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Army Spc. Danny B. Daniels II

Died July 20, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom


23, of Varney, W.V.; assigned to the 630th Military Police Company, 793rd Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Bamberg, Germany; killed July 20 when his patrol vehicle came under attack by small-arms fire, then hit an improvised explosive device in Baghdad.

Soldier killed in Iraq wanted to be a trooper

Associated Press

VARNEY, W.Va. — A military policeman from West Virginia who was killed in Iraq joined the Army because he wanted to serve his country, get an education and become a State Police trooper when he re-entered civilian life, his father said.

Spc. Danny B. Daniels II, 23, was killed in Baghdad on Tuesday when his patrol vehicle came under attack by small-arms fire and hit an improvised explosive device, according to a Defense Department release.

“We were told he was a part of a convoy on patrol and was bringing up the rear in the last Humvee. When they went through, there was an explosion. I don’t know if it was a bomb or mortar fire,” said Daniels’ father, Danny.

The younger Daniels, of Varney, was assigned to the 630th Military Police Company, 793rd Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade in Bamberg, Germany.

“When something like this happens that’s the first thing you think about, he died for his country and I’m so proud of him,” his father said.

Danny Daniels said his son was participating in a mission to train Iraqi law enforcement officers in domestic policing and had been deployed to Iraq three months ago. He previously was stationed for about 18 months in Germany, where he met and married his wife, Lona.

“He said he wanted to get an education and make something of his life. He planned to come back and work for the West Virginia State Police,” his father said. “Danny first enlisted for five years, however, he planned to re-enlist for three more years.”

“Danny always said he didn’t want to work in the coal mines or be a truck driver,” Daniels said. “After he turned 18, I encouraged him to make up his mind for himself. When we would talk on the phone, he always assured me he was involved in training and would not be out on patrol.”

The younger Daniels was an avid fisherman and hunter, said his stepmother, Jenny.

“He was a good kid who never talked back. We never had any trouble out of him,” she said.

“We are so proud of him and always have been.”

Danny Daniels II also is survived by a brother, Justin Daniels of Varney, and two sisters, Brittany Belcher of Varney and Melissa Stacy of Tazewell, Va.


W. Va. soldier killed in Iraq laid to rest

PIE, W.Va. — A military policeman from West Virginia who was killed last week in Iraq was remembered Thursday as a caring man who made people smile.

Spc. Danny B. Daniels II, 23, of Varney, was killed in Baghdad on July 20 when his patrol vehicle came under attack by small-arms fire and hit an improvised explosive device, according to the Defense Department.

Family and friends gathered Thursday as he was buried near his hometown in the hilltop Pie Cemetery, where a special detail from Fort Knox, Ky., served as pallbearers and performed military rites, including a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps.

Sgt. Scott Rinchack, Daniels’ team leader and friend, flew in from Iraq to attend the funeral. He remembered Daniels as a hard worker with a good personality.

“You could give him the hardest thing to do and he’d do it,” Rinchack told The Logan Banner. “He always put a smile on people’s faces.”

Bubby, as everyone referred to Daniels, had been in the Army since 2000. He was assigned to the 630th Military Police Company, 793rd Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, based in Bamberg, Germany.

Friends and family say he was an avid angler and hunter who loved the mountains as much as his country.

“Bubby had so much energy and so much loyalty for his country,” said Mingo County Magistrate Eugene Crum. “Being a soldier was all he talked about. He didn’t want to be a coal miner and he didn’t want to be a truck driver and that’s what this area is made of. He wanted to go serve his country.”

Gov. Bob Wise had ordered state flags at all state facilities to be flown at half-staff Thursday in memory of Daniels.

Daniels was sent to Iraq three months ago to help train new Iraqi law enforcement officers in domestic policing. He previously was stationed for about 18 months in Germany, where he met and married his wife, Lona.

David Warden, a close friend, said he spoke with Daniels only two weeks ago.

“He was like a brother to me,” Warden said. “He was a real good kid.”

Daniels is survived by his wife; father, Danny Daniels; stepmother, Jenny Daniels; a brother, two sisters and grandparents.

— Associated Press

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