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Tonight, we remember a well-loved Marine from Abington, Mass.  He was known as "the life of the Party and life of the town."  He served one tour of duty in Iraq and was on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, when he was killed by an ambush, as he exited a Humvee.  

 Since 2001, there have been 2298 American troops killed in Operation Enduring Freedom. Since 2010, there have been 66 casualties in Operation New Dawn.

Please bear in mind that these diaries are read by friends and family of the service members chronicled here. May all of our remembrances be full of compassion rather than politics.

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DoD Identifies Marine Corps Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Sgt. Daniel M. Vasselian, 27, of Abington, Mass., died Dec. 23, while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Sgt. Daniel Vasselian
Just two days before Christmas, Sgt. Daniel Vasselian was getting out of a Humvee when he was ambushed by insurgents. Sgt. Vasselian was killed on the same day as another Marine, Lance Cpl. Matthew Rodriquez from nearby Fairhaven was buried.  

Vasselian was a 2004 graduate of Abington High School.  He married his High School sweetheart, Erin, and they celebrated their 4th anniversary on December 19th.  Vasselian joined the Marines in 2006 and was serving on his third tour of duty, when he was killed.  

From the Wicked Local.com:

“He was so fun. He was hilarious. He was amazing. He just would do anything for anyone,” said his sister, Jeannine Vasselian, 30, of Abington. “He was the life of the party. He was the life of the town.”
Jeannine told the Boston Globe:
“This was his third tour and [he had] already served in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Jeannine Vasselian said. “He was so proud to be a Marine and serve his country and paid the ultimate sacrifice and this world truly lost an amazing hero. He’ll be missed more than words can express and loved by his family and friends forever."
Sgt. Daniel Vasselian -facebook photo
His wife, Erin, spoke to Wicked Local.com:
“He was carefree, free-spirited, not a care in the world, always smiling,” Erin Vasselian, 27, said. “He was one to make you laugh, always joking around. He was full of light. That’s why everyone loved him so much.”
and his father spoke to the news about his son's self-less and caring actions:

 

Also, Congressman Stephen Lynch issued his statement on behalf of the district from Boston Globe

“By all accounts Sgt. Vasselian was a favorite son of the Town of Abington,” Lynch said in a statement. “The people of Abington take enormous pride in Dan’s service to his country — which included three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is an American hero — no doubt about that.”

Lynch added, “Dan and his wife Erin (Doyle) attended Abington High School. So in a small tightly-knit community like Abington, Dan’s loss is devastating, as it is for our nation. We hold Dan and the Vasselian and Doyle families in our hearts and prayers.”

Sgt. Daniel Vasselian's remains will return home on New Year's Eve.  His remains will arrive at Logan Airport and State Police will escort him back to Abington.  Visitation will be on New Year's Day and the funeral on January 2nd, 2014.  

Condolences to his widow, family and friends.  Semper Fi, Marine Sgt. Daniel Vasselian.  

Sources:  Wicked Local.com, Patriot Ledger, Boston Globe

In Flanders Fields
by Lt. Col. John McRae, MD,  (1872-1918)

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row
That mark our place, and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.  Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved,
and now we lie 
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

I Got the News Today is a diary series intended to honor, respect and remind.  Its title is a reminder that almost every day a military family gets the terrible news about a loved one. Diaries about the fallen usually appear two days after their names are officially released, which allows time for the IGTNT team to find and tell their stories.

All of the U.S. fatalities can be seen here and here.  They all had loved ones, families and friends.  The DoD news releases are here.  I Got the News Today is intended to honor, respect and remind.  Click the IGTNT tags below for previous diaries.

Click the IGTNT tags  to see the series, which was begun by i dunno, and which is maintained by  i dunno, Monkeybiz, Noweasels, Blue Jersey Mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, SisTwo, Spam Nunn,  True Blue Majority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, Maggie Jean, Jax Dem, The Fat Lady Sings, Ekaterina, Joy of Fishes,  and me, Sandy on Signal.

Please bear in mind that these diaries are read by friends and family of the service members chronicled here. May all of our remembrances be full of compassion rather than politics.

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