Legacy of Fallen Citadel Grad Lives On at Afghanistan Post
By Master Sgt. Chris Miller, USAF
Special to American Forces Press Service
KABUL, Afghanistan, Sept. 7, 2006 For the last five years, here in the heart of Afghanistan’s largest city, lies the nerve center for the command and control of Operation Enduring Freedom, the mission to defeat al Qaeda and associated terrorist movements.
Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan is a coalition of 26 nations headquartered inside a brick-walled compound named after a graduate of The Citadel: U.S. Army Capt. Daniel W. Eggers.
Eggers, a former Green Beret, lost his life in Afghanistan on May 24, 2004, when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device near Kandahar.
He was leading his Special Forces A team in Zabul province to help secure a critical part of the country and provide support to the Afghan government in a highly contested area. The camp was named in his honor during a ceremony March 20, 2005.
The compound is next door to Afghanistan’s presidential palace and down the street from the U.S. Embassy, the Italian Embassy and NATO’s International Security Assistance Force headquarters.
Citadel grads on Camp Eggers are keeping his legacy alive and believe that is particularly important now as Combined Forces Command Afghanistan will be transitioning over to ISAF later this year.
Retired Army Lt. Col. Clemson Turregano, deputy director of the strategic initiatives group for CFC-A and a 1983 Citadel graduate, said it’s humbling to serve on a post named after a Citadel graduate.
“Naming the camp after Daniel Eggers simply says so much about him, the Army and The Citadel,” Turregano said. “His service and sacrifice represented every Army soldier who has given his all for the nation.”
Another Citadel grad here, Air Force Capt. Wesley Maxwell, knew of Eggers from the moment Maxwell set foot on The Citadel campus as a freshman. Maxwell, a logistics support officer here, reported to The Citadel in the fall of 1997 and was assigned to the same company that Eggers had presided over the previous four years.
“As my classmates and I endured our ‘knob’ year, we were constantly reminded of the recently graduated seniors, specifically Dan Eggers,” Maxwell said. “Although I never met Dan, I felt like I knew him by the end of my first year. He was loved by his classmates and was a legend to cadets like myself who followed in his footsteps.”
Eggers was from Cape Coral, Fla., and commissioned in May 1997 after graduating from The Citadel, where he majored in history. He completed Special Forces training in 2002 and was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group Following his first deployment to Afghanistan in March 2003, Eggers was assigned to Company A as a detachment commander.
“The fact he was a SF soldier reflects a desire for excellence that is instilled at The Citadel,” Turregano said. “And the fact that today Camp Eggers is the base for U.S. headquarters in Afghanistan is a reflection of our nation’s need and desire to remember the sacrifice of not just Dan, but all these tremendous individuals who gave their lives for their country.”
(Air Force Master Sgt. Chris Miller is assigned to Combined Forces Command Afghanistan.)