KIA November 5, 2011
Operation Enduring Freedom
Assigned to 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, 1 Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, California
LCpl Nickolas Daniels died November 5, 2011 while disarming an IUD in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Born in September of 1986, Nick Daniels was outgoing and friendly from an early age. The Elmwood Park Native graduated from St. Patrick High School graduate in 2004 where he played as a linebacker on his football team. Dan Galante, his former high school coach, said he was the kind of impact player who lived and breathed football.
“That was kind of infectious to coaches and players to be around,” Dan said.
Nick’s love of football led him to return to his alma mater in 2008 and 2009 to coach the school’s freshman team, and it was this love of teamwork and comradery that led him to pursue a military career soon after.
He enlisted in to the Marines in January 2010, reported for training September 3, 2010 and left for his first tour of duty in Afghanistan only 16 days later where he was serving as a combat engineer. Although committed to his career, it was his family that he always put first. As the oldest of four children, he took it as his personal challenge to always watch out for his younger siblings and show them how much they each meant to him.
“I always aspire to be like him,” Lonny Daniels, Nick’s brother, said. “He was really funny, probably one of the funniest guys. He had a really good attitude with everybody.”
Nick’s infectious smile and laughter left a lasting impact on almost everyone he met. His legacy of service lives on in his family, friends and those he coached, who continue to serve the community in his honor.
“He was a fun-spirited person to be around. He always had a smile on his face no matter what was going on,” his aunt, Sandra Mich, said. “ Nick was a strong man, inside and out. He was loved by so many, and now missed by many.”
LCpl Nickolas Daniels was 25 years old from Elmwood Park, Illinois.
The original portrait was delivered September 15, 2018 to his parents, Greg and Debi Daniels in Chicago, Illinois at the 7th LCPL Nick Daniels Memorial Bags Tournament held at On the Rocks.