Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Thomas J. Sweet II

23, of Bismarck, North Dakota.
Sweet died of non-combat related injuries in Junction City, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas. Died on November 27, 2003.

Sweet was posthumously promoted to Sergeant on the day of his death. He was to receive his promotion on November 29, 2003.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Sgt. Thomas J. Sweet II.


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

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"Hey brother, you're still in my mind and my prayers. This year was a little bit harder on myself. I wasn't myself and kept thinking about you man. I feel both you and my daughter looking over me and my girl. Thank you for being my angel on my shoulder throughout this heart failure I am going through. I still feel I failed you though battle. I wish I would have done more to try and save you. Keep watching over your mom, dad, and family. With honor brother."
Roger Nixon of Colorado Springs

"I can attest and concur with Roger Nixon on how many bad apples including senior NCOs in the unit harassed and bullied him while he was in B Btry."
Spc Esteban Rodriguez of Fresno CA

"Hey brother, I got your message from your mom. I just wanted you to know that regardless of how everything happened, that you changed a lot of lives for the better than it may seem. I recently was able to help another soldier who went AWOL due to being picked on by higher up. It just Happened that in the office of the higher commands that word came down that I was going to show up and bring this issue up. Who wouldn't was at 1 time a mechanic for us PFC Chambers, and now Master Sgt Chambers. Overheard my name and was there when everything happened in 2003. This was so important that this soldier was located and helped instead of being punished. If bot for what had happened I wouldn't hVe recognized what was happening he could have done the same. Be proud You saved a soldier 2 weeks ago. Thank you.
RET.SPC. Nixon,Roger L"
Roger Nixon of Colorado Springs, co

"Sgt Thomas J Sweet, I will never forget your compassion even for a tarantula who only had 7 legs and with your savage humor decided to name "Seven" but still, you decided to give it home while it grew its 8th leg again. We stood side by side for many moons working together not only in the same gun battery but in the same section. 6th Section with Sgt Sawko as Section chief. I was cannoneer and Roberto, the other Rodriguez was Gunner and you as our Driver for the Gun. I honor and remember you every memorial day like today."
Spc Esteban Rodriguez of Fresno, CA

"You were one of my best mates, man.
I'm sorry.
It still bothers me to this day that, if I'd have been there I could have done or said something. Maybe things would have been different.
I'll be seein' ya, lad."
Spc. Robert VanDusen, as was

"To my brother:
A good heart has stopped beating, a good soul has ascended to heaven. We may have lost a loved one here on earth, but we gained an angel in heaven to watch over us. A person that departs from this earth never truly leaves, for they are still alive in our hearts. I am honored and blessed to have called you my brother. You were truly a blessing in my life and I miss you every day!"
Your Sister

"To the Sweet Family,
2015 Marks another year which I now see as being blessed to be a part of your family. Not a minute of a day goes by that I do not relive or think about the day I did everything in my power to save Your boy, a man, a soldier. Every day we're faced with personal hurdles between mentally, spiritually, and physically to try to understand better on why these situations happen not only to us but the rest of our own people in America. For the rest of my life I'll always be grateful knowing when the opportunity to do everything I physically could down to the secound to save my brother. I will never forget the day I spoke to you Liz Sweet, and you helped me see my experience wasn't because I failed T.J. at all. That I should be proud for everything I did and could have done. I Love you guys to death for words that I couldn't have heard from anybody else in the world that would ever understand. I hope you guys have a great holidays.
Ret Spc Roger Nixon of Colorado Springs, co

"To the Sweet family. Still to this day, I carry the memory of Thomas J Sweet, Liz without your encouraging words, and as small as you may feel it is, that little bit of closer for my own peace of mind.
I have realized how grateful I am today to know your family is a huge part of my life for life. Thank you Liz.
With more love than the Sweet family may know."
Ret Spc Roger Nixon of Colorado Springs

"To the Sweet family.. Happy thanksgiving. . Your family will always be part of me for the rest of my life... Always remember the fallen.. Ret Spc. Roger Nixon"
Ret Spc Roger Nixon of Columbia Missouri

"This is ret.spc. Roger L Nixon.. I wanted to Leave a message to the sweet family, and thank you guys for being a part of my life forever.. Thomas J Sweet did his service .. If a soldier can accomplish and at least reach out to help and change one persons life in a good way.. then he was the one who helped me changed for the better and see how much people need to apreciate life and made me who I am today.. Thank you"
rogern82.rn@gmail.com of Colorado Springs, co

"I was in Alpha Btry when we lost Sgt Sweet, but I was super close with most of the guys in SVC Btry before we ever deployed. I was really at a total loss for words. I had only ran into Sweet once or twice right after we were in country and they were fairly short conversations as we were both pretty busy as you can imagine. I just hated that I wasn't able to talk to him more on those two occasions. He was always a very friendly guy and not one to be short of some good laughs. We all wish we had more time with him, we all have regrets on our last conversations. What we wish we would've said had we known it would be the last time speaking. Just know that your son was a great individual that put a lot of smiles on many faces in his time and he is dearly missed. Thoughts and prayers are always with you. He is never forgotten"
Andrew Hannan of Anna, IL

"This is a message to the family and in memory of Sgt. Thomas Sweet. My name is Ret. spec Roger Nixon from 1-5 FA. We are now coming up on the ten year mark from the day I will never stop remembering for the rest of my life. As a father who lost a child in August 2002 I understand and know there are no words that can explain the loss of a child. It has taken me this long to extend my greatest apologies and with every day that goes by and every time I blink my eyes I see that very second in which was what I can only describe as what I thought I would never be able to tell the parents how sorry I am that I did not do more than I had. He was a great person and one of the first people I met when I got to the unit and am the last to hear him speak. in my heart what I can only describe as I failed as a battle buddy for not saying anymore. I am the last person to have asked Sweet if he was ok and the last to have heard the last words which I failed to do more than I did, and live with as well as have nightmares everyday of my life. I failed and did not do or keep asking more than I did. This great soldier, man, and son you have and always will have in your heart, mind, and soul I relive every time I close my eyes. I'm the last to say what I feel was not enough and failed as a father as well by not doing more. I feel that after that morning which at this time was 1-5 FA greatest loss on our deployment to Iraq. This moment I that changed my life was what made, and gave me the strength to get through and back to my son who was all that I had left after my daughters death. As one of the few things I have to do before I die is reach out to the parents of Sgt. sweet and explain what I see, hear, and relive everyday of my life and I feel if the last person to have heard his voice and with my deepest apologies, wish I could have traded places because I didn't say or do anymore than I did that morning. He is in my thoughts everyday I go to bed, wake up, and will be a memory that I can not forget. I wish that the parents of Sgt Sweet would email me so that I can explain what happened in the last moments of a great persons life. I hope that I get a message and that all of the family of Sweet knows I did what I thought was right but was what I have to live with as failing in not saying more than I did. I will never know and we will never know but even to this day I still beat myself up wishing I said more. I know he is in a place with my daughter taking care of her until we all reunite one day. Until then he will watch over her for me and they will watch over us all. With the most respect and condolences and I hope that I hear from someone being the father and or mother, or siblings so that we can meet one day in person and I can maybe have some sort of closer or that little piece of mind. Until then with ever blink, every loss of friend, and evertime that I find myself in sweats, having panic attacks, waking up at the same time only to relive this day I do not feel closer unless you both know what happened and know that I tried. Please email me and I will give you my phone number. To meet you both and maybe give some closer to you both as I was never given with my daughter I feel it may take away some pain we all have taken on from this day. From parent to parent and soldier to parent, I feel in my heart this is something I need to do. Please as parent to parent give me this one thing I have had to live with, and battled with in and out of VA hospitals for ten years now the blessing and knowledge that you know what happened in the last moments. I hope you guys get to read this and I will respectfully be waiting for your response. Rogern82.rn@gmail.com I hope to hear from someone in the Sweet family soon so the truth can be told. Sincerely and as the one of the hardest things I have and will ever have to do but needs to be heard. Spec. Roger Nixon 1-5 FA"
Spc. Roger Nixon of Manhattan, ks

"Spc. Sweet was a good man and a great soldier, I remember the day before he passed as we sat in the rec room watching a classical musical group playing and us joking and laughing about how hot the women were, lol. I remember that if anyone had a problem and came to him he'd help without a problem. He loved his family very much and it was so evident when we met his family the love he had for them. I know he's watching over them right now. I just want to say to Sgt. Sweets family how much he's been missed and I wish I could've done more to help. God bless the Sweet family and please feel free to contact me at eddie6880@aol.com"
Edwin Agosto Jr. of Augusta, Ga.

"I have a message for the family of SGT Sweet. I was Sweet's battle buddy in Iraq. I had just arrived to Service Battery 1-5 FA right before we deployed and was placed in Sweet's Section. I remember meeting his mother at the family outing prior to deployment. He was a great soldier and I will never forget what he has done for our country and I miss him. If you have any questions my email address is jeremy.croy@hotmail.com
I spent a few field problems prior to deployment in the vehicle with him and also several convoys in Iraq. I still have the picture of the truck he and I slept on our first few nights in Iraq. He was a great soldier and I will never forget him. God Bless!"
Jeremy Croy of Topeka, KS

"Sgt. Sweet, you are missed. You were a great guy and fun to have in the unit. May god bless you and your family. Riley Yadon, SGT USA
1-5 FA"
Riley Yadon of Kansas City

"To Thomas's family and friends,
My name it Kelly (Tyrrell) Zitelman and my younger brother PFC Scott Tyrrell also died "from injuries sustained in Iraq during a non-combat related incident" in 2003. He was near an amunitions hold when it exploded on Nov. 14th and died from his injuries on Nov. 20th at Ft. Sam Houstin, TX.
It has been just over 6 years for us...and I just wanted you to know that yours, as well as mine have not been forgotten. I want to thank you for the sacrifice that, not only he, but all of you also gave! I hope that you are able to keep Thomas's memory alive but have also learned to live with the pain of him being gone. Please know that I will be thinking of all of you and that if any of you ever need to talk with someone "that truely understands"...you can reach me at zitelmanzoo@yahoo.com
Kelly :)"
Kelly Zitelman (sister of a fellow fallen HERO) of Dixon, 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 1,850 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

"November 23, 2008
To the family of Sgt. Thomas J. Sweet, II:
Thomas 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

"Sorry for waiting so long, I should of wrote this a very long time ago.
You were always a good freind to me and you wil be missed. God Bless you and your family."
SPC Gary Spisak B 1/5 FA of St. Louis, MO

"I first learned about Thomas in a commeration ceremony on my university campus. There were several white boards on easels lining our campus common area, listing the names of those who have died thus far in this war. The people who coordinated the effort made necklace tags with the names, hometowns, and death dates of the soldiers, and asked students passing by to wear one for the duration of the day. That day, 1 in every 4 of the 12,000 students on my campus wore them. I have kept my tag hanging from the rear-view of my car, and everytime I look at it I take a minute to remember you... even though we never met, I miss you. Thank you for your service to our country, and may your family find peace even in your absence. On this anniversary, I thought about you all day."
Heather Davidson of Bellingham, WA

"I miss you man. You were probably the best friend I've ever had."
Paul Falk of Manhattan, KS

"To the family of:Thomas J. Sweet 11 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 do not know you all -but my husband is also a Thomas Sweet who was in the army 16 years-our prayers go out to you at the holidays especially..."
The Sweets of Yellow House PA

"Hey Thomas, you're missed man"
Hanna of Huntsville

"Thank you Thomas for being such a brave young man. To Thomas Sweet's family my prayers are with you."
Jodie Hjelmstad of Bismarck, ND

"My condolence to the sweet family, if you have any questions let me know, I was with 1-5 in Ramadi at the time

"To the family of Thomas J. Sweet II:

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 think of your son Thomas and of the
thousands who have died in Iraq during
this endless war. His death and theirs
diminshes us all. May he rest in peace.
23 Feb 2005"
John Leppert of Bismarck ND

"Thank you Sgt. Sweet for protecting your country and its people. We are very much indebted to you for your brave service. You are our hero and we will remember you each day we raise our flag in the front yard. From a very grateful American family."
The Shaw family of Pasadena, Maryland

"We did not know each other, but we share the same name and a love for our country. God Bless...."
Thomas J. Sweet of Parker, CO

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

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

"SPC Sweet, you will always be remebered by me. You were my driver while I was Service Battery Commander in 1-5FA prior to my departure from the battalion. I remember many long nights leading the convoy. It was fun especially when we ran off the road!! Oh, those were the times! To the family of SPC Sweet, my heart mourns with you. GOD bless."
CPT Gansz of Camp Doha, Kuwait

"Spc. Sweet:
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

"Thank you Thomas Sweet II, 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 Spc. Thomas Sweet II:
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 Thomas 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 Spc. Thomas Sweet II:
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 Thomas, 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