If they are no longer on the phone or backed up to another file, then they are likely gone.
I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.
I wish. Going back to 2002 with something called Short Mail when I was, briefly, with another carrier. Lost, all lost to time. I've backed everything up over the last several years with the enhanced messaging application which this carrier of ours offers. Voicemail too; some are from departed loved ones. The little things we sometimes take for granted or forget can later prove to loom very large.