KIA June 16, 2005
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to 1st Batallion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California,; attached to the 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward)
On June 16, 2005, LCpl Erik Heldt was killed when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device while conducting a mobile patrol near Ramadi, Iraq. Heldt was serving as a machine gunner with Company C’s Quick Reaction Force. Also killed was his company commander, Capt. John W. Maloney.
After joining the Marines when he was 24 years old, LCpl Heldt was deployed twice and was serving in his second deployment when he was killed. Heldt was a dedicated and hard-working Marine and those that served with him remember him for his caring nature and his positive attitude.
“We knew him best as the comical Marine who possessed a bright personality and upbeat attitude that made any situation better,” Company C’s 1SG Michael D. Brookman said of LCpl Heldt.
Throughout his life, LCpl Heldt was forth-coming with his love and care of those in his life, always taking the time to help anyone that needed it. Those around him know that their lives are better because they had him, even if only for a brief moment.
“He was loved by everyone,” a friend of LCpl Heldt, LCpl Matthew C. Trigo, said. “We could all take a lesson from Erik Heldt; the man, and the Marine. He has been a light to so many of our lives. I will ever cherish our dear friend and brother and eagerly await the next time we hangout together.”
LCpl Heldt was 26 years old from Hermann, Missouri.
Original portrait by artist Jonathan Stasko was presented to Erik’s daughter in May of 2016.