Marine Dan McGuire, 19, was killed Thursday in Iraq while supporting combat operations in Anbar province.
By Eva Wolchover, Colneth Smiley Jr. and Renee Nadeau
Flags are flying at half-staff in Mashpee today as townspeople mourn the loss of native son Dan McGuire, 19, a Marine killed in Iraq on Thursday.
Friends and loved ones recalled a "brave, smart and kind" young man with a fierce love of his country, whose lifelong dream had been to follow in his grandfather's footsteps as a Marine.
"I'm very proud of my son and what he was doing," said Dan McGuire, 45, of Mashpee. "He went from high school straight into the Marine Corps. His grandfather was a Marine, and joining the Corps was a desire of his for a long time."
McGuire died while supporting combat operations in Anbar province.
The oldest of four brothers, McGuire graduated from Mashpee High School in 2007, where he took honors classes, played lacrosse, sang in the school choir and acted in plays. He was also an Eagle Scout.
McGuire's uncle, William McGuire, 42, described a young man who would "give you the shirt off his back," and once surprised his grandfather with a trip to see the Red Sox [team stats] play at Fenway Park [map].
"My father's grandfather was sitting in the seats where Ted Williams hit the farthest home run. So as a present to his grandfather, Daniel wrote the Red Sox and asked to sit in those seats. They invited the whole family to Fenway and put Daniel and my parents in the luxury box."
High school pal Selina Souza, 20, of Mashpee said McGuire "touched" many lives and "deserves to be remembered as a hero."
"He was brave, smart and kind, and didn't deserve to die so young," she said. "He could have accomplished a lot in his life had he been given the chance. It's a comfort to know that he died fighting for something he believed in."
Guidance counselor Janet Kraskouskas said McGuire wanted to be an elementery school teacher.
"I really pushed him to think about college first but we were at war and he really wanted to do this. He wanted to serve his country," she said. "He was very honorable, a kind, gentle spirit, quiet but with great strength. He would have been a fabulous teacher."
As an Eagle Scout, McGuire made flag cases for the local post office, town hall and the veteran's memorial where people could deposit old American flags for proper disposal. McGuire's pastor, Peter Axelson of Christ Chapel in Centerville, remembered "a quality young man who cared about his faith in the Lord and who was serving his country and proud to be doing it, and I believe proud to be serving the people of Iraq."
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