Washington County, WI – On Saturday, October 16, 201, Army veteran David Daniels of Germantown will be flying to Washington, D.C. on the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight with his son, Joseph Daniels, of Menomonee Falls as his guardian.
Daniels enlisted in the United States Army when he was just 17 years old as an 11D, armored reconnaissance specialist. The armored reconnaissance specialist served as a member of a scout squad or section, intelligence staff section, or armor surveillance radar section.
Though he was trained as an 11D, Daniels said, “I guess the one thing I always thought was hilarious is I was trained as an armored reconnaissance specialist but when I got to Vietnam… I was figuring I was going to be spending the next year on the back of a tank or a small track-type vehicle. When I got there I sat around for a week and then they called me into the office and they said basically they were full up and they didn’t need any armored reconnaissance guys.
“I was there for another week and they pulled me in and they said that they had this opening for what’s called an aeroscout; it’s voluntary. And what you do is you and a pilot go out on a small helicopter, and you fly around pretty much looking, you know, looking for stuff. So that’s what I ended up doing. So my tour in Vietnam was being with the 11th Armored Cav armored cavalry troop basically being what they call an aeroscout. There would be two of us—the pilot, and myself as the gunner, in a Bell helicopter.” said Daniels.
Daniels was honorably discharged from the Army as an E4/corporal.
Following his discharge, he returned to his parents’ home after which his dad asked him, “What are you gonna do now?” With some advice from his dad’s co-workers at Miller Brewery, Daniels found his niche with the Steamfitters Local 601 after putting in for an apprenticeship as a refrigeration fitter. “I ended up putting in over 40 years in the trade,” said Daniels.
Daniels is also quick to note that his son now works at Miller Brewery as well and was gifted the identification tag his dad used to wear for the brewery.
Daniels refers to his wife, Patricia, as his “beautiful bride,” romantically offering that they have been married for 40 years. Together they have one son, Joseph, who will be on the flight with Daniels.
Daniels said he had been to D.C. before and seen many of the monuments but was looking forward to sharing the experience with his son, Joseph. “[Joseph’s] grandpa served in WWII,” said Daniels, so he would like to see that monument as well.
Other veterans from Washington County on the Saturday, October 16, 2021 flight include:
Vietnam Army Gerald Schwenke of Colgate
Vietnam Army Jerry White of Colgate
Vietnam Army Thomas Farvour of Germantown
Vietnam Army Gordon Peszko of Hartford
Vietnam Marines Ralph Waters of Jackson
Vietnam Army Norbert Repinski of Kewaskum
Vietnam Army Daniel Barney of West Bend
Vietnam Navy Arthur Scherer of West Bend
Vietnam Army Angel Santiago of West Bend
Vietnam Navy Francis Miezio of West Bend. Click HERE to read about Frank Miezio’s service.
Vietnam Air Force Preston Jackson of West Bend
Vietnam Marines Michael Norman of West Bend
Stars and Stripes Honor Flight is the Milwaukee area hub of the Honor Flight Network. Founded in 2008, Stars and Stripes Honor Flight has flown more than 7,600 WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans from southeastern Wisconsin on one day, all-expenses-paid trips to Washington D.C.