Captain Daniel P. Whitten, 28, of Grimes, Iowa, died of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device on Feb. 2, 2010 in Zabul Province, Afghanistan while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
He was on his third deployment in four years.
He was assigned to Fort Bragg in March 2005 and subsequently served a four-month deployment in Iraq. In 2007, he was deployed to Afghanistan for a 15-month tour, and he returned again to Afghanistan in August 2009 as commanding officer of Company C, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Regiment.
Dan’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, the Purple Heart Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Air Assault Badge, the Senior Parachutist's Badge and the Ranger Tab.
Dan was bigger than life and famous for always saying ”play like a champion” as well as for painting the statue of the Navy goat at Annapolis Army colors for the 2003 Army-Navy game.
Dan is survived by his wife, Starr Whitten, and his parents, Dan and Jill Whitten, and a sister, U.S. Army Captain Sarah Whitten Frederickson.