Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Capt. Michael Yury Tarlavsky

30, of Passaic, New Jersey.
Tarlavsky died in Najaf, Iraq, when his unit came under small arms fire and grenade attack. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Died on August 12, 2004.

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"I did not know Capt. Michael Tarlavsky, but my brother Sgt. Eric J. Wedoski (5th Special Forces Group, ODA 512) served with Capt. Tarlavsky that day. Thank you, to all the men and women that have service our country and protected our families. No words can be said to the heroes that have given the ultimate sacrifice, other than our upmost humble gratitude. I also want to thank the unsung heroes whom have given so much, that few know or see, the wives, children, and other loved one of these men and women.

These HEROES will NEVER be forgotten!"
David Wedoski of Tamp, Florida

"My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones . Thank you for sharing your hero with us! Wishing you peace and lots of love."
Meg of Vidalia, ga

"Mike - I'm still thinking of you everyday. You are still in our heats❤️❤️❤️❤️
May this Memorial Day 2016 pay a little tribute to your sacrifice. You inspire me to work hard and love life.

Paul, Teresa, Alex and Curtis Hjorten"
Paul Hjorten of Kenmore, WA - USA!

"I'm proud and humbled to participate in a pre-Memorial Day observance in NYC tomorrow. I'll be lighting a candle to honor CPT Tarlavsky's memory and sacrifice."
CH (CPT) Ephraim Travis of Passaic, NJ USA

"Wow, 10 years later this website continues to catch me off guard with touching comments from caring people all over the world. Thank you all, especially to the Navy SEAL who was able to share about Michael's last day. It means more than you can imagine!"
Elina Tarlavsky Wallis (Michael's sister) of Levittown, NY

""To the family and friends of Capt. Michael Tarlavsky:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom of my people in iraq. 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."
his my CAP in iraq and I will remember him always and pray for him his great and hero .
Hussain . QLD Australia
Hussain of Australia

"I was a Navy SEAL who was injured in combat in Baghdad on the same day that Mike was killed in Najaf, August 12, 2004. I was triaged in the 31st CSH in the next triage area to Mike's. I remember seeing his 5th Group buddies there with him and talking to them about what just happened. They were very sad about losing Mike. I never knew him, but think of him, that day and his loss often. I think of how much his friends cared for him and how torn up they were.

I recently found a framed picture of Mike by the bar at Sine Irish Pub in Arlington, VA and knew immediately who it was, especially with "CPT Mike Tarlovsky, ODA 512 KIA 12 AUG 04 Najaf, Iraq" written on it. His passing is still felt by those who never even met him. I think of that day and his loss often."
DH of Virginia Beach, VA

"Dear Tarlavsky Family, Today, the 9th anniversary of Capt. Michael's passing I again placed red/white/blue flowers next to his plaque and under his tree in front of Clifton High School. I've done this every year since his passing.
I never had Capt. Mike as a student at
CHS, however, I wanted our students and staff to honor and remember him. That is why the Dogwood tree and plaque was
placed on school grounds. May he rest in peace. God bless his family."
Angela Jones of Woodland Park, New Jersey

"All this time and I still remember your smile like it was yesterday! I miss you and your crazy antics! You're always in my thoughts Mike."

"30 June 09
CPT Ski was my PL in Hawaii. I was a squad leader then. I've served with many PL's before and since, but I don't remember their names. I will always remember CPT Ski.
My wife and I, Nikki, attended his wedding just shortly before we PCS'd off the rock. We both think of and talk about him from time to time. He was by far one of the greatest leaders, men, I have had the priveledge to say I served with. Joseph, God bless you.
paul.a.mattes @us.army.mil"
SFC Paul A. Mattes of Currently Iraq

"Mike and I served as platoon leaders in Hawaii. He was a good man and a fine officer. My sincere condolences to the Tarlavsky family, his wife and child."
Jason of Beaumont, TX

"Thanks to all of you for your kind words. Today was one of the random days that I decided to search my brother's name and my heart was warmed by all of the kind messages left here. It's hard to believe that Michael is gone almost 5 years but it's nice to know that he touched so many lives and will never be forgotten. Please know that my family appreciates all of your thoughts and prayers."
Elina Tarlavsky Wallis (Michael's sister) of Levittown, NY

"To the family of Michael Yury Tarlavsky,

Mike and I met during advance ROTC camp in Ft. Bragg. He and I were always together, mostly because of our last names. My name starts with an "S" and they put us in alphabetical order. I got to know him very well. We were both always getting the attention of the instructors, as we were always trying to out do them. You see we were both very competitive and pushed each other throughout camp. I will always remember when we went to the rappel towers, and the instructors wanted us to do the rappels the way they were teaching, but Mike and I had so much experience rappeling that will rappelled all the way to the groung in one shot, and they got really mad at us. But, they also joked around with us about it. It was a good day.

I learned about his death visiting the Special Forces museum at Ft. Bragg. When I saw his name on the fallen heroes list my heart just stopped. I will always remember him.

With my deepest condolences,"
Robert Santiago of Somewhere in Iraq

"July 11, 2008
To the family of Capt. Michael Yury Tarlavsky:
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

"Today it is Wed. 19 March 2008, Michael you are still not forgotten. We still laugh and cry in your memory.
I came across several pictures of you and I will treasure those and save them for Joey. He will know the story behind these treasured memories in time.
We miss you."
J.K. of N.C.

"To the family of Capt. Michael Tarlavsky. I am a retired US Air Force officer living overseas. I have several friends from the US Army Special Forces serving in Afghanistan. I just received my remembrance bracelet with the name of Michael inscribed. While I don't know the details regarding his sacrifice for our country, I plan to learn more about this brave warrior. God bless your family and God bless the other members of our armed forces who continue to serve and defend our great nation."
John dos Santos of Manila, Philippines

"Tarlavsky Family,

Our sincecest condolences to your family. We did not know Michael but pray for him every day of the summer. Our boat is next to Michael's. I pass the boat each day and look at the words on the transom. We thank you for your son's sacrafice for our country. We pray for michael every weekend. We have two young boys. We pray that they will grow up to be honorable men as your son.

If there is anything that we can do, please contact me. gcl@lancianolaw.com"
guy lanciano of hopewell NJ

"The Greer Foundation created a youth leadership award in memory of Mike and another fallen SF Soldier, CW2 Bruce Price.
Please visit: www.greerfoundation.org/Tarlavsky_Price.html

Mike's legacy of leadership and compassion for kids will live on!"
Steve Greer of Eastman, GA

"I met Michael about 11 years ago, when a friend and I were driving from MD up to CT, and decided to do a search for him to see if I could find him. I was saddened to hear of his passing. He was a very sweet, genuine, funny man who could make anyone laugh. I remember he had this huge snake, Monty I believe was his name, and my friend and I were scared senseless and he teased us relentlessly. We remained friends for awhile after, and Ive always missed his smile, and his warmth. He will be missed. I am deeply, truly sorry for your loss"
Amanda (mndygrl78@yahoo.com) of Canandaigua, NY

"Mike Tarlavsky and I were stationed together in Hawaii from 1997-2000. We then attended Special Forces training together from 2000-2002. Mike was someone I looked up to and was inspired by. He will always be remembered. A funny story I remember about Mike was that when I first met him in Hawaii he slept on an army issue poncho liner at home. I'm talking about at his house, off base. He didn't even use sheets! I know the military pay is bad, but come on. That was Mike though, he lived to be a soldier. Even his hobbies were military in nature. I have a lot of great stories and memories about Mike. Write me, I'd love to share them: jason.harris@pfizer.com"
Jason Harris of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

"I found this sad information today, when I was trying to look up an old friend...Mike Tarlavsky. I am so shocked and saddend by this news I don't even know what to say. I was a friend of Mike's in Hawaii, in 1999-2000. I was in college there, and we became friends. He was so good to me, I'll never for get him. God Bless his family. I remember he used to speak Russian on the phone with my grandmother...she loved that!

God Bless his family!
Brooke of Florida

"To the family of:Michael Yury Tarlavsky 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"

"I was Mike's CSM in 2-5 Inf Bn in Hawaii in 2000-2001. Mike and I talked a great deal about Special Forces and his desire to lead an SF A-detachment. He led with the best of them for sure. I was fortunate to have served with Mike. He was remarkable.

My wife and I also attended his memorial service at Fort Campbell, KY and the funeral at Arlington. Niether were easy for me. I was proud to know Mike, serve with him, and bid him a respectful farewell with sand brought back from the North Shore of Hawaii. Mike lived on the North Shore and was always on the beach, surfing, diving, vollyball, etc. We all sprinkled sand from the shore on his casket and it was something that I'll never forget.

We owe Mike a huge debt of gratitude for his courage and service. God speed to he and his family. I know little Joey will grow to be the spitting image of his warrior dad.

Steve Greer
CSM, USA (Ret)"
Steve Greer of Eastman, GA

"To The Tarlavsky Family,
He was one of my first Plt. Leaders in the 25th Infantry Hawaii. He taught me everything there was to know about being an Infantry solider. What he taught me kept me safe when it was my turn to head to Iraq. Thank you so much for supporting him in training troops in the United States Army. He will always be my hero. Could you please send photos of him to me? Thank you so much for your time.

CPL Cummings
US Army Hawaii
Curt Cummings of Honolulu,Hawaii

"To the Tarlavsky family:

Please accept my most profound condolences at the loss of your son, brother, husband, and father. I am honored to have known Mike Tarlavsky at Rutgers. As a commander, Captain Tarlavsky’s motivation and skill elevated me. He inspired me to do things I never dreamed possible. As a friend, Sky’s good heart and sense of humor made him a pleasure to be around. It was impossible not to love the guy. He brought the best out of everyone around him and I will miss him deeply."
Emil K. Hemsey of Montclair, NJ

"miss you brother. see you again in another life.... we'll have as much fun then as we did here!!!"
Lenny of Daytona Beach, FL

"My condolences to Mr. Tarlavsky's family. I served in Najaf as part of the civilian adminstration authority in 2004. Men like Mr. Tarlavsky helped to rescue that city from a brutal militia and made it safe for decent, ordinary people to go on living their lives. He sacrificed his life so that Najafis could have the same kind of life we enjoy in America."
Kevin of Austin, Texas

"To Mike and his family. I knew Michael from the days of BBYO, and the Y in Clifton. I was in the National Guard, when Mike was in ROTC. We had a few weekends at FORT DIX together. My deepest sympathy to the family"

"I had the honor of meeting CPT Tarlavsky at the DISCOM Ball, at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii about 4 years ago. CPT Tarlavsky was attending the ball with his wife "Trish", who was the S-1 for the 325th FSB, and also my boss at the time. The Tarlavsky's had married only months earlier and Trish was eager for me to meet her new husband before the festivities ended and I left for the evening. Trish and I found CPT Tarlavsky on the other side of the ballroom, enjoying the company of his fellow officers. Trish interrupted him and said that there is someone that she would like him to meet, he walked over to me and extended his hand. "Nice meeting you sir", I said. A huge smile took over his face, and as he gripped my hand he looked me in the eye and said "enough of that, call me Mike". I knew at that moment that Mike was a truly special person. We talked for about 15 minutes, he was telling me how excited he was about his upcomming training to become an SF officer, and I was was expressing to him, my plans to retire from the Army in the next 2 years. Before Mike and I parted that evening, we wished each other well then went our separate ways. That was the first and only time that I met Mike; he left a lasting impression on me. I came across Mike's name on the faces of valor web site as one of the fallen in Iraq, immediately my thoughts went out to Trish and their infant son; my prayers and thoughts are with you both. Thank you CPT Michael Tarlavsky, a true hero!

SFC, USA (Ret.)"
of Tampa, FL

"Hillel would be proud"
Mike Smith of Marietta, Ga.

"To all members of the Tarlavsky family, please accept my condolences - only just now did I hear of "Taz's" death and it saddens me greatly.

He was a strong and confident man and one of the finest Special Forces Officer that I've had the privilige to know. He will be missed by all.

TPH of Overseas - Deployed

"To the Family and Friends of Mike Tarlavsky,
I am so sorry for your loss, I will keep you and Mike in my prayers. I learned of Mike’s death from a fellow Army Officer. I knew Mike from way back in Advanced Camp at Ft. Bragg, NC. I will always remember “Sky’s” perpetual optimism and enthusiasm. His positive attitude was contagious. I am so honored to have had an opportunity to know him and serve with him."
CPT Kathleen Gibney-Neumann, US Army of New York

The memory of the short time we spent together in 2003 and the valuable lessons you passed onto me will stay with me forever. Semper Fidelis my friend."
Captain Pete Young, USMC of Chesapeake, Virginia

"I had the privilege of meeting Capt Tarlavsky when we were doing sometime over seas before and after the war. I heard about his death from a mutual friend that was there with us. I am sorry about your loss. He was a note worthy soldier. I promise he and all the others that have fallen will never be forgotten."
Sgt Keeney, C.S. USMC of Cherry Point, NC

"I visted my son's grave today. He is next to Michael's. Jamie Hasty had put a flower on Neil's grave when visiting Michael's. I put some flowers on Michael's. I added them to some already there, but the vase leaked. I put another vase inside and put all the flowers in the inside vase. You are in our prayers."
DianeSantoriello@hotmail.com of Verona, PA

"I came upon news of Michael’s death by accident by looking for Olympic news of Latvia athletes. Like Michael I came from Latvia at a very early age to USA in 1981. Like Michaels my passion is scuba diving and like Michael I have a 16-month-old baby. I cannot begin to imagine the sadness in your harts. My cousin died on September 11 in WTC. I would like to thank Mike for being the man that he was. By reading more about him I realized how many lives he touched. I am so sorry for your lose."
A. Satinsky of Chicago IL

"To the Tarlavsky Family,
I want to extend my deepest sympathy to all of you at this difficult time. I knew Mike and his sister Elina a long time ago, in 1991-1992, from Temple Beth Sholom Religious School, in Clifton, NJ, when he was 17-18 years old. We volunteered with other teens in the temple by tutoring young students in Hebrew, and had a good time. Mike was always mature, upbeat, confident and dependable, a role model that I and the younger volunteers highly respected.
Our country (and world) needs more people like Michael Y. Tarlavsky. He cared about making a difference and dared to lead.
My thoughts are with you all."
Paulette Anis of Edison, NJ

"To Michael's Family,
I had the honor of skiing with Mike when he came up to my house in Maine a few years back with Mac Cornish. My wife and parents loved him as did I. He left an incredible impression on us all as such an incredible person. My sympathy for your loss."
CPT Tyler Dunphy of Standish, Maine

"Thanks to Michael's friend for leaving a flower on my son's grave. Lt. Santoriello. Know that when we visit Neil's grave that we will leave a flower for Michael. It is nice to know something good about the person buried next to my child. Knowing he is beside a fellow Eagle Scout makes it seem like he is buried near family, All of the people in the service are heroes."
Diane Santoriello of Verona, PA

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 Breckenridge from Montana "

"Dear friend Yury:
We have never ever met your son Michael. But he always was our family
pride, because of he has chose the most essential today profession as a US Army Soldier.
Michael perished in combat defending his motherland-United States of America.
Our deepest sympathy to you, Michael's
mother, wife and son, his sister.
We will retain a memory of your son Michael in our hearts forever."
The Berkovich family of Elizabeth, NJ

"To a Fallen Hero, may he rest in peace.
May God give the family strength and courage at this most difficult time.
Our prayers are with you and everybody else still serving in Iraq."
The family of Christopher Norton, 5th SF Group of Clarksville TN

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

"To Michael's Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your soldier's bravery and sacrifice.


The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
Gloria Caldas (The Big Ern's Mom) of San Antonio, TX

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

"To Michael's family and friends.
You had an extraordinary man in your lifes: son, brother, husband, father, and friend. I held Michael in my arms when he was born. I have not seen him for many years, but with great interest and admiration I followed his carrier and his life. I was so proud of him and his family. There are no words to express my sadness. My deepest sympathy to all who knew Michael, but especially to his wife, son, parents, sister, and aunt. What a man! A HERO. THE BEST."
Lilia Zundelevich of Palo Alto, CA

"To the Tarlavsky Family:
I knew Mike from High School-- the last time I saw him was the HS reunion (Class of 1992).
As a person who works in the media you always dread the day that you will know one of the names that cross the wires. I'm really sorry for your loss! Mike was a great guy and a true hero. May God be with you all during this hard time."
Ron Thompson of Wayne, NJ

"To the Tarlavsy family from the Wahl family. We deeply are sadden by your lost. Michael is one very special individual, husband, DADDY, son, and etc. He has touched many many lives. An our hearts and prays are with your family. We lost our son as well. God Bless!"
leonard wahl of valley stream ny

"To the family of Mike Tarlavsky: Mike was a hero and will always be remembered as one. My wife, Nancy, and I are saddened by his loss. He was a great friend and dear comrade while at Rutgers Army ROTC and in later years in the Active Duty Army. He will be missed terribly. Please remember that you will never be alone and we hope someday to share stories to his son, Joey, when he grows up. May God be with you all during these sad times."
Jay Force of Spokane, WA

"To the family of Michael Tarlavsky;

Our sincerest condolences for your loss. Our family has also suffered the loss of a precious life in this battle for freedom. Michael is a true American hero and will always be remembered for his bravery and sacrifice he gave to his country. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time."
The McClain family---azquail@att.net of Tucson, AZ

"To the loved ones of Capt. Michael Yury Tarlavsky:
Deepest sympathies for your sorrow on the loss of your brave soldier. May you be comforted by faith and love during this sad time.
Thank you Capt. Tarlavsky."
A very proud American of Texas

"On behalf of the family of SPC Shawn Davies, our thoughts and prayers are with you. We also have lost a soldier. May God be with your during you time of sorrow. Michael will never be forgotten."
Toni Peters of Cleveland Oh

"Thank you brave soldier for sacrificing your today for my children's safer tomorrow. You have our utmost respect and gratitude. May God provide your family with comfort in their time of sorrow. May you forever rest in Heavenly peace. Neither you nor your sacrifice will be forgotten. For the family/friends: May time provide happy loving memories in place of present sorrows. Look to the sky for in the infinite meadows of Heaven the bright shining stars bloom...the forget-me-nots of angels. God bless you and thank you."
a grateful family in Phoenix, AZ

"To the family and friends of Michael:
Our family shares in your loss. Aug. 6th, Larry Wells,one of our family members was also killed in Iraq. Our hearts go out to you in your time of pain.Michael will always be remembered as an American Hero."
The Crochet Family of of Chauvin, LA

"Thank you Michael Tarlavsky, 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 Capt. Michael Tarlavsky:
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 Capt. Michael Tarlavsky:
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