would not forget ANY of our heroes who die there. And I especially will not forget your son who died on my birthday. It is the hardest thing a mother ever does, to send a child off to the military. But what pride we have when they come home that first time all grown up and excited about reaching for their destiny. Your son is a hero and will not be forgotten!
With Sympathy, Roni McFadden, mother of DC2 Shane McFadden, NAS Pensacola"
McFadden Family of Willits, CA

"To The Family Of LCpl Jonathan Spears

Please accept my deepest condolences at the loss of your Marine. He is one of our Nations Heroes.

Your loved one has left behind a thousand memories that will live in your hearts forever Ö. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

My fond respects to you and yours,
Proud Mom of LCpl. James Hopper 3/7 Lima Co."
Mary Jo Vermilyea of Ironton, Ohio

"Thank you Jonathan Spears, 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 Lance Cpl. Jonathan Spears:
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 Jonathan 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 Lance Cpl. Jonathan Spears:
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 Jonathan, 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