Updated 10/04/2012 11:13 AM
Family Remembers Sgt. Daniel Metcalfe
A former Penfield man killed in Afghanistan will be laid to rest at Arlington Nation Cemetery. Sgt. First Class Daniel Metcalfe was part of the 173rd Airborne stationed in Italy.
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"At times, it still is hard to believe."
It's the call Tom prayed would never come.
"I knew it was something that was always a possibility, but you don't want to believe it."
Having been in the service during Vietnam, Tom knows that possibility all too well. Although he never pushed the issue of military service, he says his son Dan had talked about joining the Army since he was young.
"I learned to become a pilot and I asked him one day if he wanted to learn how to fly, and he said, Dad, ‘I want to jump out of them.’ Why you want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane is besides the point."
When Dan was 18, he enlisted in the Army.
"He was looking for a purpose, something to give his life meaning."
While based in Italy, Dan met his wife and started a family. After four tours, one in Iraq and what was his third in Afghanistan, he was killed in the line of duty.
"I got the call from my daughter, who lives here in Fairport."
Sergeant Metcalfe was on foot patrol Saturday when his unit came under small arms fire.
While on tour, Dan and his father would keep in touch through Facebook. Tom says it's hard to look at the page, seeing nothing new posted.
"He was always positive, always the one taking the lead, a little mischievous. The Army took that leadership and put it into proper use. To watch his maturity after he joined the service made me as proud as I could be."
It's a family that knows the meaning of sacrifice through service.
"It's not easy and they deserve the respect for what they do. Some people don't agree with it, but these soldiers are fighting for the freedom for people to make their choices."
Tom admits he worries we are fighting a war we may never win, but respects those, like his son, who are defending our American freedom.
Sergeant Metcalfe leaves behind his wife and three children. In three weeks, his son Ethan will turn one years old.