THONOTOSASSA, FL, US
U.S. Marine Corps
SGT,1ST BN, 6TH MAR, (RCT-7 FWD), 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC
08/27/2006, BAGHDAD, IRAQ
Sergeant Daniel Angus told his daughter good night this month for the last time.
“She was asleep, but I did put the phone to her ear and he told her,” said Angus’ wife, Bonnie. “She didn’t wake up, but she knows. He always said, ‘Don’t let her forget who her daddy is.’ And I won’t.”
Kaitlyn, who turns 2 in March, will know her father from now on from photos and memories. Daniel M. Angus, 28, died Sunday while on patrol with his fellow Marines in Afghanistan. Daniel was serving with the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division of the Second Marine Expeditionary Force, from Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Angus, a native of Thonotosassa, Fla., didn’t call East Tennessee home but met his wife here while visiting Roane County on a fishing trip. They dated for the next four years and married about six weeks ago, just before his deployment.
“We’d been together ever since,” the wife said. “At first, I wanted nothing to do with the military, but that’s the best thing that ever happened to me. He drove from Camp Lejeune over here every weekend. For a while his truck was in the shop, so he rented a car for two months to get here.”
Angus had deployed twice before to Iraq and seen bombings there, always surviving with no worse than minor injuries. He told her when he left in December not to see him off.
“He wanted to go back in a way, because that was his job,” the wife said. “But he said this time was different, because he had a wife and daughter at home. He didn’t want me to be there, because he said that would make it harder. I told him I was terrified, but he told me, ‘Don’t worry. Soon enough, I’ll be home.’
“I’ve never seen Daniel cry, but he held onto me and wouldn’t let me go. He wouldn’t look at me. He just broke down on his knees and cried.”
Bonnie Angus and Kaitlyn stayed in Roane County with family during the deployment but heard from their Marine by phone at least once a week. When days passed without a call, the wife began to worry.
“I slept with my phone beside me, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I missed his call,” she said. “This time he never called. That’s why I knew something was wrong.” Two Marines showed up later with word of her husband’s death.
Kaitlyn still waits to hear her father’s voice one more time.”Even today, she’ll pick up my cell phone, because that’s how we communicated,” the wife said. “She’ll just say, ‘Daddy.’ She doesn’t understand yet. It’s still not real to me. It will not be real to me until I get to see him one last time.”