Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Staff Sgt. Paul A. Velazquez

29, of California.
Velazquez was onboard a CH-47 Chinook helicopter when it made a crash landing in Al Fallujah, Iraq. The cause of the crash is unknown at this time and an investigation is underway. Velazquez was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, III Corps Artillery, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Died on November 2, 2003.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Staff Sgt. Paul A. Velazquez.


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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"Today I learned that I lost my dear friend Tony. I wish I would have stayed in touch. I am sorry I wasn't there for my dear friend Mary when she lost her husband. Tony was a good father and husband. I genuinely loved Tony and was shocked to hear of his death. God bless you Mary, Kirstie, Davey and Breana."
Mary Rivera of Darlington, SC/USA

"I never want to forget the sacrifices of so many young men and women. I am so proud it makes me cry. I understand in theory only that war is a part of human nature but so is love and caring. I wish I could take the families pain away but I can't. I am committed to loving ALL people, myself and our environment. I am committed to working on my happiness everyday because so many have died for my freedom to live my life. Thank you is not enough but it is all I have. All my love and respect. ogersteiner@yahoo.com
A hundred times a day, I remind myself that my inner and outer life depends on the labors of other men, living and dead, and I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am receiving. - Albert Einstein"
Scott E. Steiner of Worthington, OH USA

"sorry for ur loss..hes better without u mary...for ur betrayl..."
unknown of lawton,ok

"SSG Velazquez was an outstanding Soldier, loving husband and father, and a true friend to those who knew and served with him. It was my honor to know and serve with Paul in Iraq. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him and the other men in 2-5 FA who gave their lives in the defense of our great nation. I encourage you to never forget the sacrifices of these great men and their families and pray for them all."
David C. Hill of Yongsan, Korea

"November 2, 2008
To the family of Staff Sgt. Paul A. Velazquez:
Paul 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

"Wow its been a while and never a day goes by where I am not proud to speak of my friend!! Tony we miss you a lot and I am thankful that you blessed my life. Your crazy star wars collection and all. To those of you that know Tony you would also know that he would not ever want you to bad mouth any member of his family. Please show him the respect that he had for others. Family is never perfect but Tony always could see the good in everyone. Try to do the same. Please also remember that his children can read and they may see what you type, they have already lost a parent why do they have to hear the other be slammed with rudeness!!
To his family, I am so sorry that the days without him dont get to much easier. He loved you all alot. To Mary and the kids ( I was going to put your names but thats not ok.) I miss you guys a lot and I hope that time has healed you a little. Always and forever your neighbor and friend
Jackie and Seth"
Jackie of Palmdale CA

"Tony it's nearing five years without you. No more big bear hugs, quick smiles, or loud hearty laughter. You have always been my hero. I was fortunate to have you looking after me. Miss you so much big brother..."
your little sis, froot loop of San Diego, CA

"i would like to thank paul for his life for serving our country to give us the freedom i got now. u will be missed!! i wish i could have known more about you, but u gave ur life for mine and thats all i need."
mike dwells of fort sill, oklahoma

"I liked to express my deepest sympathies to Sgt V's family I served with him in Iraq. we will miss you sgt. but you will never be forgotten."
Roberto Morales of Palmdale CA

"To Mrs Velazquez and family, very sorry for your loss. I was Paul's Platoon Sergeant in Charlie Battery at the beginining our tour in Iraq. A true professional and someone you can count on. He loved his family very much and be always be missed. I spoke to him the day before he left us, very excited about meeting his new born child and be able to spent time with you. There is not one day that goes by, that I think about Paul and the other soldiers that I lost that day. He is missed by all of us and I will always keep you in my toughts and prayers."
"Smoke" Edgardo Ramos MSG (USA) RET of Dallas, Texas USA

"My brother in arms may the Lord bless you for making the ultimate sacrifice while defending our country.You are gone but not forgotten. Always Bulldogs.
Herbert Cortes
SSG, US Army Retired"
Herbert Cortes of Lawton, Oklahoma

"To the family of:Paul A. Velazquez 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"

"To the family of Paul I am Elder Aguilar I served with your husband in the same batallion he was in our battery but before we left to iraq he moved to service battery I remember Paul as a good guy he was always happy and was very dedicated to his job. You will be miss my friend."
Elder Aguilar of Amarillo, Texas

"To the Velazquez Family - my heartfelt condolences on your loss. I was one of 11 medics assigned to 2/5 during OIF and spoke with Paul almost daily - idle chit-chat about family - we'd look at each others pictures - trade stories about our kids - talk about how much we missed hearing the laughter back at home. He truly loved his family and knew that he was loved also. I pray that you have found a space in your lives to remember this love on a daily basis - for as long as we remember, no one ever really truly dies - they live forever in our hearts, minds and spirits - as they are a part of us, we too are a part of them."
HM2 Peter A Gutierrez of Camp Lemonier, Djibouti - Horn of Africa

"It was hard to believe what I was reading when I saw Tony's name in the paper. I knew Paul as Tony when we worked together at Pizza Hut here in Lawton, Oklahoma. Tony was a good friend and working partner. I am retired from the Army and served in Viet Nam. I now feel the loses from both wars. Tony, you will be missed but not forgotten by this soldier. God Speed my friend."
David Carnahan of Lawton, Oklahoma

"I served with SSG Velazquez in 5/18th FA and Bravo 1/17th FA in 1995 and 1996. We used to always joke around. We called him Velacki, because that was what the cubans called him when we were deployed there. He had a good heart. There is a hole in the world now that cannot be filled. Velacki, I salute you for you are a hero beyond words."
David Hundley of Cincinnati, Ohio



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

"To SSgt Velazquez's Family:
Though we are strangers, we want you to know how sorry we are your Paul was taken from you. He is our hero. You are in our hearts. We will never forget."
Carol & Larry Miller of Tampa, Florida (2/24/04)

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

"Rest in peace brave soldier!"
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"Light a candle for your soldier.


"Thank you Paul Velazquez, 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 of Army Staff Sgt. Paul A. Velazquez:

Paul was a friend of my brothers, Army Spc. Steven Conover, who also passed in the same attack. I remember Steven used to talk about Velazquez a lot during boot camp, and I saw many pictures that Steven sent home to us. I was very saddened to hear about your family's tragedy, for my family knows the pain that you feel all to well! Know that Paul nor Steve died in vain! I miss my brother very much and I think of him often. When I think of Steve, Paul often crosses my mind. They are my heroes! I send my love to your family!"
Corrie Simpson of Wilmington Ohio USA

"To the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Paul Velazquez:
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 Paul 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. Paul Velazquez:
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 Paul, 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