Daniel J. Clay – Staff Sergeant, United States Marine Corps

NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense

No. 1252-05
December 3, 2005

DoD Identifies Marine Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of 10 Marines who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Staff Sergeant Daniel J. Clay, 27, of Pensacola, Florida
Lance Corporal John M. Holmason, 20, of Suprise, Arizona
Lance Corporal David A. Huhn, 24, of Portland, Michigan
Lance Corporal Adam W. Kaiser, 19, of Naperville, Illinois
Lance Corporal Robert A. Martinez, 20, of Splendora, Texas
Corporal Anthony T. McElveen, 20, of Little Falls, Minnesota
Lance Corporal Scott T. Modeen, 24, of Hennepin, Minnesota
Lance Corporal Andrew G. Patten, 19, of Byron, Illinois
Sergeant Andy A. Stevens, 29, of Tomah, Wisconsin
Lance Corporal Craig N. Watson, 21, of Union City, Michigan

All 10 Marines died December 1, 2005, from an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Fallujah, Iraq.  All 10 Marines were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif.  During Operation Iraqi Freedom, their unit was attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

December, 5, 2005:

Funeral services not yet scheduled for local Marine

Funeral services have not yet been scheduled for Staff Sergeant Daniel J. Clay, 27, the Washington High School graduate who was one of 10 Marines killed Thursday by a roadside bomb near Fallujah, Iraq.

Clay's father, Bud Clay, said Sunday that he expected to know more today about the arrangements. He said the family was considering a memorial service at Pensacola Naval Air Station, although his son likely will not be buried locally.

“Before they go off, they have a sort of ‘what happens if you don't come back' session, and he had talked about Arlington” National Cemetery, Bud Clay said.

He said his son's body likely would be returned to the United States later this week. He said the family did not want to discuss the death publicly.

December, 6, 2005:

Fallen Marine to be honored Saturday

Visitation and a memorial service for Marine Staff Sergeant Daniel J. Clay, the former Pensacola resident who was killed in Iraq last week, will be conducted on Saturday at the Pensacola Naval Air Station chapel.


Visitation is to begin at 11 a.m., with the service set for 11:30 a.m.

Clay, 27, will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on a date yet to be determined.

The 1996 Washington High School graduate was one of 10 U.S. Marines killed Thursday by a roadside bomb near Fallujah.

Posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2006:

President Bush singled out a fallen Marine from Pensacola in his State of the Union address Tuesday night, using the words of Staff Sergeant Daniel J. Clay to bolster his case for staying the course in Iraq.

Clay, who was killed by a roadside bomb in December, left behind a letter to his family, Bush said, “but his words could just as well be addressed to every American.

‘I know what honor is,' ” Bush said, quoting Clay. ‘It has been an honor to protect and serve all of you. I faced death with the secure knowledge that you would not have to. . . .Never falter! Don't hesitate to honor and support those of us who have the honor of protecting that which is worth protecting.”'

As Bush spoke, Clay's parents, Clarence and Sara, and his widow, Lisa, were among First Lady Laura Bush's guests in the gallery.

Clay, 27, was among 10 Marines killed in an insurgent explosion in the Iraqi city of Fallujah on December 1, 2005.

”Our men and women in uniform are making sacrifices — and showing a sense of duty stronger than all fear,” Bush said.

“They know what it is like to fight house to house in a maze of streets. . . to wear heavy gear in the desert heat. . . to see a comrade killed by a roadside bomb. And those who know the costs also know the stakes.”

Florida Senator Mel Martinez, a Republican, spoke of Staff Sergeant Clay in remarks on the Senate floor days after his death, a result of the deadliest attack against American troops in four months.

‘Knowing the danger he faced, knowing the unpredictability of war, Staff Sgt. Clay wrote a letter to his family to be opened only in any event of his death. He wrote in part, `what we have done in Iraq is worth any sacrifice. Why? Because it was our duty.' ”

The Marine, who is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, was a member of the Junior ROTC program and enlisted shortly after his high school graduation in 1996.

At the time of his death, the Pentagon said Marines were inside an abandoned flour factory being used as a patrol base when the so-called improvised explosive device detonated.

They were all based in Twentynine Palms, California, and assigned to the II Marine Expeditionary Force in Iraq.
At least 102 Florida service members, including active military, reserves and National Guard, have died since the start of hostilities in Iraq. Another 13 have died in Afghanistan and one in Kuwait.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 12/12/1977
  • DATE OF DEATH: 12/01/2005

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