OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Last week, Omaha found out one of its own died in a terrorist bombing that claimed the lives of 13 American service members who were defending evacuees at the Kabul airport.
Cpl. Daegan Page also grew up in Red Oak, Iowa — close to where his grandparents are from — and lived in Griswold, Iowa.
Veteran, and 30-year Griswold American Legion member, Terry Duggan said Page's grandparents Peggy and Keith Tye are close friends.
Duggan and the Griswold community have been mourning the loss of Page; they flew flags at half-staff on Monday.
"I think it's just very hard for all of us veterans especially to see this going on. Obviously, 20 years of war is just a long time to be in one conflict," Duggan said. "To lose someone close and to know the people is...I'm going to become emotional."
Duggan expects a massive turnout to pay tribute to the life of the fallen hero when he arrives in Omaha.
"It'll be huge," Duggan said. "I hope I can be a part of it."
On Monday, the family of Daegan Page issued a statement, thanking the community for an outpouring of support.
The family's statement:
We wanted to send a message of thanks to everyone who has surrounded our family during these first few days. We have been truly moved by the selfless generosity of the countless friends who have showed up at our houses armed with hugs and food and flowers. We know people have planted flags in our yards, in their own yards, and even driven around with them in their golf carts – all for Daegan. We are humbled and uplifted by how many people are honoring him.
We know many, many more people want to help or do something to honor Daegan. At this time, we do not know when Daegan will be arriving back here in Nebraska. It could be a week or longer. We will communicate his arrival and would welcome any tributes along his route home.
In the meantime, we have set up a public Facebook page for Daegan so people can send us messages or post photos/videos of your own personal tributes. We would love to read and see them all. We already know some linemen from the Nebraska Public Power District are having special stickers made for their hard hats to honor Daegan – we absolutely love it and think Daegan would, too. Please visit https://www.facebook.com/Cpl-Daegan-Page-Never-Forgotten-106073331808270.
We would also like to share 4 more photos of Daegan. The first was taken while he was in Jordan recently, prior to his unit being sent to Afghanistan. The second is Daegan with his girlfriend Jessica Ellison – it is one of the last photos they took together before he deployed. The third is Daegan celebrating Thanksgiving with his Marine Corps family in the Camp Pendleton area a couple years ago. The fourth is Daegan and fellow Marines at an Anaheim Ducks game in Los Angeles, also a couple years ago.
We know many people want to offer monetary donations. Please know we are working right now to establish an account and an easy way for people to contribute if they would like. Our family intends to pass on funds donated in Daegan’s name to the many nonprofit /charitable organizations that support veterans, Gold Star families, wounded warriors, and other causes that were close to Daegan’s heart. We will provide details via Daegan’s Never Forgotten Facebook page soon.