Honoring Wyoming's Fallen Heroes of

The War on Terror

The War on Terror, initiated in response to the tragic events of September 11, 2001, represents a significant chapter in American and world history. After the devastating terrorist attacks on American soil, the United States, under President George W. Bush, launched a global campaign to combat terrorism. The primary objective was to dismantle Al-Qaeda, the group responsible for 9/11, and to ensure such an attack never happened again. This mission led to the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, aiming to overthrow the Taliban regime that harbored Al-Qaeda. In 2003, the U.S. also invaded Iraq, with the goal of eliminating suspected weapons of mass destruction and reducing the threat of terrorism.

This ongoing campaign, spanning over two decades, reflects America’s commitment to national security and global peace. The efforts of the U.S. military and its allies in these conflicts have been focused on protecting not only American citizens but also people worldwide from the threat of terrorism. The War on Terror has necessitated tough decisions and complex operations across various continents, showcasing the resilience and dedication of American service members and their families.

The War on Terror has had a lasting impact on international relations and U.S. foreign policy, highlighting the challenges of addressing global terrorism. It has led to significant changes in security measures both domestically and internationally, aiming to prevent future terrorist attacks. While the campaign has faced its share of challenges and controversies, it remains a testament to the United States’ unwavering commitment to defending its values, protecting its citizens, and maintaining global stability. The sacrifices made by U.S. service members in this effort are deeply honored and remembered, as they have played a crucial role in striving for a safer and more secure world.

Wyoming’s contributions to the War on Terror have been significant, reflecting the state’s deep sense of patriotism and commitment to national security. Wyoming’s National Guard units, alongside active-duty personnel, have been actively involved in various operations related to the War on Terror. These brave men and women from Wyoming have served in critical roles in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other locations around the world, often in challenging and dangerous conditions. Their dedication and professionalism in the pursuit of peace and security have been a source of pride for the state.

Back home, the people of Wyoming have shown unwavering support for the troops and the mission. Community support initiatives, including sending care packages, organizing supportive events, and participating in homecoming ceremonies, have been commonplace, reflecting the state’s strong community spirit. The impact of Wyoming’s contribution extends beyond the battlefield, with many veterans returning to the state and contributing to their communities, sharing their experiences and lessons learned. The efforts and sacrifices of those from Wyoming in the War on Terror are an integral part of the state’s legacy, demonstrating its steadfast commitment to playing a vital role in national defense and global efforts against terrorism.

If you have information on Wyoming’s contribution to this war that you would like to share, feel free to send an email to [email protected]


Operation Iraqi Freedom | March 20, 2003-September 1, 2010

James Joseph Arellano 19, of Cheyenne, Wyo.; Died August 17, 2006. Army Active Duty PFC E03 assigned to 1st Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died of injuries suffered when his patrol encountered enemy forces using improvised explosive devices and small-arms fire in Baghdad.

Brian Daniel Bland 26, of Newcastle, Weston, Wyo.; Died January 26, 2005. Marine Corp Active Duty Staff Sgt. E06. assigned to C CO, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii; killed when the CH-53E helicopter in which he was riding crashed near Rutbah, Iraq. Anbar Province

Kyle Wayne Burns 20, of Laramie, Wyo.; Died November 11, 2004. Marine Corps Active Duty Lance Cpl. E03 assigned to A CO, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; killed by enemy action in Al Anbar province, Iraq. 

Jason Jarrard Corbett 23, of Casper, Wyo.; Died January 15, 2007. Army Active Duty SPC E04 assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska; died of wounds suffered in small-arms fire from enemy forces in Anbar Province, Karmah, Iraq.

David Daniel Julian 31, of Evanston, Wyo.; Died March 10, 2008. Army Active Duty SSG E06 assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.; died in Baghdad of wounds sustained when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device.

Brian Michael Long 32, of Burns, Wyo., Died June 10, 2007. Army Active Duty Staff Sgt. E06 He was assigned to HHC, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Wash.; died in Baghdad of wounds sustained in an explosion.

Robert Lawrence Lucero 34, of Casper, Natrona, Wyo.; Died September 25, 2003. National Guard Capt. O03assigned to HHC 4th Infantry Division Rear Area Operation Center, U.S. Army National Guard, Casper, Wyo.; killed by an improvised explosive device in Salah ah Din Province Tikrit, Iraq.

Joseph Patrick Mayek 20, of Rock Springs, Wyo.; Died April 14, 2003. Army Active Duty PFC E03 assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, Smith Barracks, Germany; APO AE 09034 killed after being struck by a round that was discharged from Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Baghdad Province Iraq.

Scott Alan Miller 20, of Casper, Wyo., Died June 9, 2007. Army Active Duty PV2 E01 assigned to HHC 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Wash. died Diyala Province Baqubah, Iraq, of wounds sustained from enemy small-arms fire.

Leif E. Nott 24, of Cheyenne, Laramie, Wyo.; Died July 30, 2003. Army Reserve 1st Lt. O02 attached to A Troop, 1st Battalion, 10th Cavalry, 4TH Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died of wounds received from hostile fire on in Diyal Province, Belaruz, Iraq.

Tyler Edward Pickett 28, of Saratoga, Wyo.; Died June 8, 2008. Army Active Duty Staff Sgt. E06, assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.; died of wounds sustained when his unit was attacked by enemy forces using improvised explosive devices. Kirkuk Province, Iraq

Brendon Curtis Reiss 23, of Casper, Natrona, Wyo.; Died March 23, 2003. Marine Corps Active Duty Sgt. E05, assigned to HQSVC CO, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; killed in action Dhi Qar Province, near Nasiriyah, Iraq.

Theodore Arnold Spatol 59, of Thermopolis, Wyo.; Died December 14, 2006. Army National Guard SFC E07 assigned to the 1041st Engineer Assault Float Bridge Company, Rock Springs, Wyo.; died of a non-combat related illness in Thermopolis.

Ryan Lee Zorn 35, of Upton, Wyo.; Died November 16, 2009. Assigned to 1st Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.; in Tal Afar, Iraq, of injuries sustained during a vehicle rollover. Niewa Province. Army Active Duty SSG E06, Transition Team, 3D Sqdn, 1ST Cavalry, TF Marne, Fort Stewart, GA IZ IZ Iraq Tall AFAR.

Operation New Dawn | September 1, 2010 - December 15, 2011

Phillip C. Tanner 43, of Sheridan, Wyo.; Died October 26, 2010. Army Sgt. 1st Class assigned to 106th Transportation Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died Ali Al Salem, Kuwait, of injuries sustained in a non-combat incident.


Operation Enduring Freedom | October 7, 2001 - December 28, 2014

Jonn J. Edmunds 20, of Cheyenne, Wyo.; October 19, 2001. Helicopter Crash. Army Ranger Spc. assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.; killed in action in a crash of a UH-60 Black Hawk during a training mission.

Kevin J. Griffin 45, of Laramie, Wyo.; Died August 8, 2012. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.; died in Sarkowi, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by a suicide bomb attack.

Bruce E. Hays 42, of Cheyenne, Wyo.; Died September 17, 2008. US Army National Guard Capt. assigned to the Wyoming Joint Forces Headquarters, Wyoming Army National Guard, Cheyenne, Wyo.; died in Gerdia Seria, Paktika Province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device.

Andrew L. McAdams 27, of Cheyenne, Wyo.; Died January 10, 2014. US Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 3 assigned to Det 53, Operational Support Airlift Cmd., Joint Force HQ, Wyoming Army National Guard, Cheyenne, Wyo.; died at Bagram Airfield, in Parwan province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained in an aircraft crash. (Cheyenne), Parwan Province, January 10, 2014 – Helicopter Crash

Charles E. Munier 50, of Wheatland, Wyo.; Died June 12, 2006. US Army Lt. Col. assigned to the Wyoming Army National Guard’s training site in Guernsey, Wyo.; died at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., from a non-combat related cause which occurred in Kabul, Afghanistan. – Non-Hostile

Sean M. N. O’Connor 22, of Douglas, Wyo.; Died June 12, 2011. Marine Lance Cpl. assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations. Hostile Fire

Jacob A. Ross 19, of Gillette, Wyo.; Died March 24, 2010. Marine Lance Cpl. assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Small Arms Fire

Operation Freedom's Sentinel | January 1, 2015 - August 30, 2021

Riley J. McCollum 20, of Bondurant, Jackson, WY. US Marine Corps LCpl. On August 26, 2021 in Kabul Province, – just 4 days before the last U.S. forces withdrew from the country. He was among 13 U.S. soldiers killed in a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport and the last serviceman from Wyoming to die in the War on Terror.