When 20-year-old Daniel Chaires enlisted in the Marines last year it was a fulfillment of a dream since he was 10 years old and a walk in his father Harry's footsteps. Harry Chaires, a former Marine, remembered that early on there was the realization Daniel would be going to Iraq, but it didn't stop his blessings.
Chaires said, "We stood behind Daniel 100 percent. He had the best training that any soldier could get from the Marine Corps."
Harry Chaires says the prayers started when his son was deployed to Iraq nearly two months ago. About six weeks into his tour of duty and just days after his last phone call home, military officers arrived at the Chaires' doorstep with the news, Lance Corporal Daniel Chaires, their youngest son, died in battle in Northern Iraq.
Chaires said, "Daniel Chaires died a hero. I can't on television tell you everything I know and the battles he was in, but he took the battle to the enemy and he did it very hard."
Daniel's body was flown home Tuesday night. Family and friends gathered at Tallahassee Regional Airport to honor the Marine, the son, the brother, the friend and the hero.
Chaires added, "I feel strongly that the American people need to stay strong in support of the ones that are over there because other families are losing children just like I lost my son."
The Chaires family is continuing their support of the troops by adopting their son's unit. They will be sending over care packages for the troops in time for Christmas and are encouraging the community to participate in their effort.
A private funeral is scheduled on Thursday morning. Daniel Chaires was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, out of Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
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