LCpl. Leon Bertrand Deraps
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LEON BERTRAND DERAPS United States Marine Corps Lance Corporal Leon Bertrand Deraps, U.S.M.C., age 19, Jamestown, MO was killed Saturday, May 6, 2006 in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq. Leon was born at home near Jamestown, MO, November 13, 1986. He grew up running in the soft hills and creek bottoms of the Missouri River Valley. Always obedient, he was a good student, anyone's friend, loved by all, and answered to Buddy, Bud, Bert and Bird Man. Leon went through Cub Scouts, Webelos, and his achievements include 35 Merit Badges, the Order of the Arrow, a Rocky Mountain High Adventure Trek, National Boy Scout Jamboree 2001, Fort A. P. Hill, Virginia, a Fhilmont Scout Ranch Expedition 2002, Cimarron, New Mexico, many service projects and Camporees. Under guidance from a veteran Scouter, Richard Schroeder, Leon's Eagle Project was the recovery of the abandoned Hardiman-Beaty AME Cemetery just north of Jamestown. He was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout on March 13, 2005. Leon participated in many sports at Moniteau C-1 School, Jamestown, including baseball, basketball, track and field. He was a member of the FFA and voted Prom King his senior year and graduated High School in May, 2005. Leon enjoyed many outdoor activities including hunting, fishing and off roading. He was an active member of the Annunciation Catholic Church, California, MO. Leon was employed at Advanced Chimney Techniques of Jamestown, MO and Cal's Thriftway, California, MO before graduating high school. He pre-enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in the fall of 2004, while a senior in high school. He left for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, in June of 2005. Because of his Eagle Scout achievement, Leon entered the Marine Corps as a Private, First Class. In September 2005, he graduated from Basic Training and went on to complete Marine Combat Training at Camp Pendelton, California and Engineers School, Camp Le Jeune, North Carolina. With his training completed in February 2006 he was deployed with members of his engineering unit to Iraq. Leon is survived by: his parents, Sandy and Dale Deraps, Jamestown, MO; three sisters, Dawn Cassil and husband Terry, with their children; Bethany Pethan, with her husband Kurt, and son Clayton of Prairie Home, MO; Kaylan Cassil and Hallie Cassil all of Jamestown, MO; Omie Johnson and husband Mike, with their children, William and Abraham, Thedford, NE; two brothers, Cedar Deraps of Jamestown, MO and David Deraps with his wife Naomi, with their children Benjamin and Moriah, Jamestown, MO; paternal grandfather, Leon B. Deraps, St. Louis, MO; many Aunts, Uncles, cousins, extended family and community. Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:00 A.M., Wednesday, May 17, 2006 at Cedron Catholic Church at Cedron. Officiating will be Father Henry Reichert, with burial in the church cemetery with full military honors. Visitation will be 4-8 P.M., Tuesday, May 16, 2006 at Jamestown C-1 school with Prayer Services by Father Greg Higley at 3:30 P.M. Memorial contributions can be made to Boy Scout Troop 120, C/O Julie Medlin, Cashier, Commerce Bank, 200 East Main Street, California, Missouri 65018. The family is being cared for by Bowlin-Cantriel Funeral Services of California, MO.

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Published in Kansas City Star on May 14, 2006.
Memories & Condolences
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290 entries
March 6, 2013
I'm sorry to hear about this loss in your family. My family and I are grateful for the bravery, service and dedication that Leon gave.
David Phoenix (Phoenix Family Building Co.)
November 23, 2012
In memory & honor of Bertrand DeRaps.
July 27, 2012
You are all in my prayers.
Beth Prior
May 15, 2012
It is always a sad day when we lose the ones we love. While I never knew Leon, the type of person he is/was is shown in these pages. Thanks for sharing his message.
Matthew DeRaps (US Navy)
May 6, 2012
To the family and friends of Lance Cpl. Leon B. Deraps:
Always remembering Leon. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
February 23, 2012
My brother-in-law also lost his life as a Marine in combat during the Vietnam war and when I hear of another fallen hero my heart is heavy.

My prayers go out to all who knew and loved Lance Corporal Leon Deraps, an Angel for our Freedom.
Dee Riffel
December 14, 2011
A tragic loss, and my heart goes out to you who survive him and mourn him.
Becky Gareis
October 24, 2011
Loss of any family or friend is so difficult for we are left with only memories But we know your at peace and not fighting anymore, and your an Angel of Freedom and love and Left your name with family, strangers, and friends who can say We appreciate your love for America and your sacrifice for so many God Bless and HE will hold you forever in HIS grace and Honor in Heaven and on Earth WE will remember
Diana Prine
September 29, 2011
Dear Deraps Family,

I am so sorry to have read of your great loss as I was reviewing your website this evening. You will continue to be in my prayers.

Mark Brown
September 29, 2011
I don't you know, Leon but I'm good friends with Josh Hampton. He has your named tattooed on his arm and wanted to name his son after you. You meant a lot to him, which means a lot to me. Thank you, Leon, rest easy.
Michelle Stark
July 27, 2011
Ready to go
Dale Deraps
July 10, 2011
To the family of Lance Cpl. Leon B. Deraps:
Please know that just as your loved one remains in your hearts and minds; his sacrifice, and that of your family, remains with the people he died defending. Words cannot express the gratitude we feel for his bravery and selflessness, or the heartache we feel for your loss. God bless and keep you always.
L Neal
July 9, 2011
I am so sorry for your loss. May LCPL. LEON B. DERAPS rest in peace and you find comfort in knowing that he is. My thoughts and prayers are with LEON and your family. Thank You Soldier~ GOD bless ~You are not forgotten.
L Greene
May 6, 2011
To the family and friends of Lance Cpl. Leon B. Deraps:
Please accept my remembrance of Leon on the anniversary of his passing and know that he will never be forgotten.
Peggy Childers
Peggy Childers
April 28, 2011
Thank you Lance Cpl. Leon B. Deraps for your service to our Country. You will never be forgotten~ In honor I salute you. God Bless you and your family for the greatest sacrifice(s) that were made by you.
Connie Forbes
February 16, 2011
Mr. Dale, I did not know Leon, but read a lot about Leon in the guest book, I am absolutely sure that he was a wonderful man and your beloved son.
I hope my heart's prayers and tears of my soul will reach the heaven's and God will help you even more in this endless sorrow.
October 27, 2010
SemperFi brother, never forgotten.

Sgt USMC veteran
Jason Lockwood
August 7, 2010
Semper Fi my Brother, I look forward to serving with you at Marine Barracks, Heaven's Gates.
Steve Stuckmeyer
GySgt USMC Retired
Steve Stuckmeyer
July 15, 2010
To Leon´s family:
I have my own son being deployed soon, and fears come into my mind. I do hope that Leon´s sacrifice will bring one day the peace that we much need.

With my deepest respect and sympathies to his family.
Jorge Duran
July 14, 2010
My name is Lance/Corporal James Schneider USMC and I give my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of my fallen comrade in arms. When you ever get to heaven you'll find the streets are guarded by United States Marines and I know he will be one of them. May God Bless You!
James Schneider
July 6, 2010
Sure miss you brother, I think of you all the time. You left such a huge hole in all of our lives. I miss your smile, I still hear your voice on last time we talked. I was in a hurry and I told you I had to run. So many time's I've wished I had just stopped and talked with you just a little more. I thank you God that we had the time we did with you, but I wish we had more.....
Cedar Deraps
June 21, 2010
We went to Truman Lake this weekend so missed you and it will never be the same without you. Just miss you so much. Love you son,Mom
June 20, 2010
You are greatly missed. I wish you could see your nieces and nephews grow! It's hard to have them grow up without knowing their uncle Leon. Memories of you are such treasures in my heart. You are my hero, brother. I love you and you changed my life forever! I am honored to be called your sister. I miss you. Regina
Regina Baepler
June 18, 2010
A hero I never knew yet he lay down his life in the name of the freedom we cherish. May his loved ones always know he's honored today and always for his priceless sacrifice.
Laura VPMM of Sgt Derek, 3 OIF tours
June 11, 2010
Thank you for your selfless service to our county.
Skip McGuire
June 4, 2010
Hi baylee its me Lexi I still greive for you Alot
Alexis Edynburn
June 4, 2010
I didn't know Leon either I knew his niece Baylee we went to school together
Alexis Edynburn
May 31, 2010
Thinking about you and your family today!! Thank you for what you have done!! You are a hero!
Ben Schmidt
May 7, 2010
To the family and friends of Lance Cpl. Leon B. Deraps:
Remembering Leon on the anniversary of his passing. May our fallen heroes never be forgotten!
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers
April 14, 2010
I will never forget the day our family heard the news of Leon's death. Although I never had the opportunity to meet him, I know he comes from a wonderful, loving family. I drove my children up North Hwy 87 and was wept as I saw the American flags which lined the highway for miles and miles, and today remember my hero Leon, for his courageous battle for our freedom. God bless all of you. I cannot wait to participate in the annual walk/run with my family to honor such a courageous young man. You will never be forgotten, Leon. Rest in peace with our Lord God in Heaven.
Melanie Adams
March 25, 2010
Thank you for providing me the freedoms so many take for granted! You will not be forgotten!
Charlie Wormek
March 8, 2010
Thank you for sharing your memories with all Americans. Leons sacrifice will not go in vain as long as we live in freedom withe the Stars and Stripes flying proud above. We will "Honor and Remember" his life and sacrifice and thank God for welcoming Leon into His prescence. Rest in peace and glory my brother.
Skip Geisaka
March 2, 2010
Thank you for your sacrifice. My son is a Marine. Thank you also to your family for there support for the military men and woman fighting for our freedom. May you rest in peace. Semper Fi. A Proud Marine Mother Carol
Carol Cooper
February 19, 2010
You are a great guy Leon!! Thank you for what you did to keep us all safe here!! My condolences to the Deraps family!! You all are great~~
Ben Schmidt
January 22, 2010
I never met Leon, but everytime I'm driving to and from California and see the Lance Corporal Leon B. Deraps Memorial Highway sign I think of him and how courageous he was. Leon and his service to our country will never be forgotten.
January 9, 2010
my name is Moses Cucufate-Luna and im a Marine veteran and platoon member of Leon. I just want to say im veary proud and honerd to have servd with him. I remember going on missions with him as he sat as my A driver in my 7 ton truck helping me stay alert and safe during the long nights on the road. Lcpl Deraps will always be one of my personal heroes.

Moses Cucufate-Luna
December 12, 2009
Very sorry to hear of young Leons death. I have very fond memories of him playing with our children in Jamestown. His energy and passion will live in my memories. Much love to all those who endure.
Ray Schiller
November 8, 2009
Never new you personnally but you will never be forgotten. After all this time I still think of you and your family. So proud of you. Fighting for our freedom. Your mission on earth came to an end but it doesn't end there now you are in Heaven with Jesus enjoying all of Heaven's Glory.
Armetea Potter
November 7, 2009
safe jounerys dear relative may we meet some day at the top of the mountian. I am so proud of you.
Gerard DeRaps
November 2, 2009
Andrew Lee Cutler Former SGT. USMC (VN) and SFC USA (Ret)
Andrew Cutler
September 10, 2009
Leon was rightfully proud of his strong, loving, generous family - and they and we all are rightfully proud of the Leon we were so lucky to have known. You live on in our hearts, Leon!
Nancy Kievit
September 9, 2009
Thank you for allowing me to conduct and honor your Son during the 8 Nov 2009 event, It is my hope that we can do the right thing for a parent who have gave the best they have to the United States of America. Thank you Carl Dietrich, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Department of Missouri
August 17, 2009
American Hero! God Bless Leon and his family.
Carla Caldwell
July 16, 2009
may you rest in peace, brother.
l.c. bruce
July 12, 2009
Leon's Dad and brother-in-law Jeff and other buddies just finished a fantastic (and difficult) chimney-rebuild project for us in Columbia. They were proudly wearing Leon's name, and honored to tell the story of his life. A man to be remembered, and of course deeply missed.

So hard to lose one so young! But life goes on, and those who knew him carry on a tradition of careful and caring craftsmanship with a respectful sense of connectedness with those not with us in the flesh.

May God's Spirit be with, and heal, all of us.

David Finke
June 11, 2009
Dale and Sandy and family,
Every day I think about Leon. I also think about you all. Leon was so special and Alex really cared about Leon. It is hard to believe it has been 3 years. It seems like only yesterday we heard the horrible news. Leon you will always stay with me in my heart and the hearts of those who knew you and loved you. What a special young man you were. God bless and Semper Fi Marine.
Kerri Jenkins
June 3, 2009
Dear Mr. And Mrs. Deraps,
This is a great site. I love to read all the things I didn't know about Deraps. Deraps was under my charge during his tour in Iraq, he was one of about 40. Usually the platoon Sergeant gets to know his Marines at a level of mission employment and the basics of their personal life. It was different with Deraps, I many of times came to his room where he hung out with Stewie, Quintero and his other friends. I susually came to see their pictures and talk to them on how they felt, and do the usual Marine B.S. session. Deraps was always so positive about everything and very poud of his family. Although we have never met in person, I was able to meet you thru him. I also got to know more about beef jerky than I really needed to know from him. He was a great Marine, man and person. I will never forget him and what his sacrifice stands for. Alot of Marines get awards for things they do which people thinks makes them heroes. Leon is the real Hero, he is one of my Heroes. He will always be remembered in my family and kept in our hearts! God bless you and your family.

SSgt Jose R. Miranda
Jose Miranda
May 25, 2009
Dale & Sandy, Suzanne & I remember Leon and all the others that gave their lives so that we could live in liberty. Love to you and your family.
Jerry Neal
May 7, 2009
Three years and one day so hard to believe. We will always remember his smile and willingness to always help. Miss him everyday. Knowing he is with the Lord and we will see him again keeps my family going. Thank you Jesus for time we had with him. Mom
mom deraps
May 6, 2009
Leons Family,
Today is 3 years since we have lost him, but lets not think of the bad, but lets think of all the good times we spent with him and happy thoughts he brought us. My thoughts and prayers are with you all!!
Nicole Coonce
May 6, 2009
To the family of Lance Cpl. Leon B. Deraps:
Leon 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
April 9, 2009
”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to you. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Over 1,450 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
Contact us directly at or go to . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You.
Kenna Larra
March 14, 2009
It's almost been 3 years since Leon's passing, thats hard to believe. I still think about Leon and you all alot. My son's daycare is doing a bulletin board of service men and women and I immediately thought of Leon. I was proud to have known him and want others to know about our "hometown" hero as well. Take care!
Jenny Cain
December 23, 2008
Dear Leon,

In your eyes, I see the grace of a young man and a compassionate soul. As a Marine, I know you are brave. But what I see is a gentle soul, someone who retained his humanity during an inhumane time, and this is what we shall miss about you. May your sacrifice give us the strength to find alternatives to war, to killing and to death. Your courage, grace and compassion are in us always.

May your memory be a comfort to your mom, dad and family. And may your memory be a blessing, always.
Kris Miccio
December 9, 2008
I did not know Leon but my heart aches for his family and loved ones. I am a new Marine mom, and this is the hardest part of my journey so far. Words can never express the ache in my heart I feel. God bless him and his family.

I am a member of the Arbor Day Foundation and this year along with my membership, I get two trees planted in honor or the two people I choose. I have chosen Leon as one. I am respectfully requesting that a family member contact me. I would like to get a mailing address to send a card.
My thoughts and prayers will be forever with him and his family. God bless!

Semper Fi,
VPMM of Nick
2nd Bn. Echo Co. Plt. 2107
Lead, Follow or get out of my way!
Diana Hebb
October 22, 2008
Sincere condolences to this DeRaps Family from the J. Edward DeRaps Family from Maine and other parts of the Great U. S. of A.
Ernie DeRaps - Family Historian
Ernest G. DeRaps
October 15, 2008
You are so very missed everyday and our memories of you live on. There is not a day that goes by that we don't think of you and see that big smile upon your face. Thank you for serving our country . We lost a great nephew but gained a wonderful gardian angel for those who need him. We love you and miss you!!!!

Uncle keith, Aunt Karen and Taylor Willer
karen willer
October 10, 2008
thank you, from a friend.

-fellow eagle scout
blake campbell
September 23, 2008
Hello Guys,

I wear his shirt twice a week to work, the shirt that Big Joe Specht
proudly supplied to me. We think about you guys all the time.
We have been able to raise some funds to help the maintainance on
his name sake road.
Sincerely yours,
Patti and Tucker OBrien
Tucker OBrien
September 19, 2008

There is not a day pass that I do not think of you and your accomplishments. Your picture is displayed with pride on your sisters desk, and your presence is felt every time a family member or friend walks through the door.

I will remember always the day you were standing at my desk in uniform, so professional and so very proud. You told me of the mission you were leaving for with such confidence and determination.

"Thanks" does not seem like enough for all the great things you have done for your country, community, family, and friends. I am honored to have met you, Lance Corporal Leon Bertrand Deraps.

Keep up the good work. You are making a great difference.

Thank You
September 9, 2008
charles olin
September 2, 2008

I saw your picture in the tribune today and made the connection. I remember meeting you a few years ago when you came out to help us with a new stove and chimney. I now remember Leon's obit and want to tell you that you have our heartfelt sympathy. But much more than that, we are proud of Leon, you and your whole family for your service and your sacrifice. Thank you.
Phil Neel
August 12, 2008
This is for a fellow warrior, that i had the pleasure of putting into the marine corps and serving in Iraq with you are missed brother. you will live on in the hearts and minds of all your fellow marines and family and on a tribute tattoo i have on my body.

SSgt David Proitte (Leon's former recruiter)
David Proitte
July 4, 2008
Thinking of you today, the 4th of July, 2008, and praying for your parents, Sandy and Dale and all your fellow Marines.

I was so fortunate to meet your mother at the Conference in D.C. recently. I don't need to tell you what a wonderful women, mother, and wife she is. I have not had the same pleasure in meeting your father, Dale, but I am quite certain he is as fine a gentlemen there is.

Rest in Peace.
Dee McHugh
May 30, 2008
My thoughts and prayers are still with the family of Lance Cpl. Leon B. Deraps. I always think of him too!!!! He was a good guy!
May 29, 2008
You are remembered and respected. Thank you Lance Cpl Deraps!
May 9, 2008
May peace and love be with you in all memories.
Love from Lois Douglass, Sidney, ME
(DeRaps family)
Lois Douglass
May 9, 2008
May Gods Peace be with you ALL!
The DeRaps's of Maine
Ernest DeRaps
May 7, 2008
Deraps family: Leon's birthday into human life, and his 05-06-06 date of entry into Eternal Life are remembered especially in Eucharsit and other prayer, as is the pain of all who suffer and ache until we all get there to celebrate Jesus' Victory over sin, pain and death.
May 6, 2008
I miss you so much. I can hardly believe that you have been gone 2 years. You remain forever in my heart. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of you and ache because you are gone. I will never forget you brother. You are my hero and I love you forever. Your sis, Regina I miss you
Regina Baepler
May 6, 2008
Leon, Can not believe it is two years ago today we got the news. Our lives our forever changed. Just miss you ever ever minute. We love you . Thank you so much for the happiness you gave us. Love you forever mom
sandy deraps
May 4, 2008
Has it really been two years already? It seems like just yesterday we were getting the news. I still think about your family daily and about Leon daily. I pray that you are comforted by the knowledge that Leon touched so many lives in such a positive way. Alex really enjoyed spending time with Leon in scouting adventures. Alex, Leon and Jess were the adventure guys and always had fun playing tricks on each other. Well, Leon will forever remain in our hearts. God bless, Kerri
Kerri Jenkins
April 29, 2008
Even though I did not Leon personally I can remember him working at the store in town. He came to work there after my son had left to serve his country as a fellow Marine. I have felt a bond to Leon since the day I found out about his death. I guess that comes from being a "Marine Mom" and knowing that there are more Mom's with sons and daugthers serving their country. I wish that I could have known him on a personal basis. From everything I have ever heard or read about your son, he seems like he was a great person. I keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers.
Monica Green
March 31, 2008
Leon, I miss you so much and my heart is so broken... Please keep an eye on Craig, Nick and now Jeff as they are now over in the sandbox. Watch their backs and keep them safe...I love you Leon...thank you for showing me the meaning of a true hero... thank you for the signs...I know you are safe and watching over us...I love you so much..... you will remain forever in my heart, thoughts and prayers...your sis, om
Omie Johnson
March 22, 2008
Dearest Sandy, Dale and family,
My heart and prayers are with you all. It has been years since we've talked or seen one another. During that time, in many moments, I have thanked the Lord for the Holy Spirit operating through you and your family that reached out and touched me and my family!
Sandy, my eyes have not dried since I heard from Bruce of Leon's sacrifice and your family's loss! As a mother I stand with you in the battle with grief. I love you and I thank God for His grace and mercy in your life through all of us who love you and hold you up in His loving hands!
Dale, God Bless you and continue to give you the strength and loving heart to lead your family and comfort Sandy as Him. To all the Deraps children who we came to know during our time of "recovery" for Bruce from cancer, I send you strength and love in His name!
Dale and Sandy, I just informed Daniel, who was at work, of Leon's passing and he broke down and we both cried for the loss of Leon. We know that he lives on in all the lives he touched, many of whom have expressed that in the pages of this book!
Thank you, Deraps family, for modeling family love, sharing and giving of yourselves to us and so many others and instilling in your children such values!!
You have always had a place of gratitude and love in my heart and I pray and declare the Peace that surpasses understanding in the precious name of Jesus be with you in every moment that threatens to overwhelm with sadness for He is good and his Love endureth forever in and through you all for one another and Leon!
Thank you for all you've given and all you do to be Lights in this world and the gifts you gave to each member of my family in our time of need!!
With deepest sympathy and love,
Chrys Bailey
Chrys Bailey
March 21, 2008
To the Deraps family, it's been years since I've seen you all and only moments ago that I learned of Leon's passing--too sad for words, but I wanted to send love from me and my family. Leon was such a bright light and we were glad to know him for the short time we did.
Best wishes to you,
Bruce Bailey, currently in Austin, TX
(sometimes in Paonia, CO)
Bruce Bailey
February 19, 2008
Prayers continue for the family, the Girl Scout Cookies are offered for sale here also for the Marines, so we shall be at Winn-Dixie and WM soon for them! frHFB
February 18, 2008
I was in Deraps' platoon in boot camp. Two years later it still pains me to come across the news of his death. He was an outstanding recruit, I wish I could have known him beyond basic training.
Justin Dufault
February 13, 2008
With everlasting respect form a former Marine 1967-1970
Phil Peeler
February 8, 2008
I stand in awe of service men and women who protect our freedoms and way of life. Freedom fighters are to be exalted and adorned with highest honors. Families of fallen heros command our greatest respect and admiration.

With everlasting respect.

Thank you Omie.
Austin Long
February 6, 2008
Hey Buddy, I was just thinking about you, Say a prayer for Mom, she hurts for you, I love you, Pop
Dale Deraps
January 27, 2008
Leon, I miss you. Love you, Regina
Regina Baepler
January 25, 2008
God bless your family and best of wishes. My little brother was bunk mates with your son in boot camp, Caleb always had good things to say about Deraps. Marine families must stick together.
L.C. Caleb A. Bohlmeyer's Big Sister
Danielle Rees
December 28, 2007
God Bless the Deraps Family during the holidays and Happy New Year. I checked Leon into Charlie Company while working for Head Quarters Platoon C Co from Sept 2005 until we deployed in March. I was with 1st PLT an deployed to Al Asad Iraq and unfortunately did not have the opportunity to get to know him well. He will always be remembered! Semper Fidelis!!
~Cpl Hendon
7th ESB B CO 2nd PLT
Andrew Hendon
December 28, 2007
God bless you and your family, Leon. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. We will never forget you.
Greg Bacon
December 17, 2007
I didn't personally know Leon, but my brother is a friend of his. Leon and his family are still and will always be in my thoughts and prayers!
Portia Swanson
December 16, 2007
Dear Deraps family -
I will always have a special place in my heart for your family. Your love and kindness are overwhelming. I lost touch for a few years and so I did not get to see Leon growing up. The memories I have of him are a little 4 or 5 year old boy running around smiling and playing. I always enjoyed seeing and playing with him when I came by your home. I imagine he is now guarding the streets of heaven for those who have gone before us and is watching down on those of us still here. Words can never take away the pain we feel of a lost loved one but I am always here if you need someone to talk to.
Your friend.
Ray Smith
December 12, 2007
I remember you coming into this world several months after your dad was laid up with a broken leg. I still have a fond memory of your older brothers and sisters looking out after you and dragging you around by your hand. I still remember the hand me down tennis shoes that you wore that were two sizes to big. Even though I grieve for you, I grieve most for those loved ones that grieve for you. Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice.

Gary Hart
U.S. Naval Reserves, Retired
Gary Hart
December 3, 2007
Hey you Deraps its Ray just to stop by and tell you i miss you man there isnt a day i don't think about you. all i can say man is that i miss you really bad
Ray Swaney
November 13, 2007
Today you would be 21 years old. You are missed so much. Someone gave mom and papa enough tickets for everyone in the family to go to a St. Louis Blues hocky game, just to be together on this day. I'm here in Nebraska and I miss you and everyone terribly. You are my hero little brother. I know you are celebrating your birthday with the Lord and so many loved ones. I love you Leon. Love always, Regina
You will never be forgotton.
Regina Baepler
November 5, 2007
Hello guys,
Pat and I were thinking of you,
and yours. We hope you are well and
taking care of each other. You are
always in our thought and prayers.
We would love to hear from you
by email. @

Sincerely, Patti and Tucker OBrien
Tucker OBrien
November 4, 2007
Last night, at a local fundraiser for our Mid-Missouri Salute Our Veterans' Airshow, I had the privilege of sitting at the same table with Leon's sister, Dawn, and brother-in-law, Terry. I am so grateful for the sacrifice that Leon and his entire family have made. We still have Leon's picture sitting on our mantle. It was an honor to meet Dawn and Terry. They are amazing people.
Connie McClellan
October 5, 2007
prayers satill arise for the litle boy who 'conned" me out of an autographed photo of Monica from Touched by An Angel
(Roma Downey, the actress is a neighbor of mine from N Ireland) when he was only 9 or 10. Now, he is "touching" the Angels himself and is still in touch with all who knew and loved him on earth as family, classmate, fellow Marine and Catholic Christian believer. fr. Hugh Francis B
September 24, 2007
A true American Hero! God Bless Leon and his family.
Scott Kistler
September 23, 2007
I wanted to thank you for sharing this with everyone!!! Your son was a very brave and caring individual to have support our country and give us the freedom that so many take for granted.I am very honored to have the same last name! So sorry for your loss.
Wendy DeRaps-Richardson
Wendy DeRaps-Richardson
September 4, 2007
My deepest sympathies to the entire family. I of course did not know Leon, but am a Vietnam Veteran of the Corps. As I was scanning the numbers of killed saying prayers, The date of Leon's death caught my eye, it is my birth date. I will from now on remember Leon on that day.
Mr. Deraps as a Corps vet yourself you know we are all brothers. I know when I get to heaven I will see Leon, give a salute, and can say Well done Marine.
May the peace of God be with you all.
Ken Beck
September 4, 2007
Just when you think there is so little hope in the world, you find a family so loving and caring that everything you thought or knew changed in an instant. I have to catch myself from getting angry, I did not grow up with a family and a community like the Deraps, I wish I had. I never knew Corporal Leon Deraps, I wish I had, but not only would I have liked to have met him but his family and friends also. My wife and I recently went to San Diego to watch our neighbors two sons Tony and Nathan graduate from MCRD August 24th, 2007. While watching the graduation a Gunnery Sergeant made a comment over the PA about the recruits, he said "Thank you parents and family members for instilling in these men the values we hold so dear, without your love and dedication in their up bringing they would not be the men they are today". I believe that. I would like to say to both Sandy and Dale, God bless you, like your son, you are amazing! My wife and I have read everything on this web site and our eyes have filled with tears so many times. God bless you and your family and friends and the wonderful people in your community. My wife and I will always say a prayer for you and Leon.
Robert Perigard
August 27, 2007
Hello Sandy,Dale,and Family

We are just thinking of you guys
and praying for you every day. We
understand what you are going through. Take care of each other,
be understanding and,please,what-
ever you do, don't hold your feelings inside,because you are
affraid to upset another family member. The open communication is
what you all need to heal from
your greif.(Crying is very theropuetic) Sandy it was great to
finally meet one of you...we had
a good conversation, hope it help
just a little. Our E-mail address
Tucker OBrien
August 27, 2007
Dear Sandy, Dale and the whole Deraps Family,

I think of you all everyday I keep you all in daily prayers as does the whole Specht Family. Joe and I had the opportunity to be with Leon and enjoy his wonderful personality on a couple of occassions. I wear my USMC T-shirt every time I work out at the Gym and I am constantly amazed at the support of so many wonderful people who unfortunately have lost their loved ones in this war as well. I am in awe over the outpoor of love, well wishes and blessings that so many give. I love you all with my whole heart!!! I feel very blessed each day to know I have such a wonderful family and Leon will always be a part of that. I know he is watching over all of you and all of us too. Be good to each other everyday and know that you are blessed to have each other and your Specht family here in New Jersey. I love you all!

Mary Specht
August 25, 2007
I still think of Leon and all of you quite often. I pray now for all of you and Craig and his family as he departs for Iraq. I know that Leon will be watching over him.
Jenny Cain
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