Tribute to a Fallen Hero

Flags were flying as Corporal Daegan Page came home to Omaha, Nebraska on Friday, Sept. 17 to a hero’s welcome.

It was also his final rest. Cpl. Page was among the 13 service members killed in the suicide bombing at the airbase in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 26. The 23-year-old was a member of the 2nd Battalion Marine Regiment based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Daegan joined the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from Millard South High School according to a statement from his family. He was raised in Red Oak, Iowa and the Omaha metro area and was a longtime member of the Boy Scouts. Daegan enjoyed playing hockey for Omaha Westside in the Omaha Hockey Club and was a diehard Chicago Blackhawks fan. He loved hunting and spending time outdoors with his dad, as well as being out on the water. An animal lover, he had a soft spot in his heart for dogs.

Homecoming Plans Evolve

The plans for his funeral caught the attention of Jim Nordman, hockey enthusiast and assistant branch manager at Barnhart’s Lincoln branch. A member of the Nebraska Army National Guard for 15 years, he serves as president of the Nebraska Warriors, a nonprofit that uses sports to assist veterans with health and wellbeing.  

To plan Cpl. Page’s homecoming, Nordman worked with Kyle Williams, a fellow hockey enthusiast from Barnhart’s Omaha branch. Williams served in the Army and Iowa National Guard, which included a deployment in Afghanistan. 

An American flag hangs over the roadway.
An American flag hangs over the roadway.

The crew set up a crane at Millard Veterinary Clinic in Omaha, along the route the hearse and funeral procession would follow from Epply Airfield to the Braman Mortuary in Millard. A 15 ft x 25 ft American flag was draped from an EP-182 Barnhart Spreader Bar. Using Omaha’s unit 1632 (LinkBelt 8660 Series 2), they suspended over the roadway the final flag that Cpl. Page travelled under along the route.  

“In Nebraska, we are proud supporters of our Armed Forces and our community,” said Nordman.

Added Williams, “We wanted to honor and show support for Cpl. Page and his family because he made the ultimate sacrifice for serving our country and the people of Afghanistan.” 

The group effort included the Nebraska Warriors, Omaha Police Department, Millard Police Department, Millard Veterinary Clinic, and Barnhart branches from Omaha and Lincoln.

Following the funeral, officers led Page’s motorcade in a procession to Omaha’s National Cemetery.  Some 158 bikers with the Patriot Guard Riders participated in the procession.

Corporal Page was buried with full military honors at Omaha National Cemetery.

About Meredith Portman

Meredith Portman is a freelance writer who specializes in heavy industry, healthcare and education.
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