Wife mourns Moore, Oklahoma soldier killed in Afghan helicopter crash

Saturday, August 14th 2004, 5:41 am
By: News On 6

HONOLULU (AP) -- The wife of a Hawaii-based soldier who died in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in Afghanistan remembered her husband as a "true American soldier" who dreamed of flying for the Army.

Sgt. Daniel Lee Galvan, 30, of Moore, Okla., was killed Thursday when the helicopter carrying 15 soldiers and Marines developed mechanical problems and crashed in the troubled Afghan province of Khost.

"My husband didn't join the military for a paycheck. He joined because he believed in the cause," Sonya Galvan said Saturday in a statement. "He believed in the military and he was proud to wear the uniform and honored to be an American soldier."

Galvan was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division's 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment. Fourteen soldiers and Marines were also injured in the crash and were taken to Camp Salerno, an American base near Khost city, 90 miles south of Kabul.

Army officials on Saturday said the accident was still under investigation.

Galvan, a helicopter mechanic who entered the Army in 1996 and was assigned to Schofield Barracks in June 2002, comes from a military family. His father and two brothers also served in the Army.

His family said Galvan used to draw pictures of choppers as a child and later built helicopter models.

"I can say from the depth of my soul that Daniel was able to fulfill his dream and fly. ... And now he flies for my family and myself as our guardian angel," Sonya Galvan said.

When Galvan isn't flying, he loved to ride his motorcycle around Oahu, she said.

Galvan is survived by his wife, and their 13-year-old daughter Audrey and 11-year-old son Joseph.

"He loved life, loved his family, loved to make people laugh," Sonya Galvan said.

Galvan is the third soldier from Schofield Barracks killed in Afghanistan this year. In May, Spc. Philip Witkowski, 24, of Dunkirk, N.Y., died in Homberg, Germany, from a non-combat related abdominal injury he suffered the night before in Kandahar, Afghanistan. In June, Cpl. David M. Fraise, 24, of New Orleans, died in Kandahar, when an improvised explosive device hit his patrol.

About 10,000 soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division are deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.