Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Cpl. Ian T. Zook

24, of Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Zook died as result of enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California. Died on October 12, 2004.

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Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

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"Mr and Mrs Zook I got out of the Corp in 1998 but I was at your sons funeral and I just wanted you both to know that to this day, your son and my brother is not forgotten. Semper Fi."
Aaron Page Cpl USMC of Beaufort SC

"I miss you brother. I'm sorry I was wounded and not there for you, at the same time you were there for me. You served with nothing but honor. Semper Fi devil dog."
Casey of Houston,TX

"My wife and I were members of the same church that the Zook family attended in Palm City. I remember him as a quiet teenager, humble and respectful. Proud to have known him, and humbled by his sacrifice."
Jon Petersen of Winter Haven, Florida

"Ian was in my section and my fireteam leader at Kings Bay, GA. He was a great Marine, always willing to help and a fellow Christian. One of my fondest memories is that we were on liberty for a short time and it was cold out, but surf conditions were supposed to be good (they were terrible and the water was ~55degF), so we decided to drive to Jacksonville beach and try to get some boarding in. Needless to say we just ended up goofing off late at night. I miss him terribly. He called before he left for Iraq when I was on duty, and I wish that I had taken the time then to talk with him more; I did have the honour of being at his funeral and it is a day I will never forget. My prayers are with you, Mr. & Mrs. Zook; Ian always spoke so highly of you."
Joel Cummigns of Charlestown, IN

"Not so long ago i was stop by a state trooper for speeding down on I95 heading to Miami. and I, who was recently enlisted couldn't help to notice on his clip board there was an eagle globe and anchor decal. so i ask him. you were part of the marines right? no my son was. he was kia in 2004. so as a respect to someone who served before me and has given his life for freedom i pay my respects to Ian T. Zooks and also his family.

Diego Rendon of Orlando, Fl

"It is with a grieving heart that I am writing this. It has been almost 7 years and I have just now gathered the strength to write this. Ian Zook was my best friend when I was in the Corps. He loved his family dearly and talked offen of how proud he was of his dad, the State trooper in Florida, and how he loved his mom and sister. Zook was I man that I greatly admired. I remember first meeting him at basic security guard school in Chessepeake VA. He was the type of guy you took an automatic liking too. When we graduated BSG school he went to Georgia and I stayed in VA. Our paths didn't cross again until I changed duty stations and was sent to 29 Palms CA. Zook and I had some good times in Twenty Nine Palms and he even met the future Mrs. Polasek. I remember the day that Zook told me he was moving to the CAT Red Platoon. He was so proud to be a part of the CAT Platoon and I knew he would do an excellent job as an NCO there. I will forever remeber him and I promise to come and visit him along with a few others who knew him well. To the Zook family, God bless you for giving this world an individual that touched the lives of many. He will be greatly missed. God bless you Cpl. Ian T. Zook and I welcome the day I get to shake your hand again! Semper Fidelis!"
Cpl Justin Polasek of Houston, TX

"I was stopped for speeding this evening - and rightfully so - by a Florida State Trooper. On the troopers wrist was a stainless steel bracelet that bore the name Cpl Ian Zook, Killed In Action. The troopers name tag read ZOOK, Ian's father. The loss of any of America's servicemen is painful...painful for his fellow brothers-in-arms, his friends, his family, but no one can feel the loss that a parent must feel at the loss of their child. It is only a parent that, in their grief, can also feel the solumn pride that is theirs, knowing that their son's sacrifice has been laid upon the altar of freedom. My son and I are both veterans of Operations "Iraqi Freedom" & "Enduring Freedom". My father and I are both grateful for our sons safe return and can only imagine the loss that Trooper Zook and Ian's mother must feel. America is a lesser place without Corporal Zook and the rest of America's fallen heroes. God bless the Zook family...God watch over the Marines that follow in Cpl Zook's foot steps and finally, God Bless America."
CWO4 James Mullinax, USCG (Ret) of Vero Beach, Florida

"I am sorry for your loss. He will always be remembered as a hero. I learned about this marine just today, I am a fellow marine. I parked next to your vehicle while doing some work at the Disney resort. I left a sticker simply reading semper fi I hope you did not mind. I will remember your marine always. Thank you and god bless."
spencer price of orlando,fl

"On July 31st my husband and I participated in the 1st Warrior Walk in Lakeland, Fl. It was a beautiful ceremony and I was honored to walk for Cpl Ian T.Zook. I will never forget that Cpl Zook gave up his future for our country and our freedom."
Marsha Brawley of Apollo Beach, FL

"My 12 yr old daughter and I took a stroll through the Palm City cemetery this memorial day week-end to pay our respects to America's veterans. We were drawn to one spot by the colorful fresh flowers, the flags, the coins and toy Army men. It was your son's grave. I explained to my daugther that he must have been a special hero because he was awarded the purple heart. We imagined what he must have been like. We don't know you,and you don't know us, but it was an honor to learn about your son and pay our respects to him today, May 24, 2009."
Cindy and Jenny Cosgrove of Palm City, Fl. USA

"In honor of your sons sacrafice, I have posted the story regarding Ian receiving the first of his two Purple Hearts on the Official Website for the I MEF, United States Marine Corps. You can view this story which includes selected photos at http://www.imef.usmc.mil"
Mark Grebetz/ I MEF Webmaster of Camp Pendleton, Calif.

"September 29, 2008
To the family of Cpl. Ian T. Zook:
Ian 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

"May God grant you peace and yes, even joy in life even though you have lost a son to the war. From the bottom of our hearts - our family sends it gratitude to yours for the sacrifice you have made. We placed a flag today in Orlando with your son's name on it in honor of him. Your family is being lifted in prayer as well."
Deni Corbett of Orlando, Florida

"We were in Russia at the same time you took Ian's brother and sister home. How are things working out? Franki and Dan got a beautiful little girl and she is amazing. Has learned the English language so quickly, loves pre-school, and her brother and sister. We have thought of you folks often."
Corlene Smith of Porterville, California

"Dear Ian
Thank you for being such a positive influence in Joshua's life. Now more then ever do I understand the sacifice you made having Josh now in harm's way in Iraq as a Marine also. You will never be forgotten. Semper Fi!"
Harry Browning father of LCpl.Joshua Browning 4th ANGLICO USMC of Port St. Lucie, Fl.

"To the family of:Ian T. Zook 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'm watching the story on CBS as I type and send the family of Ian Zook my deepest sympathy. As a disabled Veteran approaching 60yrs of age I would gladly give my life so that one of our soldiers could live his/hers...but we don't have those choices. I salute Ian T. Zook and will remember him as a true hero."
S. Whatley of Oklahoma

"We the members of Charles O. Hines American Legion Post 171 will post Ian T. Zook on our wall for fallen heroes on May 28th at 3pm. Wall located at 1814 N. 21st Street Ft. Pierce, Florida."
Henry Clayton of Ft. Pierce, Florida

"I might just be a kid but i am sorry for any of his familey ibet he was a really good man u have my prayers with u."
Tyler Steerman of Augusta Georiga

"To the family of Lcpl Ian Zook
I am sorry for your loss. Your son is a hero. I am a close friend of Lcpl. Julio Cisneros. Thank you for leaving a message on his page. Ian and your family will be in my prayers.

Bea Garza of Mission, TX

"cpl zook,
I was there right behind you the day you passed. I cant really remember to many days out of that hellhold when I felt as lost as that day. I will always remember you. I thankyou for everything you did for me. I will shake your hand and embrace you again when it is my turn to stand post at the gates of heaven. Semper Fi
Lcpl Matt Burgdorf 1/7 Wpns Co. Caat Red Husaybah, Iraq"

"There are no words that can ease the pain for your loss. I can only hope that you take comfort in the fact that your son gave his life to protect our way of life. He made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us, his family, his Country and our Marine Corps. His actions helped to bring many of his younger Marines home, and his memory should he honored as well as all others who have paid such a price for all of us. There is a saying “Freedom is not Free”, and for those who have lost a Loved one to protect it, the price of Freedom has a different value. You can should be proud, that you raised such a man that would give everything to protect the ones he Loved, and to guard a Country that never knew him. He did not do it for the Fame or the Glory, he did it for us and our children and our God given right to walk to the store or go to work, without having to worry if we are going to make it home. I did not know your Son, but we are Brothers, I am a U.S. Marine and we are a band of brothers as I am sure you know, and I too feel the pain of your loss. May God give you comfort and ease your pain.

Always Faithful
SSgt Marcus R. Dawson USMC"
Marcus Dawson of Tampa, FL

"To the family of Corporal Ian T. Zook. I was in Ian's platoon in Georgia and I knew him well. He was a very good marine and a even better man. he will be greatly missed. I am very sorry for your loss. you will always remain in my prayers."
Alan Jones of Georgetown, Louisiana

"I too know your loss, the pain, sorrow and sometimes anger that you feel each day. I also know the pride and the amazement you feel of hearing from people who knew your son and loved him too. My heart goes out to you and your family, yet because of Ian and my son we know that we are safe as are our love ones still here. Each day brings a memory bitter sweet, their first smile, first tooth, first crush, first date and then the last smile we shared or the last hug. I have no answers for when the pain will leave I only know that we are not alone. Each day someone else is joining our journey. My son was a soldier and so was yours, we must make them proud as they were for the honor to serve our country. We will all get through this together. Thank you both for your sacrifice. If you ever need to talk or cry my home if always open.

Cheryl Shanaberger
Proud Mother of Wentz Shanaberger KIA 3/24/04
Ft. Pierce, Florida"
Cheryl Shanaberger of Ft. Pierce, FL, USA

"My Prayers are with you. I went to highschool with Ian, he was a fun person to be arround and I will never forget him. He is a true hero."
Beth (Biggs) Alfonsi of Levittown, PA

"Cpl. Mark Zook
Your son is a true hero and I am honored to have known him. I am a former military wife and I know that they are the real heroes of this country. May God ease your pain and give you peace."
Melanie Moreland of Ft. Pierce

"To the Zook Family:
My heartfelt condolences to you all in the loss of our young HERO and your young son, Ian. My sister, Peggy F., called me as soon as she received word and she was truly devastated. As you may know, my son (and Peggy's nephew) Michael is a Marine currently in Iraq on his second deployment. I know the anguish of having a child in harms way but I can't imagine the loss of one. Please know that I am thankful to you for having a son who was willing to lay down his life so that I and others can enjoy the freedoms we have today. It is because of his commitment and his caliber of being that I can sit here and freely send you this note. Thank you Ian for your ultimate sacrifice - you are our Nation's Hero!
You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Semper Fi!"
Judy Rittenhouse of Lexington, KY

"Mark, Karen and family

Rai and I will keep all of you in our prayers. We can never know the grief you are experiencing. Having personally known the entire family, we know Ian is in a much better place today and in time you all will be reunited. We know you are proud of Ian and all of his accomplishments."
Ernie and Rai Chapman of Green Cove Springs, Fl.

"I grew up in P.S.L. I saw that your son died on my birthday. I will never forget his sacrifice. Every year, I will celebrate my liberty, my freedom, and the safety I live in as a result of his sacrifice. God Bless."

"Ian, roomate and friend. Your testimony of faith and your honorable service to our country will never cease to be told. You leave an example of a great american for all to follow. I look foward to seeing you again in heaven, were I will be able to thank you face to face."
Stephen Overholser of Tallahassee, FL

"God Bless you and your family during this time. Our hearts grieve with you as our family has also lost a young Marine, LCpl Drew Uhles."
Amy Hill of Du Quoin, IL

"I am sorry for your loss. As a parent I can not even imagine how you feel. As an American and former PSL resident we send you out thoughts and prayers."
Nadine of Atlanta, GA

"I haven't seen you since we were kids, but am so pround of your bravery. I thank you for fighting for our country and know you are at home now with our father."
Courtney Close of Grandview, MO

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

"Thank you Ian for taking my brother, L/Cpl. Drew Uhles,into your arms after he had been fatally wounded . You are truly a brave young hereo.

God Bless you and your family,
Melissa Uhles, sister of the late L/Cpl Drew Uhles"
Melissa Uhles of Shiloh, Il. 62221

"To Ian's Family and Friends:

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


The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
Gloria Caldas (The Big Ern's Mom) of San Antonio, TX

"To the family and friends of Corporal Ian T. Zook,

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

"To the family and friends of Ian T. Zook:
May God's grace be with you during this time of grief. My son, Brian Hogie, is in C 1/7 around al Qaim and I can only imagine your sense of loss. You are in my prayers. Contacthogie@sbcglobal.net"
"Stephen Hogie of Santa Ana, California

"To Ian'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

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

"My wife and I would like to thank those who have left messages in my sons memory. My son was a very brave youg man who loved being a Marine. He will be sorely missed. He could make you laugh at a drop of a hat. He was a very caring person who cared for those who needed help. He was a person who loved the Lord. Both his family and friends will miss him very much. Again, thank you all from the bottom of our hearts."
Mark Zook,, Ian's father of Port St. Lucie, Florida

"My deepest sympathy, our family has also suffered the loss of a precious life in this battle for freedom. May God bless you and help you through this time. Forever in our hearts a HERO Ian T. Zook."
Amy & Aaron Monier of Waterford, MI.

"Thank you Ian Zook, 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 Cpl. Ian Zook:
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 Ian 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 Cpl. Ian Zook:
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 Ian, 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