On May 29, 2020, Daniel was vacationing at Topsail Beach, NC when he heard distressed individuals in the ocean caught in a rip tide.
Daniel, without hesitation, selflessly sprinted into the ocean to rescue both a mother and her child and brought them back ashore to safety, said a vacationer who witnessed the rescue from the balcony of a nearby motel.
Daniel also went out a third time to rescue the father, who he also brought back ashore.
Despite efforts of first responders to resuscitate the man, he perished.
Shortly after reaching the beach a Topsail Police officer approached Daniel for a statement about what had just happened.
Daniel requested that he remained anonymous to ensure any news coverage would focus the attention on “a man dying while trying to rescue his wife and son.”
This award is a testament to Danny’s character both in and out of uniform, said Lt. Col. Mark Finnegan, 98th Battalion Commander.
Finnegan continued, “It takes a person of great character and courageousness to undertake the risk of what goes along with wearing the uniform; and when you are outside of the uniform faced with adversity, and faced with conflict it takes even more courage, a person of more character to risk their life for strangers.”