Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Daniel H. Petithory

32, Cheshire, Massachusetts.
Died in Afghanistan. Died on December 5, 2001.

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"AC/DC Thunderstruck just played a few minutes ago and I was yet again reminded of you! It has been many many years now since you left us and I think of you often. I recently retired from the Army and Ft McClellan was recently brought to my attention and I thought of you, the CRX..the "bullet holes" in the CRX from the bee bee gun, etc. etc. I can go on and on…. Miss you Dan O XO"
Roxane Coffin

"Dano. It's almost Memorial Day and you're on my mind just as you are often. I was so young when you passed (9) but I have carried every memory I have of you since that tragic day. Lloyd still honors you loyally. Every year on dec 5. We go to o'charlies and drink em up in remembrance of you. I'll never forget the big heart you had. When there would be a team party and all of us kids got put in the basement to play you would always come down and entertain us with your antics and jokes or you'd play video games with us. I wish we could have had more memories together. Till we meet again. "Blue skies. Black Death""
Joshua Sorensen of Clarksville, TN

"Danny

All I want to say is that I STILL think of you often and you will NEVER be forgotten!"
Roxane Coffin of Syracuse, NY

"Dan, I still think about you and miss you my fallen brother. It's been a little over thirteen years. Its Christmas today. Wish you were here.I remember the good times we had in Clarksville and in Nashville. You were always a great guy. Take care, until we meet again."
jim starek of Clarksville, Tn

"Danno,
Let's see, what has happened in the last 12 years. Well, the Patriots have gone to 5 Super Bowls and won 3, the Red Sox have been to AND WON 3 World Series, the Bruins won a Stanley Cup (and lost this one to my Black Hawks) and of course the Celtics won an NBA title. Andddd my son is a die hard Patriots fan (remember the cards you gave him?) HMMMMMMMMM coincidence? I think not! Love and miss you man!"
Brian&Joelle Donovan of Bettendorf IA

"I served with Ninja Dan at Ft. McClellan from 1987 to 1990. I think of him often, he always talked about SF. I knew he went SF and I regret that I never tried to get in touch with him. When we would get off shift, most of us young soldiers would do what young soldiers do, get drunk. Dan? He would put on a pair of shorts, put on his boots, load up a ruck, grab a rubber M16 and go on a road march. Of course, he would be by himself. We were like hell naw. R.I.P. Ninja Dan. The SF world and Army lost one hell of a soldier."
Officer Scott Farris of Gadsden Police Department, AL

"Dan was my junior commo guy when he came to ODA 572. Dan was a hell of a team guy, hilariously funny when doing his Dan Akaroyd (sp) or Chris Farley impersonations. Dan and i humped a ruck over many, many miles together, he always had something humorous to say when it really sucked. Dan could tell you "I love you man." and mean it. I keep many pictures of Dan and I deployed to "austere" locations so that i'll never forget our time together. I was crushed when he died and still have some trouble with that. Dan was a real silly * but man what a good friend. I miss him."
Steve Longan of Big Rock, Tn.

"I worked with Dan as a MP he was a true friend and I think of him often."
Curtis Johnson of Beresford SD

"Hi Dan, as Memorial Day is approaching us, I can't think but say Thank You for your service to our country and how sorry I am to your family!

You were a great MP back in the day with me waving cars into the front gates of Fort McClellan:)

I can remember you always talking about going into Special Forces way back then and am so glad you have succeeded in your dream.

Please know that you will never be forgotten. I have bought a brick in your name/honor and it has been placed in my hometowns Veterans Park.

I also buy you flowers during the holidays in memory of you at my church.

It was a honor and a privilege to serve with you Dan!"
Jackie Infalt of Hartford, WI

"Never had the honor of meeting Daniel but saw this photo of him wearing a Red Sox hat today and it touched me. I am grateful on this Memorial Day for his courage and duty to serve. May God bless his loved ones."
Kevin Giannino of Beverly, Massachusetts

"I confess that I did not know Dan, but in reading but a glimpse of his final mission with ODA 574, I am reverently awed and inspired by what little I know of his time here. There are many out there whom you will never know who are grateful beyond words for Dan's service and sacrifice. Thank you for serving all of us, even those who will never appreciate it.

Every time my family drives through or near Cheshire we will remember Sgt. 1st Class Dan Petithory.

May God's blessing, grace and peace be upon Dan's family and all that knew him. I wish I had that honor.

He did not die in vain."
Jim Fowler of Mason, NH

"Love you Danno! Jeff, Jeff and Dan. :) i still have my skull mug."

"SFC Petithory,
I remember being your instructor at JLC at FT McClellan back around 1988-89. It was great to become your friend. I remember you asking me if SF was the right thing for you to do. You chose wisely, my friend. This 9/11, as happens every year...you are on my mind. The pic I will submit was pinned up in my cubicle (regardless of where I PCS'd) from Dec 2001-till I retired in 2008.
R.I.P. brother
Eric Geurkink
MSG (RET)"
EG of South Carolina

"SPC Petithory,
I remember being your instructor at JLC at FT McClellan back around 1988-89. It was great to become your friend. I remember you asking me if SF was the right thing for you to do. You chose wisely, my friend. This 9/11, as happens every year...you are on my mind. The pic I will submit was pinned up in my cubicle (regardless of where I PCS'd) from Dec 2001-till I retired in 2008.
R.I.P. brother
Eric Geurkink
MSG (RET)"
EG of South Carolina

"I served with Dan for several years at Ft McClellan as Military Policemen. We did Air Assault together, Special Reaction Team and Dan needed more. I was with him when he went off for SF training and he was never so happy, it was his calling. I still think of you often buddy, I'm proud of you and God Bless."
John Wilson of Bayonne NJ

"I grew up with Dan. We lived in the same town, played on all the same sports teams together and rode the bus together forever it seemed.Dan was by far one of the nicest, caring,family oriented kid I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.To think that such a gentle,humble kid was part of such an elite team of men is mind blowing.I will be telling my children stories for years how I knew a man once who made me a better man.Forever a friend Dan. Hug my Mom for me.Cheshire Pressure!!"
Patrick X. Sullivan of E.Lyme, Ct.

"We miss you more than you know!! Words can not express the impact you had on our lives. You will be a shining star forever.
Respectfully
S.Horst.

We will never forget you or our 5th group
S.Horst"
S.Horst of Clarksville, tn/USA

"I'll never forget Dan.
We served together at Ft.McClellan, Al. as M.P.'s., and his humor was out of this world..
"This We'll Defend"
Sgt. Michael Sanders"
Mike Sanders of Charleston, Il

"I served side by side with Dan. I had the privilege and honor of escorting the remains of SFC Daniel Petithory home from Afghanistan. I had the honor of meeting and spending time with his family and I can't put into words the love I have for them. Dan was beloved to his SF brothers and greatly loved by his family. He gave his life for America, may we always be worthy of his and the others sacrifice. He will be missed."
Wil Williams of Clarksville, Tennessee

"It’s veterans day tomorrow. Maybe I’m getting old or maybe I’m just getting soft, but I can’t stop the tears from welling up in my eyes this year. And the memories of Dan just keep flooding back. I knew Dan in SF school. We went through operation “Robin Sage” together. He was a com tech and I was a medic. Man, was he funny. He always had a funny story to tell. During operation Robin Sage the two of us were given a mission to observe and report activity on a near by bridge. The 81st airborne guys were assigned to act as enemy soldiers. They were standing on the bridge directing traffic across. The bridge was surrounded by woods on all sides but one. The open side had a field with tall grass that rose up to a hill. On top of the hill sat a two story barn about 100 yards away from the bridge. A perfect place to observe from, but so obvious. “It’s so obvious that no one would think we would be there” said Dan. We low crawled to the barn before the sun came up and made our way up the ladder and into the hay loft. The morning went well. Dan set up his radio and we reported all of the traffic crossing the bridge. Sure enough, it was around noon and two soldiers started walking up the field toward the barn. Dan hid in a hay stack and I helped to cover him up. I then took cover behind some blocks of hay next to the wall. The soldiers came into the barn. We could hear them talking down below. My heart was beating so loud I thought they could hear it. Then, they climbed the ladder and came up into the loft. Dan and I both thought that we would be discovered for sure. I had my M-16 ready to fire (blanks and miles gear). But, the soldiers just looked around for a few seconds and one of them said “This is stupid. Who would come up here. It’s too easy.” Then they went down the ladder and departed back to the bridge. Dan and I laughed about it the rest of the day. We drank cold MRE coffee, told jokes and stories, and continued observing and reporting traffic crossing the bridge. At night fall we were given the order to return to base camp, so we low crawled back to the wood line and hiked out.
Although I only spent a few long weeks with Dan in SF training I have many more memories of him and the stories he told me and one line that I learned from him that I use on an almost daily basis. He truly made a hell of an impact on me. I have always felt that he was one of the best men I’ve ever met. He was patriotic and a damned good fellow.
I’ll never forget the day that I heard about his death. My wife and I were lying in bed watching the nightly news when they announced that 3 American soldiers had been killed in Afghanistan by “friendly fire”. They read the names and flashed their pictures across the screen. Upon hearing “Daniel Petithory” and seeing his picture I sat strait up in bed. My eyes began to water and my lip began to quiver. My wife asked me what was wrong and I said “this country just suffered a great loss”.
So, come veterans day tomorrow if you see me with tears in my eyes and you ask me what’s wrong. I’ll probably just answer you with the line that I picked up from Dan: “Pardon me fellows”.

Charles A. Kudlauskas, Physician Assistant - Certified
Former Special Forces Medic"
Charles A. Kudlauskas of Lakewood, CO

"correction...9/11/09"
Daniel of Upstate New York

"Dan,
Very few days go by without thinking of you. I search the internet often for anything relating to you. I found this site and wouldn't you know, Simone had left you a message on 9/11/10. I never met you but your bravery and heroism are honored in our household. What is also remembered is what a good friend you were to Simone. I only wish I could have known you. Thank You for your sacrifice. You will never be forgotten."
Daniel of Upstate New York

"”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to the hero’s Mother, Father and/or spouse. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Almost 2,100 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
This is a gift! We have wonderful sponsors who help with the costs, and want you know that everyone here at Project Compassion does and will always CARE.
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com or go to www.heropaintings.com . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Kenna
Projectcompassion@manti.com
www.heropaintings.com"
Project Compassion - Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"God Bless you Dan for the sacrifice you made for my children. You are a true American hero. I will never forget your name and the courage you have shown. I pray that God Blesses and comforts your family."
Timothy Alexander of Newport News, VA

"Dan, I miss you. Just wanted to stop by on this anniversary of 9-11 (9-11-09) to say thank you."
Simone of Upstate New York

"Dan-0, I miss you and think about you all the time. I cherish the fun times we had and keep your family in my prayers! God bless you buddy.."
Matthew Killion of BW/Afghanistan

"I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU OR THE FUN WE HAD. I LOVE YOU MAN"
BOBBY MEARS of SHIPPENSBURG,PA

"The the family on Daniel, I also served in "THE MP" Company in Ft. McClellan,AL way back when. Just wanted you to know that I think of him often and am so proud to have served with him. God bless you and all the soldiers."
Jackie Infalt of Hartford, WI

"Danimal, You were one of the funniest guys I ever met. Your brand of humor brought a smile to a arduous task. GBU"
BF

"Semper Fi Dan,
I pray for you and you family.

Iron Mike Nam Knights
White mountian Chapter NH"
Iron MIke of Epsom NH

"To the family of Daniel H. Petithory. He gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you.
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"Daniel;
We will never forget you. You are an example to all, a true Hero. Know that we miss you and will always hold a special place in our hearts for you and your family."
Cheshire Police Department of Cheshire, Mass

"I am a soldier who has been overseas twice. My Brother is in 7th Special Forces Group. I myself was in the SFQC until I was injured in training, and I plan to return. I plan to return because of the good name that SF carries. It carries this good name due to heroes like SFC Daniel H Petithory. The sacrifice your family has made has not fallen on deaf ears. I regret that any sick people would deface a memorial to your loved one. I only hope that the service I provide to this country honors such heroes as Daniel. Some of us will never forget the great things that he sacrificed for, and some of us will never forget who he was. A true American Hero"
SGT William Highsmith of Fort Riley Kansas

"I've attended the motorcycle run in early June in Danny's memory for the last couple of years. Not sure I'll make it this year since my son graduates the day before. I just wanted to say that it's totally obvious the type of man he was when you meet his family. His Mom and Dad, Brother and Sister are some of the nicest people I have ever met. I wish we'd met under different circumstances. We must all never forget the sacrifices of not only those we have lost but the loved ones they left behind. God bless you all"
Slider of Nam Knights Motorcycle Club

"Dan, I didn't know you, but I THANK YOU for all that you did. You are a true AMERICAN HERO! You will never be forgotten!!"
Michael Lefebvre of Pittsfield,MA

"Daniel and his war-fighting brothers are to be remembered with tears of joy that such fine men have lived and served their country honorably and well. I am so sorry to hear of the graffiti defacing the memorial to Daniel, it is not an indication of the feeling of most Americans. We are proud every day of our men and women in uniform. Thank you to Daniel's family for your sacrifice, may God be with you."
Barb of Issaquah, WA

"I just want to say that Daniel H. Petirhory is a hero. I just want to say I was sad to hear about the anti war writting at his memorial. That is not right. I hope your family is ok. I have tried in the past to go to websites that let you email soldiers. I wanted to give them some positive love from the usa. When the towers came down I wanted to join the army, but I never did. I love America, and I love the soldiers that defend are freedom and country. I hope your family is ok."
Kevin O'Brien of Geneva, IL

"My heart and my prayers are with Sgt. Petithory and his family, today, and everyday.

The United States of America stands behind our troops, and their families. We are ever grateful and thankful for the sacrifices made by our Military and their families.

America is proud of our Troops and their actions to put an end to the brutality, terror and barbaric acts suffered by so many for so long and to finally put an end to terrorism.

America is thankful and grateful for the sacrifices that our troops and their families make to protect and preserve our way of life.

As for me, well I can never thank our Troops enough for all they do to protect the United States and my personal freedom."
Linda Gonzalez of Miami, FL USA

"Dear Mr.+Mrs Petithory--I wish to express my deepest sympathy to you about the desecration of your son's memorial. To defile,and dishonor our heroic son's and daughters service to their country is truly disheartening.Very few young people in this country have any sense of patriotism,I truly fear for this nations future. Thank God for your son Dan,and others who have made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us. Dan and his family will be remembered in my prayers"
David Towle of Hyde Park Ma./USA

"Dan was one of the most giving persons I have ever had the priviledge of knowing. I miss him everyday, but I know that he died doing what he loved and for that I can smile."
sandie manscill of prattville, al

"Daniel,
I would like to say thank you and the other soldiers who died in your unit(3/5th SFG) for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

"Green Berets All The Way!""

"Dan and I were in the Army together. At one time he was engaged to my sister and is probably one of the best friends I've had. I still miss him so much. He was hard core and had a great laugh. His deep dedication to his country is what fueled his love for what he did. He loved his family so much. Man, what a guy."
Scotty Brooks of Alabama

"Dan was a good friend of my family and will always be remembered by the way he could bring a smile to any room when he walked in. He was always fun to be around and definately is missed."
Joey McDonald of clarksville TN

"Dan was a fine soldier, MP and human being. I was priviliged to serve with him in AL and still remember how proud he was when he was accepted to S.F. If you ever wanted to know what makes a outstanding soldier, Dan was it. He is missed."
David R. Glawe of Glendale, AZ

"Thanks for stepping forward when America needed you. To the family - Thank you for your contribution to our liberty and freedom. I'm sorry for your tremendous loss."
Ronald Carlson of Montrose, MN

"To the Petithory family, I went through training with Dan at Fort McClellan. The moment I heard his name and saw his picture on the news, I immediatly broke down and cried. Dan is one of the few people I remember from training. He was always ready with a laugh and a smile, even in the worst of times. He was a great soldier and a person of outstanding caliber. I realize I am posting this late, but I am still serving our country and still grieving over the loss of one of the best troops I ever had the honor of standing beside. The world will never be the same without Dan in it...nor will the Army. We have lost one of the best. My sincerest condolences go out to you."
Cindy Jo - Military Police of Maryland

"Thank you Dan for your valiant service and Thank You Mr. & Mrs Petithory for raising such a fine young man. Our gratitude is unending."
The Webbers of Belfast Maine

"Sergeant Petithory, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

"My family gives its thanks for the service and leadership of Daniel. He from all that I read was a soldier's soldier and did more to make his nation safer than most will ever know. God bless him and his family."
The Estes Family of Phoenix, AZ

"Daniel H. Petithory is truly a legend. I did not know Daniel, but have heard about some of the wonderful things that he did during his life from friends. I salute you Sir, for you have given the ultimate sacrifice. May no one forget the memories they have of you and your influence on the lives of others. Peace and grace be with you."
Dan Usher of Alexandria, VA

"Dan could could always find a reason to laugh or smile. Even when things were not going well, as they often do in the Army, Dan could make people laugh. You will be missed"
Pete Schichtel of Ft. Bragg, NC

"Thank you Daniel Petithory, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"I wanted the family of Daniel to know how much his sacrifice is noticed and appreciated. He paid the ultimate sacrifice for my freedom and for a country I am sure that he loved. If I can do anything for you, his family, whether it be someone to pray with, or just talk to please contact me at ctpoet1@yahoo.com"
Chris Decker of East Windsor Ct USA

"Two years have lapsed since you had to leave us, and so much is different. I know you are up there, constantly protecting mom, dad, mike and me. I also know that somehow, you can read these little memorial page messages. I miss you so much Dan! You always were my hero ... I just never got the chance to say it to you."
Nicole Petithory of Cheshire, MA

"You chose the life you wanted to live and I am proud of you for doing it. I'll never forget you nor will any of the other friends you left in Alabama."
Rhonda Phillips Eagle of Anniston, AL USA

"To the family and friends of Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Petithory:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Daniel for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Petithory:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Daniel, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on