NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 750-06 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Staff Sergeant Daniel A. Suplee, 39, of Ocala , Florida, died on August 3, 2006, at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital, Tampa, Florida, of injuries sustained on April 1, 2006, in Kabul, Afghanistan, when his HMMWV was involved in a traffic accident. Suplee was assigned to the National Guard 153rd Cavalry Squadron, Ocala, Florida.
4 August 2006:
A longtime Maryland resident who had been serving with a Florida National Guard unit died this week of injuries sustained in Afghanistan.
Sereant First Class Daniel Suplee, 39, who grew up in Anne Arundel County and later lived in the Reisterstown area, suffered a head injury in a collision between a Humvee and a larger military vehicle April 3, 2006, a military spokesman said.
Sergeant Suplee, who was partially paralyzed in the accident, was transferred to Walter Reed Medical Center in early April for treatment, and in May was transferred to a veterans hospital in the Tampa, Florida, area, said Jon Myatt, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Military Affairs.
Sergeant Suplee's death Thursday was caused by a brain infection, Mr. Myatt said.
Sergeant Suplee, who grew up in Arnold, was a 1984 graduate of Broadneck High School. He joined the Maryland National Guard after high school, relatives said.
As a civilian, he had worked as a customs and immigration analyst for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and lived in Reisterstown for many years.
James Nugent of Sykesville, who had served with Sergeant Suplee in the Maryland National Guard for more than a decade, said Sergeant Suplee was frequently given difficult assignments because he was good at solving problems.
“He could lighten a situation without making light of it,” said Mr. Nugent. “He would always step up to a challenge.”
Sergeant Suplee's wife, Bernadine, said they had moved to Florida in 2004 because they planned to retire there.
“He was my soul mate, my best friend. I will never meet anyone like him. People couldn't understand the closeness that we have — or had,” she said, adding that friends would always ask why she wouldn't go anywhere without him by her side.
Sergeant Suplee transferred to the Florida National Guard shortly after their move. After only a few months in Florida, his guard unit was deployed in July 2005 to Afghanistan for a one-year tour of duty, Mr. Myatt said.
Sergeant Suplee was part of a task force assigned to train the Afghan National Army. He was part of the 116th Field Artillery, 2nd Battalion and had served as an infantry platoon sergeant, according to Mr. Myatt.
Sergeant Suplee was a veteran of the first Gulf War, his family said.
Mary Suplee, 79, described her son — one of seven children — as a man of many talents and interests who had loved the military since he was a child. She said he took part in Revolutionary War re-enactments as a teenager and had dreams of becoming a military historian.
“Danny was a walking encyclopedia of the American Revolution,” Mrs. Suplee said, adding that he had “a tremendous love for the military and his country.”
“He had such a severe head inju ry he would never have been Danny again,” his mother said. “And he will always be Danny to me — my Danny Boy.”
Sergeant Suplee was married in 2001 at Camp Fretterd in Reisterstown wearing his dress blues, said Mr. Nugent, who was Sergeant Suplee's best man.
Bernadine Suplee said her husband enjoyed fishing, camping, and carpentry. The couple regularly played the military video game “Medal of Honor,” she said.
The couple have five children ranging in age from 13 to 32.
“They were two of the greatest people — all they think about is other people. That's the kind of guy he was,” said Leon Kohler, who worked with Bernadine Suplee on a program through an American Legion post in Lakeland, Fla. to send care packages to soldiers overseas.
Although Sergeant Suplee had been stationed in Afghanistan for nearly a year when he was injured, Mr. Kohler said they had talked several times for several hours.
“His goal was to come home and take care of his wife and children,” said Mr. Kohler.
Services are to be held Thursday at Arlington National Cemetery.
Friday, August 4, 2006:
A National Guardsman from Lakeland, Florida, died early Thursday morning from injuries he sustained while deployed in Afghanistan, relatives said.
Sereant First Class Dan Suplee, 39, suffered a severe head injury in a traffic accident that is still under military investigation, his wife, Bernadine Suplee, said.
She said her husband spent the past several months at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa and was making some progress in regaining speech, but that he died from infection.
Dan Suplee served 20 years in the National Guard. In civilian life he worked as a customs and immigration analyst for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He moved his family from Baltimore to Lakeland in October 2004.
“He was just a very kind, loving, generous person,” Suplee said. “He's my hero, my best friend, my guardian angel. I just loved him so much.”
The couple have two children, ages 13 and 14.
Suplee was one of about 300 National Guard soldiers from the Polk County area serving in Afghanistan. They represented the largest call-up for local troops since World War II.
His unit was part of a task force assigned to train the Afghan National Army. He was part of the 2nd Battalion of the 116th Field Artillery with headquarters on Drane Field Road.
The military released few details Thursday of the traffic accident that injured Suplee, who deployed to Afghanistan in July 2005. A military spokesman said he was injured in November or December of last year, but the date is disputed by Suplee's wife who says the accident was on April 1, 2006.
A military investigation into the accident is ongoing, but there's a possibility that his vehicle was taking hostile fire, said Jon Myatt, spokesman for the Florida Department of Military Affairs.
Suplee spent time at a Walter Reed Army Medical Center facility in Maryland before his transfer to Tampa, Myatt said.
“We're trying to find out” details of the accident, the spokesman said, but there's some confusion with Suplee's military records. “We're trying to track down that report.”
Bernadine Suplee said her husband will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. A memorial will be held in Pinellas County early next week, but details were still being worked out Thursday evening.
Suplee asked that in lieu of flowers all donations should be made to the Haley veterans hospital for its Fisher House, which offers free living quarters for veterans' families.
4 August 2006:
A Florida National Guard soldier died early Thursday from injuries he suffered while serving in Afghanistan, his wife said.
Sergeant First Class Daniel Suplee, 39, of Lakeland, Florida, served with a Guard task force assigned to train the Afghan National Army. He was part of the 116th Field Artillery, 2nd Battalion.
He suffered a severe head injury in a traffic accident April 1, 2006, in Afghanistan that was still under military investigation, his wife, Bernadine Suplee, told The Ledger in Lakeland.
He died of an infection, she said.
The vehicle may have taken hostile fire, said Jon Myatt, spokesman for the Florida Department of Military Affairs.
Daniel Suplee had been making progress in regaining speech while hospitalized at the James Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, where he was transferred after being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., his wife said.
In addition to serving 20 years in the National Guard, Daniel Suplee worked as a customs and immigration analyst for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
“He was just a very kind, loving, generous person,” Bernadine Suplee said. “He's my hero, my best friend, my guardian angel. I just loved him so much.”
The family moved from Baltimore to Lakeland in October 2004.
Daniel Suplee is survived by his wife and two children, ages 13 and 14. He will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Soldier who grew up in Arnold dies after crash in Afghanistan
10 August 2006
Sergeant First Class Daniel Suplee had just about three months left before he could return home from Afghanistan when the convoy he was traveling in slammed into a large Afghani military vehicle.
The 39-year-old Broadneck High School graduate suffered critical head injuries in the accident that left him partially paralyzed until he died Thursday in a Florida hospital. He will be buried tomorrow at Arlington National Cemetery.
The Florida National Guardsman who grew up in Anne Arundel County was in the class of 1984, the first one to graduate the Arnold high school. But from an early age, the married father of two was riveted by the military, tirelessly studied the Revolutionary War and regularly participated in re-enactment groups, including Ferguson's Company and Dorsey's Artillery.
“He was a walking encyclopedia of the Revolutionary War,” said his brother, Andy Suplee of Stevensville. “He was always interested in the military.”
After high school, Sergeant Suplee moved to Reistertown in Baltimore County and joined the Army and eventually, the Maryland National Guard, family members said. He moved to Florida in October 2004, where he once again joined a guard unit.
Sergeant Suplee joined the guard with experience under his belt, said Sergeant First Class Jimmy Nugent of Sykesville, who served alongside Sergeant Suplee in Maryland for 12 years and was the best man at his wedding.
“When he came here, he was straight out of active duty,” Sergeant Nugent said. “He was a veteran of the first Gulf War and brought a lot of experience with him.”
Sergeant Nugent said his friend loved to train soldiers and share his knowledge with others.
“He was always trying to better himself as a soldier and leader,” he said. “He really motivated groups to get things done and led by example and through demonstration. He could accomplish any task.”
When he was assigned to Afghanistan for a one-year tour as part of the 116th Field Artillery, 2nd Battalion – a Guard task force assigned to work with the Afghan National Army – he continued to do what he liked best – train soldiers, said Jon Myatt, spokesman for the Florida Department of Military Affairs and Florida National Guard.
Sergeant Suplee, who was a part of the 153rd Cavalry Squadron for the Florida National Guard, pulled the assignment just three months after he joined. His unit was deployed July 4, 2005, Mr. Myatt said.
“He was over there as part of the mission to train the Afghan National Army to take responsibility for themselves,” Mr. Myatt said. “They were either traveling to a training exercise or something else at the time of the accident.”
Sergeant Suplee was a passenger in an armored Humvee driving through Kabul when the larger vehicle pulled in front of them, Mr. Myatt said. The accident is still under military investigation.
Sergeant Suplee was taken to Landstuhl Army Regional Medical Center in Ramstein, Germany and later transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. Once stabilized, he was taken to James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa where he died of a brain infection, Mr. Myatt said.
Mr. Suplee said even though his brother dedicated himself to the military and his role in it, he also cherished his civilian life. Sergeant Suplee enjoyed his job as a customs and immigration analyst for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as well as a long list of recreational activities.
The Sergeant spent much of his free time fishing, camping, sailing, playing guitar, dancing, horseback and bicycle riding, carpentry, model building, billiards, card games and gem faceting, his family said. He was second youngest of eight children and a family-oriented man who would do anything for his wife, Bernadine, his son, Benjamin, 14, and daughter, Jennifer, 13, said Mary Cotton of Cape. St. Claire, his sister.
And he enjoyed a good laugh, too, Mr. Suplee said.
“He had a very lively sense of humor,” he said. “We all inherited my dad's sense of humor I think. He was cunning and high-spirited.”
Mrs. Cotton said her brother was “hysterical.”
“All of my brothers and my dad – once you got them together, you can't stop them,” she said. “It's hilarious.”
Seeing Sergeant Suplee's brothers together in the last week is bringing back memories for Mrs. Suplee, Mrs. Cotton said.
“His wife, Berni, said that watching my brothers together this past couple of weeks has been just like watching Danny all over again,” she said.
But Sgt. Suplee also had a serious side.
Sergeant Nugent said his friend was selfless and always there by his side.
“He'd do without something just to make sure one of his soldiers had it – that's just the kind of guy Daniel was,” he said.
And many agree.
At a memorial service in Pinellas County, Florida, Monday, a general giving remarks referred to Sergeant Suplee as “a soldier's soldier,” Mr. Suplee said. Sergeant Suplee also earned a Bronze Star for exemplary service.
So it wasn't surprise that his absence was quickly felt when he left Maryland for Florida. His move to Lakeland, Fla., in October 2004 came as a “big blow” to his Maryland unit, Sergeant Nugent said.
“We all missed him when he left,” he said.
But Sereant Nugent said he could never forget his friend or the bond they built throughout the years.
“I'll always remember the fact that I'd look over my right shoulder and there he was, standing right there beside me,” he said. “He was always there.”
Services for Sergeant Suplee will begin at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Arlington National Cemetery. The family asked those who attend arrive by 12:30 p.m.
Jennifer Suplee Visits Her Father At Arlington National Cemetery, July 2007
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard