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Daniel G. McCollum


CPT Daniel G. McCollum, born December 6, 1973, in Tallahassee, FL died doing what he always loved – flying and serving his country.

CPT McCollum was one of seven U.S. Marines killed when their refueling plane crashed into a mountainside in Pakistan. CPT McCollum was the first South Carolinian killed in action during “Operation Enduring Freedom.”

According to his friends, CPT McCollum dreamed of flying from his earliest years. At Clemson, he began his involvement with the Marines and participated in the University’s Dixie Skydivers.

Jim Burriss, owner and operator of the drop zone at Oconee Regional Airport commented that, “He got along well with all kinds of people, whether he knew them or not, and he seemed to fit in with the group (Dixie Skydivers) really well.”

Daniel McCollum grew up in Irmo, SC. He graduated as a mechanical engineer from Clemson in December 1996. CPT McCollum was commissioned in January of 1997 in the Marine Corps.

CPT McCollum is eulogized here by his brother Matt McCollum: “I’ve also been asked if I think Dan is a hero. But Dan isn’t a hero just because he gave his life for his country, but that is part of it. Dan isn’t a hero just because he went to war to defend his country, but that is a part of it. Dan isn’t a hero just because he chose to become a Marine officer and aviator, but that is a part of it. Dan is a hero because of who he was and the way he lived his life. Proud, but humble. Tough, but gentle. Competitive, but caring. He was honorable,

compassionate, and kind. A good man, a true friend, a loving son and a loving husband. Dan is a hero because he did his duty every day without asking for recognition or reward. Dan is a hero because he did his duty, quietly and professionally, because he believed it was the right thing to do.” Published online on Feb. 14, 2005


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