Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Ryan D. Walker

25, of Stayton, Oregon.
Walker died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV during convoy operations. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 76th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia. Died on January 5, 2006.

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"I haven't forgotten what you did. It was the bravest thing I have ever seen in my life. 17 years and I still think about you and what you did even today. Rest in peace brother..."
stanley carter of Beckley, WV

"I wish I was able to meet you Ryan Walker but I was not alive or born yet because I am one of your buddies kids, Jeff Sweet's kids Ethan Ryan Sweet, my Dad gave me the middle name because he thought of you Ryan an I will grow up like you.

Sincerely Ethan .R. Sweet"
Ethan of Puyallup


It has been 10 long years. Each year has been excruciating. I still relive that day. I no longer live it in pain. I think about all the things you have done, from helping Iraqi civilians, to helping your fellow red legs. You will always live in my memories."

"Ryan and Steven were my son Jeff's best buddies when they were little...they played on the mountain every chance they got together, and Ryan's family took my boys in for the fun and games like they were their own...Reading what everyone wrote brings back lots of memories! He was always the kid that you took one look at and wondered what he was up to because of the big grin and mischevious look on his face.:) I think of you often Darlin' and can barely imagine the heartbreak of the people who loved you when you were grown. I loved you when you were little, and will always be happy and grateful for the fun and love you gave my boys when you were young...and proud of you for all those you took care of and influenced as an adult. Really proud of what that little rascal grew up to be! Just wish you were still here...Hugs, jan"
jan s. of Midland, VA

"Ryan you were one heck of a guy even in high school in Pendleton Oregon you always had my back no matter what you always helped out when you were needed or not needed lol you also always helped me in Boy Scouts there is not really a day that goes by that I don't think of you you were like a big brother to me miss you bud"
Tyson Widel-Barker of Pendleton Oregon United States

"My husband served with Walker in Baghdad and was on this mission when he was KIA. We named our second child after him in 2012. I never met him but he so impacted my husband that he asked that we carry on his name and we did! RIP Walker!
Kim Gordon of Bluffton, SC

"Dear Ryan,
I was in 2-77 F.A., the unit that was replacing you. It was my first mission ever, and we got hit. I was sitting behind the driver, and all I remember is this brave young man come running up from the rear, opening my door, and asking where the wounded were. I said "they are up there " (SGT JASON LOPEZ RIP). You shut my door and continued forward. All I remember is the explosion next, and you were no longer there. I never met you before this, but you are the bravest person I have ever met, even to this day. I am (I believe) the last person you ever spoke to, and that is both an honor and a horror which has changed my life. I dream about it, think about it, and watch it because the Iraqi's were filming it and I managed to get a copy of it. Like I said, I never met you, but I am proud to say you spoke your last words to me- "where are the wounded?"..."
SSG Carter, Stanley S. 2/77 FA ,4BCT, 4I.D. of Ft. Hood, TX


I didn't know you, but I will visit you this summer and help a beautiful, talented, smart, and funny young woman find some closure. Please know that though she misses you every day, I will care for her, and that while she has moved away from Oregon, Beth is in good hands. Thank you for your sacrifice, your service, and your love."
Kyle of Homer, AK

"Hey Doc, sure hope you read or hear about this. We went to basic and Ait together. Still have a pic of me you, Montalvo, Yahuduh, the other walker and a few others of us. I think about you all the time, even talked to Wruck about you when I was in Fort Lewis. You were an awesome friend and a good battle buddy. I think to myself sometimes why you, you were a selfless man and an inspiration. Im getting out of the Army soon after ten years and no matter what, NONE of our friends will EVER be forgotten. Your family are in my prayers and I hope one day I can tell your Dad that I was honored to have known you and served with you my friend. Ill see you in Valhalla brother."
Spc. Joshua Merritt of Fort Stewart, Ga

"Names Tim, I never knew Ryan, but I am a resident of Stayton. I'm currently serving here in Afghanistan. As I was browsing, just curious one day of the casualties of Oregon I came across Ryan's name and my memory flashed back to when I first saw it on the news. Reading these stories about Ryan makes me realize how great of a town we come from and that we have made the sacrifice in the name of our country. I am carrying on that tradition now, and I hope to be as good of a soldier as Ryan was.
God bless. And RIP brother."
SPC Tim Brant of Stayton, OR

"thinkin about you buddy. 5 years. thank you for everything."
Mattis of Baltimore, MD

"we signed up for our country but we bleed, sweat, and died for eachother. condolences to the walker family. if any of the walker family read this please call me at 661-917-0594 i served with walker as a medic and would like to catch up with his father or brother."
tony porter "doc" of lancaster, ca

"my deepest sorrow goes out to Ryan's family and friends I went to school with him in Pendleton, ....."

"Very few days go by when I don't think about my best friend...I miss you buddy"
Barefield of Texas

"I'm thinkin about you today bro.

I'm becoming an EMT because of the care you gave me when I was battered and bloody.

Happy Veterans Day."
Adam Mattis of Baltimore, MD

"I met Spc Walker a year prior to the deployment along with all of the medics in HHB 1-76. Ryan was not your average soldier. He had real aspirations and truly wanted to serve his country and contribute to GWOT, most importantly he wanted to make sure his buddies were taken care of. I was at separate location and on occasion he would come with the commander and visit my section to ensure we were straight. I moved to Brigade two months prior to his passing and my heart just sunk. Whenever I hear the word “veteran” I think of Ryan, for he is not forgotten and will always be a symbol of freedom to me."
CW3 Greg Savage of Fort Stewart GA

"Re: SPC Ryan Doran Walker

I represent PRAYER SHAWLS 4 FALLEN SOLDIERS (PS4FS), an organization that since October 2007 has sent over 2,800 prayer shawls to military families who have lost a loved one. We are an organization of over 240 groups from all over the country. We make every effort to reach families even when post cards are returned after they have moved. Would you kindly send me a contact email/address so that we may send a loving hand-made prayer shawl to the family? Thank you!

Cozette Haggerty, Prayer Shawls 4 Fallen Soldiers
Email: ps4fs@charter.net
Website Address: http://webpages.charter.net/ps4fs/shawls"
Cozette Haggerty of Wilbraham, Mass.

"Ryan, I will truly miss you buddy! to those of you who never got the chance to know Ryan...he was like the one best friend that you could only come across once in a life time. Tell you a short story about Ryan and my self, I used to work at a resort in Cannon Beach OR and while Ryan was off to boot camp I would send him e-mails just to check in to see how everything was going and it would take sometime to hear back from him, well it had been at least a month since I heard from him and I was getting worried...well I was having a really hard time at work this one night and in the middle of all the madness I got a call on my radio saying that there was someone that was at the service desk that wanted to talk to me, and all I could think of was " oh no what did I do now!" ( It was just one of those nights.) anyways I come walking down the stairs and my head was hanging low ready for someone to start chewing my out for somthing that I did, well I walked to the service desk and I looked up and there was Ryan! with his smile from ear to ear that only he could give....let me tell you how happy I was to see him! you see thats what Ryan was like....he knew when someone was down and needed alittle help getting back up, he was always there for me and I never got the chance to say " Thank you. " so I say it now and I say it proud! " Thank you Ryan for your service to this country and most of all thank YOU Ryan for giving me the chance to be invloved in your life, I will never forget you Ryan! Thank you for everything! ""
Jeff Sweet of Universityplace, WA

"Whoa, here i am three years after coming back from iraq after serving with "Doc Walker". And i can truly say i left a piece of myself back in baghdad when my close friend was killed doing what he loved. You know they say you can you only have about 5 really close personal friends. Well Doc Walker was and still is one of my first ones. Doc Walker helped me keep my sanity thoughout my time serving with him in 1-76 FA, in his beloved Alpha Dawgs. Here I am now married with three stepkids and i tell them all the time about this medic buddy of mine in iraq, and i can only wish and dream that they grow up to have his maturity, heart and mind. I can honestly say Doc I still think of you and miss you greatly. To the parents of Doc i know you have been told this before but i will gladly say it again. You did an awesome job raising Doc, if anybody embodies the American spirit it is your son. Doc i cant wait to see you in heaven."
Spc. Michael Anderson of Wellston, OH

"Dear Walker Family,
I am a good friend of "Doc-Walk" who never got to say good bye to him. I was on Quick Reaction Force the day it happened, I was the lead gunner and I still to this day see his Med. bag lying in the street unattended. And I still to this day get the same terrible feeling of loss and anger that such a good person had to be taken that day. When you were all at the Tree cerimony in Ft. Stewart I could only stand a few feet away frozen with grief tryng to figure out what to say to you. I saw Ryan there that day in the family resemblence, and I said good bye through you. I know now, what I wanted to say that day..."I am a better person for having known Ryan. You raised a true Hero and "Doc-Walk" will ALWAYS be remembered by my wife Lisa and I. God Bless You All!"
Danny "Diesel" Jacobsen of Zeeland, Michigan

"January 4, 2009
To the family of Spc. Ryan D. Walker:
Ryan 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

"Ryan was by far the best friend i could have. His smile would always make me smile. He had my heart. He helped me out whenever i needed it. Even drove to the er when i got in a car accident. I will never forget the times we spent just wrestling around or watching movies. Listening to music in your truck. Great times. My heart will always be yours. Much love to his family. And i am truely sorry for the loss."
Jennifer kamstra of Salem oregon

"Someone has made, with a red PowerStroke F350 4x4, a sort of rolling memorial to Spc. Walker, complete with airbrush art of him in his fire department uniform and a battlefield medic scene on the side. It passed me today as I was leaving Corvallis. What an amazing and touching memorial. To whoever created it, thank you for inspiring me to learn more about Spc. Walker and what he did for our country. I wish I could thank him for it, but I'll have to wait a while for that, I guess."
Finn John of Albany, Oregon, USA

"I was browsing the internet one boreing nite at work and happened to stumble upon this website. I saw Doc Walkers name on the page. I will tell you this, our battalion was very lucky and had a lot of good medics that year in Iraq. Doc Walker was the finest medic I had ever served with in my brief four years of service. I say this not because he knew more about the job than the next guy but because he loved his job. Doc gave his life doing what he loved, helping other soldiers."
former Spc. Somers of Wareham, M.A.

"To the family of:Ryan D. Walker I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief. He died a hero defending freedom and we are so grateful for anyone defending our freedom.
Know that I am praying for the peace of God that surpasses all understanding for you and that one day we will all meet in Heaven where we will rest in the arms of Jesus.
If you need someone to talk to or someone to pray with please call my Pastor at Gateway Community Church, Reverand John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd Covington Ga. 30016 Phone 770- 787- 1015 (fax)770-787-8215.Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew"

"Doc Walker...bro, I owe you a lot. You took care of me, changed my bandages, cleaned my wounds, and made sure I wasnt in any pain after the rest of unit swept me under the rug. I remember when you helped me on the bird to go home, you gave me instructions on how to keep my arm clean until I got home, and said 'good bye bro'. I didnt think that would be the last time I saw you. I'll never forget you or the lessons you taught me."
Adam Mattis of Savannah, GA

"I dont really know what to say. Its great to see that all these people have left messages here for Walker, especially fellow patriots. Not a day goes by, where I dont think of that year in Baghdad, and the fact that Walker didnt come home with us. I'll always remember you Walker."
Doc O'Neil of Denver, CO

"my name is ryan walker too im sorry for your lose"
Ryan of mechanicsburg

"I don't know Ryan but I will never forget."
Chad of Tampa, Fl

"I met "Doc" Walker when I first got to Ft. Stewart. He was the medic in our Unit (1st BN, 76th FA)that everyone wanted!! He was the guy that was knowledgeable about his job, would just sit and listen if you where having a hard time, give you words of encouragement and advice, and just put a smile on your face no matter what. If he was having a bad day (which was very rare), you couldn't tell, be cause he was always in a good mood trying to keep spirits up. This is the Medic that would volunteer to go on dangerous missions that weren't assigned a Medic, just so he was there for "his guys" in the unfortunate event that we might get hit. It was this selfless attitude that put him in the situation that took his life.
After getting to know him, and spending time with him over the course of 3 1/2 years, if you asked me to describe him, selfless would be the first word out of my mouth.
The the family of Ryan "Doc" Walker, thank you for bringing him into this world and letting him touch all the lives that he did. He certainly will remain in my thoughts and prayers, and will never be forgotten."
Jonathan "E-baum" Epelbaum of Port St Lucie, FL

"I went to college (Fire Science@ Chemeketa) with Ryan for two years... I will never forget the day I saw his face on the news some 4? years after we graduated. He had that same sweet grin on his face...He was the "guy" who always had the right thing to say to make someone's day... to lift you up when you were down and really make you feel good about yourself. He was just "that guy" that stood out among everyone else. Mostly it was that smile, one look at him and you knew that he was a good hearted person. I am so sad that he is no longer here to enjoy life in the way that only Ryan could. Thank you for everything you did Ryan to make this world and country a better place."
Krissy Preim-Smith of Hubbard, Oregon

"I was one of the medics from 4TH ID who was replacing Ryan and his unit as they finished their rotation. I befriended Ryan in the 2 weeks I knew him before Jan 5th. He was a great guy who settled in a lot of the younger guys in my medic platoon to their mission. Ryan volunteered to go on the mission in which he was killed, he didnt have to we the "new "unit were scheduled to provide medical coverage as 1-76 medics had allready handed over the mission to us. He insisted he go with his beloved Alpha Battery on their last patrol. He said he could never live with himself if he didnt go and someone got wounded. We played cards the night before and had fun.I responded in the Quick Reaction Force to the scene of the ambush and explosions and proceeded to treat the wounded. Ifound out Ryan had died as I treated one of his injured buddies from Alpha on the road at the side of a Hummer .I completed my treatment of the wounded and we evacuated them by ambulance to the CSH in Baghdad. My heart sank on that long dangerous slow drive to the hospital knowing that Ryan and Sgt Lopez had died. Ryan I will never forget your bravery and will make every effort to come see you in Oregon one day.RIP BRO"
SPC(P) Kelly of Fort Hood TX

"I met SPC Walker Dec 05 on FOB Union III. He was an outstanding Soldier, always willing to help and go the extra step to help anyone. He made the ultimate sacrifice for this great country of ours doing just that, coming to the Aid of a Fallen Comrade. In laying down his life he also saved the lives of the Soldiers in the vehicle behind him. He is a Hero in the truest sense of the word."
A fellow Soldier of Baghdad, Iraq

"i just googled my name, and was shocked to see that someone else had the same name as me, who has gallantly fallen serving this great country god bless, best wishes to the family as well"
ryan d walker of pa

"I just went to google and typed in my name Ryan Walker and this came up so i clicked on it. I have no relation to him but I do have the same name and so I will say sorry for the familys loss and I will remember this hero."
Ryan J. Walker of Saco,ME

"Ryan, You were like a brother to me. Now you are watching done on me. I love you. We will never forget you."
Ryan O'Malley of Pendleton OR

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

"Doc Walker was one of the best medics I ever met. He knew the names of all the soldiers in A battery and pretty much the rest of the battlion. He remembered if you had kids, if you were married, where you were from, just about everything. I used to love to see him walking up to our trucks to go out with us. It almost gave you a feeling of invincibility. You knew he would walk through hell fire to get to you if you were wounded. Im truly sorry that turned out to be true.

To the entire Walker family: You can be rest assured, Ryan was an indescribably beautiful person and one hell of a soldier. I am proud to have known him. It was an honor, a pleasure and a priviledge to know him and serve with him. In this Army life, there are few people that I truly miss. He is one of those people."
SSG Eric Brumley of A btry, 1st BN, 76th FA, Fort Stewart, GA

"My deepest sympathy on the loss of your loved one. May God grant you peace and strength.

Michele Carter
Sister of CPL Gary Walters
KIA in Baghdad on 24 April 2005"

"Thank you Ryan Walker, 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. Ryan Walker:
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 Ryan 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. Ryan Walker:
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 Ryan, 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