TRACY, CA, USA U.S. Marines SSGT, MWSS-171, MWSG-17, (3D BN, 8TH MAR [REIN]), 1ST MAW, MCAS IWAKUNI, JAPAN FARAH PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN 02/14/2009
Daniel Hansen, 24, was the kind of man who excelled in everything he did, his twin brother said. In high school, he played football and participated in wrestling, cross country and track and field. Later, he took up mixed martial arts and occasionally wrote short stories with his brother.
But Daniel’s true passion was competing against his brother, a friendly but fierce rivalry that stayed with the twins throughout their lives. “We always wanted to be heroes in whatever we did,” said Matthew, who works in logistics in Quantico, Va. “There’s something we really enjoyed about competing against each other on a physical level.”
He dedicated himself completely to everything he did. He enjoyed mixed martial arts, grappling, sparring, sky diving, hiking, camping, snorkeling, diving, white-water rafting, cycling and working out. He also enjoyed quality time with his family, writing stories with his twin brother and watching anime. Daniel took the greatest pride in all that he did and held himself to the highest standards. He wouldn’t hesitate to help anyone in a heartbeat for any reason, without requiring compensation.
He joined the Marines just days after he graduated from Merrill F. West High School in Tracy, Calif., in 2002. He and Matthew left for boot camp in San Diego one week apart, with Daniel heading off first. Daniel Hansen was chosen early on to be trained as an elite Marine, quickly rose through the ranks and bested his competition, eventually earning the skills and a security clearance to guard then-President Bush at Camp David.
Hansen’s twin brother told friends and family at the funeral that his brother said he had to serve overseas — he couldn’t stand the idea of putting another Marine at risk for taking his place.