Nebraska Marine Daegan William-Tyeler Page, 23, 'an American hero,' killed in Afghanistan bombing
On Saturday, the Department of Defense identified Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page of Omaha, Nebraska, as one of the casualties. Page was raised in Red Oak, Iowa, and in the Omaha area and joined the Marines after graduating from Millard South High School.
Page served in the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment based at Camp Pendleton, California. He planned to go to trade school and possibly become a lineman after his enlistment ended, his family said in a statement.
Page's family remembered him "for his tough outer shell and giant heart," according to a statement published by the Omaha World-Herald.
"Our hearts are broken," the statement said. "But we are thankful for the friends and family who are surrounding us during this time."
The Marine's family said Page loved the brotherhood of the Marines and joined after graduating from Millard South High School in Omaha. He grew up in Red Oak, a city of almost 6,000 people in southwest Iowa, and the Omaha metro area, according to the statement.
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Page was a longtime Boy Scout and played hockey for Omaha Westside in the Omaha Hockey Club. He was a diehard Chicago Blackhawks fan and loved hunting and being outdoors with his dad. An animal lover, Page also loved dogs, his family said.
He leaves behind his girlfriend Jessica, his parents and step-parents, four siblings and grandparents, according to the statement.
"Daegan always looked forward to coming home and hanging out with his family and many buddies in Nebraska," the statement said. "To his younger siblings, he was their favorite jungle gym and to his friends, he was a genuinely happy guy that you could always count on."
Red Oak Mayor Bill Billings mourned Page's death in a statement.
"We all share in the sorrow of this loss with the family and send our thoughts and prayers," Billings said. "Daegan served his country with honor and gave the ultimate sacrifice to aid others."
U.S. Rep. Don Bacon said in a statement that he was “heartbroken” to learn of Page's death, adding "No words can express the devastation, frustration, and sorrow his family is experiencing right now."
"Corporal Page is an American hero who gave the last full measure of devotion," Bacon said. "He served his country honorably, and his service will never be in vain.”
Senator Joni Ernst tweeted condolences to Page's family Friday evening, calling the news "heartbreaking," and Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered all flags in Iowa to be lowered to half-staff and took to social media to offer condolences.
"We grieve for this young man’s family and loved ones," Reynolds said. "Daegan was a selfless person with a big heart dedicated to the community, state, and country he served."
Contributing: The Associated Press; The Des Moines Register