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Posted: 10/30/2006 2:56:41 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2006 3:08:09 PM EST by vanilla_gorilla]
Parents mourn a fallen son
Young Marine killed in Iraq last week

By Gerald Ensley
DEMOCRAT SENIOR WRITER
CHAIRES - Harry Chaires and his wife, Nan Cuchens, have barely slept, or even drawn a deep breath, since last Wednesday when four Marines showed up to tell them their son had been killed in Iraq.

But they're not complaining about life's unfairness. Since he was 10 years old, Daniel Chaires wanted to be in the military. Since he enlisted a year ago, he had worked to be a good Marine.

"He was typically a very focused young man who made good decisions," his mother said. "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."

A rifleman with the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Marine Regiment, Lance Cpl. Daniel Burroughs Chaires, 20, was killed in Al Anbar, scene of some of the most deadly combat. He died Oct. 25 when a bullet from an insurgent ricocheted off the ground and struck him in the abdomen under his protective vest.

Chaires - for whom flags have been lowered to half-mast statewide - was the sixth area resident to die in Afghanistan and Iraq. His death has reverberated in the community because of his family, which is well-known and descended from one of the oldest families in Leon County.

"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."

Harry Chaires, 67, was a popular captain in the Leon County Sheriff's Office before his 2005 retirement; Cuchens, 58, is a former Tallahassee Memorial Hospital emergency-room director who now teaches at Florida State University's College of Nursing. Daniel had two 36-year-old twin half-brothers, Todd Chaires, a sheriff's detective, and Scott Chaires, who works for the county's public-works department; and a sister, Hannah, 16, a junior at Leon High.

Three Chaires brothers, Benjamin, Green Hill and Thomas Peter, settled eastern Leon County in the late 1820s. The community of Chaires, 12 miles east of Tallahassee, sits on the former plantation of Green Hill Chaires. Daniel grew up in the 90-year-old home of his grandparents, where his parents live.

Although Daniel Chaires' body has been flown back to the U.S., it is unclear when it will be transported to Leon County for burial. The family plans a military funeral - with a family emphasis. Daniel will lie in state in his home. A funeral service will be held at the Chaires United Methodist Church, about a quarter mile east of the home.

His flag-draped coffin will then be borne on a horsedrawn wagon to the home and buried about 50 yards from the back door. A bleary-eyed Harry Chaires spent Friday and Saturday preparing the grave.

"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."

Followed in father's steps
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 by satellite phone, he spoke with his sister and mother before concluding the call with his 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 said.

Daniel Chaires enlisted in the Marines in September 2005, in no small part because his father was a Marine. Harry Chaires dropped out of Leon High in 11th grade to enlist and spent eight years on active and reserve duty from 1957 to 1965.

Daniel Chaires was homeschooled and earned a GED, then attended Tallahassee Community College to earn the 15 college credits needed to enlist. He had to take the military physical four times because his excitement the first three times led to a rapid heartbeat.

"Daniel wanted to follow in my footsteps," Harry Chaires said. "You never saw anybody work harder to be in the Marine Corps."

A Marine, but also a 'lamb'
Daniel Chaires joining the marines was not the most obvious choice to some. He was a strapping outdoorsman (6-foot-3, 190 pounds), who liked to ride horses, fish, hunt and work on the family's eight-acre property. But he was also known for a genuine "yes sir/no sir" politeness, an eagerness to help friends and neighbors and a gentle disposition.

Many attributed his maturity to his relationship with his late grandfather, Eben Burroughs Chaires, from whom he received his middle name and served as constant companion. His father conceded his son's personality was closest to the "sweetness and kindness" of his mother.

"He was a lamb, just a lamb. He was beautiful inside and out," said neighbor Isabelle Blakey. "Man, he didn't have any business in the Marines. It's awful when you lose a child like that."

Although grief-stricken, his parents refuse to second-guess their son's choice. They said before he enlisted, Daniel "examined everything" about all branches of service. He chose the Marines for its rigorous training and combat opportunities and convinced even his mother the Marines' comradeship was special.

"The Marines truly are a band of brothers; they love one another and protect one another," Cuchens said. "I knew his chances of survival would be greater in the Marines."

His father agreed.

"We supported Daniel's decision because as he moved through the paces of being in the Marine Corps, we realized he was making himself a terrific Marine," he said. "All Nan and I could do at that point was start praying."


I've known Daniel since he was a little tyke, and been friends with his brother and worked for his father. We are all a family here, and his death has been hard news. I'm as proud as I can be of this Marine, though. Semper Fi.

Link Posted: 10/30/2006 2:58:58 PM EST
Damn
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:00:48 PM EST
G-d bless him and his family....
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:01:51 PM EST
This is terrible news to hear Matt.

Prayers sent for the family.

Semper Fidelis, Marine.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:04:36 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2006 3:05:49 PM EST by SouthHoof]
May GOD'S hand guide the family of Daniel Chaires and you as well V_G

Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:06:37 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:10:17 PM EST
God bless him and his family.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:10:52 PM EST
Celebrate his life. He seemed like a man one would be proud to call a friend.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:15:50 PM EST
God bless him and his family. I extend my deepest gratitude to anyone who serves this great country.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:18:44 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:21:17 PM EST
May God bless him and his family for his service and bravery to keep this country free.

RIP, Sir.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:23:06 PM EST
***"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."
****

I started crying like a kid when I read this...
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:26:29 PM EST
Too many good kids...
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:28:33 PM EST
Unless you have lost a child, you cannot begin to comprehend the pain. I know.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:35:02 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:36:48 PM EST
God Bless the Marine and his family.

I'll be saying an extra prayer for all my buddies over there or on the way tonight.

Semper Fi
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:39:18 PM EST
Please tell him some fat keyboard commando (i.e. - ME) sent his sincerest thanks and deepest sympathies.

Semper Fi. Rest in peace, noble shipmate.

Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:46:32 PM EST
My sympathies to his family.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:48:44 PM EST
Condolences
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:52:39 PM EST
RIP, brother. God bless you and your family.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:53:13 PM EST
Rest in Peace, Marine.

Dear God, please guide his family though this difficult time.

Rather than half staff, I think this is more appropriate for this Devil Dog who is now guarding the streets of Heaven along with all of our brethren, past and present.





Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:58:06 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 4:08:44 PM EST
I know Scott and Todd Chaires as well as their father Harry, I got the news about their loss last Monday. I feel so badly for them...My heart goes out to them. L/Cpl Daniel Chaires was a Good Marine and died a HERO.

Rest in Peace my Brother...Semper Fi


Link Posted: 10/30/2006 4:12:01 PM EST
RIP
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 4:29:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2006 4:58:17 PM EST by warlord]
That is terrible news.

In a few weeks, we should all make it a point to go vote in the next election so that all of these people who died in Iraq/Afghanistan will not be for naugth.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 4:03:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By vanilla_gorilla:
"He was a lamb, just a lamb. He was beautiful inside and out," said neighbor Isabelle Blakey. "Man, he didn't have any business in the Marines. It's awful when you lose a child like that."

What kind of guys do people think are supposed to be in the Marines?
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 4:06:04 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 4:10:38 AM EST
RIP Brother
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 4:13:10 AM EST
RIP Daniel. My prayers go out to his family.


May the islamoturd who fired the round be looked at thru combat optics very soon.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 4:17:29 AM EST

Originally Posted By joker581:

Originally Posted By vanilla_gorilla:
"He was a lamb, just a lamb. He was beautiful inside and out," said neighbor Isabelle Blakey. "Man, he didn't have any business in the Marines. It's awful when you lose a child like that."

What kind of guys do people think are supposed to be in the Marines?


Let it go man. We know it, his family knows it, and he certainly knew it. God speed Marine.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 4:27:33 AM EST
Prayers sent to the family.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 4:33:01 AM EST
Rest in peace, Lance Cpl. Daniel Burroughs.

May the L-rd be with you and your loved ones during your time of need.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 4:37:08 AM EST
I also had a co-workers son die in Iraq ... and it was headline stuff ... this was the guy that got in a fight with somebody in his group and they tossed a grenade in his bedroom while sleeping ... His dad had nothing but good things to say ... he knew his son died doing what he wanted to do ...
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 4:37:45 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 4:38:30 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/31/2006 4:40:55 AM EST by Hiwathl]
Kenny Bostic of Hawthorne ,Nevada Oct. 29th 06' I want Juba


RIP Hero

101'st American(this month) killed in the sandbox
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 4:59:50 AM EST
God bless you, Lance Cpl. Daniel Burroughs Chaires. May the lord comfort your family and friends during this time of grief and sorrow. May your Nation never forget your honorable sacrifice on altar of freedom.

Rest in Peace my Brother.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 5:06:48 AM EST

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."


I think for a parent to bury their child is one of the hardest burdens that a person can bear. Harry Chaires I am sorry the loss of your son, your family have my deepest condolence's.



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