Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph B. Spence

24, of Scotts Valley, California.
Spence died when the CH-53E helicopter he was in crashed near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Died on January 26, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph B. Spence.


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"To the family of:Joseph B.Spence
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""

"We always think of your family and the sadness they have learned to live with."
The Wells Family of USMC

"I never want to forget the sacrifices of so many young men and women. I am so proud it makes me cry. I understand in theory only that war is a part of human nature but so is love and caring. I wish I could take the families 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

Scott E. Steiner of Worthington, OH USA

"January 18, 2009
To the family of Lance Cpl. Joseph B. Spence:
Joseph 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

"I miss you Joe. You were a one of the greatest and most motivating MARINES I ever met."
Brian of Connecticut

"spence was a great friend and even better marine i remember the first time i seen him it was a great feeling that he was going to be one of my Marines I will never forget him or the motovation that he brought to the table i hope you and your daughter are doing very well"

"Joseph the memory of you will last forever you daughter is a very beautiful little girl I remember in Oct 2004, I was helping your wife make some stuff to send to the Marines in 1/3. I know you watch down and protect you little girl and that Good lord has Blessed you with Beautiful wings.

My heart goes out to Liz and your Loving families. Liz I wanted to thank you for everything you did for us 1/3 Charlie Company.

When I found out who husband had fallen I was informed not to contact you but I really wanted to say Thank you and tell you how sorry I was for your loss. I remember being in your home and feeling the Love and looking at all your pictures and seeing how truely connected you are with your husband and it is beautiful. God Bless you and your family!"
Kimberly Johnson 2/3 F of Kaneohe, Hi

"Joe, although we never met I feel like I know you. I got to visit with you wife, Liz and your incredibly beautiful daughter, Providence, yesterday when they stopped by to visit Melanie and James. I know you are watching over them and are so proud of them. Susan, mother of Fallen Hero, HM3 John D. House, killed along Joe, 1/26/05"
Susan L. House of Simi Valley, California

"I miss you Joey"
Mom of Lakeport, CA

"I went to Scotts Valley Middle School with Joey and his brother Tommy, I just found out about this and I'm saddened to hear this. I still hold dear the friendship I had with him. Joey was one of those guys that stood out in the crowd and would do anything for his family or a friend. If I was in the military I wouldn't have wanted anyone else but him on my side. God bless and thank you for your sacrifice."
Alvaro Bazan of Scotts Valley, CA

"Looking forward to that day when Christ shall call us home, is not always easy. When some one is gone you always realize there is so much you left unsaid, and its hard to let it go. Lately I've thought alot about Joey (mostly remembering the feed store days) and late at night I somtimes wonder if he's looking down on us shaking his head saying I get it guys, I see the big picture. May Christ give you peace. Our prayers are with you. Never forget the fallen for the fallen did not forget us."
Aaron of ID

"Joe; I met you by chance before you entered the Marine Corps.Our VFW Post places flags at Oakwood Cemetary on Memorial day. It is my detail inherited from another vet buried at Oakwood. I went to the church service and the burial ceremony representing the United Veterans Council and American Legion Post 64.I will promise you and your family that an American Standard will be placed at your burial site and a slow hand salute and prayer of reverence will be delivered by this former Compant Gunny, for as long as I draw breath in this county. You have honored all Americans with your service and sacrafice. God speed and Semper Fi Joe. I will always be faithful to you and your family. Liz and Providence, Let me know if I can do anything more. God bless you both."
Dennis G.V. Murawsky, dgvm@surfnetusa.com of Santa Cruz, CA, USA

"I found out about Joesph spence by picking up a ceramic star from the "diamonds in the sky" project. After a google search I came her and learned more about this young man. His star sits on my desk and gives me a small perspective about all the sacrifices that were made one man at a time.
Thank you Joseph for your dedication for helping so many people you will never meet, and asking nothing in return. Semper FI"
klaus larsen of mill valley, ca

"""As a veteren of K Co 3/3 and a very short stint (2 Months with G Co)(1986-1990)MCAS K-Bay it saddens me to hear of the loss of my brother Marine but I know he left us bravley fighting to keep my family safe from the evils of the world keeping with the highest traditions of the Corps. I'm now to old to reenlist but if I could I would."""
Lcpl. Robert Blaylock of Lakeside CA, USA

"Joe was always very loyal to his family and friends, I will always admire him for that and many other things. We will always miss you Joe.
You are in our prayers every day.
Nick Peterson&Family of Scotts Valley, Ca

"Joe, It seems like just yesterday you and I were standing on the yellow foot prints at MCRD San Diego.Before thecrash we were able to spend a couple of hours together. I never could have imagined those would be our last. Thereis not a day that goes by that I don't think about you. It was an absolute HONOR to have had you as a friend and to have served along side of you in Falluja. I'll check in on Lis and Providence from time to time. I miss you and will never forget our times together."
Cpl. Brad Thomas of Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps Base Hawaii

"Liz, Providence, Becky, and all of Joe's family and friends - I met Liz and Providence in early January when my husband and I went to see our daughter-in-law, Melanie and our first grandchild - James Cash House; everybody was so happy because soon Joe and my son, John (HM3 John D. House)would be home soon to see their beautiful wives and babies! The girls (Liz and Melanie) were even talking about what they were going to wear when their husbands came home and how excited they were. It wasn't long after our return to California that we were notified they were killed.
One thought that gives me comfort and I hope will also give you comfort - once aboard the helicopter in their minds they were coming home to their wives, children and family members and were most likely asleep because they were exhausted. They had survived the hell in Fallujia and thought they would be home soon.
Providence is a beautiful baby and Liz - you are an incredible mom; Becky, I admire your strength. I thank God we have been blessed with these beautiful babies, a part of our sons killed on 1/26/05. I look forward to seeing Liz and Providence again soon."
Susan House of Simi Valley, California

"My son grew up with "Joey" living in the same neighborhood. My son, Justin was shocked to hear about his friend and neighbor. We do have some great photos of the boys from Mr. Sutherlands class. Our thoughts and prayers our with his family."
T. Neill-Snegoff of Topanga, CA

"Joseph always stood up for anything he believed in. That is one thing I remember about him. I just want to remind them that they will all see him again in heaven.Thank the Lord for eternal life with Him.
Good friend and family member,"
Chelsea Woolf of Santa Cruz, California

"I am so sorry for your loss for I am feeling it also. I am the father of Lcpl Brian Hopper, who was on the helicopter with Joseph. May our memories never fade."
Rob Hopper, rob.hopper@pbsgc.com of Wynne, AR

"Although I did not know him personally, I know his wife, and have heard of how kind Mr. Spence was, and I grieve for his wife, child, and all his family and friends."
Rhiannon Roper of Fortuna, CA

"My son Sgt. Michael Finke was on board the helicopter with Joe. My condolences to his family, as I share in the pain of losing one so loved. We are forever united through the sacrifices that our young men made. Thank you and God Bless"
Sally Rapp of Westlake, Ohio

"My son, Richard Gilbert, Jr., also joined the Marines after 9/11. He was proud to be a Marine. He was also killed while on board the helicopter with L.Cpl. Spence and 29 other heroes. May God comfort you and ease your pain."
Helen Gilbert of Dayton, Ohio

"My heartfelt sorrow to the wife, child and family of Joseph. I read about Joseph's desire to join the Marines after 911 and could relate to his passion since it was also shared by my son-in-law 1st Lt Dustin Shumney who also lost his life with Joseph. My grandchildren will grow up without their dad too and it makes my heart ache. My thoughts will be with you always."
Sue Locke of Livermore, CA

"To the family and friends of Lance Cpl. Joseph B. Spence: I wish to express my heartfelt condolences. I grieve deeply with you. I will always remember Joseph and the dedication and courage he exemplified. He is truly a hero. I pray the Lord will give you peace."
Bruce Greenspan of Denver, CO

"To the family and friends of Lance Corporal Joseph B. Spence,

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. Please use our link and register so we can send you our "Love Stitched Together"
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca USA

"There are no words to express the sorrow we feel for your loss. May God bless you and help you through this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

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

"Thank you Joseph Spence, 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. Joseph Spence:
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 Joseph 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. Joseph Spence:
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 Joseph, 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