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Marine Staff Sgt. Daniel L. Hansen

Died February 14, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

24, of Tracy, Calif.; assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, Marine Wing Support Group 17, 1st Marine Air Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Iwakuni, Japan; died Feb. 14 while supporting combat operations in Farah province, Afghanistan.

NCO killed in Afghanistan, family says

Staff report

A noncommissioned officer who once served as a presidential guard was killed Saturday in Afghanistan’s Farah province, according to reports.

Sgt. Daniel Hansen, 24, of Tracy, Calif., was killed in a roadside bomb blast, his twin brother Matthew, a fellow Marine, told their hometown newspaper, the Tracy Press. Hansen was assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, Marine Wing Support Group 17, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, according to the Defense Department.

Hansen, who was engaged to be married, was tasked with defusing bombs, his brother said. Matthew Hansen, stationed at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., also told the newspaper that his brother was posthumously promoted to E-6.

The Hansen brothers joined the Corps a week apart in 2002, after graduating from high school, the newspaper reported. Daniel Hansen was eventually chosen to serve as a guard for George W. Bush at the presidential retreat Camp David, his brother said. Later, Hansen was picked to guard Lt. Gen. Richard Zilmer, who took Hansen with him to Iraq.

“I had asked my brother after he told me of his upcoming deployment if he wanted to go,” Matthew Hansen wrote their father this week, the newspaper reported. “He said: ‘It doesn’t matter if I wanna go or not. If I don’t, they will send another Marine; and I would never be able to hold my head up if something happened to him in my place.’ ”

No other information was immediately available.

Fallen staff sergeant was driven to be the best

Daniel Hansen was chosen early on to be trained as an elite Marine, quickly rose through the ranks and bested his competition, eventually earning the skills and a security clearance to guard then-President Bush at Camp David.

From there, Hansen was hand-picked to guard a pair of generals, the second of whom, Gen. Richard Zilmer, took Hansen with him to Iraq as a personal security guard and to train other security guards in Fallujah.

Once that stint ended, Hansen headed to Florida to train to learn how to defuse bombs, after which he was sent to Afghanistan.

“He strived to be the best in everything,” said Matthew Hansen, his brother. “He just had such a passion for everything he did. He truly was the embodiment of the Marine Corps ethos: honor, courage and commitment.”

Hansen, 24, of Tracy, Calif., died Feb. 14 while supporting combat operations in Farah province. He was a 2002 high school graduate and was assigned to Iwakuni, Japan.

He is survived by his parents, Delbert and Cheryll, and a fiancee Emily Campbell.

“He held his morals high and self-expectations higher,” said his brother.

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