Friday, July 09, 2010

Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel G. Raney

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel G. Raney, 21, of Pleasant View, Tenn.

LCpl Raney was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died July 9, 2010 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

A Marine from the small Middle Tennessee town of Pleasant View was just a month away from coming home when he was killed in Afghanistan on July 9, his mother said Tuesday.

"His little brother Luke was the apple of his eye," said Penny Riley of her son Lance Cpl. Daniel "Gabe" Raney. "They were 10 years apart, but Gabe loved him so much. He carried him everywhere, used to pick him up like a doll.

"One of the last things he said to me was 'I can't wait to come home and take my baby brother and my cousin Kody to the movies.' "

Cpl. Raney, 21, was killed while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, according to a Pentagon news release.

He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Riley said all the Marines in his unit — "his brothers" — have called her to offer condolences. They told her Cpl. Raney was on foot patrol when a bomb exploded, killing him.

The Department of Defense announced the death on Tuesday.

Riley said she was notified just one day after she found out her son was to be home for a visit in August.

"It was a happy day," she said. "We were all so ecstatic and happy because we got a homecoming date.

"Then I came home and there was this vehicle in my driveway. At first, I thought they were lost, but then I looked at the car tag and noticed it was government.

"I saw the green uniforms. I screamed 'no' of course, and I ran to the back seat of the car to pick up my 11-year-old, who was crumpled over already. I don't remember much else after that."

Cpl. Raney, a 2007 graduate of Sycamore High School in Cheatham County, was the eldest of Riley's two children. He also is survived by two stepbrothers and a stepsister.

Raney was a second-year microbiology major at Austin Peay State University when he decided to join the Marine Corps in October 2008.

He was affected by 9/11

He was a champion wrestler for Sycamore and an avid sportsman who loved rock climbing and mixed martial arts.

Family and friends described Raney as a quiet young man with a good sense of humor who "wanted to make a difference in the world."

"He was really affected by 9/11," Riley said. "We watched the second plane hit, and he never forgot it. He always wanted to be a Marine, even though I didn't want him to be.

"But as he began to grow as a Marine, my pride grew as a Marine mom. I feel like God has given me some kind of peace now. I don't understand it, but I feel like Gabe's on one side and God's on the other."

Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel G. Raney was killed in action on 7/9/10.

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