Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Sutter

28, of Tinley Park, Illinois.
Sutter was attempting to render safe an improved explosive device in Baqubah, Iraq when it detonated. He was assigned to the 745th Ordnance Company, 79th Ordnance Battalion, Army National Guard, based in Grayling, Michigan. Died on December 26, 2003.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Sutter.


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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"Thinking of you and our childhood Mikey. We had so much fun growing up together and your dad taught me so much about Judo. You have always made your family proud even since we were little. May God watch over you and your family. I will see you again someday. We will never forget you my friend."
Leo Valdes of Tinley Park, IL/USA

"5/27/2013 Today we remembered Michael Sutter on Memorial Day in Tinley Park. And when they conducted roll call and they called his name, there was silence, they called his name three times and there was no answer, and a voice answered: "Michael Sutter is not here Staff Sgt. He was killed in action". Rest in peace my brother, we will neve forget you"
Birgit Blees of Tinley Park, IL, USA

"Today we remember Mike here at Fort Drum with a bomb suit/ ruck sack race. The Commander has asked me to say a few words as we went to school together so long ago. We are so greatful for our brother's sacrifice and miss great men like him."
Eric Loar of Fort Drum, NY

"We had a bracelet come in I would love to give back to the family, it has his name date of death and Iraq freed on it. Please get a old of me if you want it. 1 -231-946-40988"
Debbie of Traverse city,mi

"Michael was in my squad for a period of time when he was stationed at Fort Bragg. He was a soldier's soldier. There wasn't a day that went by that he didn't make me laugh. My thoughts go out to his family and friends. I am truly sorry for your loss."
David Scott of Crofton, Maryland

"Michael walks among those angels who protect us still. God bless him and his family."
Win Gericke, Richmond Va

"Michael "Happy New Year" 2011 Thinking of you everyday"
Ellen Thomas

"to sherry higgins---thank you for accepting the flag with my son's name on it that you received at the concert,he would be honored for you to have it."
judy sutter of tinley park,il

"I went to a Support the troop of Illinois concert last night July 17, 2010 and recived a flag with a serviceman who had given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. I recieved Michael's. I just wanted to say Thank you, and may God Bless you. You will never be forgotten."
Sherry Higgins of Chicago, IL

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

"I first met Mike when we worked together for 45 days at the Olympics in Salt Lake City, UT. Mike was a great guy to work with there and then I was fortunate enough to work with him again at Ft. Hood prior to his deployment to Iraq. God Bless you Mike and thank you for helping keep our country safe."
Byron San Marco of Austin, Texas / USA

"Rest in Peace Brother. The world is a better place for the great things you did and the lives you touched."
SSG J. Rodriguez

"December 21, 2008
To the family of Staff Sgt. Michael J. Sutter:
Michael 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

"Dear John & Judy and family, I hope you will find comfort and blessings just now as
you remember and miss your Michael. Thank you for raising such a brave, strong son. With love, Nancy Ebbers"
Nancy Ebbers of Bolingbrook, IL

"I found this site by accident while I was researching my family history. How very sad I am to read of the death of a brave young American soldier. Rest in Peace Michael."
William G Sutter of Liverpool England

"I was on the internet today trying to look up some old friends from basic training and I came across your name in hopes of connecting with you! I am deeply saddened as I realized you died for the freedom and the rights of people not only in this country but all over the world. You will always be remembered for being a real sincere person, I always thought your parents raised you well! Bless your soul and your family!
Thanks for your service and it was honor to have briefly know you for those months we grew to become soldiers together! Some gave some and some gave all!"
Sean LeSage of Michigan

"I was on the internet today trying to look up some old friends from basic training and I came across your name in hopes of connecting with you! I am deeply saddened as I realized you died for the freedom and the rights of people not only in this country but all over the world. You will always be remembered for being a real sincere person, I always thought your parents raised you well! Bless your soul and your family!
Thanks for your service and it was honor to have briefly know you for those months we grew to become soldiers together! Some gave some and some gave all!"
Sean of LeSage

"Mikey it has been almost five years since your passing. Still to this day brother your absence aches the hearts of many. I still remember the services that day. I am not surprised at how many techs showed up that day to place our crabs by your side. You were loved by many. I still remember talking with you at Hood and playing golf and laughing at Jim trying to hit a golfball before you guys left. We played at the public course in that downpour and argued with the clubhouse that we wanted to play even if it was raining. It turned into a muddy cart race. I played for the first and last time a few months later that spring. It will never feel the same. The fun is gone. Rest in peace brother. You will forever be missed."
MSG Jeff Sarver of Picatinny Arsenal, NJ

"Hello i am in Arizona and today june the 28th 2008 i came across a flag stuck in the desert along az hwy 177 (known as rice road) with a attached card thanking him for his services ! the card reads Staff Sgt. Micheal J. Sutter 28 yrs old Dec. 26 2003. thank you for your services. and a picture attached.. there were hundreds of these flags along miles of hwy, i stopped and this is the one i have.. I would like to mail it to you. John"
john of Lake Havasu City, Az.

"May 13, 2008
Mrs Sutter,
Tonight my daughter was the recipient of the Michael Sutter Scholarship Award given at Andrew High School by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. With a touching speech and a genuine hug, I know that Mike was lucky to have you as a mother, and how proud you are to have him as a son. I too, am proud that my daughter, along with your son, carries the qualities of helping others, being proud, and caring about the world. Thank you for sharing a piece of your son with us tonight. You and your family are in my prayers."
Mrs. Jennifer Raymond of Tinley Park, Il

"January 30, 2008
I will never forget all the time I have spent with you and your great family. We grew up together in Tinley Park and met at the Tinley Park Judo Club. Your Parents taught all of us students how to be the best at everything we did. It seems that you did just that. I think about all of the traveling we (the team)did and how much fun we had over the years growing up together. I remember you were always respectful to your dad but always knew how to have fun with your brothers and sister. We had many laughs! I pray for your family and you! Thank you for all that you did for all of us! You are sadly missed! You left your mark on those that knew you and will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!

Your old friend
Kim Hilton"
Kim Hilton (Fazio now) of Tinley Park, Illinois

"Mike was someone that you did not mess with. He was a good high school friend and we had a blast in autos class. On Memorial Day 2004, I went out to place a small flag at the cemetery with my wife and kids. I was amazed at the size of the cemetery since it was only a few years old. I said to my wife, its going to take a while to find him. Well, I parked and started looking. He was right in front of where I parked, just like he is watching out for everyone still. I visit Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery every year on Memorial Day and I do it in honor of Mike and the members of my family in the military. The very least anyone can do is to visit and honor the fallen. Also, donate in honor of these men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our great country. Mike will never, ever, be forgotten. My prayers are with him and his family.

Greg Skalnik and family"
Greg Skalnik of Yorkville, Il

"I'm in town visiting my family this memorial day weekend. While in town I took a ride on a family members motorcycle. I found my self at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery. SSgt Sutters grave was the FIRST Iraqi Freedom KIA that I came across during my visit. I took a picture as it was obviously visited by family and friends. I got back to the house and typed his name in google. SSgt Sutter is from the town I grew up in and graduated high school from. Very strange for feeling for me at the moment. My prayers go out to his family and friends for his sacrifice. I'm a seven year active duty vet and I'm moved to tears every time I hear of another KIA. God bless those serving and those who are home holding down the home front."
David of Oklahoma


"I will never forget when the mortars came in wounding me and my guys on Christmas night 2003 at FOB Gabe, you were the guy who carried me to safety. Who could know that on 26 December 2003 as I lay in Echo Med recovering from my wounds, and you responded to an IED a couple miles away I'd heard the radio call for medevac and that EOD was down. Thank you Mike for helping me and teaching me and my deepest sympathy to your family and friends. You are my hero - God's speed - EOD 1!

Joe Tormala- of Chassell, Michigan

"Veteran's Day 2006
Thank You Michael"

"Dear Sutter Family,
John and Judy, I've been thinking of you and your brave, wonderful son,
Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Sutter.
I believe that God is faithful to strengthen you all. I am so sorry for your loss and the pain you are enduring. I hope you are comforted by
memories of your Michael and his love for you. God is near to the brokenhearted."
Nancy Ebbers, Mother of Matt (Army Spc. M.J.Ebbers), James (Army PV2 J.H.Ebbers), and Mark of Bolingbrook, IL (formerly of Orland Hills, IL) 31Oct2006


"Memorial Day Weekend:
Sunday May 28th, 2006

My thoughts and prayers with you today, 'ol friend.


Joseph N Larmon Jr. of Chicagoland
-God answers knee mail."

""Memorial Day" 2006
Ellen Thomas of Burbank, IL

"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

"To the family of:Michael J Sutter I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully, we will 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, Gateway Community Church, 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ,"
Polly Ballew of Covington,Ga

You were one of my best team leaders I ever got to mentor. I didn't like the day that you left FT Bragg but it was a decision you made to continue on. For those of you who didn't know him, one of the most remarkable things I can say is this. Following Hurricane Fran while we were working relief efforts on and around FT Bragg, he never faltered, even as he had a tree laying across his back yard very close to his own house. I never heard from him after he left but recognized his name in May 2004 when I read it in the Army times. My heart sank that day, and I sat down remembering the times we had at FT Bragg on various drop zones as well as other places like JRTC. One rotation when he and his M60 gunner engaged an entire Infantry company diverting them off their azimuth and into a deception position we built. This fully haulting the momentum of the units attack and allowing the CAV to counter and defeat. I always said he was my chief combat multiplier in the squad and still believe it to this date. God love you Mikey you are sorely missed."
SFC Robert J Dell of FT Irwin, California

"Michael my love, I will never forget you for you are with me every day, in my thoughts, in my dreams. I will always love you. Our love haunts me."
your jeannie

"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 SSG Michael Sutter:

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 Michael's name on one of them. If you would like us to do this, please email me at ArlingtonMidwest@yahoo.com.

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.

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

"Dear Michael,

In a dream last night, I awoke with the childhood memories of our most fondest early youth… For I have known you so long you are a brother to me… For, I’ve known you since the first grade and we grew up together faster than the corn stalks that used to surround the Helen Keller grade school… You came to all my birthday parties, and Steve too, and Angie, you remember the crashing waves of the Bolingbrook wave pool, the playland McDonalds… We were on the swim team since practically we got out of our diapers, and I still remember going to Judo at the Tinley Park District were your father taught the displine…. And when I choose to priority swimming over Judo, it was one of many chooses in life that defined us at an early age…. When we passed on a warm summers late night sum 15 years ago as we passed, you on your bike and I on foot, a quite nod, and a silent salute, as we both went on our separate ways into the unknown, we have each chosen our paths in life…. And though we have long since grew apart, and were destined for different paths in life, you will always be like a brother to me…. From a small innocent fun loving child to a good family man, a proud soldier who served his country and commander and chief selflessly, a symbol of the U.S.A.'s strength, our values, our valor, or freedom. Michael Sutter…. The last time I heard your name a year after high school, ‘ol friend Gary (from the swim team) says you fell in love and got married and joined the military, and stationed out of state… God Bless you….

Always a higher power at work, weather an act of God, or weather an act of bureaucracy, let us not forget that sometimes our circumstance are controlled by a higher power, and let us never forget that Christ died for the sins of bureaucracy. I know that Christ welcomed you with open arms, Michael, and he called you back to his Kingdom of Heaven at the time of his birthday. Let us not forget that Christ rose from the dead and on Easter was reborn. It is his promise to us of eternal life…. Michael, I now you are watching over us from Heaven, each and every one of us, your family, your dearest loved ones, even your long ago childhood friends….. Your Easter Eggs will hatch…. I know this because you came to me in this dream…. And though it was like yesterday, playing around by the pool side, I had to now just why and where were you….. ?

Michael, I was deeply saddened when I received the news today June 23, 2005. Looking your name up on the internet …. Finding, that almost 18 months ago to the day, you went to do your job, the job you’d trained intensively for, the job you felt passionately about, the job you did by the book, whatever the circumstances called for, for not only God knows, the job you so loved your country and family for…. The vitally important job you knew had to be done….

Thank you Brother, Thank you for the good memories, Thank you for being you…

My thoughts and prayers are daily with you and your family… Staff Sgt. Michael Sutter.

S! (Salute)

Joseph Larmon Jr., PharmD. BA MBA"
rx_joe_jr_is@hotmail.com of Downers Grove, Joliet, Tinley Park, IL

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

"Dear Mike,
You are our Hero. Superman and Batman are cool but you are cooler. Mom and Dad tell us about you and we have your picture in our room. Thanks for working so hard to make us safe in the world. We promise to work hard so no one ever forgets what you did for us.
Happy 30th Birthday.
Love Jake and Matt"
of Tinley Park IL

"I had PVT Micheal Sutter arrive to Fort Bragg and join my squad in time to deploy to Haiti, from that time forth, he was a true professional, and caring family man, words can not express my feelings for Mike or his Family, but in heaven stands a paratrooper who earned his wings being committed to his family, comrades, I'll remember him always"
R.T.M an old paratrooper of Fort Bragg,NC

"To know you, is to love you, which is to think of you and miss you very much, you are so precious. thank you................."

"Thank you Michael for defending the freedoms my family and all Americans cherish. Your brave deed touched my heart, knowing it takes a cetain kind of person to do your job. As a Viet Vet, I know how respected on the field of battle you were. Hoorah soldier and God Bless you. From a very grateful American family"
The Shaw family of Pasadena, Maryland

"To My Loving Son, It has been almost a year since we lost you, and the pain is no less than it was when it happened. We keep you alive in our thoughts and hearts.God wanted you for a reason, of which we don't know.To think you and Tina starting a new life just tears everyone apart. You had your whole life ahead of you and you chose to defend our country.We are all proud of you and you will always be our HERO! Rest in peace,my son,we will love you forever and you will never be forgotten."
Mom and Dad of tinley park,Il.

"My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Michael Sutter. In honor of his heroism, I've submitted his name to the Colorado Secretary of State and am casting my vote this November 2, 2004, in his honor.


Warmest Regards,"
Jonni Jones of Centennial, CO, USA

"I miss you so much my love. Every little thing comes back to me. I am
haunted by our life, your love, you won't leave me. Thank you for your
love. Thank you for giving me so much in my life. You are the warmth
from the sunshine that hugs me. You are the beauty in the blooming of
every rose. You are the wind that brushes me with comfort. You are the
glimmer in the wave of the water that shines in my eye. You are my
thought in every moment. You are the tear in my eye, everyday. You are
the light in my darkness. You are my heart. You are my peace in my sleep
and most of all you are the chirp in the cricket that soothes me. I always will love you unconditionally. I love you Michael...You told me "I completed you"..... well, you
completed my life. Thank you............thank you for loving me. I miss
you so so much."
Anna Becker of Mokena, IL

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

"Mike was a man who had the uncanny ability to brighten everyone he touched. He was a dear friend to my husband and will always be missed for the unique happiness only he could bring into his life. He loved his family and had a deep respect for the value of family. He was quick to show that love and respect. He also loved his wife, Tina very deeply. Their love was rare. They were married young, but even through the tough times he valued their friendship. Our family was honored to have met this couple. He was a man of honor with a strong sense of love, marriage and friendship. These qualities of his will be missed so deeply. His light will be missed."
N. Webber of Ohio

"Michael was so much more than a soldier and a hero, he was my "pookies". I loved him for the last two years and two days of his life. He was the type of guy that would do anything to help out his family or friends unselfishly. He left behind so many friends and family that will never forget him and cherish their memories of him. Michael was a loving and affectionate man. He loved to make me laugh. I will never forget all of the goofy things he did to put a smile on my face. He liked to spend our time together with just the two of us. We enjoyed the simple things in life together like going for walks, sitting in the park, making dinner, watching movies cuddling on the couch, going to museums, site seeing, camping, or just spending time together. He will forever be in my heart and in my thoughts everyday. He left me with a painful void, but I try to remember our last embrace just before he left for Iraq and one thing he said was "take care of yourself" with such sincerity, I'm trying Michael. But what I would give just to hear him call me "bubbies" and have one last hug and kiss. My heart goes out to all of his friends and family. I am truely sorry for your loss as well. Michael will live on in our hearts and memories that he left us with. "Everywhere I look I see you my love, I will never forget how beautiful you are"."
Anna Becker of Mokena, IL

"I learned so much in the few short days that I spent in Tinley Park with the Sutter family. You all made me realize the true meaning of "Close Knit Family". I was also impressed with the sense of pride throughout the town of Tinley Park. Mike, you will always be remembered."
1SG Scott Rogers

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

"To Our Dear Friend Michael: I know that you and my husband (Joseph Green from 741st EOD ORD) worked together side by side, you meant alot to the both of us..Your friendship, strength and courage has inspired us to be the best we can be..
Your memory will always remain in our thoughts and heart forever!! Thank you so much Michael for being the best soldier/friend any of us could ever had!! We will miss you!!!"
Kiyoko of Fort Bliss Texas

"Mike was a childhood friend of mine with whom I saw common ground with in regards to intense focus and unquestionable loyalty. While I did not have the privledge of serving side by side with him, I know I would have found an individual with the same character and courage of years ago. To the Sutter family, my sincerest regards and deepest thoughts for your loss of a true hero.
Your Brother in Arms"
CPT Ben Kotwica of Killeen, Texas

"Mike and I went thru EOD school together and always impressed me as such a good guy. I had just seen him here at Redstone before he left. I'm proud to have known him and he is in my prayers. He is a true hero."
Eric Loar of Redstone Arsenal, AL

"Although we never met SSG Sutter the members of our unit would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to his family. Any time an EOD technician falls it is felt. We will not forget. The members of the U.S. Army Technical Escort EOD section."
SSG A. White of Edgewood Arsenal, MD

"We grew up as kids with the love of the sport judo. I will never forget YOU! God Bless You for the sacrafice you made for others."
Mark Akiyama of Illinois

"Thank you. It's not enough but it's all that I can think to say."
Christy Reed of The Woodlands, TX

"Thank you , you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"To the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Michael Sutter:
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 Michael for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Michael Sutter:
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 Michael, 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