Saturday, August 06, 2011

Marine Sgt. Daniel J. Patron

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Sgt. Daniel J. Patron, 26, of Canton, Ohio

Sgt Patron was assigned to 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Aug. 6, 2011 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations.

MASSILLON, Ohio - Family and friends remembered Marine Sgt. Daniel Patron as a man who always had a smile and was deeply devoted to his country.

Before calling hours on Friday, Danny's wife, Cody, and other relatives talked about how proud Danny was to be a Marine.

"There's just no words to explain how wonderful he is and how much everyone loved him and how much I will always love him," Cody said, as her eyes welled up with tears.

Patron's uncle, Jim Luke, said, "This country has just lost an incredible Marine. One thing I would want America to know is how much he loved his country. He loved the United States."

Sgt. Patron had the opportunity to leave Afghanistan in July after completing his tour of duty, but he extended his stay because he wanted to stand by his fellow Marines.

"I tried to talk him out of it many times, but he just had to go back," Cody said.

On August 6, Sgt. Patron, 26, was killed while trying to defuse a roadside bomb.

Patron was a 2003 graduate of Perry High School.

A brick, with Patron's name engraved on it, is now part of Perry Veterans Memorial outside of the school.

Some 300 American flags surround the school and a tribute to Patron, complete with flowers and personal messages, continues to grow.

The memorial was dedicated in 2006. At that time, Patron was invited to unveil the centerpiece statue of a solider.

Family friend, Steve Toohey, remembered a conversation he had with Patron on that day. "I said, 'Danny, I never want to see your face on this memorial.' So horribly prophetic, something I'll never want to say again," Toohey told NewsChannel5.

Relatives said Danny was full of energy and love. Another uncle said he's drawing strength by recalling Danny's philosophy on life: "We all need to laugh more and if we can laugh in the face of adversity, we're already starting to conquer it," Dave Patron said.

Just a month before Danny lost his life, he saved one. His Marine teammate lost a leg after stepping on an improvised explosive device.

"He called out to Dan and Dan ran over there, put the tourniquet on his leg and stood by him waiting for the ambulance to come," Cody said.

The pain of sacrifice is not new to the Patron family. In August of 2010, Danny's cousin, Army Staff Sgt. Kevin Kessler, of Canton, was also killed in Afghanistan.

Marine Sgt. Daniel J. Patron was killed in action on 8/06/11.

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