Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Daniel A Newsome

Chicopee, Massachusetts

June 27, 2007

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
27 Army SSgt

1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division

Fort Hood, Texas

 Killed in Baghdad, Iraq, by an improvised explosive device.

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From Springfield CBS TV 3  cbs3springfield.com 06/29/07:

Family Remembers Chicopee Solider Killed in Iraq

By Liz Tufts
Watch The Story
Another serviceman from Chicopee is killed in the war. 27-year old Staff Sgt. Daniel Newsome was known to many as a man who loved life.

The father of one, joined the army in 1998, soon after graduating from Chicopee Comprehensive High School. But on Wednesday he gave the ultimate sacrifice...his life.

He was killed in a bomb explosion in Baghdad.

Just last March he was featured in a stars and stripes article where he talked about his dangerous duty.

"He had a couple of close calls, but he didn't have any illusions, he felt it was his duty to fulfill his duty, " says his stepfather Eric Ritter.

But the call of his family was more powerful than his dedication to the army.

Newsome was half way through his second tour of duty, but he decided that he wanted to return home with his wife and baby boy.

So he planned to leave the army next April.

"He wanted to support his family, he would do anything, and then he wanted to come back home, " adds Ritter.

Although he won't be coming back home, the devoted father, friend, soldier, will never be forgotten.

"He will remember him as a hero, i will love him til the day I die, " says Newsome's wife Karen.

From The Boston Globe boston.com 07/06/07:

Chicopee bids farewell to another hometown soldier

By Claire L. Cummings, Globe Correspondent | July 6, 2007

CHICOPEE -- The fallen soldier's little boy smiled as Governor Deval L. Patrick gave him a comforting rub on the back. The 1-year-old, dressed in a gray Army exercise shirt and miniature camouflage pants, is already the spitting image of his father, relatives said.

As family and friends gathered yesterday to remember Army Staff Sergeant Daniel A. Newsome, they recalled that his life's mission was to raise his son to be a great man. For those who love and miss Newsome, who died June 27 in Baghdad from injuries he sustained in an explosion, it is a mission they will now make their own.

"All of us are the mold that made Dan the man he was, and though we cannot make a new Dan . . . a new Staff Sergeant Daniel Allan Newsome, we can do our best to mold and shape a man very much like him," said Eric Ritter, the soldier's stepfather. "He already looks like his Daddy. His little hands and feet are Dan's. He has Dan's eyes. And when he frowns, his forehead wrinkles just like his Dad's did."

Others said the 27-year-old Newsome was a responsible leader who took his job seriously, but thrived on making people laugh.

"I always felt a little safer when we patrolled, because I knew he wouldn't hesitate to do what he'd have to do to save my life," Staff Sergeant Jack Schnackenberg told those in attendance.

Newsome lay in an open casket, his face lighted by a chandelier. Poster boards lined one side of the room, which displayed photographs from several phases of the soldier's life, from his own baby picture to a group shot with friends in front of a limousine before a high school dance.

A slide show projected dozens of images to the tune of Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven." Whether he's holding his newborn child or lounging in uniform in Iraq, Newsome is smiling in nearly every photo.

In addition to Patrick, several law enforcement officers and firefighters also attended the service.

Yesterday also marked the first day that flags on state buildings were lowered to half-staff for the burial of a Massachusetts soldier killed in war, following Patrick's order this week. Newsome's uncle, Concord Fire Chief Kenneth Willette, lobbied the state to revisit its policy on the practice, long reserved for political leaders.

Newsome is the third soldier from Chicopee to die in the Iraq and Afghan conflicts. The city's mayor said his death has overwhelmed the area.

"Each one's bad, but the multiple impact on the community has just been terrible," Mayor Michael D. Bissonnette said after the service. "The only results of Bush's surge that we see are the number of caskets coming home. It's not sitting well with people."

Outside the hall, some shoppers at a nearby supermarket paused from packing away groceries to silently watch the procession leave for Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Agawam. Others stood in the Castle of Knights parking lot as several soldiers escorted Newsome's casket to the hearse.

"It's overwhelming for what they're doing for this gentleman," said Tammy Boucher, 48, of Chicopee. ". . . It's a nice thing to see that everybody pulls together."

Don and Shirley Dunham had seen the giant American flag suspended from two fire engines outside the hall and walked over to pay their respects. Their grandson was expected home soon for a two-week leave from Iraq.

"In World War II, you knew who your enemy was; you knew who you were fighting," said Don Dunham, 79, who also served in the Korean war. "Over there, you don't even know who the enemy is. Everybody's your enemy. That's why this kid got killed; he didn't know who shot him."

Newsome had just visited home a couple of weeks ago. During his break, Bissonnette said, the soldier and his wife, Karen, began planning for civilian life; his enlistment was up in February.

"It's unfathomable to see people with so much promise have their lives snuffed out like this," he said. 

From The Republican masslive.com 06/29/07:

Chicopee mourns loss of city soldier in Iraq


CHICOPEE - The city is in mourning today after learning that Army Staff Sgt. Daniel A. Newsome, 27, died Wednesday in Iraq from injuries suffered in a bomb explosion.

Mayor Michael D. Bissonnette said he has ordered all city flags lowered to half staff in honor of the Chicopee resident whose mother, wife and young child live together here and whose father lives in Springfield.

Veterans Agent Ken Golash "is meeting with the family today and we are going to be as helpful as we can in getting our fallen hero back home and to help the family with whatever the family needs," the mayor said.

Newsome was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Calvary Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Calvary Division, Food Hood, Tex.

An announcement of the soldier's death is posted on the Fort Hood Web site.

Bissonnette said, "Our understanding is that his mother, wife and young child live together and his father lives in Springfield.

"This is the third one for Chicopee ... It's getting to be unbearable. We will be working with the family on bringing the soldier home, and to which funeral home, while giving the family the right to mourn. We will also be working with the family to see if the burial will be in Agawam at the Veterans Cemetery or Arlington (National Cemetery in Virginia)," the mayor said.

Bissonnette said he will also be contacting the governor's office next week. Gov. Deval L. Patrick has attended funerals of soldiers around the state.

Newsome formerly served in Kosovo, according to The Republican files, and graduated from Chicopee Comprehensive High School in 1998.

Other Chicopee casualties have been Army Spc. Christopher M. Wilson, formerly of Chicopee, who died on March 29, 2007. He was an infantryman with the 10th Mountain Division, Company A, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment out of Fort Drum, N.Y. He died of injuries suffered in a rocket-propelled grenade explosion at Korengal Outpost in Afghanistan.

Marine Capt. John W. Maloney, 36, of Chicopee, died on June 16, 2005. He was assigned to Iraq when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb in June.

More details tomorrow in The Republican. 

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