Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Daniel R. Scherry dies in 'non-hostile accident'

ROCKY RIVER -- Family members have confirmed that Marine Daniel Scherry was killed in Iraq over the weekend.

The Department of Defense released information Tuesday afternoon that Scherry was killed in a non-hostile incident.

At the same time, friends and family in Rocky River are mourning the loss.

He is number 26 on the football field, but Danny Scherry is not just a number.

"He was probably one of the most passionate young men I had the opportunity to be around, as a football coach and as a teacher," says Mark Wagner, Sherry's Defensive coach.

Scherry played both offense and defense for the Rocky River Pirates football team.

Coach Sam Gifford says he was always focused on the goal line.

"He gave everything all the time. And that's just who Dan was."

But Danny's last goal line was not just a hundred yards away. It was all the way across the world.

"He was focused on an objective. And his objective was, as it had been throughout his entire career at Rocky River High School, was being a marine," says Gifford.

Scherry joined the Marine Corps. After a year of boot camp, he was deployed to Iraq.

But before he left, he stopped in at his alma mater, imparting wisdom to his former teammates...

"As they were about to go in to lift weights, he was talking to them about go in there and do the best job you can, and don't do anything half way, do it to your full potential," remembers Head Coach Ron Lewis.

That is the last time they saw Dan Scherry. The 20 year old was killed in a combat zone last weekend.

"My heart really sunk when I found out," says Gifford, "We are not going to be able to see him come home. And that really is what hurts the most."

As the death toll rises in Iraq, these men know Dan Scherry is not just a number, but a hero.

"As hard as this is, there's a sense that Danny did what he wanted to do and he did it for us."

The U-S Defense Department released a statement saying Scherry died on April 16th from a non-hostile accident in Al Anbar province, Iraq. Scherry was assigned to 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.