Crossville soldier killed in Afghanistan

Crossville soldier killed in Afghanistan

Sgt. Daniel T. Lee (source: U.S. Department of Defense) Sgt. Daniel T. Lee (source: U.S. Department of Defense)

6 News Reporter

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WATE) - A Crossville soldier was killed in action this week in Afghanistan.

The Department of Defense says 28-year-old Army Sgt. Daniel T. Lee died Wednesday in Parwan Province, Afghanistan. It happened when enemy forces attacked his unit with gunshots during combat operations.

Lee's family tells 6 News he was known as "Tall Dan." They say he was a funny guy, who really turned his life around when he moved to Powell from Kentucky several years ago. He was living in Crossville when he decided to join the Army. He graduated from the special forces unit last year, and left for Afghanistan just a few months ago.

Lee's cousin Kathy Denton got the devastating call from her mom on Wednesday. 

"I said, 'I don't need to pull over. What's going on? She said you've got to pull over', and then she just broke down," Denton said.

She says Lee was a happy guy, spreading joy wherever he went.

"Dan was fun. You couldn't help but love him. If you were around him, you were going to have a good time, you were going to laugh," Denton said.

Lee first served his country in Iraq. He was on his second tour of duty when he was killed in Afghanistan.

"I talked to him Christmas. We were able to Skype," Denton said.

Denton's brother, Bobby Lee, says his cousin was a role model to his kids.

"Tall Dan was a very special guy who really just absolutely turned his life around and became an inspiration," Bobby Lee said.

Lee leaves behind a wife and a 6-month-old son named Daniel.

"I think it's important that we just stop for a second and say thank you to the families," Denton said.

"I just want to say thank you. Thank you for all those who have put their lives on the line who have made those sacrifices. Thank you to the families. Thank you to everyone who's still over there and fighting for us, standing up for us. We still love you and pray for you," Bobby Lee said.

The family says Lee was hoping to be back home in a few months. Lee and his wife had plans to build a home in North Carolina, where he was stationed. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

His family says he will be buried in Kentucky. Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

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