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Schofield soldier 'lived his dream'
By Dan Nakaso
Advertiser Staff Writer
Daniel Lee Galvan fell in love with helicopters as a child and spent his days playing with toy helicopters and drawing pictures of them. Later in life, he continued building helicopter models that he left everywhere.
"He more than loved helicopters and there are not many people in their lifetimes who can say that they accomplished what they loved and that they fulfilled their dreams," Galvan's widow, Sonya, said yesterday through Army officials. "Daniel's family can stand tall and say that Daniel did. He lived his dream."
Sgt. Galvan a helicopter crew chief became the third Schofield Barracks soldier killed in Afghanistan this year when his unit's UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed near the Pakistan border on Thursday, injuring 14 other soldiers. Galvan, of Moore, Okla., was assigned to the 2nd Battalion (Assault), 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Infantry Division (Light).
Yesterday, at her Schofield Barracks home, Sonya Galvan was surrounded by friends, children at play, two dogs and flowers and cards, as she told Army officials how she wanted her 30-year-old husband to be remembered.
Most importantly, Galvan told them, she wanted people to know that "my husband didn't join the military for a paycheck."
"He joined because he believed in the cause. He believed in the military. And he was proud to wear the uniform and honored to be an American."
Galvan was born in Fort Ord, Calif., the son of a soldier. He enlisted in 1996 and was assigned to Schofield Barracks in June 2002.
"First and foremost, he was and still is a true American soldier," Sonya Galvan said. "Daniel was a believer in our rights as Americans and our Constitution to be free. ... Daniel always knew from such a young age what his calling was to be a soldier."
Galvan was passionate about serving his country, but also loved Sundays when he rode his motorcycle around O'ahu with a group of riders.
"He was extremely adventurous," Sonya Galvan said.
There was also a compassionate side to her husband.
"We would have 100 animals here if (it) was up to him. There was so much about him that my words cannot even begin to express."
Daniel and Sonya married five years ago. He leaves two children, Audrey, 13, and Joseph, 11.
"He loved life, loved his family, loved to make people laugh he was a joker," Galvan said.
"He loved to play fun practical jokes with his daughter and son and even me at times. That was one thing that kept this family very close never a dull moment with him."
The Army is planning a private prayer service at Schofield Barracks sometime next week. There will also be a memorial service in Afghanistan.
Reach Dan Nakaso at dnakaso@honoluluadvertiser.com or at 525-8085.