Sunday, September 02, 2007

Daniel E. Scheibner dies 'of wounds sustained when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device'

Daniel Scheibner was supposed to retire from the military last April.

But the 20-year U.S. Army veteran and 1986 Mona Shores graduate agreed to delay that retirement for one last mission.

So, Scheibner, a Sgt. 1st Class, went back to Iraq because his sister-in-law, Barb Badolati, of Grand Haven, said "he was the most dedicated person you've ever met. He was really dedicated to his family and country.

"He was one of those people who had this wonderful sense of humor and he always did the right thing. He was very committed and grounded in his values."

Family and friends of the 40-year-old are mourning his loss today, remembering the man whose smile "lit up a room," said Kasi Scheibner, Daniel's sister-in-law of Norton Shores.

Scheibner, who also served in the 1991 Gulf War, died Wednesday. Two soldiers told his wife, Ann, of his death at 7 a.m. Thursday. Details of his death and memorial service were not available at press time.

He is the ninth soldier with ties to the area to die.

"It's so so sad," Badolati said today by telephone from Tacoma, Wash., where Scheibner, his wife, and his son, Tyler, lived. "Now my 12-year-old nephew doesn't have a father."

Ann Scheibner was taking her husband's death hard, family members said.

"He and Ann were soul mates and he was a great family man," sister-in-law Kasi Scheibner said.

In addition to his wife and son, Daniel Scheibner is survived by his mother, Louise, his sister, Diane, and brother, David, all of Norton Shores.

"He left here a child and became a man in the service," Kasi Scheibner said. "That was something we were really proud of."

According to family and friends, Daniel Scheibner was scheduled to rotate soon into a noncombative role in Iraq.

"His mother was so happy, because he was going into the headquarters in Iraq," said Ada Filka, a neighbor and friend of Daniel's mother, who raised her three children as a single mother.

Badolati said being an officer doesn't make a lot of difference when you are fighting in Iraq.

"That's the problem," she said. "Over there, rank doesn't matter anymore. He was just in a Humvee and he was trying to lead kids who are going over there without training and experience."

From the Muskegon Chronicle