Army Spc. Dan H. Nguyen
Died May 8, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
24, of Sugar Land, Texas; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died May 8 in Tahrir, Iraq, when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using small-arms fire.
BAQUOBA, Iraq (May 14, 2007) — “The medics knew Dan as one of the Soldiers who would do all for you. The bond of brotherhood runs deep with the medics. Such a Soldier can only inspire us to accomplish more. I know, without a doubt, that he is surrounded by many who love him and his spirit is here with us as we bid him farewell,” said Capt. Alexis Rivera, about the passing of one of his Soldiers, Spc. Dan Nguyen.
Nguyen died from wounds received in combat, May 8. He is survived by his family.
“Dan came to the ‘Hellraiser’ family as a quiet, respectful Soldier with much to give to his unit,” continued Rivera, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1-12 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
“He joined the Army for the honorable profession of a combat medic with a zest to save lives,” Rivera said. “He did this gladly and accomplished every mission without complaint. His ability to save lives is a tribute to his skill.
“He was, without a doubt, a great asset to his unit and was loved by his comrades in [Company B] ‘Bone Crusher’ and his Hellraiser family,” he said.
The memorial ceremony for Nguyen was held at Salie Gym at Forward Operating Base Warhorse, in Baqouba, Iraq. Soldiers from different units came to pay their last respects to their fallen brother-in-arms, while Nguyen’s leaders and fellow Soldiers spoke about his presence in their unit.
“Spc. Nguyen has had many hard knocks as a platoon medic. His first real-world causality was his platoon leader, shortly after we arrived into sector,” said Spc. Clint McCollough, a friend of Nguyen’s.
“He treated his platoon leader with the poise and skill of a much more experienced medic,” McCollough continued. “As my fellow medics know, your first causality can either make you or break you.
“Spc. Nguyen recovered from his first experience with determination and drive I’ve seldom seen,” he said. “He suffered several more potentially traumatic experiences with causalities, only to use these situations to shape himself into a better Soldier and medic.
“Spc. Nguyen’s love and concern for infantrymen was enormous,” said McCollough. “He was always asking questions and trying to learn new ways to fit seamlessly into his infantry platoon. He was always ready for a mounted patrol but he lived to run the streets with his dismount [team].
“I’ve met few people that were as full of life as Spc. Nguyen,” he said. “No matter how difficult the situation, he could always produce a smile or smart comment to lighten the moment.”
As the ceremony drew to a close, each Soldier said their final farewell to their friend, Spc. Dan Nguyen.
“I’ll always remember him as living his life so honorably,” said Rivera. “He was the epitome of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, but most of all, his personal courage.”
“He was a happy person who loved life,” added McCollough. “The Army has lost a great Soldier and a medic, and I have lost a great friend.
“Every person in this room can learn a lesson from this young man,” he said. “I challenge each and every one of you to do as he did – live life everyday to the best of your ability.”
“Mr. and Mrs. Nguyen, your son was a man that all of us could count on,” said Lt. Col. Morris Goins, commander of 1-12 CAB.
“This was proved prior to the day of his death when he, as most medics do, ran to the aid of a fallen comrade and saved lives,” he said.
“We loved him, we will continue to love him and he will be missed,” Goins concluded.
“The Bone Crushers and Hellraisers will miss are comrade in arms, our friend, a true hero… Doc. Nguyen,” concluded Rivera.
Army Specialist Dan H. Nguyen was killed in action on 5/8/07.