Saturday, May 12, 2007

Army Pfc. Daniel W. Courneya

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Daniel W. Courneya, 19, of Nashville, Mich.

Pfc. Courneya was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.; died May 12, 2007 in Al Taqa, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his patrol was attacked by enemy forces using automatic fire and explosives. Also killed were Sgt. 1st Class James D. Connell Jr. and Pfc. Christopher E. Murphy.

Michigan soldier killed in weekend ambush in Iraq
The Associated Press

VERMONTVILLE, Mich. — Students at Maple Valley High School are remembering slain Army Pfc. Daniel Courneya in their own, personal way this week.

They are putting together a memorial for the former student killed May 12 with three other soldiers in an ambush in Iraq.

“It’s a tribute of photos, posters, plaques and a picture of him in his uniform,” school special education and discipline secretary Kelly Zank told The Associated Press on May 15.

Grief counselors are meeting with students this week. The school’s flag also is flying at half-staff and will stay that way through any local services for the 19-year-old who graduated in 2005, Zank said.

His death was announced May 14 over the school’s public address system, and a moment of silence was observed, she said.

Courneya was well-known in the small community southwest of Lansing. He was a member of the school’s track and soccer teams and played clarinet in the band.

He was part of a U.S. convoy attacked before dawn on May 12 south of Baghdad. Besides the four Americans killed, an Iraqi soldier also was slain.

Three other American soldiers are missing and feared captured by al-Qaida. U.S. troops have questioned hundreds of people and detained 11 in the search for them, the military said May 15.

Wendy Thompson, Courneya’s mother, said his wife, Jennifer, called family members the night of May 12 to tell them he had been killed, The Grand Rapids Press reported.

Thompson, 38, said her husband, Army Spc. David Thompson, was returning from Iraq after learning of his stepson’s death.

Army Pfc. Daniel W. Courneya was killed in action on 5/12/07.

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