Daane Adam DeBoer, War in Afghanistan CasualtyPorter County Data on War in Afghanistan Casualties . . . .

Daane Adam DeBoer
Corporal, 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, United States Marine Corps
Date of Birth: February 12, 1986, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana
Date of Death: June 25, 2010, Helmand Province, Afghanistan
Cause of Death: Killed in Action, improvised explosive device
Hometown: Valparaiso

Newspaper Notices:

Service Honors Fallen U.S. Marine

VALPARAISO | The community gathered Saturday to honor one of its own, U.S. Marine Cpl. Daane DeBoer, for giving his life while serving in Afghanistan.

The Valparaiso native was just 24 years old when an explosive device took his life during foot patrols three months ago.

At a ceremony Saturday at Foundation Meadows Park in Valparaiso, about 100 family members, friends and residents shared their grief and recalled a life lost too soon.

"Daane died a hero," said Valparaiso attorney David Hollenbeck, a friend of the DeBoer family.

Hollenbeck said DeBoer cared more about others than himself, as evidenced by his hiking the 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail to raise money for breast cancer research. He enlisted in the military to help the people of Afghanistan and make the world a safer place, Hollenbeck said. He said DeBoer was a character, but more importantly, had character.

"In death, Daane taught us much about life," said Hollenbeck, his voice cracking. "As we leave here today, let you all be a little more like Daane DeBoer."

Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas said the community is deeply grateful for DeBoer's service.

"That is something we will never forget. There is a great price for freedom. ... Some families pay the price a lot more," Costas said.

"Daane will remain one of the true heroes of Valparaiso."

Pastor Steve Bongard, of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Valparaiso, said he saw DeBoer this past winter and is so grateful he got a chance to thank him for serving this country.

"Daane laid down his life for his fellow Marines. ... and for the freedom we so enjoy. Daane is a hero," Bongard said.

The Marine Corps League of Porter County presented the colors; Miguel Rosario-Vega played taps; and Valparaiso University's VuVox a cappella group sang "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Source: The Times; Munster, Lake County, Indiana; September 19, 2010

Local Marine Daane Adam DeBoer Killed in Afghanistan

Valparaiso, Ind. - Former teachers of Daane Adam DeBoer recall him as a boy with a ready smile who always loved to learn.

DeBoer carried that willingness into adulthood when he became a U.S. Marine, graduating boot camp on June 16, 2009.

Cpl. DeBoer died Friday, at age 24 when hit by an improvised explosive device while on foot patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He'd been deployed in early March, according to information provided to the Associated Press by his family, who declined comment, requesting privacy.

"What stood out about him was his potential," said DeBoer's fourth-grade teacher Judith Miller, now retired.

DeBoer attended Immanuel Lutheran School, Valparaiso, through the sixth grade before moving away.

Miller taught DeBoer during the 1995-96 school year. She taught his older sisters Aubrey and Ashley before that.

"He was a well-behaved boy, dependable, but the youngest in the family. His sisters were protective of him. He was a normal kid, and I call him a golden boy only because of his shock of blonde hair."

DeBoer "embraced things as they came and never had a sense of negativity or 'I don't want to do it,'" Miller said. "There was acceptance of performance."

DeBoer enjoyed extreme sports, whether he was skiing the slopes in Colorado or walking the 2,200 miles of the Appalachian Trail with his cousin to help raise several thousand dollars for the Susan G. Komen For the Cure fund, his family said in a statement.

"He brought enthusiasm, humor and heart to whatever activity he chose. While he loved the physical demands of these types of sports and activities, Daane wanted to use his talents for something larger than himself," the statement said. "He made the decision to enter the United States Marine Corps."

It was DeBoer's first combat deployment.

Miller said she was surprised when she saw DeBoer's name in a section of the church bulletin asking for prayers for church members in the military.

"I said, 'Oh no.' You don't want a child you've taught lost that way. All the potential and their future is gone and their family torn apart that way."

Miller said she last saw DeBoer several years ago when he and his older sisters visited the school for an evening event.

"He was a good-looking young man and I wondered where he was going to make his mark," Miller said.

"He was a really cute little blonde boy," said Gloria Botel, DeBoer's kindergarten teacher.

"They were a friendly family," she said. "His two older sisters took very good care of him. They always made sure he got to the classroom and they pointed him in the right direction.

"He was a friendly little guy, cooperative and well-cared for."

Karen Bickel was DeBoer's first- grade teacher and her husband, Phil, was DeBoer's sixth-grade and physical education teacher.

"He was friendly, outgoing and a good student," Phil Bickel said. "He was well-liked by his classmates."

DeBoer also enjoyed physical education, including all aspects of sporting activities, Phil Bickel said.

Karen Bickel said the DeBoers were "sweet people."

"They were a big part of our Immanuel family. Daane was very happy and cheerful and attended to his tasks very well. He always wanted to please and was eager to learn," she said.

Various Bible study groups at the church initiated a prayer circle for DeBoer on Friday night after they learned of his death, Karen Bickel said.

"The reality of it came yesterday in church when there was a prayer request for the family," she said. "It's hard to fathom. It just breaks my heart to think of their suffering. He was a child of God and our hope is in that. It's difficult, even with a strong faith."

DeBoer is survived by his father and stepmother David and Mary DeBoer of Valparaiso, his mother and stepfather Charlene and Jim Zerrenner of Ludington, Mich., sisters Aubrey DeBoer, 28, Ashley DeBoer, 26 and Lindsey DeBoer, 13.

Funeral arrangements are pending with Metcalf Funeral Home in Grand Rapids, Mich. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Immanuel Lutheran School of Valparaiso.

DeBoer's service awards include the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Source: Fox News; Chicago, Cook County, Illinois; June 29, 2010

Return to List of Porter County War in Afghanistan Casualties

Information abstracted and transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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