Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Sgt. Michael E. Yashinski

24, of Monument, Colorado.
Yashinski died of injuries sustained while running a communication wire in Kirkuk, Iraq. He was assigned to the 501st Forward Support Company, 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vicenza, Italy. Died on December 24, 2003.

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"I wish i could have met him, he was my Uncle who died for this country and i wish i could seen him before he passed, my dad misses him too."
August Villalobos of Portland Oregon

"I know why you were the way you were (smart, sweet, real), Mike... Your parents are so special!!!
I just wanna keep thinking you can read me, you can hear and feel me... I miss you like crazy. Keep watching over us all, brother."
Stefania Molon of Verona, Italy

"I was in Iraq with Ski and talked to him 1 hour prior to him passing, I spend every Christmas Eve in tears thinking back to that night. I miss you bro, and I still look back on that Matrix screensaver that you gave me. I love you and you're always in my heart bro."

"Mike: It seemed just like yesterday that we were talking about the Avalanche and the Wild. I remember how flabbergasted, yet excited, you were, when I invited you to the Xcel Energy Center to watch the Aves and Wild - my treat. All you had to do was get here. Whenever I'm around the ice, including this past NCAA Frozen Four, I think about you. You are still missed, buddy!!"
TSgt. Jeffrey S. Williams of Maplewood, Minnesota

"I served in the 82nd with Yashinski. Great guy... many weekends spent at Acapulco Lake with him and the rest of the guys. Terrible loss."
Craig Frendling of Northwest Indiana

"just dropped by to say that you are not forgotten and are missed.....my other message is not up anymore??? it's Baker from back in the day at Bragg - 1/319th"
SFC Damon Baker of back in Hawaii

"I miss you baby. Another Christmas without your smiling face and your practical jokes. I put up a tree this year. I love and miss you so much. Love Mom"
Deb Yashinski of Richlands, NC

"I wish I could still see your smile... I miss you like crazy, my angel. But I know that one day we will be together again. Till that day come, keep watchin over us. I love you. RIP, my brother and friend."
Stefania Molon of Verona, Italy

"It seems like just yesterday that we were trading cds in the sandbox. You changed my life and I will never forget you. I wish I could have done more. To your family I can only say he is loved and remembered by me and my family. I wish you all the best"

"Merry Christmas baby. It is hard to believe that another Christmas goes by without you. I put up a tree this year - you would like it. It is all military for you (Army) and your dad (USMC) and grandpa (USMC) and grandma (NAVY). There are also pictures of your buddies on it. I go on but I miss you so much. Love Mom"
Deb Yashinski of Richlands, NC

"still with us.
I do love you. More than ever."
Stefania Molon of Verona, Italy

"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

"I'm with you. I love you, my great friend and brother."
Stefania Molon of Verona, Italy

"Hey Sgt Ski i miss you and i wish our friendship wasn't so short lived. I know you are looking down upon me and keeping me safe. I want you to know i have never forgotten the day. I just want you to know that i finished that line the day after christmas and i did it for you. You always were a hard worker and i appreciate the fact you saw promise in me. Words can never be enough and sorry it took so long. it was just hard for me. All gave some and you gave all"
Brandon Williams of Aurora,IL

"Michael I know you are not missing a thing. From your vantage point you can see it all . Its those of us who knew you who are doing the missing. All of those might-of-beens. Dont forget us, because we don't forget you."
Marsha Newell of Lakewood Ca

"Merry Christmas Michael, you are greatly missed."
Mandy of KS

"December 21, 2008
To the family of Sgt. Michael E. Yashinski:
Michael 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

"Happy Birthday Michael. It's hard to believe you would be 29 today. I still miss you so much. Till the links are all joined again. Love Mom"
Deb Yashinski of Richlands, NC

"God needed another Angel to watch over us. Thank you for your ultimate sacrafice. It is on these special holidays that we especially remember our fallen soldiers."
Sandy Slade of Wetumpka, AL USA

"I had the privilege of knowing Mike in high school and enlisting with him in 1997. The last time I saw him was when I was stationed at NTC while he was in the 82nd. It is now 4 1/2 years after he left us and I still think of him and pray for his family and friends. Mike's life has been an inspiration to me and probably everyone that took the opportunity to get to know him. If every man in this world had even half the heart that Mike did, we would have no reason to be over here in Iraq. Rest in Peace, Warrior!"
1LT James Watson of Q West, Iraq

"Mike, you're still on my mind so often, even four years later. I didn't know you then, but I knew you once, and I'll never forget you. You had the most sincere soul and you always looked me in the eye, never disrespected me, always told me the whole truth. Thank you for your service and for your friendship."
Kurt Lewis of Chicago, IL USA

"Well sweetheart, it has been 4 years now. And there are days when my heart still aches so much.I talk to your friends as their lives go on - marriage, children all the wonderful things of life. I know you would be so excited for them and I wonder what you would be doing now. I love you kiddo and I will always be here for your friends and your buddies. Sleep in peace my baby."
Mommaski of Richlands, NC

"Even in the start of my new life; with the new life I carry, your still in my thoughts. The dreams we shared, the plans, the laughs, the love. I still can't believe that you never made it home. I like to think you smile down with the support you always gave. We'll always have one day; and you'll always be our angel. I miss you."
Mandy of Fort Riley KS

"Your bunk was right next to mine and I would tell you to stop drinking so much soda...also less Vitamins...you told me about your plans with your fiance. I have been thinking of you since I heard and it has been 4 years. You knew your job and i admired your hyperness, cause you never seemed tired, even though I was. I wasn't there, but I can imagine why you had to get the job done, no matter what. Some officer's probably were on your behind, not being able to chat on the internet and you just wanted them to shut up. I will always remember you.... Boat Drinks!"
SGT De Martinis, Simone of Fort Irwin, CA

"Happy Birthday, sweet son of mine. I often wonder what might have been. Watch over us all and know that my love is always with you."
Deb Yashinski of Richlands, North Carolina

"Happy Birthday, Angel."
Stefania Molon of Verona, Italy

"I never said Goodbye the right way. I won't ever forget the last time you smiled to me. I won't ever forget your last message. You were my brother, Mike. You were a friend. Words won't ever describe the pain I feel every time I see you in my mind, playing or watching tv by my side.
You left a hole in my soul but I still can see you, I still can hear you.
May the sun always shine on you, Brother. I'm so proud to have had you in my life.
My love goes to Jim and Mommaski, you guys are part of my life."
Stefania Molon of Verona, Italy

"I went to school with Mike and shortly after I had my son we reconnected and e-mailed back and forth while he was in Italy. We lost touch again before he went to Iraq. He was killer. I can't believe that he's gone from this world, but his memory will always remain."
Jennifer Sweet of Colorado Springs

"Michael, It is hard to believe you have been gone 3 years. I miss you so much kiddo. Christmas Eve will never be the same. I love you and miss you. Watch over your dad and I and all your friends and comrades in arms.Mom"
Deb Yashinski (Mommaski) of Richlands, North Carolina

"To the family of:Michael E. Yashinski 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 served with "Ski" in the 1/319 AFAR 82nd Airborne Division. I remember the night he was leaving to got to Italy to be assigned with the 173rd. It feels like only yesterday, as all 82nd battle buddies, we drank, played cards and sayd our good bye's. I like to express my deepest sympathy to his family. Mike was a good man and he will never be forgotten. God Bless..."
P.O. Tomas Rozar of NYPD 67th Pct. Brooklyn, NY

"Michael, It has been two years and not a day goes by that your not in my thoughts and heart. You were my rock, my strongest supporter for nearly six years. The holidays and daily life will never be the same without you, we all miss you and the light you brought to our lives."
Mandy W C of Fort Riley KS

"Mike and I were friends in high school. I'm proud of you, bro, for all you've done with your life. To his family and other friends, may our memories of him be sweet. I'll see you at home."
Lynn of Langley AFB, VA

"We just learned of Micheal's passing. Know that you are all in our hearts and our prayers. Mike taught our son,Tom so much as they were growing up and we will miss him."
Lea and Roger Guinn of Fort Worth TX USA

"I went to AIT with 'Ski and got to know him well. He was a great guy who'd give you the shirt off of his back as well as a very smart kid. He will be missed by all who know him or met him."
Brian DeLongchamp of Ishpeming, Michigan

"This message goes out to spanky's family... Your son/brother/father/husband will truly be missed by us all... If I could pick one man to fight next to me in combat... "Spanky" is the brother I would pick.... We love you man!!! Your souring with the eagles now... Rangers Lead the Way!!!"
SrA Burch of Yongsan Army Garrison, Korea

"Just wanted to offer our condolences to the family. We knew Mike pretty well from LPHS and working together with him for a couple of years, and though we graduated in 1996, it doesn't lessen the impact of someone you know from your own small town. We both served in the military out of High School, though ultimately it's Mike who made the greatest sacrifice. We salute him."
Matt Martin and Scott Crichton of Monument, Co/St. Augustine, Florida

"SGT. Ski was my battle buddy for the FTX when we attended PLDC together at Fort Bragg. He was a highly motivated soldier and a good person. I am sorry to hear of his loss. His family will be in my prayers. Please continue to pray for the soldiers who are still deployed."
SSG Gandy of Fayetteville, NC

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

"I am a friend of Mike's Dad and Knew Mike while he was growing up. He was a damn good kid. I am not surprised to see these many messages to him. I'm proud to have known him."
John St. George, SMS, USAF of Littleton, Co

"I am deeply saddened to hear of the loss of SGT Yashinski. Michael was a superb soldier who served in my battery at Fort Bragg from 1999-2001. He was clearly one of my best soldiers, capable of rallying his fellow troopers around the guidon to support all types of missions. It was an honor to be Michael's commander, and I will always remember him in my heart. May God bless him and his family."
Major Carter L. Rogers of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

"I knew Sgt Yashinski "Ski" when I was stationed with him in the 82nd Airborne, 1/319th Field Artillery. We were good friends and hung out together. I can't believe what happened to him. The war really hits home when someone you knew well is taken. Yashinski was a good person and a good communications soldier. He will be missed."
Sgt. Jodin Dunbar of Fort Chaffee, AR/ USA

"Sgt Yashinski:
Thank your for giving yourself so that those of us at home can live freely and safely. There are not enough 'thank yous' for a gift such as this. Rest in peace soldier."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"To the family:
Army Sgt. Michael E. Yashinski will not be forgotten.
Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you in your sorrow. May God's love and peace be with you."
Pat and Sandi B of Montana

"Michael, your dedication to your family, friends, and country will not be forgotten. We miss you today and will continue to miss you in the days and years ahead. Keep an eye on us whenever you look down."
Myron Beaver of Jacksonville, NC

"We loved you at home in Monument, CO. Enjoyed you as a classmate, neighbor, and fun-loving friend. We will never forget you!!! Our very sad and deepest condolences to your family, and close friends, and deepest thanks to you and all who serve, and served with you Mike, you will be greatly missed.
No greater love has a person, than to lay down his life for his friend. Thank you Mike, we will love you always."
The Ogle Family of Palmer Lake, CO

"I just heard the sad news. I knew SGT Ski while I was attached to the 173rd, in Kirkuk, from June to October 2003. I learned a lot for him and I valued his knowledge and incite. It was a pleasure for me to work with somone who was so highly committed to his job, and accomplishing mission. He will be missed by many."
SFC Gene Brown of Kaiserslautern, Germany

"Thank you to all of the people that have posted messages for Michael. My wife and I were very proud of our son and know that he left an empty place in many people's hearts. We are always open to hearing from Michael's friends or associates from his brief life. If anyone needs to contact us, you can reach us by email at JYashinski@bham.rr.com."
Jim yashinski of Irondale, AL

"I also knew "Yas" in the 82nd Airborne Division. He was a good soldier who loved his country. He will be missed by all who knew him."
Nate Bechtol of Boone, NC USA

"I knew "Yas" in the 82nd Airborne. He was a private that came into our unit for his first assignment. He was a good soldier and a patriot. He will be missed."
Doug Enfield of Lakewood, WA

"Hey Mike. I was in your High School class, LPHS 97. We will miss you."
Megan Smith of Monument, CO

"I was stationed with SGT Yashinski "ski" for 2 and a half years while with the 173rd ABN BDE and in Kirkuk Iraq from March 2003 to Sept 2003. He was a very motivated and determined NCO. He will be missed by all who knew him."
SGT Bennett of FT Bragg, NC

"As a member of the 506th AEG/ECS in Kirkuk, Iraq, I befriended "Sgt. Ski" and installed com wire for him on several occasions as a cooperative effort to make everyones life easier. I really appreciated his dedication to his job and his positive attitude. Although I did not expect to ever see him again after I left Iraq on December 15th, I had planned to keep in contact with him through email. I am sorry this is no longer possible. I am proud to have known him and worked with him at Kirkuk AB, Iraq."
Steven Largin of Salt Lake City, UT

"I enjoyed working with Mike in Kirkuk helping him with some of his wire projects. He was a great man and will be missed"
SSGT Layne E. Wilson of West Valley City, Utah

"Thank you Michael Yashinski, 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

"Although I never knew Sgt Yashinski personally, I do know another member of the 173rd Airborne and they are always in my thoughts. Your loss saddens me deeply. Please know that you have my support in this most difficult time. I wish you peace, strength, and courage as you face the days ahead. Sgt Yashinski has my utmost gratitude and respect. He has given his all. He will never be forgotten."
SSgt Dominique Atkins of Offutt AFB, NE

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Michael Yashinski:
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 Michael 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. Michael Yashinski:
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 Michael, 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