Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

April 29, 2013

Airman from Morehead killed in Afghanistan

By NICOLE BACK
CNHI News Service

RUSSELL — Air Force Staff Sgt. Daniel N. Fannin, 30, of Morehead, was among four men killed Saturday in the crash of a USAF MC–12 aircraft in Afghanistan.

“That was the same day Syria announced they'd shoot anybody down that was in their airspace,” said Fannin's dad, Darrell Fannin. “Of course, the military won't tell us how close they were to Syria's airspace.”

The U.S. Defense Department said the crash occurred near Kandahar Airfield.

Daniel joined the Air Force in 2001, shortly after his graduation from Rowan County Senior High School.

“And he never did look back,” his dad said. “He was never in trouble in high school. He was the perfect kid.”

Daniel was assigned to the 552nd Operations Support Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma.

His wife, Sonya, resides in Oklahoma.

Darrell Fannin said he is not sure if Sonya will arrange for a memorial service in Morehead and then have a funeral in Oklahoma.

“I talked to her father,” he said. “She was so torn up she couldn’t even get on the phone.”

Darrell said after he and Daniel's mother, Sharri Hamm Jones, divorced, his relationship with his son was strained.

“In October of 2011 he came in and I visited with him for two days,” he said through tears. “He was contemplating then whether to stay in the service or get out. He had been in for 11 years and could have walked away from it but it just wasn't him.”

Darrell said reuniting with his son was a blessing.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. There were no reports of enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash.

All four bodies were recovered at the crash site and are being returned to the U.S.

“The military – they call when they get ready,” Darrell said. “I've heard of them taking a week to get a body back.”

NICOLE BACK writes for The Morehead News.