Compound Renamed in Honor of Fallen Soldier
Sgt. 1st Class Darren D. Heusel
KABUL, Afghanistan - He may be gone, but U.S. Army Capt. Daniel W. Eggers is not forgotten.
"Over 100 American and Coalition Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and special operators have lost their lives since the 9-11 attacks in the execution of the Global War on Terror and Operation Enduring Freedom," Lt. Gen. David Barno, the commander of Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan, told a crowd of about 300, who braved a drizzly spring day in Afghanistan to attend the ceremony.
Also killed with Eggers were Sgt. 1st Class Robert J. Mogensen, Spc. Joseph A. Jeffries and Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Brian J. Ouellette. The four men were fatally wounded while returning to their base as they tried to avoid another IED in the road.
Eggers, a Special Forces detachment commander, and Mogensen, 26, a Special Forces weapons sergeant, were both assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Jeffries, 21, was a psychological operations specialist assigned to the 320th Psychological Operations Company, an Army Reserve unit based in Portland, Ore. Ouellette, 37, was assigned to the Navy Special Warfare Group Two out of Little Creek, Va.
"Capt. Eggers was killed leading his Special Forces A Team in Zabul Province a truly joint team working hard to help secure a critical part of this country and provide support to the Afghan government in a highly contested area," Barno said. "Their loss struck all of us here at the time particularly hard, as it was such a grievous loss of life in a single incident.
"At their memorial service in Bagram, we were all struck at the pain suffered by the unit at the loss of so many men from such a tight group - clearly a 'Band of Brothers.'"
Eggers, a native of Cape Coral, Fla., was commissioned in May 1997 after graduating from The Citadel, The Military College in South Carolina where he majored in history. He completed Special Forces training in 2002 and was assigned to the 1st Bn., 3rd SFG in May 2003. Following his first deployment to Afghanistan in March 2003, Eggers was assigned to Company A as a detachment commander.
He is survived by his wife, U.S. Army Capt. Rebecca Lynn Eggers, and his sons, John Joseph Eggers, 6, and William Howard Eggers, 4.
Mrs. Eggers, who is originally from Johnstown, Wis., is currently serving as the chief of the Actions Branch at U.S. Army Special Operations Command Headquarters, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., as an adjutant general officer. The two met in the summer of 1996 during military training at Fort Bragg and stayed in touch through their senior year of college. The couple married May 20, 1997 in Charleston, S.C., after graduation.
Mrs. Eggers was unable to attend the ceremony but wanted to say thank you to those who served with her husband, "for what they do everyday, without fanfare or pats on the back.
"I was extremely honored to hear that Lt. Gen. Barno wanted to rename the Kabul Compound in Danny's honor," she said in an e-mail from her office at MacDill. "I was a bit shocked there are so many people who have lost their lives. I never imagined that something like this would be happening."
Mrs. Eggers said her husband had a unique gift when it came it came to relating to people and that he could make anyone feel at ease. She said he was extremely good at adapting to other people's environments, which made him "a great SF officer."
This is precisely why the senior military commander in Afghanistan and others wanted to keep his memory alive.
"Capt. Eggers is remembered as a dedicated Special Forces Soldier and consummate professional," Barno said. "His deployment as an ODA commander in the south was a key component of our overall strategy last year to open that part of the country up to registration for the Afghan presidential elections - a move designed to provide the Afghan people the opportunity for each of them to choose their own future, free from oppression.
"The sacrifice of these brave men is a tribute to all of our coalition forces who risk their lives daily. Their missions - carried on by their teams and thousands of other troops here - turned the tide in Afghanistan last year, made clear by the huge success of the Afghan election, which set the course of this country's future. Capt. Eggers' legacy is that freedom, that success in this rugged land so far from his home."
ceremony concluded with the crowd observing a moment of silence for all
those who have lost their lives in Afghanistan and the playing of the
"Ballot of the Green Beret."