Sgt Daniel Frazier
Home Award Program Recipient
Army Sergeant Daniel Frazier was born in St. Joseph, Michigan and graduated from St. Joseph High School in 2003. In April 2006, he enlisted in the Army and attended basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He was then stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, with Company E, 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team as a driver and ammunition specialist.
In January 2007, Specialist Frazier and his unit deployed to Afghanistan, and returned in April 2008. The following October, he met Brittany Lea Jensen from Kernersville, North Carolina; they fell in love and were married just five months later on March 21, 2009.
Specialist Frazier deployed on a second tour to Afghanistan on August 25, 2009 with the 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, and was stationed at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Apache, just south of Kandahar. Dan and Brittany kept in touch regularly. Prior to his deployment, Brittany had secretly hidden many notes in Dan’s helmet, grenade pouches and gear for him to find later; she also sent him weekly care packages. Brittany’s sister, Trisha, an elementary school teacher, also arranged for her classroom to send Halloween cards and candy to Dan and his unit. On Veterans Day, Brittany was also invited to the classroom to talk about what Dan and his unit were doing overseas to keep their country safe.
Just days after speaking to the class, during the early hours of November 19, 2009, Brittany was awakened by her friend Christy, whose husband Eric was Dan’s bunkmate and best friend. Christy was calling with news that Eric had been injured in an explosion at FOB Shajoy, and that he was reportedly okay; there was no news yet about Dan. Brittany then tried to contact him for several hours, but his cell phone just rang. Later, while visiting at a friend’s house, two men in uniform appeared at the door with tragic news for Brittany: Dan and other Soldiers had been standing in front of his truck when a suicide car-bomber veered in their direction and detonated explosives. The medics had worked feverishly to try and stabilize Dan after the blast, but by the time he was medically evacuated, he had lost too much blood and died on the MEDEVAC helicopter.
A fellow Soldier would later tell Brittany that that just moments before the attack, Dan was talking with other Soldiers about how he was looking forward to coming home to his wife and starting a family. It was also reported that Specialist Frazier and Staff Sergeant John Cleaver likely saved more than 40 lives that day as they thwarted the bomber’s attempts to inflict further devastation to their unit.
Specialist Frazier was flown to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, on November 21, 2009, exactly eight months after Dan and Brittany were married. Services were held in Niles, Michigan, where Dan’s father and stepmother, David and Sheri Frazier lived. On December 20, 2009, Specialist Frazier was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors; in attendance was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen. Specialist Frazier was awarded a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star medals, and was posthumously promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
In the fall of 2012, Brittany learned about the Home Award Program offered through Homes For Our Troops. Brittany applied and was later approved to receive a mortgage-free home in Kissimmee, Florida; since then, a flurry of emotions and grateful feelings has overwhelmed her. For many months, Brittany found herself questioning why her time with Dan was cut so short. Although the sense of loss persists, Brittany says she feels more secure and settled about her future since she has a mortgage-free home. Additionally, says Brittany, “It’s such an amazing gift that every time I think about it I cry because I wish Dan was here to enjoy this with me.”
Currently, Brittany is working on her PhD in Mental Health Counseling, a career that will enable her to “pay it forward” helping others, particularly other military widows. She says she has recently made a promise to live every day to its fullest and to enjoy what life has provided her. She’d like to thank Homes For Our Troops and its sponsors for honoring her husband’s sacrifice, and for making home ownership a reality for her.