News: Spartan Soldiers honor their brother
Story by Sgt. Javier Amador
LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Spc. Kerry Danyluk of Scout Platoon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), was honored by military leaders of several countries as well as fellow Soldiers during an emotional memorial ceremony held at Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan, April 24, 2014.
Danyluk, a native of Cuero, Texas, died April 16, 2014, as a result of injuries he suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit on April 12, 2014 with small-arms fire in the Pul-e-Alam district of Logar province, Afghanistan. Having previously deployed to Afghanistan from December 2011 to February 2012, he was a combat proven Soldier, something his leaders and fellow infantrymen with the scout platoon of the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment quickly realized upon meeting him.
“He was beyond tactically sound ... committed to being better ... constantly honing his skills. As a leader, it was a joy to see, but even more than that, he had the intangible traits that make a Soldier great. He was quiet, but an outstanding teacher with a wealth of knowledge he happily imparted on the rest of us,” said his platoon leader U.S. Army 1st Lt. Gregory Durso.
Danyluk was also remembered by his fellow Soldiers for having an outgoing personality and an adventurous approach to life. They also remembered his unhesitant willingness to help his brothers in arms regardless of the time or their circumstances. U.S. Army Sgt. Jordan Alvord was Danyluk’s friend for the past two years. During the memorial, he shared just how committed Danyluk was to caring for the members of his unit.
“I recall on many occasions where Danyluk would get calls from various platoon members, at all hours of the day, that were having car troubles and didn’t know what to do. Danyluk would usually interrupt you in mid-sentence and say ‘I’m on my way.’ That’s just the kind of guy he was. He would drop anything at a moment’s notice and always offer to help -- big or small,” said Alvord.
The ceremony, which was replete with all of the military traditions and decorum succeeded in rendering the appropriate honors accorded to this fallen hero, but more importantly it gave every service member whose life he had touched an opportunity to begin the healing process and to take with them an individual memory of an extraordinary Soldier.
Durso ended his tribute with a story summing up the exemplary courage and spirit that was Spc. Kerry Danyluk who he often kidded about his Canadian heritage. It was also Danyluk’s life’s ambition to be a U.S. Army Ranger and wear the tab signifying membership.
“He had nothing to prove to us. He proved it every day and no piece of cloth was needed to validate him, and in the end, from both the way he lived and the way he died,” said Durso. “Kerry Danyluk proved once again that he was more of a Ranger than any of us could ever be. For a man from Canada, I have met few who were more American.”