Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Lee D. Todacheene

29, of Farmington, New Mexico.
Todacheene died in Balad, Iraq, when mortar fire hit his guard post. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 77th Armored Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany. Died on April 6, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Sgt. Lee D. Todacheene.


The Navajo Code Talkers
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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, itís been a while since Iíve been on here. I canít believe itís been this long. A lot has changed since my previous message and Iíd like to keep you in the loop. As Iím sure youíre aware, grandma and grandpa have passed on. Iím sure theyíre happy to finally see you once again as Iím certain youíre happy to see them. Chelsea got her doctorate and she and her husband have a little boy running around. I became a land surveyor and almost licensed for the State of Arizona. I got married back in 2018 and my wife and I have two boys together, Alden (4) and Jonathan (1). I canít begin to tell you how happy I am in life right now, and it all comes back to you. Iíve been told, ďIf you love your freedom, thank a vet.Ē It seems as though those days are long gone now as every bit of this country is beginning to fall apart. I look at my life, how full of love, joy, and happiness, and I remember that it is only because of the sacrifice of the few that this is possible. I served my country faithfully; you died for it. There are no words to express my gratitude for your sacrifice. I only wish it wasnít you. I love you brother, and thank you for your service."
Charles A. Lee of Gallup, New Mexico

"I think of you all the time Sgt. Todacheene. You were a good man and a good soldier. You, and what happened that day, will always be with me.
May Your Spirit Rest In Peace and Truth"
Adam Smith of Shawano, WI

"Hey Brother... I miss you so much lately! Man the things we did the things we talked about and the MUSIC.....cant believe its going to be 14 years next month.... sh!t breaks my heart all over again. You and Sho are probably talking smack sayin' "COME ON MAN... that's not our sister shes tougher than that shes from the red dirt roads of L.A" haha Anyway your mom stop by to see me yesterday evening, it always makes my heart happy to see her. We talked about you for a few minutes, its hard to talk about you knowing your not going to pull up and say "skooooo" & be out all night up to no good listening to music that touches the heart and soul. Sirius XM Radio is the "thing" now and theres a station called HAIR NATION when im taking my drives just to clear my head. I'll hear a song that takes me back to the sagebrush days. BEST MEMORIES EVER!! My one and only baby is 19 years young and quite a young gentleman, he keeps me going even though his momma screws * up every now and then. But that's "SPUNKY" for you. ha! Other than that everything is just gravy brother. Give Sho the BIGGEST hug for me please. Until we meet again... Continue to watch over us brother miss and love you Duane"
Spunky Tso of Lukachukai, Az

"Hello Duane, my brother, my angel. I miss you. I am doing good and my girls are growing like weeds. Mom and dad are great too. I have not heard from Rydell but mom says he is doing good too. I missyou!! I found this poem that made me think of you:
'My heart is full of memories, with pride I speak your name. Though life goes on without you, it will never be the same.'

Love you!"
Donna of Norman, OK

"I miss my brother too,"
Fernando of Kirtland

Hello Duane,
Just found myself thinking of home and thought of my Lee Family❤️ Thought of you and wonder how your boys are doing... I miss everyone... My daughter is 6y.o now! All my love to my Lee family, R.I.P. Duane❤️"
Amber of Rio Rancho, NM (round rock)

"Hi Duane, I can't believe it's been 9 nine years. I miss you so much!! Mom and dad visited the girls and I this past weekend. They spoil them so much and it takes a few days to get them out of the clouds, back to reality. Rylee turned 8 last week and Reagan will be 5 next week. Grandma and chei are doing great. I love you. Keep watching over us. Missing you....hugs."
Donna of Norman, OK

"Hey Lee, It's your brother Charles. I'm sure you got quite a bit of things to tell me from the other side but we'll save that for another time. As you may know, Chels got married, and Ma is still Ma and Dad is still Dad. I up and joined the Air Force, I'm sure you might have had a thing or two to say about that. I got promoted to Senior Airman last year and all is going smooth. I test for Staff Sergeant this year, wish me luck, could use your help right about now. I miss you man. I know you're doing fine. Love you."
Charles Lee of Whiteman AFB Missouri

"Thinking of you this morning Duane. Love and miss you! Can't believe it's going on 9yrs now since you were called home."
Amber R. Lee of Round Rock, AZ

"Lee, thought of you today. man i miss you. here all is going well. the cattle are calving, i just finished planting the fields, wish you were here to help son.I stop at the ranch gate all the time look at the mountains and think of how things will be, i'm getting older, your sister Chelsea is getting married this summer, damn right it scares me,Charles is loving his job in the Air Forces, Woody and Carlos, Caleah are growing up fast, loving Grandmas farm and the WASH. Lakers are getting their butts kicked,hope the steelers are better this year. I'm sure Sho has something to say regarding that statement, but other than that all is well. MISSING YOU..... your uncle LEE..........."
F. LEE of New Mexico

""Hey Duane, I cant say i know you but i heard a lot about you. I with your son Cody and he talks a lot about you. You were always the person he looked up too. I think of you as a hero and im glad that you will always be missed. I never had a dad but i wish i could of met you, to know what Cody hero was like. I hope heaven is treating you nicely and who knows, i might meet you in the afterlife :) Rest in Peace Lee Duane Todacheene""
Your Friend, Kesley of Farmingtion, NM

"We love you Duane!! Thinking about you this evening, shine down your love and guidance on all of us."
Your Lee Family of Arizona

"i remeber when i ran into u in da shoppette an u had ur two boys. an ask who u were an told me an told u i firefight for ur dad out of keams agency. an seen u 3 days b4 at da DFAC at anaconda. R.I.P bro Conn Barrack Schweinfurt germany BIG RED 1"
Spc Poneoma, Robert of BACAVi ,AZ 86030


"hello duane!! if only in heaven you could write me back, right? i'm thinking of you and the times i had with all of you in lukachukai... my dear dear family. i remember the last time you visit us in round rock, you told me to visit grandma lee more often despite what everett did. i'm finally moving on from what he's done to us... since '96... i remember the year. i remember the day like it was yesterday. anyway, time truly does heal. back to what i was saying, i do visit grandma. she's so cute!! i love her so much!! she's met my baby, grandma and cheii. (i know they are my nalies, but they are still grandma and cheii to me!) they say she looks just like i used to!! only cuter... :) grandma calls her "boo-boo." grandma and cheii are still the busy bees i've always known them to be, cheii is always busy with the livestock and i either "just missed him," "he'll be back soon," or when i'm lucky, he walks into the door. tough old cowboy!! i made a visit back in december with my daughter and my cousin tracey, grandma was busy making beautiful quilts!! she said they were for loretta i think... i can't remember, but they were beautiful quilts, we talked for a little bit and she played with my daughter. then we left. before i leave, i always visit the horses, rain or shine, i always visit the horses. i miss speedy, sheba and lady too... =) i miss you. you were the only person who would take me to thriftway on the red atv to get doritos when i was little. thinking of that makes me smile, i hope you haven't forgot about conwell and i, cuz we think of you often. we miss you duane and we love you!! i'll be sure to visit grandma and cheii soon!!
oh yes!! bailey's height is on the door frame now!! just like how grandma used to mark our heights!! there is a new mark on the doorway!! =)"
amber lee of round rock, az

"To the family of Sgt.Lee D. Todacheene,
I sorry to hear about your lost, i will always be praying for you. Just cherish the memories you had with him."
Jess of Mittenrock.NM

"To the family of Sgt.Lee D. Todacheen,
I sorry to hear about your lost, i will always be praying for you. Just cherish the memories you had with him."
Jess of Mittenrock.NM

You were an exemplary soldier and you are a true hero. I will never forget you."
CPT Jarrod West of Washington, DC

"I was deployed in Germany when I read an article about Sgt. Todacheene's death. I am not sure if this is the same guy but, when I was in the Navy, I went to boot camp with a Lee D. Todacheene from Lukachukai, AZ and then we went on to our first duty station aboard the USS Constellation. If this is the same guy, I offer my condolences to his family. Better late than never !! This guy was quiet and always helping others. Thank you for your Service !!"
SSgt. Gregorio Enriquez/129 RQW of Mountain View, CA

"To my brother Lee, I miss you so much and wish you were here. You are always in my thoughts and will never be forgotten. I know you are watching over us and your family. Your boys are big! Hopefully me and Teresa can see them soon. I love you and miss you brother. TIGER MEDICS LEAD THE WAY!!!!!"

"Seven years have passed and I am still thinking of you. Wondering if you are looking down upon us, standing guard. if I could fine one word to describe you, it would be HERO. I miss you."

"Hello Lee!! I miss you!! At times I get upset that you don't get to see my girls grow up but I know that you are watching over them. Rylee turned 4 Reagan will turn 1 next week. Exciting. I love you and miss you."
Donna of Oklahoma

"hello duane!! you have a little auntie in round rock!! =) i have a baby girl, she's cute! almost five months, a hefty 12 lbs and still growing! she's beautiful. the new year is a few hours away... just thought of you and hope that in heaven you'll get this message. we love you and miss you so much! i'm about to cry thinking of you and your last visit to round rock with your truck... you said you were on your way back to fort carson and thought to drop by to see us. that meant so much to me!! i love you duane"
amber lee of round rock, arizona

"Dad, years have passed and I still feel to deteriorate without you. Things may have changed, but I still hold the pain and agony from the day you died. I know you are gone forever, but I will go on like you wanted when you were still here. To me, you're not just another hero lost, but a soldier not willing to give. I miss you dad..."
Cody T. of Cove

"ĒHonor and RememberĒ - ďProject CompassionĒ 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 Ė It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to you. 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!
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

"Thinking about you and the other fallen heroes of TF 1-77 Steel Tigers. You remain on my heart"
Col Dave Hubner of Kentucky

"Five years has passed and I can only muster today, how I felt the day I received the message of our loss. Each day I wonder, will I see you appearing around the corner. The pain I felt, cannot be expressed in words. I wish, you were still here with us today."

"April 22, 2009
To the family of Sgt. Lee D. Todacheene:
Lee 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

"My precious baby, I can't believe you are gone forever. I am lost without you; the pain I feel is deep. Sometimes I wonder if the tears will ever stop or if the ache in my heart will forever be with me. I miss you Baby, and I will always love you. Until we meet again..."
Mom of Keams Canyon, AZ

"SGT T, I think of you every day with great sorrow and am praying for your sons, wife and extended family.
Your former Commander"
COL Dave Hubner of Fort Knox, Ky

"To the medic that helped me receive my Expert Infantry Badge..2003. To my brother in Arms, I was with in Balad, Iraq, our medic, I will never forget you nor your courage. To the family he left behind, my prayers go out to you, He was a Great Soldier."
SSG. Garrett, Gordon of Apple Valley, Ca

"Lee you've been my greatest uncle I have. You and Grandpa will be loved and never forgotten.
Your Niece,
Teneille of Kirtland, New Mexico

"SGT Todacheene, we didn't know each other very long but I was glad for the short time we had together. 4 years later and I still wear a black memorial bracelet with your name stenciled on it."
CPT Shawn Tabankin of White Plains, NY


"goodness!! duane, it's been nearly four years since you left us to conquer the world on the other side!! i like to think of it that way. i miss you. i want to thank you for watching over us ((the family)). i think of you often and want your legacy to live on-- and it will!! we all love you and miss you, but know that we are okay. conwell and i are doing well. to my dear cousin, i love you and miss you dearly!!! ~~amber"
Amber Lee of flagstaff, arizona-USA

"Message to my dad:
I miss you, as all of us do.
You always told me to take care of my family.You taught me many things that I wouldn't have learned anywhere else. I wish that I could see you one more time. But some day, we will see you again! I love you, dad!"
Your son, Cody L. Todacheene of Cove, AZ

"I have no idea who you are, you're a stranger to me, but you're a hero to me. Thank you for your service to the country. Thank you. Thank you, I can't say that enough...God be with you and your family."
Anonymous of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

"I am sorry.G-ds speed to you.
Legeta of Artesia,New MexicoUSA

"To my older brother, I think of you often and I'm sorry I made excuses for not visiting as often. I never thought I'd lose you. I have a daughter now, Rylee, and she is just as crazy as you. Though she will not meet you, she will know stories about you and tell them like you were here all along. We love you and miss you."
Donna Todacheene of Gallup, NM

"SGT T was my squad leader while we were deployed. Not only was he an excellent NCO who led by example, he was a great man. He is always going to be in my memory. From the stories he told me of his wife and kids while sitting in the humvee, to the Super Bowl party at SGT E's house. My heart goes out to him and his family."
SGT Jacob Nelson of Wisconsin

"For My Precious Husband...
"Though his smile is gone forever and his hand I cannot touch, I still have so many memories of the one I loved so much. His memory is my keepsake with which I'll never part. God has him in his keeping, I have him in my heart. Sadly missed but not forgotten!"
We love you and miss you so much!!"
Always a Soldier's Wife, Jackie of Arizona

"To the family of:Lee D. Todacheene 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"

dear mrs todacheene...i just read your message this am to your husband. i am tearing up and i send a prayer to you and your kids. how hard it must be for all of you. two years and still hurting. it will never go away...but with the grace of God...it will mellow with age. God bless and take care...know your husband is right beside you guiding you every step of the way. he was there with you on that memorial day ride too!!! embrace those moments."
diana boye of grand island ne

"SGT. Todacheene, May god Bless You, and continue to watch over Your family. Just wanted to let You know I was thinking of You on this special day! It was an honor to serve with You in Iraq, and Your friends and family should be proud of the job You did!"
Jamey Goheens of Morrisonville, NY

""I am sorry you went away, Dad. We miss you. You and Grandpa will always be our lovely angels who will always protect us. We love and miss you.""
Sons of Sgt. Lee Duane Todacheene of Arizona

"Lee, we just found you and were looking forward to getting to know you better when the Lord called you home. Please know that you hold a special place in our hearts and in our prayers. May God watch over your mother, wife and sons.
auntie-debbie black lance
cousins-summer fast dog & family, randy kills in water, david kills in water, marlee poor thunder, and marlow poor thunder and the rest of the "Black Lance" family on the rosebud reservation in south dakota."
debbie of south dakota

"TO the family of Lee D. Todacheene, our prayers are with your family and all that your family has sacrificed for this great nation!"
The Gibson Family of Wagoner,OK

"To the family of SGT Lee D. Todacheene, I am so sorry for your loss. To Lee's mother, I have always run through my head what I would say if I ever ran into you. Well I did at Conwell's ceremony a few weeks ago. Let me tell you, no words could express how I felt about your loss. All I could muster out was that I was proud to have served with your son. Thank you so much for your continued strength and support for the troops. I know this is a hard time for you. No one can ever take away that pain. But continue to be strong and hold your head up high. Your son was a great man and will live in our hearts and be in our prayers forever. To Lee's wife and beautiful boys, I continue to pray for you everyday. You will see him again one day. Just trust in the Lord and stay the course. Once again, I am sorry for your loss."
SGT Alaina D. Adakai of From the extended family in Round Rock

"I cannot believe how time flew and it is two years since you left us. We think of you everyday, because you were loved, respected and appreciated very much by your family. Thank you for all you have done for us and for all the other people in the world. We will never forget you. Your family looks down the road expecting you to appear but this will never happen. I am Duane's aunt on his mother's side of the family. We miss you very much."
Rita (Ree) Ann Lee of Window Rock, AZ

""Chief" I remember when we were in 1-15 together and you were my team leader. You were a good friend and mentor. Thanks to you and all the help you gave me I've become a better medic and soldier. I can remember walking around Ft. Stewart and coming up to a pole and you say "Don't split the pole" I asked why not and you said it was bad luck and to this day i always think of that whenever I'm walking around! To your family, thank you for your son and the wonderful job you did in rasing such a fine man. I can only imagine your grief at his loss. I know that he did his best for his friends and comrades and his loss will be felt by many. I am glad to have known you and you will live on in memories of us all."
Hunter Carwile of Combat Outpost, Iraq

Thank you brave soldier for standing up to those who would destroy our nation and its people. You are in our prayers. May God bless and keep you until we are all together again. From a very grateful American family."
Jim & Margie Shaw of Pasadena, Maryland


My name is Shane George and I'm also one of the singers for the Young Medicine Singers and the we sang this song for you at the fair in window rock it was heart wrwming and sad.
may God Bless!!!
Shane George of Ft. Defiance,Az

"Hello My name is Shane J. George And I go to school at Window Rock High School and I sang the song that my uncle Mr. Mark Baez wrote for you and it was sad to hear that one of our Dine' Warrior have died.
I will Always remember you by singing this song you & your family will always be in my preyers.
May god bless you our fallen warrior,
Shane George"
Shane George of Ft. Defiance,Az

"We are the Young Medicine Singers from Ft. Defiance Arizona. Our group is comprised of 16 young Navajo, men and women. Our Drum Keeper (president) is Jacolby Honahni. We wrote and warrior song for you and sing this for your family on Sept. 11th 2004 at the Navajo Fair. We hope that you continue to encourage us and others in walking that sacred road. As the lead singer, I hope that we and others in the Navajo community learn that song and sing it throughout Indian country.

Blessings to you and your family


Mark Standing Eagle Baez"
Young Medicine Singers of Fort Defiance Arizona

"Hello, my name is Mark Standing Eagle Baez and my family is from the Mohawk, Auteca Paguame, and Pawnee peoples. My prayers are with you and your family. I just moved to Window Rock AZ., three weeks ago and was just saddened by the news of the recent death of Shondee. As I researched further into his death , I came across the death of Lee D. Todacheene. I was so moved that I woke in the middle of the night with a song in my heart. The next morning I recorded it on my small tape recorder.

I shared this song with several people (elders) and they suggested that it be translated into the Dine language. This veteran song I composed is dedicated to Todacheene and Shondee. I, along with some high school students of Window Rock will sing this song during the Navajo Celebration Fair this Sept. I would hope that you or any one in the family can be present for this occasion.


Mark Standing Eagle"
Mark Standing Eagle Baez of Ft Defiance AZ

"Hello, my name is Mark Standing Eagle Baez and my family is from the Mohawk, Auteca Paguame, and Pawnee peoples. My prayers are with you and your family. I just moved to Window Rock AZ., three weeks ago and was just saddened by the news of the recent death of Shondee. As I researched further into his death , I came across the death of Lee D. Todacheene. I was so moved that I woke in the middle of the night with a song in my heart. The next morning I recorded it on my small tape recorder.

I shared this song with several people (elders) and they suggested that it be translated into the Dine language. This veteran song I composed is dedicated to Todacheene and Shondee. I, along with some high school students of Window Rock will sing this song during the Navajo Celebration Fair this Sept. I would hope that you or any one in the family can be present for this occasion.


Mark Standing Eagle"
Mark Standing Eagle Baez of Ft Defiance AZ

"Many visitors of my web page The Navajo Code Talkers would not believe I am neither American nor Navajo, just a Croatian - an ocean away from the U.S.A., but just a click away from you my dear people.
Unfortunately, since Iraq war started I had to update my Navajo page
with so many links related to Fallen Navajo Heroes.

I am taking this sad oportunity to send my sincere condolences to the families of Army Pfc. Lori Ann Piestewa, Army Sgt. Lee D. Todacheene, and to great Navajo people.

God bless you all.

Mario Profaca
(if somebody would like to send me a message,
please replace "(at)" above with "@")

Mario Profaca of Zagreb, Croatia, Europe

""Walk in beauty" My prayers go out to your family and I thank you for defending our freedom."
T. Garnanez of Farmington NM

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

"I wrote a song for Lee's family and for the nation in general. It is called Todacheene. You can hear it at http://www.soundclick.com/bands/1/petewagnermusic.htm. At the family's request I will remove it. I have never made any money off my songs, but if somehow I do, I will donate all proceeds from this song to the family of Sgt. Todacheene."
Pete Wagner of Perryville, MD

"A lone star shines in the White Dawn - we feel your presence. A bright star begins to shine in the twlight evening - we miss you more. Safe journey to our Creator, we will see you again."
Mone of Navajo Nation Reservation, Arizona

"THANK YOU Lee D. Todacheene for protecting our freedom. Freedom comes with a price and you have sacrificed your life for us. God Bless You.

Your family will always be in our prayers."
The Tsosies of Lawrence, Kansas

"To Lee's Family:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincere condolences to you. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you and we thank you for his bravery and sacrifice.

From the family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, KIA Iraq 12/28/2003"
Gloria Caldas (his mom) of San Antonio, TX

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

"To Lee's Family:
There aren't words to express the grief we all feel for your loss. May God bless you and watch over you."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"Thank you Lee Todacheene, 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 Sgt. Lee Todacheene:
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 Lee 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 Sgt. Lee Todacheene:
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 Lee, 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