Honoring Our Armed Forcesby Senator Jeanne Shaheen
Posted on 2014-01-08
SHAHEEN. Mr. President, today I wish to honor the life and
service of U.S. Marine Sgt. Daniel Vasselian, who was killed in the
line of duty on December 23, 2013 while conducting combat operations in
Helmand province, Afghanistan. Sergeant Vasselian was assigned to 1st
Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine
Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejune, N.C., and was serving his third tour
of duty when he was killed at the young age of 27.
``Danny'', as he was known by family and friends, was a proud son of the small Massachusetts town of Abington, where he was known as a kind, courageous and fun-loving young man. Danny graduated from Abington High School in 2004, and was fortunate to have already met the love of his life, Erin, whom he went on to marry. Erin and Danny celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary in December. A tribute to his standing in Abington, thousands of people lined the town's streets to escort Sergeant Vasselian's casket to the funeral service.
In 2006, Sergeant Vasselian enlisted with the Marines and was assigned to 2/3 Echo Company Infantry, eventually deploying to tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The heroism and professionalism of Sergeant Vasselian and his Marine Corps units merited numerous awards, including a Purple Heart Award, a Combat Action Ribbon, a Presidential Unit Citation and a Navy Unit Commendation. Sergeant Vasselian's love for his Marine brothers was infallible, and ultimately led him to volunteer for the mission that cost him his life.
Sergeant Vasselian's outsized personality and good heartedness will not [[Page S132]] soon be forgotten by those who were lucky enough to have known him. It is my hope that during this extremely difficult time, his family and friends will find comfort in knowing that Americans everywhere appreciate deeply his vow to defend our country so that the rest of us may continue to live in peace and freedom.
Along with his parents Mark and Karen, as well as his step-mother Alice, Danny is survived by his wife Erin (Doyle) Vasselian; his siblings Jeannine, Julianne and Joseph; his grandmother Jeanne Vasselian; his grandfather Thomas P. Connor; his mother and father-in- law David and Patricia Doyle; his nephew and niece Cayleb and Shaelyn Barrio; also aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. This patriot will be missed by all.
I ask my colleagues and all Americans to join me in honoring the life and service of this brave young American, Daniel Vasselian.