Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Lance Cpl. Ruben Valdez, Jr.

21, of San Diego, Texas.
Valdez died due to injuries received from enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, California. Died on April 17, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Lance Cpl. Ruben Valdez, Jr..


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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We will be honoring you and all military service members that gave their life while serving our Country. During our First Annual Jim Wells County Memorial Day 10k 23May2015. Your Mom and Wife will speak on your behalf. Rest in Peace Marine. Garza, Jim Wells County Veteran Service Officer"
Garza of Alice, Texas

"Ruben, just wanna let you know were all still thinking of you guys! I miss ya buddy great times and better memories."
ski of still out in 29!

"Boy-not a day goes by that I don't think about you. We love you and miss you. You are always in my heart Cuz."
Ilsie of Alice, Texas

"Thinking of you, and all the good times we had together. You are truly missed brother. Semper Fidelis."
Craig Carp of Chandler, Arizona

"”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 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 of you Ruben,on this Memorial Day, must be awfully hard day for mom and dad.Thank You for your contribution to our country.GOD BLESS YOU!"
Rose Camarillo of San Diego, Texas

"April 22, 2009
To the family of Lance Cpl. Ruben Valdez, Jr.:
Ruben 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

"I was there when L cpl Valdez was killed. if not for his sacrifice several more Marines may have perished. He with his platoon members was directly responsible for saving my life. I was responsible with the members of my team for killing those that took him from us. thank you for your sacrifice."
Ryan of Newport news

"At my school's Veteran's Day assembly this year everyone was handed a small slip of paper with the name of someone who had died in combat and a little information about them. It may seem like a meaningless gesture at first, but it truly is an act of remembrance that made many of us realize the sacrifices made by so many young men and women everyday, many like Cpl. Valdez barely older than ourselves. I thought it was very important to let his family, friends, and loved ones know that in at least one location, and probably many others around the country, he is being remembered for his service and sacrifice for this great country.

Thank you."
Tristan Hanon of Sumner, WA

"On this memorial day, and throughout the year, I remember your service and your sacrifice. "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." - John 15:13 I continue my military service in honor of your and your fallen brothers memory. I am proud to have served with you. Semper Fi."
Former 3/7 Marine of Lancaster, OH.

"I served as a proud Lance Corporal. You leave me with what could have happened to many of us in the Marine Corps in the 1970s and early 80s. I lost many buddies in the Lebannon barracks attack and was at home in a nice college when it happenned. I was wounded by those who victimised me for having served in the Marine Corps and now I'm older, heavier and lot more wiser to know that this young Marine took with him some of our hearts of what we could have also been through in this time and place. Blessings"
Mark L. Marquez, USMC (LCPL of Farmington, NM, USA

"Lcpl Valdez you were a great Marine who filled us with laughter no matter what the sitution was God Bless You
Ssgt Cassidy OIF1/2 3/7 Lima"
Ssgt Cassidy of Camp Hansen

"ha ha valdeisel three years on my good buddy sorry i had to call you out on the whole phone thing this year it was a funny story though i hope youre enjoying it up there when youre not too busy watching ove rthe rest of us morons down here do you guys take shifts or something ??? anyway shane and i owe you much more than we could possibly repay semper fi brother"
cpl komora of too far from my best friends

"There are not enough words to describe Ruben, he is one of a kind. He was my best friend like a brother. He lost his own life so that we can have our lives so free. There is no greater gift than a man laying his life down for his friend. Ruben has never left he will always be here in our prayers in our hearts and in our lives. Thank you Mr and Mrs Valdez for raising such a brave and wonderful son, friend and soldier."
A Friend of San Diego

"To the family of:Ruben Valdez,Jr. 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"

"Ruben was my high school classmate and he was such an awesome guy to be with. I remember being with him a lot our senior year and we would hang out and have crazy times at his house. Ruben was the kind of person that was always saying something funny and keeping people around him amused; never a dull moment even though its sounds cliché but it comes from the heart. The class of 2001 from SDHS was and still is one of the most united and we miss you Ruben. I try and visit him and our other departed friend Roel Cantu at the cemetery just to see how they are doing. I would like to thank his fellow marine comrades for being there for him and watching his back."
Javier Balli Jr. of San Diego, TX, United States

"I served with Valdez while with Lima 3/7. no matter how hard things got he seemed to always have a smile on his face, im sure people hear that alot about people, but i the infantry its dog eat dog cut throat feed you to the sharks kinda environment and he still had a big smile. Impossible not to love him.Of the Marines that died that day Valdez was invited through the gates of heaven first, but he probably allowed the other marines in first. I can only think he must of had a great mother. Sgt Antista"
Sgt Anthony Antista of Atlanta, Ga. USA

"When we first met Ruben and Amy they were moving in next door to me and My husband Sgt. Martinez(in 29 Palms,CA). They both came over and invited us to come and have a little cook out with them. Thats when our little friendship started. Even though Ruben isnt here on earth i often find myself thinking of him he was a good guy. I will always remember him and always have him in my prayers God Bless You Marine"
Sgt. Martinez and Family of Texas

"to the love of my life and the one who took a piece of me with him. ruben was a wonderful man and an amazing person. who used to love to have a beer and a good laugh with anyone.. I miss him dearly more and more everyday. I still don't want to except that he is gone. Ruben my (pooky) I dream of u often and in every dream i feel like it is our secret time together. I will always and forever love you. ur wife amy"
amy valdez of corpus christi, tx

"rubes.. two years on and i still miss ya man. it was an honor serving with you and an experience i will never forget ill never have a roomate that could tell funnier stories than you could enjoy the beverage ill be pouring for you tonight and thank you for looking over all of us from above i know youve been there a few times for me when i was being stupid thank you man your memory will live as long as there is a marine alive..."
CPL Kyle Komora

"Dear, Mr and Mrs. Valdez My name is Cpl Paul Valdez and I was in iraq the same time your son was but, I was in AR Ramadi about 25 miles from Fallujah. It hurts to see Marines go but, when he has the same last name as mine it hurts more.His name will alway be remember as long as the Marine Corps. is still alive."
Cpl. Paul Valdez of Sylmar,CA

"I was in weapons platoon alongside Lcpl Valdez. He was always their to give us a laugh whenever we needed it. I remember wrestling around with him quite often. He reminded me of my little brother.Lcpl valdez was one of the most intelligent Marines I had ever met. My heart goes out to his family. Rest in peace Marine."
Sgt. Jason Long of Richmond, VA


"RIP Marine"
Petty Officer Cawthon of RTC Great Lakes,IL

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

"Lance Cpl. Ruben Valdez,
You are HONORED and REMEMBERED this Memorial Day and every day."
Norma Pate (aunt of Maj. Richard J Gannon KIA Iraq 4-17-04) of Capistrano Beach, CA USA

"Amy we are bonded forever. They died doing what they loved. They are true Heroes, not only to us but to our country. Stay strong, know I love you."
Jessica Gibson of 29 Palms, CA

"A.Valdez; I never met Ruben, but Chris talked of him often. My prayers are with you as you endure through this time. Be proud of your husband and his courage. He was a true hero. You stay strong... stay strong and proud. My prayers also go out to Ruben's family and friends."
C. Brady (mother in law of Cpl. Chris Gibson KIA w/ Ruben Valdez Jr.) of Simi Valley, CA

"To Ruben's Family and Friends:

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

From the family of Capt. Ernesto 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, Ruben, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"We wish to express our deepest sympathy to the family, friends and love ones of Ruben Valdez Jr., a true American Hero. His duty and service to our country is appreciated and will never be forgotten. Ruben was a wonderful person, a great friend, a remarkable classmate, and will always be an unforgettable Hero to all of us. Just remember one thing--- No matter what your going through…..Ruben will always be there watching over you. We promise to keep him in our hearts forever and our prayers will be with you continually. Ruben, thank you for your courage and strength to help our Country—we love you!"
With all our love and prayers, Amanda K. Casas & Family of San Diego, Texas

"To Ruben'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

"Rest In Peace....
The Taylors USMC NC"

"To the family and friends of Lance Corporal Ruben Valdez, Jr.,

Those we hold most dear, never truly leave us. May you find comfort in love's everlasting connection.

In the Support section of this web site you will find links to many groups that support you at this crucial time. The Marine Comfort Quilt group would be honored to send a quilt to the next of kin. There are many, loving and caring Americans from all over the United States that will never forget the sacrifice that your loved one has made for our Freedom. Please register so we can send you our "Love Stitched Together."

Proud Marine Mom and Proud Member of Marine Comfort Quilts"
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca USA

"Thank you Ruben Valdez, Jr., 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 Lance Cpl. Ruben Valdez, Jr.:
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 Ruben 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 Lance Cpl. Ruben Valdez, Jr.:
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 Ruben, 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