Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

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

Marine Capt. Daniel G. McCollum

29, of Richland, South Carolina.
McCollum died as a result of the crash of a KC-130/R aircraft in Pakistan. He was assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 (VMGR-352), the "Raiders," Combined Task Force 58, Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, California. Died on January 9, 2002.

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""To those who can’t help but remember…
Jan 9 2002 will never leave me.
There’s a good possibility that someone will die for your freedom today and everyday.

Please take comfort and understanding as I have in this poem as it has helped me to process those we have said farewell to. #thefinalhailandfarewell

The Final Hail and Farewell
MSgt (Ret) William “Bill” Cordes

Attention to orders
I thought I heard someone say

To welcome this veteran
Who has joined us today

Row upon row
of stones stand tall

Marking earlier members
Who had answered the call

On farms and in cities
They grew up fit

They had a job to do
And they did it

The silence was broken
As the procession went by

Stopping in place
Where the hero will lie

The flag was folded
And I felt a great pride

Believing those here
Welcomed another to their side

Unknowns will thank you
And I pray you were blessed

Now join fellow warriors
Who gave us their best

And oh the stories
They will tell

There at your final
Hail and Farewell""
USAF MSgt William “Bill” Cordes of Hahira Ga

"”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,
Project Compassion - Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"I never knew Capt. McCollum but McCollums are part of my family. The attached poem talks about my family and serving in the military since 1776. My family McCollums have been there for all those wars. To Daniel's family I am so sorry for your loss.
Major Van Harl USAF Ret


We buried another veteran today.
He went to his God, from us, he went away.
This one was young, in the prime of his life.
He left twin children and a very courageous wife.

It wasn't a bullet, a plane crash or a bomb.
It was cancer, and he just finally, could not hold on.
He fought "it" like a military campaign.
But the time came to surrender, to end his earthly pain.

He knew he would be fine in the presence of his Lord.
But what about his twins, those children he adored?
Will they grow strong and at "life" win.
Please God, let them always remember him.

We buried another veteran today.
It seems, all my life, it has happened this way.
From my uncles of the WW II-time frame.
To the military friends, Vietnam would claim.

For me the number of dead, is always on the rise.
When I get a call another veteran is gone, it is never really a surprise.
From lost sub-mariners, in early days of my life.
To the forever gone, military-medical friends of my veteran wife.

I lost a Korean War veteran friend this year, to a crashed airplane.
I lost a Gulf War friend to cancer, a difference in their age, but still that pain.
I lost an Uncle to cancer who did Korea with the Navy, steaming off shores.
I lost my father-in-law who fought in Korea, from a "fox-hole" in the frozen outdoors.

We buried another Veteran today.
It seems in all my family's generations, it happens this way.
From my Revolutionary War Grandfathers who started this sad, but needed trend.
To the family members on both sides in 1861, who just would not bend.

Some of my family lived a long and happy life, after "their" war.
They died of old age in their bed, safe-behind a locked door.
They died in battle, buried where they fell.
They died years later, carrying emotional scars, in their own personal hell.

My family is no different than thousands who met our Nation's call.
They rose to the demands of this country and some gave their "all".
We have to continue doing this, to make America free.
But, it's that Veteran's twin-little children that keeps worrying me.

We buried another Veteran today.
It seems all my life it continues this way.
Now my only child is sixteen and we reside on a military installation.
My wife and I truly want her to live safe, in a free nation.

But what happens, when it is her-generation's turn to make a stand.
Do we lose our only child in some forsaken-foreign land?
Does she play it safe, stay home and say "that's boy's stuff".
Or does she join like her mother and go right into the ruff.

She has to be that one Veteran I don't see, make that final "call".
Let me go before her, let me first give this country my fighting "all".
Maybe if I go "out-there" and make my final stand.
She can stay safe-at-home, in this wonderful free land.


Major Van Harl, USAF Ret.
Major Van Harl USAF Ret. of Colorado Springs, CO

"Hey Dan, I miss you buddy. I think about you all the time and will always remember the great memories I had with you at the Ryan's house. I looked up to you and thought you were the coolest person. Thanks for always writing me letters and keeping in touch. Thanks for everything you have done for me and taught me. You were a truly amazing guy and I'll never forget you."

"McCollum Family and Friends,
It was over a decade ago that I studied with your son in flight school. He was truly one of the nicest guys I have ever met and would go well out of his way to help others in any capacity. I retire on December 9th and will be honoring him and his service during my ceremony. He will always be remembered as a true friend and a dedicated family man. His death will never be forgotten nor was it in vain. Anyone who knew Dan was indeed blessed. Best Regards!"
Major Tom Knepper of Kansas City, Missouri

"Dan You will always be remembered!! Thank you so much for all that you did, and for just being you. You were a great guy, and Irmo misses you. We lost a great human being when we lost you. love always"
Tess Bryant Lachance of Irmo, SC

"Bro, it's been six years today. Still hard to believe you and Surender are gone. Dave, Jay, Russ, Chris and me all talked about you today and prayed for you and your family. You will never be forgotten. Love you bro."
Maj Tom Lankford of LRAFB, AR

"Thank You Dan for every life you have touched. Many years have gone by and I still think of you for inspiration. God Bless You and Your Family."
William Snow "Bell" of SC, USA

"May 4, 2007
To the family of Daniel G. McCollum. Daniel 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"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"Thank you for giving all you had to make the world better for us"
Dpeuty Kendra Smith Brown of Lexington, SC

"To all who have left a message...Thankyou for your support. The past 4 years have been the hardest 4 years that my sister, Dan's wife, has ever had to endure. Dan died doing what he loved to do, and for that we can all be thankful for the lives we are living today. So, again, I say thankyou for your ongoing support."
Katy of Cape Girardeau, Missouri

"To the Family and friends of “Marine 7”, Your Marine will be forever in my memory. Our unit set up the base/tents/fuel system in late Sep. 2001. The Sep 11 attacks were still fresh on our minds. The day your Marines deployed to our forward location. I was asked to help set up the grounding wires for their aircraft on the parking ramp. As an Air Force member I was amused and impressed by the rock “sidewalks” around the Marine tents. On Jan 9th I had flags flown on a KC-135 for my Family and friends. The next day I found out a Marine plane had been lost. I sat down on a fuel bladder, saddened by the news. I wondered if I knew any of them or if they had come to listen to country music cd’s we played down by the beach. I can’t say I knew them, but they were ours for a short time. Everyone mourned their death. A “Soldiers cross” memorial service was held at the theater. Later when I presented my flags to Family and friends, I told them of the sacrifice your loved ones made and how they should always remember our “Freedom isn’t Free”. Thomas Jefferson 1787 "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Our Military isn’t for everyone, but some do more than just volunteer and show up. They go to the tip of the spear, where the fight is. God Bless you for raising a Marine that did more.

MSgt William “Bill” Cordes (USAF Retired)
Moody AFB Ga.

It's been a couple of years now, but I still wanted to say, "thank you", not only for fighting for our country, but for being my chilhood bestfriend."
Capt BJ Pringle, USAF of Osan AB, ROK

"Capt. McCollum,
Sir, I would like to say thank you to you and the other Marines who were on that KC-130 with you. And to your family, I wish to exend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"My prayers and thoughts go to the family and friends of Capt. Daniel Mccollum.I was watching the TBN channel yesterday night (Sept 4, 2005) and saw Mrs. Mccollum give her story and as she gave her story i cried and cried sooo much because im also a military wife and my husband is also leaving soon to Iraq again after 6 months last year ( this year for 1 year). I know God will keep him save. I believe in God so much and in his promises and i know he'll bring him back. I feel so sadden by the loss of your husband Mrs. Mccollum and i will pray and keep praying for you and you beautifull son that you have. Please pray for me too. God bless You and your family."
Stella Pacheco of Ft. Campbell, KY

"Thank you Sir"
Mike McAteer of Conrad, IA

"To a brother Marine I regret I had not seen since high school. Thank you for your devotion to our country and the wellfare of our future generations. You will not be forgoten by either myself or my children. Semper Fi."
Stewart Ackerman of Atlanta, Georgia

"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 Capt. McCollum's family,
I am the wife and daughter of a Marine, and respect the courage that you are portraying now. Your loved one fought for the greater good and will never be forgotten. God Bless and our prayers are with you."
Mrs. Cpl. J.L. Brown of Colton, CA

"Semper Fi and RIP Skipper/brother!"
Mike (USMC) of Indianapolis Indiana.

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

"Thank you Captain. Because of leaders like you, we here in the states, the entire Western world for that matter live safer, free lives. God Bless you."
The Estes Family of Phoenix, AZ

"Thank you Daniel McCollum, 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

"To the family and friends of Capt. Daniel McCollum:
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 Capt. Daniel McCollum:
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