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Army Sgt. Daniel Lee Galvan

Died August 12, 2004 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

30, of Moore, Okla.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion (Assault), 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Light Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; killed Aug. 12 when the helicopter in which he was riding developed mechanical difficulties and crashed in Salerno, Afghanistan.

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Wife mourns soldier killed in Afghan helicopter crash

By Jaymes Song

Associated Press

HONOLULU — The wife of a Hawaii-based soldier who died in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in Afghanistan remembered her husband as a “true American soldier” who dreamed of flying for the Army.

Sgt. Daniel Lee Galvan, 30, of Moore, Okla., was killed Thursday when the helicopter carrying 15 soldiers and Marines developed mechanical problems and crashed in the troubled Afghan province of Khost.

“My husband didn’t join the military for a paycheck. He joined because he believed in the cause,” Sonya Galvan said Saturday in a statement. “He believed in the military and he was proud to wear the uniform and honored to be an American soldier.”

Galvan was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division’s 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment. Fourteen soldiers and Marines were also injured in the crash and were taken to Camp Salerno, an American base near Khost city, 90 miles south of Kabul.

Army officials on Saturday said the accident was still under investigation.

Friends said Galvan was a dedicated soldier whose hard work ethic was admired by everyone.

“I’m hard pressed to find a more diligent, honest and fun-loving member of this company,” Capt. Matt Champion said in a telephone interview from Kandahar. “He’s someone I relied on every day. I consider myself fortunate to have had him in my command and count him among my friends.”

Galvan, a helicopter mechanic who entered the Army in 1996 and was assigned to Schofield Barracks in June 2002, comes from a military family. His father and two brothers also served in the Army.

His family said Galvan used to draw pictures of choppers as a child and later built helicopter models.

“I can say from the depth of my soul that Daniel was able to fulfill his dream and fly. ... And now he flies for my family and myself as our guardian angel,” Sonya Galvan said.

When Galvan wasn’t flying, he loved to ride his motorcycle around Oahu, she said.

Galvan is survived by his wife, and their 13-year-old daughter, Audrey, and 11-year-old son, Joseph.

“He loved life, loved his family, loved to make people laugh,” Sonya Galvan said.

Champion said his company was having a difficult time with Galvan’s death, but Monday’s memorial service in Kandahar would help with the grieving process.

“He was an honest, hardworking man who loved his job and his family,” Champion said. “I couldn’t ask for any more in any soldier.”

Galvan is the third soldier from Schofield Barracks to be killed in Afghanistan this year. In May, Spc. Philip Witkowski, 24, of Dunkirk, N.Y., died in Homberg, Germany, from a non-combat related abdominal injury he suffered the night before in Kandahar, Afghanistan. In June, Cpl. David M. Fraise, 24, of New Orleans, died in Kandahar, when an improvised explosive device hit his patrol.

About 10,000 soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division are deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.

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