TALLAHASSEE, FL, U.S.A.
U.S. MARINE CORPS
LCPL, E CO,2D BN,3D MAR,(RCT-7, I MEF FWD) 3D MAR DIV, KANEOHE BAY, HI
10/25/2006, ALASAD, IRAQ
Since he was 10 years old, LCPL Chaires wanted to join the military. He enlisted in 2005 and worked to be a good Marine. “He was typically a very focused young man who made good decisions,” his mother explained. “So when he made his decision to join the Marine Corps, he asked us to support and honor his decision – and that’s what we are doing now.”
Daniel was home schooled and earned a GED, and attended Tallahassee Community College to earn the 15 college credits needed to enlist. “Daniel wanted to follow in my footsteps,” Harry Chaires said. “You never saw anybody work harder to be in the Marine Corps.” “My son was doing what he could to uphold our freedom,” Harry Chaires said. “I’m proud of what my son stood for, and I’m proud he gave his life for his country.”
The family plans a military funeral – with a family emphasis. Daniel will lie in state in his home. There will be a funeral service at the Chaires United Methodist Church.
LCPL Chaires’s flag-draped coffin will be borne on a horse drawn wagon to the home and buried about 50 yards from the back door. Harry Chaires, his eyes filled with tears, spent two days preparing the grave for his son. “I sent him off to do the task he felt he needed to do. He’s done that and he’s served his country,” Harry Chaires said. “Now, I’m going to put him in my backyard to watch over him and have him with me as long as I’m alive.
“I don’t have to send him off again.”
Chaires’ death came only six weeks into his first tour in Iraq – and five days after his last call home. In that 10-minute call Daniel spoke with his mother, sister and father.
“Daniel said, ‘I just want to tell you that I love you and Mom very much, and I don’t want you to ever forget it,’ ” Harry Chaires stated.