Fiddlers’ Green

Halfway down the trail to Hell,
In a shady meadow green Are the Souls of all dead troopers camped,
Near a good old-time canteen. And this eternal resting place
Is known as Fiddlers’ Green. Marching past, straight through to Hell
The Infantry are seen. Accompanied by the Engineers,
Artillery and Marines, For none but the shades of Cavalrymen
Dismount at Fiddlers’ Green. Though some go curving down the trail
To seek a warmer scene. No trooper ever gets to Hell
Ere he’s emptied his canteen. And so rides back to drink again
With friends at Fiddlers’ Green. And so when man and horse go down
Beneath a saber keen, Or in a roaring charge of fierce melee
You stop a bullet clean, And the hostiles come to get your scalp,
Just empty your canteen, And put your pistol to your head
And go to Fiddlers’ Green. 

Fiddlers’ Green is the legendary afterlife imagined by Cavalrymen. Its origins are obscure, although some point to the Greek myth of the “Elysian Fields” as a potential inspiration. 


Its first known appearance in published form was in a 1923 Cavalry Journal. Its concept was also popular among 17th and 18th century sailors and soldiers in Europe, who knew that they would not qualify for Heaven, but trusted that a merciful God would agree with their motto that, “To live hard, to die hard, and to go to Hell afterwards would be hard indeed.”

According to the Cavalry Journal, “Fiddlers’ Green” was inspired by a story told by Captain “Sammy” Pearson at a campfire in the Medicine Bow Mountains of Wyoming. Having mentioned Fiddler’s Green and found that no one appeared to have heard of it, Pearson indignantly asserted that every good cavalryman ought to know of Fiddlers’ Green.

Another legend has it originating in the 1800′s and was composed as a song sung by the soldiers of the 6th and 7th Cavalry.

It is still used by modern cavalry units to memorialize the deceased. The name has had other military uses. Today, in the heart of the Helmand River Valley, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, the U.S. Marine Corps operates a firebase (FB) named Fiddlers’ Green. Fiddlers’ Green was also the name given to an artillery Fire Support Base in Military Region III in Vietnam in 1972 occupied principally by elements of 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry.

“A cavalry soldier passed on the Stetson and Sword today. 


Boots at rest … taps echoed once again.

Flagpoles stand at half;

the banner flies stoutly with the wind.”

“A Cavalry Soldier stepped off a “Winged Horse” today.

Troopers stand with heels pressed taut …

adorned with glazed eyes.

Flattened hands pushed temple tight,

for one’s last combat flight.”

“A Cavalry soldier died today,

with honor forged on infinity’s wall.

Long vanished Cavaliers proudly join the final charge,

So remembrance could speak the name …

for eternity’s present roll-call.”

This poem was written and generously donated by Thomas J. Criser – SGT, who served in Vietnam 1/69-4/70 ‘Cavalier Blue India’ – If you wish to use it, please contact Mr. Criser.

We have lost a great many Troopers over the years, and here is a place to pay tribute to them. If you would like to honor a fallen soldier, leave their name or a message, please post it below.    


Army Sgt. Nicanor Amper IV, 36, of San Jose, Calif.; assigned to the 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Knox, Ky.; died July 5 in Khowst, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with a rocket propelled grenade.

Sgt. Amper IV of San Jose took pride that his first name had a biblical origin meaning “victorious.” He lived his life protecting others, especially those who couldn’t help themselves. Amper’s first name comes from the New Testament. Nicanor was one of the seven “honest men” in the Acts of the Apostles.

He was a Cavalry scout on his first combat deployment.

Amper began his military career as a Marine rifleman in 1995 before transferring to the Army in 2005. He was assigned to the 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Knox, Ky.

He was on his first combat deployment. SGT Amper leaves behind a wife and two sons, 7 and 9. 

From H. Bradfield, HMC(SS) USN(Ret), 

My son, SP4 Hoby F. Bradfield Jr departed for Fiddlers Green on Friday 08 July 2005. He was a Cavalry Scout with Grim Troop, Second Squadron, 3rd ACR in Tal Afar Iraq. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. Scouts Out.

“It would mean the world to us if you would add my husband’s son, Spc. Stephan Lee Mace, KIA on Oct. 3, 2009, at COP Keating, Afghanistan to your list. His Stetson and spurs hold a place of honor in our home…”
Deb Mace 


“I lost a very close and dear friend and a brother veteran of the Viet Nam War and would like him to be remembered. He is Thomas E.( Pete ) Torrance and found out he passed in May 1985 from a stroke. He was the kind of person you were proud to call a friend.” 

Thank You, Ken Rountree 3/5 Cav Vet

Please be so kind to honor my dad: Col (ret) Raymond H. Beaty who now rests in Fiddlers Green. He always said that was where he was going. I have set up a memorial for him which also includes my poem ‘Welcome Home’ which is about Fiddlers Green. It is the last thing he heard. A tear rolled out. Dad was very brave and remarkably capable. Thank you.
Cris Beaty=  

Don’t know if you have him there yet, but CPT Dave Boris was lost a little over a year ago in Afghanistan. Never have I met a finer officer, and more professional Cavalry Trooper in my life.
Dave, you are missed!!! -LTC Metzger  

“I am with 1st Squadron 75th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd BCT, 101st ABN DIV. The unit was activated in place of 3rd Battalion 502nd Infantry Regiment. Would you please add some names to your list of fallen of some of our brothers who didn’t make it back from our last OIF tour. Thank You” – SGT Kristopher Micik  

CPL David P. McCormick, April 28, 2008
SSG Clay A. Craig, April 29, 2008
SGT John D. Aragon, June 12, 2008

Please add SGT Arnold Duplantier II, Member of H- Troop, 18th CAV BRT, attached to 1/184th IN and 3 ID for OIF3. Born in Fiddlers Green by Sniper on 22 June 05 at Grid MB 4479-7994. May he rest in peace.
-Gregory Parkinson  

“It is with overwhelming sadness – but great pride – that I submit my husband’s name to your roster of fallen heroes. 

Col (Ret) Phillip W. Robbins was born Jan 31. 1924 in Portland, Oregon and passed away August 15, 2007 in Tacoma, Washington. He was a warrior and a gentleman in every sense. Through his illustrious 35

years’ military career, encompassing WWII, Korea and Vietnam, his devotion was to the 6th U.S. Cavalry. God Bless he and his many comrades.
-Doris Robbins

It has been a little while, but I want to add the name of Sgt Eric Snell, who was killed by small arms fire 18 June 2007 in the Rusafa district of Baghdad. Snell was everything a man, soldier and friend should be. There is no way to express the lives he touched and the pain left in his passing. One day I will see my friend again at Fiddler’s Green…until that day, we will always remember the OG. 

-SGT Jeremy Hurtt – 3-61 Cav

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.”
-Theodore Roosevelt

Sent in by SGT. Travis Hinkley, USAREC: 

I am sad to tell you that another Cav brother has fallen in combat. His name is SGT Shawn M. Dunkin. He loved the Cav and the Army. A great leader, The finest soldier, and the best husband!! He will be missed by all. We love you brother see you at the green!!

Sent in by Michael Hughes:
Please add the names of the following:
SSG Jason Montefering
SGT Milton Monzon
PFC Ernest Dallas
PFC Ramon Villatoro
Brothers that took the trip to the green together 24 July 2005

The 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment lost three great Troopers in Baghdad. On 20 January 2007, PFC Allen Jaynes was killed by an IED and on 25 January 2007, SGT Alexander Fuller and SPC Michael Balsley were killed by an IED. All three men served proudly as Cav Troopers every single day they were on duty. They’ll all be waiting for the rest of us at Fiddler’s Green, yet they got there way too soon.  

Furthermore, I’d just like to add that I hope the trail to Hell is a short one. Since Fiddler’s Green is halfway there, I want to be close enough to hear the screams of the cowards who killed my friends.

-SGT Rich Marion “SCOUTS OUT!!”

Sent in from Jacqueline Bensel
SFC Daniel A Suplee died 03Aug2006
- We will meet again my friend At Fiddler’s Green. You will be missed by all.  

Sent in from Andy and Cindy Schmidt:  

SGT Ryan D. Jopek was a great Trooper and an even greater friend…the kind of guy who could always make you laugh, and the kind of attitude that could always make you feel better. Unfourtunately, SGT Jopek rode on to Fiddler’s Green this last summer (2006) when a coward with an IED decided to attack his HMMWV. He never saw it coming.
SGT Jopek will be forever missed by friends and family.

(Ryan – Everyone misses you and we will all see you at Fiddler’s Green).

-E-Troop, 105th Cav

Sent in from Iraq:  

A Cav trooper has fallen. Sgt Craig Nelson died Dec 29 from wounds he received from a IED near Baghdad earlier that month.

He was a Scout of the 1/156 ArBn 256BCT attached to the 1st Cav Div. He will be missed…”Till we meet again Craig See you on Fiddlers’ Green Bro. “Strike Fear”

On Saturday, September 10, SGT Nicolas Bussard, a Cavalry Scout in HHC 1-125 INF (M) was killed in a motorcycle accident near Ann Arbor, MI. 


A good troop and outstanding leader, Nick earned his spurs while deployed as a member of the Multinational Force and Observers. His esprit de corps and sense of humor will be sorely missed.

Rest easy, buddy and wait for the rest of us at Fiddlers Green.

Scouts Out!!!! -Scoutout12

Sent in from SGT Dekker, USAREC: 

Pvt Kurt Russel Frosheiser, a Cav Scout stationed with 2/6 in 1 Armor division, died in 08 Nov 2003 after receiving shrapnel wounds from an IED blast south of Bagdhad.

Posted in The Bridgehead Sentinel – 1ID Newsletter: 

SPC Jeremy E. Christiansen, 27, of Albequerque, NM, died on 27 November 2004

Recieved from Pat Nolan: 

Spc. Clarence “Johnny” Cash, 19D – 4/66 AR – Kuwait, February 27, 1991. He was a good man and is still remembered by his comrades. 

Received from CPT Lisa Lourey: 

“Please post the loss of two more Cavalrymen:

CW2 Joshua Michael Scott, 28, of Sun Prairie, Wis., and my loving husband, CW3 Matthew Lourey. (40, of East Bethel, Minn.)

(his guestbook can be found at

These men were killed 27 May 2005, crashing their OH-58D helicopter as a result of small arms fire.

Please share with me in mourning the loss of these two warriors…they were sons, husbands, and fathers.”


Son of state Sen. Becky Lourey killed in Iraq – Associated Press

ST. PAUL – Matt Lourey always wanted to fly. He dressed up as the Red Baron for Halloween. He played with toy helicopters as a child in northern Minnesota, and later, he enlisted in the Marines but left when he didn’t get to fly with them.

His dream and sense of duty eventually led him to Iraq, where he flew Kiowa Warrior helicopters with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. Chief Warrant Officer Lourey, the son of state Sen. Becky Lourey, died in Iraq Thursday when his helicopter was shot down. The 41-year-old became the 22nd Minnesotan to die in the Mideast during the Iraq war.

Earlier this year, he volunteered for a second Iraq tour even though his parents and siblings opposed the war and tried to talk him out of it.

Another guestbook can be found here:

Received from Patrick Clouse:
I would like to post the names of two fallen former CAV TROOPERS of the E Trp. 238th CAV. They both served the Cav with honor.

Last year they both took higher positions in the Brigade. Both will be missed very much. On 27 MAR 05 while on a recon mission supporting the ANA (afghan national army) their vehicle struck a AT mine.

Msgt. Micheal Thomas Hiester-33

CW2 Michael T. Blaise, 29, of Tennessee 

CW2 Blaise died when his OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter crashed on its way back from a combat mission near Mosul in northern Iraq. He was assigned to Banshee Troop, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 101st Aviation Brigade, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. CW2 Blaise, a Pilot-in-Command, died on January 23, 2004. In his memory, a tree was planted at a ceremony in front of 2-17 Cav Squadron headquarters, just prior to the unit leaving for Iraq a second time. The Squadron Tactical Operations Center in Kirkuk, Iraq was also renamed Blaise Hangar in his honor. Blaise’N’ A Trail is a memorial bike ride that was named for CW2 Blaise, an avid rider. The ride has grown into an annual memorial ride that honors a different fallen solider each year, with a new destination.

From SFC Updike: 

Pfc.Rey D. Cuervo, 24, of Laguna Vista, Texas. Cuervo was on a mounted patrol in Baghdad, Iraq when an improvised explosive device hit his vehicle. He was assigned to 1st Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment. Died on December 28, 2003.

Pfc.Clayton W. Henson, 20, of Stanton, Texas. Henson died when his convoy was ambushed in Dwaniyan, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment. Died on April 17, 2004. You two will never be forgotten, Henson you were a 11C by MOS but A Scout by Heart and Nature, you went down fighting for us, Cuervo, Strip said the 49ers will do better next year! You guys are still missed and will always will be remembered.

Submitted byKevin and Nadine Albrecht: 


On April 28, 2006, we lost two brave cavalry warriors.

Please add SFC Bryant Herlem and SGT Jose Gomez to your page.

Thank you.




I am Spc. David Thompson and just returned from Iraq and I ask that you add a buddy of mine to your page.His name was SGT. Robert Wesley Tucker. He was a scout with the 278th ACR in TN. He was lost on Oct. 13th 2005. Thank you for honoring our fallen brothers.

I would like to post the names of my fallen cavalry brothers-in-arms:
1LT Charles C. Bonnet-Cavalry Platoon Leader, died 19 March 1967, Viet Nam
SSG Ernest Cox-mortar sqd ldr, KIA, April 1967, Viet Nam
SFC James Brown, tanker, KIA, Dec 1967, Viet Nam
SSG Joshua Eason, Scout, AKA Sgt Easy, KIA, Jan 1967, Viet Nam
SSG Alexander Cooper, Scout, KIA, Nov 1967, Viet Nam

All members of 3d Sqdn, 5th Armored Cav., 9th Inf Div – Will link up with ‘em again at Fiddlers Green some day.

Ed Chambers
SGM (Ret)
Cavalry Scout, US Army

Sent in from PFC Robert McDaniel:
In memory of PFC William Thorne, killed on 24AUG06 Baghdad, Iraq. Thorne and I were battle buddies in basic. Thorne was a good friend and a great Scout, we will all miss you. GHOSTRIDERS, from all of us 3rd plt Bravo Troop 5-15 Cav. We’ll all meet again at the green brother. What you’re doing here is a good thing.

Members of the 1st Cavalry Division who have paid the ultimate sacrifice serving their country in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Dedicated to the men and women of the United States Army’s Aviation Branch who paid the ultimate price for freedom and liberties enjoyed today by all Americans, and to their families.