Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Staff Sgt. Joe N. Wilson

30, of Mississippi.
Wilson was on board a CH-47 Chinook Helicopter when it went down in Al Fallujah, Iraq. The cause of the incident is unknown and an investigation is underway. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Died on November 2, 2003.

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"As I remember, 5th Section was the heart and soul of A Battery. SGT Joe Wilson was the heart and soul of 5th Section. You were a great soldier and a leader of young men in harms way. Iíve always regretted not being with the Gators when you deployed...and I watched the news intently from Korea on the day you passed. I think of you often and I thank you and your family for your ultimate sacrifice. Iím ever grateful that I had a chance to know you. Rock Hard!"
COL (ret) Joe Guzman of Austin, TX

"SSG Wilson today you ran across my mind, it's been over 13 years. 2000 2/3 FA Geissen Germany. Brother you will never be forgotten.
We had some good times."
Sfc Golden of Seattle Wa

"I served with SGT. Wilson during our tour to Iraq. He was the epiphany of the NCO corps. He was always leading by example. He could never been seem without a smile on his face. I considered him to be my friend. He was a friend to all that knew him. It has been 10 years now. "Least we forget that some gave all". I pray that the good lord watches over all of his family. Sargent you will forever be missed by all that know you."
SSG Benjamin Dunlap of Stroud, OK

"My dear friend Joe its been a long time. It is hard for me to express myself. But I want to say I will remember you and the time we served together in 2/3 FA. And all the deployments and unit trips we've been on. They was the Good Old Days! May GOD watch over you and your family. RIP My Brother!"
SSG Stevens, Wallace of Fort Benning , GA

"SSG Wilson was my first Chief. Seems like yesterday, seeing him smile while smoking Tatum... We miss you and you will always be in our hearts!"
Koury Ramey of Sherman, TX

"I look up to all the men and women who fought for our country and i would like to say that when i get out of high school i would go to the Army and fight for our county,for my family, and friends. I cried when i heard that my cousin Joe Nathan Wilson died when he was coming home to see all of us. Joe was like an Uncle to me we always hungout and he would always tells me to do the right thing and always set goals and complete them goals. I cry everytime I see his picture or hear his name I loved him with all my heart. I would like for the soldiers to go to my other cousin Stanley Wilson that is in the Army and give him a hug and say thats from your little cousin Andre. I wish my cousin Stanley the best of luck and all the soldiers that is out there fighting for our county,family, and friends. I LOVE ALL OF THE SOLDIERS. I look up to all of them. R.I.P Joe Nathan Wilson and all of the other soldiers that died for our country. I would like to meet Sgt. Joe Mlinar if you this i live in Bay st. Louis, MS, my address is 8424 jeff davis dr. and a friend to my cousin is friend to me."
Andre Wilson of Bay St. Louis, MS/ USA

"I look up to all the men and women who fought for our country and i would like to say that when i get out of high school i would go to the Army and fight for our county,for my family, and friends. I cried when i heard that my cousin Joe Nathan Wilson died when he was coming home to see all of us. Joe was like an Uncle to me we always hungout and he would always tells me to do the right thing and always set goals and complete them goals. I cry everytime I see his picture or hear his name I loved him with all my heart. I would like for the soldiers to go to my other cousin Stanley Wilson that is in the Army and give him a hug and say thats from your little cousin Andre. I wish my cousin Stanley the best of luck and all the soldiers that is out there fighting for our county,family, and friends. I LOVE ALL OF THE SOLDIERS. I look up to all of them. R.I.P Joe Nathan Wilson and all of the other soldiers that died for our country."
Andre Wilson of Bay St. Louis, MS/ USA

"It's October 19,2011 & we're still missing u. We always honor u every November. Mayor Reilly has named November 2 as Staff Sergeant Joe Nathan Wilson Day. You will forever be in our hearts. Still wishing u were here with us. I remember the last time u came home for the new year. How much fun we had partying & having snowball fights. Now all we have are the memories. Now I know you not only had a big impact on our lives, but others also. We love u Nathan & you are truly missed."
your cousin, Eliscia (Bug) Lynch of Crystal Springs, MS USA

"5 alvive!!! you will always be missed"
Mac of PA

"It is Saturday, Aug. 06, 2011. I just thought I would check in on you bro. Today a helo was shot down in Afgan. WTF?right Yes the wars ar still rollin along. I saw the headline and thought of you. I still think of you and I still miss you bro! Take care. till next time. lol.:)"
vaughn of Mountain Center, Ca. USA!

"I did not personally know sgt.wilson yet he is a major part of my life. My husband is sgt.joe mlinar,Joe wilson saved his life that horrific day. I think about you everyday if it wasn't for you I wouldn't have my family. I remember when my Joe called me from germany after the accident and asked me if I had heard anything about you, at the time I just didn't have it in my heart to tell him you had passed away. Your picture is in our living room and has been for eight years now. We have three beautiful children clayton is our first born olivia is our second and we named our third child samuel nathan after you! God bless you and your family, I can't thank you enough for the gift you have given me."
Jamie Mlinar of okc,ok,USA

"My name is larry facio , i was A 2/5 FA alongside SSG Joe Wilson and miss him dearly . not a day goes by that i dont miss my fallen comrades and hope the best for there families and loved ones.SSG Wilson was the coolest man ive ever met , always joking around , always smiling and making the best of every BAD situation we were in. Hes gone but NOT FORGOTTEN !!!! HERES TO YOU BRO !"
Spc Facio of Bakersfield ca.

"While I know that these words come very late and that they hold little comfort, please know that he will never be forgotten"
Staff SGT Allen Lardell of Hinesville, Georgia, USA

"November 2, 2008
To the family of Staff Sgt. Joe N. Wilson:
Joe 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

"Hey Joe. I just had another baby although this is our last one. We named it Samuel Nathan. Nathan in memory of you. I still think of you everyday. You'll never leave my heart and mind."
Joe Mlinar of Mustang, Oklahoma

"Thank You Brother.We miss you"
Mark of Lexington /North carolina

"To the family of:Joe N. Wilson 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 do not know Joe personally. But I thank him and his family for the blanket of freedom my children and I sleep under each night. Mississippi has truly lost a part of what makes her great.

My condolences to the family."
Rusty Walker of Gulfport, MS

I can't belive its been 3 years today, NOV 2 2006.
Not a day goes by we dont think of you.
vaughn warriner of So. Cal.

"whats up Joe Nate even though you are in a better place it is hard to say that those who you were around will not shed a tear. any one who knows you knows that you were life of the party and you made any bad situation an excellent one. you were the backbone of the brotherhood we had at B 2/3 FA. any one who was blessed with your presence should consider it an honor to have been around you.I will never forget such a legend as yourself "GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: JOE NATE""
Anshad K Mckay of Columbus,Ga

"Whats up Will,
Man I thought it would have gotten easier for me to deal with u not being here as time went on, but it gets no easier. I have your kevlar that you wore in Iraq. Morris and I cleaned it up nicely. I'm wanna take it to your mother, but i don't wanna bring back any pain. I have a picture of your daughter in my house. Hey do you remember the camera we bought the day we left? I still have it. I just don't have it in me right now to get the pictures developed. But enough of the sad stuff, I now you are in Heaven looking down on all of us. I feel so much better knowing i now have two Guardian Angels watching over me. I will never forget you Joe Nate. I will see YOU again.


"Geez. Another day.....I don't know man. I wish everyone knew you. I'm thinking about coming to your grave on Memorial Day. I have you're picture next to my Purple Heart award. Without you I don't deserve it. Again thank you for everything. You gave me my life. You gave me my family. I miss ya man...........i really miss you.....We'll see you in Heaven. Love,
The Mlinar Family (Joe, Jamie, Clayton, Olivia Mlinar)"
Joe of Mustang, Oklahoma

"Sgt Wilson was always a very concerned gunner when I served with him in A 2/5, SSgt McKeithan's 6th Section. I heard about his death hours after it hit the news, but did not find this site until today.

Sgt Wilson, you are directly responsible for my decision to re-enter the military after the powers that be in 2/5 decided that since I did not go along with their choice to send me to Iraq, to kick me out. It's been almost 3 years, and I am ready to go back."
SPC Elliott of Missouri


The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell.""
Sgt. Ross of Mississippi

"Merry Christmas From Heaven

I still hear the songs
I still see the lights
I still feel your love
on cold wintery nights

I still share your hopes
and all of your cares
I'll even remind you
to please say your prayers

I just want to tell you
you still make me proud
You stand head and shoulders
above all the crowd

Keep trying each moment
to stay in His grace
I came here before you
to help set your place

You don't have to be
perfect all of the time
He forgives you the slip
If you continue the climb

To my family and friends
please be thankful today
I'm still close beside you
In a new special way

I love you all dearly
now don't shed a tear
Cause I'm spending my
Christmas with Jesus this year"
Vangi & McKaLyne Lunsford, wife & daughter of the late Sgt. Audrey Daron Lunsford of Batesville, MS



"I can not believe it has almost been two years. I still think about Joe Nate all of the time. I have been through a lot in the past two years. Dealing with my personal struggles. My injuries have taught me a lot. I feel as if Joe Nate is with me on my most difficult days. Giving me strength. I am finally out of BAMC hospital. I would really like to touch base with any friends or family. I have lost a few comrades and close friends in this war. I hope you know my thoughts and prayers are with all of you now. Please fell free to email me Nicoletteleigon@yahoo.com I would love to share memories of the man I knew."
Nicolette Leigon of Las Vegas, Nevada

"To the family of Sgt. Wilson,

It's been a couple of years now but we still watch the videos of that attack. Just can't stop thinking about it. Our son sat next to Sgt. Wilson on the Chinnook and to think we almost lost him is just too much. We can't imagine what this feels like for you. We wish we could say something that might ease your pain but words won't do it. All we can say is thank you to your son for his ultimate sacrifice and for protecting our son in the crash. We know our son lost a great friend."
The family of Sgt. Joe Mlinar of Huntsburg, Ohio

"SSG. Wilson,
The first thing I'd like to say is thankyou! For anyone who reads this, Joe saved my life. My name is SGT. Joe Mlinar. Joe Wilson was sitting next to me when we were shot down in the Chinnok and he pulled me onto himself. I truly, truly believe he saved my life! But Joe Wilson, thank you for everything you've done for me! We've worked together, and we lived life together in A 2/5 FA BN. I see Warriner already posted a message. But thank you so much for saving my life! I have a wife now, and a beautiful baby boy, thanks to you. I would never give them up, but to bring you back I would. I miss you bad man. There's not a day goes by I don't think about you. My son will definately know about you, and so will my grandson. You are a hero. Again, thank you! SGT. Joseph Mlinar"
Joe Mlinar misterjoe32@yahoo.com of Mustang, Oklahoma

I know you probably don't remember me, but i remembered you. They say that you never forget those who left impressions, great or small. You left an impression when we served together at Fort Sill. You were friendly, outgoing and didn't see racial lines like so many are guilty of. a soldier was a soldier to you. when i had heard, shortly after your death that you had been killed, i thought of Moss, and the rest of the guys from ole' 2-5 and i cried. Then i got angry. you understand, i'm sure. Joe-Nate, i will never forget you, nor will SGT Hennigan, who we were with at Fort Sill, and who served with me in Iraq. We talked about you often and shared the grief that only brothers-in-arms can share. You will never be forgotten, nor will the pain i know your family feels right now. To the Wilson Family, I am truly sorry for your loss, Joe was a great man and a great soldier. His death was unfortunate and unnecessary. I realize your pain will never be erased, nor should it ever be, but keep solace in the fact that he is with the almighty and that he will rest forever in the memories of his friends and in the arms of the Lord."
SGT Raymond H. Smith of Sioux Falls, South Dakota

"Its May 30 2005(memorial day)
we miss you
thank you for your sacrifice"

"Ssg. Wilson, I think of you offten. You gave me courage to go through those doors on our door kicking details. You and Sgt. Milinar always joking around and making light of the whole situation made life easier to bare over there. I remember you giving me your words of encouragement one day before we were going to snatch a Baa'Ath party member. Thank you. I am SO SORRY you could not come home with us. I miss you. and so does everyone else that was over there with Alpha 2/5, even if there to afraid to admit it.
Your friend Spc. Warriner"
Vaughn of California

"Rest in peace Joe Nate, I've lost a real friend and i cant believe it still. I will never forget the good times we spent in Germany. We love you man."
Demetrious Miller of west palm beach Fl

"Greetings from the American Legion post 12 in Brookhaven. Last night in our Veterans Day banquet we remembered and paid tribute to your service for our country. The speaker was Rep. Charles Pickering, U.S. House of Representatives. There was a yellow pot mum with a flag on top represented each of the 18 fallen heroes from Mississippi. Contact me at matthews@telepak.net if you desire more informtion and receive the program. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.I lost my son in 1995 in Uzbekistan."
W.A. Matthews of brookhaven, ms.

"I can't believe it has been a year. The loss has taken it's toll on all of us. You are remembered every day. I want to offer my condolences and will continue to pray for your daughter, wife, family and friends you have left behind. You live on in our hearts and memories. A year ago today I lost a friend, a hero. I will never forget! Nicoletteleigon@yahoo.com"
Nicolette Leigon of Ft. Sam Houston, Tx

"I am overcome with emotion in the loss of Joe Nate Wilson. He will truly be missed. There are so many memories I have. When I was not sure who I could turn to, who I could trust Joe was there. There are many people he has influenced. You could always count on Joe to make you smile no matter how bad you were feeling.
To his wife and daughter I am very sorry for your loss. I have pictures and memories of Joe I would like to share with you. Please contact me nicoletteleigon@yahoo.com. Joe will always be in my heart and you will always be in my prayers. Know I will always be here if you need a shoulder. I have lost a true friend. He is a Fallen Hero!"
Nicolette Leigon of San Antonio, Texas

"To the family of JOE N. I was in germany with him, we was and forever will always be remembered as a freied to all he met.if you need anything email me at roul25@yahoo.com"
SSG Byron roulhac of Fort Benning, GA

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

"To SSgt Wilson's Family:
Though we are strangers, we want you to know sorry we are your Joe was taken from you. He is our hero. We will never forget. You are in our hearts."
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, Joe, 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.


"To the family of Joe Wilson,

I am sorry for your loss. I lost my older brother, Steven Conover in that same attack. Joe is a hero in my book and he will not be forgotten. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. simpsongirl2003@aol.com"
Corrie Simpson of Wilmington, Ohio USA

"alpha battery misses you deeply, you will ALWAYS be in our thoughts and heart."
all of us in alpha 2/5 FA of F.O.B Eden Iraq

"Thank you Joe Wilson, 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 Staff Sgt. Joe Wilson:
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 Joe 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. Joe Wilson:
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 Joe, 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