Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Maj. Christopher J. Splinter

43, of Platteville, Wisconsin.
Splinter died when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device on Highway One near Samarra, Iraq. He was assigned to the 5th Engineer Battalion, 1st Engineer Brigade, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Died on December 24, 2003.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Maj. Christopher J. Splinter.


Contributions to the Families of the Fallen


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

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"Chris, your memory, sacrifice, love for Jesus and family has stayed with me for over 20 years. Your example has helped propel me to where I am now. As an impressionable 19 year old, you mentored me in your house prior to me joining Army ROTC. You told me you were right with God and we’re ready to serve your nation in whatever capacity needed. That message has never left me. My love and thankfulness for you and your families sacrifice is deep inside my heart. Until we meet again sir.

LTC Chad Taylor"
Chad Taylor of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

"I met Chris as a new 2LT at 4th Engr BN with 4 ID. I was his XO and enjoyed hailing him and Penny to Ft Carson. Not a Christmas goes by I do not spend time reflecting and praying. I enjoyed helping him navigate through the trials of being a platoon leader. I enjoyed his folksy and genuine spirit. We talked a lot in the field about the 'whys' and 'hows' and laughed at ourselves also. I am dedicating a 100 mile run I will do this October to him and my son who will earn his commission in a few years from AROTC.
Thank-you Chris and to your family."
Todd Gray of Denton, TX

"My family lived across from yours in Kansas when I was very young, your daughter Rachel & I were great friends even if it was only for such a short time of my life and I was always so welcome in your home when I would visit my dad, LTC Kevin Wright. I liked your family so much & when my father told me about your death years later it made me think of Rachel and the rest of the family & I still find myself hoping for their healing & happiness each year. Thank you so much for your military service and your contribution to the world as a great husband and father. You have obviously left behind many touched lives & yet continue to live through these lives, too."
Caitlin Sult-Wright of Wichita Falls, TX

"My daughter just received the Christopher J Splinter Memorial Award. I wish to thank your family for creating this award in your honor/memory and appreciate my daughter's recognition this evening. It will not be forgotten. Sincerely,"
Kristin Swinchoski of Waynesville MO, USA


You have been on my mind many times since I heard of your death in Iraq. My memories of you as with many others are of your strength of body and character on the Grid-Iron as a Hillmen. I too served (UWP-ROTC IA and IN ARNG) but never had the distinction of leading men in combat. I am not at all surprised to see the kind words and reflections of your life and deeds. You were/are yet loved and remembered. The highest honor. I have hoisted a round in the Pizzeria Uno annex to the honor of your memory on several occasions. To Chris who gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country. Rest in Peace."
Scott Thompson of Cedar Rapids, IA

"RIP my friend,My paryers for your family. SFC Rick Ybarra (Ret) 389th Combat Engineers"
Rick Ybarra of Davenport

"10 years now, still in every single person's mind. The day most of us will never ever forget. Penny has done a wonderful job with your children, they are both beautiful inside & out. Just know we will never forget you..."
CLC of Waynesville, MO

"To Chris Splinter’s family, this year I will do as I always do on Christmas Eve...pray for peace, healing and understanding for you and the families of the 5th Battalion Soldiers who were killed on that tragic day. It has been 10 years since I took the call into our Brigade HQs about the attack, that entire day is one I will never forget. Chris was an amazing officer who was fun to work with and always challenged me to figure out “better” ways to do things during our short time working together. When I think of Chris, I will always wonder if I could have done something differently that day. I just wish I had found a better way to get him and his crew back to our FOB. For those who were not at Taji, in the following days, the 5th Engineer battalion held an incredibly moving memorial ceremony in which battle hardened men and women were brought to tears. To Mrs. Splinter and Chris’s children, please know that your husband and father was a great man who truly cared about his Soldiers and the mission we were involved in. Our Nation owes a debt to you, one that can never truly be repaid."
COL (then MAJ, DIVARTY Chief of Ops) Andy Weatherstone of USEUCOM HQs, Stuttgart, Germany

"Splinter Family- Our thoughts and prayers are with you this Christmas, and always"
Joe and Denise Hanus of West Point, NY


It's been 9 years, and 9 Christmas Eves that you have been in my thoughts, with prayers for your family. I am so grateful I had the chance to work with you in Iraq, and make a personal connection with you due to our common Wisconsin roots. I just wish I had the chance to get to know you a bit more as I truly respect you and reflect on what a professional you were. You will never be forgotten."
LTC Jason Schrank of Oconomowoc, WI


It's been 9 years, and 9 Christmas Eves that you have been in my thoughts, with prayers for your family. I am so grateful I had the chance to work with you in Iraq, and make a personal connection with you due to our common Wisconsin roots. I just wish I had the chance to get to know you a bit more as I truly respect you and reflect on what a professional you were. You will never be forgotten."
LTC Jason Schrank of Kabul, Afghanistan (home is Oconomowoc, WI)

"Happy Birthday Christopher, October 9, 2012. We still miss you:o)"
The Splinter Family of Dubuque, Iowa

"I never thought to look for your page, my friend. ...now it makes perfect sense that there would be a memorial to you. I will never forget you... meeting you only days before you were killed...wondering why all these years it was you and not me. You had a wife and kids...I had no family. I remember we hit it off and talked about growing up in Wisconsin...we were both majors...struggling with combat and trying to make sense of it all. You were the one who made me see all the GOOD we were doing in Iraq...I loved you like the brother I never really had...I looked forward to continuing to correspond and do missions...and eventually meeting your family...
I remember the sense of urgency you had I getting back to your unit and troops the night before Christmas...I tried to talk you out of going thru Samarra but in the end I understood why you had to go.
Your life was cut short.
I could not even bear to look....of all the things I've experienced in combat, your death was the worst..
I've struggled with guilt and pain that it should have been me.
I want to finally be at peace. It must start with forgiving myself, because I know a guy like you would have wanted that for a friend.
Bless your family, whose grief and pain was assuredly worse...my ardent wish is that they have found comfort in your memory and have gone forward..."
LTC Dyckman of Washington DC

"Dear Friends, just letting you know that we think of you often and reminisce of our days together at Ft. Leavenworth. We wanted to let you know that we have the honor of participating in a community wide run/walk in memory of our fallen servicemembers and we will be thinking of and representing Chris. We are so thankful for his life, service and sacrifice and we also thank you for your sacrifice as well. You are in our prayers! Ralph, Lori and Teri"
Taylor Family of Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas

"While sitting at my desk this AM reflecting on the happenings of work yesterday, I started thinking of Penny and Maj. Chris Splinter, and the good times we use to have playing cards with the folks in Cuba, (city that is). It just made me laugh.

For some strange reason I did a web search for Maj. Chris Splinter and found this page.

I just want to say we all appreciate the sacrifice your family has made.

God bless you Penny, Mitchell and Rachel."
Gary K of Madison, WI.

"Thinking of you today & always, never to be forgotten..."
CLC of Waynesville, MO

"Christmas Eve 2011, Thinking of you today."
The Splinter Family, Penny, Mitchell & Rachel of Dubuque, Iowa

"I met Chris at UW-Platteville, later worked with him at the 389th in Dodgeville.
As Christmas Eve approaches I thank you for your words of wisdom then and pray for your family today."
G. P. of Richland Center, WI.

"Thoughts are deep this year. Please know you are in my prayers."
MAJ Tim Rose of Colorado Springs, CO

"I knew Maj Splinter while working at Taji. He had a great sense of humor and I always enjoyed his company. I hope to raise my sons with as much character that this man showed everyday. There are only a few people you come across in a lifetime that make a lasting impression. Maj Splinter was one of those. We would eat together on occasion and he once told me we should break bread together again some day. I look forward to that. Still praying for you and your family."
Kirk Bentley of Houston, TX

"Memorial Day 2011
Remembering a wonderful officer and friend - today and always"
LTC Joseph and Denise Hanus, of West Point NY


"Penny, Mitchell, Rachel,
It has been around 10 years since we last saw each other. I just wanted you all to know that my family and I still think about you and pray for you. I hope God blesses you all for the remainder of your lives. We love you all.
Your old neighbor (Ft. Leavenworth)
Chad Taylor
(CPT U.S. Army 82nd Airborne)
"Continuing what Mr. Splinter fought for""
Chad of Ft. Bragg NC

"I met and came to know Major Splinter during his time assigned to the 389th Engineer Battalion in Dubuque, IA.
He was an officer of the highest character.
God Bless his family and friends.
I will Never Forget."
CSM Steven J. Whittaker of Ft, Dix New Jersey.

"We always remember what you gave for our country Chris, today & every day. You will not be forgotten!"
Cindy of Waynesville, MO

"You were one of the good ones in BCTP. Centurions Forever!"
SSG Zachary Stefun of Kansas City, KS

"Maj Splinter,
I was his platoon sergeant at FT Carson, in 1993 He was a just, and fair Leader and a good man It deeply saddened me to learn of his loss. I know you will be taken care of by God."
Jerry Humphries of Colorado Springs Colorado

"Thinking of you most everyday and especially today MAJ.
Robert Baker USAR Medical Specialist PA-C of Sigourney, Iowa


We prayed at church today the families of our fallen soldiers and I prayed for you. I know it has been some years now since Chris' passing but his memory is still strong. I have foot locker from high school filled with old mementos and Chris is there over and over. And those are wonderful memories. I pray God will continue to watch over you as Chris does."
Bob Evans of Aurora, CO

"Penny, you and your children are in our thoughts and prayers this - and every - Christmas. God bless you!"
Denise Hanus of West Point, NY

"Thinking of you today, Sir. My prayers are with you and your family . . ."
Major Tim Rose of Fort Irwin, CA

"Thinking about you today and knowing how much your family misses you. I know you are proud of Penny, she has done an awesome job with Mitchell and Rachel. They are wonderful young adults now. You are thought about so often and missed terribly."
Cindy of Waynesville, MO

"At the end of each football season at PHS there is an awards ceremony and we have an award named after Major Christopher Splinter, this award is given to only a special few who have worked incredibly hard during the season. I was honored enough to be awarded this and was told that i should look up Major Splinter in order to understand why we have this award. It is a privelage to be given an award named after Major Splinter"
Cody Peacock of Platteville, Wisconsin

"I had the honor of having MAJ Splinter then CPT Splinter as my company commander of Bravo Company 70th Engineer Battalion back in 1993. He was a very hard working and honest man. He always had a smile on his face and I will never forget the day that he left the company at the change of command. I never got the chance to see him again after that but rest assuered that he never left our hearts and minds. He is one of the many that have fallen in this war on Global Terror but I know that he is with the best of them now!. God rest Major Splinter."
SSG Ryan H. Elder of Ft. Riley, Kansas

"Penny - We are thinking of you and the kids and remembering Chris as we pay tribute to our soldiers on this Veteran's Day."
Rob and Jodi VanGorder of Delaware, Ohio

"Love you Dad!"
love your favorite daughter

"Remembering you on your birthday and still missing you. God Bless. October 9, 2009"
Your wife & kids, Penny, Mitchell, Rachel and Spook Splinter of Dubuque, IA

"We are thinking of you and your family today and always. You are missed so very much."
Cindy C of Waynesville, MO

"I was a high school classmate of Chris. My favorite memory of him comes from a football game we played together our junior year. We were on the kickoff coverage team together. On this particular play, I got to the ball carrier first, but he was a big son-of-a-gun, and I couldn't get him down by myself. I spun him around, so I'm looking back up field, and here comes ol' #45, barreling down on us like a MACK truck, with a look in his eyes like...well, I just shut MY eyes. When I opened them again, I'm on the ground on my back, the ball carrier's on top of me, and Chris is on top of him. Chris and I are face mask to face mask, we make eye contact, we both get big smiles on our faces, and then we both start laughing at each other. And that's how I like to remember Chris these days...looking down from above, with a smile on his face and a laugh in his heart. May God bless you Chris, and may God bless Penny and your children, who bravely soldier on in your absence."
Greg Johnson of Appleton, WI

"I miss you coming into my aid station Major! You are a TRUE leader and hero! May your sacrifice NEVER fade and your love for your family comfort them forever! You always made me smile and put me at ease,when I was nervious during briefings. I think of you often. Your friend and fellow patriot, 389th ENG BN Medical Officer."
1LT Robert "Doc" Baker of Sigourney, Iowa

"Penny, Mitchell & Rachel,
Just a short note to let you know that you still have friends in Waynesville who continue to pray for your family. I still have the bulletin from the memorial service on my desk and remember Chris each and every day."
A Loving Friend of Waynesville, MO

"It's been a long 5 years and we still miss you very much. Love you always."
Penny, Mitchell, Rachel and Spook Splinter of Dubuque, IA

"December 21, 2008
To the family of Maj. Christopher J. Splinter:
Christopher 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

"Penny and Family:

I think of Chris every time I hear of anthor solider going down. I was truly honored to know both of you while growing up in good ol' P-ville. I will continue to pray for you Penny and your children and the rest of the family.

Blessing to you all.

Joel Cairy and Family"
Joel Cairy of Brunsville, MN

"Dear Penny -
Not a day goes by that I don't think of Major Splinter and the ultimate sacrafice that he gave for his country. I've wanted to write or call you so many times but I havn't had the courage, and for that I apologize. Major Splinter was my mentor, my idol, and most importantly my friend. You family will always be in my thoughts and prayers.
CPT Ryan Strong"
Ryan Strong of Boise, ID

"Thinking of you & your family today. "Thank you" can't be said enough for the sacrifice you made. I'm sure Ben's up there making sure you're all laughing. I'll keep your family in my prayers"
Nikki of Shepherd, MI

"Our 4th Christmas/year/anniversary, still so many thoughts, and so much love for you!! Never forgotten!!"

"Merry Christmas Chris.
We all Miss You Very Much. It doesn't feel like it has been 4 Years... Feels more like 4 Months. You are always in our thoughts and prayers. Life isn't the same without you.... There is always an emptiness."
Your Loving Brother Mark of St. Petersburg Florida

"We celebrated Mom and Dads fiftieth wedding anniversary on June, 28th. All the family, relatives and friends were there. It was a special loving event, but there was a deep sadness because everyone knew you were not there.
We all miss you more than any words can tell."
Michael Splinter (Brother) of St. Petersburg, FL 33716

"Thinking about you and your family today, more than most days."
Cindy of Waynesville, MO

"Any words I leave are not worthy. Major Splinter will always be remembered by me as a great mentor and friend. Every year I remember where I was and what I was doing when he gave the ultimate sacrifice for his nation. He was a true patriot and brother. He will never be forgotten in my household. My daughters and I raise our flag and underneath that flag is a plaque with his name inscribed in respectful memory. That flag flys proudly because of his and others sacrifice for this great nation. Few men were worthy of being adressed as "Sir". Major Splinter was one of those men."
Andy of Arkansas

"It's been so long & it is important that your families know that every day we think about you & your family. Penny loves you so much. We talk about you a lot at our house, you were a great man. I was writing to Ben's page & counted out the time, 3 years, 4 months & 9 days. That is a long time & yet seems like yesterday that this all happened. Know you are in our hearts and in so many hearts across the country."
Cindy of Waynesville, MO

"To the family of:Christopher J. Splinter 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"

"Well Chris, here we are, 3 years. Time marches on, but some people can never be forgotten. You are among that group. Amazing how many lives you touch, did you even realize?
Penny, Mitchell, and Rachel, Thinking of you guys all the time, some times more than others. I hope things are going well for you all. Take care, and keep in touch, we miss you!!"
Marcie of Missouri

"Penny, Mitchell, and Rachel; another Christmas is almost here and I wish there were some way for me to change the past for you. Chris and the three of you are often in my thoughts, this time of year especially. I wish you the peace of the season, the warm wishes and heartfelt feelings of friends and family and the knowledge that Chris was doing what he loved and was making a difference for your safety and that of this nation. Best wishes for the season and a New Year filled with the love of family and friends, near and far."
COL. Eric W. Fatzinger of Aiea, Hawaii

"To Our Military Family,

Thank you Battle Command Training Program C Team so much for honoring Christopher and keeping his memories alive. We appreciate the room dedication at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. The kind words and special army hospitality you gave us was exceptional. May God bless you all this Christmas."
Penny, Mitchell and Rachel Splinter (Christopher's wife and kids) of Dubuque, IA

"Friends & Family of MAJ Chris Splinter,
I never met Chris but have apparently followed him through my Army career. I arrived at Fort Riley, KS, shortly after he left the Kodiaks, the 70th Engineer Battalion. I commanded B/70 EN, the same company he commanded. I now find myself at Fort Leavenworth, KS, doing the same job at the same desk as Chris as an Engineer Observer/Trainer. I never knew Chris but I wish I had. I knew a lot of him as he left his mark on the units he was part of.
The Battle Command Training Program will honor Chris with a dedication ceremony on 8 December 2006, at 1000 in the basement of building 196, 510 Kearney Ave, Fort Leavenworth, KS."
MAJ Wayne Sodowsky of Fort Leavenworth, KS

"I can see the sadness in your eyes, I can feel it in your your heart, know I care and want to share all the pain you feel."
dara of safety harbor, fl

"Words can not begin to describe the empty feeling we still have since the day you left us. After three years the only thing that is certain is that we will never be the same again. This past Labor Day we once again celebrated your life with the annual family & freinds lunch and golf outing. Everything was just as you would have wanted it.
Your brother, Michael"
Michael Splinter of St. Petersburg, FL

"Memorial Day 2006
Thank you for your sacrifice for peace and security for all."
Kathy Rose of Ankeny, Iowa USA

Raising a toast to you and thinking about all the great times we had at OBC, at Carson as LT's...You're not gone; you live on in my thoughts, the thoughts of all the people you influenced, your friends, children & family. This world is a lesser place without you "Master Splinter!""
MAJ Bryan Pratt of Charleston SC

"Today is the 2nd anniversary of MAJ Splinter's passing. We have not forgotten and we will never forget. We pray that Penny, Mitchell & Rachel are doing well. The entire Splinter family remains in our thoughts and prayers."
of Waynesville, MO

"We think and speak of Chris often, especially during this holiday season. His memory lives on, and his heroism will never be forgotten. Penny, may peace be with you and your family this Christmas."
Rob and Jodi VanGorder of Delaware, Ohio

"Thanks cousin for the sacrifice you made for me and all Americans. Thank you Aunt B and Uncle V for raising a fine man to help spread liberty and freedom for all mankind. God Bless you and all my cousins....And to His wife, May Gods love surround you and your Family always."
Bill Apel of Dubuque,ia

"I apologize for misspelling MAJ Splinter's last name in the post below."
Marty Preston of Wisconsin Dells, WI

"To the Family of MAJ Christopher Spinter:
We have constructed a memorial to the service men and women from Wisconsin and Illinois who have died in Iraq which includes, as of 6/20/05, 111 crosses and Stars of David. We would like your permission to put MAJ Splinter's name on one of them. We have called our display "Arlington MidWest." 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 martypres33@yahoo.com.

We invite you to come 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." Anonymous"
Marty Preston of Wisconsin Dells, WI

"Happy Father's Day!!"

"My heart joins with Chris's family. My son Sgt.Michael C.Ottolini of the 579th Eng. Calif. Natl. Guard, was killed 11/10/04 in Iraq. The Humvee he was driving was destroyed by an IED. The hardest thing in this world is to lose a child! We're not supposed to bury them, they're to bury us!. God Bless. Jacquie Cruz"
Jacquie Cruz of Windsor, Cal/USA

We got to see you this weekend, in the "Faces of the Fallen" memorial at Arlington. I took pictures, it was so nice to see!! And to think, we never even got to meet! I showed Benjamin which one you were, too. We will never forget you, and neither will our families. Penny and kids, we miss you guys, too, and you're never far from our thoughts!!"
Marcie Biskie

"I've been thinking of Chris and your family and just wanted to say that you continue to be in our prayers. Chris is not forgotten. His service and dedication are inspiring, not just to his unit and country, but also to his family and friends. Chris is an American Hero."
The Curtis Family of Naperville, IL

"It is Memorial Day 2005.
I wanted to say Thank You.
And, God Bless You.
And, God Bless America."
Kathy Rose of Ankeny, Iowa USA

"To the family of Christopher Splinter:

The Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation will be honoring your loved one at the non-denominational Memorial Day Sunday worship service at 11:00 a.m. on 29 May. We will remember the casualties of the Global War on Terrorism from Minnesota … and the neighboring states of Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Outside of the historic Fort Snelling Veterans Memorial Chapel will be a “Memorial Garden” filled with white crosses bearing the names of the war dead … including your loved one.

I would like to extend to your family an invitation to honor us with your presence at worship as we pay tribute to the sacrifice made by your service member and family. Our pastor, U.S. Army Chaplain, LTC Kenneth L. Beale, Jr. will preach a message entitled “Remembering Our Freedom.” A former Soldier and country music songwriter and performer “Rockie” will pay a special musical tribute. At the conclusion of the worship hour, all of the congregation will be invited to silently pay their respects at the garden and place poppies at each of the crosses. An honor guard squad will be on hand to fire vollies as the US flag is lowered to half-staff and Taps is played.

As this Christian worship service has traditionally been well attended, we would be happy to reserve seating for you and yours. To do so, kindly call (612/970-7866) and leave a voice message indicating your veterans’ name and the number of persons attending. If you are not able to attend, we pray that you would find comfort in knowing that our prayers are with you and all of the fallen heroes.

Leila Campbell
Administrative Assistant
Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation
web site:www.fortsnellingmcf.org"

"We miss you!!!"
Virginia of Atlanta, GA

"Your sacrifice will not be forgotten.
Thank you, and may God bless you and
your loved ones."
Judy of Louisville, Ky

"Thinking of you - all of you!!"
of MO

I have tried so many times to write, to just say HI . . . but everytime everything I think I have to say seems so empty.
Not a day goes by that I do not think on my short time with Chris and all that he helped me through. And invariably Christmas Day comes back to my memories and my breath catches.
The holiday season has passed. It was hard as my family relocated to Georgia and my new assignment, doing just what Chris was doing in his last assignment, training and mentoring the young and future leaders of the Army.
I miss him horribly, but am glad that I can still see his smile.
God bless,
CPT Tim Rose of Ft. Benning, GA

"i just wanted to leave a message of thanks to the family of major splinter a good christmas im sure its hard for you all,and i want you all to kinow that ill make mine worth it.i was in the company that came across him and two others that day it was supposed to be a happy day for me and others ,we were on our way home for 2 weeks but after seeing and witnessing what we saw put a big knot in my stomack and put a damper on my thoughts and feelings knowing these soldiers were going home the way i wouldnt want to and for this i want to dedicate this day and holidsay to them im a father of two and you can be sure ill tell my children about him and the other soldiers.i realize and under stand that it couldve been us 733rd or even myself.we had stopped earlier for about ten to twenty minutes for some reason,and i figure hadnt we stopped it sure enough wouldve been us we were a big target.for all this i want to say we love you major splinter god bless you and your family and other comrads merry christmas"
sgt.dwayne snell of windsor pa usa

"i just wanted to leave a message of thanks to the family of csm splinter a good christmas im sure its hard for you all,and i want you all to kinow that ill make mine worth it.i was in the company that came across him and two others that day it was supposed to be a happy day for me and others ,we were on our way home for 2 weeks but after seeing and witnessing what we saw put a big knot in my stomack and put a damper on my thoughts and feelings knowing these soldiers were going home the way i wouldnt want to and for this i want to dedicate this day and holidsay to them im a father of two and you can be sure ill tell my children about him and the other soldiers.i realize and under stand that it couldve been us 733rd or even myself.we had stopped earlier for about ten to twenty minutes for some reason,and i figure hadnt we stopped it sure enough wouldve been us we were a big target.for all this i want to say we love you csm splinter god bless you and your family and other comrads merry christmas"
sgt.dwayne snell of windsor pa usa

"Finally, the anniversary we never wanted to come. But we're here, we made it. Although our hearts still ache, and we still cry, we can remember them with a smile. Their sense of humor, their laughs, they will be a part of us forever. Thankfully.
Penny, Mitchell, and Rachel and Families, I think of you all so often, and especially now. I am here, if you ever need me. missingmygi03@yahoo.com Please feel free, anytime. Take care of yourselves, and know that you're not in this alone.
Chris, you and Chris will always hold a place in my heart. Take care of eachother, and Ben, till we get there!! Never to be forgotten!!
We Love You!!!"
Marcie Biskie of Missouri

"Dear Family and Friends,

It is hard to believe that a year has gone by without our loved ones at our side. This is Andrea, Ben's older sister. I think of you all often and wonder how you are doing. I know they are watching over us all and sending their love. I hope your Holidays are filled with blessed memories. Stay strong. Sending you our love and happy thoughts."
Andrea of Tucson,AZ

"To family and friends of Chris,
May God's blessing be with you during this holiday season. My prayers are also with you. Chris will always be remembered. I too lost someone very dear to me on January 29 of this year in Afghanistan. This will be our first Christmas without Robert. It just won't be the same without him.
Thinking of you and wishing you the very best of everything.
Feel free to write anytime
Candy of Poynette, WI

"Dear Penny and kids, We think of you always. As the one year mark nears, how hard it is to believe that time continues to move on. Don't we miss them so? I will be praying for you all now even more than before. Please call if you want. I hope you are all well. Blessed holidays, blessed memories. Did you hear about the new memorial called the Fallen Faces? www.fallenfaces.org"
Delain Johnson (Chris' mom) of Whitewood, SD USA

"Chris and Family,
Big difference a year makes. Veterans Day will never be the same for me. I have three very special "Veterans" branded into my heart, and will always be thought of especially on this day. You've earned the title in a way most hope never to have to. Can you feel all the love and thoughts being sent your way today? We will never forget you!! "We do not remember days, we remember moments""
The Biskies of Missouri

"Dear Splinter family, How our hearts grieve and mourn our loved ones who died nearly one year ago. The holidays are going to be especially hard for all of us this year. I pray you are all doing well. I think of you every day and pray that God's promise that he will turn our sorrow into joy and our mourning into dancing will be given to each of us. Blessings to you all."
Delain Johnson (CPT. Chris Soelzer's Mom) of Sturgis, SD/USA

"To Penny, Mitchell, Rachel and the Splinter family....you are continually in our prayers. We feel blessed and honored to have known Chris! We are continually blessed to have Penny, Mitchell and Rachel so close now. The memories we will treasure forever ....playing cards, cooking out and just hanging out. God be with you and carry you through the coming days, months and years."
Craig and Julie McCaw of Dubuque, Iowa

Not a day goes by that I don't think of you and Chris and Ben. I know you're all up there, watching down on us, and I hope we're making you guys proud!! We're trying. We've got heroes names to uphold, and children to raise the way you'll be proud of. We're taking care of eachother, so don't you worry. You'll never be forgotten!!"
Marcie of Missouri

"To the Splinter Family:

I am so sorry for your loss.

I met Chris when I was serving in the USAR at Dubuque, IA. I knew him to be a total professional with a sense of humor and an honorable man worthy of great respect.

Again my sincere condolences.


MAJ Ken Espinoza of Edison, NJ

"To Chris's family I send my most heartfelt condolences. I was a classmate of Chris'. I knew him and Penny very well from back in school. I have some great memories of Chris and the classes that we had together. I remember senior year especially well because Chris was chosen as one of the captains for intramural basketball. He couldn't make the meeting to choose the teams, so he asked me to take his place. Well, we lost only one game that year and scored over 100 points in two of our games. We had discussed our choices ahead of time and even though he was not there in person he was there in spirit. Part of his spirit has always stayed with me. Even today I still have pleasant memories of his friendship. My life was better by knowing Chris and I feel great sadness in hearing about his passing. Living far away from Platteville has put me out of the loop and I just don't get to hear about all the things going on in my childhood home. So, it came as a total shock to me when I found out at our 25 year high school reunion just a few weeks ago."
Randy Edge of Bloomington, MN

"There Will be a Golf Tournament for Major Splinter on Sept 5th at 8am for all friends, family, and colleagues. It will take place in his home town of Platteville Wisconsin. If you have any questions or would like to attend please contact me at GolfTheMajor@Yahoo.com."
Mark Splinter, Youngest Brother of Major Splinter

"As a sister-in-law of Sgt. Biskie, Major Splinter's driver, I had a chance to hear many stories about Major Splinter. Ben had told me of the many laughs him and Major Splinter had together, and always had great things to say. My deepest sympathy goes out to the family of such an honored man. My thoughts and prayers are with you."
Ginger Stowell of Bay City, MI/USA

"I was once rachel's best friend, so the news of the tragedy upseted me greatly. Mr.Splinter was a great man and husband and father. Rachel, even though we're far apart, I urge you to contact me, so our friendship won't be forgoten:wright.kevin@insightbb.com"
Caitlin Wright,12, of FtKnx,Kentucky,us

"To the Splinter Family, I met Chris in Iraq. He was the S-3 for 5th EN, I was the S-3 for 5-3 Field Artillery serving at Al Taji. We worked together on a number of projects, and I cherish the fact I was blessed to meet Chris. His loss has saddened me deeply. No words will ever replace our hero, but he will live forever in our hearts and minds. My deepest simpathies go to you all."
MAJ Sean Ryan of Fort Sill, OK

"Bull 6, this is Bull 16."

Sir, Thanks for the mentorship and development you provided me as my first company commander when I was a lieutenant. Your example had a huge impact on my later success as a company commander in Iraq. I truly miss you and grieve your loss. I know that God has welcomed you with open arms and pray for your wife and children. You will not be forgot!"
Blair Williams of Boston, Massachusetts

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

"To a great soldier and even greater uncle! I will always be thinking of you and I will always miss you, but I know you will always be with us all! Love you! Katie"
Katie Pluemer of East Dubuque, IL USA

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

"REST IN PEACE to the greatest uncle anyone could ever ask for! I will always remember you, and I know that you are smiling down on me from heaven. I will always love you- your God Daughter..."
Kelsey Barton of Platteville, WI USA

"Maj Splinter:
Thank your for giving yourself so that those of us at home can live freely and safely. There are not enough 'thank yous' for a gift such as this. Rest in peace soldier."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"Major Splinter was a mentor and friend to me while I was a member of the 389th EN BN. He has always been someone I looked up to. He was a man of Honor who always served the higher purpose. Dear God help us to appreciate this ultimate sacrifice he has given."
Andy of Iraq

"Major Splinter, Penny, Mitchell, and Rachel,
I had heard so much about you, and couldn't wait for the chance to meet you. Now I'll have to wait awhile longer. I had heard so much about you, I do feel as though I already know you. I'm so glad you were there, with the others. I heard about all the good times you guys had, all the talks and laughs. I hope that helps your family feel some peace. Thank you so much, Chris, take care of them, and yourself, till we meet you...one day."
Marcie Biskie of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri USA

"The Bonin family knew christopher for as long as he was alive, because Richard Bonin,sr. Was good friends with his father , When he died it hit us hard, and your memory will be with us untill we die, and join you in heaven.

And to the family,we will never forget him or you."
The Bonin's of platteville,Wisconsin,The USA and proud of it!!

"we miss you and will always remember you"
Dick Bonin of plateville,wisconsin,us

"Thank God for Christopher Splinter. He was a freedom fighter for many, father to two and faithful husband to one. Fallen but not forgotten. May his dear family and fellow soldiers remember his commitments,convictions and servant spirit. Grieve his departure yet know his death is not in vain. Jesus is both Lord and Christ in life and death."
Rev. Jimmy Hedrick of Dubuque IA

"Major Chris Splinter is an American hero. Penny, Mitchell(who is like a son to us)and Rachel are among the finest families we have known in our 20 years of military service. May God bless them."
Ltc.&Mrs.Tim McKane and Kate and Joe of Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas

"I served as MAJ Splinter's commander for a year with the Battle Command Training Program at Ft. Leavenworth. Chris was a devoted and selfless husband, father, officer and soldier. We all miss him very much in Ops Group Charlie."
Colonel William R. Moyer of Fort Leavenworth, KS

"For all Centurions present and past but especially to you and your children Penny: News of Chris's death was devastating to Robyn, the children and I. It had become so easy for the reports of OIF fatalities to become an abstraction. That is no longer possible. Chris's death hit too close to home. I reflect every day now on Chris, his quiet and serious manner. Our grief pales compared to yours I know, but it is surpassed by the pride we feel in having known Chris and having the distinction of being able to call him our brother in arms. God bless you and his memory."
Kevin Wright of Fort Knox, KY

"Dear Penny,
I worked with Chris for three years with the 389th Engineer Battalion. Chris was an outstanding soldier and viewed his task of preparing soldiers to do their job very seriously. I had the pleasure of wodking with Chris as he conducted junior leadership training for the officers of the battalion and it was superb. I will keep Chris in my prayers. He will be dearly missed by all."
LTC Gries

"Carrie, Austin, Matthew, and I wish you the best in the days and weeks to come. We all loved Chris because he was a great friend, and even a better dad and husband. We have such fond memories of Chris that will never fade. Our prayers are with you Penny, Mitch and Rachel, we’re so proud of you and will miss Chris but never forget him."
McGuire Family of Fort leavenworth, Kansas

"To all:

I received word of this tragedy this evening from our former battalion commander. Thank you, sir.

I have been here for a year, and have experienced personal loss, but none has touched me like this one. This is the first time since I said my own goodbyes and deployed that I have cried. In the most simplistic terms, he will be missed."
Jason Hogie, Captain, United States Army of Baghad, Iraq

"Dear Penny, Mitchell, Rachel and all of the Splinter Family... All our love and prayers are with you. I will pray that you find strength for the coming days. But always remember... in the quietness of your own heart.. it's ok to be weak, too. May God keep you all close at this very sad time.
Love your friends from Ft Leavenworth,"
Sue and John Gillette and Family of New York

"The Splinters, you may not remember me but I was in Rachel's class in 3rd and 4th grade in Ft.Leavenworth. When my mom told me I felt really sorry I didn't see your dad too much ,but he was very brave to do that . I really think he is a TRUE hero. As my mom says "People will always be in your heart" so remember that! With all my love and sympathy..."
Diana Gillette, age 10 of Garden City , Long Island

"Chris was a great human being and a heck of a soldier. His tremendous sense of humour, his matchless professionalism, and his mischevious smile are all things that are impossible to forget. Just walking by his desk at Fort Leavenworth and exchanging some good natured barbs with him always made me smile and my day better. I am proud to have served with this wonderful person. Centurions!"
Dan White of Lansing, Kansas

"Chris always had a smile on his face and took everything in stride. Listening to his memorial service those wonderful traits stayed with him through his career. Penny, Mitchell, Rachel and the entire Splinter family - our thoughts and prayers are with you. What an honor to have known such a proud American soldier."
Jean Orr of Dodgeville, WI USA

"My heart goes out to Penny, Mitchell and Rachel. I worked with Penny at Lands' End a number of years ago. She was so in love with Chris. I knew Penny through their dating and engagement and even attended their wedding.
You are all in my prayers and may God give you the strength you need."
Deb Fingerson of Dodgeville, WI

"Chris... You were such a prankster that I wish you'd pop out and tell us this was all a joke and that you're really still alive and just wondered how many folks would show up at your funeral! You may be gone, but never forgotten. Penny, remember the scripture I read at your wedding, "Love never ends." It won't.
Mitchell, you've got some big shoes to fill. Wear them proudly.
Rachel, you're just such a sweetie and will always be "daddy's little girl." Kevin has a picture of you with me, and Kelsey and Katie on his dresser that he looks at every morning.
I know Chris is watching over his family and so very proud of all of you. We're all so very proud of you, Christopher."
Jane Leighty of Platteville, WI USA

"You couldn't ask for a nicer guy! I met Chris through his wife Penny. He loved the Packers and I'm sure with their win on Sunday, Chris was there cheering them on to victory! What a wonderful family they have. He will be truly missed but not forgotten. We ask God to watch over them and ease their sorrow."
Marylee Oleson of Dodgeville, WI

"It was my pleasure to serve the Splinter family as their CAO. I was deeply touched with the love the community, church, and friends showed for MAJ Splinter's family. Christopher leaves behind a wife and two children who deeply love him. My heart goes out to them and his parents and 4 brother and 7 sisters. My only regret is that I wasn't able to meet this fine warrior. May God bless this family."
MAJ John Worthington of Madison, WI

"Our family has a new HERO in Christopher J. Splinter. We have been blessed to have known Chris, Penny, Mitchell and Rachel for almost half of our 15 year military career and fortunate enough to have been stationed together twice. America has lost a true HERO. We will never forget him and pray for God to give Penny and the kids strength to endure and honor the memory of this great man, father, husband, and friend."
David, Starla, Dexter, Braxton, Maxlin and Jaxson Chase of Germany

"MAJ Splinter, My heart grieves for your
children, your wife, your family, and my
heart thanks YOU with deepest gratitude
for your ultimate sacrifice. You will
never be forgotten. Thank you for
serving your country and for doing what
you believed in.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all."
Ami Novak of St. Robert, MO

"Thank you Christopher Splinter, 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

"Sir, I remember inprocessing you and preparing you for you deployment to Iraq. I only wish I could of help you survive this tragic moment. The 5th has lost an outstanding officer and a pair of boots that will be hard to fill. You and your family will be in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for everything you have done. Out"
MSG Kevin Burrell of FT Bliss, TX

"My name is Alex J. Beckstrand of Walworth, Wisconsin. Several Wisconsin soldiers have been killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and they all hit home. But, this particular soldier understood everything, and he himself should be a model citizen. In a a letter I believe he wrote to his parents over Thanksgiving, he stated that "the war is progressing slowly, but in a positive direction." He also stated that "I truly expect this country to be self-sufficient and stable in the next three to five years. Ten years from now, Iraq will be the show state in the Middle East. This is dependent on America not losing hope and forcing the Amry to leave early." Mr. Splinter showed all of us what will happen in Iraq. He happened to lose his life for it, along with hundreds of other US soldiers. He sounded like a great man, and I wish I could have met him. My condolences go out to the Splinter family, and I hope you are able to get through these tough days."
Alex J. Beckstrand - 15 years old of Walworth, WI USA

"I served with Major (then Captain) Splinter in Korea and in Kansas. For the Army, we have lost a terrific officer. For his family, my condolences, you are in my prayers."
SSG Jason Hallock of Arlington, Texas

"To the family and friends of Maj. Christopher Splinter:
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 Christopher 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 Maj. Christopher Splinter:
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 Christopher, 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