Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Army Spc. Daniel James McConnell

27, of Duluth, Minnesota.
McConnell died in Kirkuk, Iraq, when he was involved in a vehicle accident. He was assigned to the 27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Died on November 16, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Spc. Daniel James McConnell.


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Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

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"Hey Dan,

Rick Walters here. I am having another day with you today. With the memory of our time together in Iraq. I remember you speaking about your daughters, and finally seeing you a vulnerable man. Because Dan, you were always a badass to me. A man's man. When you told me what you did for your family, what no one talks about, I instantly admired you. I remember rolling with you during king of the pit. For as small as you are, you walloped me. The heart in you... I am emotional today, remembering your pledge to your girls. You are the father they deserve. You did yours man. These won't be the last tears I cry for you. This isn't the last day I spend with our memories. I don't need a holiday to know why we I am here. I am here for you, Dan. Thank you. Rest in peace."
Rick Walters of Final Destination Squad, 2-1-A

"To the family of:Daniel James McConnell
I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief and you have my thoughts and prayers. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015.
Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga""

"You are not forgotten Daniel.

Wolfhounds No Fear on Earth!"
O'Brien of Jenkins Ky

"I was the first one on the scene, the truck was on its top, wheels still spinning. The driver was walking around, dazed, and talking about baseball (?!) Its still so fresh in my mind that I can smell the mud, the water from the aqueduct, the motor oil burning on the exhaust. I can feel the bitter cold of that night in my bones. I did all that I could Daniel. I even cussed at the pilot and threatened violence when he said he wouldn't sling load the over-turned truck with his chopper. I remember seeing the bottom of your boots as I tried to dig you out. The E-tool seemed so small, like a spoon. I pulled on you so hard. I failed you and your family that night. I'm so sorry brother. I think about you and that night so often. I know that I did all I could but I'm still so ashamed of myself. I left you there, we left you behind. I saw your casket, with my own eyes, being loaded onto the plane to go home. I know that you made it home, but I still feel as though your there, abandoned. Daniel, I promise you that I will carry this on my shoulders until we meet again. I know its not my fault. I know its no ones fault. But it is my fault, its all because I didnt do enough to help you. To all of his family......The shame and guilt that I carry will not bring him back and for this I am so sorry. I tried, I did my best, and I still failed you. I beg for your forgiveness. The world lost a great soul that night, and it has not been / will not ever be the same without you. I will never forget your."
SGT Carl E. Ervin, US Army RET. of FT. Hood, Texas

"I cant believe its gonna be 5 years! We love and miss you and are very proud of you!"
Chris Smith(cousin) of Superior,WI/USA

"November 15, 2008
To the family of Spc. Daniel James McConnell:
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. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"Dan, I didn't know you well, but i often think about the day you passed. I was at FOB McHenry and only saw you a few times during the tour up until your accident. I hope that your family is well and that they realize how much we appreciate your sacrafice. Thank you for your service, we will never forget it. Rest in peace."
SFC Schilling of FT. Hood, TX

Riley and just wanted to say love u and
miss u lots love always your daugher and
Rachel ,Riley of Superior

"To The family of Spc McConnell,

I don't know words to express how I felt that day. I was there. I saw the site, and I wanted nothing more than to get him out of there as quick as possible. I rember the joy and elation as we managed to pull two other soldiers out of the vehicle. I remember thinking "we did this one right". The mud was knee deep and i rember how draining it was. We had every medic we could find, and we even called in PJs. I want you to know that we did everything we could. I want you to know that he didn't feel much pain, and that he did not die alone. I would gladly have traded places with him if it could have brought him back. I would have done anything if I could have brought him back.

I had just seen him hours before, when he used the internet. Alive and smiling. Please forgive me for not bringing him home to you."
Spc Bailey of Schoefield Barraks HI

Riley and I are so proud of you and wishing you could see how much your little jellybean has grown she talks about you all the time. I wish you could have more time with Riley
We miss you and love you soooo much"
Rachel and Riley of Superior WI

"WE LOVE AND MISS U!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Rayette of Superior, Wi,USA

"rest in peace dan! your friend jason larsen i knew daniel from duluth we
were good friends and well daniel was brave and when he got hurt... he just
healed quick and went back for more
that was the daniel i knew. i want to
say i'll never forget the good times
we shared... well i just want to say
good bye daniel your friend jason to
all the others out there fighting and god
is watching over you.. he has a plan
for ever one! daniel has set a great
example for people and for his country
and his kids and daniel died a hero!"
jason larsen of Duluth, MN

"rest in peace dan! your friend jason larsen i knew daniel from duluth we
were good friends and well daniel was brave and when he got hurt... he just
healed quick and went back for more
that was the daniel i knew. i want to
say i'll never forget the good times
we shared... well i just want to say
good bye daniel your friend jason to
all the others out there fighting god
is watching over you.. he has a plan
for ever one! daniel has set a great
example for people and for his country
and his kids and daniel died a hero!"
jason larsen of Duluth, MN

"I only knew Daniel for a short while.I was one of the others that was in the accident and from what I saw in Daniel and what he had to go home to there are days when I look back that if I were to change anything about that day of our accident there would be but one thing I would change and that would be for me to be in is place.People may call me crazy for thinking like so but what others think of me means little. Daniel was a good man and if I could I would take his place. I know my words may not do much to smooth over the amount of pain and grife that is felt by his family but I speak from my heart and I hope it may bring some comfort to all those touched by Daniels death.
With a heavy heart and respect,
Spc.Derek Bradshaw"
Spc.Derek Bradshaw of Silver springs,MD USA

"To the family of Daniel James McConnell:

The Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation will be honoring your loved one at the non-denominational Memorial Day Sunday worship service at 11:00 a.m. on 29 May. We will remember the casualties of the Global War on Terrorism from Minnesota … and the neighboring states of Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Outside of the historic Fort Snelling Veterans Memorial Chapel will be a “Memorial Garden” filled with white crosses bearing the names of the war dead … including your loved one.

I would like to extend to your family an invitation to honor us with your presence at worship as we pay tribute to the sacrifice made by your service member and family. Our pastor, U.S. Army Chaplain, LTC Kenneth L. Beale, Jr. will preach a message entitled “Remembering Our Freedom.” A former Soldier and country music songwriter and performer “Rockie” will pay a special musical tribute. At the conclusion of the worship hour, all of the congregation will be invited to silently pay their respects at the garden and place poppies at each of the crosses. An honor guard squad will be on hand to fire vollies as the US flag is lowered to half-staff and Taps is played.

As this Christian worship service has traditionally been well attended, we would be happy to reserve seating for you and yours. To do so, kindly call (612/970-7866) and leave a voice message indicating your veterans’ name and the number of persons attending. If you are not able to attend, we pray that you would find comfort in knowing that our prayers are with you and all of the fallen heroes.

Leila Campbell
Administrative Assistant
Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation
web site:www.fortsnellingmcf.org"

"to daniel's family i served with daniel in hawaii for almost two yrs. he was a great person and a honor serving with him!!!! now im serving in afghanistan with 3rd bde im deeply sorry for the loss of your son i will always remember for the kindness in his heart sincerely spc william turner"
spc william turner of kandahar, afghanistan

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

"To Daniel's Family:
There are no words to express the sorrow we feel for your loss. May God bless you and help you through this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"To James' Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your soldier's bravery and sacrifice.


The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
Gloria Caldas (The Big Ern's Mom) of San Antonio, TX

Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Daniel, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you ALWAYS. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"Thank you Daniel McConnell, 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 Spc. Daniel McConnell:
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 Spc. Daniel McConnell:
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